Things I Don’t Understand About Contraception

… Mainly the contraceptive pill.

1. I don’t know why I feel so resistant to taking it. After all, these are the only side effects that I could experience;

Mood changes, decreased sex drive, headache, nausea, acne, irregular periods, weight increase, infection of vagina, difficulties in wearing contact lenses, vomiting, hair loss, painful periods, ovarian cysts, tiredness, rashes, hives, painful blue-red skin lumps, higher risk of deep vein Thrombosis and breast cancer.

Obviously there’s a very obvious side effect of NOT taking the pill, so I guess the “choice” is mine.

2. I don’t understand why pill making companies such as Bayer Healthcare, are still developing more – sometimes dangerous – pills to control women’s bodies when we already have …

Brevinor, Cilest, Femodene, Femodene ED, Femodette, Katya,  Loestrin 20, Loestrin 30, Logynon, Logynon ED, Marvelon, Mercilon,  Microgynon 30, Microgynon 30 ED, Norimin, Norinyl-1, Ovranette, Ovysmen,  Qlaira, Sunya, Synphase, TriNovum, Triadene, Cerazette, Femulen,  Micronor, Norgeston, Noriday

And lets not forget that beside pills we’re also offered implants, injections, patches, IUDs and IUSs (I won’t go into the side effects of these).

3. But mostly I don’t understand why millions of pounds are poured into pills that have our bodies, cycles and hormones totally manipulated, messed up and sometimes destroyed to halt inconvenient pregnancies when all that’s been developed for men are are …

* Condoms (albeit some are coloured, ribbed and flavoured. VERY impressive.)

* The snip (which let’s face it – is all bit final and few women would ask their man to consider as a casual birth control method).

1 in 3 women in the UK take the Pill. Multiple forms have been on the market since the 60s and yet here we are in 2012 and a male version still isn’t available. Perhaps the men in white coats working in their little labs have forgotten that it takes two to tango or perhaps they just secretly value the natural functionality of their gonads?

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22 thoughts on “Things I Don’t Understand About Contraception

    • I’d love to take it one step further and say, I think People need to take charge. Humanity – men and women -are so manipulated by the psychology of media, the culture this media creates and the big companies that sit behind it all that we aren’t even aware of what is going on. Women can be nurturing and so can men … The first step is to start opening our eyes. Thanks so much for adding your voice x

  1. I was supposed to take it for endometriosis, but I had this nice little side effect of painful blood clotting in my leg and missed periods which would put me into high stress because I wasn’t sure if I was actually pregnant or if it was due to the pill, so I decided to try to fight the pain naturally though diet and use natural methods of contraception.

    • I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had that sort of experience, Lauren – but v glad you’ve found an alternative. Sadly stories of “little side effects” are far too common aren’t they? People who are frighteningly close to me have had breast cancer related to implants (which then mysteriously migrated), lumps following the injection and coils that have gone missing altogether. I’m supposed to be taking this pill after about a year of having a coil (deliberatley went for the one without hormones) as it seemed the most natural option available. This resulted in the most wacky menstral cycle I’ve ever had, with 21 days bleeding, 7 days normal, awful back ache etc. I put up with it for months waiting for it to “settle” down until finally realising that it wasn’t going to happen. Thanks for adding your voice to this Lauren and please come back again. x

      • Did you experience weight gain too, I know that “officially” there is no reason to gain weight on the pill, but I felt that I may have stress ate a lot while I was on it, now I still will stress binge occasionally, but it doesn’t seem like an all the time thing like it was when I was on BC. It did give me a bigger cup size, but I had a huge belly, too >_< (also added to the stress of thinking I was pregnant!)

      • Hi Lauren, not as far as I’m aware although I’m a bit anti-scales so probably couldn’t tell you anyway. I also picked up my running over the summer so if the pounds planned on creeping on, they weren’t going to have much luck. What I do know is that when we’re in a state of heightened stress (hyper vigilance) which it sound like you were, the body (who is a little primitive in Her thinking sometimes, bless her) will naturally hang onto more weight because it thinks you’re going to face some disaster like famine, or an ice age, or a trek across a desert. Could have been that possibly? x

      • Probably, last year around this time was quite stressful. I guess I may have used the BC as a convenient excuse for the weight gain, but the stress was surely a factor, excuse or not!

      • It sounds to me as if your experience of endometriosis, the blood clot, missed periods, ensuing worry etc as well as the usual hormone changes/mood swings that happen when you take the stuff AND any day-to-day challenges that life throws in was massively really stressful. AND chuck in the weight gain – which is a registered side effect of the pill – and that would have just added more of the same. So glad you’re off it. x

      • I still get blood clots, but I have to admit that I am a social, ahem, smoker.. I know I need to quit but at least I know my triggers, ahem, alcohol. I feel a bit hypocritcal having a health and fitness blog while clearly engaging in behaviors that are detrimental to my wellness! Thanks for the feedback and well wishes though. I am taking my lifestyle improvement, one day at a time, as they say.

