I know that I write fiction on this blog sometimes but I'm not making this up. Promise. Even though it's going to sound like a 7th grader going to Planned Parenthood.
A friend approached me with a question about birth control. She didn't need it for herself, she was asking for a friend. (Ok, maybe it's going to sound like a 6th grader.) The friend (I swear, it's true!) had asked her how to find out more about IUDs. She, not having been in the market for any kind of birth control for a while, wasn't sure where to look. Additionally she had some pretty strong negative feelings about IUDs but understood that her facts might be outdated. What could I tell her and what resources could I suggest for her friend?
I'm human, my first reaction was to be pretty damn pleased that someone came to me as an expert on the subject. Hard on the heels of that was some doubt about whether she was out of her fucking tree for giving me that trust. I decided to earn it and I will tell anyone who asks that I was able to do so because I write this blog. So, thanks to each and every person who has read and enjoyed this forum for discussion. You make me a better person in a measurable way.
First I went to Scarleteen because I trust them to have clear and comprehensive birth control information. Since both of the women in question (all three if you count me) are not even close to teenagers it seemed a little odd but my first criteria was trustworthy information. While I did eventually find the information I had a bit of an old lady moment because the section titles and the layout are so clearly geared toward younger people that I had a hard time identifying the right path. I eventually got to a page which included their "Birth Control Bingo," which is basically a Choose Your Own Adventure but with contraception.
Next I was inspired to search "Our Bodies, Ourselves." It's a classic resource and more of the time of the generations I'm dealing with in this case. Turns out there's a website! It's basically excerpts from the book and links. Again, though, I have faith that the people who built this book wouldn't post unvetted or otherwise shitty links, so I passed on this informative page.
Finally I went to Good Vibrations just because they're sex positive and I know the site and, not to be all broken MP3 Player about it, but I trust them. Now, logically, they're about sexual pleasure items and safety within that pleasure and that logic was borne out. I didn't find a specific page about birth control or contraception or even safe sex. I did, though, wind up at a 404 Page Not Found and that included the revelation that Good Vibrations has live chat! I don't know how to get to it except via the 404 Page so that's what I'm linking to. I am willing to bet they have experience talking about birth control and, even if they don't speak to it directly, have a go to list of good places to send chatters for help.
I think I'm allowed a small dose of pride* at my ingenuity. I'm definitely excited about what I've found. However, three links is no avalanche of fabulous information. That's what inspired me to write here. Last time I got birth control, though I was in my thirties, I made a decision based on information I learned in high school and asked a doctor I'd only been to a couple of times if there was a compelling reason to do something different than what I had decided. She didn't think so. I went diaphragm. It was fine but I don't know if I'll choose it again. I'll certainly use condoms until I'm in a position to fully trust someone and since I'm not even at the condom point right now there's time.
Seems like a good time to gather knowledge, no? Which is why I'm asking you. How did you choose your most recent form of contraception? Did you use any resources to make your decision? Do you know of any resources I could use? Man, I miss talking to you folks!
*I lose expert points for not thinking about Planned Parenthood until I started linking things in this post.