You Shouldn’t Need to Explain Why You’re on Birth Control

“I’m on the pill because it clears up my acne” or “it makes my periods regular” or “it helps my cramps,” are all valid reasons for using birth control-- they just shouldn’t be the only acceptable ones. 

There’s a lot of reasons people use birth control: acne, an irregular cycle, cramps, migraines, endometriosis, but most commonly, for sex. All of these reasons are perfectly valid, but much of the time when we make an argument for why womxn and anyone who has a uterus need access to birth control, we leave out contraception as a reason. In these arguments, it almost seems as if using birth control for safe sex is shameful, that it’s only valid to use it for a medical issue. The truth is, most people use it to prevent pregnancy. Let’s start including that in our arguments, too. 

Excluding simply wanting to prevent pregnancy through birth control in our arguments to people who are anti-contraceptive normalizes the idea that sex should be shameful. No matter the reason a person uses birth control, it should not be a shameful subject. Instead, it’s safe, responsible, and practical-- and it should be treated as such. 

College Women Talking Sex Adebusola Abujade / Her Campus Media

When womxn talk about using birth control, it’s almost as if they feel like they have to have another reason for using it besides pregnancy prevention. This is especially true for conservative womxn, many of whom are older. Older womxn were often raised with conservative beliefs, and surrounded by the idea that sex is shameful. There’s a stigma surrounding birth control, mainly because of the stigma surrounding womxn having sex for pleasure. 

While anyone who has a uterus may use birth control, the majority of people who use it are womxn, and there has nearly always been a stigma associated with female sexuality. Womxn deserve pleasure just as much as men, and should not be slutshamed for enjoying sex. By normalizing that it’s okay to use birth control for pregnancy prevention, we normalize female sexuality. 

In addition, it’s important to remember that womxn or anyone who uses birth control do not owe an explanation as to why they use it. We can normalize using birth control and using it for different reasons including sexual ones, but it’s still a private matter. If someone does not want to disclose why they use birth control, they shouldn’t have to. Even more true is that nobody should have to justify why they use birth control. 

Celina Timmerman-Care Free Celina Timmerman / Her Campus

Birth control is perfectly practical, acceptable, and safe. If we start treating it as such, the stigma surrounding female sexuality as well as medical issues will diminish. We don’t need to justify our reasons, but we don’t need to hide them either.


Sources: 1, 2, 3

Photos: Her Campus Media