15 Women On Their Favorite Birth Control
My favorite birth control method is the diaphragm, but I want to give a major shoutout to the other many forms of birth control I’ve used over the years. The Pill. Condoms. The pull-out method. Thanks to you, ladies, I’ve been having intercourse for over half my life and have never been pregnant. Can we take a second to recognize how amazing that is?
November 13 marks the Power To Decide's Thanks, Birth Control Day — a day to celebrate — and support — birth control. In 2018, there are so many great options for preventing pregnancy. And while some people will fight to the death to defend their favorite birth control method — and malign the ones they don’t like — it's important about celebrating all of our options. What works for my body may not work for yours — and vice versa. For example, I’ve been using a diaphragm consistently for years now, to great results. My grandma, on the other hand, found that if she pooped while her diaphragm was in, it would pop out. She had three unplanned pregnancies — whoops.
So when you’re deciding which birth control method is best for you, be open to the idea that what works for you may be totally different from what works for your friends or even your family members. And maybe these 15 women — and other people with uteruses — sharing their favorite birth control method will expose you to something new.
1. Amy, 27
"My favorite birth control method is the Paraguard IUD. The reviews online do not do this contraption justice! I was really apprehensive before having it inserted because of the negative reviews, and I hope someone is a champion for the Paraguard IUD because it has been nothing but stress-free for me."
2. Dr. Elizabeth Trattner
"As a physician treating women for almost 30 years and a past volunteer of women’s reproductive clinics in the Midwest, I am a huge fan of diaphragms. They are non-toxic and safe. In fact, I have many conversations with patients about using either cervical caps or diaphragms for birth control. Many patients in my practice have immune system disorders or a history of female-based cancers where birth control pills, shots and implants are out of the question. I also am a big believer of allowing your cycle to ebb and flow the way it is supposed to be for the past thousands of years. There is a new diaphragm called Caya. It is easier to use, has a better contour of the interior of the female anatomy and insertion and removal are easier."
3. Lisa, 45
"I am a board certified OB/GYN and a 45-year-old mom of three boys. Professionally and personally, my favorite form of birth control is the Mirena IUD. I had one for about two years in between my second and third son and since the birth of my youngest son I have had two over 10 years. I am due for another, and even though my husband has a vasectomy, I have scheduled an appointment for my third. Placement was easy, I don’t have to think about it, and most importantly to me, my periods are non-existent or only spotting."
4. Joanna, 22
"I have always been so afraid of taking birth control out of fear that it would create fertility issues in the future. I tried taking the Pill in high school to help my cramps, but couldn't remember to take it every day. Two years ago I tried the NuvaRing, and I bled for over 50 days! For the last three months, I've been on the Ortho Evra (the patch!) and I absolutely love it. I wear it three weeks of the month, and on the "off week," I get my period.
For me personally, my period still lasts about seven to 10 days even with the patch, but it's way lighter, like so light that it's basically like spotting after the fourth or fifth day which is unheard of for me, so I really enjoy that change. I have pretty fair skin, so the color of the patch matches me, but I still wear it on my cheek under my panties so that it doesn't show.
Once I put it on each Sunday, I don't even have to think about it until my phone calendar reminds me to switch it. It's like a Band-Aid so it comes off super easy, and goes on just as quick. I don't hear a lot of my friends saying they've ever even tried it, but now I'm recommending it to everyone since it's so easy, especially for super busy young women like myself!"
5. Annie, 39
"I love my IUD — I've had multiple over my lifetime — largely because it is a set it and forget it situation. They last a long time (five to 10 years depending on the type), are very effective (no babies so far!) and I don't have to think about it on a daily basis."
6. June, 22
"I’ve been using the Pill since I was 18 and it’s dramatically increased my quality of life. For me, it’s not just about preventing an unwanted pregnancy. My acne is largely caused by my diet and a hormonal imbalance, but the Pill significantly decreases my breakouts. It also make my period cramps very manageable and I love being on a predictable period schedule. During the only four-month period when I was off the Pill, my breakouts and cramps were awful and my period was usually two or three days longer. I feel extremely lucky to have access to a pill that provides so many benefits for me."
7. Christine, 30
"I've had a Mirena IUD for eight years now (through being single, dating, and now into two years of marriage) and I absolutely love it. I was one of the lucky ones where insertion wasn't very painful (like a bad set of cramps, but not bad enough that I couldn't ride my bike to work afterwards), and since then, I haven't really thought about or worried about birth control at all.
A bonus is not getting periods, and not having to worry about those either! I initially got it because I was traveling and living overseas for long stretches of time, and couldn't get the pill prescribed for me for that long — and also was worried about being able to find tampons in countries in Southeast Asia."
