I feel like everything surrounding periods and women’s ~down below region~ is kept so quiet and acted like it’s so taboo… unless you’re talking with other girls. After running a short Twitter poll, the vast majority of people said that they DID use the pill and definitely more than I expected. Around 80-90% use or have used the pill at some point in their life.
I feel like a lot of people form a judgement when you tell them that you take the contraceptive pill, or they find out themselves. Some people assume that it’s only taken for contraceptive reasons and therefore, you must be one to sleep around or enjoy unprotected sex.
Well, for me, it’s neither.
Yes. Gasp! Shock! Horror!
OK, lets be frank. I do use it as extra contraception because uh, better to be safe than sorry but I asked my doctor to prescribe me the pill back in 2016 because I suffered with extremely painful period cramps.
I still do, but nowhere near as bad as they used to be. In the year and a half since I started taking the pill, my cramps have never stopped me working or going to college or just simply going about my daily life and it’s given me freedom once again.
I used to pass out from the pain, scream in agony, have to take days off school and even go whole nights without sleeping, writhing in pain because no amount of painkillers would help. I was miserable and eventually had to say “enough is enough, I need help”.
This decision came after my doctor prescribed me Mefanamic Acid to help with the pain but instead, gave me chronic back pain that caused me to collapse and left me unable to move for half an hour. I needed to at least try and lucky for me, the first pill we tried has been the right one for me.
I was prescribed Microgynon 30ED which is a combined pill and does cause you to have a break and bleed. Some pills do not have this but for me, it’s peace of mind as a hyperchondriac… you catch my drift?
The first month on the pill was uncomfortable. I had a lot of spotting and this caused many awkward moments where I realised I’d gone out without any sanitary products. Nobody warned me about breakthrough bleeding so of course, I didn’t carry spare supplies. Or at least didn’t top up when I’d run out. But the first thing positive that I noticed was that the pain was tolerable. It wasn’t gone, but it was tolerable.
My period came as predicted by the pills and lasted a couple of days and then went again without much fuss. That’s how it’s stayed since October 2016. Regular and the same length each time. I was never one to suffer horribly irregular periods before the pill but I prefer knowing almost exactly when I’m due. It allows me to make sure I have enough supplies, am carrying pain relief and know that if I start crying over something small, it’s probably just hormones.
There is an increased risk of blood clots in some people on the combined pill and after my great gran died of a DVT (deep vein thrombosis), I’ve been very wary and so have the doctors whenever I’ve gone in to complain about my chest pain. D-Dimer tests (tests for blood clots) are always the first that they carry out on me when I present to A&E with chest pains and even though I know it’s not a clot, it’s still a very real fear I have. I remember calling 111 once with the chest pains when they first happened severely and their first thought was a Pulmonary Embolism because I was on the pill and there’s a history of clotting in my family. I’m fortunate that it wasn’t that but as I said, it’s still a fear that I am very aware of.
On the topic of using it as a contraceptive, I’d say that it’s becoming very common for guys to want girls to be on the pill so they don’t have to use condoms. I’ve been asked by a few guys whether I’m on the pill (needless to say, we didn’t speak after that because it was VERY clear their intentions) and it’s intrusive. I don’t want to go all preachy safe sex talk mum on you all but I’m sorry, even if I am on the pill, I want more protection because the pill doesn’t protect against STIs! I think guys need educating A LOT more on that fact alone.
The only major negative thing about the pill for me is that it has messed up my mood completely. It’s made me prone to mood swings, I’m more emotional and back when I was on antidepressants, it was a nightmare. But for me, I’d rather have the occasional mood swing than horrible cramps. And I’d rather stick to a pill that I know mostly works for me.
I am glad that in the UK, we have access to the pill free of charge on the NHS. It’s given me the freedom of not fearing my periods anymore and yes, they’re still uncomfortable but hey, I can still function. It can be a pain in the backside to remember to take it at the same time or just take it full stop but it does just become a routine so if you’re not already on it and fear that forgetfulness may hinder you, it’s not that bad! You get used to the routine!
But if you’re not too embarrassed, I’d like to hear your stories of being on the pill or maybe why you won’t take the pill. Let me know in the comments!
Lots of Love,