Let’s be real: birth control (BC) has a lot of pros. BC helps prevent unwanted pregnancy, certain methods (like condoms) prevent STDs, and hormonal methods can help regulate and manage periods. The ability to take control of your sexuality and reproductive health is totally, totally amazing- no matter your age, background, sexuality, or gender.
Another fantastic thing about birth control, though, is the ability to customize which method works best for you. With so many options- shots, IUD, patch, pill, implant, ring, condom- it can be hard to decide!
Personally, I’ve tried three different types of BC, which all have their individual pros and cons. While I reacted negatively to some symptoms over others, each did the basic job- which, when you think about it, is really the bottom line...preventing pregnancy.
1. My experiences on the implant
I had the implant for a year and a half during high school. While the insertion process scared me to pieces- I am not a ‘incision and needle’ person- the process took 5 minutes, 2 days of keeping a bandage over it, and many months of protection from pregnancy (check out how easy the process is in Marissa's blog.) The implant is good for up to 3 years. Either and it is beneficial because it is discreet, long lasting, and low maintenance.
2. My experiences on the pill
The pill- the OG birth control method- was an interesting experience for me. While preventing unwanted pregnancies is an important aspect of birth control, I was largely focused on taking it to manage my periods. After consulting with my OBGYN, she said the pill was very effective for helping with period cycles. While I eventually grew tired of the every-single-day routine of the pill, it did the job- my periods were regular.
3. My experineces on the ring
My current form of BC is the NuvaRing. After the pill, I decided on trying it as a different hormonal option that was also useful for managing periods. Three weeks in, one week off (for your period) seemed like a pretty easy schedule for me. Low hormone and low maintenance, NuvaRing is useful if you don’t want to constantly have to worry about birth control, while also quickly giving you time to get off it or to individualize your routine (you can take it out for a week, or leave it in if you don’t want a period).
While these are only a few of the many birth control options available, they all have a bottom line- they prevent unwanted pregnancy. With differing hormone levels, maintenance, and discreetness, it’s important to weigh all the variables when choosing the BC that is best for you. Understand, however, that there is no wrong choice- it’s yours and yours alone to make.