What Birth Control Taught Me About What it Means to Be a Woman

Disclaimer: My experiences do not speak for all women.

*Any names in this article have been changed to protect those who willingly shared their story.

Growing up, I never really had the conversation with my parents as an introduction to birth control. My mom avoided the conversation by feeding me with horror stories of her past experiences with various birth control methods, and my dad still couldn’t accept the fact that I had a boyfriend, let alone the idea that I was sexually active. So, my introduction to birth control was through conversations with my friends in high school and even then I still didn’t know much. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I started taking birth control in conjunction with condoms (because I was young and freakishly wary of any mishaps and pregnancy scares).

Two years later, one copper IUD expulsion and 5 pill packages later, I can say that I have learned a lot about one aspect about what it means to be a woman just through experiences with birth control. The beauty of being a woman though is that there is a community of sisters who have experienced the same circumstances and can totally relate with me. I spoke with one Wellsian woman who shared her experiences with birth control and what she's learned throughout the process:

"I started having sex at fifteen out of coercion, so I didn't really have time to plan things out like I usually like do. We started with condoms while I was waiting to get adjusted to the pill. That said, there were quite a few pregnancy scares. At this point, birth control felt oppressive, because I wasn't choosing to have sex and therefore didn't have much choice over my sexual health. This went on for three years or so until I broke up that unhealthy relationship, and in later discovering my sexuality I realized that the pill was not necessary for me. Today, I find myself using multiple forms of protection, but out of choice. So birth control has really become something empowering for me." - Marie*

You realize how difficult it can be to navigate the world as a woman when there are so many things, like talking about birth control, that can take control of your life. But, the beauty of being a woman is that we have the opportunity to learn about our bodies and its capabilities. I mean I don’t know about you, but I think it’s pretty awesome that our body gives us natural signs such as body temperature and changes in our cervical mucus to tell us when we are fertile and infertile. Maybe my experiences with birth control weren’t terrible. From where I stand now, I wouldn’t take back my experience. I have grown so much as a woman and with my significant other and I appreciate my body so much more now than I did back then, and for me that is something I cannot take for granted going forward.