January 08, 2016
Image from Ryan Somma
This week we're taking a closer look at our current – and potential future – contraceptive methods. We'll speak with Beth Sundstrom and Andrea DeMaria, Co-Directors of the Women's Health Research Team at the College of Charleston, about why the pill is still our go-to birth control choice when we have long acting reversible contraception methods like the IUD and the implant available for women. And we'll talk with Elaine Lissner, Executive Director of the Parsemus Foundation, about their continuing work to bring Vasalgel, a long acting, reversible, non-hormonal male contraceptive, to market.
- Andrea DeMaria
- Beth Sundstrom
- Elaine Lissner
Andrea DeMaria is an assistant professor of public health at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. She is a Co-Director of the Women's Health Research Team and the current Interim Associate Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program. She also holds an adjunct assistant professor appointment at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her research has primarily focused on women's sexual and reproductive health issues. She has investigated the association between genital self-image and pubic hair removal, gynecological screening behaviors, body image, and various sexual behaviors. She has also explored contraceptive choice, specifically identifying correlates of primary use of the birth control pill versus non-daily and long-acting reversible contraceptive options. She is committed to a comprehensive approach to women’s health research, drawing from the behavioral, social, and clinical science fields.
Beth Sundstrom is an assistant professor of communication and public health at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. She is a member of the graduate faculty and the Co-Director of the Women's Health Research Team. She also holds an adjunct assistant professor appointment at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her research interests include health communication, social marketing, and women's health. Her book "Reproductive Justice and Women's Voices: Health Communication across the Lifespan" offers an in-depth analysis of women's reproductive health, including contraceptive use dynamics, pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.
Elaine Lissner is the Executive Director of Parsemus Foundation, a California-based foundation focused on new contraceptives for humans, nonsurgical sterilization for animals, and breast cancer research. The foundation's largest project is bringing Vasalgel, a long-acting, non-hormonal male contraceptive, to market. Elaine's background is in human male contraceptive development advocacy, as director of the Male Contraception Information Project in the early 1990’s and from 2001 to 2014. Her publications include “Frontiers in Nonhormonal Male Contraception: A Call for Research” in Issues in Reproductive Technology: An Anthology, and the foundation's work has been featured in WIRED, BBC News, Scientific American, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.