We recently reached out on our Instagram asking people to share their contraception experiences; what contraception they use, what worked or didn’t work for them and thought we’d share them with you. In our sex education post, we shared that we were not at all educated on female contraception. We were told about “the pill” (as if there is only one kind…) and that was it. Take the pill, don’t get pregnant, bobs your uncle. Not quite…..
I first went on the pill at 16 when I knew I wanted to have sex with my boyfriend. I took myself off to the sexual health clinic and that was it. I then stayed on the pill until we started trying for our first baby in 2016. I went back on it briefly once he was born but stopped taking it when he was around a year old. Not because I wanted another baby but frankly, it was fucking me up. I needed to give my body a break. After we had our second baby in 2020, I went for my 6 week check and opted for the pill, but I have never taken it. I just don’t want to put that in my body again. We are currently using condoms and I know they aren’t 100% effective (does anyone else think of condoms and automatically think of THAT Friends episode with Ross? LOL). It is so important that you remember what works for you, might not work for somebody else and all our bodies are so different!
Now it is time to share YOUR contraception experiences.
“I was started on the pill when I was a teenager due to painful and erratic periods which did help regulate my periods but when I got older I got changed to the mini pill due to my BMI. When someone I know who worked as a Doctor in gynaecology recommended the IUS as it’s the most effective form of contraception and you can get pregnant as soon as it’s removed I decided this sounded much better for me.
The first time I had it inserted it was uncomfortable, but not painful. It’s very similar to having a smear test. You have to remove your clothing from your bottom half, lay on the bed and bring your feet to your bottom and let your knees fall open, a speculum is inserted (which I find the worst bit but my cervix is in a weird position) and then a small tube is inserted through the cervix into your womb. I found this bit gave me period type pains which lasted for about 2-3 days after with some light spotting. After that my periods stopped completely and I had no side effects whatsoever. It was changed after 5 years and again I had no issues.
2 years later I had it removed as we wanted to start a family. Simple to remove and no issues at all. There are two pieces of string that dangle down so you can check it’s still in place and this is what they use to remove it. They literally just pull it out.
It was 5 years and 2 children before I had it put back in as I knew I wanted a closer age gap between children so didn’t see the point in having one back in. So this is now my third coil. I have very light periods which, annoyingly, can be on a cycle from 28 to 44 days but this is just my body. I don’t have to remember to take any tablets, if I’m sick it doesn’t stop working and I only need to keep a note of when it’s due for changing (every 5 years) so no need to keep going to the GP for prescriptions!”
I have tried various forms of contraception. I started when I was at school with the pill to help ease my period cramps. They gave me the combined pill Microgynon which I took for a while but was getting really bad migraines with aura so stopped that.
When I got my first long term boyfriend I tried the contraceptive jag, I didn’t notice much side affects with this except weight gain. I then went on the mini pill which was okay, but I was having severe mood swings, and irregular bleeding. I was advised the implant would help so opted for that, again severe mood swings, low moods & it was really itchy in my arm like my body was rejecting it. After I got it removed Istuck with the one mini pill but ended up with really bad adult acne when I came off it when I split up with my then boyfriend.
Since having my little girl I decided to give the mini pill another try and it could be a coincidence but I was diagnosed with PND 3 months after starting it and was bleeding irregularly again too. I’ve since came off that too and I’m going to give my body a break and I feel much better. I know people who have had positive experiences with these forms of contraception but my body doesn’t agree with them.
“A few years ago, in between having my second and third children, I went for a routine smear test. Whilst I was there, the nurse started asking about contraception etc and she mentioned that I might like to try the mirena coil. This wasn’t something I had previously considered, but I did at some point want to stop relying on contraceptive pills. I took home the information she gave me and had a read; after discussing it with my Husband I decided that I would like to try it and so I booked myself in with the doctor to have it fitted. The fitting was easy and painless and the GP made me feel completely comfortable. She did warn me of a few side effects, such as mood swings, but said these were very rare and that the vast majority of people didn’t experience any adverse effects. Unfortunately, this was not the case for me. The day before my next period was due, I experienced one of the worst migraines I have ever had. I had a really strong headache behind my eyes and every time I stood up I felt like I was on a moving boat. I also felt really nauseous. I didn’t automatically relate this to the coil and it had passed by the next day. However, the same thing happened before my next two periods, along with some very irrational mood swings throughout the months. Three months after having my coil fitted I was back in with the GP demanding that she remove it. She was extremely reluctant and kept telling me that headaches aren’t a usual side effect, she also seemed fairly concerned with regards to me being left without contraception as she wasn’t willing to prescribe more pills for me due to my age and recent headaches. I was very insistent though and she had no choice but to remove it for me. It seems crazy to say, but I felt almost instantly better. Safe to say, I will never be having a coil fitted again!”
“I started taking the Pill when I was 19 and Ryan and I had been together for a few months. And then I just never stopped, considered the side effects, or considered any other form of contraception. In my early twenties I began to realise that a lot of my low moods were down to taking the Pill, it had never occurred to me that piling my body with all those extra hormones would effect me! I began discussing with doctors about other methods of contraception due to the hormonal impact and that I was fairly useless with taking it regularly…cue our surprise pregnancy and our daughter Rosie! Post-partum, I knew that I would never go back to the Pill. I decided on the Coil as it was a hormone free method (ideal for me as I already struggle with anxiety and low moods), I could forget about it for up to five years, and unlike the pill I couldn’t forget to take it one morning and have another surprise!
I did have one course of the pill, but I’m terrible with remembering to take medication daily so this didn’t last long. After years of the injection, they do say it takes time for your body and cycle to come back to ‘normal’ and with me knowing I’d eventually want children I swapped to the implant. Looking back I wish I’d have got the implant sooner as it is something you don’t have to think of once its in. I only had to swap it once before my husband and I decided to try for a baby. I had no side effects from the implant and my periods were light.
Since having my daughter I decided to give my body a little rest from contraception and let my body and hormones get back to normal without being effected in anyway. So I haven’t used anything for almost 3 years now.”