Updated: Nov 15
At the start
Before Reya, most of my knowledge around women’s reproductive health and the birth control sector came from my mother, my OB GYN, and my own research. While I do feel as though my mom and OB GYN provided me with an excellent foundation of knowledge surrounding the birth control sector and women’s healthcare, I have always been one to do my own research to determine what is right for me, my body, and lifestyle.
Before I found Reya Health, I had been on “the pill” since I was eighteen. When I moved from the United States to Canada, the pill I had been originally prescribed was not available in Canada, so I opted for a Canadian equivalent.
I was always the person who said I would never switch my method. It worked for me. I didn’t have any major side effects. It didn’t bother me having to take my pill everyday; I always took it right when I woke up. And compared to the issues some of my friends & peers had experienced with different birth control methods, i.e. the arm implant, IUDs, etc., I was quite content with mine.
I have always had issues with irregular periods since I first got my period when I was thirteen. The initial reason why I went on the pill when I was 18 was because I wasn’t getting my period regularly. However, after four years of being on essentially the same pill, my period was still irregular. I would skip a month entirely and not bleed, or sometimes I’d get my period twice or three times in the same month. I began to realize through research and talking with peers that these break-through bleeds I was experiencing were not “normal” and could be a sign my pill may not be the best fit for me.
When I was introduced to Reya initially, I was very excited to try the service for myself. Even though I was content with my birth control method at the time, I still wanted to see if it was truly the right option for me.
I completed Reya’s in-depth questionnaire once, which not only asked me about my past medical history, but also my lifestyle, preferences, and daily routines, and I can very confidently say I was surprised with my results. The best fit for me, my body, and my lifestyle, according to Reya’s introspective algorithm, was the copper IUD, or Paragard. I was surprised. I had never considered getting an IUD before. Honestly, the idea of having something inside of me kind of freaked me out a little bit. However, as I scrolled down my ranked list of birth control options, I was disappointed to see that the pill I was on was very low on the list; it was ranked 10th in overall methods. In the section for oral contraceptives, my current pill was ranked 5th!
I decided to give it some thought and come back to the questionnaire in a few months. At the time I had tried it out, I was busy, stressed, and overwhelmed. I was in my second semester of my last year of university. I was applying to jobs, finishing classes, writing essays, moving apartments, and taking exams. I figured I’d wait and reassess my symptoms after I graduated. Plus, irregular periods are symptoms of stress, so I figured I’d wait and give myself and my body some time to rest and reset before making any big changes to my physical routine.
So, three months after I had taken my first Reya questionnaire, I took it again. And I got the same results. That’s when it clicked for me that this was something I needed to look into and research for myself.
After discussions with my mom and a consultation with my OB GYN, I decided to switch from my pill to Paragard and I can honestly say, with confidence, that it was one of the best decisions I’ve made thus far in my life. While the insertion was painful (ten minutes of pain and discomfort compared to ten years of pregnancy prevention was a ratio I decided was well worth it), I had very minimal bleeding and cramping after. I had bleeding and cramping for four days after the procedure and after a month, started to get my period regularly.
Reya really helped me learn how to advocate for myself and played a large part in helping me begin my journey towards self advocacy and body autonomy. Their holistic approach to birth control matching not only takes into consideration one’s past medical and health histories, but also one’s lifestyle, choices, and needs.
Although I have always been the person to do my own research and make my own decisions besides what someone tells me, I am so thankful for Reya for guiding me in the right direction. Reya has proved my former mindset of: who knows me better than myself, wrong. Reya knew me better than I thought I knew myself and guided me towards making a decision I am not only confident in, but proud of making. I am so grateful to Reya for providing me with the information, tools, and guidance I didn’t know I needed, allowing me to take my health into my own hands.