Everything You Need To Know About Birth Control Methods Most Used By College Women

Everything You Need To Know About Birth Control Methods Most Used By College Women

From the pill to IUDs, here's how college women are staying safe.

Finding the right birth control method for you is not as easy as it may seem. Judging from the numerous side effects, lack of accessibility and negative past experiences, only sixty percent of reproductive age women participate in safe sex.

Although not all birth control methods work the same for every woman, when used correctly, present-day contraceptives methods have proven to be very effective! Seventy-two percent of women who practice in safe sex report to using nonpermanent, hormonal, types of birth control.

The Pill is the most common type of birth control among never-married women in their teens and twenties10.7 million U.S., women used the oral contraceptive during 2006-2008.

Although the Pill has been the most commonly used birth control method since 1982, there are several hormonal (and non-hormonal) birth control methods that are available to you ladies! Options such as an IUD, a vaginal ring, the Patch, an implant, the Shot, good old condoms, and emergency contraceptives are among some of the most common birth control methods used by women ages 15-44.

Many hormonal birth control methods are often associated with side effects such as weight gain, changes in skin and ovulation cycles, as well as variations in mood swings and headaches. For example, the Pill might reduce acne in some women and worsen the skin quality in others. It takes time and effort to find the right match for you!

Women that report to using non-hormonal methods, such as the copper IUD, often complain of severe pain during insertion as well as continuous heavy bleeding and increased menstrual cramps during the first few months.

However, non-hormonal birth control methods are not all that bad! The copper IUD eliminates other side effects such as weight gain and blood clots, which are often associated with hormonal contraceptives. The copper IUD can also remain inside a woman for up to ten years and be used as an emergency contraceptive if inserted five days after unprotected sex.

Now that all the statistics have been laid out on the table, we talked to a few college women on their experience with various types of birth control methods!

1. The Pill

The Pill remains the most common method of birth control among women in their teens and twenties to this day. When going on the Pill, if you start the pack within the first five days of the start of your period, pregnancy protection begins right away. However, if you start at any other point in your menstrual cycle, pregnancy protection begins after seven days.

There are two types of birth control pills out there: combination pills and mini pills.

Combination pills contain two types of hormones, estrogen, and progestin. Whereas mini pills only contain the progestin hormone. The combination pill might not be the right fit for you if you are prone to headaches and nausea. The main difference between the two is that every pill within the mini pill pack is active — there are no placebo/ sugar pills.

"I've been on the Pill for about a year now and I've had no issues with it other than occasional breakouts here and there. It was really hard to get used to taking it at the same time every day, but once I got the hang of it it was relatively easy to keep track of. I set up daily alarms on my phone as reminders and have yet to miss a pill."

Although the Pill is the most common type of birth control, there are other options out there —NuvaRing being one of them!

2. NuvaRing

"My gynecologist suggested that I start using the NuvaRing the summer before my freshmen year of college. He explained that the ring is the size of a hair-tie and is not as weird or difficult to use as people often think. I was told to insert the ring vaginally and leave it in for three weeks. You take the ring out at the start of the fourth week, two days later you get your period. At the end of the fourth week, your period is done and you put in a new ring to start the process over. I haven't felt any negative side effects of using the ring and find it really easy to track. My periods are also so much lighter and I no longer get horrible stomach and back pains."

Many women, myself included, often fear the thought of using a vaginal contraceptive like the NuvaRing. Although it may work for some, being a college student that often forgets to sleep due to high stress and tightly packed schedule, changing out the Ring on time doesn't seem like a plausible idea.

This leaves many college women wondering what less time-consuming birth control options are available to them. The Shot is one of many.

3. The Shot

"After a couple years of being on the Pill, I realized it wasn't for me. I could never remember to take it at the same time each day and even when I set alarms as reminders, I would just instinctively turn them off and ignore them. When I told my doctor, she suggested I start getting the Depo Provera shot. Basically, its a shot of hormones that you get every three months. But alas, the Shot was not all glitz and glam. When I first got it, I legitimately had a thirty day period and even though it was light the entire time, it was still alarming. My gynecologist told me this was normal and that it will work itself out. When I got the second shot all was A-OK! I didn't get my period for the rest of the time I was on the Shot which was nice, however, it made me think I was pregnant all the time. I read articles online that said if you get too many of the Depo Provera shots it can affect your bone health so ultimately, I made the decision to stop. I'm back to using the Pill now. However, the scary thing is I have been off the shot for six months now and my period is yet to return to its normal cycle."

Yikes, that doe not sound too appealing! What if you're scared of shots and don't want to make a trip to your local health clinic every three months? The Implant might be the right fit for you.

4. Nexaplonon

Nexaplonon, a thin implant that goes in your arm for up to three years, is one of the most effective birth controls available. The implant is often correlated with light breakouts and ultimately the stop of a monthly period.

