An Open Letter to All The Boyfriends

Birth control is always a hot topic no matter the voting season. But what people tend to forget when talking about birth control is that it is SO MUCH MORE than just preventing pregnancy for women. Birth control is said to help regulate hormones, reduce acne, ease painful periods, and manage PCOS, just to name a few. All these reasons to use birth control seem to go out the window in discussions about policies. These reasons are also often forgotten in discussions between partners too.

As a woman who has used birth control for a few years now, 5 years to be exact, there are lists of reasons why I would use it. It’s convenient, no period to worry about! Again, regulate hormones, as well as, the obvious, prevent unplanned pregnancy. But the other list is what happens when you use birth control, and that list is seldom talked about, it is the list of side effects. Weight gain, depression, anxiety, low sex drive, no sex drive, allergic reactions, spotting, having your period for more than 7 days, bone density loss, headaches, nausea, vomiting, the list goes on! But we put up with these side effects as many S/O’s like having the double protection of a condom and women’s birth control. This doesn’t take into account the other set of side effects when coming off birth control, Post Birth Control Syndrome (PBCS), and this can last as much as a year. Yes, PBCS really is a thing. Don’t believe me? Check out this link to the leading PBCS doctor, Dr. Brighton. * Her vitamins are seriously SO GOOD, definitely go check them out if you're interested in proper body health support because let's face it, we never get all the nutrients we need eating throughout the day. Find her vitamins here! So really women have the short end of the stick in both situations, side effects while on birth control and side effects coming off birth control.

With the pros and cons of using birth control, it seems especially in heterosexual relationships, that the guy just assumes women use birth control to prevent pregnancy, but in reality that was probably the last reason why a woman started it to begin with. I think men often brush aside or forget that there are many many reasons why women use birth control. We don’t typically go on birth control just for pregnancy prevention. And the fact that lots of men think that is actually really selfish. Men forget that pregnancy prevention is a TWO-WAY STREET. It is not just up to the woman to prevent pregnancy, the man involved also has a hand in prevention. Society puts an unfair amount of pressure on women to prevent pregnancy. Instead, men, you should be supportive, empathetic, and compassionate if your S/O is on any form of birth control. Birth control can make you feel so many different emotions, sometimes all at once or none at all, and this roller coaster for some women if extremely difficult. If all your S/O wants is to cuddle, eat a box of chocolates and watch Disney+, then you should indulge her lovingly.

And because everyone seems to be addicted to twitter, here is a guy telling it how it is!

This is all before we have even discussed long term effects of birth control which include potential increased risk of cancer, increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure. While cancer is a scary risk, there are also studies out that state certain kinds of birth control actually help prevent certain types of cancer. So it’s a double edge sword, but a very scary possibility, either way, you put it. And these are things I think men forget about, or maybe aren’t even educated about. That is where our society lets women down. Society tells women that we need to protect ourselves, don’t wear “risqué” clothing, mind your manners, but what society lacks is educating men on being empathetic, compassionate, and not entitled.

I think Brad from Twitter says it best.

So to all the S/O’s and boyfriends, if you know your girlfriend is on birth control, don’t assume it has anything to do with you. And condoms are still a very real thing, don’t forget to use them!

HCXO