There are a lot of misconceptions about contraception

Desirée Skylar for

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Did you know that nearly 50% of Canadian pregnancies are unplanned?

I was one of them! As an adult woman, there are things that I’m still learning about my body and the things I’ve put into it. It wasn’t always easy to ask questions, and it still isn’t. However, I’m happy to be a part of the conversation about liberating women and their right to sexual health education and choosing contraception that works for them. There’s no one perfect form of contraception; thus, women deserve to have all the options and information needed to make informed decisions about their sexual health.

We may not always know who or what to ask, but what if you are asking the right questions? You’ve done your own research, and no one is listening to you?

Advocating for yourself and trusting your gut is something I learned from the young age of 12. The importance of listening to my own body. I had a burst appendix for 3 days, and I kept dismissing the pain as if they were period cramps until I couldn’t ignore them anymore. I went to the hospital and my options were to stay for observation or undergo surgery to see the problem. Before the surgery, my doctor had told me that he was “99% sure it wasn’t my appendix,” however, he was 99% wrong.

Ten years later, I had to advocate for myself to surgically remove a painful cyst that the doctors dismissed. There was a cyst causing me extreme pain. This was revealed by a female doctor from whom I insisted on getting a second opinion. She removed my cyst and one of my ovaries and shared insight on how I could prevent this in the future so I could still conceive. That doctor, education, and my intuition saved me.

Why am I telling you all this?

Like any health-related concern, contraception is a daunting subject, and I had to learn how to trust my instinct and advocate for myself. Your doctor should be talking you through options, benefits, side effects, and more because it’s not one size fits all. I wanted to share my experiences with trusting and learning more about my own body while advocating for myself to find the right doctors. Whether you’re trying to conceive or not, you deserve to know all your options. I trust my gut, the science of understanding my body and cycle and most importantly, I do the research.

Women shouldn’t feel alone or like no one is taking their medical concerns seriously. We must continue to advocate for ourselves and be able to de-stigmatize the conversation around sexual health, whether it’s talking to our parents, partners or doctors.

“Knowledge is power, and we will continue to be better when we know better.”