My Celebrity Life

Why are women always tasked with preventing pregnancy? We’re fed up and in pain

Find me a person with a vagina that has not had a problem with contraceptives.

Condoms splitting, leading to morning after pills. The pill causing weight gain, acne, mood swings, nausea, depression, anxiety. Coils getting infected, implants getting ‘lost’.

Heavy bleeding, anaemia, tiredness, debilitating cramps, pregnancy scares – you name it, we’ve probably had it.

It seems impossible to me that contraceptives were once a response to the swinging, all sexed-up sixties, especially now that we feel less sexed up, and more wishing we were 60 to get the worry of whether we’ll accidentally fall pregnant over with.

Earlier this year, I realised that I’ve been on contraception longer than I’ve been off it.

My personality has been built on whatever method of contraception I’ve been subject to at the time, in efforts to help me escape the debilitating pain of being someone that bleeds every month.

I was 14, and sat with my then-best friend in the doctor’s surgery when I first asked to be put on ‘the pill’. The all-seeing, all-healing mystery pill that you took to stop you from bleeding and having babies.

You were supposed to take it every day for a month, then let your body ‘take its course’ for a week without them. F**k that. I was going to take the packets back to back – something I’d heard you could do.

My periods were heavy – horrific even – so this seemed like a total miracle to eradicate them for good.

When I saw my (obviously male) doctor, I wasn’t informed of the consequences, the side effects – short and long-term – or really even asked many questions about my intentions to go on contraception.

It felt awkward, like I was part of a supply chain, pushed along the conveyor belt to let in the next emotionally fragile pre-teen who could hardly walk from blood loss or spasms.

Over the years, I’ve been on just about every type of contraception (except the injection, because for some reason I draw the line at getting a needle in my arse). I also have the scars from when a nurse took a scalpel to my arm to both pop the implant in, and take it out a few months later as I couldn’t handle it. Without anaesthetic, I might add.

I’ve had the contraction-like pains a solid four times from getting the coil put in and removed. Like Naga Munchetty, in her admission last year that she screamed and fainted twice while enduring the traumatic procedure, I grasped the hand of a distressed nursing assistant and sobbed.

Contraception has ruled my – and probably most women’s – entire living memories

I wondered what it would have felt like if I hadn’t dosed up on ibuprofen and paracetamol beforehand like my doctor recommended.

Contraception has ruled my – and probably most women’s – entire living memories. We have to remember to take a pill every day; get cut open; prised open. We have had to endure trauma and actual agony in order to not fall pregnant, or have debilitating periods because, you know what? We just don’t fancy them.

This pain that we endure has been our cross to bear for as long as we can remember, and not a problem that has been solved by healthcare professionals to date.

So you can imagine my response when I read about a new day-before pill for (surprise surprise) women to take to disrupt conception before sex. You can bet my reaction was as aggressive as my last period cramp.

In current tests, this ‘on-demand’ contraceptive pill is a mix of two medications – including one used in the morning-after pill – and can be taken before ovulation occurs, ahead of sex.

The increase in hormones totally disrupts ovulation, in this case until after sex, but left more women with longer periods on average.

While I praise all innovation that allows us more ownership of their bodies, I am exasperated that the responsibility lies with women. Again.

Once again we have to put more synthetic hormones into our bodies, disrupting our periods, just to have the sex we want.

Only god, or Stanford University scientists, knows what this potent cocktail of hormones does when combined with the classic pill mixer, or the dash of implant, and sprinkling of Mirena coil.

As much as I’m furious, I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s the latest joke in the book of ‘Comedy for Misogynists’, isn’t it?

Let’s not forget that studies on the active ingredient in Viagra can actually be used to treat menstrual pain, but instead is well-known to help blood flow in men, to help bring them pleasure.

Plus, there were rumours back in 2016 that a pill for men – which studies have shown is nearly 96% effective in preventing pregnancy – fell flat as men reported ‘side-effects’ like depression, mood disorders, fatigue, headaches, and acne. Sound familiar, ladies?

Women are treated as if they are a machine to keep well-oiled for having children, and any pain that comes as a result of disrupting society’s mission is our burden.

There needs to be real funding invested into a form of contraception for both men and women to take to prevent conception, if they so wish. One that has minimal side-effects and promotes the equality of both sexes.

At the end of that day, that is literally all we want.

I can’t wait to come off contraception, and hopefully I will soon so I can finally discover who I am underneath the synthetic hormones. But until there’s an appropriate pill for both sexes, I can only imagine that life for now as the consequences are just too great.

It takes two to tango, but right now, women are expected to take the lead and bear the torture as a result.

‘My body, my choice’ has never seemed so untrue.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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