To Pill Or Not To Pill...THAT is the question

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Akward subject. Didn't really know what images to use that weren't stock. So I thought to cheer everything up we would go with some doodles I drew of the pill and me? Yes? Ok then.

Le Pill...with attitude

I went on the pill much later in life than most girls. I never had period pains or problems in that area growing up and I wasn't sexually active so I didn't need to.

Therefore I came to the pill later in life and I didn't really know much about it. All I knew was that it could make you gain weight. Many women would say that the pill is the best thing that could have happened to them.

If that's you, then I'm really glad you're content and have found something that works for you.

My story is very different. Going on the pill also unhappily coincided with my first ever smear test, but that's a whole other blog post...

The Pill's Attitude To Me

At first nothing changed. In the first 2 weeks of taking it I came out in a bright orange rash on my thigh and I started feeling a bit sick. I went to the doctor but she said I was imagining it. I nodded, felt stupid and went home and got on with life.

Gradually I began to realise I was feeling constantly nauseous (never threw up though, so don't panic if anyone with a phobia is reading this) I couldn't sleep and the dreaded panic attacks I had had when I was a teenager but never since, had returned...only 10 times worse!

I didn't know it was the pill. I think my hormones had already gone so crazy that I couldn't see clearly what was happening to me. I started becoming a different person, having raging tantrums and unable to deal with some unfortunate situations that were going on around me.  My libido disappeared. Completely. I started to develop a bloated lower stomach and put weight on as well. I still would swear that I looked older and 'more like a woman' than I did before.

Finally, after 8 months, my husband asked me to come off the pill and we would try the happy hat. After a discussion about babies and whether we were ok with that happening in the form of a possible accident, I just stopped it there and then. It took about a year for the effects to wear off and now I feel like I'm me again.

I can safely say that unless I had a life threatening condition that required me to go on the pill - I will never, ever, ever go on the pill - ever again!

Our Attitude to The Pill

"It's either that or get pregnant..."

Is it? I have to say I began to wonder if the whole tactic of the pill wasn't to make sure you had no interest in sex whatsoever in order to stop you having babies. Goodness me...

"The Pill: Abstinence - The Easy Way!"

I found it very upsetting that women around me, although they agreed and understood the damage it was doing, wouldn't encourage me to simply stop taking this horrible medication that was making my mind and body sick. I think it was probably because they were afraid of being responsible for the consequences i.e me falling pregnant. What I did get from my mini research, was that nearly every woman I talked to who had been on the pill, came off and had side effects both mental and physical.

It is very much seen as a 'lesser of the two evils.' But is it? If you're having sex with someone don't you have accept that possibly getting pregnant comes with that? Is not falling pregnant worth the trauma of your body changing mentally and physically?

I actually felt that there was almost a kind of shame around the topic, like people didn't really want to discuss it. Maybe there is a lot of trauma and hurt around contraception that we don't allow to be talked about and everyone's just too embarrassed to tell their story. That's ok.

It's not ok for doctors though...

The Doctors Attitude to The Pill

One of the things that made me very cross around the whole situation was that the doctors pushed the pill on me. Yes, they absolutely did. Condoms weren't good enough, natural family planning was a sin ("If you do that, you absolutely WILL get pregnant") and the only way I could control anything was to go on the pill, even though I voiced very clearly my worries about it. Also I hated the fact that I was expected to go to these appointments on my own, without my husband. It was like it was all my responsibility.

I was always disappointed with these appointments. The doctor's attitude was, "if this one doesn't work we'll try another one"

WHAT?! You mean I go a little bit crazy on these pills and then we'll stop those and 'test' another lot to see if they make it better...or make me just a tiny bit nuttier on top of it all? No thank you.

There are animals who get better campaigning against testing!!!

Perhaps I am a little harsh. Maybe even the doctors, like the women around me were too afraid of getting blamed if I fell pregnant? If so, they shouldn't be afraid - it wasn't their responsibility.

I did a lot of reading and research before I started taking and while on the pill. An article published in 1961 by the BBC contains one of my favourite quotes

"Even if you thoroughly understand the mechanism of a clock, provided it is going well it is very much better to leave it alone. To interfere with it if you do not understand it can be disastrous," - Sir Charles Dodd

"Medicine has advanced since then." Yes, but doctors still don't know exactly what causes morning sickness or how to cure ebola, so maybe we need to also accept that medicine and doctors do not know everything and there is still a lot they haven't discovered about the human body. 

My Attitude To The Pill

It's not for me. I wish I could take back the year I lost on it but that's life and at least I know now.

Don't get me wrong.

I am NOT against the pill. I am not for getting rid of it or telling everyone to not take it. I am against it for me, personally. I am FOR women being allowed to speak openly about it and to not feel pressured to be on it when it's having adverse effects on them.

I think doctors need to take it more seriously when women are suffering from the adverse effects of contraception and not just tell them to try another brand like shampoo. I appreciate that many of you readers will not like and possibly be angry with this post. But I have a right to voice an opinion on it and I really believe that more women should be allowed to speak out and be honest about it. I would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you're someone who struggled with contraception methods.