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With so many options for birth control, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is right for you. After trying one method, Katie C. began to experience negative effects. However, with the help of compassionate medical providers, she was able to open up to her clinician when she realized her birth control wasn’t working for her. Her clinician provided support and helped her find a better option.

She also received compassionate and trustworthy care during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here’s her story:

My Planned Parenthood journey started in my second year of college. After becoming acquainted with my now boyfriend, we developed feelings for each other and became official. The novelty of a new relationship also came with many new thoughts and considerations for me and my partner’s health. 

I decided I wanted to get on birth control to ensure physical safety and protection. It was important as well to bring peace of mind so we would feel as safe and comfortable as possible. 

Over March break, I got a Depo shot at a family planning center near my home. During my appointment, it became clear to me that the unwelcoming atmosphere didn’t feel like a safe place to receive care. On a more personal level, I felt judged and undervalued as a patient for needing birth control. To complicate matters, after doing further research on the Depo shot, I learned I would need to get a new shot every three months.

I knew I needed another birth control option, and ideally from a clinic that felt more supportive. I knew some close friends who relied on Planned Parenthood to provide trustworthy and accessible healthcare, so I made an appointment.

The Coronavirus had just been declared a global pandemic, so I scheduled an online consultation. I spoke with the healthcare provider in regards to the risks and benefits of various birth control methods, and left the visit feeling greatly informed and well cared for. 

I decided on the IUD. I like the IUD because it’s simple; you just have it inserted and you’re all set. Planned Parenthood was also the easiest and quickest option for me to get my IUD inserted during the pandemic.

When I went into the Portland health center to get the IUD, I felt so welcomed! I love Planned Parenthood because the receptionists, medical providers, and anyone you interact with are all so kind. Another one of the main reasons I chose Planned Parenthood was because of their acceptance of many health insurance policies and the fact that I never had to make a copay.

Although it was effective, about five months into having the IUD, it began to give me complications. I was experiencing anxiety and depression, and just not feeling like myself. Everyone can react differently and have unique side effects with the various birth control methods, and I just realized that this particular method didn’t work for me.

About eight months later, I returned to the Portland Health Center to have the IUD taken out. My medical provider and I discussed alternative options of birth control, and she also offered a space to talk about my mental health. I know that if I ever needed someone to talk to about anything, be it sexual health, reproductive health, or mental health, I could go there.

As I’m still weighing my birth control options, I didn’t feel ready to make a decision on a more permanent method yet, but will decide in time for my annual exam. In the meantime, my provider guided me to other methods such as condoms. 

I think that there’s a stigma that Planned Parenthood only offers abortions, but there’s so much more that they offer. It’s really important to educate all people about everything they can provide for you, and that their holistic approach is something that everyone can benefit from. 

I encourage everyone to realize your needs, and seek out the care that allows you to feel the most safe and empowered. Planned Parenthood has helped me accomplish this.

I’m immensely grateful that Planned Parenthood was there for me as I navigated the experience of finding the right birth control, especially during a pandemic. They are there for you throughout your whole journey and support you in becoming your healthiest and happiest self. 

This is such a comforting feeling knowing that they are always there for you. In the event that anyone you know needs care, you can guide them to Planned Parenthood so they can receive the compassionate care we all deserve.