The morning the Ohio House cleared a state bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, I called my university’s health center to schedule an appointment to receive the Nexplanon birth control implant.
But before I can talk about why I decided to make this decision, it’s important to know how I came across this to start. So let’s go back to my time in public education.
Fondly referred to as “Jenn the Sex Lady” by our school district, she originally started off as a sexual education teacher at the middle school level. She talked to my sister’s Work and Family class about the basics of puberty and about sex when she was in middle school from 2004-2006.
I, however, did not meet and encounter Jenn the Sex Lady until it was too late.
The sexual education she normally gave students in middle school, I did not receive until my sophomore year in high school. For some reason, between the time my sister left the seventh grade and I went in, the school district decided to take sex ed away from Work and Family classes. Which I think was a big mistake on the part of the school district. Sex education should start at the time of puberty, not well after.
I took oral contraceptives nightly from 16 until the age of 21 when I got sick with cellulitis, a common but sometimes serious bacterial skin infection. I stopped taking them while I was taking the antibiotics.
Why didn’t I go back to birth control after taking the antibiotics, you ask? Well, after getting off the antibiotics, my eight year battle with depression worsened and I decided to get treatment after an emotional and mental break. But that is another column for another day.
Fast forward to Spring 2015, when I took Human Sexuality for my minor at the time.
Along with learning about how sex affects the brain and the psychology and science behind sexual behaviors, we also learned about birth control and the women’s rights campaign for the right to have birth control.
We discussed common methods of birth control first–oral contraceptives, condoms, spermicide, etc. But there was something new I was unfamiliar with: an intrauterine device, otherwise known as an IUD.
An IUD is a small “T”-shaped contraceptive device that’s inserted into a uterus. IUDs can be effective anywhere between five and 12 years. After that class, I decided to make it a mission to figure out if I was eligible for one of these.
Fast forward again to last semester.
While visiting a friend who was selling her artwork in the Student Union, I noticed a relatively large bruise on her bicep. Hoping she didn’t hurt herself while doing artwork, I asked her if she was okay. She told me she recently received the Nexplanon implant. It was a type of birth control covered by quite a few insurances, including Ohio State Medicaid and mostly covered by the Affordable Healthcare Act (otherwise known as “Obamacare”).
So this semester as a part of my personal project, Self Love 2016, I decided to make an appointment with the women’s health doctor at my school.
At the appointment, my doctor was very help. She told me implant was four centimeters (1.57 inches) and is rod shaped (instead of “T”-shaped) and is inserted into the bicep.
She told me I should be able to feel the implant in my bicep and she even gave me a dummy bicep to feel on.
She also told me that like with all birth control, there’s the risk that it may be more harmful than helpful, but it could always be removed if that happened.
So I accepted the process and she perscribed me progesterone pills to help me jump start a menstrual cycle.
But I chose to get the Nexplanon implant for a number of reasons.
I wanted it because it had a higher chance of being covered by my health insurance than any of the uterine implants. I’m also sick of taking oral contraceptives that I often forget about.
Being sick of oral contraceptives sounds contradictory since I take antidepressants daily.
But the difference was this: I willingly decided to take antidepressants. I was pressured into the decision to take birth control. I was 16 and wanting to appease and repent for a mistake I made and the best way to do so was by taking oral contraceptives like everyone wanted.
By getting the Nexplanon implant, I’m taking charge of my own body and making sure no surprises get in the way of achieving both my academic and professional goals.
By the time my audience reads this (unless you picked up the print and condensed version of this story in The BG News), I will be in procedure process, as my appointment is scheduled for 11 a.m. today.
I look forward to documenting my progess with you and seeing where this goes.