Sophia Bush is fired up about birth control—specifically, the lack of knowledge surrounding it. In a video that went viral earlier this month, the actress gave the men of Congress (71 percent of seat-holders!) a crash course in women’s health. And now, she’s talking directly to the ladies.
“I was so shocked when I found out that over half of women surveyed [in one Teva’s Women’s Health study] had concerns about hormones in their birth control, but even more so that they didn’t know there were non-hormonal birth control options,” Bush says. “I wanted to have a conversation with women about making sure they felt empowered to ask their doctors all the questions they may have about birth control.” As an advocate for the #NoHormonesPlz initiative, she’s able to do just that.
“When you go to the doctor, you’ve got to go in armed with all the questions and the facts and make sure you’re getting the most out of your visit.” –Sophia Bush
“When you go to the doctor, you’ve got to go in armed with all the questions and the facts and make sure you’re getting the most out of your visit,” she says. “The responsibility of research is on us. And that’s true of going to talk to your doctor about birth control or buying a new car.”
Bush is quick to point out that hormonal contraception options (like the pill or IUD) could be the right choice for some women—but that doesn’t mean they’re the best for everyone. “If you’re someone who treats period pain or cystic acne with some version of a hormone that helps you, that’s amazing,” she says. “But if you don’t react well to hormonal medication and you don’t know about your alternative options, that’s not okay.”
And considering the litany of non-hormonal birth control options available, including condoms, diaphragms, even a cycle-tracking app, there’s more reason than ever to educate yourself—and have an open dialogue, too.
“If we’re not talking to each other, we’re ‘other’ing’ each other,” says Bush, who credits #NoHormonesPlz with bringing her into conversations she wouldn’t have had otherwise. “I watched these two women in two different states talk to each other about the differences in how they’re each protecting their own pregnancy plans,” she says. “And I thought, ‘This is amazing’…What a cool thing, in a time where I think people feel more and more divided, to see the ways in which we can connect as a community and remind each other that really, we’re all in it together.”