8. Elizabeth, 42
"The form I like best is the Billings/Mucus Method, though I'm not using it at present (current relevant partner not down with it). After having it drummed into me as a teenager that it was a terrible form of birth control, I discovered that it's incredibly effective if done properly and by those with predictable cycles and clear physical signs. I'd love it if everyone were taught more about it as an option, and the things that can make it a good choice for some people."
9. Elliot, 32
"My favorite form of birth control is being sterilized. I had the surgery in Sept 2016 and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I still use condoms for STI protection, but knowing that accidental pregnancy is off the table relieves a huge amount of stress for me as someone who doesn’t want to give birth."
10. Kay, 35
"I have the Jaydess IUD and I love it. No periods, been on it almost two years, no PMT, no acne. It has 1/5 of the hormones that Mirena has. I’m extremely sensitive to all other forms of hormonal contraception to the point of actual insanity when I was on the combined pill. I was very hesitant to accept the Jaydess, even with the vastly reduced hormone level, but it’s worked perfectly for me."
11. R., 37
"My fave form of birth control is condoms. When used correctly, which I make sure to do, they have a pretty great track record and have been my primary form of BC since I became sexually active at 17. They also protect from STDs, of course, and involve no hormonal meddling, surgery, or other changes to my body. They can be added to other forms of BC to be extra careful, or can be mixed with more 'natural' types using body temperature and mucus. However I currently use them on their own as my BC method.
My current partner of 10 years is totally fine using them as he doesn't mind them, he doesn't want me to have to meddle with my hormones and all the side effects that entails, plus it helps him last longer. Sure it's slightly less spontaneous, but we have them stashed around the house, and there are lots of skin on skin things we can do aside from intercourse. I've only ever had one incident of failure in my life, after which I immediately got the morning after pill just to be safe, which wasn't that bad. I've never been pregnant or gotten an STD. I'm honestly surprised how few couples rely on condoms even when hormonal methods have caused lots of suffering to the woman."
12. Alex, 29
"My favorite method of contraception is my mini/progesterone only pill. I've been on it for a few years and I get a year's worth from the GP so I don't have to go back all the time. It suits me because it gets rid of my periods, and I'm good with routine so it's easy to take regularly (and notice if I've not taken it on time, so I know when to avoid sex or use condoms). I don't have any negative side effects, which I'm lucky with. It took some trial and error to find it (it's the third hormonal contraception I've tried since I was 16, and I settled on it when I was about 26. I'm now 29) but I'm really glad I did!"
13. Kayla, 30
"I've been taking the Pill since i was 16 and it always worked but even after 10 plus years I would still forget! I could even go a week or two if it wasn't in my direct line of sight every day then I'd find my packet and be like... Crap. Plus if I didn't re-up and ran out, I would go a while without birth control at all, hence my two pregnancies in college.
After I had my first son, I got an IUD and I didn't like it. I felt like I could feel it in my everyday and it made me and my partner uncomfortable. So last year, at age 29, I made a switch and got Nexplanon from Planned Parenthood. It only took a second for them to put in my arm and barely hurt. I don't have to remember a pill everyday and it lasts four years!
When my husband and I decided we wanted one more baby, I went back to Planned Parenthood and they took it out. Three weeks later, we find out were three weeks pregnant! I conceived within the first 24-hours of getting it out! I had my second son in August and got the Nexplanon put back in the same arm while I was still in the hospital postpartum.
I don't have to worry about birth control for another four years and if we change our minds and want to have another baby (which is a total no right now), I know my body can do it. I have no side effects and don't feel the weirdness I felt having it in my arm, as I did having the IUD in me. I've been taking birth control for 14 years and I finally found the perfect one for me."
14. Cassie, 24
"I have used every form of birth control out there, from the Nuva Ring, to the Nexplanon arm implant, to the Pill. I either bled incessantly or felt a rollercoaster of emotions and hormones. I had a hormonal IUD inserted two years ago. I have no period (like EVER) with my IUD and no scare of forgetting a dosage. I haven't had a baby, so the insertion was a bit difficult, but it was the best decision I've ever made. I know there's no 'one size fits all' birth control but it has changed my life."
15. Angela, 30
"I've tried birth control pills, the NuvaRing, and now that I recently gave birth for the first time, chose to get on the IUD. I got the 5-year one because I know we will be adding another baby to our family. I am so in love with it!I love that my periods are so much lighter now since having it and I don't have to worry about remembering to take a pill every day or popping a ring in and out. They say the IUD hurts when they first put it in, but I honestly didn't feel any pain. It could be because I had just given birth six months prior which is when they recommend you should have it done post delivery (to make it less painful)."
Whatever your favorite birth control method is, take a minute and say: Thank you. Thanks, birth control. You've made everything possible.