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My contraceptive story

“I don’t need the pill. I only had sex once”

 

“What do you mean you don’t need the pill? You only need to have sex once to fall pregnant”.

 

And that is how I started on the combined pill 2 months short of my 23rd birthday after going to see the General Practioner (GP) on the estate I lived on at the time because I needed to take the emergency contraceptive pill. The night before I had had adult consensual penetrative sex for the first time in my life. The sex wasn’t exactly pre-planned but the timing was right. I had decided a few months previously that I was finally ready to have sex, and that would happen with the next guy I liked. Somehow contraceptive hadn’t fully functioned in these plans, and I don’t recall my more experienced partner bringing it up the night before. So off to the Doctor I went .

 

Recently one of my friends asked me, “Why is sex with men so complicated?” She had also found herself in a situation where she was going to need to go to the pharmacy for the emergency pill and was dreading the air of judgement that would come with the question: ‘So why do you need the emergency pill?’

 

Why do you think I need the emergency pill? one is tempted to retort, but of course that won’t do at all.

 

I was on the combined pill quite happily for several years until another GP took me off because my blood pressure tended to be borderline high. One of the downsides of the combined pill is that it raises your BP by about 5 points so if you tend towards high blood pressure then it may not be the best choice for you. Subsequently, I was put on the progestin only pill and promptly broke out in spots all over my back. I voluntarily went off that pill after a few months and started using condoms as my primary contraceptive method until I started sleeping with a guy who just couldn’t retain a hard on once the condom went on.

 

Around the same time I went to see a woman gynae, and complained for the umpteenth time about my heavy periods. She asked if I had considered fitting a mirena and I was like, “Yes! I have been wanting to fit one for ages but the gynae I was seeing previously said because I didn’t have a child I will need to convince him before he would fit me with one.” Clearly I hadn’t succeeded in convincing him because although my best friend had bought me a mirena years ago as a birthday present, it was still languishing in my bottom drawer. So now with a willing gynae, I had the mirena fitted. What I had most looked forward to with the mirena was the possibility of light or non-existent periods. 6 months later I was still having heavy six day periods. The gynae then said, “sometimes it can take a bit longer than 6 months for the mirena to settle”, so I decided to give it more time until the day I pulled out my mirena by accident whilst administering a self testing STD kit. And then that led me to have a 25-day period. I felt like I was loosing my mind.

 

And then we kinda tried the pulling out method unsuccessfully which led to SB. And then she left and now I’m back on the progestin only pill. The pimples on my back came back almost immediately with a vengeance, and a course of antibiotics hasn’t made any difference. For the past 2 weeks I have been spotting intermittently, sometimes a panty liner is fine, other days I need a light period. I want to stop taking the progestin only pill but I don’t like any of the options I am familiar with. Shall I just go back to using condoms even though we’re in a monogamous relationship and have had various STD tests, and don’t really enjoy using condoms? Shall I try the mirena again and hope for better results? Is there another contraceptive that I should be using? Argh. Why can’t life and contraceptives be much simpler?
What’s your contraceptive story? What form of contraception do you use? What’s your experience been like? Share in the comments below

Picture of Zelleta 75 micrograms tablets

Picture of Zelleta 75 micrograms tablets

About the Author

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13 Comments
  1. Gyal says:

    Ugh. I hear you. Why does the contraceptive burden rest on women in hetero relationships? In addition, there are so many punitive measures (financial weight, stigma, medical side effects, etc.) levied against women, compared to the ease with which men literally slip in and out of there.

  2. Kwunume says:

    Gyal,I hate to say this, but it is the truth it is a mans world. as for the writer,have you tried injection or billings method of family planning.

  3. Fatime Faye says:

    Hi, dear. Have you tried the feminin condoms. I know some men don’t like condoms but adopted them. You can use them like the regular ones. Bisous.

  4. Fatime Faye says:

    Hi. Sent my comment to the wrong post, yesterday. Sorry.

    • Nana Darkoa says:

      Lol c’est pas probleme. I did try to insert the female condom once or twice and it was so awkward. Half the condom was hanging outside my vagina. I didn’t like it at all

  5. Fatime Faye says:

    ???

  6. Saab says:

    There are a few women (~10%) for whom IUDs like Mirena is not the best option due to the bleeding you experienced.
    There are other options.
    There is the implant, which is put into your arm and lasts for approximately 13weeks. There is the contraceptive ring, which you put up your vaginas. There is the patch. All these are great contraceptive options but do not protect against STDS. There your best option is the condom.

    • Nana Darkoa says:

      Why oh why do I have to be one of the 10%? Sigh. I have always felt reluctant to try the implant. I’m worried about how it can get embedded in your flesh and is difficult to remove. I also thought it was kept in for way much longer, like 5 years? I’ll look into the contraceptive ring too. And yes, I’m trusting my bf to not cheat on me so for now doing condom less…but all this wahala with the various contraceptives is getting on my nerves so may go back to condoms regardless

  7. PT says:

    Hi!

    Have you tried FAM (Fertility Awareness Method)?
    I have just recently learned about this myself, and I have read the book “Taking charge of your fertility” by Toni Weschler. It is so interesting, empowering and freeing to read, and find out there is a natural alternative to contraceptives. I highly recommend reading the book for the best understanding of the method, and it is perfect for couples in a monogamous relationship.

  8. Fatime Faye says:

    Trying to insert it was also an issue for me. So i put it on him… Try it, love it.

  9. Lois Lagos says:

    It’s so frustrating. Condoms are good but it’s a real problem when the partner just cannot keep it up with one on. The pull out method is ok but it always leaves me feeling like things are not quite complete. One of my first partners used to have us follow my cycle only use condoms at most fertile days and it worked but again I was always worried that we might mess up one day. The pill messed with my libido but I will try the combined pill when the time is right.

  10. HeatYourManUp says:

    Hey, maybe your partner can try the heat method contraception. Basically the testes are dipped in just above body temperature water for temporary infertility. It’s reversible.

    http://www.newmalecontraception.org/heat-methods/

    http://www.indiaparenting.com/not-planning-baby/416_3964/male-contraception-heat-methods.html

    • Nana Darkoa says:

      @HeatYourManUp- I initially thought this comment was spam but I checked out your links 🙂 Personally, I wouldn’t want any Adventurers trying this out as a contraceptive method but hey ho…

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