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Picking the Best Method of Birth Control For You, and Your Period

Anyone with a vagina can attest to the fact that periods, well, they suck. Bleeding out of one’s genitals could never be a pleasant experience, no matter what the happy-go-lucky tampon advertisements may imply. I, for one, could definitely do without witnessing a Tarantino movie between my legs once a month. Which is why I started birth control pills.

There are numerous methods of birth control, as we all may or may not know depending on how comprehensive our high school sexual education was. There are condoms, which do not prevent periods but are known to prevent pregnancy. There are rings, patches, shots, caps, implants, diaphragms, and pills. There are vasectomies, and there are tube-tyings.

The combined pill, one of the most common forms of hormonal birth control, is a pill one takes daily. Out of the 62 percent of women of reproductive age that are using contraception, 28 percent of those are using the pill. There are many different types of birth control pills, with varying amounts of hormones and side effects. I personally take Lo Loestrin Fe. It’s one of the pills with the lowest dose of estrogen, so it’s supposed to have little side effects. I only gained a few pounds after starting and my periods have become increasingly light, some months I won’t even notice bleeding at all! However, while I’ve had a great experience with Lo Lo, I have a few friends that started on the same pill and did not have the same pleasant experience. Since all our bodies are different, everything will affect our bodies differently, which is why it’s best to talk to your doctor, preferably an OB/GYN, about your options.

A lot of people have trouble remembering to take a pill daily. Let’s face it; it’s kind of a nuisance. Which is why some choose to get an implant, patch, or take shots. Implants are placed under the skin in one’s arm, and will help prevent against pregnancy for up to three years, which is great for avoiding the pesky monthly or even weekly birth control costs; though they can be pretty sore early on. Some choose an IUD, which is a funky looking device that it inserted in the uterus, and can last up to twelve years; however this can often physically fall out of the vagina with certain people. A patch can also be used, and it is placed above the skin and changed once a week or left on for three weeks; this method is very simple and quick, though comes with similar side effects to the pill. Someone could also take a birth control shot, which last up to three months. Everyone I know personally who chose the shot method, however, saw massive weight gain and they did not enjoy that.

And that’s just a few of the many, many options. They all have their ups and downs, but at the end of the day it all depends on what you think will be best for your body. Besides helping with periods, hormonal birth control also has that pleasant side effect of pregnancy prevention. So, lighter periods and the ability to prevent and plan pregnancy? Why, this sounds like vagina heaven!

Starting any of these methods of birth control are, of course, a personal and important decision. And when that monthly massacre gets you down, it’s helpful to know that all types of hormonal birth control make your periods lighter, some of them helping to make that goshdarn awful monthly bleeding all but disappear! And yes, it is safe.

And that’s what gets people. Since sexuality is still, after all these years, demonized, acquiring birth control methods can be a struggle for many people, particularly for those who identity as women. Under the Affordable Care Act (otherwise deemed as ObamaCare) birth control is supposed to be covered by one’s insurance provider. Unless you work for a religious organization, because planning ones pregnancy even if it’s not straight up abortion, is still apparently considered the moral equivalent of worshipping Satan.

I’m incredibly blessed to have my birth control pills completely covered by my insurance. I don’t miss the cramps, the stomach pain, the crying over nothing, and I especially do not miss the blood gushing out of my vagina. I like that I personally had the option to make the reproductive aspect of my life so much better, which is why I wholeheartedly wish that all people who wish to do so can do the same.


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Written by Becki Fernandez

Becki Fernandez is a college sophomore, part-time rockstar and full-time feminist. She is in an all girls feminist rock band, Swine, that will surely save the world and rock n roll. She is majoring in Communication Studies at UNCW, with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. In her free time, you can find her at Taco Bell or crying at sloth videos on her laptop. Becki is fiercely proud of her Cuban heritage and is not afraid to steal the aux cord at parties and play some salsa. Her life goals include dying her hair pink and punching Donald Trump right in his bigoted face.

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