What do you say we talk about birth control?
This week’s installment is not just for people with uteruses – birth control affects everyone, as I will explain. Stay tuned, my dudes!
Although I’m sure we are all familiar with birth control, humor me while I start with the basics.
Contraception comes in many forms, but let’s take a minute to consider that word. I am specifically talking here about products that prevent conception, not to be confused with Plan B or other things related to that. In general, birth control refers to any medication that affects hormone levels in order to prevent pregnancy and regulate and stabilize periods, as well as many other benefits.
The birth control pill is what a woman or a person with a female reproductive system takes every day at relatively the same time. It can only be completely effective if the user follows the instructions to a T, so if you have to, do what I did and set an alarm on your phone as a reminder.
Also super crucial: if you are prescribed antibiotics, make sure to tell your doctor if you are on the pill and ask if the antibiotics will interfere. Many antibiotics cancel out birth control, so be careful.
If you find having to remember to take a pill every day tedious, there are other methods such as a hormone patch, a birth control shot and a vaginal ring. Remember that every method affects everyone differently and they may have different side effects, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t like the first few ones that you try.
Important note: you do not have to be sexually active to want to be on birth control. Many people have used it to treat a myriad of issues, like acne, period pains and PMS.
Second important note: if you feel birth control is not for you and you are sexually active, that’s OK too! Whatever the reason is, I understand that some people just plain don’t like it. The use of condoms is acceptable in this situation. Don’t let anyone make you feel pressured to start a medication that you don’t want to because it is an incredibly personal choice.
I mentioned earlier that this topic can apply to everyone, and I meant it. If you have a partner who is on any form of birth control, don’t take for granted that they are following the instructions. I know many people who found they had been taking it incorrectly for years, so even if you are not the one who is taking it, educate yourself. Talk to your partner about it and make sure everyone is on the same page.
It is crucial to remember that no birth control is 100 percent effective. Write that down. Engrave that in your brains. Taking birth control does not mean that sex no longer has consequences.