Birth Control

Showing 165 posts tagged Birth Control

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Timeline: 100 Years of Birth Control

Since Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger coined the term “birth control” in 1914, contraception has truly revolutionized women’s lives in the United States, and around the world. Brush up on your birth control history, and see just how far we’ve come in 100 years.

SEE THE HIRES VERSION HERE

I don’t want kids for at least three years. What birth control should I use?

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Someone asked us:

What’s the best birth control for a couple that plans on starting a family in three years, that’s not the pill?

Your best bet is to go with an IUD or an implant, which are the most effective forms of birth control available, last for a long time, and don’t require you to do anything once they’re in place. The implant and Skyla IUD last for three years, and the Mirena IUD lasts for five. If you’re trying to avoid hormones, the ParaGard IUD gives you up to 12 years of hormone-free pregnancy protection. Even though these methods last for a long time, you can get them removed whenever you want, and you’ll be able to get pregnant soon after.

If an IUD or implant doesn’t sound like your thing, there are other methods that use hormones similar to the pill, but you don’t have to deal with them daily. Birth control patches are changed once a week, NuvaRings are changed once a month, and the Depo shot is given once every three months. One of the greatest thing about birth control these days is that there are so many options!

 -Mylanie @ Planned Parenthood

Am I abusing the system if I use birth control to stop having my period?

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Someone asked us:

I was wondering, is it considered abusing the system if the main reason I’m on birth control is to not have a period because of dysphoria? (I’m a trans male) My doctor doesn’t know I’m mainly using it for that but I feel kinda bad. The state I’m in doesn’t accept transgender people so I have to lie.

Oh dude, please do NOT feel bad about using birth control to get rid of your period — that’s a super common reason people use hormonal birth control methods in the first place! And as anyone with problematic periods will tell you: anything that eases troublesome menstrual symptoms is critical and necessary medical care.

Birth control has so many benefits besides, well, birth control. Lesbians use it. People who don’t have sex use it. Trans guys use it. In fact, up to 58 percent of people on the pill rely on it for reasons other than preventing pregnancy. Clearing up acne, easing PMS symptoms, controlling the timing of your period, and reducing menstrual flow are all perfectly legitimate reasons people use contraception. And you are just as entitled to these benefits as everyone else.

Now, about lying to your doctor. I totally understand how it’s tough to be open when you’re expecting and fearing discrimination. But it really is important to be honest with your doctor (if possible) so they can give you the best care. 

You may be able to find a trans-friendly doctor in your area — Planned Parenthood health centers are a good place to start.

Being clear about what you want out of your birth control helps your doctor prescribe the best method for you. But even if you’re truly not okay with coming out to your doctor and can’t find a trans-friendly provider, you don’t have to lie about wanting to use birth control to get rid of your period. 

So PLEASE stop feeling guilty about this right now, okay?

-Kendall at Planned Parenthood

Will swimming or exercise move the birth control implant?

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Someone asked us:

I’m a swimmer and I wanted to get the birth control that you put in your arm but I’m afraid that the constant movement would either hurt or jiggle around the implant…

As a fellow swimmer I’m here to tell you, you are A-OK to get the implant — and so is anyone else who does an immense amount of exercise (I’m looking at you, CrossFit enthusiasts). Moving around a lot won’t shift it out of place.

In fact, having an intense exercise regimen might be the reason you’re a perfect fit for a LARC (Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive) like the implant or the IUD. Lots of practices or competitions away from home can get super hectic, and you might be more likely to forget to take a pill. LARCs are a great option for an on-the-go athlete who’s too busy smashing the competition to worry about whether they’ve remembered their birth control.

Just make sure you use condoms every time you have sex to prevent STDs and talk with your doctor about your workout routine before *ahem* diving into any new method of birth control.

-Chelsea @ Planned Parenthood

How effective is the birth control implant? Can you see it in your arm?

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Someone asked us:

I’m planning on going to college in the fall, and I recently have been talking to my mom about getting started on birth control. I’ve been learning toward the pill, but I know it’s really important to take it everyday and I’m afraid I’d forget every once in a while. I’m curious about methods like the implant that lasts for three years, but I don’t know how effective that is? Also can you see the implant in your arm? It sounds ideal, but I don’t know enough about it!

Good news! The birth control implant (aka Implanon or Nexplanon) is one of the safest and most effective methods of birth control available, and it lasts for three whole years. IUDs are right up there with implants, so they’re another option you might want to consider — both are over 99% effective.

The most common reason birth control fails is because of user error, like forgetting pills, rings or patches. This is why methods like the implant and IUDs are so great – you set ‘em and forget ‘em until they need to be replaced or you want to get pregnant. There’s really no way you can screw them up (unless you don’t get them replaced when you’re supposed to).

And you’re absolutely right that, no matter what method you choose, it’s really important to use it correctly or you’ll be at risk for pregnancy. High-fives for thinking ahead and being honest with yourself about what’s really going to work for you. (And double high-fives to you and your mom for helping to ensure that you’ll be focusing on math tests instead of pregnancy tests in college.)

To answer your next question, the implant is usually invisible, though it can be felt through the skin if someone touches you where the implant is (which is a fun way to give your friends the willies). In rare cases, there may be scarring or discoloring of the skin where the implant is inserted.

The Planned Parenthood Tumblr team is a big fan of IUDs and the implant.  I have a Mirena IUD, Chelsea has a ParaGard IUD, and Amy just got the implant. Reading our stories, checking out the Planned Parenthood website, and using our My Birth Control app can help you decide what’s going to work best for you.

 -Kendall at Planned Parenthood