Although preventing pregnancy is a significant reason women go on birth control, it’s not the only one. Birth control can lower risk of some cancers, such as ovarian, it can help clear your skin of acne, and it can help alleviate irregular, heavy or painful periods. Let me start off by explaining my experience with birth control.
I’ve tried so many different birth control pills I’m probably a walking Sponsored Links to try things out before you ditch them. I was put on birth control at 15, not because I was having copious amounts of sex, but because I had a period from hell. I remember waking up that first day wishing I could go back to sleep. I was so sick to the point where I couldn’t move. My period symptoms ranged from bad cramps to nausea, a regular headache to migraines, back pain and heavy bleeding.
I was put on a low dose pill at first, but it made me nauseous. All in all, I have tried about 10 different pills. As time went on, my body got used to it, it made me sick or it just stopped working. I recently decided to switch to an IUD. It was excruciating to get it implanted, but it has helped my periods tremendously and I do not regret the switch at all.
Not everyone’s stories are the same as mine, but either way there are important things to know about when it comes to any kind of birth control.
Reasons you might consider birth control:
You are trying to prevent pregnancy. Whether you are in a committed relationship or dating around, you may or may no be ready to have a baby. Of course, condoms are a great option, and probably a must-use, but like the pill, or other forms of birth control, they are not 100% protective against pregnancy. They can break, or be put on improperly. The “pull out and pray method” is also (definitely) not 100% guaranteed. If you’re having protected or unprotected sex, you might be considering contraceptive.
You are experiencing break outs. Oral contraceptives contain high levels of the hormone estrogen, which decreases the amounts of testosterone in your body. Testosterone increases oils, which of course cause acne. The pill, Ortho-Tri-Cylen, is a common kind of BC that treats acne problems.
Issues with your period. Like me, many women experience problems with what is supposed to be a “normal” woman thing. Irregularity, pain, heavy bleeding, and bad PMS, are all common problems women face when they’re having unusual issue with their periods. Birth control regulates your periods, so you always know when it’s coming. The pill also prevents you from ovulating, therefore your uterine lining doesn’t break down as fast. This also helps with cramping.
Different kinds of birth control:
The “pill” isn’t the only form of birth control available to take. In order to figure out what kind you should take, it is vital that you have a discussion with your doctor on the reasons you are taking birth control. Different characteristics about your needs and lifestyle can determine which is the best form of birth control for you.
- Implant (Implanon and Nexplanon): Birth control implants are inserted under the skin, such as in your arm. They release a hormone that prevents pregnancy, and require little work from you. You don’t have to remember to take it, like with the pill, and there is little margin for human error. Unlike the pill, however, some insurances do not cover this.
- Patch: The birth control patch is placed usually on your arm and releases hormones into the skin and into the bloodstream. You will have to replace the patch on the same day once a week. On the fourth week, you will keep the patch off and allow for your period. It is like the pill, only not oral and you don’t have to take it every day.
- Pills: The pill is the most common form of birth control used among women. You will take the pill every day at the same time for 21 days. For the last 7 days of the 28-day cycle, you will take a placebo pill that has no hormones in it (this acts as a reminder). There are advantages and disadvantages, and room for error. If you don’t take it 24 hours after the previous pill, it isn’t as effective.
- Shot (depo-Provera): The birth control shot is given every 3 months, and will prevent pregnancy for that time. There is no other thing that needs to be done besides the shot. There are some side effects to the shot however, such as change in sex drive, irregular bleeding, changes in appetite, or sore breasts. But, these are quite normal and will usually subside after the first 6-12 months.
- Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing): The vaginal ring is a form of birth control that a women inserts directly into her vagina. It releases hormones that prevent pregnancy, and remains for 3 weeks. On the third week, it should be removed and replaced a week later.
- IUD (Mirena, Skyla, ParaGard): An IUD “interuterine device” is a form of birth control that is inserted into the uterus by a doctor. It remains there and prevents pregnancy for 5 years. There are two types – hormonal and copper. Either way, the t-shaped device prevents the sperm from joining with the sperm. The hormonal IUD prevents the egg from leaving the uterus, which also helps with those horrid periods.
- The pill makes you gain weight. There is no evidence that the birth control makes you gain weight.
- Newer forms of birth control aren’t as safe as older brands.
- You shouldn’t get an IUD unless you’ve already had children.
- It’s unhealthy to use birth control to skip your period.
- You will not be able to get pregnant when you are ready.
For whatever reason you are considering taking birth control, it is crucial that you do you background research on the different forms and have a conversation with your doctor. There are things that may prevent you from taking certain kinds, such as medical history and current medications.