Hey guys! Nice to meet you! My name is Kay and I will be teaching you about the wonderful world of sexual wellbeing! Exciting, right?
This week I figured we’d start slow … like all good things do.
We should chat about birth control, so this will mostly be for all my fellow people with vaginas.
To all my people with penises, I’m sorry, but the options marketed directly to you are very limited at the moment, like the not-so-trustworthy spermicidal lube and the standard condom, which should ALWAYS be used, anyways.
Now to all my vaginas out there, we got options. The most common of these is the pill. It’s convenient, it’s small, and it’s easy to start. The most the pill really requires is a quick trip to the doctor’s office and a mildly painful trip to the pharmacy.
The pill has magical properties other than preventing pregnancy, like treating hormonal acne and sating those awful cramps from Hell. The downside of the pill is that you have to take it every day at the same time, and sometimes we forget a couple days … or a whole month.
Please don’t do that.
I never said I was perfect, guys.
Anyways, for us less perfect people, there are long-term solutions like rings, patches, shots, and implants – the list just keeps growing. These are good because they last a while without having to think about it. The shot can last three months and the copper IUD can last up to 10 years.
The Depo Shot is a wonderful option if you don’t want to take the pill every day, but you aren’t quite ready for all the commitments of an implant. The shot is administered once every three months, so you don’t have to stress about it every day.
You still have to remember to schedule the appointment every three months though, or else there could be a gap and pregnancy can happen. If you have a bad habit of pushing doctor’s appointments off for months, then I would consider other options.
Many “set-it-and-forget-it” birth control methods are becoming ever more popular because it’s difficult to remember to take a pill or make a Depo appointment while dismantling the patriarchy.
According to the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, the one that’s rising in popularity the fastest is the IUD – mostly because it’s literally zero work to maintain. There are also a couple choices, so you can find your uterus the right bestie!
They come in hormonal and hormone-free varieties, and both have their perks and drawbacks. Hormonal IUDs can last for three years – like Skyla – or up to five years – like Mirena – depending on the hormone level of the one you pick. The insertion process typically only takes a couple minutes and is a little uncomfortable, but after a couple days, you won’t even know you had it done!
A super great thing about these IUDs is they can actually make your periods lighter and lessen your cramps – after the first two or three months – because your uterus will not love its new roommate right away. The first couple of months you may experience heavier, crampier periods. Believe me though…
It’s worth it.
The 10-year IUD has no hormones – it’s made of copper, which makes your uterus a bad environment for all those little spermies, though these can make your periods heavier and painful.
Methods like these are a bit of a commitment, so I’d run a quick web search and make sure the wonderful IUD you’re about to get together with doesn’t have any unwanted side effects or a warrant out for its arrest. Also, remember that everyone’s body is different, so what works for you might not work for everyone else.
Hit up the Health Center for more information on where and how to get birth control, and also snag some free condoms.
Yes … FREE! And lube.
Lube is underappreciated, but that’s a whole different rant.