Computer helps decide birth control options

July 27, 2011 2:02:45 PM PDT
When it comes to birth control there are so many options and now technology can help you make the decision of which drug is best for you.

It's a new computer program that could help women.

The experimental module is designed to be used in a waiting room before you see your doctor.

The program asks all the embarrassing but important questions.

It wants to know information like how many people you're involved with, what medical problems you have, and have you had problems with birth control in the past.

Across the country half of all pregnancies are unplanned. And discussing all the birth control options with your doctor is time consuming. This program takes about 15 minutes and it gives you a list of recommended options based on your answers.

Samantha Garbers is a research Scientist at Public Health Solutions in Manhattan. She shows Eyewitness News how this works.

"In the past health education has really focused on pamphlets, brochures -we've learned that's not the most effective way," said Samantha Garbers.

They recently tested this computer-based program in almost 2000 women in two women's health clinics.

"We found that women who used the module were significantly more likely to leave the visit with a method that was effective," adds Garbers.

They plan to continue testing the program in more clinics and doctor's offices but say it could be commercially available in the next two years.