"I've had the Implant for over two years now. I've had no issues with this birth control up until now. The process of getting it inserted was a little painful. My doctor first gave me the numbing shot, which was the most painful part of the procedure, followed by the insertion of the implant. The whole procedure took a little over ten minutes to complete. I had a light period for the first week and a half. However, it stopped for the next two years. I have to get the implant out in the next three months and I've noticed the light, continuous spotting from week to week. I've had no issues with Nexaplonon other than the light spotting and occasional breakouts, and would highly recommend it to other women!"

However, just because one woman had a positive experience with a certain type of birth control doesn't mean everyone else will too.

We've heard a lot of horror stories about the implant, from terrible scarring to painful migraines, make sure to talk to your gynecologist about Nexaplonon being the right fit for you!

5. IUD

There are two types of IUDs on the market — copper IUDs and hormonal IUDs. The ParaGard IUD is non-hormonal, it's wrapped in a small amount of copper and protects you from pregnancy for up to twelve years. However, the hormonal IUDs use the hormone progestin to prevent unwanted pregnancies and can last anywhere from three to seven years.

"I decided to get an IUD the summer after my gap year. I got the copper non-hormonal IUD, just because I didn't want to deal with breakouts or possible weight gain. During the insertion, it felt as if I got my life's worth period cramps all at once. The IUD actually ended up falling out a few days later and I had to go in and get a replacement. However, I've had no problems with it ever since."

If you're thinking about getting an IUD, make sure to take ibuprofen to decrease possible pain an hour or so before your scheduled procedure!

6. Condoms

Although the Pill is the most commonly used hormonal birth control method among college-aged women, a higher percentage of women report to using condoms throughout their college career. Fifty-five percent of women in their teens and early twenties report to using condoms where as only thirty-five percent report to using the Pill.

Condoms are the only type of birth control that can protect you from getting at STD/STI from your partner! Although we have yet to meet a woman who prefers to use female condoms over the traditional male condoms ourselves, there are women out there that enjoy the protection and control that the female condom offers to them.

"Condoms were my primary method of birth control before I got the implant. I now use condoms if my partner and I are not exclusively seeing each other."

There are various condoms available on the market; some condoms come in different flavors and colors, while others are ribbed and promise to add extra stimulation to the receiving partner.

So, what if the condom breaks and you're not using any backup methods?

7. Plan B

Plan B, often referred to as "the morning after pill", is a pressed pill containing the levonorgestrel hormone that is often used as an emergency contraception method. The common misconception about Plan B is that if you take it too many times it will have a negative effect on your fertility in the long run. There are no safety concerns about using emergency contraceptive pills more than once. Plan B should be taken within 5 days of unprotected sex and can reduce the risk of pregnancy up to eighty nine percent, however it is more effective the sooner you take it!

"I've used Plan B twice in my life and have had no issues with it aside from minor side effects. I obviously wouldn't recommend using Plan B regularly, but I still think it is a good contraceptive option for when other contraceptive methods fail. The pill is easily-accessible — you can get it at CVS or if you don't want to pay the big bucks, sometimes your school health center will offer it for less. Once you take it, you will get VERY nauseous but it is critical that you don't throw up for a couple of hours. Aside from that, the only other side effects I had were an irregular period and mood swings. I think plan B is a great second option and I will absolutely take the minor side effects over an accidental pregnancy. That being said, I do have friends that have had horrible experiences with plan B: one of my friends ended up in the hospital after having a bad reaction to the pill."

That being said, relying on emergency contraceptives as your primary method of birth control is not as effective as using a birth control before or while having sex.

So there you have it — here is everything you need to know about the most commonly used birth control methods by college women!

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

I Am A Hopeless Romantic Living In A World Where One-Night Stands Are The Norm

It's the little things.


In today's society, it can certainly start to feel like no one takes love seriously anymore.

Whether it's that one couple who has broken up and gotten back together more times than you can count, the two friends-with-benefits no one can figure out, your local womanizer, or just hookups in general, love and lust are a huge part of specifically college life and culture.

As a hopeless romantic, being part of a generation that "just wants to have fun" can be really frustrating, especially when you just want to find something real. It is so easy for people to put on a fake act just to get what they want and sometimes this can be extremely hard to see through. I'm sure we've all had some kind of incident with someone who played nice but had ulterior motives and the sad truth is that it can be impossible to recognize a person's artificiality.

I am a hopeless romantic.

I have always classified myself as such, and it has remained true. Sure, I can make the most of the freedoms I have as a single college woman, but deep down I just want to find my person.

I've had my fair share of letdowns, and I think we all have, but being a hopeless romantic makes it that much more difficult to get past the "what ifs" and fantasies that come along with starting something with someone new. We may already have our hearts set on a person when they decide they've gotten what they wanted and leave.

For me, I find myself caught up in the little things that someone does. I have always been someone who picks up on small details in situations, and sometimes this works against me.

I pick up on the small facial expressions that he may not even realize he is making; the ones that tell you when their guard has been let down, even just for a split second.

I pick up on the way he sits our two cellphones side by side on the nightstand, taking care to line them up perfectly as if that's just their spot.

