10 Things No One Tells You About The Birth Control Pill

I started taking birth control pills when I was 16-years-old, and for almost 10 years, I was an advocate for this form of pregnancy prevention. I gushed about how much the pill had helped with my menstrual cycle, and I encouraged everyone to take it. I was an advocate for birth control pills, and I didn’t see an end in site. But about a year ago, I said goodbye to the pill – and I can say for certain that I’ll never take it again.

What happened? I’ve written about this before, but here’s the quick and dirty: my birth control pills started messing with both my body and my mind. First, one brand was giving me terrible headaches and bloating, which made my gynecologist nervous that I might become more prone to blood clothes. Then, the second brand I went on made me feel crazy – it changed my emotions, giving me awful mood swings, making me feel depressed, angry, and completely alone, and causing me to feel like a stranger in my own body. It was horrible.

Here’s what I learned from this experience: gynecologists are extremely hesitant to ever say anything bad about the birth control pill. In fact, they will go to great lengths to convince you that the birth control pill is a good fit for you, and that any negative side effects you’re worried about aren’t anything you should think about. In reality, birth control pills are not a good fit for everyone, and I’m sick of doctors acting like they are.

birth control

I get why gynecologists push birth control pills: they’re an effective way of preventing pregnancy, and they do have other positive side effects. Birth control pills regulate your menstrual cycle, and can help with PMS such as bad cramps, headaches or breast soreness. I’m not saying birth control pills are bad for you! In many ways, they’re great. But just like any other medication out there, the Pill does not work the same way for everyone, and it also comes with many negative side effects. Just because it can do positive things doesn’t mean these negative side effects should be ignored.

I spent almost a year complaining to various gynecologists about my birth control pills, and every single time, it felt like they were brushing me off. When I told them I felt like the Pill was making it difficult for me to lose weight, they said that wasn’t possible (in fact, the Pill can make you retain water, which can make you look and feel more bloated). When I complained about my headaches, they waved them off for a while until they couldn’t ignore them any more. When I expressed my concerns about taking Yaz because of the warnings I’ve heard about blood clots, they insisted it was so rare that I didn’t need to think about it. When I said the Pill was messing with my emotions, they nodded, but didn’t give me any answers.

I can’t explain how frustrating it was. After a while, it became clear that these doctors weren’t going to admit that the Pill wasn’t a good choice for me, and I went off it on my own. I’ve heard many similar stories, and I don’t think it’s fair. I’m not sure if gynecologists push the Pill because they really want to prevent unplanned pregnancy or because they make money off the required visits that accompany the Pill.

Either way, I think it’s really important for every girl to know the truth: birth control pills can be great, but they can also suck. They might not work for you, and they might not be your best option. And they CAN have negative side effects, no matter how hard your doctor tries to overlook them. Here are 10 things no one tells you about the birth control pill:

It’s important to remember that birth control pills can work really well for some people. I’m not trying to tell you you shouldn’t take the Pill and I’m not trying to scare you. I just think you have the right to know what a pill like this might be able to do to your body. And if you’re going to choose against the Pill, please use another method of birth control, like condoms or an IUD.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.

 

10 things that happen when you go off birth control pills

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