      • Social, ahem, smoker here too. Triggered by … er, yep, alcohol. But hey … balanced by fitness and good food and creativity and gorgeousness of such magnificent proportions, that I think we should forgive ourselves for being human and be awarded massive pats on the back for doing what we can, the best we can. Sisters in Arms, Lauren. x

  2. As muchg as I love the idea of a male pill I am not sure I personally would be okay with a partner using it. Mostly due to the fact that because I wouldn’t have complete control and know 100% whether it was taken consistently. I am relieved I am past the point of needing casual birth control, after 2 kids my husband did his part. If something ever happened to him or between us I would really hate to have to think about my options. Casual birth control seems like one of those “pick the best of the worst.” You are right Bethan, seems like in this day and age there should be safer options, especially for men.

    • Hello lovely Kara! That’s a really great point about the “control” side of birth control. Can we really rely on someone else to take it? I can barely rely on MYSELF to take it. Perhaps once the Men In White develop the male pill it’ll be down to “whoever has the best memory” to be in charge of taking it. x

  3. I couldn’t rely on ANYONE else to take a little pill to prevent MY body being impregnated. No thanks. But I don’t want children so I guess that makes me a little more panicked by the idea.

    In my case, however, the pill has more than one major benefit for me. I suffer hormonal migraines. We’re talking crippling, bed ridden, devastating migraines. Using the pill to skip my period means I am not bed ridden once a month, impacting adversely on my career and mental health. I used to allow myself a period once every 4 months, but after consultation with a women’s health specialist I have the go ahead to once yearly periods. Music to my ears!

    I do believe it affects my pH balance ‘down there’ sometimes, and probably my sex drive a bit too, but I think those are the only noticeable side affects, and they are only really pronounced when I find my life over run and the stress building. It’s worth it to me, though I wish the migraines could be solved some other way. The doc tried me getting a period and using oestrogen patches during the placebo pills…we were both completely puzzled when that method just made things worse as the migraines are likely oestrogen related.

    • Hi Danielle and thanks for your comment. It’s great to hear of someone who has experienced the advantages of the pill (beyond birth control). I don’t think anyone can deny that there are countless women out there who are 100% happy with the pill and who’ve benefited from taking it. I think my issue comes in with the fact that I’ve never had any problems with my menstrual cycle and now, since trying a variety of contractive methods, all my natural rhythms, cycles, ebb and flow have gone wrong. But I guess that’s the whole idea? x

      • I agree! I wish so badly I could go back to not taking it and find out if the migraines occur when I am all natural, but I am literally too terrified of the migraines to find out! I do know that the wrong kind of pill can mess you up. When trying to sort out my problems they tried me on a ‘mini pill’. It stuffed me completely! Killed my sex drive dead, killed my period, did NOT kill the migraines, then gave me two months of break through bleeds. Never again! It took months back on my original pill to get me back to ‘normal’. Sometimes I wish they could just take all my reproductive bits away because I don’t want children anyway, but I know I need to wait till I am at least 40 in case I change my mind *sigh*

      • Diet certainly helped with headaches. I was getting regular headaches but it seems I have gluten intolerance. Now that I have cut out bread/pasta/cereal etc and relegated them to occasional treats I feel much better. Doesn’t stop the menstrual migraines unfortunately, so the pill remains my saviour for those 🙂

      • Hey Danielle! The reason I was asking is because my late Dad was a homeopath and he often treated people suffering from migraines. I vividly remember him saying that the first thing he’d ask people was about their diet and the second thing he asked them was to stop, or at least dramatically cut down on caffine, cheese and chocolate. This made a massive difference to the majority of his patients. x

      • Thankyou! I rarely eat chocolate and have cut wayyy back on cheese because I discovered most lactose gives me horrible cramps and wind. Coffee is another matter 😛 I am seeing my doctor this week to get a referral to an allergist. I want to confirm the gluten intolerance and also look into immunotherapy for my cat allergy. After that, I am hoping to see a naturopath and dietitian 🙂 I’m certainly not against alternative therapies. My kinesiologist did wonders for my jaw!

      • Sounds all positive and good Danielle. I guess that at the end of the day all of our bodies are unique, gorgeous and need an individual approach to make them feel their best. I don’t think that, with all you are doing, it will be long before you are able to fine tune everything and feel the healthiest that you ever have! x

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