Welcome back to another post…
This post is gonna be all about birth control! I find this a funnnn topic so I’m excited for this one and I hope you are too!
Disclaimer: I am not by any means a doctor or any sort of healthcare professional, this is all based on my own knowledge and experience.
Lets start with the different kinds of birth controls, how they work and their pros and cons..
IUD (intrauterine device)- Inserted into the uterus the same as a tampon would be inserted…except the IUD goes through the cervix and into the uterus. (we’ll touch more on this one later)
Implant- a tiny rod that releases the hormone progestin into your body. It is inserted under the skin and into your arm by a doctor and is effective for up to 5 years. It is 99% effective and it’s great because you don’t have to think about it or remember anything! There aren’t many cons with the implant and it is very similar to the IUD, the main difference is the placement. Some people experience irregular or absent periods with the implant, and sometimes PMS symptoms briefly after insertion.
Shot- an injection (typically in the arm) of progestin that you receive every 3 months. Its 94% effective because people often forget to get it right on time! You don’t have to remember daily like with the pill but you do still have some responsibility with it. The possible side effects are also irregular or absent periods and PMS symptoms.
NuvaRing- a small bendy ring that sits outside of the cervix and releases progestin. These are meant to be taken out and replaced monthly, so there’s a chance of forgetting to do that on time. It’s 91% effective because it’s difficult to use it 100% perfectly. The possible side effects are the same as all the methods mentioned above because these all use the hormone progestin.
The Patch- A sticky patch you wear on certain parts of the body that releases the hormones progestin and estrogen into the body through the skin. You have to change the patch every 7 days so there’s a chance of forgetting to do that on time. This makes the patch 91% effective and the possible side effects are the same as the others
Then there’s the pill which I’m assuming most of us know about as it’s the most common form of hormonal birth control. It has the same list of side effects and it is 91% effective because it’s difficult to use perfectly, as you have to take it daily at the same time.
Finally, there are non-hormonal, one-use options such as condoms, diaphragms, the sponge, cervical cap, and spermicide. These are less effective methods and you must use them perfectly each time. Also the ONLY birth control that will also protect against STD’s/STI’s!!
I was on the pill for about 2 years and didn’t have any major issues with it but I didn't love it. I found it annoying to have to remember to take it everyday and it’s difficult to take it at the same time daily. I also personally don’t love the idea of putting synthetic hormones into my body, so I settled on the Kyleena IUD because its a lower dose of hormones and with IUD’s the hormones are localized to your uterus rather than throughout your whole body/system. I got it just over a year ago now and I’ve loved it so far. It’s nice because its better in terms of typical progestin side-effects because the hormones are localized so I personally never experienced any side effects such as nausea, sore boobs, headaches, acne, etc. What I experience was cramping and some irregular spotting for a few months after (these got better month by month). Many people are worried about the pain with insertion and afterwards, but in my experience the brief pain is well worth not worrying about birth control for the next five years! You’ll typically have a consultation appointment before the actual insertion, because they often want to do a pelvic exam, and pregnancy test beforehand. This will determine if an IUD is right for you!
Then the process of getting it inserted was super quick and the painful part only lasts for a couple seconds, but the cramps for that day (or maybe week) are pretty bad honestly. I got mine inserted at Planned Parenthood and they were amazing there. I (and they) recommend bringing a support person (if allowed right now), a heating pad, a bottle of water or maybe some juice for sugar if you tend to faint with pain, some warm socks, and comfy clothes. They also recommended to me that I take Advil or Tylenol half an hour before but definitely ask your doctor what’s right for you!
So they had me undress from the waist down, and hop up on the table and put my feet in the super cold stirrups (cue the warm socks). I plugged my heating pad in beside the table and had it on my tummy the second I laid down, it definitely helped with the pain and even with the nerves! First the doctor inserts the speculum, then an instrument called a sound, which goes into your cervix so it’s a little pinchy feeling, then they’ll insert the actual IUD and it will be painful for basically 3 seconds, and then its just strong cramping after that. The cramping that day was pretty intense but definitely bearable for me personally. As mentioned above, I think that small duration of pain is well worth the 5 years of birth control without having to even think about it!
I hope this post was helpful or at least insightful! I referenced the Planned Parenthood website for all information in this post so definitely use that site if you’re looking for more info! (https://www.plannedparenthood.org)
Again, remember to always always do your own research and talk to your doctor!
My DM’s are always open if you have any questions!
I'm Maddi and Im a full time student (studying Child and Youth Work), and a self proclaimed content creator. Here I have my blog and my shop, I hope you enjoy!