Here's the Lowdown on Different Types of Birth Control

There are tons of options out there for birth control these days. I am writing to you all today to tell you about my experience with the various types of birth control I’ve used. It can be difficult to determine which is right for you, especially because each one has different effects and each person experiences them differently. I did not use the depo shot because that can decrease bone mineral density and I did not try Nexplanon because my sister had a bad experience with it.

I am going to get very TMI with you all, to help explain my perspective and how my own body reacted to these birth controls. I am not a professional or a doctor by any means, so please take this information how you want. You should always consult with your doctor and try and find one that will work best for you. There is a lot of information out there with lots of personal experiences. I just hope to contribute my experiences and hopefully that may help someone out there struggling with all of the choices and finding the right one. 

So the TMI part - I have regular intercourse, without birth control I have heavy periods that last about five days, I have horrible cramps the first day that I get my period, I have extremely consistent periods, and I have only missed my period one time in my life. 

The Pill

There are lots of kinds of pills out there and I was just put on the one that my doctor prescribed to me. The pill works great if you remember to take it everyday and you can take it on time. Unfortunately for me, that is a little beyond my capabilities. Having to remember to take your birth control with you everywhere you go can also be a little difficult. When I was first put on the pill, my cramps went away but my bleeding stayed the same. One of the main reasons I have stayed on birth almost consistently for five years is because it takes care of my cramps. Trying to take the pill every day is one issue I would say plagues most people and that was the case for me. 

Plan B

The Ring

After I took a little break from the pill, I tried the ring. It is a ring about the size of a ponytail that you put inside the entrance of your vagina. Now the ring was amazing! I only had to change it once a month and I took mine out for the fourth week so I would have my period. This also took care of my cramps. I had to periodically check that it was still inserted correctly but I never had an issue with it falling out. My main issue with this was that it was a little annoying during intercourse. I would take it out during intercourse because it was coming out anyway. This became concerning because the ring was not supposed to come out. For that reason I stopped using the ring but other than that it was a great option. 

The Lalapop Art Banana

The Patch

I also really loved the patch. It is basically a sticker that you put somewhere on your body. About the size of a Ritz cracker but in a square shape. In my case I tried a few different places and found on my butt was the best place. You have to change the patch once a week and again in my case, I took mine off the fourth week to have my period. It did take care of my cramps and I believe it made my period just a little lighter. The only annoying thing was that the fuzz from jeans or underwear would get stuck around the edges of the patch, although that is just the look of it. Sometimes, it would get a crease in it that concerned me a little bit because the creased part was not sticking to my skin. Sometimes, the edge would come up just enough to get stuck to my jeans or fold down so it was stuck to itself. This was obviously most concerning because now most of it was not stuck to my skin. 

The IUD 

Finally, after what seemed like trying and failing to be perfectly happy with a birth control, I decided it was time to try an IUD. This is the one I currently have as of about four and a half weeks. Now I hadn’t done this before because I wanted to try other options before putting something inside my uterus. It is certainly one of the most effective, you don’t have to worry about it falling out, it may help with heavy period flows or stop them, and they last 5 years which is pretty incredible. I got the Kyleena, the non-copper one. With a copper-IUD, you still get your period but I think I was finally able to let go of that. The copper-IUD also has no hormones, whereas the other ones have just a little bit of hormones which release over the five years. I was pretty nervous, but the doctors and nurses were great. Pro tip, if you’re a college student like I am, getting your STD testing done at the on-campus student health and then sending it to a hospital will help you save money if they do not offer it at student health. I finally decided to get an IUD after hearing how awesome it was for my other friends. I cannot lie, it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. Luckily my doctor and nurses were very nice. Afterwards, I was able to sit up almost right away and I was able to drive home. I did arrange for a ride home just in case I was not able to myself. 

The realization that I would not have to worry about birth control for 5 years certainly made up for the fact that I was experiencing terrible cramps that I had not had for years at this point. After the first couple hours and a little ibuprofen, it subsided to bearable but still terrible cramps, although I had experienced terrible ones before. So far, I have had spotting every day and had my period like normal. The couple days after my period usually ended though, I did get a little heavier flow than the spotting but not as bad as on my period. I am currently in love with my birth control. If you’re scared but you are able to get an IUD, I would actually recommend it. It did take a little convincing for me, but so far this is my best birth control option. One thing I still have to find out is how the IUD affects my cramps. I might also never have to spend another dollar on tampons *HUGE AUDIBLE GASP*

In conclusion, cramps were one of the best reasons I had to use birth control. There were minor inconveniences for each one, which shouldn’t stop you from trying them, but I wanted the best. The best so far has been my IUD, which I think others would say the same. Stay safe and healthy out there. That doesn’t mean you should not have fun, just do it smart. I hope this was helpful and I wish everyone the best of luck on their birth control journey!

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