Which pregnancy test should you buy? When should you take it?


Someone asked us:

Hi, I’m just curious about pregnancy tests. Are there test that shouldn’t be used or tests that are better? When should you take a test?

When it comes to pregnancy tests, brands don’t matter, because all at-home pregnancy tests work the same way they test your pee for the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Any at-home pregnancy test that you buy from a drugstore is going to be FDA approved and 99% effective if you take it at the right time.

Tests become more accurate once you’ve reached the date of your next expected period. So it’s a good idea to take the test once you’ve already missed your period. Some pregnancy tests can tell you if you’re pregnant a few days before a missed period. Be sure to check the label on whatever box you buy to see when the test is most effective.  

Your doctor or nurse can also determine if you’re pregnant by testing your blood. But blood pregnancy tests aren’t done very often. A pregnancy test you take at home is just as effective as the urine test your doctor gives you. Hope that helps!

-Chelsea @ Planned Parenthood


Parents, guardians, and trusted adults can be a great resources for your questions about sexuality and sexual health.

Think about it: they have bodies and they’ve been teenagers, too. So chances are they can give you some real life advice. And if they don’t know the answers to your questions, they can help you find them. 

It might feel weird to bring up the changes in your body with your parent or other trusted adults, but they care about you and want to help.

If you feel like you really can’t talk to your parent about what’s going on with your body, find an adult you trust — a sibling, a cousin, an aunt or uncle, a teacher, a doctor, or someone else — to help you out with your questions.

At Planned Parenthood, we see the impact of abortion stigma firsthand, in the women who delay getting reproductive health care because they fear they’ll be labeled and judged. We see the effect of stigma on doctors, health center staffers, and others who help provide abortion services. And we see the impact in laws that regulate and restrict abortion in ways that would never happen with any other medical procedure.

Cecile Richards, Ending the Silence that Fuels Abortion Stigma

Is It Okay To Use Birth Control To Stop My Period?


Someone asked us

How do you guys feel about using birth control to stop periods altogether? Is it something you guys recommend/ are willing to help your patients with?

Hey hey, what do we say?  Stopping periods with birth control is A-OK!  

Tons of people, including a few of us on the Planned Parenthood tumblr team, use birth control to lessen or stop menstrual bleeding. Sometimes periods cause severe health problems (like anemia or painful cramps), and others simply don’t want to bleed every month. Either way, it’s totally fine to use hormonal birth control to regulate or eliminate your period.

Bothersome periods are a legitimate health issue. As long as you and your doctor agree that your chosen birth control method is safe for you, there’s no “wrong” reason to use it.

Birth control methods that have been known to reduce menstrual flow or stop periods are hormonal IUDs (Mirena and Skyla), the implant (Implanon or Nexplanon), the shot (Depo Provera), and certain types of birth control pills. Sometimes these methods cause spotting or irregular bleeding at first, but it usually evens out over time. And some people stop bleeding altogether after a while.

Lots of people also use the pill or ring continuously (without the period/placebo week) to stop their periods. This isn’t something you can do with the patch though. If you want to do this, talk with your doctor or nurse about whether it makes sense for you.

You can use our handy quiz to explore all your birth control options and figure out what’s best for you. And, of course, your friendly Planned Parenthood health center can give you more info and set you up with your method of choice.

-Kendall at Planned Parenthood 


Is cheating abuse?

At loveisrespect, we get asked this question all of the time: Is cheating abuse? Having a partner cheat on you can be a gut-wrenching, incredibly difficult experience, but only you know if its abuse.

It all depends on context. If your partner cheated on you and you are wondering if it’s an abusive act, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does your partner serially cheat on you and then blame you for their behavior?
  • Did your partner cheat on you intentionally to hurt you and do they threaten to cheat again?
  • Did your partner cheat to prove that they are more desired, worthy, etc. than you are?
  • Do you find yourself apologizing after you get upset with their behavior?
  • Does your partner also threaten you with violence, physically hurt you, call you names, try to control where you go or what you wear, criticize you or blame you for hurtful things they say or do?

If you answered ‘yes’ or even ‘maybe’ to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. Chat or call loveisrespect at 1-866-331-9474; we can help you sort through these feelings.

An important note: If it doesn’t feel right, then it’s probably not right. If your partner cheated and you don’t think you want to continue the relationship, then you don’t have to, whether the relationship is abusive or not.

Does the birth control pill make you gain weight?


Someone asked us…

I used to have an eating disorder, and I heard taking the pill can make you gain weight. I want to get on birth control to regulate my periods, but I am afraid the side effects would put me back in a bad place. Is this true, and are there any types of birth control that don’t cause weight gain?

First off, it’s great that you’re thinking ahead about possible challenges and seeking out the information to make the best decision for you.

The “birth control causes weight gain” myth is definitely common, but the good news is that it’s just that — a myth. Research shows that the birth control pill (and most types of hormonal birth control) is not associated with weight gain. The one method that has been shown to cause weight gain in some users is the depo-provera shot. Users of the pill, patch, ring, implant, and hormonal IUD are no more likely to gain weight than non-users.

It’s important to remember that everyone is different. The research refers to the average birth control user, but if you are unhappy with your method or feel it may be negatively affecting your health (physical, mental, or otherwise), talk with your doctor about finding a different method.

Fortunately you have a lot of great options! Take our quiz to help you figure out which method is right for you.

-Kellie at Planned Parenthood