Birth control and I are serial monogamists. I joined the ranks of Pill takers in a quiet room at Planned Parenthood my freshman year of college and we’ve had an on-again off-again relationship ever since.
But five years ago, I made the decision to break up with the Pill permanently for the quiet, low-maintenance IUD … and my sex life has never been better.
I remember my very first pink compact hiding 28 days of color-coded pills. I followed my doctor’s instructions to the letter, taking each pill every morning at the same time every day. My 18-year-old self rejoiced at the pill’s side effects: less acne and lighter periods. No one warmed me that all those hormones I swallowed each day could affect my libido. I had just met my future husband and our nightly dates proved there was nothing wrong with our sex drives.
Still, I wasn’t always faithful to my well-loved pills. I didn’t always have access to the money or health insurance to fill my prescription so I kicked them to the curb for free condoms from the health clinic. In my early 20s, I resumed my pill regime. I opened up to the doc. I recalled telling her that the new pills affected my sex drive.
My desire had waned noticeably since I started them three months prior. “Is that a problem?” she asked, a little too abrasively. I missed my former libido enough to respond to her snarky comment with a meek, “Yes.” She reluctantly wrote a different prescription.
As much as I loved the freedom and spontaneity the Pill allowed me, I was not faithful to it. As my days became busier, I hurriedly swallowed one at dinner instead in our usual morning rendezvous. Sometimes I forgot altogether. Even worse, I’d reach for my pack and realized that I’d missed several days, which pretty much voided the efficacy of the magic anti-baby pills. Time to return to condoms for the rest of my pill cycle.
I disliked condoms for various reasons, and hated the back and forth. I was glad to forsake the Pill when my husband and I decided to start a family. When I got pregnant right away, I was so happy that Pill worked the previous years. Who knew we were so fertile?
Right after both of my kids were born, my ob-gyn put me on the mini-Pill or as I called it, the Pill Lite. I’m sure a man must have invented the mini-Pill. Who else would expect a new mother to remember to take tiny pills at the exact same time everyday when she couldn’t remember which breast her baby last latched onto? Assuming that I was even in the mood for sex (thank you baby hormones), I was terrified of getting pregnant again so soon.
My doctor insisted that I give the mini-Pill a try, and I did. But after our three-month trial period, I was happy to toss them and get my IUD . My ob-gyn office guided me through my insurance paperwork — all I was responsible for was the co-pay! The insertion process was fairly simple and took place at my doctor’s office. The nurse advised me to pop a couple ibuprofen pills an hour before my appointment to help with the post-insertion cramping. The process was slightly more uncomfortable than a pap smear but lasted less than 10 minutes.
Since that appointment 5 years ago, I’ve barely thought about my birth control. Thanks to the tiny device in my uterus, I don’t have to stress about condoms or taking pills everyday. Because I no longer get a visible period, we can get busy when the mood strikes us. No worrying about which calendar days to avoid.
So, to my pink compact with its circular row of pills — we had a good thing. I’m sorry it didn’t work out between us. It wasn’t you. It was me. I wanted less worry and more sex. Because I like making love with my husband.More On