Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy back up your birth control day!

Today, NARAL Pro-choice America is celebrating Back Up Your Birth Control Day by promoting awareness of emergency contraception and how to access it. See Vanessa's post at feministing for more information on EC, but also don't forget that every once in a while, it's a good idea to reassess how your birth control regimen is working for you, and what steps you could take to make it more reliable.

In keeping with the spirit of the day, I thought I'd share what I do, as a user of oral contraceptives.
  1. I take my pills right before bed and leave them in my night stand. When I first started using oral contraceptives, I tried taking them in the mornings, and felt uncomfortable with the idea of maybe oversleeping and taking pills at dangerously inconsistent times.
  2. My partner is on guard to remind me to take my pill every night. I forget everything, even things I do every day. I can accept this fact. I even forgot to pack a lunch today and had to eat crappy overpriced campus food. A reminder is always useful.
  3. I keep backup methods of birth control in my nightstand. What I've got on-hand right now is the sponge, which I actually haven't had occasion to try, but I'm willing to give it a go someday.
  4. I store my pharmacist's number in my phone. If I've missed a pill or have questions about how a course of antibiotics will interact with it, I give them a ring. I've been using the same pharmacy for several years now and have built up a good relationship with the pharmacists who work there, but even if you haven't any pharmacist is likely to answer your questions about using medication. Find one that will provide answers and keep their number close at hand.
  5. (Possible TMI warning) I look on the bright side. A week where I've missed the pill doesn't have to be abstinence week or condom week - it can be oral sex week! Can't complain about that.

Anyone with other tricks to share to correctly and consistently use oral contraceptives - or any other type of contraception - please leave your ideas in the comments. If you'd like to post your list on your blog, I'll link to it. To paraphrase the old saying, effective birth control is part medication and part inspiration. Gimme all you've got, feminist hivemind.

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