Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Marla Ahlgrimm | Teens and Birth Control

Marla AhlgrimmTeen pregnancy rates have dropped in the US in the last few years. This is great news and due partly to the availability of birth control and also to technology. Teens today are more informed than ever regarding their pregnancy prevention options. Here, Marla Ahlgrimm answers some common questions about birth control for teens and why it’s important.

Q: How do I know if I should be using birth control?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are two reasons that a young woman should use birth control. The first is if you experience heavy and painful bleeding during your period. Oral contraceptives can help regulate your cycle and you have the option to skip it altogether. The second, and most important, reason is to prevent pregnancy. If you are not ready to become a parent but are sexually active, you should consider taking steps to prevent pregnancy.

Q: What types of birth control are available to me?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The most common form of birth control is the pill. However, there are many options nowadays. Reversible methods include hormone implants, IUDs, injections, patches, vaginal rings, diaphragm, and a few others, which are less effective. Your doctor can help you decide.

Q: Which is the best?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The most effective form of birth control is abstinence, followed by the implant and IUD. Sterilization is usually reserved for older women who already have children and wish to keep their family as-is.

Q: Does birth control prevent STDs?

Marla Ahlgrimm: None of the ones lists above. Condoms are the most effective for STD prevention and may be used in conjunction with other forms of birth control. STDs are a huge concern for young people, as they can have a negative effect on your future health and relationships.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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