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A couple of years ago I wrote about my experience receiving exceptional care and counseling from Planned Parenthood of Northern New England when choosing the right birth control method for myself. It was the first time I had sought out birth control besides a barrier method and the providers at the health center respectfully helped me make an informed decision. In that blog post, I also addressed the jeopardy that family planning service providers in New Hampshire often find themselves in due to unfounded politicization and manipulation of their funding. While this unfortunately remains true, my appreciation for Planned Parenthood’s care also remains unwavering. 

Planned Parenthood provides important services - like cancer screenings, gender affirming care, and birth control - that many rely on because of the affordability and accessibility that they make possible. In celebration of this World Contraception Day, I am happy to share an update on my birth control journey and express my gratitude. 

For two years I continued to use the same birth control method that I decided on after my initial appointment with Planned Parenthood. My body and mind changed over that time, and I started to think that changing my birth control could be beneficial to my health. I began research on my own, knowing that I would again be returning to Planned Parenthood because of the positive experiences I had. After using online resources and discussing with my partner, I had an idea of what I was looking for and made my appointment.

When the day arrived, I was very nervous about my Nexplanon implant removal but certain that the health center staff would be knowledgeable and compassionate as they had been before. My appointment began with a discussion about my experience with the initial birth control method I had been using. I talked with nurses about the pros and cons of that method and its impact on me. They used that information and my health history to make recommendations on the best possible methods for me. This ended up being very important to my experience because the method I had in mind for myself would have been problematic in combination with a health condition I have. With this new information, I was able to eliminate some methods. 

Planned Parenthood gave me time to consider my options and talk with my partner. They answered all the questions we had, eliminating any possible uncertainty. After making my decision we began the birth control removal process. Although I was nervous, the nurse gave me a demonstration of what would be done and again was able to answer any questions I had. This ended up being a quick and painless process. After giving me a moment, we moved on to administering my new birth control, the Depot shot. The nurse informed me again about the new method in the moment and gave me a packet of information to take home with me. They offered options for me to make sure receiving birth control care would continue to be accessible for me. I was excited for this new method because it is highly effective and low maintenance.

I once again left my appointment feeling empowered by my decision, glad that I am able to uphold my reproductive autonomy, and grateful for PPNNE’s health service providers’ knowledge and care.

This World Contraception Day reminds me of the important role birth control plays in my life. Without access to birth control, decisions about my future would always have an element of uncertainty lingering. My reproductive freedom allows me to have confidence that the possibility of having a child is minimized and won’t impact important life events, like starting my career after finishing my master's, or moving into a new home. 

Access to birth control is vital to our lives. Unfortunately, extreme anti-abortion politicians are also fighting to deny you access to this critical care. In New Hampshire, four members of the Executive Council have put their personal politics before public health with four consecutive votes to deny family planning contracts with reproductive health care providers, including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. The next round of state funding for birth control (as well as STI testing and treatment and cancer screenings) will soon come before the Executive Council. This World Contraception Day, join me in learning more and urging your elected officials to protect access to birth control for all!

Tags: Contraception, birth control, sexualandreproductivehealth

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