How To Find The Best Birth Control Option For You, No Matter What Your Lifestyle Is

How To Find The Best Birth Control Option For You, No Matter What Your Lifestyle Is

Pills and patches and rings, Oh My!
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With so many options and so much misinformation circulating when it comes to birth control, it can be hard to be sure you're making the right decision when it comes to choosing how to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

While any changes in birth control should be discussed with your doctor, there are some ways to educate yourself before your appointment to make sure the type of contraception you choose is best for your personal situation.

If you're in a committed, monogamous relationship:

As long as both partners have been tested for STI's and have come up clean, you can use a primary birth control method and don't have to worry about using condoms to prevent diseases.

Check out this website or stay tuned to this article to find out which primary form of birth control is best for you.

If you're treating another condition:

The pill is the most commonly used method of birth control used for treating other medical conditions: from painful periods to endometriosis to acne problems. Other hormonal methods can be used as well, so consult with your doctor to figure out which is best for you!

If you're casually hooking up with people:

Condoms are a must!

With new partners, especially during casual encounters when you don't know one another's sexual history, it's important to protect yourself not only from unintended pregnancy but also from sexually transmitted diseases. Use condoms and/or diaphragms during sex to keep yourself and your partner safe.

If you're planning on being on birth control for a long time:

Try the IUD or the implant! The ParaGard copper IUD lasts up to 10 years, the hormonal IUD lasts up to five years, and the implant lasts up to 3 years. They're all completely reversible at any time so you can still get pregnant if and when you choose to!

If you can't remember to take a pill every day:

Try a method that doesn't require a daily dose: IUD's, implants, patches, and shots only need to be taken care of every few weeks to many years at a time!

If you're trying to make sure someone won't find out:

Try the IUD! It's discrete and long-lasting so there's no worrying about making sure pills are concealed and patches aren't spotted. You should be able to reach the strings hanging past your cervix but even your partner might not be able to tell you have it in, much less someone else.

If you're on a budget:

Long-term birth control is the most cost-effective option in the long run as it doesn't need to be replaced more than once every 3-10 years, depending on the type. They can cost a lot up front but are more than worth it in the long run.

If you don't have insurance:

Try to find a health clinic in your area that offers free or low-cost contraceptives. Planned Parenthood can help out with financing birth control and some states offer grants that will cover the cost of long-term reversible birth control methods. Do your research and find some near you!

At the very least, you'll be able to get free condoms somewhere near you. Check out this nifty tool to find places nearby that offer free condoms, no questions asked!

If you don't want added hormones:

Try the copper IUD, ParaGard. The copper works as a sperm-repellant to prevent fertilization while not using hormones so you'll still experience normal menstrual changes, but your period may be crampier and last longer.

Condoms, sponges, cervical caps, spermicides, and diaphragms are other options for hormone-free birth control.

If you don't want to get your period:

Using the pill you can safely prevent your period for up to three months at a time by skipping the placebo week of pills and continually taking the regular ones. Be sure to ask your doctor to make sure that you won't suffer any unwanted side effects if you use the pill to skip periods.

Hormonal IUD's, the birth control shot, the implant (or rod), and the ring can also prevent periods but their effects vary from woman-to-woman so it might take some experimenting to discover which is the best method for your personal situation.

If something unexpected happens:

If the condom breaks or you forget to take a pill, you can take a Plan B pill or have a copper IUD inserted up to five days after unprotected sex. Their effectiveness varies based on a number of factors: from your BMI to how long you wait to get treatment after the unprotected sex takes place.

Some places you can get the morning after pill on the shelf and some other places you may have to ask at the pharmacy. They can be pretty pricey but the generic brand works just as well as the name brand.

Emergency contraception is a concentrated dose of hormones and should not be used as a regular form of birth control. Only take the morning after pill if you absolutely need to.

Emergency contraceptives do not cause abortions. Depending on the type, they either prevent fertilization of the egg or prevent the egg from implanting in the uterine lining.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

F*ck The Friendzone, You're Just Salty You Can't Sleep With Them

"Friend zone" only exists as a refuge for bitter, cock-blocked "pals" who couldn't smash.
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Ah, the friendzone, a land teeming with potential boyfriends, girlfriends, and various folk (unsuccessfully) searching for romantic partners in their friends. Nice Guy Syndrome™ runs rampant here, convincing each member of the friend zone that their refusal is due solely to the "bitch" in their love interest, coaxing them into only liking "bad guys" or deeming their friend "too intimidating" to date.

Have no fear, bud! Hundreds of serious tips and tricks exist to "escape" the friendzone, including altering your thoughts and/or actions to show how much of a "lovable person" you are, subtle flirting, and sensual touching (whatever that's supposed to mean).

This is all, however, bullshit, as the "friendzone" only exists as a refuge for bitter, cock-blocked "pals" who couldn't smash.

You see, in my twenty years of living, I have yet to hear somebody refer to the mystical friendzone with a positive connotation.

It's always:

"How can he NOT like me, we've been best friends for years! He shouldn't have led me on if he just wants to be friends."
"They just friend zoned me! There must be something wrong with them, how could they not want to date me?"
"I've been so nice to her, she owes me a date! What a bitch."

Never:

"I am a true friend, and respect their decision to decline my advances. Everybody has their own preferences, and it's okay if I don't meet theirs. I still appreciate their companionship, and hope nothing changes too seriously."

