If you guys have been keeping up with ‘Catching Up with Chris’ you know that I recently got on birth control for the first time in my life (If you haven’t seen the episode yet – click here).
I have to say, I was quite shocked by the entire experience. I got the IUD, and it’s been about a month since I got it. It was unexpectedly painful… like really really painful for me. After it happened, it baffled me as to why I hadn’t ever heard about it. There are so many different forms of birth control out there: the pill, shots, patches, and the IUD. I was hesitant about the idea of birth control at first because if I HAD heard anything about birth control from those around me, it was generally negative and about all of the side effects women received from it. Whether it was their hormones, weight gain, acne, mood swings to name a few.
Since I’m not looking to expand my family any further anytime soon, I figured that now was a good time to start using birth control. So, I scheduled an appointment with my gynecologist and got the IUD inserted. Since birth control is something I don’t usually hear people talk about, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk to you all about it and create an open dialogue.
As I said, I got the IUD a little over a month ago because I heard that it’s the most effective form and also the easiest to deal with on a day-to-day basis because once it’s inserted you don’t have to think about it or worry about taking something every day. When it came to the actual insertion of the IUD, on a scale of 1-10, the pain was at about a 7. Which, I would say, is pretty high and I actually compare them to pre-labor cramps. I was also spotting for a few weeks post the insertion, so I had to wear a panty liner for a while. On the plus side, it does regulate your period but since I’m still breastfeeding, I haven’t experienced that yet since you normally don’t get your period for a few months while you’re breastfeeding.
Also, the first 2-3 weeks post my IUD procedure, I could still feel the pressure a little bit. It wasn’t the most comfortable feeling, but it’s since subsided and I feel pretty normal now.
While I’m happy it’s all over, I do wish I would have known all of these things before getting it done. Asking your gyno questions is great and highly encouraged, but sometimes some personal testimonials are great, too! So, I asked some of the girls on the team to share their experiences with birth control and here’s what they had to say:
(Per their requests, I kept their testimonials anonymous!)
“Just like Chriselle, I recently got on birth control for the first time. My biggest fear was anything altering my body/hormones so until now, I had avoided it at all costs. I just wanted something that would regulate my period, and not do anything else to my body… but if it did make my boobs a little bigger that would be okay by me. Of course, you can’t exactly pick the symptoms you want and don’t want off a checklist or anything. So after consulting with my gynecologist, we landed on the pill for two reasons: it’s easier to regulate the amount of hormones you’ll be given and second, as opposed to the IUD or the shot- if you feel like you need to stop taking the pills at any point- you can just stop! So far my experience, besides some mild mood swings, has been good!”
“I’m all about using birth control and contraceptives, but going on the pill was not a good fit for me personally. When I was 18, I was diagnosed with PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome) which is basically a hormonal imbalance in my body that causes irregular periods. I only had my period like twice a year so my OB/GYN prescribed me to go on the pill in order to regulate my cycle. I was on the pill for about 4 years until I finally realized that the pill was contributing to my weight gain. I even tried several different types of birth control with the lowest dosage of progesterone. Although it regulated my cycle and cleared up my hormonal acne, I decided 2 years ago to get off the pill because it was not benefiting my body as a whole. Today, I’m 23 years old and since being off of the pill, I’m so much happier with myself and my body. I am now regulating my cycle naturally through exercise, food and by significantly reducing the amount of refined sugar and carbs in my diet. I started to naturally get my period about 6 months ago, shed 18 lbs. and am thankfully back to my original weight. I think that using birth control is super important, so if you are planning on going on it, make sure that you if test out several ones and find one that works well for you and your body type! Even though it didn’t work out for me personally, I strongly encourage everyone to try it before getting an implant or an IUD. Everyone’s story is different!”
“I went to Planned Parenthood when I was 19 and starting to become sexually active. They offered me a couple of birth control options to which I asked them “how do I know if this one will be good for me and my body?” and the lady said you don’t know until you try a few to figure it out. I then realized that I didn’t want to control my body with a pill every day and have never used birth control since. I wanted to keep my body natural and not control it with a foreign object or substance. I was also afraid of the hormones, weight gain and potential blood thinning and am so happy I never used anything. Side note: Ladies, don’t forget: No glove. No love!”
“My experience with birth control was awful. I got so many symptoms like nausea, swollen breasts (which looked GOOD because I’m naturally on the smaller side, but hurt so much so it wasn’t worth it), and even my personality changed. When I when off the pill I got sooo much acne from my hormones being all over the place. Overall it was a really bad experience for me.”
I really want to open up the comments to have a real conversation about something that’s still considered “taboo” or something no one really talks about. What are your experiences, good and/or bad with birth control? I want to hear about it! Leave a comment down below and let’s chat!
Photography by Karla Ticas
Jacket: Nanushka | Skirt: Nanushka