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Tales of Little Miss Type A

Pearls, Politics & Perception

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Health & Life

Being on Birth Control, A – Z

By Veronica U.-K. & Mattea McDonald What does being on the pill mean?

Ask your doctor, if this method of contraception is best for you. Some women may not react well to hormonal birth control and may experience extreme side effects. But have no fear, there are many methods of birth control!

Breast tenderness or swelling–common side effects. These side effects should eventually go away once your body adjusts to the sudden hormonal change.

Clotting is a possibility. Consult your physician, as this symptom may become worse or continue.

Depression–some women can experience severe depression when starting a new hormonal birth control method. However, others may notice that their depression is alleviated or treated when the birth control is added to your daily regimen.

Effectiveness? Only 99.9% effective and only when taken exactly as directed.

Find the best fit for you! Yes, we’re speaking generically about ‘the pill’, but truthfully, there are many different types of the pill! It’s important that you discuss with your doctor any medications you’re currently taking, any health issues you’re currently dealing with, or any concerns you have with going on birth control.

Get an emergency plan in place. There’s no embarrassment for having a plan B (or maybe even, literally, Plan B). Mistakes happen, sometimes your birth control doesn’t work or the condom breaks. Protect yourself from an unintended pregnancy. If you are 17 or older, you don’t need a prescription for emergency contraception (usually called Plan B-One Step or Next Choice.

Hormones such as progesterone and estrogen work to inhibit the body’s natural cyclical hormones to prevent pregnancy.

Irregular periods? See ya! Forget worrying about when Aunt Flo is coming to town! She’ll never be a random visitor again.

Justification for using birth control? Safety. Every woman has the right to protect her body.

Keep another form of birth control on hand, as stated, it’s not a guarantee to prevent pregnancy!

Lowered libido–another common side effect. If this is a concern to you or your libido does not return to normal, contact your physician and ask if there is another form of birth control that you can try.

Mood changes–common side effect. These should even out and your mood should return to normal after the first month of taking the pill. If it doesn’t return to normal or you begin to see signs and symptoms of depression or begin to have suicidal thoughts, contact your physician immediately.

Negative pregnancy tests. (Hopefully!)

Ovulating?–not anymore!

Placebo pills will take the place of the pills, during your period.

Quit smoking. If you’re planning to start taking birth control pills, you should know the risks of smoking while on them. If you smoke while taking an oral contraceptive, you have an increased chance of developing blood clots, heart disease, and even having a stroke. Talk to your doctor about your birth control options, if you’re a smoker, as well as possible cessation options.

Refills should be called in right before or during your period to ensure you do not miss a day!

Spotting may occur, especially in the first few months. Spotting may also occur, if a pill is missed by more than 24 hours.

Time–Be sure to take it at the same time! But if you miss it, just take it ASAP, or the next one, the next time you are scheduled to.

Uteran lining is changed to prevent the attachment of the egg, along the uterine wall.

Vaginal mucus may also be thickened to prevent sperm from reaching an egg.

Weight gain–helllooo water weight!

X-out any ‘detox teas’ or ‘weight-loss teas’ as these may render your birth control useless, if it’s an oral contraceptive due to a faster flushing of your system. Using these teas may not allow the birth control hormones to absorb into your system. Ask your doctor if this is something you should be concerned with when it comes to your type of birth control.

Your new buddy, the pill, has actually been shown to reduce your chance of developing ovarian and endometrial cancers, as well as a reduced risk of developing endometriosis.

Zero protection against STD’s. Birth control pills as well as IUD’s do not provide any protection against the contraction of STD’s. Make sure you use condoms in order to keep those nasty infections away! Don’t forget to get tested regularly!

Did we miss anything? Comment below! Don’t forget to follow Mattea!

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Clarification: Sadness is Not Depression

By Veronica U.-K.

For my 50th post, I wanted to do something different. I want to discuss something that is very prevalent in my generation–an area that despite the great amount of publicity it receives is still overlooked and misunderstood.

It is often believed that when a person is sad, they are deeply depressed. Despair, depression, grief…these are all the same things right?

While working on my novel, one of the characters experiences a great period of loneliness–isolation. In thinking of how to present her, I couldn’t help but wonder how to allow her sadness progress, without becoming stagnant. Then it occurred to me that sadness and depression are two different experiences.

Sadness is when emotions are let out. You cry. You scream. You truly grieve, but then you move on. Sadness is an experience of incredible emotion.

Depression is when you are immobile, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Your brain refuses to deal with the real problem and you just shut down. You simply can’t feel anything. So you eat, drink, make other people’s problems your own, watch marathons on Netflix (without actually watching)–anything that allows you to detach from the reality that you are ignoring.You don’t truly experience emotion.

The truth is this roadblock isn’t something any amount of therapy or meds can get you out of. It is a hole you have to pull yourself out of. When you recognize the reality of the life you are living, you will find all the walls are actually stairs. You just couldn’t see them before, because you focused on their sharp corners you kept hitting your head on.

But when you do pull yourself out, you will realize three things:

– “Going back” is not an option. Nothing exists the way it did before.

– Comparing yourself to others will not change the reality of the situation.

– Regardless of how much pain and loneliness are experienced, it will never go away if  they are not acknowledge and allowed to be processed the way they need to be. Just like a package from UPS, without correct processing they’ll never get to the little corner of the street, where they live. Instead they will be spread all around the neighborhood.

So what comes next? Several things must happen:

-Give yourself a lot of extra attention. Not the way you have before, with self-pity. But with self-love.

-Take care of yourself. Avoid anything that will make you unconsciously detach–alcohol, unnecessary drugs etc. You need to feel emotion. When you let it all back in, it’ll hurt, but then you can love.

-Do NOT make any major decisions like moving, changing jobs, ending/starting relationships. Your judgement could be foggy when you are processing these emotions, so go slow and stay focused on the you you have, in front of you.

-Write. Journaling can help you move forward, as well as what is going right, in your life.

-Talk to someone you don’t have a close connection to. Though it is important to share your feelings with people who care about you, speaking with someone who can be objective will definitely provide you with clarity. A mentor, a health coach, a therapist are all great options.  Just let everyone know you need some “you” time and that should be respected and honored. When you’re ready, you’ll share with them.

Don’t be afraid to feel. Your body–your heart will be lighter; your head will be stronger.

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