The Pill: How a little tablet has driven me mentally and physically into the ground.
Have you ever had a period for 10 months? Ever had a constant and sporadic PMT so a bad day can affect you for a whole month? Ever been off your period for all of 3 days just to have those days sweating, smelling, exhausted and sad to the point it's making you miserable? Ever not had a break of feeling less confident, rubbish and washed up? I've felt all these things and it's down to one little tablet.
Contraception is an interesting one. There's no debating that it's needed, that no matter what the Bible-Bashers will claim, everyone has sex and everyone needs some form of protection. It's always, however, somehow up to the woman to figure that part out. Whether it's hormonal medication or not, there always needs to be some altercation to the woman's body to ensure she won't get pregnant, including the infamous Pill.
I started taking it about 10/11 months ago. I'd found out that due to some medical issues with my womb and uterus that although I could get impregnated, I do not have a standard 'stretchy womb' meaning actually carrying a pregnancy to term would kill, or do a crazy amount of harm, to me or the fetus. Not that this bothered me particularly as I've never had a motherly streak in me but this meant that no matter how much I hated hormones there was no way I couldn't take a form of protection.
I would have liked the copper wire but as I've moved to Germany, German doctors don't allow this unless you've given birth at least once, which I've not, nor am I able to do. I'd heard all the benefits of the pill including having regular periods, was advertised to me as a light amount of hormones a day so it wouldn't do as crazy of a body change as I had when I was younger and had the injection (3 months worth of the pill all at once), and that if I regulate it and there was a side effect I didn't like, I can always change.
Boy, has it been a completely different and horrific experience to that. The first five months I bled constantly, NON-STOP. A never-ending, burning pain, a never-ending PMT hole of depression, a never-ending purchasing and re-purchasing and then re-purchasing again of pads and ibuprofen week after week after week.
When I went crying to my doctor after these trial months, and they gave me the same pill with 10mg more hormones. This gave me about 1 day a week break from just the constant bleeding but I just got told it was my body 'adjusting' to these chemicals, so I had to continue this for another 3 months. After running out, my doctor's schedule was so full it was impossible to make a doctor's appointment, meaning I just grabbed the preescription from reception and ordered 6 months worth. Which, bear in mind, is just another awful stress of my monthly day-to-day, making sure I have time to make an appointment, get a prescription, put my order through the pharmacy, have time the next day to pick up and then pay up to 70 euro for 6 months worth.
2 days after blasting my meek student finances on 6 months worth of contraception, I got a new doctor, who after inspection said that the pill, as it turns out, had been creating so much blood, discharge and other bacteria in my womb and uterus that I wasn't that far away from a serious infection of my whole organ. Guess what my new doctor's solution was? ANOTHER PILL. A new set of chemicals should sort out the other chemical damage, right?
Wrong. I now get a range of 2-6 days break every 2 weeks or so from the bleeding. I'm supposed to 'wait' until the bleeding completely goes so I can take another medication (bear in mind my new set of pills and these meds cost me an additional 70 odd euro) to clear up the bacterial build-up and destruction that's happened because of the other pills I've been given. But it's been almost another 3 months and the waiting period has never ended.
At this point, I'm living in a daily hell. I've spent well over 100, possibly even 200 euro on pads alone. I've spent about 200 euro on all the different pills that are doing more damage than good. My latest and most wonderful side-effects are only being able to eat half a meal before bloating so much it's painful to not lie down and any alcohol causes hangovers that are basically just a pure depression hole, which hadn't happened before taking this pill. I've spent what feels like two or three times a week in bed just miserable and crying because I'm constantly hormonal, in constant pain and usually bleeding. It just never ever ends. I keep it quiet, and most days I'm getting by with forcing a smile on my face, popping some ibuprofen and trying to get on with it. Which is fine for a few days, even weeks, but after 10 months or so I feel so so miserable.
I'm writing this for 2 reasons. The awareness and research that contraception so desperately needs. Multiple men's contraceptive methods have been proposed to UK, EU, USA and worldwide and although 3 chemical methods have been tested and proved to have half of the side-effects the women's pill does, with these side-effects less strong or harmful than the women's. It didn't get passed because the men felt very 'emotional' and 'gained weight', so it was written off as 'inhumane'. LITERALLY USING THE WORDS 'INHUMANE'.
More research has to be done for women across the globe. I managed to get together some money for it, but many women don't, and if they manage money for the pill, pads and painkillers are a whole other issue that is taxed by institutions like the EU as 'non-essential hygiene products' when they should be a basic human right.
I'm hoping to get the copper wire at some point when I'm in England and hope I can still get the appropriate follow-up care in Germany despite it not being available to me here. I hope that others may read this and find some solace, understanding or awareness over this issue so both genders can start sorting out contraception instead of it just being left to the woman.
The biggest thing for me is to just have understanding - you don't know what your fellow human is going through every day and how one bad thing can affect them so much more than it affects yourself. Look out for women, and protest these ridiculous taxes that make our every day so much more expensive and exhausting.