I'm on the verge of adulthood, womanhood, self-discovery, creativity, and sometimes a whole lot of emotions! Feel free to follow my journey!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Birth Control

Maybe it's just because I've been feeling like complete crap emotionally since Saturday, but I've been extremely frustrated about the current state of birth control. Let me know if you think I'm being ridiculous - my patience threshold is at an all-time low.

Let me start by saying I'm really happy that women have all these different forms of birth control to help them prevent pregnancy. We live in an age where pregnancy is not an all-consuming fear about having sex like it was even 50 or 60 years ago. Honestly, if it weren't for barrier and hormonal methods of contraception, I probably wouldn't be having sex right now. I don't want to see ANY strollers in my immediate (i.e. AT LEAST 5 years) future.

However, here's my dilemma. All methods of contraception seem to have some major downsides. Condoms can be a little bit of a hassle "in the moment," you need to store them correctly (not in your wallet like you see in the movies) and they can break. Hormonal methods (The Pill, the patch, the ring, the shot, IUD's) have 99% effectiveness if they're used correctly, which is awesome. But each have their own set of downsides.

1. All these hormonal methods are completely dependent on the woman. Men have absolutely no part in preventing pregnancy. This can be a good thing if you don't have a steady partner at the moment and don't want to rely on someone else's judgement, but it's not really fair. It perpetrates the idea that pregnancy is "the girl's problem." Uhm...hello! It takes 2 people to get someone pregnant!

2. All of these methods involve putting synthetic hormones in your body to essentially stop its natural cycle. I'm not coming at this from a religious or moral standpoint, but it makes me uncomfortable to be on the pill and have my body essentially being controlled by medication. Then again, I don't like to take Advil if I don't absolutely have to...so maybe I'm crazy.

3. All of these hormonal methods have to be very strictly followed. You have to take your Pill at the exact same time every day, or change your ring or patch at the same time every week/month. If you don't you're at risk of ovulating and blowing the whole thing.

4. The Patch is not invasive, but because of that, it has 60% more hormones in it than a normal low-dose pill (and for the record, "low dose" is labeled at 30 mcg. per day, when there are actually pills out there that are only 20 mcg per day - so that's double!). That amount of synthetic hormones in me just makes me uncomfortable and has a great deal more possible side effects.

5. For the NuvaRing , it's just sort of sitting there, hanging out inside your vagina. I've never tried it but I'd really like to hear feedback - Can you really not feel it during sex? It just weirds me out. Again, I'm probably being a big baby.

6. Other methods that are not time sensitive are very invasive. Depo Provera (the shot) is an injection every 3 months (some people don't mind needles but I have yet to meet someone that truly enjoys them). And IUD  sits in your uterus -it is painful to have put in and has a risk of falling out, which is extremely painful. Implanon is a rod that is implanted in your arm for 3 years. None of theses things are horrible torture devices by any means, but they all just seem very invasive to me.

So, I ask you, if you're comfortable answering:

  • What form of contraception do you use? 
  • Do you have any qualms with what you use or are you really happy with it?
  •  Do you ever have scares or have to use backup methods? 
  • Have you tried methods that haven't worked well for you?
  • Guys, if there was a birth control for men, would you take it?


  1. You are not over-reacting at all Kelly!! I agree with everything you say! I am also glad that as women we have so many forms of birth control. But you raise a good question: If there was a birth control for men, would they take it? Shouldn't people have come up with some sort of birth control method for men already? Why is the condom the only thing they have to worry about, whereas women have to go out and find some pill, patch, or SHOT of some sort if they really want to be careful in preventing a pregnancy? It is difficult to keep up with birth control pills! Just the other day one of my friends realized that she messed up her cycle by missing one or two of her pills. It makes such a difference. Contraception methods are a hassle and do have downsides!! And ironically women are the ones who really have to worry about them, and we are also the ones that have to deal with the consequences if they don't work! Someone please invent birth control for men.

  2. I know what The Pill did for women in general -- a lot of positive things. But I also know that I distrust all of these artificial hormones, and that my personal experiences with them have been awfully negative. Hormones are powerful and powerfully connected to our body and brain chemistries.