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Katrina, 20

When I was in 7th grade I began menstruating. I had no idea what kind of pain I was in store for in the following years. Every month when I would get my period I would be in bed, in tears, from the pain of my cramps. The pain would spread from my pelvic region all the way up my spine and cause a migraine. I would stay home from school for days just dealing with this pain.

Add on top of that that my period was extremely irregular, I would get it twice a month most times and even had times where I was bleeding for almost 15 days.

When I was 15 my doctor suggested that I put myself on birth control to help ease cramps and to regulate my period. I wasn't old enough to have a job so I lived on a small amount of money given to me for doing odd jobs around my own home and at my grandma’s home. Every month I would pay almost $10 for birth control. This seems insignificant but without a job and paying for multiple other things in life, it becomes challenging.

5 years later I am now paying just over $40 for birth control every month. I can't take generic because it causes multiple adverse effects so I had to switch to name brand. I am in school, working, paying bills, and trying to keep my head above water. I refuse to give up my birth control and would rather skim in other places because I refuse to go back to missing class and feeling as horrible as I did before I was put on the pill.

This is so difficult to do every month. I wait tables in Wisconsin so my pay is $2.33/hour plus tips but if you have a slow night, week, or month, getting ends to meet becomes one of the most difficult challenges out there.

Women need to stand together and fight for each other and our own right to our reproductive system. I thank each and every woman who has stood up for us because she, in her own way, was standing up for me.

I stand up for women, fight for women, and will not stop until we have our rights secured!

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