Let me start with my story…
When I was 17 I was involved in a really bad car accident. I sustained a head injury that left me pretty anemic, to the point where they wanted to give me a blood transfusion. My mom was not too keen on the idea of a transfusion and although it was the doctors first choice, luckily there were alternatives like diet and iron supplements- so we went with that option. Aside from being tired and weak for some time, a full recovery was definitely obtainable.
Unfortunately, when my monthly cycle came around, all of the progress I had made would quickly be diminished. Along with the fact that I was a ‘bleeder’, I now had two odds against me and my recuperation.
A routine visit to the ‘lady doctor’ would provide me with a solution to the problem. Putting me on ‘the pill’ would regulate my cycle, cut down the duration, and hence, control bleeding long enough for my anemia to progressively get better.
It wouldn’t be until 10 years later that I would decide to have children. I got off the pill for a year before we starting trying to conceive Cohen. I didn’t think too much about the pill’s long term effects, until now.
It seems that right after you give birth to your child you are immediately confronted by your doctor on “what form of birth control will you be choosing when you leave the hospital?”. Since I was obviously familiar with the pill, I decided to go with that.
The Beginning of the End:
It was a year in September since I had Cohen and started back on the pill after an almost 2 year hiatus. Simply put… it was making me CRAZY!
Its really hard to pinpoint post-partum exactly what you’re going through and why since between, no sleep, hormonal imbalance, and baby blues, it could really be just about anything and everything. In my case I had all of those things going on, plus a move across the country away from everyone and everything I had ever known. I was a mess.
It wasn’t until Cohen was about 9 or 10 months old that, along with my poor and patient husband, we decided to re-evaluate what was going on with me.
I Was Suffering From The Following:
- Irritability: Everything bothered me… and I mean EVERYTHING!
- Depression: I would go through moments of severe depression where I was crying out of nowhere, nothing was making me happy. A pity party, if you will.
- Mood Swings: My poor poor husband. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I was borderline Bipolar. It was awful. The worst part for me as that I was watching my mood change like a light switch and saw myself acting irrational, but couldn’t stop it! Seriously disturbing.
- Dull Skin: It was to the point where I was wearing makeup just to stay home because I couldn’t stand the sight of my skin underneath. It was dull and often breaking out.
- Difficulty Losing Weight: Now I know that my body was still recovering (and probably will never be the same) from pregnancy and pregnancy weight doesn’t go away overnight, but it was seriously ridiculous! I was hiking, running in the park, doing yoga, and really watching what I was putting in my body. I’m pretty sure that by now I have tried every single diet and fad known to man!
- Loss of Libido: This is probably the most tragic and traumatic side effect I was experiencing. The honest truth is, who really wants to get their groove on post-baby right!?! But THIS my friends, was WAY beyond that! I mean, it just wasn’t even a thought. Sex? Why? It was seriously the worst thing ever.
It finally occurred to me… Maybe the pill is causing some imbalances that I never encountered before? Or maybe the side effects were always there but I just never felt them until now, when my body and mind were most vulnerable? It was definitely worth a look… and boy was it not a moment too soon!
What I found out from my research: Facts About The Birth Control Pill…
Listed as potential side effects include:
Birth control may cause a change in vision, possible change in your prescription or the inability to wear contact lenses, Nausea, Breast tenderness, Fluid Retention, Weight Gain, Acne, Breakthrough Bleeding, Headaches, Depression, Anxiety, other Mood Changes, and Lower Sexual Desire.
Additionally, the following more serious side effects may occur: Blood clots, Breast Cancer, Diabetes, Benign Liver Tumors (particularly after 4-8 years of use), and Cervical Cancer.
Aside from the listed side effects on every prescription packaging… which most of us DO NOT READ, the danger to me is not so much in those effects felt while taking the pill that will usually subside once you stop it, but more in the long term effects that are experienced even after discontinued use. Over the last 30 years studies have shown more and more that the effects can be long term and in some cases, irreversible.
It has been almost 2 months since my last pill. I am thrilled and relieved to report that my mood has leveled off, I have not suffered any depression, I am losing weight, my skin is back to normal, and my libido is BACK! My husband says its nice to see me again. 😉
I am compelled to ask this question: Can something that ‘tricks’ our body into thinking it is constantly pregnant (10 years in my case!) really be okay for us!?
There are so many other methods of birth control on the market. The pill is easy, sure. But at what cost?