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!

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 CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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