Mythbusting

Birth control isn't just a contraceptive

Mythbusting

When most people find out I’m taking birth control, they say something like “Oh who are you sleeping with?” But, birth control isn’t just about preventing a baby.

Birth control can also help regulate a girl’s menstrual cycle, alleviate acne and other menstrual symptoms and correct hormonal imbalances. And no, this isn’t going to be all about womanly things, but I think everyone should be aware of how birth control works and how it affects women so we can put an end to the stigma that it’s just for preventing pregnancy.

Yes, as a contraceptive birth control can help prevent having a kid, and if that’s why someone is taking the pill, getting the shot, NuvaRing or even the Intrauterine Device (IUD), then that’s up to them. I’m about to be 16, so I don’t plan on using birth control for that reason anytime soon. I just believe that any woman at any age can use birth control if they so choose, no matter the reason.

According to Planned Parenthood, the birth control pill is a safe and simple way to prevent pregnancy, but can also be used to reduce acne, make periods lighter and more regular and ease menstrual cramps. I can 100 percent support what Planned Parenthood has to say because this is why I take birth control.

I’ve been taking the pill for about four months now and it has changed my life. I first started to have problems when I was on my period in eighth grade. It was about four in the morning and I had woken up with the worst cramps. They were so bad I had gotten sick. I took medicine but it just wasn’t working.

After that morning I still had such bad cramps that I had to take Ibuprofen every four hours. It got to a point where I couldn’t get out of bed and it drained so much energy out of me. The only time I would eat was when I’d just eat something little to take with the medicine.

In August, my family started talking about putting me on the pill. Then, when I finally went to talk to the doctor and explained what I have been going through and how heavy my flow was, she didn’t hesitate to put me on some type of birth control. She talked to me about all of my options and I just told her I’d just take the pill so she found the best one for me.

I am not the only one who feels this way. Other females who take birth control have the same problem when it comes to people finding out they’re on birth control too. According to the American University chapter in “The Stigmas of Birth Control” on Her Campus, an online magazine with articles published by collegiate female contributors across nine countries, the stigma around birth control has led to slut-shaming and people thinking differently of women who choose to go on birth control, no matter their reasoning. The author says telling people she had started birth control resulted in “strange, twisted expressions.” The stigma exists and makes itself known because of a lack of education on the benefits of birth control other than preventing pregnancy.

Birth control has affected me in all positive ways. So, I hope more people can realize birth control isn’t just about having sex and needing another forms of protection. It helps girls who have terrible, painful periods not have to suffer every month.