I recently made a trip to Planned Parenthood to get an IUD (also known as IUC- Intrauterine Device/Contraceptive), which despite some bad rep it's gotten throughout the years, remains the most effective form of birth control on the market (See chart). I'm a person who has suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety, on top of a genetic history of blood clotting, making hormonal birth control not an option for me. I tried the birth control pill for a few months, and the effects it had on me were next to terrifying. My depression spun out of control, my mood swings were unpredictable, I had no desire to get out of bed in the morning, my sex drive was nonexistent– basically the equivalent to female castration. While some women have had a great experience with the birth control pill (which is awesome!), for me it was a disaster– and I had to stay in tune with my body to realize that it was, in fact, the pill causing these crazy side effects, not just my mental health history. Once I went off the pill, it was incredible how quickly the side effects disappeared.
It became clear that hormonal treatment was out of the question. I tried using condoms as my only form of birth control for a long time, and while they were effective, they weren't ideal for a monogamous relationship where the risk of STI transmission is extremely low– plus, I was developing a sensitivity to latex, which left my vagina sore.