Birth Control + Me: Rachel’s Story

Every woman has a unique relationship with birth control. Here are their stories.

Rachel, an Omaha native, started her birth control journey at age 16. She suffered from cystic acne for almost seven years until she decided to start Accutane, a powerful medication used to treat severe acne. 

Female patients taking Accutane must avoid pregnancy due to the medication’s high risk for birth defects. Dermatologists recommend choosing two methods of birth control to prevent these precarious consequences. 

With the help of her dermatologist and support from her parents, Rachel decided her two forms of contraception would be the pill and abstinence. Her high school friend group made Rachel feel more comfortable about her birth control choices.   

“We were open with each other about our experiences with birth control,” Rachel says. “Doing that really encouraged us to have more honest conversations about the pill or any form of birth control.” 

Teens who have a strong support system that help them navigate their sexual wellbeing are less likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex.  

After completing her first round of Accutane, Rachel chose to continue to use the pill even though she wasn’t sexually active at the time. Contraceptives not only improved her acne, but they also brought her body stability throughout high school and college. 

“Puberty involves a lot of ups and downs, and birth control helped even that out for me,” she says.  

Oral contraception may be prescribed to combat hormone imbalances to regulate and mitigate menstrual periods, pelvic pain and mood swings. 

Rachel also credits her current partner for her positive view of birth control. Studies show women’s relationship context, such as type and length, has direct impact on their likelihood to use effective, consistent family planning methods. 

“He helps me take my pill on time since we’re both on the same page when it comes to starting a family,” she says. “I am very grateful to have a partner who is wholeheartedly supportive of me and my birth control choices.” 

To learn more about birth control options and the method that could work best for you, use the Clinic Locator to schedule your next appointment with a Title X provider near you.