Following the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade, birth control has become top of mind for millions of Americans. Since the ruling, there’s been a surge in demand for contraception, and according to a new survey conducted by Harris Poll, about 21 percent of U.S. women reported changing their primary form of birth control in the month after the SCOTUS decision.
Even though reproductive rights are undeniably under attack, you shouldn’t feel rushed into choosing or forced to stick with a birth control method that isn’t right for you. “Schitt’s Creek” actor Annie Murphy, ambassador for Phexxi, a new form of non-hormonal birth control, has had her own tumultuous 10-year journey with hormonal birth control, and she’s seizing this important moment to share her story as well as shed 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’d stopped using it altogether.
“Women should have the right to choose what’s best for their bodies, whether it’s birth control or otherwise.”
She had started taking hormonal birth control pills at age 16, but after five years, realized it could be the culprit behind the “really intense ups and downs and mood swings,” she was experiencing. In all, “[I was] feeling really not myself,” she tells POPSUGAR. After that, she tried the NuvaRing, but “couldn’t shake the fact that I was still putting hormones in my body, localizing them in a very sensitive area,” she says. “All of that freaked me out to the point of me throwing up my hands like, ‘I guess I just won’t use birth control’. . . And that’s not ideal either: It’s a risky way to live your life.”
In the U.S., that’s even riskier now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, drastically limiting access to abortion in the United States, as well as having potential repercussions on the availability of things like emergency contraception.
The thing is, while hormonal birth control is an amazing tool to control your reproductive health, it’s not for everyone — and people shouldn’t feel forced to choose between a birth control method they dislike and risking a pregnancy they don’t want. That’s why this push for more awareness about and accessibility for birth control options is more important than ever — and why Murphy is so fired up about it.
“I feel very fortunate right now being 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 of the U.S. population is losing their right to bodily autonomy is so incredibly terrifying. . . . women should have the right to choose what’s best for their bodies, whether it’s birth control or otherwise.”
For her, the best choice has been Phexxi, which is a vaginal gel that prevents pregnancy by lowering the pH in your vagina, making it hard for sperm to move, thereby keeping them from reaching and fertilizing an egg. You insert it prior to sex, sort of like a tampon, and you’re good to go. Unlike many other forms of birth control, which are used every single 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 it as empowering,” Pelletier says. “It’s another choice because one size doesn’t fit all. Annie always says, ‘Maybe Phexxi’s not for everybody, but for the 23 million women that don’t want to use hormones, it’s certainly for them.'”
“Access to contraception is more critical now than ever, no matter what the contraception is,” Pelletier says. So get that IUD, re-up your pill prescription, grab a few extra tabs of Plan B, or talk to your doctor about Phexxi — whatever makes you feel good about your reproductive health.
Image Source: Courtesy of Evofem Biosciences