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I, Reba, never had any side effects from birth control.

The end.

Not really. Actually, I did have one side effect: It made my periods less painful. I remember one day pre-birth control when cramps tried to kill me. I was in college, and I lived off campus. I walked home from my afternoon classes, hurting and unhappy. As soon as I got the apartment door shut, I was down on my hands and knees, because I could not stand to be upright any longer. I lay down on the floor in the living room behind the sofa (where we walked to get to the rest of the apartment), and I may have cried. I know I hurt. So. Much. I did eventually crawl to the bathroom or kitchen or wherever the ibuprofen was.

While I was on birth control, I was mostly cramp-free. They still turned up, but they weren’t crippling. Since getting the Essure procedure, the cramps have returned. Usually they only happen on one day, but usually they’re back cramps and they’re awful. But I can kill them with Midol, so at least there’s that.

The great thing about birth control in 2017 is that there are so many options. Low dose pill, regular pill, 3 months without a period pill, the ring, the patch, the implant, tubal ligation, IUDs, condoms, female condoms, what Planned Parenthood calls outercourse, and total abstinence. There’s bound to be something that will work for you and make your life easier. If you’re using a specific form right now and it’s making you unhappy, uncomfortable, or any other un-, go talk to your doctor about other options. You don’t have to be miserable (or just uncomfortable) to be baby-free.