A (Very) Honest Discussion About Birth Control



When did everyone stop taking birth control?” When Byrdie Beauty Director Deven Hopp raised the question on our site in March, it was immediately clear that it struck a chord with many of our readers, who leapt to share their own stories and reasons for going off the pill. Some detailed their experiences with how it impacted their bodies (“I firmly believed that it genuinely made me crazy,” said one) while others talked alternative methods of BC, like low-hormone IUDs.

What made this whole discussion particularly intriguing to me is that I didn’t stop taking birth control—I never started. The thought of messing with my hormones has always been a huge deterrent for me, and while I obviously didn’t relish in reading the tribulations of other women, their stories were enough for me to feel somewhat validated in my decision. That being said, I also know some people who have had great experiences on the pill. I have other friends who love NuvaRing and still others who sing the praises of IUDs—enough that even I’ve decided to get one.

Sometimes, the discussion isn’t about the birth control itself but the red tape involved in obtaining a prescription or booking an appointment—insurance and expenses complicate things greatly, especially when taking different state laws into consideration. (California recently passed a law allowing women to purchase the pill over the counter, but as you’ll read here, it’s not quite that simple.) It’s immensely frustrating when a very complicated decision is complicated further by systematic roadblocks. The irony is that the reason so many of us nevertheless traverse this messiness—both in the impact on our bodies and the process itself—is for peace of mind.

Can talking about it make the process of getting birth control immediately any easier or change the way our bodies react to a certain method? Maybe not. But we do have the power to learn from each other’s experiences, and that alone is a great reason why we should be talking about it.

Read on as we candidly discuss our own personal histories with birth control, how it impacts our relationship with our bodies, and more—and as always, we love it when you share your own stories too. (#SafeSpace!)

Editorial Director

Age: 25

Relationship status with BC:  Like my first relationship that was totally tumultuous and on-and-off for years, I'm so glad I've moved past the pill. Or as Bey would say: Boy, bye.

Your thoughts on hormonal birth control, summed up? It's a great option for some people, but not for me.

Associate Editor

Age: 24

Relationship status with BC: I'm committing to an IUD.

Your thoughts on hormonal birth control, summed up? After seeing so many women I know have tough experiences on the pill, I'm glad that there are more and more alternatives becoming available.

Associate Features Editor

Age: 24

Relationship status with BC: On a break.

Your thoughts on hormonal birth control, summed up? I get why it freaks people out, and honestly, high-hormone BC skeeves me out a little too. But my NuvaRing made my life so much easier, and I miss "us."

Associate Social Media Editor

Age: 23

Relationship status with BC: Currently on the pill.

Your thoughts on hormonal birth control, summed up? It's complicated.

What’s your own experience with birth control? Have you ever made the decision to go off the pill? Share your story in the comments below.