I felt the need to get this information out there since while on my quest to find the birth control that was right for me, I found other women’s blog posts on this topic ever-so-helpful. I’m not writing this to persuade you to get off of your hormonal BC if you’re currently on it. I’m just writing this to raise awareness about the “prehistoric” diaphragm that doesn’t get enough talk!
I was on birth control pills for a good 7-8 years back in my early 20s. During this time I gained weight, developed an anxiety disorder which led to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), not fun. I can remember having mental and emotional breakdowns when I would do something as little as dropping a pen on the floor…(holy insane in the membrane!). Now to be clear, I’m not saying that all of that happened because of BCPs, but I certainly don’t think that being on them helped my situation by any means. Towards the end of those last few months on BCPs, I was broken out in hives for 15 weeks. Hives, covering my entire body every single day for 15 weeks. I was a mystery to ALL of the doctors I visited regarding this. I desperately called my OBGYN as my last hope as far as doctors went and she immediately said, “Throw your pack out!” I came off the BCPs that very day, the hives went away almost instantly, and I haven’t considered going back on them since. Again, I’m not saying the hives were directly related to the BCPs…but you never know. To this day I’m still boggled by what my body was trying to tell me through those hives. Anyway, from that day forward I was determined to avoid hormonal BC for my body.
To make a long and unfortunate story rather quick, here is the sum up: December of last year (2011) I met the man of my dreams. All winter of 2012 I researched every form of birth control there is on this planet that does NOT contain hormones. I had very little luck and was never satisfied with what I was finding. In the springtime, I spoke with my amazing OBGYN about my situation and she respected that I needed a form of BC that did not include hormones. I had been encouraged to get fitted for a diaphragm by two of my other physicians (who I love and adore), so I was open to the idea of this. My OBGYN fit me, and it is now my preferred method of BC. Yay, rainbows and unicorns! (Actually FYI: I left out LOADS of information here to spare readers (and boys) the painful and yucky details of how I made the mistake of getting a copper IUD inserted, then removed, then getting the diaphragm “stuck” the first time I wore it, etc.. If you’re interested in hearing my story and talking to me about, you can always contact me directly from my website).
So the whole point of this blog post is to raise awareness of the benefits and ease of using a diaphragm for a barrier birth control method (although this female barrier method does NOT protect from HIV or STDs). It’s hormone free and a great method of BC if you’re into the idea. Having doubts about whether it would work for you or not? Remember trying to get used to inserting and wearing tampons? I sure do, and it took me lots of time, patience and practice. It’s totally the same thing with this. I’m to the point where putting my diaphragm into place i’s just as simple as inserting a tampon – when I first was giving it a try, I couldn’t even imagine the thing working for me. For all ya’ll ladies out there who are considering a non-hormonal BC method, I’d give your OBGYN a holla and talk about if this could be the right fit for you!
Lauren Forney HHC, RYT founder of Center Your Health, is a Holistic Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher based in Red Bank, NJ.