– the first time i was on the pill i got super depressed. most of it was that i was actually incredibly depressed the other part was the pill. take that as you will.
– i SUCK at taking the pill regularly
– my periods on the second pill i tried were shitty. idk the difference i just thought that the pill was supposed to make me not have terrible periods but shit was still ass
– i liked the implant when i had it. it was super easy-like virtually painless insertion (if you’re good with needles), no maintenance, and i had a good deal of semen inside of my vaginal cavity and no pregnancy. however i was kinda tired of my whole body on hormones which is why i switched to the IUD
– the first 3 months of the implant i bled/spotted like crazy then there was like a year and a half where i had no period and then i was just bleeding all the time until i got it out. it was all very strange
– the first IUD i had was hard for me mostly bc i am a survivor. my uterus clenches when i am triggered and so when it was doing that it was hitting the IUD and there was just a lot of pain. i got it out, took the pill for a while (this was my second pill) and just got a smaller IUD inserted a few days ago
– i like the IUD bc it lasts a long time, the hormones are localized, and there’s no pregnancy worry. I did not like irregular spotting that much, but it stopped phasing me tbh. [partner]’s penis also hits the strings sometimes and it hurts him but he says he doesn’t mind bc it’s my body
I was on the Depo-provera birth control shot from about age 15-17. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep track of a daily pill, but every three months seemed manageable. My only side effect was very light/no periods (although sometimes I’d still be crampy). The shot no joke hurts, but only for a day or so. If I had to do it again I’d go through Planned Parenthood instead of my dinosaur-era family doctor. The script got filled at my local pharmacy, which notified my dad (who subsequently flipped shit), and the doctor told him I was on birth control, despite my explicit directions not to.
I went off Depo towards the end of my senior year of high school, giving me the worst baby fever of my life. I got the Mirena IUD placed a few months later. I got a new doctor through U of M health, who is lovely! She was super knowledgeable, happy to answer questions, and the insertion was done super quickly. The speculum feels uncomfy and the insertion hurts a bit. My main mistake was also getting the HPV and flu shots on the same day, so at first I was incredibly crampy, sore, and feverish. By the next day I was chilling! I love Mirena, no bad side effects, I don’t get periods or cramps, and don’t have to think about birth control until I graduate!
I had Nexplanon for about a year and a half. The implants usually last up to three years but the first thing I want to clarify is that it’s within your rights to have it removed whenever you deem necessary. The problem with side effects for methods like Nexplanon is that they vary quite wildly. I’m here to say that most of the times if your body is feeling a certain way, deep inside you you’re bound to know the reason. When I had Nexplanon I was bleeding non-stop (we’re talking 20 days at a time) but more importantly I felt so down all the time. I felt like I had no energy, I was irritable, constantly bloated, and my anxiety was so high. I have had my issues with mental health over the course of my life – as most of us have – but this time something inside me knew it wasn’t all in my head. After months of groveling and pondering whether it was possible that I had all these side effects or whether I was just going crazy I found a nice doctor who was willing to act on my right and got Nexplanon removed. Within the next month after that the improvement in my mood and my anxiety was huge. My intention in telling you this is not to deter you from getting Nexplanon – the hormonal implants are an amazing method of birth control. But just like most things in life they aren’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Since every body is different, it’s okay if you’re having a side effect that isn’t listed on the prescriptions or the websites, what matters is that you listen to it, and act accordingly to feel better. I want to empower you to listen to whatever you’re feeling because only you can know your side-effects. Even thought it might suck, sometimes you just have to change methods, and that is valid too. Be safe, explore, and listen to your body!
Personally I’m on birth control. I’ve been on different types of birth control, including the kind with 7 placebo pills for a placebo week and the 4 placebo bills. Before birth control, I had heavy periods that were sometimes irregular. There was also a period of time when I had an eating disorder and I wasn’t taking birth control so this contributed to my irregular periods. Once I was on the birth control with 7 placebo bills, my “periods” were regular and not too heavy. I still experienced some cramping during them. Now I’m on the 4 placebo type. The first few months I didn’t get my “period” at all but now I do regularly. They are shorter (3-4 days) and much lighter. I don’t experience cramping as much but I do get super emotional during this time. I haven’t experienced any major side effects. Also anyone can feel free to reach out to me for more information!!
NuvaRing: Put it in and forget it. I liked that I had the control to take out my birth control at any point (the idea of an IUD or Nexplanon was off-putting to me because I wouldn’t be able to take it out myself). An interesting side effect for me was that on days 2-3 of the false period I felt sad for no reason, for 24 hours. Some positives were that it my acne go away, gave me consistent great hair days, got rid of my hirsutism, and made me feel feminine. Before going on the NuvaRing, I didn’t get a period because of PCOS, so getting a false period made me feel like my body was working which was nice.
Diaphragm: I’m a big proponent of using two forms of contraception because it decreases the risk of pregnancy. This decreased anxiety in turn makes sex more enjoyable. While my partner and I mostly used condoms + Nuvaring, I liked the fact that I had the option of a different barrier method. That way, I didn’t have to rely on my partner to use a condom. To get the diaphragm, it was a simple appointment with my ObGyn to find the correct size for my cervix. The diaphragm has also led me to consider using an internal condom in the future because the diaphragm requires spermicide (which can increase the risk of UTIs, which I’m prone to) while the internal condom does not.
I have a Nexplanon implant that I got in the fall of my freshman year (I’m a sophomore now). I had never used any form of birth control before so was unsure about what to expect but I’ve had an overall really positive experience. I’ve been lucky not to have any nasty side effects but the most pronounced impact of my implant has been the stopping of my period. I had a bit of spotting for a few weeks after getting the implant but that leveled out pretty quickly and I haven’t gotten my period since.
I would be happy to talk more with anyone about this, although my experience has been pretty mundane so I’m not sure how helpful it would be!
For a bit of context, I’m a hetero man, who so far has just has only had sex with women.
One myth I’ve heard out there is that men are the only ones who want to have sex without a condom. I want to start by acknowledging that a history of men pressuring or tricking women into having sex without a condom is part of a pattern of sexual violence.
And also, it can be the case that for one reason or another, a man can be the one who wants to use a condom. This was my case in a relationship I once had. Once, my partner and I were getting ready to have penetrative sex, she asked if I wanted to do it without a condom, and I didn’t want to. I remember feeling super weird about it. I had this whole internal thing of “oh, I’m the guy. I’m supposed to want this,” but honestly I didn’t. I knew she had an IUD and that was some 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, but I was still nervous about it and knew that it’s always good to use two types of birth control. Another thing for me was having performance anxiety about cumming too quickly, and a condom actually helped with that, typically prolonging things a little bit for me. This was a hard thing to come to grips with or internalize because I think the messages I’d received growing up were good men were supposed to be great in bed, and crave it all the time, definitely never be anxious about it.
Luckily, my partner was great with boundaries, and after I worked up the courage to have a conversation with her about it, she understood where I was coming from and was down to use a condom. We also tried adding lube and doing other things to make the experience more enjoyable for her since the principal reason she didn’t wanna use one in the first place was because of the friction.
Moral of the story: it’s okay for men to like condoms too, you’re not a fake man for wanting to use one if your partner in a hetero relationship doesn’t want to, performance anxiety is real and natural, and having a conversation about it with your partner can help