Most people think of birth control as a barrier against pregnancy. However, despite the possibility of pregnancy, same-sex couples also use birth control. Transgender men may for example get pregnant and need birth control. Therefore, the LGBTQ+ community rightfully deserves inclusion in the discussion on contraception. Here’s what you should know about the use of birth control among the LGBTQ+ community.

Do LGBTQ Use Birth Control?

Yes. People from the LGBTQ+ may take birth control for several reasons, such as easing period pain in people who menstruate, preventing unwanted pregnancy, and managing their cycle. In addition, teens who are a part of the sexual minority are at an increased risk of teen pregnancy, making birth control a requisite.

Why Do LGBTQ+ Use Birth Control?

This question brings the differences between sex and gender to the forefront. Sex depends on a person’s biological and physiological attributes, whereas gender refers to the socially constructed roles, identities, behaviors, and expressions of girls, boys, men, women, and gender-diverse people. So, people with a uterus, irrespective of gender, are at risk of unwanted pregnancy and need birth control. For example, trans men who have undergone testosterone therapy are assumed to be infertile. However, research shows the opposite. Trans men may conceive even after being on testosterone therapy. Their egg yields have been found to be similar to those of cisgender women.

Taking HRT medications may stop ovulation in trans men and non-binary people. However, the egg reserve remains in adequate quantity. It means their menstrual cycle is likely to resume when they stop taking testosterone therapy, making them fertile. Similarly, intersex people, i.e., those with a combination of male and female biological traits, may also get pregnant if they have a uterus. In some cases, tissues from ovaries or ovotestes can play a role in reproduction. Intersex birth control is also helpful for people with a uterus, ovaries, and a vagina, as they can conceive by sperm contact. Like cisgender people, people from the LGBTQ+ community may need birth control for reasons other than pregnancy prevention. These include menstrual cycle regulation, managing hormonal fluctuations and their effects (for example, recurrent acne), and stopping their periods.

What Are The Birth Control Options For LGBTQ+ Community?

They may choose from several birth control options, for example, intrauterine devices, contraceptive implants, patches and rings, birth control pills, and condoms. These birth control options may be hormonal or non-hormonal. For example, a contraceptive implant releases progesterone and prevents pregnancy when inserted into your upper arm just under the skin by your healthcare provider. The intrauterine device has the same effect when inserted into the uterus. The non-hormonal variant of IUD contains copper. Copper works the same way progesterone does. It thickens the cervical mucus and prevents sperm from reaching the eggs during ovulation.

Talk to your GP or a healthcare professional to know the most suitable birth control option. As much as possible, choose a health practitioner trained to understand LGBTQ-specific issues. Don’t forget to ask them about the side effects of the birth control option you choose to prevent unwanted pregnancy as safely as possible.

Conclusion

Birth control is essential to the reproductive health of LGBTQ+ community. The need of the hour is to improve their access to reproductive healthcare, destigmatize their sexual choices, and spread awareness on the health-related consequences of unsafe sexual practices. Besides, encouraging adherence through birth control pills reminder apps or long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods is also advisable for pregnancy prevention and sexual health in their community.