A Male's Guide To Female Birth Control

A Male's Guide To Female Birth Control

What the birth control pill is: facts and must-knows.
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"Birth control," "the pill," "that medication stuff that doesn’t make babies happen"… whatever you’ve always called it, this particular form of the female contraceptives is probably a mystery to you. Despite the fact that you most likely have relied on its magical powers on several crazy college nights, you might not know how it really works or if it really is working! Here is a short, but informative, list of some basic fun facts as well as must-knows before your next primal encounter.

The birth control pill is a small pill, obviously, commonly made up of two different kinds of hormones: estrogen and progestin (a synthetic form of progesterone). These are hormones that you have in your body too, just in much smaller amounts; women even have testosterone in their bodies. What the hormones ultimately do is prevent the egg from being released by the ovaries as well as making the mucus within the cervix thicker, which makes it harder for sperm to travel toward the egg. These two actions work together in an attempt to prevent the sperm from ever meeting the egg and thus preventing pregnancy.

Pregnancies can still occur with birth control. Yes…even though that’s its one and only job. The birth control pill must be taken properly, meaning it must be taken at the same exact time everyday. Or else, the chances of getting pregnant increase. According to Planned Parenthood’s article on Birth Control Pills, 1 in every 100 women each year will get pregnant despite having properly taken the pill while 9 in every 100 will become pregnant after not taking the pill as directed. So next time, ask if she’s been taking her pill properly before you find out the hard way…

Birth control isn’t just for having sex! Many women take birth control for a plethora of reasons. The pill regulates periods, so in other words her period comes on the same day of the week once each month for the same amount of days. This is super convenient because it’s not fun showing up to the beach and just getting your period whilst not having a tampon on hand. Other awesome things the pill does is help with acne, menstrual cramps, breast growth, PMS (premenstrual syndrome that includes depression) and much more.

An average single package of birth control consists of 28 pills. 21 of which contain the hormones and 7 of which are just placebo pills, which contain no hormones, nor any other medication. They are divided into sets of 4 weeks, one to be taken each day of the week at the same exact time. The reason being for the placebo pills is to help her remember to keep taking the pill; it’s so she’s constantly in the habit of taking that pill at the same time. Most, however, throw out that part if they’re expert birth control pill takers. During this week that no hormones are being ingested is when she will have her period. Then, usually, right before she begins her new package for the month is when her period will end. During the time she is not taking the medicated pills, she is still protected from pregnancy.

Finally, the myths. Common myths that you may have heard are that the pill causes weight gain and/or breast growth. The fact is that everyones body reacts differently to the pill. Some may even lose weight or their weight may not affected at all. When hormones are added to the body, wild things can happen simply because its not natural. She might become more or less hungry at times, moody, and even her sex drive might increase or decrease at times. So it's best to be understanding and supportive while she's altering the hormonal balance of her body for the sake of controlling birth.

Now, I hope you have a general understanding of how birth control works and why it is so important. It's not 100% percent effective, it's not 100% side-effect free, but it has many perks for both you and her in both the short term and long term, if you know what I mean.

Cover Image Credit: Her Campus

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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My Eating Disorder Was A Secret, Even From Me

No one ever talks about it, and if they had my life might be different.

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I remember ninth grade health class very well, specifically one day in particular. The day we talked about eating disorders, I was ready to hear about anorexia and bulimia. I was not ready to walk out of that classroom with confirmation that I had an eating disorder, but that is exactly what I did that day.

After speaking on anorexia and bulimia, my teacher told us about Binge Eating Disorder.

My 14-year-old ears perked up. I had never heard of this disease, but I was immediately interested. I knew anorexia and bulimia well, they were the diseases that, at the time, I wish I had the determination to try, but I was too scared to hurt my body.

Binge Eating Disorder was new to me. My teacher described it as continuing to eat after you were full and eating for hours at a time. As the signs and symptoms continued to be read, I realized... that the last three years of my life had been plagued by binges. There was a lot I couldn't control in my life, but eating was one thing that I always had control over. It was the one thing that always brought me comfort.

Most binges would start after I came home from a hard day at school, or maybe after I got in a fight with a family member. Maybe I felt insecure about the growing number on the scale, but I ate.

It always started with half a bag of chips, then maybe a cookie or other sweet treat, and then I would finish with something else I could find in the pantry. My mother would come home and begin making dinner.

Ashamed, I would hide the food anywhere so my family could not tell I had been eating and then I would go eat dinner.

This was a common occurrence for me, but I had no idea that my habits were wrong or should point to an eating disorder. The only thing that I knew was wrong with me, was that I was gaining weight.

For the longest time, I thought an eating disorder was something that helped you lose weight unhealthily, not gain weight. It wasn't until I sat in a health class that I realized that there was anything wrong with me.

Education is so important in overcoming eating disorders. We are making such great strides about informing people about the dangers of eating disorders and positive body image.

It is so important that we start making Binge Eating Disorder a topic that is as known as anorexia and bulimia. No one ever discusses Binge Eating Disorder, not even the dangers of it, maybe if they had my life might have been different.

Maybe I would have found out about it earlier and could have gotten help before it got out of hand.

I wish I could say that I left that health class that day and never had a binge again. The truth is I binged several times after that, and still to this day I have an episode, although they are very rare.

It would be unrealistic to tell you that I overcame my eating disorder that day because it is a journey I am still completing. Every day presents a new challenge, and sometimes I fail, but I will succeed, and succeeding is worth a few failures.

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