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28 Reasons People Really Use Birth Control

Because taking control of your uterus isn't the only reason.

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Birth control doesn't just let you have sex without getting pregnant. For many, it lets you control your reproductive health, treat debilitating symptoms, and even improve your quality of life.

Wavebreakmedia Ltd / Getty Images

(But, also, that no-babies thing is pretty clutch.)

So, in honor of this year's Thanks, Birth Control Day, a campaign led by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community why they use birth control and what it's made possible for them.

Here are a just a few reasons someone might take birth control:

1. Because you know you don't want kids (for now, at least).

Casey Gueren / Via BuzzFeed News

"I was on the Pill for five years and last month I made the decision to get an IUD. The reason I am a firm supporter of birth control is so that I will never, ever, ever, ever have children. Might I change my mind in the future about starting a family? Maybe. More than likely I will not. I need to know that I am doing whatever I can to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. The IUD has brought a sense of security and safety that I never experienced with the birth control pill."

—Susie Varela, Facebook

2. To deal with hellish periods and ovarian cysts.

FOX

"I was diagnosed with endometriosis at 17 and had to have surgery to remove a large cyst in my ovary. (It was the size of a tennis ball.) Afterwards I was put on birth control to reduce periods and cysts — I haven't had a cyst in two years!"

—Davies Rushing, Facebook

3. To treat menstrual migraines.

VH1

"I went on it when I was 16 to help my menstrual migraines. They would hit one day before my period began and lasted about three days. The OB-GYN said they were triggered by the shift in hormones in my body, so I went on birth control and the menstrual migraines just disappeared! I still get mild headaches on the first and second day, but it's so much better. I can still function! Seriously, thank GOD for birth control!"

—Caroline Kee, Facebook

4. Or to deal with the symptoms of perimenopause.

instagram.com

"I just got a Mirena IUD this year. At 44, I found out that I’m in perimenopause and my periods had become ungodly heavy. Leaking-through-a-super-plus-tampon-in-less-than-two-hours heavy. I started using menstrual cups, which helped, but I just got tired of dealing with it. I got the IUD in February and it’s been wonderful. I hardly get a period — I can handle it with a panty liner for the two to three days it happens. I feel like I have my life back."

—Leticia M. Bisgard, Facebook

5. Because it helps treat the symptoms of endometriosis.

Anetlanda / Getty Images / Via BuzzFeed News

"In addition to preventing pregnancy, my main reason for taking it is because I have a localized type of endometriosis called adenomyosis. It is very painful and causes heavy bleeding and severe cramps and fatigue. The birth control helps lessen and eliminate these symptoms."

julialucivero

6. And it helps you live a normal life with PCOS.

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"I use it to control my PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), which includes extremely irregular periods, serious acne, weight gain, and cramps that used to put me out of commission to where I was in so much pain I could barely move/eat/drink. Going on birth control has been the best decision I’ve ever made and it allows me to live a normal life again. I’m sure other women with PCOS can relate as well."

sammyp41e71fcd6

7. To enjoy sex without making a human.

instagram.com

"I use birth control because my body craves sex (with my consensual partner) and that craving shouldn't result in creating a life that I simply would not be able to support now or, possibly, ever. I have an IUD and absolutely adore it. Ten years of control over my own body that doesn't include hormones (I have depression and anxiety and was worried that hormonal birth control would exacerbate those issues), that I don't have to think about on a daily basis, and that I can use as part of a plan for safe sex whenever necessary."

—Kristen Schebler, Facebook

8. So you can focus on going to class and getting your master's degree.

Bedsider / Via bedsider.org

"I use birth control because in freshman year of college I was having a heavy period every two weeks with cramps so bad that I couldn't attend class or work, exhaustion, hot flashes, diarrhea, back pain, nausea, etc. This meant I was experiencing this 50% of the time. If I hadn't started using birth control to regulate my periods, there is no way I would be getting my master's degree right now."

—Erica Jacoby, Facebook

9. To make your periods come at their regularly scheduled times.

instagram.com

"I use the Pill because my periods would not regulate by themselves. The first period I had was at age 11 and lasted from early December to late January. That's scary in its own right. I wouldn't have a period for months, then BAM — mass murder at Niagara Falls I bled so much. I got on the Pill at 15 and am happy to say my periods have behaved normally and been regular. WOO! Monthly cycles for the win!"

—Liljana Champagne Rodriguez, Facebook

10. Or to make your periods just calm the eff down.

Loryn Brantz / Via buzzfeed.com

"I got put on the Pill when I was 15 because my periods were the ABSOLUTE WORST. Every time I got my period, I would be awakened by mind-numbing cramps going through my stomach and back. At that point, I would have bled so hard that I, my underwear, my pajamas, and my sheets would be nice and soaked. I'd regularly bleed through the ultra-jumbo tampons. Pain meds did nearly nothing, and it'd be so bad that I wouldn't be able to go to school.

The Pill saved my butt. I now live with light periods that last maybe three days max. I still get cramps, but they're absolutely nothing compared to the hell I went through in the beginning. I'm a dancer and dance teacher, so I can't imagine having to try to go to work now with the cramps and bleeding I used to deal with."

