As a woman, you’ve probably dealt with the horrible traumas that come with having your period. Cramps and bloating and just dealing with the whole process can be very stressful and tedious. Luckily, there’s a few remedies for those unpleasant days of the month; a very good option is, birth control. Yes, handy dandy birth control. Contraire to popular beliefs, it’s not just to prevent pregnancies. Of course, that’s the main purpose as for why it was created in the first place, but throughout the years we’ve come to realize all the extra ways it can help us. Although there are tons and tons of methods, (the patch, the ring, the implant, and even the shot) I will be focusing on the two most common ones: the pill and the IUD.
The pill is a combination of two hormones (usually estrogen and progestin) that suppresses ovulation. Other than preventing unwanted pregnancies, the pill can also work wonders if you have different conditions. Acne, heavy periods, irregular periods, painful cramps, polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis are a few of the conditions the pill can improve.
The IUD is a reversible method of birth control. It’s a small, T shaped artifact that is inserted and placed into the uterus. It’s usually made of plastic and it can only be inserted by a professional. There are two types of IUDs, hormonal and copper. The hormonal one release progesterone, stopping ovulation, and the copper one is a good alternative to anyone who is trying to prevent a pregnancy or to stop painful periods and cannot use hormonal birth control.
I asked three girls (all three of them in their 20s) about their experience with birth control and here’s what they said:
- What is your general knowledge on birth control?
- In the beginning I didn’t know that much, but thankfully I had a very informative friend that thaught me a lot.
- Birth control is a method women who want to prevent pregnancies, who want help with period cramps, and who want to prevent cyst can use.
- What type of birth control are you on?
- I am currently on the pill.
- I am currently on an IUD, its a little plastic in the shape of a T that is used to prevent my ovaries to enter in contact with sperm.
- For which specific reason did you get on birth control?
- The reason I mainly got on birth control was because of my irregular periods. After that I started dating my current boyfriend, so being on the pill was a nice asset for my sexual life.
- I am sexually active, and I do have a lot of cysts on my ovaries, so my period cramps were horrible, so horrible that I would curl up into a ball and cry from the pain.
- How long have you been on birth control?
- I’ve been on the pill for about a year now. At first, I was on a different type of pill, but I was gaining weight and I noticed, so I quickly changed it to another one with a lower dosage of hormones.
- I have been on birth control since 2015.
- Have you noticed any negative changes since you started it?
- I have not encountered any negatives changes, just a quick change after I noticed my weight gain.
- Yeah, I’ve gained a lot of weight because my stress level and my changes in hormone levels made me want to eat more and be a little more anxious than I was before. My face became a lot more spotted that it used to be, and my mood changed.
- What about any positive changes since you started using it?
- For me, being in the pill is joyful, you’re almost worry free of getting pregnant and that is just refreshing.
- Yeah, I haven’t gotten pregnant! And, my cramps are none existent and my period is gone. I don’t have to buy tampons or pads anymore and it’s better for the environment. It’s a win-win situation.
- Why did you choose this type of birth control as the best fit for you?
- Personally, it’s just easier to put an alarm to remind me to take the pill instead of making appointments every other month for other types of birth control.
- I am currently a working girl, but every time I went to my gynecologist I had to pay $30 for my former birth control (I used to be on the pill). It was too much, and I couldn’t deal with the fact that I had to pay not to get pregnant, so when the IUD was presented to me with a free coverage I took the chance, because not only did I didn’t have to pay for a little packet of pills anymore, it was just easier.
- What do you wish you knew before getting on it?
- I sincerely would have loved to know more about how it works; what’s the actual process happening inside my body.
- That having the IUD inserted hurts like hell, and honestly I was scared that my body was not going to react the way I wanted it.
- How do you feel ultimately about your decision to get on birth control?
- My decision of getting on the pill was mostly medical because of my irregular periods, but since I am sexually active it is one of the best decisions I have taken.
- I do not regret it one bit, because since I’m sexually active and my husband wants to have kids right now and I don’t so I get to make that decision for myself.
One of them though, had a different perspective towards birth control. Here’s what she said:
- What is your general knowledge on birth control? I’m aware that birth control helps keep your hormones in check, it helps women to stay regular and prevents them from getting pregnant 98% of the time. I am also aware it helps with acne and mood swings.
- Why did you decide birth control wasn’t for you? I decided birth control wasn’t for me because I am sort of a naturalist. I don’t believe we need to take pills to regulate our bodies. Also, I was always moving around so it was a hassle to have to add another thing to transfer, change, find. I wasn’t sexually active until after the death of my mom and at that point I was bouncing from home to home without any real adults.
- Do you use alternative birth control methods? There’s always condoms, trusting your partner (even with condoms), Plan B pill (if necessary) and even hibiscus tea is known to stop the process.
- How do you feel ultimately about your decision to get on birth control? I think I’m open to it now that I’ve settled down and more stable. I haven’t had my period in a year and appointments with my gyno have informed me that birth control could regulate or induce me to have my period again. I would like more education on birth control and all the options. I would say, it’s something I’d consider but I’m not well informed about yet.
Basically, it all comes down to your preference and what method works best with your lifestyle. Personally, I’ve been on the pill myself for almost two years because I was diagnosed with endometriosis. The pill helps my body stop that chronic condition to spread or develop further, and it has made my life a thousand times easier. It’s just good to know that you have options that will help you take your health and your life into your own hands available and it’s always nice to be informed.