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Talking Birth Control Options with Your Friends

From the pill to the IUD to the non-hormonal IUD to condoms to the injection…(should I go on? there’s more) there are MANY options for birth control in this good year of 2020, so how do you know which option is right for you, or which ones to even consider? What are the pros and cons of all these different ways to prevent pregnancy, stabilize hormones, or manage periods or acne? If you’re considering starting a form of birth control or changing to a new form of birth control, it’s essential to talk to your doctor about it before making any changes! But, sometimes it’s helpful talking birth control options with your friends before you take your big questions to the doc. 

Talking openly about birth control with your friends is not only helpful and educational, but also helps normalize women talking openly about birth control methods. There seems to be a stigma around women talking about birth control methods unless they can clearly state that they are on said birth control for a medical reason other than not wanting to get pregnant. Yes hormonal birth control can help treat many conditions such as cystic acne, PCOS, or endometriosis, but it’s also just as valid to be on birth control just to prevent pregnancy. Openly discussing your preferred method, as well as your reasons for being on birth control, help bond you and your pals in friendship, normalize this conversation, and help you make informed decisions. 

Because of the varying levels of hormones in hormonal forms of birth control, such as the pill, implant, shot, NuvaRing, or IUD for example, everyone has a different reaction to these birth controls. Talking about how your body reacted to your preferred method, or even an old method you tried and didn’t like can help inform those around you! It’s also interesting to hear about how hormones affect us differently and see how people consider the pros and cons for themselves. Also, a lot of the time women’s health issues are dismissed, our pain is minimized, or all of our symptoms are blamed on our periods. Our hormones and reproductive systems are complex, and sharing our experiences, struggles, and preferences finding what works best for us helps us be more educated and make more informed and empowered decisions in advocating for our reproductive health. 

Maybe you’ve been on the pill forever, but are wanting something with less hormones. Ask your friends if they have an IUD and hear about their experience getting it inserted, adjusting to having something in their uterus full time, and see what they think. Maybe your friend is considering starting the pill, but is fearful of having bad side effects. Tell them about your experience and how the pill did or did not affect you. Do you have really bad periods and cramps so intense you can’t get out of bed? Ask your friends about their periods, their symptoms, and how they manage it! Not only will you learn more, but having these vulnerable conversations will also bring you closer together.

After chatting with your pals about birth control options, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor and tell them everything you’ve learned and are considering. Make sure you don’t make any birth control changes without consulting your doctor first.