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 ER, 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 BC 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.
The gap between what we learned in sex ed and what we're learning through sexual experience is big — way too big. So we're helping to connect those dots by talking about the realities of sex, from how it's done to how to make sure it's consensual, safe, healthy, and pleasurable all at once. Check out more here.