5 reasons to use birth control when you’re LGBTQIA+

It’s not just for the cishets

The heteronormative idea of birth control as something that is only for cishet couples is outdated, and it’s probably related to the fact that oral contraceptives were only legal for married couples to use back in a time when only heterosexual people could get married. Well, we say out with the old and in with the new. Here are just 5 great reasons LGBTQIA+ folks may want to use birth control.

1. Wrangling unruly periods

If you menstruate, you probably know that things can get pretty rough. For some people, this is even more true. From irregular periods to PMDD to extreme period pain, menstruation can be a not very fun part of life. And the fact is, your uterus doesn’t know or care who you have sex with or what your gender identity is. If you get a period, you could deal with any of the above and more. But birth control can help! You can regulate your period with birth control, skip periods as needed, or stop them altogether.

2. STI prevention

It doesn’t matter what you’re working with in terms of body parts or who you’re working with as a sexual partner—if your genitals or mouth are touching someone else’s genitals or vice versa or if you’re sharing toys, there’s a risk of STI transmission. For STI prevention, try external condoms, internal condoms, and/or dental dams (or these cute FDA-approved, single-use latex undies), depending on the specifics of what you’re doing sexually. Also consider pre-exposure prophylaxis, also called PrEP, to prevent HIV.

3. Preventing pregnancy when having penis-in-vagina sex

Here’s the thing: whether or not birth control is needed for you to prevent pregnancy is not about your sexuality or gender identity. It’s about your body parts and the body parts of the people you’re having sex with (if you’re having sex). If you’re having penis-in-vagina sex, there’s a chance of pregnancy. Period. (Pun intended.)

4. Stabilizing hormones

Hormonal disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome, also called PCOS, can be difficult to live with. PCOS can cause pain, unwanted hair growth, skin issues, and more. And birth control can help, though you may have to do some trial and error to find the right one for you. If hormone fluctuations are playing a role in making a mental health condition worse, stabilizing your hormones can also improve your mental health.

5. Reducing gender dysphoria

Another awesome benefit of birth control is that it can reduce gender dysphoria for folks who are trans or nonbinary–both by regulating or stopping periods and by preventing pregnancy, both of which can trigger gender dysphoria for some people.

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