Birth control is not a one size fits all thing. We've talked to some Pinays about their experiences on birth control pills, but what about women who actively choose a contraceptive method other than the pill? Here's what 10 women had to say.
Karishma is all for the implant and how it helps her lead a more hassle-free life.
"I was able to try the pill for a few months before a friend of mine suggested that we get implants. We did our research and we discovered that an NGO called Likhaan Center for Women's Health offered free birth control of all types (condoms, pills, injectables, IUD, implants). They have readily available OBs and nurses too," shares Karishma, 21.
"The implant is the size of a matchstick, and they insert it under your arm with local anesthesia. I barely felt a thing and the procedure took less than five minutes," she explains. "I chose this over the pill because I don't have to go through the hassle of taking a pill everyday, at the same hour and [dealing with the terrible mood swings that came with it]."
Karishma adds, "The implant is also very effective, with a failure rate of 0.05 percent. Mine in particular—Implanon NXT—is effective for three years. I've never experienced any bad side effects [on the implant], and one of the things that I like is that I don't get my period. Sobrang gaan sa life na I don't have to go through the hassle of getting my period (PMS etc.)."
The pill made Andrea's life a little too ~*dramatic*~, so she opts for condoms instead.
"I took Trust Pills for almost a year, but it makes me feel sooo emotional. More than the usual. I also miss taking it sometimes, so I just stopped. Condoms na lang kami ngayon ng partner ko," says Andrea, 26.
For MK, the affordability and discreetness of condoms gives her peace of mind.
"In theory, gusto kong i-try ang pills, but I don't think I'm prepared to commit to it," admits MK, 26. "I have reservations about the pill regarding: 1) The cost; 2) Weight gain, skin issues, etc. (Although alam ko naman your OB will 'cater' to your needs and pwede kayo magpalit if the hormones aren't working for you.); 3) The fact that I won't be menstruating."
"['Yung issue of missed periods] talaga 'yung pinaka-hassle kasi my parents don't know that I'm sexually active. Eh sa bahay sobrang halata agad 'yun," she continues. "My mom asks me kung may period na ako and she replenishes my napkins, etc. so dagdag trouble pa if ever. Usual trapped little daughter problems."
Injectables are the way to go for Denice since it helps her stay up-to-date with her OB.
"I was first prescribed the pill, but knowing me, I won't be able to keep the routine everyday," Denice, 33, confesses. "I wanted something that I would remember to get because it's a special appointment and also, it would force me to go see my OB-GYN regularly. So I am now on Depo-Provera, which is an injectible contraceptive that I only have to get every three months. Of course, condoms is always a must too."
Hanouf went with the implant to prevent issues with her sensitive stomach.
"I got the implant Nexplanon. I prefer this over the pill as it is more convenient not having to remember when to take my pill or if I was able to take it on time. I didn't even consider going on the pill partly due to an ongoing medical condition regarding my small bowel. I don't want to take anything that would possibly irritate my stomach,” says Hanouf, 27.
Alice had to switch to condoms.
"I was on Diane-35 for a year because that was what the OB recommended when it came to acne issues. Medyo malala ang anxiety issues ko, so when I was still using it, I was super emotional. I really really hated that, but I was managing," explains Alice, 26. "I was advised by my doctor to stop using the pill kasi may lumps na na-detect sa breast ko. Even before naman may ganitong issue na ako, but we wanted to observe if may effect 'yung pills, so I stopped. When I had a check-up again, nawala 'yung ibang benign lumps ko. So I guess may effect talaga siya."
Grace got her implant for free and is already considering ligation.
"I prefer the implant (Implanon) than taking pills kasi makakalimutin ako. E, you have to take the pill every day—not like Implanon na already inserted sa katawan," notes Grace, 25. "Three years ang effect ng implant sa body ng babae and mas tipid din siya for me since it was free lang nung nanganak ako sa Fabella Hospital. [I've had my implant removed] September last year kasi pa-expire na siya and I am currently pregnant. If hindi ako payagan magpatali, most probably, balik implant ako," she adds.
Mich is looking to get the implant for a better sense of sexual and emotional security.
"I used to be on the pill, and I'm currently using a combination of condoms, withdrawal, and the calendar method; but I'm looking for something more long-term so I'm planning on getting the implant soon. I keep missing my pills kasi eh," Mich, 26, says. "Noong naka-pill ako, I observed hormonal imbalance. My mood was all over the place. Thought it would stabilize after a while but it didn't."
Shots are cheaper in the long run and are more convenient for Marie.
"I initially started taking pills because I had irregularities with my period. (There was a time I was bleeding for 2 weeks straight!) Diane-35 helped my cycle become regular and I like what it did to my skin. However, I didn't like how I became more moody and how it made me gain weight," explains, Marie, 29.
“After six months, I went back to my doctor to discuss other birth control options and we opted to try out DMPA shots which is effective for three months. It was a better option for me since sometimes I forget to take my pills on time, it was cheaper (P1500/shot vs. P600++/month for pills) and it was less hassle for me overall," she adds.