Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
By Kendall McKenzie
Someone asked us: I was wondering, is it considered abusing the system if the main reason I’m on birth control is to not have a period because of dysphoria? (I’m a trans male). My doctor doesn’t know I’m mainly using it for that, but I feel kinda bad. The state I’m in doesn’t accept transgender people, so I have to lie.
Oh dude, please do NOT feel bad about using birth control to get rid of your period — that’s a super common reason people use hormonal birth control methods in the first place! And, as anyone with problematic periods will tell you: Anything that eases troublesome menstrual symptoms is critical and necessary medical care.
Birth control has so many benefits besides, well, birth control. Lesbians use it. People who don’t have sex use it. Trans guys use it. In fact, up to 58% of people on the pill rely on it for reasons other than preventing pregnancy: clearing up acne, easing PMS symptoms, controlling the timing of your period, and reducing menstrual flow are all perfectly legitimate reasons people use contraception. And, you are just as entitled to these benefits as everyone else.
Now, about lying to your doctor. I totally understand how it’s tough to be open when you’re expecting and fearing discrimination. But, it really is important to be honest with your doctor (if possible) so they can give you the best care. You may be able to find a trans-friendly doctor in your area — Planned Parenthood health centers are a good place to start.
Being clear about what you want out of your birth control helps your doctor prescribe the best method for you. But, even if you’re truly not okay with coming out to your doctor and can’t find a trans-friendly provider, you don’t have to lie about wanting to use birth control to get rid of your period.
So, please stop feeling guilty about this right now, okay?