Let’s talk about sex.
Or at least, let’s talk about having safe sex, and diffrent methods of contracaptive measures available to you, specifically a service called The Pill Club. Ladies, this article is going to be more for you. But I highly encourage anyone else to tune in to learn a thing or two about their partners, sisters, mothers or even just for fun.
Let’s pretend I’m your big sister, here with a crash course into the world of birth control. I will give you all the information I can, in the clearest way I can. However, note I am not a medical professional, and everybody is different. Please consult your own before making drastic changes or sticking to a contraceptive measure you are unsure about. Also note, this article is NOT sponsored bcy the Pill Club, a local pharmacy, or any other interested entity. Everything I talk about are things I have either paid to try myself with my own money or researched over the years as potential options for myself.
The Pill Club is a monthly subscription service that provides affordable birth control to women in the United States.
You may have seen their brightly-colored, holographic packaging in an Instagram ad or two and initially wondered if it was too good to be true. Their website advertises no cost with most insurances, and a monthly billing starting at $7 if you don’t have insurance. This is all true. And the company doesn’t just offer the cheapest options of contraception. Each monthly subscription comes with some goodies to make that time of the month a little less horrible
So what’s in the bag? Aside from birth control, you can always count on a sticker and a snack. Sometimes, you get a cute beauty product. Some of the highlights this year have been Bumbum cream and gold eye masks. Sometimes,you get to sample a small business’ tampon, condom, pad or lube.
But now, we need to turn to the main event; birth control. Let’s go over the different methods offered by the Pill Club as a part of their monthly subscription.
The almighty birth control pill is a daily medication that combines estrogen and progestin to prevent pregnancy. It usually comes in packages of 28 pills, seven for each week.
The first three weeks are of one color, with the last week of a contrasting color. This is because the colored ones contain the hormones that prevent pregnancy, and the others do not. You likely won’t get pregnant if you have intercourse while on the non-hormonal week, but the lack of hormones will trigger your period. Consider this your built-in pregnancy monthly pregnancy test provided by mother nature.
However, if you don’t want to deal with your period for whatever reason (pain, prior engagements, just not in the mood, etc.) you can skip the final week and go straight into your next package of birth control pills. Skipping your period every now and then is not scientifically proven to be harmful, but continual skips may lead to breakthrough bleeding. Like swapping out contacts for glasses every once in a while, let your body breathe.
Generic Plan B
Unprotected sex? You don’t want a baby? Solution: Plan B. You can always pick up an emergency levonorgestrel contraceptive over-the-counter from your local pharmacy.
A levonorgestrel is a synthetic progesterone used in most birth control. To put it simply, you’re getting a mega dose of daily birth control, enough to be 75% to 89% effective at preventing a pregnancy within three days after you’ve had unprotected sex. And that’s the key word, ‘within.’
Plan B is less effective with every hour that passes from when you last had unprotected sex. I know $40 to $60 dollars for two little pills sucks right now, but just buy it… NOW. It’s the cheapest option, right before a stronger emergency contraceptive you get from a secret drive to Mexico, that painful Salvadoran herbal pregnancy remedy your Abuelita makes that’ll put you in a hospital, the flight to a pro-choice state to have a proceedure, or (if you wait a little too long) the average $300,000 it takes to raise a child in the U.S.
Luckily, a couple of these Plan B pills are included in your Pill Club subscription. They don’t come in every month’s package, as they’re not meant to be used often. They aren’t good for you, they suck, and it’s more financially beneficial to use a different birth control method responsibly than to have to run to Plan B like it’s your plan A.
A lot of people aren’t aware this is an option. Others may only vaguely remember it as part of health class in middle school. These condoms come every so often in your prescription, but they are few and far between if you didn’t choose them as your preferred type of condom.
This is the one we’re the most familiar with. So many iconic sex ed scenes in movies and television have featured it. It’s also arguably the easiest to put on.
It comes pre-rolled, pre-lubed and pre-packaged in single packets for easy travel. You pinch the top to leave room for any ejaculate so it won’t come out the other end and defeat the purpose of the condom in the first place. Then you place it at the head of the penis and roll onto an erect member until the end reaches the base.
In order for the condom to stay on, it MUST be the right size. After each use, the condom should be discarded and replaced with a new one. Condoms are included in some of your monthly subscription packages. They are often from smaller companies and rarely from the same brand, so you have the opportunity to try something new.
Side Rant: If your partner does not want to wear a condom, you do not have to have sex. And if a man ever starts making excuses tell him to shut up.
Condoms aren’t always fun for women either, but you’re not complaining. If you decide to compromise and move on to an option that allows more skin to skin contact like and IUD, and implant, or the pill, you’re likely the one that’s going to pay for it, maintain it, and deal with any long-term consequences to your health.
Any man that refuses to use a condom doesn’t need to be having sex with anyone.
So we’ve gone over the options provided by the Pill Club. However, there are a couple of other ways. Let’s go over them quickly.
This T-shaped contraction comes in hormonal and nonhormonal varieties. It goes up your uterus and emits hormones (or uses copper to kill sperm), preventing egg fertilization. It can last three to 10 years and costs anywhere from $0 to $1300, depending on your insurance. Now it can move about inside due to vigorous activity or for no reason at all. It may cause pain, but can also be fixed by a doctor.
A rod placed in your forearm releases a low, steady dose of a progestational hormone to thicken cervical mucus and thin the lining of the uterus, according to the Mayo Clinic. Contraceptive implants typically suppress ovulation as well.
It lasts for up to three years and costs $0 to $1300, depending on insurance. It’s great, works 99 percent of the time, and you won’t even know it’s there. I have not used it, but friends report it can cause an increase in acne and blood spotting, just like many hormonal birth controls.
Tie the tubes
Women can have an invasive procedure called a bilateral tubal ligation. It works 99 percent of the time and is NOT reversible. It is also a real surgery you need real time to recover from and money to pay for the procedure with, as most insurances won’t cover it. This also isn’t the easiest procedure to get. Many doctors will not perform this on you until you’ve had children or are in your 30s.
Remember, these are not the only options out there. There’s a patch, a shot, a vaginal ring and a few others. The list goes on and on. Be sure to consult with your gynecologist to choose the best method for you.
If you are married or in a lifetime relationship in which neither party wants children, let your male partner prove his love for you by having a vasectomy. It isn’t as invasive nor risky, it’s reversible, and is cheaper than a BTL. Plus, doctors are a lot more likely to perform this operation all willy nilly.
Photo via the Pill Club