Health Highlights: Aug. 6, 2009

The analysis of 2004-06 data from 12 states and New York City also found that 62 percent of women use highly effective birth control methods, 20 percent use moderately effective methods, and 6 percent use less effective methods.

The study is the first to examine postpartum contraceptive use by method effectiveness, said the researchers. The findings appear in the latest issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the CDC.

The researchers said use of highly effective birth control methods after a recent pregnancy are an important way of preventing unwanted pregnancies, ensuring adequate time between births, and reducing negative mother and infant outcomes.

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Can't Force Gays to Become Straight: APA

Mental health professionals shouldn't tell gay and lesbian patients they can become heterosexual through therapy or other treatments, the American Psychological Association stated Wednesday.

The group said there's no evidence that so-called reparative therapy is effective and some research suggests that it could cause harm by bringing on depression and suicidal tendencies, the Associated Press reported. Reparative therapy is advocated by a small number of therapists, often allied with religious conservatives.

Instead of trying to force gays and lesbians to become straight, mental health professionals should consider other options, such as celibacy and changing churches, for gay and lesbian patients whose sexual orientation conflicts with their religious faith, the APA advised.

This approach on counseling gays and lesbians was outlined in a report that was endorsed by the APA's governing council, the AP reported.

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