Add Jaime King to the list of women here to remind you birth control is basic health care

Actress and model Jaime King spoke to Yahoo Lifestyle about being diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and how she manages the condition. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sophia Bush recently made a video about birth control, touting the facts that 31 percent of females across the country rely on the monthly pills to help ease their menstrual symptoms. And one of those women, Jaime King, is completely on board with the Chicago P.D. star’s crusade to make lawmakers see that “birth control is basic health care.”

“I would like our president to know that by attacking women’s rights, you are essentially attacking some women that do want to have children,” says King, who takes a monthly pill in order to regulate her pain associated with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome. “Access to birth control and services like Planned Parenthood are really radically important to people being diagnosed,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Birth control is the No. 1 medication that we use to suppress endometriosis and PCOS.”

King notes that statistics show that over 37 percent of women have PCOS, yet those are only the ones that end up diagnosed. She points out that women often have to spend years bouncing from doctor to doctor before getting the right answers and are often just told that period pain is a completely normal monthly occurrence.

“I didn’t know what it was,” she says, of being in pain for eight years before receiving a sufficient medical answer. “I just thought it was normal. But then it got really bad and I started to question, ‘Hey maybe I shouldn’t be feeling that way,’” explains King. “But as women, we are taught that is taboo, that we are supposed to be in pain and we are supposed to suck it up and deal with it. I thank God for my doctor,” she says.

Though she’s finally been diagnosed, managing her endometriosis and PCOS symptoms is something that King has to be mindful of every day. And taking a birth control pill is part of her daily routine.

“I am just really watchful of whether or not I have pain. And if I do, I make sure I go see my doctor, I make sure that I am on the right birth control pill, I make sure that I’m exercising, I’m drinking water, I’m getting acupuncture and utilizing the tools that are necessary, that I’m talking to the right people and being gentle with myself. It’s really important,” she reveals.

Since she’s gotten a handle on her own condition, the model-actress is hell-bent on making sure that women with similar symptoms are able to receive the proper care and diagnosis that they need. “There is so little awareness about these issues out there. I wouldn’t talk about it all the time if there was,” says the mother of two.

“I tell women that if you are having really long painful periods, if they are longer than five days, get checked and ask,” advises King. “If you are cramping and have migraines and are sick to your stomach and are generally not well, that’s not normal,” she adds, emphasizing that painful periods are a warning sign and not just something that females should have to deal with. “You are not supposed to be cramping. You are not supposed to be lying in bed feeling like you are going to die and bleeding severe amounts and going tampon after tampon. Sex is not supposed to hurt,” she says.

“A huge part of my life is bringing awareness and education and fighting for new treatments. I want this thing eradicated. I really do!” exclaims King.

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