I pick up on the short moments of laughter where he actually lets himself laugh and forgets about the act.

I pick up on things, and sometimes I end up hurting because of it.

When it comes down to it, though, I wouldn't change the way that I am. I wouldn't change the fact that I find myself in the search for more in a society that mostly only offers me less.

The trait that tends to hurt me most is also the one that I value most. Even if noticing all the little things is something that contributes to my own heartache, I love those moments. There is something beautiful about those tiny things shared by two people, even if the connection ends there.

Sure, it can be hard. But so can everything.

It's just a matter of finding the beauty.

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5 Movie Sex Scenes That Would Never Go Down Like That In Real Life

There's a lot of time, scripts, makeup, and lights that are involved in these scenes that make them what they are, unlike the sex that happens in real life.

Dr King
Dr King

When I was a child, my idea of sex was confined to what I saw in the media — two people rolling around underneath the sheets of their bed. I didn't understand what was going on at the time until my parents had the birds and the bees talk with me, but still, sex was not something that was discussed regularly in any setting so I couldn't help but use the movies and television as my main source for sex education. When I was a teenager, I started watching rom-coms so my idea of sex expanded to a scenario where two people who loved each other effortlessly fall into a euphoric experience and then they live happily ever after.

Then something about the idea I had changed as I watched the series premiere of "Secret Life of the American Teenager," a popular teen drama from ABC family about a girl who struggles with being a mother in high school. One of the first and most memorable scenes of the show is when Amy Juergens talks to her best friends about what it was like to have sex for the first time. Her friends were ecstatic for her at first until she revealed her dismay, telling them "I didn't exactly realize what was happening until, like, after two seconds, and then it was just over. And it wasn't fun and definitely not like what you see in the movies, you know, all romantic and stuff."

I heard those words and was immediately taken aback. As a 13-year-old, sex wasn't on my mind much, but I couldn't help but hope that I could experience the magic I saw on screen. Then eight years later I have sex for the first time and I realized that what she said was right...not about the part about it not being fun, but more-so about the part that sex is not actually like what is depicted in the movies.

Here are five examples in movies that created unrealistic sex scenes for its viewers:

1. "Skyfall"

This steamy scene between Bond and Severine make shower sex look passionate and trouble-free, but do its expectations match reality? No. What they don't show you is the sting from the water getting into your eyes, the awkward positions your bodies have to accommodate with if there's a significant height difference between you and your partner and the fact that water is a terrible substitute for lube because it strips away the natural lubrication your genitals produce.

2. "No Strings Attached"

Sometimes there are those moments when you want to have sex, but you don't have that much time on your hands so you have to fit in a quick session before work in the morning, in between classes, or right before the kids come back home. Though Natalie Portman's "O" face is spot on, the main thing that makes her quickie with Ashton Kutcher's unrealistic is that she still manages to climax after 45 seconds without any kind of foreplay, lube, or toys involved. The female orgasm is still possible during a quickie, but in real life, there will still have to be creative measures involved so that enough stimulation outside of penetration is involved to get her warmed up.

3. "Fifty Shades of Grey"

As much as I enjoyed the playfulness behind Ana and Christian dipping ice cream on each other's bodies and licking it off each other, I couldn't help but roll my eyes at how over exaggerated it became. Yes, I understand that when something feels good, a moan or some type of vocalization will happen, but getting some kisses and licks on your thighs isn't going to have you arching your back like a demon going through an exorcism.

4. "Mr. & Mrs. Smith"

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's chemistry and passion in this scene is undeniable and it almost makes you want to start a fight with your partner just so you two can have some hot, angry sex just like them. Here's the problem though. They go from nearly killing each other to being boo'ed up like nothing happened. While angry sex can be a way for some couples to express emotions through adrenaline, it isn't the answer to our problems and shouldn't be a substitute for healthy communication.

5. "Titantic"

The moment in the movie when Kate Winslet's hand slams against the door of the car and drifts down as we stare at her steamy handprint and secretly wish we were sleeping with Leonardo DiCaprio will always be a classic. However, this scene is still a scam for those who hope car sex is as passionate and heartfelt as that. Truth be told, there's limited space to feel comfortable so leg cramps are inevitable and sliding against leather feels awful on your skin. To top things off, if you aren't careful enough, you may get caught by the police and ultimately have to register as a sex offender depending on your state's laws.

I truly hope for the day that sex in the media is represented in more of a realistic way, but until then, we just have to remember to take movies for what they are. Acting. There's a lot of time, scripts, makeup, and lights that are involved in these scenes that make them what they are, unlike the sex that happens in real life. As a matter of fact, sometimes sex isn't romantic. Sometimes it's not a fairy tale. There are times when it can be mind-blowing and other times when it's awkward, funny, or simply not what we expect. Do I appreciate fictional sex? Of course. But mainstream entertainment should also take the time to show us more than the sex we supposedly fantasize about and also show us sex that we can look at and see ourselves.

Dr King
Dr King

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