Birth Control Basics for Beginners

So you want to go on birth control. You’ve heard the rumors: weight gain, periods that never seem to end, clearer skin, you name it.

For those who are unfamiliar, birth control is a type of medication that acts as a contraceptive and regulates your menstrual cycle. Some womxn choose to go on birth control to prevent pregnancy, alleviate harsh period symptoms, or balance hormone production.

How to Choose a Method of Birth Control Fit for You

The first step would be contacting your primary care physician or a gynecologist for their medical expertise on which type of birth control would be best for you. You should always seek out a medical professional when choosing birth control methods because they are aware of your medical history and can give you advice that the internet cannot.

Before you attend a doctor’s appointment, it’s nice to do a little research on your own so you have an idea of what your options are. A credible and informative resource to reference is the Planned Parenthood website. Think about the various reasons why you want to be on birth control and bring up these concerns with your doctor so you ensure you’re being prescribed a method that works for you.

There are various forms of birth control, and the graphic linked here sums it up nicely. Some of the most common forms include a daily pill, arm implant, and an IUD placed inside your cervix. When choosing a birth control form, evaluate yourself. Will you remember to take a pill at the same time every single day? Do you feel comfortable having an external object implanted in your body? Are you forgetful? Asking yourself questions like these will narrow down your options.

You’re on Birth Control. Now What?

Now that you have chosen a method, the most important thing is to be patient. It is only normal that your body will have to adjust to its new hormone levels. Give yourself 2-3 months to adjust and if you are still experiencing unwanted side effects, it is possible that another method ─ or even brand or formula ─ may work better with your body.

No two bodies are the same, so as hard as it is, try not to work yourself up over stories you may have heard or read. The journey to finding the method that works with your body is not the same for everyone. It is important that you are able to openly communicate with your doctor and potential partners how the birth control is affecting you. Being able to talk about any fears, feelings, and frustrations will make the adjustment period much easier.