—Kylie Casino, Facebook

11. Because cramps are a bitch, to be quite honest.

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"I use birth control because before I was on the Pill, every time I got my period I would get cramps so bad I would throw up and pass out wherever I was at the time. The Pill has made it so I feel safe going places during my time of the month."

trex954

12. Because your family is perfect just the way it is.

reddit.com

"I have an IUD because I nearly died while pregnant. Due to pre-eclampsia, my kidneys and liver began shutting down and I had to deliver our son a month early to keep them from failing completely. My husband and I love our son, but the entire pregnancy was hard for all of us. My IUD means that I can keep my family the size I want and I can help my son grow up."

crenee

13. Because sometimes it's the only thing that can kick acne's ass.

youtube.com

"As a teenager, and now into adulthood, I had severe acne that made me super self-conscious, and I was being picked on for it. I tried other medications, one of which made me very ill (a rare side effect). When I switched to a hormone pill, it decreased significantly with no side effects. Best choice I made for sure."

victoriaw471707f3e

14. Because regulating your hormones helps improve your mental health.

Jenny Chang / Via buzzfeed.com

"I have a Nexplanon implant, which I originally got to make my period cramps less life-consuming, but I soon realized that it really helps with my depression. I have had many hormone imbalances reach equilibrium with the implant, and I am extremely grateful for it."

mymindmoves

16. Or to start your periods if you have PCOS.

instagram.com

"I have PCOS, and even going from 270 pounds down to nearly 130 pounds didn't bring on my periods so my doctor put me on the Pill in my mid-twenties. Two months later and ever since I've been like clockwork. My doctor feared that I may have an issue getting pregnant when I got off the Pill, but I now have a 2-year-old son and am expecting a girl in less than a month.

I thank whatever deity out there for the Pill everyday since if I didn't have the Pill to help regulate things it's likely my periods wouldn't have started at all, which means no babies. I will likely continue with the Pill after I give birth, as it seems to work best for my body, and I don't plan on having any more children."

—Ashley Frantz Jones, Facebook

17. Because it helps you embrace sex, instead of fearing it.

Getty images / Via coed.com

"I grew up going to a religious school that taught us that sex and sexuality were shameful and wrong, especially for a woman, and especially if you didn’t want children. It took me a long time to embrace sex as a positive and natural force in my life, and something that I can participate in without wanting kids (which I don’t). Now that I’ve accepted it, I am taking full responsibility for my choices and my life!"

nastywoman737

18. To lower the risk of ovarian cancer.

instagram.com

"I have a somewhat rare genetic mutation called BRCA2 that puts me at very high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Hormonal birth control lowers my risk for ovarian cancer (which is difficult to screen for and catch early) and basically keeps me alive. I used to be on the Pill, but since my birth control became free, I've switched to Nuvaring, which works better for me and I love it with all my heart. Since I’m only 21 and will be off my parents’ insurance soon, I’m getting a hormonal IUD while it’s still affordable to make sure I don’t have to worry about having access to affordable, literally life-saving medication no matter where I am for the next few years."

chrisg4405c7407

19. To reduce your periods — especially when using tampons is out of the question.

lammily.com / Via Twitter: @MrsPaceyWitter

"I have vulvodynia and I cycle my pills (i.e., don’t take the placebo ones) so I never have a period. Using tampons is impossible for me and wearing a pad for seven to ten days (the usual length of my period) is torture."

obava232

20. Because hormonal birth control helps you feel more like you.

Comedy Central / Via Twitter: @aseventiesgay

"I am asexual and do not want to have a sexual relationship. Although I started to take the Pill for birth control when I actually was in a heterosexual relationship, I decided not to drop it because I enjoy the added value in my quality of life that comes with not having to worry about irregular menstruation, cramps, PMS, acne and other skin conditions, mood changes, digestion problems, and so on.

I take the Pill nonstop, so I lead a life completely off-menstruation cycle. Fortunately, I am lucky enough not to suffer from negative side effects. I sometimes call it my hormone therapy that helps me strengthen my demi-girl gender identity."

bom_colette

21. To help regulate a mood disorder.

Jenny Chang / Via buzzfeed.com

"Birth control helps me manage my bipolar disorder: My moods are much more stable without hormonal fluctuations. It’s also a personal choice that lets me live my life to the fullest without mental health challenges, extremely painful and heavy periods, or the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. Clearer skin is a handy side benefit too!"

e4c8281f2b

23. Because it's not just that you don't want to get pregnant — you actually can't.

instagram.com

"I take birth control because I am on methotrexate (chemotherapy) injections to control my psoriatic arthritis. This medication could cause miscarriage or catastrophic birth defects not compatible with life. A pregnancy is the last thing I would want right now."

heidid4

24. To help with really difficult conditions like seizures.

instagram.com

"I’m gay so I don’t need it for traditional protection reasons, but I use it for two other reasons. One, I have catamenial epilepsy, so I use birth control to make sure I don’t have seizures because of my period. Two, I have PCOS, and so it helps with hormone regulation."

suek03

25. To regain control after a sexual assault.

instagram.com

"I have an IUD, and I got it before I even started dating my husband, because I was violently raped by two people I didn't know and I couldn't bear the thought of getting pregnant by either of them. It's emotional security for me, and provides me and my husband both with some peace of mind while we're working constantly at our careers."

—Colleen Berenguer, Facebook

27. Because you have big things planned right now, tbh.

Bedsider

"So the only reason I decided to FINALLY get an IUD is so I couldn’t get knocked up for my cruise. No one wants to do a cruise pregnant."

angeliak

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