What Kind of Birth Control?
Deciding what kind of birth control to get can be a very confusing and sometimes scary experience. Unfortunately, there can be a lot of misinformation about contraception, and a simple Google search can supply you with plenty of frightening information about unpleasant side effects and reactions. If you're truly unsure of what to do, make an appointment with a doctor or Planned Parenthood clinic!
The visit should be extremely informative and helpful. They will explain to you each type of birth control, how each one works, and discuss what's best for you.
Reasons people might want birth control (BC):
- To avoid pregancy
- Lighter and less painful menstrual cycle
- Less likely to have mood swings
- Improved complexion
There Are Different Kinds of Birth Control
Oral contraceptives, also known as "the pill," may not be right for everyone. The hormones can cause unpleasant side effects, and some women don't remember to take it everyday. I prefer the pill because it has always worked well for me; I've never been pregnant, it helps balance my hormones and improves my skin.
There are other options, including:
- The patch
- The shot
- Mirena IUD (I generally do not recommend this one. Many women I've spoken to have had complications with migration or gotten pregnant using this form of BC. However it does not have hormones and some women prefer BC without them.)
- Implanon/Explanon (implantation under the skin, can be removed at any time)
My Experience With the First Pack of Tarina Fe 1/20
I'll be honest; the first three weeks of adjusting to the pill was unpleasant, and I experienced all the side effects. Keep in mind, everyone is different, and you may not have the same issues I had.
- Migraines are common when starting new birth control, and I am no exception. The headaches were worse in the second week, then slowly started to disappear after week three.
- Irregular bleeding was an extremely annoying side effect that I dealt with up to the end of the second pack. Your doctor will probably tell you that it's fine for you to start taking it right away, and you can. I would recommend waiting until your cycle ends and then start the new pack. I took mine right away and menstruated twice a month for the first and second pack while my body was adjusting to the hormones.
- Increased appetite and weight gain has been the worst. While the migraines and irregular bleeding have gone way, I struggled to control my appetite and stay between 10-15 pounds over my regular weight.
- Small bruises on my arms and legs, I also had one little one on my stomach. Several years ago I had taken Orthotricyclin and had the same issue.
The 3rd-4th Pack
By the end of pack number three, I was feeling much better. My doctor said that I could skip the placebo and start another pack, so I did. I do not get a monthly cycle, but I do have some light spotting around the time I am due to menstruate. I can definitely say it feels great to not have a period to deal with. There is no cramping or discomfort. The best part? My skin!
The reason I began taking the birth control pill is because I have struggled with cystic acne and very painful cramping. By the end of the third pack, my skin was crystal clear! I rarely break out now, and when I do it's very minimal.
The downside is that I am still having a hard time getting the weight off. While it is starting to go back into the lower numbers, I am heavier than I would like to be. Water retention is likely when taking the pill, so some of what you gain is just be water weight; don't stress too much over it. Your appetite may increase, and the extra fluid may help to control it.
Another (annoying) side effect, is that I do get hyper pigmentation along my arms or legs occasionally. Although it is not very noticeable, it is something I feel other women should know and be prepared for. If you notice a dramatic change in the pigmentation of your skin, I would discontinue the pill and contact your doctor. They may be able to prescribe a different brand, I do have some permanent discoloration on my arm from using Orthotricyclin.
Where To Get Your Birth Control
My preferred clinic is Planned Parenthood. While there is conflict in the media about the morality of PP, it's the only place I like to go for my feminine and reproductive needs.
- From the moment I walk through the door, I am comfortable. Someone greets me, I filled out very little paperwork on my first visit and I saw the doctor within 30 minutes.
- They don't push me to get tests I don't want, whereas I have gone to a different doctor for a back injury, and I was pressured to give information about my last pap smear and they attempted to sell me one on the spot! PP will simply address the issue you came in for and send you on your way. Birth Control was very quick and easy to obtain, I am able to go in any time and purchase what I need at 30$ per pack and no one tries to sell me anything.
- I like that the clinic I go to is staffed with mostly (if not all) women. There have been times in my life when I have had to see male doctors, and while there is nothing wrong with having a male OBGYN, it made me extremely uncomfortable and was something I did not want to experience again. As a teen, I wish that I had known that I had a choice in the matter. As a woman I want someone who can relate to what I am experiencing, and having another female examine my private areas just makes the whole appointment less embarrassing and stressful.
Safe Sex PSA
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.