Following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, birth control has become a major concern for millions of Americans. Since the judgment, there has been a increased demand for contraceptionand according to a new investigation conducted by Harris Poll, approximately 21% of American women said they changed their main form of contraception within one month of the SCOTUS ruling.
Even though reproductive rights are undeniably under attack, you shouldn’t feel pressured to choose or forced to stick with a birth control method that isn’t right for you. “Schitt’s Creek” actress Annie Murphy, ambassador for Phexxi, a new form of non-hormonal birth control, has been through her own tumultuous 10-year journey with hormonal birth control, and she’s taking this important moment to share her story as well as its losing light on all the options that are out there.
In fact, a few years ago, Murphy was so fed up with her birth control experience that she stopped using it altogether.
“Women should have the right to choose what’s best for their body, whether it’s birth control or otherwise.”
She had started taking hormonal birth control pills at 16, but after five years realized that this could be the cause of the “really intense ups and downs and mood swings” she was experiencing. In all, “[I was] really not feeling like myself,” she tells POPSUGAR. After that, she tried the NuvaRing, but “couldn’t get rid of the fact that I was still putting hormones into my body, locating them in a very sensitive area,” she said. “The whole thing freaked me out to the point where I threw up my hands like, ‘I guess I just won’t use birth control.’ . . And it’s not ideal either: it’s a risky way to live your life.”
In the United States, it’s even riskier now that Roe v. Wade was canceled, severely limiting access to abortion in the United Statesas well as potentially impacting the availability of things like emergency contraception.
The fact is, while hormonal birth control is a great tool for controlling your reproductive health, it’s not for everyone – and people shouldn’t feel pressured to choose between a birth control method they don’t want. don’t like and risk a pregnancy they don’t want. That’s why this push for more awareness and accessibility of birth control options is more important than ever — and why Murphy is so excited about it.
“I feel very lucky right now to be in Canada. [where abortion is legal], but I have so many dear friends who are in America,” she says, “and the fact that about half the American population is losing their right to bodily autonomy is incredibly terrifying. . . . women should have the right to choose what’s best for their body, whether it’s birth control or otherwise.”
For her, the best choice was Phexxi, which is a vaginal gel that prevents pregnancy by lowering the pH in your vagina, which makes it difficult for sperm to circulate, thus preventing them from reaching and fertilizing an egg. You insert it before sex, much like a tampon, and you’re good to go. Unlike many other forms of contraception, which are used every day, regardless of sexual activity, Phexxi is a great “on-demand” option for women who may not want to commit to taking a pill every day or having an implant 24/7. but still want to feel in control of their reproductive health, says Saundra Pelletier, CEO of Evofem Biosciences, the company that makes Phexxi.
“I see this as a source of autonomy,” says Pelletier. “It’s another choice because there’s no one size fits all. Annie always says, ‘Maybe Phexxi isn’t for everyone, but for the 23 million women who don’t want using hormones is definitely for them.'”
“Access to contraception is more critical than ever, regardless of contraception,” Pelletier said. So get that IUD, refill your pill prescription, take a few more Plan B pills, or talk to your doctor about Phexxi — whatever makes you feel good about your reproductive health.
Image source: Courtesy of Evofem Biosciences