[Photo Source: Pixabay]
September 26th is World Contraception Day, an annual worldwide campaign whose goal is improve awareness of birth control and to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health. The need for accessible, affordable contraception is a global issue, and the more attention we can give to it, the better!
Thanks to advances in technology and reproductive health, there are many different types of contraception out there (Though we’re still waiting for the male pill!). From the Pill to condoms, IUDs, rings, patches, implants and more, there are many different forms of birth control out there — truly something for everyone.
On this 10th anniversary of World Contraception Day, we decided to celebrate by sharing some of our favorite forms of birth control.
What is your favorite form of contraception?
Sa’iyda Shabazz: “Before having a baby I was on the Nuvaring, which I loved. Now I have an IUD, which I really love. I really love low or no maintenance birth control.”
Naseem Jamnia: “I have only been sexually active for a couple of years, and I’m beyond grateful for Paraguard, the copper IUD. I know a lot of people have mixed IUD experiences, but mine has been really good. I’m also on the pill because: 1) I’m paranoid about only being on one form of birth control, no matter how unlikely it is to get pregnant with it; 2) the body-wide hormonal effects of the pill help with my PCOS. Before I had my IUD, I used the condom/pill combo, but I still freaked out every month that I might be pregnant. The IUD is a mental boon, and since it’s not the hormonal one, I don’t have to worry about it interacting with the pill. Before I was sexually active, I used the ring — I guess I thought I’d be having more sex in college than I actually did — but I feel like that could be awkward to use for some people.”
Casey O’Brien: “I don’t have one, actually, but I think the form of BC I am most grateful for is the IUD for what it’s done for friends and women in my community. It has been such a source of empowerment, agency and freedom for women in my network, particularly since the election. As people began to worry about their access to reproductive healthcare, the IUD provided peace of mind.”
Emily Bingham: “I preach the gospel of the IUD to anyone who is looking for an alternative to the Pill. As a Type 1 diabetic, I couldn’t use the Pill — the hormones in the pill are systemic, and they made my blood sugar impossible to control. (Within literally an hour of taking my first Pill, my blood sugar readings more than doubled — proof of how drastically the Pill can change things in a body.) A physician recommended the IUD because even though it’s hormonal, the hormones stay ‘local’ and don’t move through the body as they do with the pill, affecting other organs and systems. I’ve had an IUD for three years now; I have had no side effects other than a lighter period (yay!) and occasional cramping after what I’ll call ‘vigorous’ sex (ahem).
More people who are looking into this option should know that there’s more than just the Mirena and the copper IUD — there’s also the Skyla (good for three years; this is the one I have) and more recently, the Kyleena (good for five years). I just made an appointment to re-up mine!”
Allison Smartt: “IUD! Set it and forget it.”
Amanda Rose Adams: “My husband’s vasectomy is my all-time favorite form of birth control.”
Sara Habein: “All the praise hands for being with someone who has had a vasectomy. I’ve had two children (who are now in the double-digits), and I am Good And Done with babies. However, my favorite answer has to come from a friend who, when a doctor asked her, answered, ‘Women.'”
K.M. O’Sullivan: “I’m guessing I skew just a bit older than the average Grok Nation reader, so let me come at this from the older married woman perspective: THE PILL ROCKS! I came of sexual age just about the time the low-dose pill came on the market, and it made my young adult life abundantly more manageable. Being a moderately Type A person, the pill and I understood each other. Neat little compact. Easy to keep track of the comings and goings.
I always chose the pill packs with the seven little green placebos just to keep me in practice. The pill was satisfying and empowering. And, most importantly, it put the power in my own hands. I was in control. I alone got to decide when and where and if I wanted to become a parent. That kind of power changes the lives of women. That kind of power must be protected. That kind of power must be accessible and affordable.
Once I chose to have kids, the pill and I broke up. It was a mutual break-up. The side effects became unmanageable (bodies change over the years) and the pill wasn’t the only choice anymore. These days? Well, my periods have begun to meander and wane. Birth control will soon no longer be of use to me. But I will continue to fight for women to have access to affordable and safe birth control. It is what keeps women Equal and Free.”;p
Jen Selk: “I’ve always been devoted to the pill. Classic, well-studied, lots of brand/formula options, relatively affordable, and I found it easy enough to remember (or at least set an alarm for, even in the pre-internet/cell-phone days). I liked being in control, as well as the comfort that came from physically taking it and knowing it was, therefore, “working” (as well as could be expected). That said, men who won’t take responsibility in a similar way are obviously absurd turds. The pill for men — it’s time.”
Molly Tolsky: “I’m very boring in that ever since I got my first ‘serious’ boyfriend in college (read: we smoked pot and watched a lot of Monty Python), I’ve been on the pill. It’s always worked well for me, so I never really saw a reason to switch it up. I feel lucky that I never get any of the bad side effects other friends have had from the pill — it doesn’t mess with my mood or my weight — and it makes my period ridiculously light and short-lived. I do wonder how big my boobs actually are, though.”
Shaindel Beers: “I’m totally a pill girl. As in, for 22 years. It hasn’t done me wrong once. Now, let’s listen to some Loretta Lynn: Loretta Lynn’s Feminism and Her Banned Song ‘The Pill.'”
Therese Shechter: “My favorite birth control device for years was The Pill, and even though I hated putting those hormones in my body every day, it was better than the alternatives at the time. I came of age at the height of the Dalkon Shield, the deadly IUD device that injured over 200,000 women and killed 17.
As I’ll talk about in my upcoming film “My So-Called Selfish Life,” I took that pill-shaped hormone bomb religiously for decades because I never wanted kids and had a total horror of getting pregnant. When I went off the pill in my 40s, I decided that from now on it was up to my partners to worry about birth control. It’s funny how eager guys suddenly become to put on a condom when you tell them that’s all that lies between them and fatherhood. Well, that and my tired ovaries. I’m so glad I can’t get pregnant anymore. The battle’s been won.”
Sarah Bregel: “I have always had terrible reactions to birth control. Mood swings, gaining weight, you name it. Every time I attempted a new one, I eventually went off of it for a variety of different reasons. Now that my family is complete my husband and I are careful about when we have sex. I’m much more in tune with my cycle then I’ve ever been and have an app on my phone that tells me when I’m fertile (even though my body tells me, too!). It has been working well for us for several years. But admittedly, we’ve been married for eight years and we don’t have all that much sex.“
Amy Bickers: “The best decision I’ve ever made for myself was having my tubes removed two years ago. After years of trying to identify a birth control pill that wouldn’t cause me to menstruate nonstop —bleeding for weeks on end is pretty good birth control but not very pleasant and hell on the monthly tampon budget— permanent birth control is my favorite thing ever. And the procedure was covered 100 percent by my insurance. Thanks, Obama! I mentioned the possibility of permanent birth control to my physician 17 years ago after my youngest child was born and he said, ‘I wouldn’t do it because you’re too young.’ I dream of a world when women are trusted to make decisions about their own bodies. (Note: I have a new doctor now.)“
Lisa Schamess: “Menopause.“