To All the Birth Control I've Loved Before: A Look Back at All the Birth Control I've Tried Over the Last Decade

Uteruses before duderuses, amirite?! 

I’ve tried a plethora of different types of birth control over the years. From pills to rings and implants to coils, I’ve tried almost everything. I’ve mostly been on birth control, not as a way to deter having children, but to regulate my hormones. Hormones are no joke. I’ve been on birth control to help my skin, my cramps, and more (so fun)!

My early 20s was a time of birth control experimentation to find something that really worked for me. While I know we’re all different, here are my personal experiences with all the birth control I’ve tried over the years. 

The Pill 

Ah, the pill. My first foray into the world of hormonal contraception. I started the pill at 16 as a way to regulate my periods (they had a mind of their own and lasted for at least 10 days). Also, my cramps were next level. Having been prescribed Naproxen but still having pain, the pill seemed like a great way to kick my uterus into gear. And, for a while, it was! The only problem I had with the pill was that I had to remember to take it every day, which honestly, I just wasn’t good at. I stayed on the pill for the better part of 4 years, before realising that I had other options! 

Overall, I would give my first experience on the pill a 6/10. While this is mostly due to no fault of its own (it’s not its fault I couldn’t remember to take it), it’s also due to the fact that TWO pills I was on were discontinued, which was annoying. Every time I started a new pill I had no idea how my body was going to react to it and having to go through this time and time again, I was unimpressed. 

NuvaRing 

Possibly one of the best options, but honestly like with the pill, I would never remember to go get another ring in time for my next cycle. Also, I wasn’t in love with the idea of something living in me for three weeks at a time. And, allegedly, some women’s partners can feel the ring during penetration. 

Physically, I felt fine while on NuvaRing, I still had some cramping and my skin wasn’t perfect, but this option was fine enough. Personal choice, really! My score would be 7/10 because honestly I can’t fault it at all, it was just my personal preference!

Hormonal IUD (The Coil) 

 I stopped using NuvaRing and switched to an IUD because I was going travelling and didn’t want to have to follow a birth control regimen to keep my periods under control. I loved my IUD. For 2 years, it was the beeest. Unfortunately, after two years it had begun to migrate in my cervix and needed to be removed to avoid perforating the uterine wall, or whatever. I was very sad to see it go, but a little relieved because it had begun to cause me some cramping (ok fine, I had cramps every single day & it was really annoying, but for two years prior it was perfect). 

Getting the IUD was awful, but within a few hours it was manageable pain and after a few days I had no pain at all. I went on to have no periods or symptoms for two years. Talk about a dream! Having the IUD removed was uncomfortable, but honestly fine. 

Overall, I’d rate it 9.5/10. Docked 0.5 because of it moving and having to come out before its time (sad). 

The Implant

By far the worst experience I’ve ever had with birth control was with the implant. Within the first two weeks of getting the implant, I gained 15 pounds. I hadn’t changed my diet and hadn’t changed the frequency of my workouts. The only thing that had changed was this horrible little matchstick in my arm. 

About 6 months in, I started to bleed all. the. time. It was the perma-period of nightmares. While it was easy to get an appointment to get my IUD out (because that moving more could be dangerous), it was near impossible for me to get an appointment to get the implant out. Apparently painful cystic acne, mood swings and a never-ending period aren’t claus enough to have your implant removed. Eventually, my doctor called the sexual health clinic and got me an appointment to have it removed. It took 4 months for me to finally get it out. 

Overall, I’d rate my experience with this birth control 2/10. 1 point for being effective, 1 point because it was hilarious to push it around in my arm and freak my husband out. 

Now 

I’ve been back on the pill for almost two years, now. I’m on Lucette (which is the non-branded version of Yasmin. I have no complaints! My skin is the best it’s ever been, my periods are hella light and regular and I barely have any cramping at all. I’m also mature enough now that I can handle taking a pill every day at the same time. I’d rate the pill this time around as 9/10. Docked a point because, while I remember to, it’s still annoying to have to remember to do something every day!