I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, here we go again, another crazy Catholic lady harping on why birth control is evil…” While I may be crazy and Catholic (the two are not mutually exclusive), I’m not here to write about the moral and theological evils of birth control. So, you can chillax, friend. Calm yourself.
Instead, I’m here to write about my personal experience with hormonal birth control, while sharing the terrifying new information that makes me scared for all of my female friends pumping their bodies with these group 1 carcinogens (if you want to skip my personal saga, and just get the stats, scroll down to the *).
My story of why I started taking hormonal birth control is pretty typical. I got pregnant at 19, my parents freaked out and told me I had to get on birth control. After my miscarriage, I dutifully got on the pill.
Cue crazy, Godzilla-esque mood swings, food binges and weight gain. I was a sight to behold. I gained tons of weight, was always queasy and craved junk food.
But hey, I could have sex whenever I felt like it. Fair trade, right?
Turns out that was also a bit of an issue. You see, my boyfriend at the time was trying to be chaste with me. Didn’t really work out, since we now could do what we wanted without any (baby) consequences. It didn’t take long for us to fall into bad habits, and for me to feel absolutely rotten. That’s all he seemed to want from me – so long went the talks about our future and wedding plans. So long went our humility and self-sacrificing for the other.
It didn’t take long for depression to start rearing it’s ugly head: I stopped going to church. I stopped hanging out with friends. My grades started dropping. All the while I kept pumping my body full of chemicals that only made me feel worse. Pretty soon this guy and I broke up, and it was UGLY. Every few weeks or so he would come around, claiming he missed me blah blah blah, and we’d fall into old habits. And he’d leave again.
I spent a lot of nights crying myself to sleep on the floor back then.
Now, I’m aware birth control did not CAUSE my boyfriend to treat me like crap. It didn’t CAUSE him to use me all the time, making me feel like I wasn’t even a person anymore. But it sure didn’t HELP that he had zero consequences for his behavior. In much the same way, I’m aware birth control didn’t CAUSE me to have no backbone. And it didn’t CAUSE me to hate myself so much I let myself be used. But again, it sure didn’t HELP that it did cause me to gain weight, have depressive mood swings, and be an easy target for someone to force their obsessions on me.
There is a happy ending to this particular story, since I moved away from that guy, got off of birth control, lost weight and started feeling healthy again. People around me didn’t know why I just didn’t stay on birth control – I was gonna keep dating, right? I actually had someone tell me that I was crazy to think that I could find anyone willing to not sleep with me until after we got married. Um, ouch?
(The joke’s on them though, because Danger came into my life and proved them totally wrong.)
I ignored all of that bad advice, stayed birth-control free, carried on searching for that guy, and kept my opinions to myself.
Until now. I am so tired of hearing stories about girls who get blood clots from birth control. I’m tired of hearing about girls being forced to be on birth control by their parents or significant others.
*Also, I finally read the stats on birth control by Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, President of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute. This group of genius physicians works super hard to find reasons why breast cancer is on the rise, and ways to reduce it. Turns out, one of the big bad culprits they are waging war against is hormonal birth control. Why you ask?
1. It increases risk of blood clots
2. It increases your odds of getting a lethal infection
4. Increases your odds of dying a violent death
I had heard of a couple of those. I even worked with a girl who got a blood clot in her leg so severe, so couldn’t MOVE for 3 weeks. The doctor’s response? A different pill. :: FACEPALM ::
The one on the list that scared me the most was 3. According to the 2007 report by UN’s International Agency on Research of Cancer, they began to classify the Pill as a group 1 carcinogen for breast, cervical and liver cancer, which means that it is directly involved in causing cancer. Not maybe, not perhaps, but IT IS A CARCINOGEN. While they did admit “the risk of uterine and ovarian cancers were lower on the pill” they also reported there is “4 times more breast cancer in women than uterine and ovarian cancers combined” (reference to report here).
Then in 2009 Dolle et al. reported a 320% increase risk of triple negative breast cancer in women on the Pill. This kind of breast cancer is the most deadly form, and the most difficult to treat, b-t-dubs (Dolle J, et al. Risk factors for triple negative breast cancer in women under the age of 45. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev2009;18(4):1157-65.).
This reporting just gets worse, you guys. The Pill is not playing around – it can kill you.
I don’t know about you, but this absolutely terrifies me. I love and respect women way too much to push the use of these drugs on them. And it makes me so incredibly, ferociously angry that the government is trying to force companies to provide CANCER PILLS to their employees. Though I guess it’s a woman’s right to get cancer, yeah? How dare we take that from them…
And the thing that really gets me? When I see female political figures and celebrities supporting these measures – they are sabotaging they’re own SISTERS! How dare they claim to support women’s rights, when they are supporting women taking poison and submitting themselves to being governed by men with poor intentions? Is that really feminism? Cuz I was under the impression that feminism was supposed to uphold the dignity and rights of women, not destroy them under the clever pretense of “freedom”.
Whoo, okay. Let me call down before I throw my soap box in frustration…
The point is ladies, my dear and beautiful ladies, please read this research. Please arm yourselves with information. And please, for all that is holy, ask yourself:
Is it worth it?