Wellness 12th May 2015 by Rosemary Mac Cabe
My Contraception And Me: Three Women Explain Their Choices
What's your contraceptive drug of choice? We asked three women what they use.
Rhona, 30, works in admin
“I just use condoms. I say just, but, I think they’re pretty safe – and we’re very careful. I’ve been with my boyfriend for over a year, but I don’t want to get pregnant any time soon, and neither does he.
“I’ve tried a load of different contraceptions – I was on the Pill (loads of Pills!) a couple of times; I tried the injection; I had the coil. But I’ve suffered, on and off, with depression and anxiety for about three years now and I decided I wanted to have my body as hormone-free as possible or, at least, just natural hormones!
“When I was a teenager, I was on Dianette to help with acne I had on my back. They say that’s super strong, but I don’t remember any adverse reactions; I was probably just dead excited to be so grown up. When my back cleared up, my doctor suggested changing Pills. I’ve been on Yasmin, Microlite… probably more that I can’t remember the names of. In my 20s I just found they made me super moody and decreased my sex drive – and to be honest I was terrible at remembering to take them.
“The injection was my least favourite – I put on half a stone and had no periods whatsoever. I think I took about 10 pregnancy tests! It took ages for my periods to come back, too, which was really disconcerting.
“The coil was my favourite, and is one I’ll go back to, but I’m planning on trying the copper coil, which doesn’t contain any hormones. Having it inserted is a bit, ugh, but once it’s in you don’t feel it, and it lasts a few years which is amazing. I still got periods, but they were much lighter, and there was no PMS, no sore boobs, no cramping. It seems like the miracle contraceptive!”
Lizzie, 29, works in social media
“I’ve been on the Pill since I was about 13 – about a year after I started getting periods. I have endometriosis, which I only discovered in the last few years, but it explained why I was getting seriously heavy periods, severe cramping, vomiting… basically, agony.
“My doctor put me on the Pill to lessen my symptoms – and it did! I do worry when I hear people talking about how it can impact your system if you’re on it for too long, but then I think about what I felt like beforehand, and the risk is worth it. I couldn’t function if I wasn’t on the Pill; I’d be taking a week off work every month.
“Anyway, I asked my doctor and she said there’s actually more harm going on and off the Pill, which totally upsets your hormonal balance… I’m sure other doctors would say different things, but that was her 2 cents.
“I’m really good at remembering to take it, probably because I’ve been on it for so long, but it’s just like brushing my teeth at this stage. When I’m on holidays, especially if I’m in a different time zone, I set an alarm. I’ve never missed more than one tablet, but I’d hate if I missed two and ended up with terrible cramping and agony while I was on my holidays!
“I’m not thinking about kids yet, but I do wonder about that – what if it takes me months to get pregnant, and I’m off the Pill and having agonising periods? It’s a bit terrifying, but I don’t see any other options.”
Lisa, 26, is a nurse
“I actually don’t use any form of contraception; we use the withdrawal method, and we don’t have sex when I’m in my fertile period. I use an app called Period Tracker, and it tells me when I’m ovulating. So far it’s been pretty reliable!
“I’ve been with my boyfriend for just over a year, which isn’t very long, but we live together and so I guess it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I got pregnant. Maybe you’d have to ask him!
“I’ve been on contraception before – the Pill, and I had Implanon, the implant – but I just found it expensive, and I worry about what it’s doing to my body. Now I get regular periods, and I get a bit of PMS and cramping, and my boobs get sore… But at least I’m reminded that it’s all working.
“I know a lot of people say what we’re doing is really risky and unreliable, but so far, so lucky – and if there’s a time when he forgets to withdraw or we do it in a risky timeframe, which has only ever happened twice and both times there was drink involved, I take the morning after pill. No big deal.”
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