The Ultimate Preventative Medication

I started taking birth control pills five years before I actually had sex.

No, my parents were not worried I would become a teenage mom. 16 and Pregnant wasn’t even a shadow of a dream then. My birth control prescription was mandated by the government.

At the time, I was on a medication that included a pretty serious side effect: a high likelihood of birth defects if the baby’s mom had taken the drug during pregnancy. The FDA mandated that women on the drug use two different forms of birth control. Abstinence without contraception was “not recommended” and may not have even been allowed. So I went on the pill and received the treatment I needed.

This meant that when I did enter the world of dating and relationships, I had one less thing to worry about. Just because I was on the pill didn’t mean I was having sex, but I knew I could if I wanted to. The prescription gave me the peace of mind to worry about the bigger problems – like did I even want to have sex in the first place?

Although initially required by the FDA, going on the pill made me feel like I had control over my health decisions. It was also a major step on my path to adulthood: by filling this prescription (even considering the circumstances), my parents and I acknowledged that I was growing up.

I continue to take the pill today, but I do so for different reasons. Thankfully, I am no longer required to do so by the FDA. However, I do take it as treatment for a hormone issue. Considering its many different uses today, the pill is certainly a miracle drug (as Madeline J. so eloquently described). And of course, I view it as an important part of my safe-dating toolkit.

While it’s been many years since I started birth control, I consider myself no more ready for pregnancy now than I was that day. Well – I may be a little more ready, but I am certainly no more willing. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have ambitious goals or that I think pregnancy might stop me from accomplishing them.

Is there any other preventative medication that has influenced so many women so much?


This post is part of the National Women’s Law Center and Planned Parenthood‘s Birth Control Blog Carnival. Read more about it – and all of the posts – here!

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