“You should go to the doctor and get birth control before you leave for college.” Hearing my mom say these words was weird. I thought this was an off-the-table topic that I shouldn't even mention in my house.
“What? Why?” I asked in an off tone, trying not to sound too weird, even though I was nervous she thought I was having sex.
“I want you to be protected with whatever decisions you make while in college,” she stated blankly. She didn't have an accusatory tone, and she sounded like a friend who was trying to look out for her bestie.
So, I went in for my regular checkup that very day and signed up for the tiny little pill. It was Ortho Tri-Cyclen, to be exact.
Little did I know this demon pill would make my life a living hell.
1. The instructions were too confusing.
Let it be known that I have a knack for disregarding instructions all together. When I dye my hair, I don't look at anything on the box. I just apply it and let it sit until I feel good about myself.
Naturally, I'm going to be curious about what I'm putting into my body, so I did attempt to inform myself this time around.
Ten minutes of confusion later, I put the papers away in my nightstand because the process of missing a pill and having to either catch up on it (if it's a certain shade of blue) or definitely not taking it (if it's green, maybe?) was too much for my brain to remember.
I just decided not to miss a pill.
2. I missed pills.
It was inevitable.
I set an alarm on my phone for the specific time each day I wanted to take it (8 pm on the dot). Even though the alarm would go off, I would tell myself I would get up in five minutes to take it, and then I would get distracted by various things on the Internet.
The worst part was when I would miss three days worth of pills in a row, and then I would get confused as to when I should start back (since I wasn't on a Sunday routine like most users).
The first time you take birth control, you start the first day of your upcoming period. You might not get to start on Sunday like any sane person would want to, and then you get the days mixed up.
Everything just turns awful.
3. My bras didn't fit.
I am the proud owner of B-cup breasts. When I went on birth control, I was the unhappy owner of C-cup breasts.
Sure, everyone wants bigger boobs (unless you actually have bigger boobs), and this would have been grand, except for the fact that the rest of my body didn't look proportional with this sudden change.
4. I became hungrier.
See, the birth control didn't actually make me gain weight directly (excluding the breast area). But, it did increase my appetite, like my doctor said it would.
Do you understand how annoying this is? It's like being on your period all the time, constantly craving different foods that are usually not good for you. And as a broke college student, buying more food was the last thing I needed to add to my list of stresses.
This also was the main cause of my freshman 15, so thanks for that, Ortho Tri-Cyclen. You're a real pal.
5. Slut-shaming became all too real.
When someone found out I was taking birth control — especially a guy — he would assume I was taking it to have safe sex. I wasn't having sex, but if I had been, that would have been great, too.
Safe sex is a healthy practice everyone should feel free participate in. I, however, was personally taking it for acne.
I heard that it helped with that, so I asked my doctor, and she confirmed it. I felt the need to bring this up whenever I received a lingering stare or weird face when my “secret” was revealed.
This isn't how things should be, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't worry slightly about being judged while I was on the pill. No one wants to be stereotyped.
6. Going off the pill was horrendous.
I finally decided I could no longer go through with the daily ritual of taking my birth control, so I completely went off it. It was the worst mistake of my life.
I got my period three times that month. THREE TIMES.
That's three times the cramps, three times the unnecessary and unexplainable emotions and three times the ruining of perfectly good, high quality panties. I wanted to scream.
So, does that birth control make you look fat? Maybe.
You just need to take whatever feels best for you. There isn't a universal solution for every lady out there, and that sucks.