sex ed: birth control

Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as the new U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and she is not a fan of Roe v Wade. That’s concerning because once they start repealing rights, it’s like a slip and slide. So let’s talk about birth control.

The common misconception is that birth control’s only purpose is to prevent pregnancy. Birth control is entirely your choice and can be used for whatever reason you want. Honestly, it should be considered a form of body modification. “What else is it good for?” Well, I’m glad you asked.

Use every time

I’m sure you’ve heard of condoms. They’re pretty effective (85%) when used properly. There are a million brands – some made of latex and some without latex. Some are lubed, ribbed, colorful, etc. Pick your favorite, doesn’t matter. If you’re buying lube alongside it, though, make sure it’s water-based and not oil-based. Oil-based will wear down the latex and tear the condom. 

Female condoms are an alternative. They’re the same concept, but they go inside the vagina, like a little pouch. This one’s less effective (75%) – I imagine it can get quite slippery. It’s a good way of taking things into your own hands as a vagina-owner, though. 

The diaphragm is a similar concept, about 88% effective. It’s a small dome that goes right over your cervix. You have to use a spermicide with it to kill the sperm. These can be a bit pricier than the two aforementioned, but they are re-usable. Just pop it in there every time.

All of these are hormone-free, which is beneficial for certain folks. Hormones aren’t for everybody.

Low maintenance

The birth control implant is a little stick that your doc puts inside your arm, about 99% effective. It lasts about five years and releases a teensy bit of hormone every day. You don’t have to worry about it. Planned Parenthood says:

“The hormones in the birth control implant prevent pregnancy in two ways:

  • Progestin thickens the mucus on your cervix, which stops sperm from swimming through to your egg. When sperm can’t meet up with an egg, pregnancy can’t happen.
  • Progestin can also stop eggs from leaving your ovaries (called ovulation), so there’s no egg to fertilize. When eggs aren’t released, you can’t get pregnant.”

Sounds pretty cool. A friend of mine had it once, and her side-effects were pretty brutal. Was not for her. However, other people have loved it. It all depends on your body.

The IUD is pretty cool. There are a few types that release different amounts of hormone (or no hormone at all with the copper one). Depending on the type, it can last from 3-12 years. They’re handy because you don’t have to do anything. Sometimes, with the hormone IUD, your period can lighten or go away. I had the Mirena for almost four years, but it made my period quite unpredictable. My OCD ass can’t handle that. Other than that, it was amazing.


The birth control pill is what I’m on right now. Now, there are so many types of B.C. pills out there with different hormone variations, about 91% effective when taken correctly. There are combination pills and progestin-only pills. Talk to your doc and see what works for you. It took me a few tries to find the combination that works for me, but I’m in love with the estrogen called Ethinyl Estradiol and a progestin called Drospirenone combination (the common brand is Yaz). Yaz is my personal favorite, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work for you and your needs.

There are many pill delivery/prescription services out there that make it easy to get your monthly pack. Planned Parenthood’s app PPDirect can prescribe them for you. The Pill Club can both prescribe and deliver to your house. If you’re outside of the U.S., check with your local pharmacy. I get mine over-the-counter in the D.R.

The downside of the pill, you have to take it every day at approximately the same time. The upside is you can skip your period. Skip your period week, start a new pack, and forget that bitch. Love it.

There’s also the birth control patch that you can put anywhere on your body and releases bits of hormone every day – about 91% effective. You have to replace it every month, but it does prevent ovulation. That’s sick. 

The birth control shot is every three months and also prevents ovulation. It’s about 94% effective. Pretty convenient; just don’t forget to go back to the doc.

Now, the birth control ring is one I just found out about. It’s a small ring you pop into your vagina, releasing bits of hormone and preventing ovulation. You have to replace it every five weeks, but you can use it to skip your period. Handy. If any of you have tried this method, let me know. I’m curious. If you want to read about these in more depth, check out Planned Parenthood.

Author: Vero Silvestri

A 22 year old trying to figure shit out.

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