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I Thought I *Knew* Birth Control, But These Ladies Just Taught Me A Thing (Or 5)

When you think about it, it's sorta wild: How many of us are using birth control without really knowing what it's doing inside of us? Regardless, if you take it, or if your partner does, or if you just generally have no effing clue what's behind all the "magic," this handy guide will help you answer some simple questions. Let's hear it for knowledge!

I Thought I *Knew* Birth Control, But These Ladies Just Taught Me A Thing (Or 5)
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NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation

According to a bunch of high schoolers, it's a pill you take ... or a magical tablet. They aren't sure.


According to an expert, "The way hormonal birth control works is it prevents you from ovulating by interrupting the signal from your brain."

According to one of the experts, "The risk of weight gain with [the kind of birth control pill you take every day] is extremely low. If you're gaining more than 5 pounds, then you should let the doctor know."

If you smoke while you're on the pill, you run an increased risk of blod clots. And if you're over 35 and on the pill, experts say you definitely shouldn't be smoking cigarettes.

A copper IUD is toxic to sperm, which means that the sperm cannot fertilize the egg. It doesn't prevent you from ovulating, and it doesn't affect your menstrual cycle.

There are very few long-term effects. In fact, according to one of the experts, "Once you stop your pills or once you take your placebo pills, within a very short period of time the hormones that have regulated it or prevented your pregnancy will be gone. And you should be able to resume a normal menstrual cycle very quickly — sometimes as rapidly as in one month. For other women, it may take a little bit longer."

Well, there's always male condoms and vasectomies. The experts in this video seemed doubtful that a male birth control pill will ever happen because you have to lower men's testosterone levels in order for that to work. But that doesn't mean other options aren't in the works!

The best form of birth control is the one that you will remember to take. Whatever you use has to be consistent. Whether it's condoms, a diaphragm, a pill that you take every day, or a ring that you put in the vagina, you have to be compliant.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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If Bernie Sanders isn't the realest dude to ever serve in Congress, I don't know who is.

We got to witness Bernie's down-to-earth, let's-get-to-work, cut-the-crap personality in all its visual glory at Joe Biden's inauguration today. While pundits fawned over the sharp and colorful stylings of the attendees, Uncle Bernie sauntered looking like he was on his way to run some errands and decided to stop in for a sec to see the new president sworn in.

Clad in what is probably his one winter coat and a pair of hand-knitted mittens, he looked perfectly comfortable, even as he stood out from the crowd of formal, designer coats and gloves. Ah, Bernie. You're just so...Bernie. It's a big part of why the guy has such a dedicated fan base. What you see is what you get, and he makes no apologies for being exactly who he is at all times.

But today of all days, as the nation waited with bated breath to witness the transfer of power from President Trump to President Biden, especially in the wake of an attempted violent coup and under the specter of an ongoing pandemic, Bernie's Bernieness came as a particularly welcome delight. This event could not have been more serious or weighty in its significance, and yet along comes Bernie reminding us that we're all just human beings here, none of us more or less important than the other.

His look launched a thousand memes that provided some needed comic relief for the day. I mean, how could it not?

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.