Campus Health Center talks about birth control options

Sofia Rositani – Reporter

Birth control is a male and female decision.

Birth control forms consist of pills, implanted devices, patches, injections, condoms and inserted devices such as the NuvaRing.

“Birth control is just a hormonal – usually a hormonal – method of preventing pregnancy,” said Diane Morganthaler, director of Health Services. “Typically, we think of pills but there are various other forms as well, but the idea is usually to control pregnancy even though the hormonal part of it can control other symptoms that might make someone uncomfortable.”

The administration of some of these birth controls may be uncomfortable, painful or unpleasant. The easiest form of birth control that is available to males is a condom, which can also be used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

While many choose a form of birth control to prevent pregnancy, others obtain birth control to decrease menstrual cycle symptoms such as cramping, pain, heavy flow, acne, headaches and other pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms.

Biochemistry major Aleah O’Brady, a freshman, who was on the birth control pill called it a surprising but painful experience.

“Sometimes when I took the placebos, I wouldn’t get my period and sometimes when I did get it my period would be very painful to me to the point that I could barely walk,” O’Brady said. “I couldn’t eat. It felt like someone was stabbing me constantly.”

O’Brady said there were also positives to being on birth control like helping control her hormones, hunger and acne.

Using birth control, she said, is a trial and error process: some women experience side effects from different birth controls. O’Brady said, often it takes multiple attempts for a woman to find the right birth control.

“Definitely go to a gynecologist,” she said. “Also, if it doesn’t really work how you wanted it to work don’t just switch birth controls, like, after a few weeks – that will definitely mess up your body, that is something I ran into the hard way.”

At the Wellness Center, there is an abundance of ways to learn about sexual health on campus.

“We do a few different things: classroom programs, educational outreach primarily in first-year classrooms. We talk about a variety of topics including sexual health,” said Wellness Center coordinator Emily Rosenthal. “Resources [in the health center range] from basic medical care for all people, as well as birth control, safer sex supplies, STI testing for people who are sexually active. We let the students know what resources are available to them.”

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