How I’ve Stayed Healthy & Baby Free for 3 Years

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Hey, Family!! Today I wanted to share my birth control story with you because I know that it’s a huge decision that many young women have to make and with all of the options out there I know that personal stories can help you decide which one is the best for you. I do just want to say that this is my personal experience. I’m not promoting any certain product or pharmaceutical. Always remember that what works for me may not work for you…trust your body.

Now, Let’s get started!

Like most young women, I started taking birth control (BC) just before I started college. I was on the basic 21-day low estrogen birth control pill for over 3 years and had no problems. However, in 2011 I had a spontaneous subclavian DVT (blood clot in the vein under my collar bone) and my doctor recommended that I stop taking the pill to reduce my risk of developing another clot. I was fine with this because I wasn’t in a relationship and didn’t plan on having sex with anyone in the near future.

I was free of BC until I 2013 when I met my now husband. Instead of going back on the pill, my doctor suggested that I use a progesterone based birth control method called Implanon. Implanon is the matchstick-sized implant that is placed on the inside of your upper arm, just under the skin. I was intrigued because it meant that I wouldn’t have to take a pill every day and it would last for up to 3 years! So, I took my doctor’s advice and got it implanted in March 2014.

The Worst Decision of My Life

To this day I wish that I had never gotten Implanon. From the moment I had it inserted I felt like a zombie. I was depressed, anxious, extremely fatigued, had low sex drive and gained over 50 lbs! It was awful! I tried to stick it out in the hopes that the side effects would subside but I after 7 months I couldn’t take it anymore. My relationship was suffering, my grades were suffering, and I was suffering so I I got it removed in October 2014. The hardest part about removing the implant was trying to decide which method to try next. I was so put off by my experience with implanon that I had just about written off hormonal birth control all together. Then I stumbled across something called The Rhythm Method.

The Rhythm Method

The Rhythm Method, aka the calendar method, is a hormone-free way to prevent pregnancy. It works by tracking your periods using an app (I use Ovia) to calculate how long your cycle is and when your fertile days are. Ideally, you would use some form of contraception for at least 3 cycles while you track your periods. This allows you to establish a solid baseline and allows the app to develop an accurate calculation of your cycle length and fertile days. It’s also important to note that during the 6 days out of the month in which you are super fertile YOU MUST USE SOME FORM OF CONTRACEPTION. This can be condoms, diaphragms, the pull-out method, or plain old abstinence. I wouldn’t recommend the pull-out method unless you are in a committed relationship and wouldn’t mind getting pregnant. If you absolutely don’t want a baby then slap a trojan on that thang. Also, the longer you track your cycles the easier it will be to spot when you are in your fertile days (high sex drive is the biggest clue).

I was so excited to find this method but like anything it came with mixed reviews. Some women swore by it whereas most doctors said that it wasn’t very effective. In fact, my doctor told me that if I only did the rhythm method I’d be pregnant in 3 months. Welp…it’s been 3 years and I’m still living that baby-free life! In fact, in the 3 years that I’ve been using the rhythm method, one of my best friends has had 2 babies while on birth control. She was on the pill with one and an IUD with the other! Using the rhythm method has been life changing! I feel like I have control over my body, my cycles are regular, and I feel like I’m much more connected with my body. I now understand what certain moods (and vaginal discharge) means about my body. Ladies, don’t get grossed out by vaginal discharge…it is the way your body speaks to you & tells you if something is going on! Hmm, I may just write a post on that!

Anywho, if you are looking for a hormone free birth control option and are very detail-oriented & conscientious, I’d recommend the rhythm method! If you aren’t very good at tracking things and logging in your symptoms then I’d pass on this…especially if you aren’t about that mommy life just yet. If you’d like to check out the app/website that I use, click here. I hope that you found this post helpful and I’d love to know what your experience has been with birth control? Found one that you love? Hate them all? Let me know in the comments below!

Xo,

Sarah

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