If you’ve ever longed for a quick end to a party conversation, I’ve got it for you: Announce, loud and proud, “I use birth control.”
Radical, isn’t it?
Okay, so maybe this tactic won’t be a showstopper for everyone, but in recent years, I’ve discovered the power behind those four words.
You see, I’m a woman and it’s widely known in my social circle that I only date women. Among other bragging points, I have the luxury of never having to worry about impregnating someone. So, why is it that I pop a birth control pill every night before bed?
Where do I begin?
Let’s Start With the Headaches
Image via Flickr by xlordashx
Like 29.5 million other Americans, I struggle with migraines. And it hits me like clockwork right around my period. Which means that it inevitably hits my girlfriend through my irritability and utter lack of motivation to do anything.
Now if you haven’t ever suffered the wrath of a migraine, this may seem like a minor inconvenience. It isn’t. These are out-for-the-day headaches. These are writhing-in-pain headaches. These are vomit-inducing, flashing-lights, throbbing-head headaches.
Yet I plugged through them until my late twenties, thinking there was nothing I could do but grin and suffer. Fortunately, that’s when this magical solution was brought to my attention: contraceptive pills.
Those hormones swarming through us gals and the physical and chemical processes that are necessary to keep producing them, all have a striking impact on our bodies. For many women, the sudden drop of estrogen right before a period can induce terrible headaches.
Since the birth control pill is comprised of similar hormones, they can do wonders for your migraines. In essence, this influx of hormones from the Pill turn off the normal menstrual cycle, including the natural fall in estrogen, so that premenstrual migraine is eliminated or reduced.
And Don’t Forget the Acne
By now, it seems that I should be free and clear of acne breakouts, right? Wrong.
Those same hormones that cause unbearable headaches also leave me suffering from acne every month. And while this isn’t a make-or-break situation on the home front, it certainly didn’t hurt when I put an end to those days reminiscent of adolescence.
Acne makes its ugly appearance courtesy of an excess production of sebum. Sebum is an oil produced by glands in your skin. Along with skin cells, sebum can clog pores and encourage the growth of bacteria that aid in the development of acne. Androgens stimulate your skin to produce sebum. Higher levels of androgens can result in excess sebum.
A woman’s ovaries and adrenal glands usually create minimal androgens. Consuming birth control pills that contain both estrogen and progesterone lowers the amount of androgens in your body. This results in less sebum and less severe acne. Hello, clear skin!
Or… Aunt Flo
Being a woman is easy. Said no one. Ever.
Though it may seem cruel, many of us not only contend with the regular PMS symptoms, we also are hit with a wonky period.
This can mean different things for different people, yet one constant remains: It makes at least one week out of every month absolutely miserable. For anyone near and dear, it also tends to make their lives miserable.
Don’t know which pill to choose? No problem! Nurx can help you decide on the right brand and type of birth control to help combat your heavy periods and accompanying PMS symptoms.
Now let’s talk a bit about another doozy that can be helped with birth control: Endometriosis.
Endometriosis hits approximately 11 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 44 and can begin showing its ugly face as early as at the onset of menstruation.
Now, here’s where I take a sharp turn left. Birth control pills are a viable option for women who have endometriosis; however, it’s not the only birth control option. I promised to write about how birth control saved my relationship and when it comes to this component, it’s time to spotlight my leading lady.
She has suffered from the condition since adolescence, and it hasn’t made for a happy person. When she started researching treatment options, it was a few years before a 2017 study found that progestin-only pills were a great way to go.
Instead of opting for The Pill, she turned to Depo-Provera, a birth control method that relies on injections instead of pills. After several years, my girlfriend swears she has no intention of missing a dose. She credits the birth control option with saving her sanity — and all of her relationships.
A Daily Dose of Precaution Is Always Helpful, Too
If you’re anything like me, you probably don’t give much thought to your body until something alarming, painful, or worrisome happens to it.
That said, there’s one area I’ve studied up on plenty despite having no personal history of problems — and that’s the internal workings of my reproductive organs. Cancer is a close bedmate in my family, especially all those types that typically haunt women. While birth control doesn’t alleviate the risks of all these types of cancer, they’ve been shown to help reduce the risk of two: ovarian and uterine.
If you’ve stuck with me this long, you likely understand that I’m a huge proponent of birth control for many reasons. What you may not realize, though, is that I’m an even bigger proponent of Nurx. If you’d like to secure yourself a continuous supply of contraceptive pills at an affordable price and with effortless delivery, visit Nurx today.
Nurx is a free platform offering easy online access to doctors and seamless delivery of medications. No more time-consuming trips to the clinic and no more frantic pharmacy runs. We put you in control of your own health, empowering you to get the care you need, when you need it. Starting with birth control and PrEP for HIV prevention, Nurx is available in 21 states and counting. From diagnosis to delivery of prescriptions, we make every part of getting healthy and staying healthy, better.
For more information and to signup, visit www.nurx.com and follow us @nurxapp on Twitter and Instagram.