Okay kids here’s the skinny: I have written entire posts about condom usage and talking to your partner about what you want, need, don’t want, and absolutely will not do in bed. I’ve gone into detail about discussing finances with your partners and past sexual history, but then I realized I have yet to write about one other relationship aspect: Birth Control. Seems like such an easy thing to do right? I mean it’s all about a woman going to her doctor, grabbing a prescription, and taking it right? Oh man if it were only that easy…there are so many other factors to discuss, actualize and outweigh when it comes to you, your partner and birth control…
Birth control can be a pain in the ass. No, really, it can be. I have literally tried every type of pill, shot, patch etc. for years before I found what works for me. How many different types of pills? Umm…like 5 different types and they all had different effects on my body, one brand made my boobs swell up, which being an A-cup made me feel super sexy until I tried to sleep on my stomach and winced in pain. Back to the doctor…then I heard about the birth control patch, so I tried it and had an allergic reaction to it and went back to the pill. I kept forgetting to take my pill. Back to the doctor…she suggested the birth control shot, and I LOVED IT!
For the first time I found a birth control that worked for me and my body. I had no side effects, and no menstrual cycle which was amazeballs! Not to mention that for a woman like me who literally forgets everything and has post-it reminders everywhere, and then forgets to look at the post-its…this was great. Once, every three months I went to receive my injection and my insurance had me pay a $65 co-pay, which I was okay with being that the birth control lasts in my body for three months.
Cut to a few years later and a job change, which meant a new insurance that decided they were not going to cover my birth control shot. I was horrified, even with the law changing and stating that they had to cover it, even with my doctor writing the insurance company three letters explaining why I had to be on birth control, even with me printing out and mailing them their coverage list that including my birth control…they refused. That $65 co-pay shot up to over $100. Whelp, that ended everything. I went off birth control for a few years. The monthly cramps became so excruciatingly painful that I knew I had to do something. I read about the IUD and had to find out more.
My friends had heard of it but never tried it and I knew I had to talk to my doctor. She explained that the Mirena IUD could decrease the extremely heavy flow of my cycle, which is pretty much all I needed to hear. Having a baby has never been a goal for my life and I’m not sure I want it to be, so having the Mirena IUD in for the next five years was perfect for me.
My doctor also told me if I change my mind it can easily be removed and I will be able to get pregnant. Turns out it’s the same route she took…twice! With all birth control there are side effects, which she also explained, but being that I had been down this road so many times before I was ready to make this choice. Did the implant hurt? Ummm…yes, I had cramping and pain for that evening and some the next morning, and taking Ibuprofen made them all but dissipate. This was the right choice for me, and my body, and I’ve had the IUD in for three months now and am completely happy with my choice.
I recently became a member of a campaign started by Bedsider.org, and if you haven’t checked out their site you really should. Not only do they have hilarious PSA’s but they also really inform you and your partner about birth control methods, where to get birth control, how to talk to your partner or family member (you know talking to mom or grandma can be super awkward!), forums where you can post your questions online, and wait…here is the coolest feature: a birth control reminder people! Yes, they will send you a text reminder to take your birth control everyday.
Choosing birth control is tricky and finding one that is compatible with your lifestyle and body can be an arduous task. At the time, I did not have Bedsider.org as a reference, but you do. There are links to health centers based on your zip code, a guy’s guide to birth control, and don’t forget about that awesome reminder that helps you keep up with your birth control intake times, and doctor appointments! My journey was difficult and at times painful, but yours does not have to be. Check out Bedsider, talk to your doctor, mom, girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse or friend. Having issues talking to your boyfriend, partner or spouse about birth control? See my follow-up post where I lay it all out for you!