Week of:
May 22, 2020

The contraceptive patch

Dear Alice,

I saw this commercial on TV last night about the birth control patch. Is it as good as the pill? Do you keep the same patch on for a week or do you have to remember to put one on every day just like having to remember to take the pill? I was just wondering, because I forget a lot to take my pill and just wanted to know if that was easier. Are the side effects worse than the pill?


How to use a condom properly — Avoid breakage and slippage!

Dear Alice,

Here's my query. I recently started having sex, and we are committed to using condoms. What is the "right" way to use a condom? I know how to put them on and take them off. But I'm petrified about having it break or come off. Also, someone told me that I should pull out immediately after I ejaculate. Is this true? This has happened before, but I have "stayed in" because I wanted my partner to have an orgasm. Is it really important to withdraw immediately after ejaculation?

Thanks for all your help,
Having fun and being safe

Side effects of birth control pills

Dear Alice,

My roommate is on the pill now, and she seems to be having some unpleasant symptoms: bleeding, decreased appetite, etc. I've heard some awful stories about what this form of contraception can do to young women. Should I advise her to see a doctor?


Vaginal contraceptive film


I have recently become aware of the vaginal contraceptive film (VCF) and am wondering about its effectiveness. We are currently using condoms, but my husband is not thrilled with them. Is the VCF as effective as the condom to use by itself?