I can think of few things more painful then having “the talk” with your parents about sex for the first time. As if being an unfortunate looking middle-schooler isn’t bad enough, hearing your mom use the phrase “sexually active” is enough to make you die of shame. A few years later, you’re wrapped up in your first love and dying to get frisky. It’s time to think about getting on the pill, but how in the world do you ask your parents? When I asked my mother, I fumbled through a list of reasons before finishing with a simple “just let me try it for a month,” and was shocked when she agreed. It was mercifully painless for me, but you might not be so lucky. Here’s a collection of some practical, not-so-practical, and downright ridiculous excuses to get on the pill without admitting you want to get it on.
1.) “It’ll clear up my acne.”
This might be the most used excuse for going on the pill, mostly because it actually does generally improve skin tone. Regulating levels of estrogen and progesterone helps lower the amount of androgen (an acne-producing group of hormones) in your body, resulting in clearer skin. But remember: don’t try this one if you’re one of those girls with annoyingly perfect skin, you actually have to have acne.
2.) “I have really bad cramps and a heavy flow.”
In actuality, you don’t have a true “period” on the pill; you don’t ovulate when you’re taking the pill, so your uterine lining doesn’t build up as much. The drop in hormones causes your uterine lining to break down during your placebo days, which results in lighter bleeding and less cramping. This one is pretty valid, other than the fact that you can no longer use your “killer cramps” excuse to get out of gym class.
3. “I’ll be much nicer.”
If you are the PMS queen, this one is for you. Mood swings occur when your serotonin levels fluctuate. Both estrogen and progesterone (the base hormones by which the pill operates) help to regulate this. While this isn’t always a guaranteed change, your parents might actually go for this one. After all, your mom doesn’t want to fight with you anymore, and you dad is just plain scared of you during period week.
4. “Everyone else is on it.”
This may have worked when you asked for your first cellphone, but it’s not a legitimate reason to get on the pill. In reality, it may work completely against you; going on the pill because “everyone else is” just means that you would start having sex because everyone else is. In other words, this is definitely not the way to convince your parents.
5. “It’s a cheaper alternative to a boob job.”
Don’t count on this one; it doesn’t happen to most women, and it’s not permanent for the lucky ones. Most women who see a change in cup size are simply seeing their body react to the hormones; the pill could be causing your body to crave different foods or hold more water weight. No matter the reason for the increase, it is almost always temporary, and will regulate when your body gets used to being on the pill. Don’t forget, your mother will insist that you are beautiful the way you are, and most likely will not buy into the idea of you trying to grow bigger boobs.
6. “I’ll always know what day I’m going to get my period.”
This one is a common one for younger girls; after your first period, it could take a year or more before it regulates. If you take your pill every day at the same time, your period will follow suit and occur on the same day each month. Let’s face it, even the best of us have been forced to tie a sweatshirt around our waist and run to the bathroom because of a surprise attack; this way, you can pinpoint these days much more accurately and save yourself the embarrassment.
7. “This way, I can keep track of the days of the week.”
Yes, I’ve actually heard girls try to get away with this one. No, this excuse does not have a high success rate. It’s weak for obvious reasons and should only be used as a desperate last resort. Odds are, your mother’s response will be to buy you a calendar and question your intelligence.
8. “It’s not like I want to have sex this second, but I want to be prepared.”
This is almost as good as coming clean; in fact, it might be the best way to go. I wouldn’t try this as a high school student, mind you, but as an adult in college, it’s actually pretty respectable. This way, you’re being honest about your intentions and taking responsibility for your body.
The pill comes in many variations, all with their own set of side effects and recommendations. If you do convince your parents to start up on the pill, make sure to see a gynecologist about which brand will work best for your body and your needs.
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