There are so many things I want to post about- so much personal information that I want to share that no one wants to hear or be grossed out by. I want to write about all of my favorite websites, how both bikers and car drivers can be assholes as opposed to one or the other, how W can be both sweet and annoying at the same time sometimes. But today I want to write about birth control which might involve a tad bit of oversharing. Whatever- the only people who read this are my friends. HEAR THAT FRIENDS!!! YOU BETTER BE READING MY BLOG!
Anyway- we all know condoms suck. I don’t care how thin or ribbed or lubricated with bananna-flavored-glow-in-the-dark-tingly lube they are, they still suck. However, they are a must for sex with someone you are not yet monogamous (know-their-sex-past) with.
I don’t want to talk about condoms…except that they have become a funny topic of conversation at the office. Weird. ANyway say you are past condoms like most people in their 20s and beyond. What do women do? I say women because (aside from condoms) guys are not involved in birth control-yet. I have a lot of experience with BC because I have switched doctors and been very susceptible to side effects over the years.
I remember my first The Pill. They automatically put me on Ortho tricyclen like every other 20something or 19something (can’t remember). I immediately got fat and bitchy ALL the time. My then-boyfriend and I fought all the time and I quit sailing for a semester. It sucked. We broke up and I stopped taking it. I felt so much better.
The other issue here, in addition to the fat and bitchy, is that I get migraines and if you get migraines you ARE NOT supposed to be on an estrogen-based birth control. Much like smoking there is a link between migraines, estrogen and STROKES. Also- aside from stroke potential, migraines will increase on EBC (Estrogen-based birth control). I only get migraines about once every 2-3 years but with EBC they were more frequent: once a month. A couple years ago another doctor convinced me there was not a link and put me back on EBC and I had 3 migraines within three months and two of them were a week a part. My current doctor was shocked by what the previous doctor prescribed- (not a direct quote) not cool. So make sure you do your research because I have found that most doctors are not consistent with each other and their recommendations- it’s up to you to figure out your best option.
Ortho trycyclen is actually a pretty high dose of estrogen (at least for me). If you can, always stick to the lowest dose your body can get away with like ortho trycyclen lo if you want an EBC. I was on a low dose of progestrone-based birth control but I had ‘breakthrough’ bleeding all the time so I stopped it. It was gross. If there wasn’t that it would have been almost perfect- I was super skinny, had a ton of energy, lost hair which is great for leg shaving and eyebrow waxing but my already-high/weird hairline got higher and weirder.
After the last time I was on The Pill, I decided no more. Too many migraines, too much fat grumpiness and not worth the freedom and bigger boobs. Plus I am not good at taking pills every day. A few years prior I had researched IUDs but they were not recommended unless you were married or in a serious relationship. Today they love installing (seems like the right word) them.
It’s the best $700 dollars I’ve spent (if you don’t have health insurance they are free at Planned Parenthood). The first couple periods sucked with 1 cramp each time that made me fall down because of the pain but since then it has been awesome…because I am not pregnant and periods are WAY lighter. I have gained a little weight but that could be because of an office job/former candy habit more than the birth control. Thought this is belly fat and I am more of a thigh/ass fat person. Some woman lose weight and others gain a little to a ton but all birth controls trick your body into thinking your pregnant so I would expect weight gain but not the bitchiness of The Pill.
Mirena is the most common IUD today (they have copper IUDs still but it can really increase your period). It is a low low dose of continuously released levonorgestrel (synthetic progesterone used in many contraceptives including Plan B). It is a little weird because you can feel the strings sometimes (you are supposed to check them to make sure it’s still there). Overall this is the best solution, for me, to the BC issue. I am more conscious of what I eat and to excercise more often but it’s not a huge deal because I don’t have the lethargy of The Pill.
I don’t mention other forms of BC here because I don’t think they’re good. Who the F gets norplant?!? or uses a diaphram?!? I know some people who used depo but that too seems archaic and symptoms can mild but are often so extreme that depo seems like a bad solution.
I really really want to talk about HPV here and I think it needs its own post later on. It is such a horrible thing that women feel dirty about and don’t understand. If you are the right age (I am too old by a year) get gardisal because it could save your life. In the 1950s/60s, before pap smears but when child-birth was less deadly, cervical cancer was the number 1 killer of women. No one knows if they have HPV until they show symptoms (abnormal pap) and most never will even though they have it. Men will never show symptoms if they carry the HPV that effects cervical cancer- there is no test, not even a blood test (like they can do for Herpies or HIV), for HPV.
1. Get pap smears.
2. Do not smoke, especially if you are on estrogen birth control. But it’s not cool or good for you anyway.
3. Do not take estrogen birth control if you get migraines
4. IUDs are awesome
5. Get local anesthesia if you are getting an IUD
6. Do your own research
7. Be extra health conscious on any birth control
Just want to remind everyone that these are from personal experiences/research and should not be taken as fact. Do your own research and ask tons of questions. Planned Parenthood, the CDC website, and the WHO website are great resources. Doctors love it when you are knowledgable.
“Take care down there.”
-Planned Parenthood of the Willamete Valley.