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(DISCLAIMER: Before my rant, thought I'd clarify that I'm very grateful for birth control and how it has freed women to have far more control over her life. I don't want birth control to be gotten rid of, just for the risks to be better understood.)

Many of us will have trusted doctors. We're told that doctors always know best. But experience has taught me that while doctors are very smart, there is just so much they don't know, but they rarely seem to acknowledge this: passing degrees is mostly about regurgitating dogma, not questioning dogma. 'Investigating the science' myself saved me years of torment and pain in regard to my own medical condition.

This attitude is all too clear with trans surgeries. How could doctors even think of doing that to kids, we ask? It's mainly because they're taught to follow The Science they've been told. However, science is not Perfect Knowledge and it constantly evolves. It is also open to bias like any other body of knowledge. It's open to cherry picking and being swayed by big pharma. That skewed Medical Canon is then passed down to doctors and then down to their patients.

If they can give kids untested life altering surgeries based on something as unscientific as a Gender Soul, they sure as hell won't mind putting any number of untested pills into women. It's not even the case that they're necessarily 'experimenting', just that they prioritise male/economic benefit and don't care about women. Women's health is already terribly researched, with endometriosis left undiagnosed for years with male doctors telling women it's 'just cramps'. Why would this be any better?

Trans surgeries is what got me even more worried about birth control. I've tried them all: the mini pill made me depressed and cry all the time and the combined pill made me numb and fat (and they're fairly 'mild' side effects compared to most women's stories!) Is it normal for people to be put on a carousel of different medications just in case one isn't horrendously debilitating, especially when the patient was perfectly healthy in the first place?

I finally went for the copper IUD as I thought that, as long as I didn't have artificial hormones, then I'd be alright. However, the strings fell out and they had no idea why, but didn’t really care and said as long as I wasn't in pain then it was unlikely it had pierced through my womb and stomach??! They were very sure it was all fine somehow, but when I had a scan, it had fallen into my cervix which causes scarring? Luckily this wasn't too bad and I could take it out, but it means the contraception wouldn't have worked and yet this happens in 10% of cases apparently! No one ever said that on the leaflets! Is it really 99% effective as they say?

I got more sceptical about the IUD as after 9 months I continued to have very long heavy periods (14 days compared to my normal 5 days) and felt very tired during it. I started questioning why this actually happens, as surely the copper is just supposed to act as spermicide - what does it have to do with my periods? I asked doctors and gyno nurses yet no one had any idea, or even realised heavy periods were a side effect (despite it being very commonly known) After looking around, it appeared that it is likely that the IUD causes an inflammatory response causing your uterus to thicken in response and bleed far more - lovely! Also not what I was ever told! The IUD is lightly associated with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease even so it would make sense.

I think the main issue I have is that the scientists under research women's health to begin with, but also cannot possibly study every possible side effect or hope to have a controlled experiment. There are just vague correlations drawn. Apparently they don't even know why the IUD causes extra bleeding. They just have to research whether BC kills the woman, causes immediately obvious serious health issues or infertility. Any complaints women have aren't recognised until men have 'studied' it, like with the vaccine changing women's periods or birth control causing depression. It’s like Schrödinger health issue.

The medical argument for birth control is that the pros outweigh the cons, but please let me make that assessment myself and give me the full facts. If you don't actually know the facts even, then how can you make that judgement for me? Especially when there are decent natural alternatives like the sympto-thermal method, being 99.4% effective, I may get to the stage in my life where the slight risk of an accidental pregnancy, and having a baby 2 years earlier than planned is not worth 15 years of being pumped up on who knows what. If I’m a teenager with no money/career, then BC pros probably outweigh cons.

Not sure where I’m going with this but point is, after seeing what doctors are willing to do to trans kids, I really can’t be sure that BC is as safe as they try make us believe.

