Let's Talk About Birth Control

Listen, I started birth control at 13 years old like a lot of girls do! I had cramps, a heavy flow, and HORRIBLE mood swings. When my mom brought me to the doctor for help, he prescribed me birth control. I took it from 13 until I was 19, when I decided to experiment with more long-term methods.

Progesterone is not my friend. All of the long term methods I tried had awful effects; I felt depressed and got anxiety attacks because, turns out, I have a hormone imbalance. PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) is basically PMS on steroids and causes lasting depression, anxiety and tension.  

Getting off my birth control didn’t help at all, it just let my hormones run free. So finally I caved and went back on the pill, accepting that methods like the implant, IUD or Nuvaring just didn’t work for me.  Even now if I miss a pill or run out before I can get more, I get anxiety attacks or spend the day in a really shitty mood for no clear reason.

This is something that people who are against Planned Parenthood don’t understand. Birth control is medicine. Even though I wasn’t sexually active, I took it for years because it was the only thing that made me feel healthy.

Birth control not only helps with PMS, but helps with acne, cysts, infection, anemia, cancer and bone thinning! It’s an important medication for anyone who has a menstrual cycle and without easy access, people suffer more than just the risk of pregnancy.

It’s not just for women either. It’s common for transmasculine people to use birth control to prevent pregnancy. Progesterone birth control is often used in conjunction with testosterone because it doesn’t add estrogen into the system and can stop patients from getting their periods all together.

Recently the Trump Administration made another attempt on the reproductive rights of women. They tried to roll back a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to include birth control in healthcare for their employees. The reason for this was to give employers the right to deny something that went against their religious or moral beliefs. A similar attempt was made in 2017 and blocked by a California judge named Hayward Gilliam, who once again blocked the administration in 2019.

Birth control is just a name. It is a single function from a medicine that does a lot to help girls, women and trans people.

Not every person taking birth control is taking it to prevent pregnancy. What medications employees take and for what reasons is private, personal information that employers don’t need to know. Their workers taking birth control doesn’t affect their lives, their morals, or their religious beliefs. The Trump Administration is using this false war on morality to restrict the rights of women, the trans community and people in poverty.

It’s something that is part of most people’s lives, even men. It’s something we don’t talk about, but we need to because for the health of kids, women and LGBTQ+ folk, it is worth breaking the taboo.