Where would so many of us be without birth control? Starting a family long before we were ready? Terrified of sex before we met “the one,” which for some could result in 40-year-old virgin status? Or, would we be one of the few lucky ones who never misses a period?
Unfortunately for millions of women around the world, these situations are very real. They are never taught about “family planning” and contraception, they don’t have access to it, and for some, it’s too expensive.
Thankfully, there are people out there that understand birth control is something all women should be entitled to having. The people at Bedsider.org started a campaign called #THXBirthControl – designed to break down the archaic stigmas attached to contraception and help teens and young women find the right method for them.
An unplanned pregnancy can severely change someone’s life. And while some may say that you shouldn’t have sex if you aren’t ready for a baby, we all know that sex is no longer just a reproductive need. In fact, it hasn’t been for a very long time.
What about people, like me, who don’t want to have children at any point in their life? Are we to remain chaste until the end of time? Yeah… we all know that’s not happening.
No, we have sex because we enjoy it. It feels good, it makes you feel closer to someone, and sometimes to have a child. It’s one of the few things that all human beings share – the need for human connection and pleasure.
Plus, birth control has more benefits than just keeping a bun out of the oven. It can regulate your periods, help with hormone control, and even help prevent certain types of cancer. So, as you can see, it’s quite the invention – one millions are thankful for.
How do you find the right birth control for you?
It depends. You can ask your friends, but what works for them may not work for you. You can ask your doctor for their educated opinion, but the first one may not be best. The thing is, you may have to shop around, so to speak.
First, you have to decide what method you’d like, and then which brand works for you. Here are a few of the most common forms.
The most basic of contraceptives, they’re used only when sexual intercourse is taking place. They are also the only form of birth control that lowers risks of STDs and STIs, so they’re great to use in conjunction with another form of birth control. Male condoms are the most common, but there are female condoms available as well.
One of the most popular forms, this is a daily hormone pill that prevents pregnancy. As long as you take it regularly and at the same time everyday, it’s very effective. There are a variety of brands with a range of hormone levels, so you may not like the first one you try.
For example, my first birth control pill made me completely erratic. I had intense mood swings, I would get irrationally horny, and I felt like I wanted to cry half the time. Basically, all my friends thought a demon had taken control of my body. Fortunately, after talking to my doctor, she switched me to a lower dosage of hormones, and I was back to my regular self! Phew.
Also known as an intrauterine device, the IUD is a T-shaped device inserted into your uterus that blocks sperm from passing the cervix. The copper IUD has no hormones and can last up to 12 years, while other hormonal IUDs may last only three to five years.
This is a great option if you are terrible at taking a pill everyday. You have your doctor insert it, and you’re set for a few years, no worry necessary! Then, if you decide you do want a child, you can get it removed and start family planning right away.
This is a tiny rod a doctor inserts into your arm that releases hormones into the body that prevent pregnancy from happening. It lasts about four years, and for a lot of women, significantly reduces the amount of periods you have, or makes them very, very light, and lessens cramps, as well (talk about an incentive, amiright?).
Yet another great option for someone not keen on sticking to a pill routine.
Whatever form of birth control you choose (or don’t choose) to use, is ultimately up to you. It allows you to have a happy, healthy sex life, without the worry of something (or someone) unexpected to come along. Have a family when you’re ready, or never at all, if that’s what you want.