One Christmas Eve, I passed out on my bathroom floor because my uterus was trying to kill me. My whole body ached. And hurt. And stung. I don’t even know the word to describe this level of pain. It was like swords were cutting through me and there were hot stones inside of my head and all of my skin was actually just made from a giant bruised peach. I would soon learn that the culprit was endometriosis. But, the best birth control method for managing endometriosis and its symptoms? That would remain a mystery for quite awhile longer.
Let's jump back to that Christmas Eve, though, when I spent the afternoon sprawled on my couch crying out in pain, wrapped in blankets and armed with hot water bottles, just trying to survive the day. Everyone thought that it was probably a good idea for me to see a gynecologist. And, terrified as I was by that thought — I was just 16 at the time, and the idea of sticking my feet in stirrups and having a doctor poke around my pelvic area was nightmarish — I had to agree.
After my first appointment (which was totally fine, BTW!), my doctors arrived at the conclusion that endometriosis was likely causing my problems — which sounded like total gibberish at the time. If, like my 16-year-old self, you're unclear on what endometriosis even is, allow me to explain. As Planned Parenthood defines it, "Endometriosis is when the tissue that lines the inside of your uterus is found outside of your uterus. It’s a pretty common health problem that can be painful." (Tell me about it, sis.) There's no cure, but there are ways to help manage symptoms — including birth control!
Which is where my crazy, topsy-turvy birth control journey begins. Here's a look at every method I've tried, and the ways each has positively or negatively impacted my life.
(Full disclosure: This is 1000 percent based on my own experience with my uterus — a lot of women have hated methods I've loved, and vice-versa. Your doctor can help you find the methods that work best for your body and lifestyle.)