When it comes to taking charge of your reproductive health, knowledge is power. That's why actor, musician, and producer Ashley Tisdale joined the "Women Who Know" campaign to encourage people to become informed about their contraceptive options. As anyone who's explored the world of contraception knows, there are a lot of choices to prevent unwanted pregnancies. And while that's a good thing, finding the one that is best for you can be hella overwhelming. To help make things a little easier, Tisdale partnered with Allergan, the makers of hormonal birth control Lo Loestrin Fe.
"If you are trying to prevent pregnancy, whether it's for travel or work or education or you're just not ready to expand your family, there are options out there and it's important to talk to your health care provider about the best option for you," Tisdale tells Bustle. "Right now, in this day and age, it's important to have those options."
The campaign includes a video from Tisdale explaining the importance of knowing your reproductive options, creating a discussion guide for having a conversation with your doctor, videos and tips on social media, and information about the benefits and risks of hormonal birth control. Tisdale is shedding light on a topic that's vital to the health and wellness of people with uteruses, especially in an era when reproductive rights are under threat.
According to a survey from the Urban Institute, an organization dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy, only 31% of women ages 18-44 are aware of birth control options other than condoms and hormonal birth control pills.
What's more, in today's health care climate, doctors have less time than ever before to spend with their patients. This is why it's more important than ever to be your own advocate when it comes to managing your reproductive health. This means going in armed with as much information as possible about your reproductive goals and medical history so you and your doctor can make a choice that's best for you.
Tisdale says that when she was younger, she didn't feel confident having these types of conversations with her doctor, and she wants to encourage other young people to speak up. "I think all of us go through that journey where you're a little embarrassed, where talking about your period is not something that you're comfortable with," she says. "When I was younger, I never had that conversation with my doctor. [Now], whenever I'm doing anything with my body, I always ask a lot of questions to find out every single thing. Hopefully [my] having this conversation inspires women to have conversations with their healthcare providers."
Being aware of your options and talking with your doctor can help prevent an unwanted pregnancy. The Urban Institute survey reported that having contraception options allows users to take better care of themselves and their families and also makes is easier for them to continue their educations, keep their jobs, and support themselves financially.
This is why Tisdale is encouraging people to initiate conversations with their doctors to take charge of their futures. If you're just getting started, Planned Parenthood has plenty of information available about all of your contraception options, including a quiz that can help you decide which method of contraception is right for you. And know that no conversation about reproductive health should be taboo. #TheMoreYouKnow