The Birth Control Experience

A Social Taboo

Yes a social taboo because when you attempt to try and talk about this with any mixed company, you get the immediate weird looks and an “ew” noise – mainly from the guys. Or at least from my experience of trying to talk options. But women sharing their experiences with birth control can help other women figure out what options may work well for them. The more we share about experiences the better the female community can understand things and create better communication routes.

So without further adieu, my birth control experience.

My clearest memory of birth control entering my life was during the tend of my junior year in high school. At this time, I was missing either one to two days of school a month due the cramps that accompanied my menstrual cycle. These started in the fifth grade and just gradually grew worse until I couldn’t move for the first day or so of my period. My mom had basically put off letting me go on birth control for years. I saw a chiropractor to help and it did… For a month and then the pain came back with a vengeance.

So we proceeded on to the last option my mother even wanted to go near – birth control. Originally I started out on those little sugar pills. Everything was fine until I started having issues with them catching at the back of my throat. I really am not kidding. My sinuses drain right into my throat so it sits on the back of my throat and plays catchall for everything! So after a year or so I decided to call it quits on the pill. Plus it didn’t help that although I could remember to take care of my cat every day, I couldn’t remember to take my pill on a daily basis.

So I took a year or so off birth control and dealt with the pain until I couldn’t handle it anymore. My mom and I started talking my options again – I actually had been looking into all the different types of birth control. After my best friend having issues with ring and implants, I decided those were going to be completely out of the running. I had basically eliminated the pill after the last go around with it. So that left basically two options: depo or patch. My mom was against the idea of the depo – mainly because it doesn’t always work for everyone. I chatted with one of our extended family about the patch because she was on it. Everything she said about it was great so that summer I got back on birth control – using the patch.

Let me tell you something, the first three months were somewhat hell as my body adjusted to the once a week topical version of hormones. The onslaught of hormones, of course, came with their own issues. The first three months my breasts were extremely tender during my cycle and I did put on water weight during my cycle as well. But to be honest, I love the patch. I have to remember it three times a month and because of my mom’s insurance I can get a three months supply at a time when I have to re-order it. It’s definitely been a fabulous experience and I will most likely continue to sing the patch’s praises forever.