Post-Pretty Little Liars life is anything but boring for Shay Mitchell. The actress-turned-social media influencer (have you seen this girl’s YouTube channel?) has been keeping herself plenty busy between vamping up her vlogging style, traveling the world, forming her own production company, and, oh yeah, eating pizza (lots, and lots of pizza). Lavish vacations and restaurant takeovers aside, though, the 31-year-old may have a knack for entertaining, but she’s also super passionate about women’s rights, which is why Shay Mitchell and Allergan created a "BC Trivia" quiz to educate young women on the subject of birth control, and to help them feel more comfortable having an open dialogue with their doctors to ensure the form of contraception they’re using is truly right for their body.
Personally, I was taking birth control pills for almost seven years before canceling my subscription, and TBH, I’ve learned more about synthetic hormones, and the many contraception options women have besides the pill, from reporting on the subject in the last year, than I ever did from conversations with my OBGYN. I vaguely remember sitting down in my doctor’s office and hashing out all things related to birth control pills, but I honestly couldn’t tell you if alternatives to the pill were actually brought up in that discussion. Hindsight is obviously 20/20, and looking back now, my doctor should have laid everything out on the table for the 18-year-old trying to be responsible. At the same time, part of me also wishes I’d been the one to ask more questions, or at the very least, known what sort of questions I should have been asking.
Shay Mitchell and Allergan’s BC Trivia quiz doesn’t just test your birth control knowledge; it encourages you to keep asking questions.
Think about it: How much do you actually know about the birth control you’ve been prescribed? If you pop the pill, do you know why you’re supposed to take it at the same time each day? Do you know what a barrier method is? Because I didn’t, and when a close friend of mine confided in me that she’d been nervous to switch from oral contraception to an IUD, I initially had no clue what she was talking about.
It’s unfortunate that conversations surrounding birth control are so few and far between for some people, and that some women actually feel uncomfortable talking about birth control to their partners, other women, or worse, to their own doctors. Through her partnership with the pharmaceutical brand Allergan, Mitchell hopes to challenge that stigma, and present the topic of birth control in a way that’s lighthearted, but still really informative at the same time. Even though the quiz is fairly short, a lot of the most basic facts are covered, like whether or not you should take your birth control pill at the same time every day, there are some more challenging questions, too, like whether or not all birth control pills have the same formulation of hormones. The goal isn’t to trick you or throw you for a loop, but how well you score is a solid indicator of how much you actually know versus information you might want to brush up on.
"In conversations with my friends and family, it is constantly made clear to me that people are not speaking about birth control as much as they should be. When they do, the dialogue is riddled with misconceptions," Mitchell said in a press release. "At the very least, we should all know about the host of options that are available to us."
She’s not wrong: According to Allergan’s Dr. Lakeisha Richardson, M.D., patients who use birth control don’t always understand it.
"In my practice, it is a consistent norm that birth control will be widely used, yet poorly understood," Dr. Richardson said in a statement. "I always advocate that no question is too small when it comes to helping a patient make decisions about what is right for them."
Even if you feel uncomfortable talking to your SO or a family member about birth control, you should absolutely feel safe talking to your doctor about the options available to you, and asking any questions you might have, no matter how silly they feel. Remember, there’s no such thing as a “silly” question. And if you never ask, you’ll never know. For more information, check out KnowYourBirthControl.com.
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