When I first introduced the topic of contraception and my #3YearGoals back in March, I was so pleasantly surprised at all the positive feedback I received from you guys either here on the blog, on Instagram or in person. That’s why I think this campaign has been so successful – because it speaks the truth. As women, we have to deal with the pressures of being equal citizens in the workplace as well as our more tradition role as mothers, and most importantly, the getting enough time to feed our souls. How do you do it all?
The answer: PLANNING!
Of course, a plan is only there to keep you on track. If the opportunity to move to Spain should arise or you fall in love, or both, don’t reject it just because it wasn’t part of your plan! Did you ever think that by opening ourselves up to the possibilities of ambition we actually invite opportunities into our lives? I firmly believe that! I mean, things haven’t been going for me as planned for a while – and I couldn’t be happier! LOL.
OK, so here are 5 tips you should consider when making a plan to achieve your #3YearGoals:
- Write your goals down, and more importantly, READ them every single day. Add to the list. You have the power to create your own life.
- Share your goals. Tell someone you love about your goals and get them excited about it! When you achieve something it’s always nice to have that person who has been cheering you on the whole time.
- Do something. Just pick one thing on your list and start to put it into action. It’s fun to think about goals but it’s even more fun to actually do something. Do something!!!!
- Identify the demons, put them in a box, and throw away the key. Nothing in life is easy breezy – there are going to be obstacles in your way. Take some time to identify what those obstacles might be and how you’re going to overcome them. Stay positive!
- Talk to a professional. I’m always talking to healthcare professionals from doctors to psychologists about my life plans. A psychologist helps you not to become a different person, but to accept the person you truly are and learn to love that person. A family doctor or OBGYN is also key at this stage in your life. You want to be having conversations about the future – your doctor can give you the best advice about contraception – not your girlfriends. (If I listened to my girlfriends I would probably have 3 kids by now with their pull-out and do the jig five times around the room or you can’t get pregnant if you’re on your period or if you don’t orgasm, shoddy birth control methods). Head to www.birthcontrolfore.ca for more info on this!
If you’re too busy to book in an appointment with your family doctor anytime soon, don’t worry. I’ve asked a healthcare professional, Dr. Palmay, a few of my own questions for the purpose of this post. Here’s what Dr. Palmay has to say about contraception and how to plan your #3YearGoals:
Justine: What is one of the biggest myths surrounding birth control?
Dr. Palmay: All birth control is equally as effective
Canadians have unprecedented choices in birth control options, which can make things confusing. Most patients in Canada use the combined birth control pill, however are likely not aware that the pills is not the most effective form of pregnancy factors (due to missed pills, taking pills late and other extraneous factors that may decrease compliance). Consider other non-daily options such as a patch, ring or IUD and ask your primary care physician about the effectiveness of each. You will be surprised!
J: Someone once told me that women who are on the pill for a long time have a lower chance of conceiving when they get off it. True or false?
Dr. P: False
As a doctor who has a young female practice, I am constantly asked if being on hormones for a long duration will affect future fertility. Understandably, wanting to have a child is a huge area of concern for a patient population who chooses to conceive later in life, but hormonal birth control does not affect fertility in the least. Speak to your health care provider regarding your fertility questions and to recommend when to stop your birth control prior to attempting to conceive.
J: Is it OK to skip your period by taking your birth control continuously? How often can you do this? Are their other options?
Dr. P: Yes. I often have discussions with patients about this. Not one answer exists for each patient and it depends on that type of birth control you are using. We have some pills that only give women a period four times a year! If you plan to skip your period for a specific event (e.g wedding, vacation), it is essential to plan ahead. Speak to your health care provider regarding options available to you.
J: Do you think women are embarrassed to ask their doctors about going on the pill?
Dr. P: Statistics tell us that this is the case, which breaks my heart! A wonderful study sponsored by Bayer (Truth Report) proved that most millennials are getting their health information, including birth control, from the internet and often from unreliable sources. What is even more striking is that the women interviewed in the study admitted that they knew that the information wasn’t credible! I try my best to open up the discussion about birth control with every sexually active woman I know, but I am sure that I forget to do so some of the time! My advice to all women is to advocate for you and know that there are no stupid questions. If you feel that you can’t open the discussion with your health care provider, it’s time to find somebody new!
J: To get personal, I am thirty years old and I would like to have a baby in 3 or 4 years from now. I’ve been on birth control most of my adult life but I recently stopped because I hated taking a pill every day at the same time, and I always forgot to take it. Plus, I’m scared that taking birth control might lower my chances of getting pregnant later. However, I still need some form of contraception that is safe and doesn’t require me to think about it all the time. What would you recommend in terms of a plan of action? And how much time do I need to realistically plan ahead for in order to get pregnant?
Dr. P: All great questions and some that I answer regularly in my practice.
Firstly, birth control use DOES NOT cause infertility. As a doctor who has a young female practice, I am constantly asked if being on hormones for a long duration will affect future fertility. Understandably, wanting to have a child is a huge area of concern for a patient population who chooses to conceive later in life, but hormonal birth control does not affect fertility in the least.
If you can’t remember to take a pill the same time every day, explore other non-daily long acting birth control options. The ring, patch and IUS eliminate the stress of being married to taking your pill the same time every day.
I generally recommend speaking to your doctor 6 to 12 months prior to starting to conceive. Make sure your pap is updated and basic bloodwork (CBC, TSH, b12, ferritin) are all normal. Remember that the test of fertility is trying and there is not one single blood test that can determine if you are fertile.
J: What are some of the benefits of being on birth control?
-cycle regulation (because NOBODY likes a surprise period when wearing white pants!)
-makes periods less painful
-makes periods lighter and as a result, can help prevent iron deficiency
-minimizes mood related PMS symptoms
I’d love to know what some of your #3YearGoals are and if you have any experience with other types of birth control other than the pill (which is the only experience I have). Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it! I hope you feel like this is a safe place where we can talk about being super women! xoxo J
This post was sponsored by birthcontrolforme.ca, however the opinions on the topic are my own.