New presidency, new you! Now that the Trump administration has officially released a bill with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act--AKA the ACA or “Obamacare”--that it has been so keen on abolishing, women’s health advocates continue to worry about the increasing number of barriers to basic, often preventative reproductive care for women of all backgrounds. Planned Parenthood funding via Medicaid is threatened by the GOP’s new bill, now known as “Trumpcare,” which means that poor women will not have access to government-subsidized reproductive health care the way they do now. Additionally, because of loss of Medicaid funding, it is predicted that many Planned Parenthoods across the nation will have to shut their doors, which affects women from all socioeconomic statuses in those communities.
In anticipation of these cuts from immediately after the election until now, sexually active women have been building a quiet movement to get birth control implants that will last through the next four years before the ACA--which made all birth control pills free and covers the upfront cost of an IUD or other birth control implant--is kaput. With all these jabs taken at basic women’s health care, it’s clear that the GOP doesn’t understand just how essential access to birth control and reproductive care is to the lives of healthy women, and to a healthy country. Quite the contrary; apparently this administration thinks that birth control is as optional and frivolous as a new haircut! So in the spirit of being fashionable and preparing for a world without affordable birth control, look below to find a non-exhaustive but comprehensive list of 2017’s hottest long-term contraceptive measures that will update your look and allow you to exercise your full humanity without punishment for the next few years!
For the vagina-havers:
- An IUD, or intrauterine device, is perhaps 2017’s hottest new (well, not exactly new) contraceptive. It comes in two shades, copper and hormonal, and has the ability to prevent pregnancy for anywhere from 3-10+ years. The available types are the ParaGard (copper) which lasts the longest and comes with the risk of anemia, irregular bleeding, cramps, pain during sex, and inflammation of the vagina; Mirena (hormonal) which lasts up to 5 years and comes with the risk of acne, irregular bleeding, absence of periods, ovarian cysts, weight gain, cramps, mood changes, and accidental expulsion from the uterus; and Skyla (hormonal) which is similar to Mirena but only lasts up to 3 years. Be sure to ask your doctor/stylist for some pain medication and long front bangs to cover your eyes if you’re squeamish at all because this invasive procedure can be painful for certain customers!
- Implants last for up to 3 years and are perfect for the active gal who needs a low-maintenance contraceptive. Ask your doctor/stylist for the Nexplanon to achieve that always-chic low-dose of progestational hormones that will thicken your cervical mucus, thin the lining of your uterus, and totally bring out your eyes. The insertion process is much quicker and generally less painful than the IUD, as it is placed in the upper arm, so you can get right back out there to strut your stuff! This option comes with an increased risk of noncancerous ovarian cysts, back and headaches, irregular bleeding, mild insulin resistance, sore breasts, vaginal inflammations, weight gain, nausea, and decreased sex drive, among other things. Tres chic!
For the penis-havers:
- The male condom is a classic form of birth control that never goes out of style (you could say we’re big fans). With easy application, a manageable price tag, a sleek look, the ability to protect you and your partner from STIs, and roughly an 82% prevention rate, this method is a great option to tag-team with another form of birth control any time you engage in P-in-V sex. Don't believe me? See for yourself how male condoms are truly haute couture.
- If you’re pretty dead-set on the whole never-wanting-to-impregnate-another-human thing, you can also choose the drastic vasectomy. It’s a pretty severe cut, but it’s proven 99.85% effective, and you’ll feel so much lighter getting rid of some of that dead weight! This method comes with very few risks, including a very slight increase in the chances of getting prostate cancer, inflammation of the tubes, infection, some slight aching in the testicles, and regret.
Other shorter term options if you can afford to keep them in mind:
- The patch
- The injection
- The pill
- The female condom
- The diaphragm
- Cervical cap
- Tubal sterilization
- Morning after pill/emergency contraception
So, go ahead! Treat yourself to one of the above forms of birth control (many of which come with the risk of side effects), so that you don’t have to deal with trying to obtain an abortion in these increasingly anti-choice times. Just like that famous Hannah Montana song goes, “You can change your hair and you can change your birth control / you can change your mind that’s just the way it goes / until you’re forced to have a baby when you’re not ready and your entire life gets flipped upside down / you’ll always find your way back home!”