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Going to the doctor shouldn’t make you feel powerless or violated

As a young person in search of health care, my goal was to find a provider where I felt understood. To me that meant someone who came from a similar background, was a woman of color, and would advocate for me and my health.

So, when I came across a Jamaican-American female gynecologist online, I thought I had found a provider that would be a great fit for me. She was a smart, middle-aged woman of color who reminded me of the strong women in my family. As I sat in the waiting room at my first appointment, I was surrounded by mothers and young women of color who shared similar experiences to mine. It felt right. At the time, I didn’t realize that there were other factors to think about when choosing a provider.

Through my experiences with this provider, I learned some key ways you can tell when you need a new provider.

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The diaphragm is hormone-free and gives me total control

Here’s the thing about using a diaphragm for birth control in 2019: people often think you’re a little out there. That might be because the last time we saw a diaphragm in popular culture was when Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City fame got hers stuck inside her vagina and had to turn to Samantha for help to get it out. But even then, in the late 90s and early aughts, diaphragms just weren’t very popular anymore. And yet, I use a diaphragm. In fact, for the past four years it’s been my primary form of birth control—and I’ve never been pregnant. So what is a woman in her early 30s doing using a diaphragm, when there are more popular (and more effective) forms of birth control out there?

Birth Control Basics