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When I was fourteen, I was at a sleepover with my “girls” and one of them asked me if I could pass her some toothpaste from her bag and when I looked for it, my stomach dropped. I saw a little packet of blue tablets. She was dying. That could be the only possible reason why she was on medication. I started to cry and when she asked what was wrong, I could barely speak. She saw what had upset me and laughed a little. I put this down to shock. But then she explained to me that she was on the pill. Well, didn’t this lead to a WHOLE new wave of confusion. “You’re having sex??” I asked her “You’ve never even had a boyfriend!” Oh boy did I need an education.

Since this traumatic event, I have learned that people take the pill for many different reasons and contraception is just one of them. The pill can help with hormone regulation, period regulation, to help treat migraines, to treat acne, managing PMS symptoms, and many more! Of course, the pill is also a form of birth control and that’s great too if that’s what you need. I do think that there is a common misconception that the pill can make you “crazy” which just isn’t true. If anything, the pill can help with your “crazy”. But every single person reacts to the pill differently. So if you do feel that you are more emotional or feeling more down than usual after being on the pill, it’s definitely something you should talk about with your doctor.

If you are over 16, you can go to your GP and begin going on the pill without your parents’ consent. You just need to book an appointment and your doctor will discuss all of the different options with you. There are so many different pills you can take and if that doesn’t suit, you can get the coil or the bar. An open and honest conversation with your doctor will be extremely helpful if you’re feeling a little nervous or overwhelmed.

Once you do start taking the pill, you need to take it at the same time every day. It is completely up to you whether you want to have a period or not. It is relatively cheap and it 99% effective when it comes to birth control. However, it is advised that you also use a condom just to make sure. At the end of the day, the pill is the most popular birth control used by women so there’s no reason to feel embarrassed about it. If you do think the pill might be an option that you’d like to go for, don’t hesitate to ask an older female in your life, I’m sure she would be able to provide you with lots of helpful information.

For more information on all things contraception, take a look at mycontraception.ie