Times have moved forward since contraception meant fiddling around in a drawer, in the dark, for a condom. Now sex is well… sexier. All thanks to scientific advances and blah, blah, blah.
Nowadays it’s a pill popped in the morning and you’re all set to go, as long as you don’t have an upset tummy that is. A massive 100 million women around the world were reported to be on the pill last year according to the World Health Organisation. So the pill is great, right? Wrong.
The pill is 99% effective when taken correctly – which is a lot easier said than done. Without an alarm on your phone how many women can honestly raise their hand that they’re perfect when taking the oral contraceptive? Doubt there are many.
However, this isn’t why so many women are now turning away the pill and opening their eyes to other methods of contraception. The combined pill has many potential side effects – the most widely reported and recognised one being mood changes. You thought your time of the month was bad then just try having your hormones messed with four weeks of the month.
So why is the most popular form of contraception in the UK no longer women’s best friend? We all know someone who knew someone who got pregnant on the pill. We also all know someone who knows someone who had to come off it within three months because of depressive side effects – think I’m being dramatic? PMS has been proven to affect women so wildly that women have received lighter sentences for murder while on their period, referred to as Premenstrual Stress Syndrome and is a recognised defense. It’s just a fact and it’s called PMDD.
Maybe next time a woman breaks down and tells you she’s ‘PMS’ing’ you really should take her seriously. Women can go as far to experience psychosis and see things.
This is why fluctuation of hormones can have such a devastating effect when taking the pill. Teenagers who take a variation of the combined pill face an 80% higher risk of depression – this isn’t okay.
As women, we shouldn’t be expected to just put up with side effects such as weight gain, lowered sex drive, and acne flare ups. Not when a recently a study of a male contraceptive injection was recently stopped after male participants physically couldn’t stand the symptoms. Symptoms women have been having for decades on the same type of pill.
Out of 320 men, the study was halted because 20 of those taking part refused the treatment. That leaves 75% willing to taking the contraceptive. Accepting to deal with the side effects much like the conscious decision 48% of women aged 16 to 19, 64% of women aged 20 to 24 and 55% aged 25 to 29 make every single day when they swallow the small capsule.
For now, if the combined pill isn’t working for a woman she has three options: try a different pill, try a different contraception method or keep her legs shut.
It’s contemporary UK and women’s choices deserve to be educated by GP’s in more than just a ten minute allocated slot. Our choices deserve more time. Our bodies deserve more.
Featured image courtesy of BBC.