The problem here lies in the notion that all relationships lie in a tier system, and that moving "up" is a reward while remaining stagnant or moving "down" is a punishment. The friendzone implies that being in a platonic friendship where romantic and sexual attraction are both lacking on one party's side while existing on the other's, is borderline abuse to the person being kept from advancing up the tier.

If the ultimate goal is the combination of a healthy romantic and sexual relationship, typically what we consider when we think of having a significant other, then being trapped in the "friendzone" inhibits us from achieving this.

But, what are we really missing when we're cornered in the friendzone? After all, a healthy "significant other" type of relationship is said to exist most easily when the folks involved are already best friends, or quickly become them. The only significant change between the relationship of "friends" and "significant others" is the addition of a sexual or otherwise intimate component.

Therefore, if you've been friendzoned, there's a couple of things that may have contributed.

You may not be as close to this person as you think. Remember, it's called the "friendzone," not the "person-I-just-met-who's-creepily-asking-me-out zone." If this is the case, the individual you've approached has every right to deny your advances without your complaints of yet again being rejected.

Your romantic/sexual interest may not harbor the same feelings and attractions for you. Every person has their own preferences, and permitted these preferences are all legal and moral, every person has the right to pursue or abstain from entering a relationship, especially if they aren't romantically or sexually attracted to another individual. If this is the case, you're just salty because you can't sleep with them, and that says far more about you than the person who turned you down.

Life is not a romantic comedy. You are not guaranteed a relationship with somebody simply because you're friends, regardless of how long the friendship has existed. Quit complaining of being "trapped" in the non-existent friendzone simply because you can't sleep with somebody.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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10 Facts Every Woman Should Know, And Love, About Her Vagina

Because health class just didn't cut it.
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Basically, the only things you learn in health are one—don't have sex, two—it bleeds, and three—yes, you can carry a baby. That’s it.

For some reason, vaginas are a pretty taboo conversation in most cases, but as women (and men and human beings) it’s important to know about our bodies and all the cool things they can do (besides grow life, which is cool, but you know that).

1. Your vagina self-cleans

That’s right ladies, no need to use soap up in there, or a douche. Most doctors recommend that you don’t use any soaps or anything with fragrance, even if they’re labeled for vaginal use.

Harsh soaps can disrupt the natural pH balance of your vagina and cause more harm than good. To clean itself, women experience discharge which can occur before or after a period and is normally clear, whitish, sticky, thick and odorless. If your discharge is yellow, green, has an odor or is itchy, call your doctor ASAP, it could be a sign of an infection!

2. Your vagina is smart—it will let you know if something is wrong.

Look out for itching, irritation, bloody discharge any funky smells or anything that seems or feels different. But this is not an excuse to skip out on your annuals (bummer, I know) just because you aren’t actively having symptoms of something, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get routine care and check-ups!

3. Other than abstinence, implants and IUDs are the most effective forms of reversible birth control.

Both implants and IUDs are long-term and reversible forms of contraception, and both are over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics recently recommended both options as the best choices for teenagers as a way to prevent pregnancy.

The implant is a matchstick-sized rod that a doctor has to insert into your arm. It releases the hormone progestin, which prevents ovulation and thickens your cervical mucus, making it less hospitable to sperm. It can last up to three years.

The IUD is a T-shaped device that a doctor inserts directly into your uterus. There are hormonal IUDs, and there is a non-hormonal copper version. IUDs can last for 3 to 12 years, depending on the type.

Worth noting: The implant and IUD do not protect against any STDs.

4. The vagina is tilted at roughly a 130-degree angle, this is why you have to insert tampons by aiming them at your back.

It’s pretty interesting to know why we do things, but any healthy provider will tell you that this can change with time, causing women to change the angles in which they insert tampons.

5. People get stuff stuck in their Vaginas, actually often… BUT you can’t actually lose anything up there (phew).


Statistically, women get tampons and condoms stuck up there and they can be hard to retrieve. So, if you get something stuck up there and you can’t retrieve…whatever it is…from the lady parts you can absolutely go to the doctor. And you should, in gynecology, they’ve seen it all and they won’t judge. Plus, getting help is better than getting hurt!

6. Your fallopian tubes are 4-5 inches long.


And only about .5 cm in diameter. Inside them, are papillae or little hairs that help move eggs through them.

7. A doctor once removed a potato that started sprouting vines out of a patient’s vagina.


The patient told the doctor her mother said it would prevent pregnancy. In that case, mother didn't always know best.

Apparently, you can grow a potato in your vagina, I wouldn’t recommend it though (obvious reasons).

8. Vaginas (and vulvas) come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

There's no such thing as a "normal" vagina in terms of appearance so you just embrace your lady parts because they are just as unique as you are!

9. Your menstrual blood could help patients suffering from heart failure.

An ERC (endometrial regenerative cells) congestive heart failure phase II clinical trial is currently testing the safety of the ERC, or "stem cells," to treat congestive heart failure patients. Stem cells are extracted from the blood and then grown in culture to generate different types of cells in the body.

In this case, the stem cells are made into muscle cells of the heart, for reparative purposes in these patients. This is an experimental foreign study and is not something that is being done routinely, but yes, it could help patients suffering from heart failure.

10. Vaginas are epic (duh!)



Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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