Before I start this post, I just want to make it clear that I’m not trying to suggest that every woman should quit taking the pill. It’s your body and therefore, it’s your decision. If it works for you then keep taking it. But if you’re currently on the pill and experiencing terrible side effects, keep reading…
I started my period when I was 12 and I experienced painful, heavy bleeding almost every month. Sometimes, I took the day off school because I was throwing up or the cramps were so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed.
Still, I refused to go on the pill.
I’ve always been hesitant about putting artificial hormones into my body. The way I see it, having a period is natural and trying to alter it can come with a ton of side effects. Every woman is different and what works for one might not work for another, so you can’t assume that something will agree with your body just because everyone else seems to love it.
Having said that I decided to give the combined pill a chance a few months ago. The main reason was to regulate my period and to make it lighter and less painful each month.
At the beginning, I had high hopes. I felt like I was taking control of my body and that eventually, I’d get to a point where I wouldn’t feel terrible for a couple of days every month.
But that good feeling didn’t last and I soon started getting all the side effects. I had nausea, loss of appetite, bloating (I felt 6 months pregnant), cramping, mood swings, fatigue.
After nearly 3 months, I’d had enough and I could see that this pill wasn’t agreeing with me. So I went back to the doctors and she suggested taking the mini pill instead. I instantly thought that this would be a better alternative as it contains fewer hormones and therefore, fewer side effects.
I was wrong.
If anything the side effects were worse including fatigue, bloating, nausea, stomach cramps and spasms, headaches and generally not feeling like myself at all.
About 4 days ago I decided to leave the pill alone altogether. Maybe there is a certain pill that works for me, but am I willing to go through each one experiencing all kinds of side effects? No. Absolutely not.
Instead of giving us a leaflet with possible side effects, we should be more educated about the health risks before we start taking the pill so we know whether it might work for us or not. I wrongly assumed that any side effects I did experience would be mild and gradually fade over the first few weeks.
If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have taken it.
At the moment, I’m looking into non-hormonal methods of birth control because I know that this is the best and safest option for me. Everyone is different and I think it’s just about finding what works for you and sticking to it.
There’s also fertility apps out there that might work for you if you’re looking for a non-hormonal option. I’m using Clue, which so far has been really helpful. You can use it to track your cycle or to find out when you’re most fertile.
Other than that, if you’re thinking about changing your birth control make sure that you’re aware of the side effects and don’t make a rash decision. If you’re worried about jeopardising your mental and physical health, there’s always alternative options!