Today is a bad day, but you already know this. It’s a bad day for people of color, it’s a bad day for women, it’s a bad day for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community, it’s a bad day for immigrants, it’s a bad day for Muslims, it’s a bad day for refugees. It’s a bad day for anyone who isn’t a straight, white, wealthy male, really, because last night Donald Trump–a man who has advocated for building a wall between the United States and Mexico, asked for a ban on Muslims in the United States, and has served as the face of rape culture many, many times–became our nation’s president elect. It’s a bad day.
It is a good day, however, to start thinking about your reproductive health. Last night, when Trump’s victory started to appear imminent, many women started urging other women to look into getting an IUD. Like, now. While birth control is something that you should never have to be rushed into, this election indicates that having a choice over the matters of your own body may not be possible anymore–Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, ran on a staunch anti-choice platform that, with the now majority Republican house, will make getting an abortion very, very difficult. Trump and Pence also want to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, which is what makes hormonal birth control pills free. So, if you are not so into having a baby at this point in your life, it’s time to start looking into some long-term birth control options that you can get right now. It’s worth noting that you’ll need parental permission for these if you’re under eighteen, and they don’t prevent STDs, so you’ll still have to use another form of protection. Still, you should check them out here:
Hormonal IUDAn intrauderine device--AKA an IUD--is a small T-shaped device that gets planted in your uterus. If you go in to get one, chances are good that it'll be a hormonal IUD, which is made of plastic that releases the synthetic hormone progestin and thickens your cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus. This can prevent pregnancy for three to six years and will likely make your periods lighter, too. Image source: iStock
Copper IUDIf you don't want to get a hormonal IUD, there's one brand, called ParaGuard, that's made of plastic and a small amount of copper. This one actually prevents pregnancy for up to ten years by preventing sperm from reaching the ovaries. It can also lead to heavy periods and cramping, however, so it's probably not great to get if you already deal with hard periods. Image source: iStock
Hormonal ImplantYou can also get a birth control implant, which is matchstick-sized rod that gets placed inside your arm by a healthcare provider. It then releases the hormone progestin, which makes your cervical mucus thicker, and can prevent pregnancy for up to four years. Image source: iStock
Depo-Provera ShotUnfortunately, the three previous options are the only really long-term options out there. But if you want an option that'll get you through a few months, you can look into the Depo-Provera shot. This is a hormone-based shot that prevents pregnancy for three months and, right now, is totally free thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Image source: iStock
A Lot Of PillsIf you're on the pill now, and you like it, see if you can get your gyno to give you a couple pescriptions at once. I can't guarantee this, obviously, but I have been able to get my gynecologist to write a prescription for three to six packs of birth control at once, since it's annoying to have to go to the drugstore a lot. If this works for you too, you'll be set for at least six months. This isn't ideal, obviously--six months goes by fast!--but it's better than nothing. Image source: iStock
NuvaRingYou could also look into getting a NuvaRing, though, which is a hormone-based flexible ring that you place inside your vagina each month. You leave it in for three weeks, then take it out when you have your period. Some doctors provide them in packs of three, so you'll be set for at least a few months. Image source: iStock
Are you looking into birth control now? Are there any other options that I left out? Let us know in the comments!