I've Tried Nearly Every Kind Of Contraceptive — & Here's What I've Learned

My first period gushed into my life the day before my 11th birthday. The breasts had already arrived. And I started birth control at 13. “Early bloomer” doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt, folks.

Since that magical first period when I was forced to confront my so-called womanhood, my relationship with my uterus has been complicated, particularly in those moments when it felt as if it was trying to claw its way out of my body. After suffering insane cramps and a near-fainting spell that landed me in the emergency room, I had to get a handle on my irregular, and at times seemingly abusive, menstrual cycle.

I did this mostly through the use of various types of hormonal birth control — and trust me, I learned a lot about the options out there, especially as I began to use birth control as contraception, rather than just a tool to regulate my period. Ahead, I’ve outlined my experience with five types I’ve taken over the past 20 years — and some of the important things I’ve learned along the way.

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