Finding proper birth control: Trial and error

Bridgette Boone, Contributor

As I lay with my feet up high and a speculum inside my vagina, many things cross my mind. Was this the right choice? What am I fucking doing? Wow, that cold! I was inserting something strange and foreign into the most sensitive part of my body. I got the copper IUD about two months ago, and although it was uncomfortable for the first couple of days, the pain of inserting a plastic T-shape with copper wires was much more preferable to Nexplanon.

Nexplanon is a toothpick-like bar that’s coated in hormones and inserted into your least dominant arm — the needle looks worse than it actually is — and I went into my doctor with little to no information except it lasts for 3–5 years, and you won’t get pregnant maybe. My doctor inserted the bar into my arm, and I was on my way.

What I didn’t know is that Nexplanon doesn’t work out great for everyone. About one-third of women stay totally normal, like nothing even happened! Another third stop getting their period altogether, but the last third gets their period all the time — every day — literally all the fucking time. I was the lucky third that had a constant flow of blood.

Okay, you must be thinking Nexplanon isn’t for you. Yes, it’s not for me; my body was not cool with that little toothpick. But the thing about birth control is that we are all so different. Doctors will tell you to wait six months to see how your body deals with the new force taking control. So I waited and saw the doctor again, this time at Planned Parenthood. I was given the pill. Take the pill on top of what is already in your body, that should do … something.

Well yes, it did do something.

Dear reader, do you remember when I said at the top that I would rather have things shoved into my uterus than have those hormones in my body? I can honestly say the worst time of my adult life was my sophomore year. I had Nexplanon inserted the summer of my freshman year of college, and well into winter, I felt terrible. I seriously couldn’t keep it together. I was so unhappy I didn’t leave my room and stayed in bed. I started to break out more, which had never happened to me before. The littlest thing would set me off. However, the worst thing was my confidence; I had lost every ounce of it. I was too afraid to have sex because of all the blood, and too many men had told me off for it. I felt like I wasn’t myself. Too afraid to do things alone, too afraid to enjoy safer sex. It was a really hard year. But I had amazing friends, and then I met a really cool guy who didn’t diss me for the blood.

So here’s the thing. I wanted to tell my story as honestly as I could. This is what happened to me. It took a serious toll on my life having all those hormones pumped into my body. I got the Nexplanon taken out of my body, and exactly one week later, my period stopped. For the first time in 365 days, it had stopped. My body isn’t meant to have those hormones in it.

The fucked up thing is, no one can do a test to see what is best for you. You just have to try different things and see what works for you. My advice is to not to get discouraged. Planned Parenthood can help you if you don’t have the financial stability to do so. It’s okay to ditch one method after six months or even two weeks. If it doesn’t feel right, get rid of it! Talk to people who are in your life and get help. All of us are probably going through it, too. And hey, maybe the Pill and Nexplanon will be great for you! If so, I’m glad, as long as you find a birth control that works for you!

This article was originally published in the Nov. 2, 2018 issue.