19 October 2016

Taboo Talk #6 | Why I Chose to be Hormone Free


Everybody who's ever had a single thought about contraception knows about the pill or implant. There are so many forms of contraception out there that are less publicised but just as accessible for women all over the country, one being the IUD (the coil, inter uterine device etc). 

Non-hormonal contraception has been on the rise lately after studies confirmed that depression is directly linked to the pill and it's becoming more obvious that seizures, blood clots, osteoporosis and strokes are also related to taking forms of hormonal contraception. Methods such as noting your natural cycle and avoiding sex on certain days or the copper IUD and condoms pose less of a risk to your health.

Obviously which contraception you choose is a personal choice and totally up to you! For me, I chose the copper coil which I've had for around 2 years now. I was on the depo injection (hormones that last for 3 months) before that but whenever I used it I'd cry, being irritable, angry and almost depressed a lot of the time. 

I knew this while I was on it, but stayed on it because I wasn't educated on other forms of birth control. Crying was a part of my weekly routine for months at a point and I decided no more- it wasn't until I came away from hormonal birth control that I realised just how much my mental state was affected by it. 

The copper coil is inserted in a (nearly) pain-free process- it was a cold, uncomfortable feeling but the cramps after were worse than the insertion until they stopped after about 3 days. Since then, my periods have become regular, I have less mood swings, no crying episodes or feelings of despair for no reason! Crazy. 

The coil works essentially by killing sperm. Copper is key! My coil will last for ten years, by which time I'll be 28 ( I had it put in when I was 18, almost 19) so I don't have to worry about contraception at all. There's also a hormonal coil available which doesn't last for as long, and personally I'm over having hormones put into my body as they encouraged my mental health for the worst. 


Coming off hormonal contraception can be rough; you'll most likely have mood swings and irregular periods until your body restores it's natural balance. If you're coming off it to try for a baby you might find that it takes a while for your fertility to come back (another reason that my hormonal contraception wasn't right. When the time comes that I want a baby, there's no chance I'll want to wait for my fertility to return- whenever that may be).

If you're thinking of making the switch to non-hormonal contraception you should talk to your GP or nurse at a sexual health clinic (you can probably google where your nearest one is) about which method you want, or they might show you some other options! 

My opinion on choosing is GO WITH YOUR GUT. Nobody, noooooooo-body knows your body better than you do. Not any nurse who's met a million patients like you, not a doctor who doesn't have birth control himself. Of course if your doctor tells you you shouldn't use a certain one because it puts you at a risk, don't do it but:

based purely on recommendations, choose the contraception YOU feel most comfortable with. 

Don't be afraid to ask the doctor/nurse themselves what contraception they're on. The nurse who put my coil in was using the coil herself which made me feel so much better and more confident about choosing it!

Now, I wouldn't go back. I'm only 20 but never in my life will I take the pill unless I have to. Non-hormonal methods are definitely for me, because although there were no physical illness or side effects from the depo injection, it really made me so unhappy (also long term use gives you brittle bones. No thank you).

If you want to ask me questions about the Copper Coil/IUD (I mean any haha, nothing is too taboo or embarassing) feel free to shoot me a tweet/DM @sarahjdocker or an e-mail at sjdocker@hotmail.com, we can have  a chat!

What are your experiences with contraception?
p.s: I still have all of your contraception stories to share, instead of one huge post I've decided to start a post series and group each contraception together. Does that make sense?



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