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Patient perspective: Why I’m saying Thanks, Birth Control this year—student edition

published 12/28/20

Students shared the reasons they are thankful for birth control in a series for Power to Decide, here are some of our favorite quotes:

ThxEC! The Power of Emergency Contraception Student Distribution Groups

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It’s been almost two years since FBPlanB delivered its first dose of EC, and in that time, we’ve given out nearly 300 more doses. That’s almost $15,000 worth of EC that we’ve distributed for free.

“After six months of planning, Foggy Bottom Plan B, a completely independent, student-run organization dedicated to providing free EC to anyone in the neighborhood, began operations. Our goal is to combat the financial and social barriers of getting EC by providing it to anyone for free and on demand. Instead of navigating the social scene of the pharmacy and sinking $50 on a single pill, anyone can contact FBPlanB through an anonymous Google Form to get free EC privately delivered to them by one of our distributors in less than 12 hours.

“It’s been almost two years since FBPlanB delivered its first dose of EC, and in that time, we’ve given out nearly 300 more doses. That’s almost $15,000 worth of EC that we’ve distributed for free.”

On Wednesdays We Talk Birth Control

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“The Generation Three Girls team took some time to talk to eleven women about their experiences with birth control. Each had a very different and unique story, but ultimately each came away with an appreciation and gratitude for what birth control has provided them and others. You can hear all of these stories in full by listening to GTG’s podcast episode that was released in honor of Thanks, Birth Control Day! Listen on Apple Music or on Spotify.”

“I think my experience really goes to show that it is not one-size-fits-all.”

  • Lara wanted to start the birth control pill for a very practical reason. “I wanted to start the pill because I knew when I went to start at the Coast Guard Academy I would need to really be in control of my cycle,” she said. “I needed to know exactly when it was coming, and be able to skip a period if necessary.”
  • Mallory’s experience beginning birth control was seamless because of the support from her mom. “I talked to my mom who is a nurse and also very passionate about sexual and reproductive health care so it felt like a very safe space to talk to her,” Mallory told us. “She was very excited about this bonding experience.”
  • For Hannah K., she met an amazing provider in an unexpected circumstance. During her abortion procedure, she connected with a medical provider who was kind, understanding, and knowledgeable. “The day of my procedure I had a beautiful doctor who walked me through everything and educated me on all of my rights, the procedure, the follow-up—literally everything. I loved her and thought she was really caring,”
  • “I went to a doctor and expressed that I was starting to feel like I might have PCOS. This women’s health professional immediately brushed it off,” Meredith said. “I continued to have this gut feeling that PCOS might be in the mix for me. Months later I went to a different specialist who has done formative work on PCOS and got an ultrasound and yes—I did have PCOS.”
  • “I think my experience really goes to show that it is not one-size-fits-all. That’s really my takeaway from my experiences professionally and personally. Everyone’s experiences are different. I think that’s the nuance we lose when we talk about birth control,” Deekshita told us. “We apply this general lens of birth control is great for everyone when there is so much more nuance than that. Everyone should be given the choice and information to figure out what is best for them and their bodies.”

Exploration, Experimentation, & Education: My Birth Control Journey

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“Finding the right birth control, especially with hormonal methods, can take time and experimentation.”

Courtney Gonzalez, shares about her birth control journey:

  • “I decided to explore other options than the pill a few years after entering college. My school and work schedule were no longer as routine as they had been in high school and taking the pill on a consistent basis became a huge issue.
  • “I am thankful for these wonderful 6 years of bliss that I have not had to think about refilling a prescription, taking something every day at the same time to avoid unintended pregnancies, and being period free!
  • “Here are the three lessons that I have learned during my birth control journey, and think everyone should know!

  1. “Finding the right birth control, especially with hormonal methods, can take time and experimentation. Do not be deterred if the first, or even the fifth, birth control brand/choice does not meet all your expectations.

  2. “Self-advocate, self-advocate, self-advocate! No one will look out for your health and well-being like you will. Prepare questions before going in and do some research before your appointment. Parents, this may require some of your assistance because weighing the pros and cons of each method can be overwhelming!

  3. “Primary care providers, especially pediatricians, you need to ensure that you are well equipped to provide up-to-date and comprehensive information on all birth control methods or be able to provide proper resources to patients. Check out Bedsider Providers to help you stay on top of it all.”

read more about:barriers to access,birth control,emergency contraception,patient perspective,Thanks, Birth Control,#thxbirthcontrol
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