Young women are very fertile, so it’s obvious why birth control is so important; population control and the ability to choose when (and if) we procreate are huge.
The problem is that all birth control methods totally suck. There are so many birth control options to choose from, yet each of them come with their own set of terrible side effects.
It messes with our body and mind, it’s a bitch to remember to administer and it can be pretty expensive for those of us who don’t have medical coverage.
Is it fair that to use birth control or not is such a lose-lose situation? We’re damned if we do, and damned if we don’t.
We loathe the side effects but we feel we have no choice. We’re counting down the days until the male birth control pill catches on, and until then, we can just remember how awesome we are for continuously putting up with this crap.
Here are 10 different birth control methods, and why they suck:
1. The pill
The birth control pill annoys me because it’s not fully effective unless you take it at the same time every day, and sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes you didn’t plan to stay over at your friend’s house, and you didn’t bring your pills with you. Or maybe you got in a heated argument with a friend one night, and you were so distraught you completely forgot to take the pill. I don’t want to have to remember to do something every day, but that’s only a small part of the problem with the pill.
The pill also messes with your weight, your emotions, your mood – and it does not protect against STDs.
2. The patch
So the patch is a little less annoying then the pill, because you only have to remember to change the patch once per week, and then at least you can forget about it for a week before you change it again. It’s not something you have to religiously remember to take every day like the pill.
However, the weight gain on the patch is very significant. I tried a birth control patch called Ortho Evra, and let me tell you the weight changes were much more significant than the pill. And the patch messes with your emotions, too. Not to mention, it’s kind of ugly to randomly have a patch on your body – and many people will assume you’re addicted to nicotine even though that’s obviously not what your patch is for. It leaves a sticky residue on your body, and I just wasn’t a fan.
Condoms are beneficial in that they prevent against STDs and they don’t come with any major side-effects such as weight changes, mood changes or heightened emotions. However, even though condoms have their pros, condoms can also break. More importantly, they decrease and numb the feel-good pleasure sensations of sex. Sex simply feels better without a condom. Condoms can actually rub against your skin in an uncomfortable way, too.
Similar to women using diaphragms or spermicide, condoms don’t have a perfect track-record of effectiveness, and they should be used in combination with the other birth control methods – the ones that unfortunately come with mood swings and physical changes.
4. Essure birth control insert
Essure is a permanent birth control method, where an insert is permanently placed into each of your fallopian tubes by your doctor. These inserts work with your body to form a natural barrier that keeps sperm from reaching the eggs, preventing pregnancy.
There are two big issues with this. For one thing, the procedure is not reversible, so even if you think you don’t want kids – what if you change your mind? The other problem with Essure is that there have been many reports of chronic pelvic pain. The FDA has issued warnings related to Essure, as women have been reporting excruciating, ongoing abdominal pain and device failure.
5. IUD insert
An IDU is a t-shaped device that your doctor would insert for you. There are two versions of the IUD, one lasts five years and it’s a hormonal version, and then there’s the 10-year non-hormonal version. The hormonal works by releasing progestin, which thickens cervical mucus and basically makes the womb incapable of hosting your eggs, and you’ll likely notice shorter, lighter periods on this form, too.
The 10-year non-hormonal IUD is a copper IUD. The copper is released into the uterus to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg. When you go on it, the birth control should take effect in roughly 24 hours – and last for about 10 years.
IUDs allow you to forget about birth control methods – you’re set for years and years – and they’re 99% effective at preventing pregnancy which is why they’re so popular. However, they’re costly and they are an invasive procedure – one that involves pain. There’s intensely painful cramping for about a week while your body gets used to the device – sometimes longer.
6. The pull-out method
This messy, sticky method is the absolute worst. It’s not effective (and those of you who think it is, are off your rocker) and as a woman, you’re giving the control to the man and counting on him to actually pull out – which he might not.
With the pull-out method, you’re risking getting pregnant (since it’s only about 60% effective) and you’re risking contracting an STD. Pre-cum can get you pregnant, and that’s why so many women get pregnant from using this method of ‘birth control’.
Who needs the stress and paranoia that you might be pregnant? That’s what comes with the pull-out method, and it’s not fun.
7. Depo-Provera shot
The shot may sound appealing because it’s just one little shot every three months, and you’ve got your birth control set for three months.
The hormone in the birth control shot is progestin. Progestin prevents ovulation, without which, an egg is unable to leave the ovaries. If the egg can’t leave the ovaries, then sperm can’t fertilize it. Second, progestin thickens the mucus that lines the cervix. This thicker, sticky mucus is difficult for sperm to penetrate. The shot is 99% effective, but it has some very negative side-effects. These include mood changes, an increase in appetite, noticeable weight gain, a decreased sexual drive, nausea and sore breasts.
NuvaRing is a small, flexible vaginal ring used to prevent pregnancy. You put it inside of your vagina for 3 weeks, take it out, then put a new one in a week later. It’s just as effective as the pill when used as directed, and you don’t have to think about taking it every day.
The vaginal ring can cause vaginal irritation, as well as nausea, breast tenderness, mood swings, bloating and weight gain. Sounds fun, right?
9. Plan B
Plan B, also known as the ‘morning after pill’ is effective at preventing pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex. It temporarily stops the release of an egg from the ovary and prevents fertilization.
It’s not meant to be used as a regular form of birth control, because the more often you take Plan B, the lower its success rate will be on you. Also, you wouldn’t want to take it often, because it comes with a ton of nasty side-effects. These include nausea, headaches, abdominal pain, fatigue, dizziness and even vomiting. Not to mention, stress. Especially since it’s not 100% effective and you’ve just had unprotected sex.
If you choose abstinence as your birth control method, you’re choosing to not have sex. At all. With anyone. You’re not actually escaping the side-effects of birth control methods by choosing abstinence, though.
People who never have sex tend to be more on edge, more irritable, stressed and moody. You might pick fights with friends or act out – when really all you needed was to get laid.
I think it’s safe to say that all birth control methods sort of suck.
Disagree? If you have a birth control method that you love, we’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comments below.