Finding the right birth control for me has been quite the process.
I'm not exaggerating when I say I've tried at least 10 different methods over the past few years.
I've gone from all kinds of pills to the vaginal ring to nothing at all, a journey that has caused my personality, sex life and general well-being to oscillate from horrible to amazing. (I'm all for changes in life, but not that many changes.)
After this long hunt for the perfect birth control, I finally found one that works for my body.
But here are seven major struggles I faced — and I'm sure many other women have — while trying to find the right preggo-preventing solution:
1. Being told I had to take a particular kind.
"But this makes me feel yuckier than I've ever felt," I once said to my gyno about the pill she had prescribed me.
"Just take it," she said, shoving the pill pack at me. "Wait it out and see."
I didn't want to tell her it made me feel like jumping off a cliff (I didn't want to come off as melodramatic), but in reality, it did.
Plus, I figured she knew what she was talking about. So, I stuck it out. And sure enough, weeks later, I still hated the way I felt. Nothing could help me break free from that awful feeling.
2. Consulting a bunch of different doctors.
Since I wasn't exactly thrilled by my gyno's response, I ended up switching doctors, who put me on something else.
But in the meantime, I also consulted my mom, who's a family physician. I looked to WebMD and searched Reddit threads.
So many different doctors suggested different medications, my head was spinning. (Although, it was comforting to read in the Reddit thread that there were hundreds of other girls out there having as much trouble finding the right pill as I was.)
I finally succumbed to the fact that this was going to be a long trial-and-error process, and the only person's opinion I could truly trust was my own.
3. Mood swings that turned into a quarter-life crisis.
One pill I tried had me severely questioning my general happiness. In LIFE.
I remember sitting on my couch and crying uncontrollably over... absolutely nothing.
Do you know how frustrating it is to feel like your life is falling apart when everything is actually just fine?! These pills pulled the rug right out from underneath me, even on my most grounded days.
I'm already a moody girl. I didn't need any more "crazy" hormones inhabiting me.
4. The weight gain.
I'm terrified of taking any medication that will make me gain weight (what girl isn't?).
So when I found a pill that worked for me in almost every way, but actually did make me gain weight, I freaked out and decided to stop taking it.
That was a side affect that just wouldn't work for me. Plus, I didn't have the budget to buy all new clothes.
5. And breakouts.
People, I am no perfect human, but I am fortunate enough to have flawless skin. It's one of the things I work hard to maintain and refuse to give up.
With awesome skin, I feel like Sheena with a twist of Beyoncé. But without it, I'm just... Sheena.
Face acne, bacne — I had it all on one kind of pill. So, I went off of it in search for a different one, yet again. (You know, finding birth control is kind of like finding the perfect guy in that way.)
6. Oh, and cramps on cramps.
Because my body had to get used to these different types of birth control, it would regularly freak out once I got an extra pump of estrogen in my system.
But hell, being doubled over in stomach pain at 2 pm on a Tuesday was the worst experience, and something I hope even my worst enemy doesn't have to go through.
7. Finally, peace.
Bless the baby-proofing gods, I finally found a birth control that works for me.
No more crazy mood swings, weight gain, acne, worry...
It's a feeling that can only be summed up with:
If you take anything away from this list of experiences, know that the search for the perfect birth control is no easy feat. But, if you're willing to put in the time, research and, potentially, multiple doctor switches, it's 100 percent worth it.
Because when you do find the right one, it can make your life a little bit more worry-free.