Birth Control Newbie

Dear Emily,
I’ve never been on birth control. I’m hoping to start, but I have no idea which one would be best for me. I’m kind of lost when it comes to this! Oh, and I’m using it because I’m starting to have sex.
Help!

I’m so glad you asked! First of all, your doctor will know what’s best for you and your health, but I can definitely give you a rundown of the available options.

Basically there are a few options of different types. You have the pill, which is thought of as the most traditional I suppose. The pill will come in a pack, and have a pill for each day. You take three weeks of medication, then take the placebo pill for the last week. That’s when you’ll have your period. There are A LOT of versions of the pill, with all kinds of side effects. Some uterus havers experience zero side effects, and some experience them all. You’ll have to try it out to see what works for you. The pill works most effectively when taken every single day, at the same time every day.

There’s also a shot that you can get once a month, or every three months. There’s an implant that lasts up to four years. You can also try the NuvaRing (I have some friends who swear by it), which is a silicone ring that you place into your vagina, then take it out after three weeks. You place a new one after your period week.

IUD’s are being recommended more than ever now, mainly because they are highly effective and once they’re in, you don’t have to think about them for a few years! There’s a copper IUD that is non-hormonal, and a hormonal IUD that still has less hormones than the pill. The insertion is done at the doctor and can be painful, so pop a few ibuprofen before or ask your doctor for a pain killer!

As with every medication, it’s best to check with your doctor to make sure you’re on the right one. Planned Parenthood is a great resource for checking out different types! Also, if you are using birth control to prevent pregnancy, remember that birth control does not prevent STIs/STBBIs (condoms can though).

With a million stars and coins for you,
Emily

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