16.2.20

One Girl, One Year, Four Contraceptives

This post is something very different from what I usually talk about on this blog, but after going through an absolute journey with contraception this year I thought it would be helpful to break down the journey it took to finally find the perfect most acceptable form of contraception for me.
Obv I am no doctor, or even slightly medical minded so everything in this post is personal opinion. Contraception is very different to every person so what has worked and hasn't worked for me may be very different for you.

1. The Pill - Rigevidon
I've taken the pill on and off since I was 18, when I became sexually active and it was probably one of the least problematic contraceptives I tried. The main issues I had with it were; mood swings (especially concerning a lack of sex drive) which made me a bit of a nightmare to actually be in a relationship with.  Forgetting to to actually take the pill regularly, and then having that pre-period monthly pregnancy panic (peter piper picked a peck of pickled petter who?). Then bizarrely the pill I was on contained lactose and I'm actually lactose intolerant so I found the pill made my skin irritated and spotty. The only lactose I'm willing to sacrifice my skin for is cheese, so thats when I decided the pill had to go.

2. The Patch
I made the decision to try the patch as it remedied one of my main pill concerns, I was less likely to forget it. Just a simple plaster hidden on the skin which stopped me having a child, simple right? Wrong. The patch itched like hell, I felt like I was constantly scratching and since I'd put it on my thigh it was so difficult to itch without looking... creepy? Second of all as the patch has to last for a week on your skin (you change them weekly, every three weeks and then take a break week for your period) and I was constantly paranoid that it would fall off whenever I exfoliated or moisturised post shower. Additionally I felt like because it wasn't an ingested pill or injected implant I just felt like it wasn't really doing enough to prevent pregnancy, which was completely just a problem in my own head. Anyway, I decided to try something new...
3. The Implant
Or as I like to refer to it, the devil stick. This was the worst contraception for me. Literally no positive side effects, apart from the fact I don't have a baby. I had the most intense mood swings, I was so anxious and I cried. all. the. time. The actual procedure to get it fitted was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, I hate needles so was pretty nervy but the nurse was incredible at calming me and gave me numbing cream which meant I didn't feel a thing. However, it got so bad that three months in my best friend had to intervene and force me to make an appointment to get it out (a scalpel to the skin to remove it is not ideal, when you're a massive wimp) I was however rewarded with a takeaway of choice and eventually FAR less mood swings, so now I'm only moody when I'm hangry or sleepy. It's important to note here though that much the same as any of the other previously mentioned contraceptives I have friends who have never had an issue with the implant and its worked perfectly for them, so don't be too put off by my personal experience.

4. The Copper Coil
So far, so incredibly good. My hero. I got the copper coil about 3 months ago and I love it. The process to get it in was a little bit scary and my description is probs going to be the most ick part of this whole post, so you've been warned... But before I got the coil I was asking all my friends about the ins and outs of the procedure so I was fully prepared so thought writing about it would be helpful. I got to the room where to procedure took place and attempted pregnancy test first of all, but couldn't pee because I was nervous so that was a great start! Next up I had to put my legs up in stirrups while the nurse felt her way around to figure out where to insert the coil, then a numbing solution was squirted inside me which felt pretty weird. Then a metal clamp, a speculum, was used to gain better access into my vagina for coil insertion. As I was numbed I couldn't really feel anything up until now which was a huge relief, however as soon as the coil was fitted I had an immediate cramping pain much like a standard period cramp. After insertion I stayed laid down for a while so I didn't faint then dressed normally and was ready to go, I did have to wear a pad as there was a little bit of spotting for the next day or two and there were pretty bad cramps for a few days as well. I would really recommend taking Nurofen before and after the procedure as it massively helped with any pain, I also used a hot water bottle on my stomach for relief. Since insertion I have to regularly check for two strings which are attached to the coil to insure its still in position and effective, these strings are neatly hidden inside my vagina. So the aftermath has been pretty fantastic, as there are no additional hormones added into the body with the copper coil my mood has been significantly improved with no emotional side effects which was a huge relief and definitely worth any short term discomfort. The only negative from the copper coil in my personal experience are periods, which I have found to be more painful, last longer and be more bloody however nurofen really helps with this and the side effects are easily managed, far more so than previous ones which effected my emotions.

I hope this post helps to inform some girls on the different contraceptive methods available, or even educate guys on how much of a stress contraceptives can be. Its always healthy to discuss with your partner which contraceptives you are using and how they make you feel so you're properly supported and can make more educated decisions. I've been lucky enough over the years to have very supportive and interested partners who have listened and helped me with any contraceptive concerns which really helped, especially when side effects changed my moods drastically. If anyone has any further questions feel free to drop me a message and as previously stated I have no medical experience and all observations are just personal experience.

Thanks for Reading!

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