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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

I remember when I first started having sex. I was head over heels for this guy, and I still am. We had such a great connection, and we both talked about taking our relationship to the next step. Being cautious of the possibility of getting pregnant was on our minds from the very beginning. Even when we were just talking about having sex, we knew we wanted that extra bit of protection. Despite it being a two-way conversation, taking birth control is, unfortunately, a very one-sided thing.

For me, I thought taking birth control would be like taking any other pill. Sure, it has side effects, and you have to remember to take it at the same time every day, but I had no idea that birth control was going to completely transform my mood and my body. At first, I didn’t really feel anything. There was an onset of deeper cramps and a lighter period, but other than that, everything seemed fine. As I went on, my mood completely changed. I was the exact opposite of myself. I couldn’t get out of bed and I was always tired. I never wanted to do anything anymore, and I had no motivation left. I was depressed. I fell asleep early because I didn’t want to be awake anymore. My days were lonely and uneventful. And my appetite completely disappeared. I was malnourished, depressed, and alone. I hated myself on the pill. I stared at myself in the mirror and tried to pick at every piece of acne and hair on my face. I was obsessed with trying to be prettier. Every time I tried to make myself look better, I felt like my appearance was worse.

After a while, I couldn’t do it anymore. My motivation got so low that I forgot to take the pill. And I didn’t order another pack for the next month. I noticed a complete change. I was eating, I was working out consistently, I wasn’t endlessly tired, and I wanted to go out and do something productive. I felt so free every time I went off of the pill. I was my normal, positive self. However, going off birth control presented a big problem for me. What kind of contraception do I need to take now? I had researched and talked to my friends about lots of different methods. I explored everything from Plan B to implanting a Nexplanon rod in my arm. But none of those options stood out to me. I didn’t hear about the IUD until I had talked to a long time family friend of mine who had just graduated with a nursing degree. She had one herself and swore by it. She said the process of getting one may be painful, but I wasn’t extremely worried about the implant process. I just wanted something that would work for me. Something that wouldn’t have such an effect on my mood or my motivation. I wanted to feel like I’ve always felt like. I just wanted to be myself and take contraception for my own safety and health. I didn’t know it would be this hard to find.

Getting the IUD was almost seamless. I had listened to every trick in the book to make it less painful. Go in right before your period starts, take eight hundred milligrams of Advil, etc. I was so prepared and excited to get my IUD. I knew it would be the best choice for my body. The best part about getting an IUD, was that the hormones associated with the device tend to stay where the device is: your uterus. As opposed to getting devices like the Nexplanon rod, the hormones don’t have to travel through your bloodstream before getting to your reproductive organs. This is what made the IUD perfect for me. The hormones of the pill had such an influence on me, but with the IUD, it was less likely that would happen. I have had my IUD for about three months now, and there is nothing I dislike about it. I feel like myself, I barely have a period, and I am happy and motivated. 

After my long journey with hormonal contraceptives, I’ve never realized how much they changed me and my relationships with others. There is nothing I learned more out of this experience than the fact that you should always listen to your body and your loved ones. Not only does your body try telling you something is wrong, but your friends and family will notice a change in you as well, and it’s important to keep their thoughts in mind as you are also struggling. Being on birth control was important for me, and I am glad that I found a solution and was able to find a device suitable for me and my life.

I encourage everyone to try different methods of birth control. Even when you feel like nothing will work, there is a method for everyone, and you may not even know it.

Content written by various anonymous CU Boulder writers