These are all great, delicate, and ladylike things that we feel good about supporting. But if there is one thing that we are particularly passionate about, it would probably be birth control.
Yep! Birth control might not be super glamorous–certainly not as glamorous as pooping–but it is important. If you happen to want to have sex for any reason that isn’t purely procreative (as many people do), you need to have cheap, easy access to it. Unfortunately, many people don’t have cheap or easy access to it–birth control was covered under the Affordable Care Act, but since that’s being dismantled, birth control pills could start getting a lot more expensive–and a lot of people are also pretty misinformed about what it can and can’t do.
Because of this, it’s important to stay informed on what birth control can do for you. Obviously, its main function is helping to prevent pregnancy. But beyond that, there are some pretty cool things that being on the pill does. It’s not perfect, obviously (known side effects include blood clots and depression) but there are some definite benefits to the pill and a few other forms of birth control as well. Check ’em out here:
Lighter PeriodsIf you have heavy, painful periods, you might want to go on some sort of birth control (even if you aren't having sex). Both the birth control pill and hormonal IUDs can make your periods lighter, shorter, and altogether less cramp-y. Image source: iStock
More Regular PeriodsLikewise, if you have an irregular period--which could mean something like skipping periods, getting it more than once a month, or getting it on dates when you shouldn't--getting on the birth control pill can help make it more regular.
Having an irregular period doesn't always mean that anything is wrong with you, necessarily (it takes a while to get regular in the first place, so if you started your period recently, you definitely shouldn't worry about its scheudle being a little wonky), but there's also nothing wrong with not wanting to deal with surprise periods. Plus, since your period comes at the end of a birth control pack, you'll always know exactly when it's coming.Image source: iStock
Less Body HairIf you have a lot of hair on your body in places where you feel like it shouldn't be--like your face, back, chest, and stomach--it's possible that you could have a hormone imbalance. There's nothing wrong with having this hair on your body! But if you don't want it there, it might be worth it to go on the pill, since it reduces androgen, which is the hormone that makes hair grow in places where you feel like it shouldn't be. Image source: iStock
More Luscious Head HairSome women have a certain hormonal condition that makes the hair folloicles more sensitive and causes hair to shed more than it should. Birth control pills have been shown to help with that, because it helps reduce the sensitivity of the follicles.
Obviously, getting on the pill isn't going to give you long, flowing Blake Lively-like locks overnight. But if you are experiencing hair loss, it can help prevent it.
(Though, as a personal anecdote, I will say that I happen to be on the birth control pill, and my eyelashes appear to have gotten significantly more lush in the time that I've been on it. But don't just take my word for it!)Image source: iStock
AcneYou might have heard that birth control clears up acne--it's one of the main reasons people go on it in the first place--but you might not know which kinds clear it up.
People tend to only think of the pill when they think of birth control methods that help get rid of acne. And it does clear it up! But pretty much any hormonal birth control--vaginal rings, birth control patches, and and, in some cases, a hormonal IUD--might work to clear it up, too.Image source: iStock
Cancer PreventionOne of the coolest things about birth control is that man different methods of it--from the pill to vaginal rings, to birth control shots--have been proven to help prevent certain types of cancer. These aren't guaranteed preventions, obviously, and they won't work as a post-diagnosis fix, but it's good to know about all the same.
Reduction Of MigrainesDo you get headaches when you're on your period? A lot of people do--some migraines are caused by a drop in estrogen arounf the period, which can be rectified with a birth control pill that contains estrogen. Image source: iStock
Are you on birth control? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!