“Bedsider” Website a Welcome New Resource on Birth Control

While the goal of reducing unwanted pregnancy is certainly admirable (and quite feminist!), the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy has something of a… weird history. In the past, their campaigns have been criticized for being anti-abortion and, paradoxically, for shaming teen moms (see here).

But they’ve always been quite media savvy, a handy skill when you’re trying to raise awareness about teen and unwanted pregnancy. And it seems their media know-how is finally paying off with the exciting launch of their well-designed and resourceful new site Bedsider.

With an explicit focus on providing information on birth control in a fun and comprehensive way to young people and young women in particular, Bedsider manages to avoid all that grey-area moral judgey-stuff and fill a real-life need for a crucial demographic.

The site is billed as a sort of one-stop resource for all your birth control needs.  You can find out if you are eligible for free birth controlset up reminders for yourself about when to take what, and get answers to your sex and contraception questions. But my absolute favorite feature might be their birth control comparison matrix, which sets up different methods side by side to help you determine which one is right for you. Yay information!

The site launch corresponds to a major public services campaign with more than 33,000 media outlets and comes with the requisite funnier than average PSAs, including the one below. I appreciate the diversity of body type and race of the actors involved, and the light-hearted but earnest messaging around sex and sexuality. Do check it out!

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 16, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Honestly I don’t like this site at all. It’s the same superficial contemptuous information passed out to young people on the brochures Planned Parenthood produces. I know my local community, and I know Planned Parenthood has good reason to assume many
    of their clients can’t speak or read English, or are barely literate. There is a real need for information about birth control presented at the first grade level. However I doubt most teenagers using the internet to look up an English website,
    are illiterate, don’t speak English, or read below the third grade level.

    If this website included enough information for young people to exercise informed consent I would be more impressed. At the absolute minimum this website needs to include the information off the drug inserts that come with those prescription drugs and FDA approved medical devices.

    What are the these drugs, what hormones do they use, how do they effect the body? How do the medical implants effect the body?

    What follow up care is available to an uninsured patient?

    Will these free birth control services cover removal of IUDs or implants a few years
    later when the patient is uninsured but makes to much money to qualify for medicaid?

    Are these services confidential for minors?
    Do they need parental consent or notification? Will the parents be sent a bill? Do these services require going on government assistance? What information is required to qualify for this free birth control?

    The producers of this website don’t need to provide information on every service and clinic out there, they just need to provide links.

    I do respect this site for posting information on how easy different methods are to hide.

    The side effects page is nothing but outright lies. Blood clots, stroke, recurring breast cancer, coughing blood, blindness, depression, and death are all well documented side effects of hormonal birth control. Less dangerous side effects include nausea,
    weight gain, loss of libido, bloating, worse cramping, heavier periods, worse acne and vaginal dryness. In 30 years I have never met a single woman who had a single one of these side effects and considered them “not noticeable”. Most of the women I talked to who had side effects on hormonal birth control either found another formula that did not cause those side effects or quit taking hormonal birth control all together.

    This site is nothing but brain washing. Post some in depth information and scientific research from medical journals and I’ll have a little more respect. The assumption that young people do not want to understand, and will not bother to read about what
    they put in their bodies is ageist. I remember being treated that way as a teen. That attitude wasn’t helpful to me then, and it isn’t helpful to young people now.

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