Hey guys! Today, I’m posting something totally different.
As per the title, today I wanted to share my birth control experience.
I had seen a couple of videos like this on YouTube but I haven’t actually read any blog posts about it. The videos I watched had me wanting to share my own experience with birth control and where I’m at now in that journey.
When I went to BlogHer17 last June, in our swag bags we all received a shirt from the National Campaign and I became curious. I learned out their advocacy for birth control, having the right to chose when and when not to get pregnant and how they are empowering women and I was inspired to share.
As a small disclaimer here and to get some things out in the open: This post is going to be mildly TMI and largely female-related, I’m going to be using some terms that aren’t always pleasant to say or hear so just get over it 🙈. Also, my story is not meant to be medical advice. I’m simply sharing my own experience and getting a conversation started that I feel is important for women. I’m not a doctor and I’m not advising or suggesting anything.
With that out of the way…
I started taking birth control pills when I was 18 years old. I had recently lost my virginity and the guy I was with was the one who suggested I get on birth control. So I went to my OBGYN for the first time ever (which is not as awkward or weird as everyone makes it out to be), she did an exam and she prescribed me some birth control pills because I didn’t think there were really any other options.
I took those particular pills for a few months but they gave me awful side-effects. I was insanely moody and I just all-around felt like a crazy person because the pills were changing my hormones. So, my doctor prescribed me something different and it was relatively smooth-sailing after that.
After getting a new prescription, I never had any issues with my birth control pills. Other than the normal, occasional forgetting to take a pill I never had any issues.
However, when I met my now husband, about 3 years later, I decided that I was ready to try some different form of birth control because I was tired of having to remember to take a pill every day. I wanted something I didn’t have to worry about or think too much about. I’m generally lazy and so something that was easy and didn’t take too much effort was sounding really nice.
So my doctor suggested that I try the NuvaRing. It’s a ring that’s essentially made out of what feels like silicon and it’s inserted into your vagina and it releases hormones that prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg, much like the pill does. NuvaRing seemed like a really great, non-invasive option and so I tried it out. I think I had NuvaRing for less than a year because I ended up hating it so much 🤦🏼♀️. It was awful to have sex with, even though my doctor ensured me it shouldn’t be an issue to have sex with it in. She said it would be fine to take the ring out before sex so long as I didn’t have it out for more than 2 hours but that was even worse…how sexy to be like “hold on a minute…let me just pull out my vaginal ring first”…yeah that’s not my definition of foreplay 😂.
So I went back to my doctor and she suggested three options: the Depo-Provera (Depo shot as it’s longingly known), an injection you get every 3 months, Nexplanon, which is an implant that goes into your arm, or Mirena, an intrauterine device.
I have a cousin that had gotten pregnant while on the shot so that was out.
I wasn’t about to have anything implanted into my arm because it freaked me out.
However, I had heard great things about Mirena and I felt that was my best option. Ryan and I had only just gotten engaged, were still living separately and had big plans to move out and eventually buy a house. Needless to say, a baby was not part of those plans. So Mirena it was.
I had to wait to get the IUD in until I was on my period. I had to take a pregnancy test to ensure that I wasn’t pregnant before putting the IUD in. The entire office visit was less than half an hour long. Getting the device put in was relatively painless. I only experienced a bit of cramping that night but nothing that I couldn’t handle and they went away the next day.
That was in 2014. Now, in 2017 a lot has happened in my and Ryan’s life and some things have changed drastically. Ryan is almost done in the Air Force and with his schooling, we are planning a big move if Ryan can get a new job and things on the baby-front are changing.
Earlier in 2017, Ryan and I decided to start thinking about having a baby. We decided that when we went to Disney for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, we’d start trying for a baby. So, in September of 2017, I got my Mirena removed and we began trying. It took a bit of time for my cycles to re-work themselves but…
Thanks to me being able to get access to birth control, I was able to take control of my sex life. I was able to decide when I was ready to bring a child into the world and having that power is something I am grateful for.
I really love that the National Campaign takes such large steps to empower women to keep that power to decide when they’d like to get pregnant. It’s a power that I feel so lucky to have had and to still have.
However, there’s something to remember. There are still plenty of women out there who do not have access to birth control, who do not necessarily have the power to decide when to get pregnant and because of that, there are lots of women in rough situations. To find out more about the National Campaign visit powertodecide.org or bedsider.org.