Zee Pill

poison! and not the kick-ass band, poison, neither!

poison! and not the kick-ass band, poison, neither!

First of all, I am not a Duggar wannabe. But, I don’t believe in birth control. Not the chemical kind, anyway.  I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on television, but take my advice: stop taking the pill. Seriously. If you like to bang, and you don’t want babies, try condoms. Or get an IUD. I know I’m kind of a hippie, and you expect anti-chemical rants from me every now and again (though I’m apparently more than willing to pump my body full of all kinds of other crazy hormones and such in an attempt to get pregnant. Oh irony, you are too cruel…) but I really think this one is important.

I know it was this huge feminist breakthrough for women to be able to control their bodies in this way, but, I have to say, I think the BCP is one of the worst things ever created. I know that anecdotal evidence is no real argument, but I’ve seen so many women struggle for so many reasons in relation to the pill that I can’t condone it.

I don’t blame the pill for my infertility, but I have issues with it for other reasons.  The first being that it made me want to kill myself. Literally. I started taking the pill around 2002, and very quickly thereafter my depression spiraled quickly out of control. Granted, I do have problems with depression, but I have always been able to keep it under control with diet, exercise, etc.  I had never needed anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medication just to get by. (I’m not saying people shouldn’t take those things…God knows I love ’em and need ’em, just that I’d never needed them UNTIL the pill showed up).  Within days of stopping the pill (In 2005) I felt like a completely different person, and again, my depression became manageable without the assistance of drugs. The minute I went back on, for about the first 3 months of my marriage, the depression went back to severe.

I know not EVERY person has these problems, and that it can be changed w/ different levels of hormones (though I was never able to find the right match), but I don’t think people ever really talk about the fact that your baby-stopping pill could be what’s making you sad.  Think about it. Many women go on to the BCP at the same time they are encountering major life changes, so the connection of being sad/depressed/moody/etc. is linked to the life change, and NOT the chemical. “The first year of marriage is hard…” (yeah, especially if you’re pumping your body full of chemicals that can make you crazy in the head.) “College is a hard time for everyone, you’ll get through it…” (Sure, but studying sure is hard when I can’t stop the racing thoughts.)  I don’t assume that the pill makes you as terrifyingly crazy/sad/angry/suicidal as it made me, but if you are feeling off, consider the fact that it just might be your birth control.

The other reason I am so enraged by the birth control pill is the fact that it can mask reproductive problems, which can lead to people being in a situation like mine.

My periods were never really regular (hi, male readers!) but I never thought much of it, as I’d never known anything different. I just knew I could never count on it coming when I thought it would. Going on birth control “regulated” my periods, which my doctors thought was great! fantastic! Except here’s the thing: it DOESN’T REGULATE YOUR PERIODS! When you are on birth control, you don’t have real periods, your body basically mimics having periods. That’s why you can skip your periods if you only take active pills. Just because you bleed every 28 days or so doesn’t mean that your body is doing what it is supposed to be doing, and I didn’t make this connection until way too late.

Because I was on birth control for such a long time, I never knew that my system was so effed up, that my ovaries produced tons of tiny little cysts all the time. (More on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in another post.) So, when I went off birth control, my system went all out of whack again. They never fixed the problem, they just covered up the symptoms. I know they prescribe the pill to a lot of women with PCOS for that reason, to “regulate periods” and I just think that’s a bunch of bunk. PCOS means that you have a problem that extends far beyond irregular periods, and menstruating (fakely) doesn’t mean that you’re fixed.

Also, I know that the pill is prescribed for many reasons beyond contraception. Clear up your skin! Reduce your PMS symptoms! Less cramping! What a fabulous little wonder drug. I guess I’m just too much of a cynic to think that you could get these things without some cost to your body at some point. The pill seems like a quick and easy solution to these things, but again, all of those problems speak to larger, underlying issues (hormonal imbalances, poor diet, etc.) that should be resolved and not just masked. (Yes, eventually you’ll get me soapboxing about traditional Chinese medicine and how it’s important to fix the whole body and not just the manifestations of illness…)

So, there it is. My anti-BCP rant. I don’t care if you believe it or not, but if you are a pill-user, at least think about the fact that it may be causing problems that you are unaware of.  Stupid effing pill.

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11 Comments

Filed under Birth Control, infertility

11 responses to “Zee Pill

  1. AMEN to this! I have – for years – harboured deep resentment towards the pill and swear it has f’d up my body something good.

    I actually did have regular periods all my life …until that is, I started then stopped taking the pill. Yes, they were fakely regular on the pill but when I went off them, my periods were completely wonky. I swore up and down that the pill had something to do with it but was made to feel crazy for thinking so.

    While I never had severe side effects being on it, it just never felt right to me. I curse myself to this day for being on it for 2 different periods (pardon the pun!) of time in my life.

    Is it the cause of my IF? Who the hell knows…but it sure as hell hasn’t helped methinks.

    Thanks for this post. You’ve said far more eloquently some of the things I’ve been thinking about.

    PS – I’ve become more and more interested in TCM! Would be interested to hear more from you!

  2. I hate the pill, and I definitely joined you in the Suicide Room for the one or two trials I gave it. Yes, even the mini pill or whatever. My body just hates the stuff, just as it hates synthetic progesterone in any other form.

    What many folks don’t consider, too, is the environmental impact of all those hormones excreted into the water system. Not good.

  3. @fertilitychick
    have you read “the tao of fertility”? it’s the book that really got me interested in TCM as something that could help w/ ttc.

  4. @shinejil
    for real on the environmental impact! i think the pill has dire consequences that go far beyond just the havoc they wreak on our bodies. thanks for reading, and for commenting.

  5. AGREED!!!
    I got a new perscription after Sam was born. It has been sitting in my medicine cabinet. I just can’t bring myself to take it. Just thinking about it makes me want to puke!

  6. @crystal i forgot about THAT part. that they make you SICK. my sister and i were talking, and we’ve decided that if something is strong enough to combat our most base evolutionary traits (reproducing), then it has to be full of things that ruin you elsewhere.

  7. I haven’t read it – looking it up on amazon as we speak though so I can try and get my hands on it! Thanks!!!

    Some of my TCM interest started a number of years ago when a colleague of mine turned to it after years of unsuccessful IF treatments. After a number of months using just TCM, she became pregnant. Sadly, she miscarried, but she was floored that she even became pregnant when she was basically told she never would. That always stayed with me.

    I ramble! But I’ll definitely be checking out that book – thanks again!

  8. IUDs are boss. That’s all I have to say about that!

  9. see, betty, YOU get it. why don’t doctor’s get it? more importantly, why don’t insurance companies get it? (they won’t pay for anything but the pill on our plan.)

  10. Cherish

    Wow, what a good point. I went on the pill (against my wishes) for the first year of marriage, until I could finally talk the hubby into non-hormonal BC. During that time I had practically every known side effect. But I never attributed the psychotic hell that was marriage to BCP. That would make sense now….the fact that I had massive screaming mood swings that seemed uncontrollable, when I’d never suffered from that before. I just blamed the stress of getting used to marriage. Great, one more reason for me to hate the pill!

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