There isn’t a birth control option for women that doesn’t suck, and that’s a problem.
This was the headline of a Cosmo article I came across (not linked because of the article’s distasteful language), and I have to say I wholeheartedly agree. The article was a first person account of a young woman who chose a Paraguard IUD because it doesn’t use hormones. When her friends inquire, she raves about how nice it is that she doesn’t have to worry about a daily pill and that its effectiveness is through the roof.
However, she says she leaves out details of the horrifyingly painful experience of getting it inserted, and that it’s made her monthly period a nightmare (throwing up out her mom’s car window type of nightmare).
She goes on to elaborate on each birth control option and, well, you guessed it, why it [stinks]. From the blood clots and depression with the pill, to nausea and weight gain with the shot, to the permanence of sterilization and the unreliability of withdrawal…the list goes on and none of them are a great choice for women.
“Being born a woman shouldn’t mean a lifetime of compromise to avoid getting pregnant when you don’t want to be,” she writes. “There should be a birth control option that doesn’t amp up your risk of developing a mental illness, or cause so much physical discomfort that women are missing work and puking out of moving car windows.”
As a 21-year-old woman, I couldn’t do anything but aggressively nod and agree. All of these methods have drawbacks, and these are the only options? It’s hard to disagree with this author when she says, “Picking a birth control option as a woman is like being presented with a list of bad side effects and choosing which ones you would hate living with the least. Each method is bad in its own ways, and you just have to shop for the bad things you feel you can most tolerate.”
Yes, the article was depressing for both its truths and its language, but I see some positives here. First, this article — in Cosmo no less — is getting the message out there that birth control options are not all they’re cracked up to be. It’s being honest about what that daily pill or hormonal IUD is doing to some women’s bodies through harmful side effects. Getting this message out to women is something CCL works hard to do, which brings us to the second positive: natural family planning.
While NFP won’t take away those little annoyances that come with being born with a female reproductive system, it will give you the knowledge and empowerment that comes from knowing and understanding your own body. It gives you the ability to track and understand your cycles for an all-natural way to postpone pregnancy. If you’re shopping for the family planning method that harms you the least this is it, because it doesn’t harm you at all. (Learn more about it here).
Yes, a lot of birth control options out there [stink], so try the one that doesn’t and is surprisingly effective. Try natural family planning or share this with someone who would be glad to discover it.
— Megan Imwalle