I Used To Think Hormones Didn't Matter Until They Ruined My Life

I Used To Think Hormones Didn't Matter Until They Ruined My Life

Hormones have spent five years ruining my life but now I'm using them to get my life back.


I've never been one of those girls that used "Sorry, I'm on my period" as an excuse for my behavior. I've always thought that saying that didn't make sense, that I should be in control of myself and my actions at all times and that blaming it on my hormones was an irresponsible cop-out.

Then, one day in high school, I woke up at a sleepover in excruciating pain, worse than any I'd ever had before in my life. After months of doctors visits, ultrasounds and CT scans, and even surgery, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal condition that affects 5 to 10 percent of women worldwide.

My body's hormonal imbalance was causing me terrible symptoms: pain, mood swings, acne, irregular cycles, stress, and so much more. The doctor that ultimately diagnosed me was Catholic and anti-abortion and told me "Birth control would help manage your pain but I don't prescribe it." That was the moment that I truly felt hopelessness and devastation.

Right before I left for college, I decided to take my medical fate into my own hands. I went to a different doctor and was given an IUD. It worked great for a few months and then my body rejected it. I got a new one and it rejected again. A last-ditch third effort was also rejected and then it was time to attempt another method.

I spent six months on the shot, which left me feeling amazing for a few weeks right after I was given a major dose of hormones but made me miserable for about six weeks after that when the hormones started wearing off while I waited for my next batch.

Now, finally, I'm on the pill, which generally has been a great choice for me personally. There are still some days that I feel down. I still get bad acne and headaches and a plethora of other symptoms that are influenced by hormones but generally, I'm much happier and healthier now.

Hormones are fascinating. They control everything in our bodies and even the slightest imbalance can have dramatic effects and leave you feeling miserable. It's a great scientific achievement that we have medications such as birth control that we can use to manipulate hormone levels and their effects but this technology still has so far to go before it's perfect.

Now I know how important hormones truly are and how great their effects can be on every aspect of my day-to-day life. I'll still never say "Sorry, I'm on my period" but I'm a lot more comfortable now recognizing when I'm having a bad day or if I'm having physical symptoms like acne, pain, and headaches.

Hormones have spent five years ruining my life but now I'm using them to get my life back.

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

10 Things Every Couple Must Complete On Their Bucket List Before They Die

If you're interested in doing sexual things that are more outside of the box, here's an intricate list of things every couple should check off their sexual bucket list before they die.

Dr King
Dr King

In my personal experience, I noticed that conversations centered around sexual exploration are talked about in terms of what we've already done. Countless times I've played the game "Never Have I Ever" to break the ice and find out what other people have done. Even then people mostly want to know who has done butt stuff, who have had threesomes, and who has hooked up with a certain amount of people already. However, we rarely talk about all the sexual things we'd like to embark in and even when we do, it's usually kind of basic or standard.

If you're interested in doing sexual things that are more outside of the box, here's an intricate list of things every couple should check off their sexual bucket list before they die.

1. Use weed lube

Foria Pleasure's enhancement product made of cannabis oil and coconut oil provides women with mind-blowing and longer lasting orgasms. The increasing popularity of the product has gotten featured on Cosmo, PopSugar, and VICE.

2. Have a sex marathon at the Secluded Intown Treehouse Airbnb

This Airbnb in Atlanta is the #1 most-wished listing worldwide and makes for gorgeous scenery considering you're surrounded by nature. The bed is centered directly in front of the best view of its lush woods so it would be insane not to use that to your advantage and have a marathon sex session to become one with your partner and the environment.

3. Kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower

What's sex without a little romance as well? If you can afford a romantic getaway to Paris which is arguably the most romantic city in the world, make sure to kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower as a mechanism for emotional foreplay.

4. Join the Mile High Club

If you're up for something daring, have sex with your partner while you're both on a plane. One of you can head straight there as the other follows about five minutes later. Then one of you can bend the other over the sink and keep going until you're both finished. To eliminate the risk of looking too suspicious, I would at least encourage for this to be done while most people are sleeping so that people aren't wondering why the bathroom is being occupied for so long.

5. Attend a sex party

This doesn't necessarily mean you have to partake in the festivities but it's worth checking out. What happens at sex parties vary but to my understanding, it's a social gathering where couples hang out or engage in whatever sexual activities they desire as long as consent is given by whichever parties are involved. Usually, these parties are hosted at people's homes or in hotel rooms at conventions.

6. Bang against your partner's desk at their corporate job

It's a thrilling fantasy to be bent over by your partner against their desk at their fancy executive job where they have to be professional toward others on the outside but all kinds of nasty with you behind closed doors. If your partner has a job as a general manager, data analyst, consultant, accountant, corporate controller, etc then this activity is perfect for you!

7. Have a sex marathon in a snow cabin

If you're looking for a baecation at a snow cabin during the winter, here a few Airbnbs to consider. Just don't forget to have some everlasting sex sessions while you're there.

8. Play "hide and go seek" in public

This isn't inherently sexual, but if you wanted to test the waters and see how creative you can get, you could go on a picnic in the park first. Then leave trackers—whether that be bread on the ground that the ducks can eventually eat or turn on your bitmoji's location on Snapchat to have your partner find you. Then when they finally meet up with you, you both can celebrate by having sex at your final destination.

9. Bang at a sex dungeon

In Chicago, there are some of the best underground sex dungeons to fulfill the deepest fantasies of those in the kink community. There are multiple playrooms that provide all the types of bondage accessories and plays you can think of.

10. Have a baecation at Desire Couples Resort

Embrace your adventurous side and indulge in an all-inclusive, clothing optional couples resort located on the glorious beaches of Cancun. This place is tailored toward couples who are apart of the swingers lifestyle but everyone is welcome to explore. Public sexual activity is permitted in some areas of the resort so it could be a great opportunity for the two of you to try things you've never even thought of before.

Dr King
Dr King

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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!

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