Birth control is a incredibly important topic often swept under the carpets or told awkwardly by nervous parents. Hands up if you’ve been there!!
Growing up in an Asian household, I was quite proud of my parents, well actually my dad for tackling this issue with me one embarrassing night. I’m not sure who’s idea it was by my dad marched right up and started talking about “protection”.
I’m fairly sure it was that situation where you see a wild animal and they are just as scared of you as you were of them. I’m sure this talk was embarrassing for my dad but I was petrified!!
I remember yelling I’m not going to have sex never laughing nervously and running away from the dinner table. Yup….I really intended not to at the time, my mind was pure :)!! I was I think around 15/16 at that time 😀 haha.
Anyways I’m glad my education was quite progressive and I was fairly sure that I knew what I was doing. Regardless I just went to the doctor and trusted their judgement when the time came. Also I made sure that all the partners I dealt with were STI free. I’m pretty picky about what I put on my face so you can imagine how picky I am regarding my partners cleanliness haha 😀
So I wanted to share my experiences I’ve had with birth control hoping that it may help you decide. Also I find that it’s sooo helpful reading your comments and your stories and girls don’t forget to scroll down and read other girls experiences to get a great idea about what you’d like to try.
You’ll start to realise no one is the same and it’s really up to you to give it a shot and see.
Birth Control Methods
I also wanted to list down a summary of the birth control methods I’ve learn from you guys too into a list so hopefully it will help you pick out the most suitable one for you. Keep in mind this is merely a list and I encourage you to speak to your doctor and research further online as to the details of these birth control methods. Also it’s useful to note that in some countries some of these birth control methods are offered for free and can be easily obtained in a family planning clinic.
Important: These methods don’t protect you from HIV or STI’s so please use a condom for that 🙂
Morning After Pill/ Plan B
How it works: This is the only form of birth control taken AFTER unprotected sex, but is not 100% reliable and not recommended to have often as it is quite harsh on the body.
How it works: A small pill taken daily with some sugar pills during your period to keep you in the habit of taking them every day.
Types: Combination Pill, Progestin Only Pill, Extended Cycle Pill,
Brands: Microgynon, Yasmin
Pros: These are offered in a wide variety of doses as well as multiple brands at all price points. This allows you to try different formulations until you find one that suits your body. They can vary from low doses to high doses. Also some girls have experienced improvement in their skin, regularity of their periods ansi improvement in pre-menstrual cramps on these pills so you can even use them to regulate your body if you suffer from bad periods.
Cons: They tend to work best when taken daily at the same time. This can be an issue for some people that are forgetful or have changing lifestyles and may not be able to take them on time. In addition they don’t work if you are on antibiotics.
The Patch (Ortho Evra )
This is a patch that is applied to your body on the start of your cycle and left on for 3 weeks. This means it is replaced monthly.
Pros: Great for people that can’t remember to take pills daily. From what I’ve read it has a similar formulation as the pill.
Cons: It’s obviously visible depend on the clothing you wear, and although it can get wet and you are able to shower with it, you’ll beed to be careful that it doesn’t peel off. Also if you’re ike me I’m quite allergic to the adhesives on these kind of things like band-aids.
TheVaginal Ring (NuvaRing)
How it Works: This is a ring that is inserted into the vagina from the first day of your cycle – much like a tampon and it stays there for the duration of the month and taken out and replaced monthly.
Pros: Like the patch it is great for people that don’t remember to take the pill daily but can still manage a monthly cycle. In addition it is not visible like the patch but provides the same benefits.
Cons: If you are not familiar with inserting tampons etc, it may be a bit difficult at first. Also fishing it out at the end of the month is a similar process. It does not come with a string like tampons so you really need to “dig in” – haha lovely.
The Shot (Depo-Provera)
How it Works: A shot is given in the arm and it provides 3 months worth of birth control.
Pros: Is a little longer lasting then daily and monthly methods.
Cons: You will need to return to the doctor to have the shot given and the obvious con is…needles. urgh.
Implanon / Nexplanon
How it Works: A little plastic tube is implanted into the upper arm which releases hormones and provides you with protection for up to 3 years.
Pros: 3 years worth of protection without having to take or change anything
Cons: Needs to be inserted into the arm, leaving behind a possible scar and also the implantation/removal process may be too much for some to handle. Involves cutting the skin and inserting the tube in.
How it Works: A little device with a string is inserted into the uterus. This method apparently does not release hormones but has also had some scare stories of the device migrating to areas and creating damage to the body. This method lasts up to 5 years.
Pros: 5 years worth of birth control as well as no hormone changes. Great for hormone sensitive individuals that experience mood swings and changes using hormone based products. Also no effect on fertility as soon as it is removed – some other birth control will require some time for your body to readjust.
Cons: Possible migration of the device causing damage. This is why some people may recommend it to women only after they’ve had their children, but this is debatable.
Tying your Tubes
How it Works: Surgery to stitch up your tubes which physically stops you from producing eggs into the uterus. This is permanent and is only ever considered when you no longer want to have any more children.
Cons: Requires surgery and irreversible.
Remember to look after your body and keep an eye out carefully when you are trying new birth control methods :)!!