Birth Control 101

I have so many things I want to write about birth control.  I want to write about the fact that birth control isn’t talked about enough.  I want to write about the fact that too many people think birth control is only a political issue.  I want to write about how many women take birth control to make their periods easier to manage.  I want to write about how some women take birth control to make their periods lighter and less painful.  I want to write about how some women take birth control to have periods because they have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, a syndrome that causes women to stop having their periods. I want to write about how some people in our government want to control women’s access to birth control.  I want to write about the personal, societal, and factual implications of this.  I want to write about how certain women have better access to birth control based on their skin color, perceived ethnicity, geographical location, income, perceived gender, whether or not their are in an abusive relationship, and how all these aspects cross over and around and relate to one another.  I want to write about how fucked up it is that people think their personal relationship with their god should dictate other women’s personal relationships with their lady parts.  I want to write about how infuriated I am that the same people who don’t believe in birth control also don’t believe in abortions or helping single mothers take care of their children or access to public education for all children or sex education for teens or taxes for public resources that can help these families thrive or low income housing or ANYTHING that will help the mothers who are trying to take care of children that these people don’t think should be prevented in any way.  I want to write about how necessary birth control is to prevent abortions and struggling single mothers and teen pregnancies.

I could write a novel about all those things.  Maybe I will one day.  Today is not that day.  Today I am going to write about the big BC.  Loving yourself means taking control over your body, especially when some people are trying to take you over, whether it be physically, mentally, politically, and/or emotionally.  Coming to you daily from Madison, Wisconsin!  Fighting the good fight to keep women in the know about what’s to know about your reproductive options!

Enough with my rant.  If you’re into videos, here is a good introduction to birth control.

I found an amazing organization that is everything birth control.  Any question you could ever have about BC at the tip of your fingertips on their website.  Check out Bedsider to get an awesome, interactive view of what’s available.  You can even use filters to find out which will work best for you when.  IT’S TRULY AMAZING.

BIRTH CONTROL 101

  1. Long Term Birth Control (a one time insertion/shot/implant that lasts for a longer period of time, removal by a doctor)
    1. IUD (intra-uterine device)
      1. Paragard (copper, non-hormonal, lasts up to 12 years)
      2. Mirena (localized hormones, lasts up to 5 years)
      3. Skyla (smaller, localized hormones, lasts up to 3 years)
    2. Implant
      1. Implanon
      2. Nexplanon
    3. The Shot
      1. Depo Vera
    4. Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) (for new mothers, a natural way to prevent pregnancy will regular breastfeeding, lasts up to six months or longer)
  2. Shorter Term Birth Control (something that is taken daily, weekly or monthly and can be removed by the woman, from longest lasting to shortest)
    1. The Ring (Nuva Ring – flexible ring containing hormones inserted digitally into vagina, removed every three weeks, one week off, new one inserted)
    2. The Patch (Ortho Evra – thin plastic patch put on skin, new patch each week)
    3. The Pill (taken daily for 24-26 days, many different brands, two different levels of hormones)
      1. Progestin-Only Pills
      2. Combination Estrogen-Progestin Pills
  3. Emergency Contraception (for situations when a birth control method failed or was not used, EC only prevents pregnancy – not STIs)
    1. Plan B (single dose pill that prevents release of egg and/or implantation into uterine wall, must be taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse)
    2. Paragard IUD (prevents implantation into uterine wall, also a long term birth control option)
  4. Barrier Methods (per sexual act)
    1. Male Condom (most common, condom put on erect penis, also protects against STIs/STDs)
    2. Female Condom (inserted into vagina with flexible ring, can be inserted up to six hours before intercourse, protects against STIs)
    3. Diaphragm (a small cap that gets inserted into vagina, can be inserted hours before intercourse, DO NOT protect against STIs)
    4. Sponge (inserted into vagina, immobilizes sperm, DOES NOT protect against STIs)
    5. Spermicide (inserted deep into vagina shortly before intercourse, immobilizes sperm, DOES NOT protect against STIs)
    6. Dental Dams (a latex square used for cunnilingus to prevent STIs, does not prevent pregnancy)
  5. Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (best when all combined, work best for people trying to get pregnant)
    1. Temperature Method (record temperature daily to determine ovulation)
    2. Cervical Mucus Method (record cervical mucus daily to determine ovulation)
    3. Calendar Method (keeping track of your periods on a calendar to determine ovulation)
    4. CycleBeads (keeping track of period with string of beads)
  6. Permanent Birth Control (requires surgery)
    1. Women – Tubal Sterilization
    2. Men – Vasectomy
  7. Abstinence (having no sex whatsoever, requires serious self control)

You do YOU!

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VIDEO: How to Love Yourself 101

tyrannosauruslexxx made a great video about how to love yourself.

These same nine things are the exact things I went through to start loving me!  I thought she outlined them very well.  I will bullet-point them for you here with some of my own thoughts.

HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF 101 (per tyrannosauruslexxx)

  1. Stop putting yourself down.
  2. Replace negative thoughts with things that you like about yourself.  Or at least follow-up the negative comments with a positive comment about yourself.
  3. Treat yourself.  Indulge in something for yourself. Give yourself “me” time.
    1. KATE NOTE: For example, I take myself on a date at the beginning of every month.  I also take pole dancing classes (find out what they’ve done for me here) once a week for an hour.  As for “me” time, I don’t say “yes” to things when they interfere with “me” time and I choose to sleep by myself a few nights a week.
  4. Look at how you relate to others.  Treating others in a positive way will help you treat yourself in a positive way.
    1. KATE NOTE: This will also help others treat you positively. (Insert cliche saying “Treat others how you want to be treated.”)  
    2. KATE NOTE: This helps me with my road rage. :D  When I am getting angry, I try to be nice and pretend they are in a hurry because someone is in labor in that vehicle and that’s why they’re driving like an asshole and cutting me off (or trying to). So I let them cut me off, with a smile, because in my mind there in a pregnant woman having 10 sec contractions in that vehicle.  And I breathe, in, and out. Just like I imagine the woman in the vehicle in breathing. 
  5. Don’t be afraid to get rid of rubbish people in your life.
  6. Have goals – big and small.
  7. Know your worth.  Demand more from the world and people around you.
  8. Pick certain people who you look up to and emulate them in certain situations.
    1. KATE NOTE: “WWKD?”  What would Kate do?  You can even emulate me if you want.  Find your inner Kate.
  9. Fake it til you make it.  This applies for #1 through #8.  Do these things even if you don’t believe yourself, and you’ll start believing yourself because you deserve to love yourself and be happy.

MY ADDITIONS TO THIS LIST:

  • If you don’t have a mirror – get one!  If you have one and it’s covered up – uncover it!
  • Make eye contact with yourself in the mirror.
    • If this makes you cry, cry. If this makes you uncomfortable, ask yourself why it does.  If this makes you want to punch the mirror, don’t.  If this makes you happy, be happy.
  • Smile at yourself when you look in the mirror.
    • I had no idea that not everyone did this until I was bartending one night and it came up in conversation.  Try it.  Seriously – it works.  :D
  • Stick a positive note on your mirror that will make you smile!  Here are some ideas:
    • You are smart.
    • You are kind.
    • You are important.
    • You look great!
    • All this and brains, too.

Check out the video below!