*(DISCLAIMER: Before my rant, thought I'd clarify that I'm very grateful for birth control and how it has freed women to have far more control over her life. I don't want birth control to be gotten rid of, just for the risks to be better understood.)* Many of us will have trusted doctors. We're told that doctors always know best. But experience has taught me that while doctors are very smart, there is just so much they don't know, but they rarely seem to acknowledge this: passing degrees is mostly about regurgitating dogma, not questioning dogma. 'Investigating the science' myself saved me years of torment and pain in regard to my own medical condition. This attitude is all too clear with trans surgeries. How could doctors even think of doing that to kids, we ask? It's mainly because they're taught to follow The Science they've been told. However, science is not Perfect Knowledge and it constantly evolves. It is also open to bias like any other body of knowledge. It's open to cherry picking and being swayed by big pharma. That skewed Medical Canon is then passed down to doctors and then down to their patients. **If they can give kids untested life altering surgeries based on something as unscientific as a Gender Soul, they sure as hell won't mind putting any number of untested pills into women.** It's not even the case that they're necessarily 'experimenting', just that they prioritise male/economic benefit and don't care about women. Women's health is already terribly researched, with endometriosis left undiagnosed for years with male doctors telling women it's 'just cramps'. Why would this be any better? Trans surgeries is what got me even more worried about birth control. I've tried them all: the mini pill made me depressed and cry all the time and the combined pill made me numb and fat (and they're fairly 'mild' side effects compared to most women's stories!) Is it normal for people to be put on a carousel of different medications just in case one isn't horrendously debilitating, especially when the patient was perfectly healthy in the first place? I finally went for the copper IUD as I thought that, as long as I didn't have artificial hormones, then I'd be alright. However, the strings fell out and they had no idea why, but didn’t really care and said as long as I wasn't in pain then it was unlikely it had pierced through my womb and stomach??! They were very sure it was all fine somehow, but when I had a scan, it had fallen into my cervix which causes scarring? Luckily this wasn't too bad and I could take it out, but it means the contraception wouldn't have worked and yet this happens in [10% of cases](https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8416443/) apparently! No one ever said that on the leaflets! Is it really 99% effective as they say? I got more sceptical about the IUD as after 9 months I continued to have very long heavy periods (14 days compared to my normal 5 days) and felt very tired during it. I started questioning why this actually happens, as surely the copper is just supposed to act as spermicide - what does it have to do with my periods? I asked doctors and gyno nurses yet no one had any idea, or even realised heavy periods were a side effect (despite it being [very commonly known](https://www.nurx.com/faq/can-an-iud-cause-a-heavy-period/)) After looking around, it appeared that it is likely that the IUD causes an inflammatory response causing your uterus to thicken in response and bleed far more - lovely! Also not what I was ever told! The IUD is [lightly associated with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease ](https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13625189609150665?journalCode=iejc20)even so it would make sense. I think the main issue I have is that the scientists under research women's health to begin with, but also cannot possibly study every possible side effect or hope to have a controlled experiment. There are just vague correlations drawn. Apparently they don't even know why the IUD causes extra bleeding. They just have to research whether BC kills the woman, causes immediately obvious serious health issues or infertility. Any complaints women have aren't recognised until men have 'studied' it, like with the vaccine changing women's periods or birth control causing depression. It’s like Schrödinger health issue. The medical argument for birth control is that the pros outweigh the cons, but please let me make that assessment myself and give me the full facts. If you don't actually know the facts even, then how can you make that judgement for me? Especially when there are decent natural alternatives like the sympto-thermal method, [being 99.4% effective](https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17314078/), I may get to the stage in my life where the slight risk of an accidental pregnancy, and having a baby 2 years earlier than planned is not worth 15 years of being pumped up on who knows what. If I’m a teenager with no money/career, then BC pros probably outweigh cons. Not sure where I’m going with this but point is, after seeing what doctors are willing to do to trans kids, I really can’t be sure that BC is as safe as they try make us believe.

54 comments

Ahh I’m so sorry that’s awful!! The menstrual cycle is just so intrinsic to women’s bodies that messing with it will have so many consequences we don’t realise! My 27 yo friend just had a stroke actually - maybe it could be a similar cause :/

[–] ShieldMaiden 5 points Edited

Hormonal birth control can weaken your vascular system, which is why strokes and blood clots are a risk. This is also why you shouldn’t smoke when using hormonal birth control, because smoking can cause your blood vessels to narrow and constrict and exacerbates the vascular issues. A good doctor will explain these vascular health risks and side effects to anyone who uses hormonal BC.

Since there are some serious risks involved, I do not agree with the recent push to make hormonal BC an over the counter drug — I think it should require a prescription and that anyone who takes it should be under the regular care of a doctor. But it’s true that doctors don’t know everything and play a guessing game much of the time.

Example: I had the Mirena IUD inserted years ago after my daughter was born, and it caused chronic stomachaches and urinary tract infections. At that time, Mirena was a brand new drug and there were no lawsuits against it. My doctor at the time insisted that the IUD would not cause my stomach pain or UTIs and that there had to be some other cause. Well I had not been sexually active for months, so I knew that wasn’t the cause! Finally I paid an exorbitant amount out of pocket to have the IUD removed and my health problems stopped. That was over a decade ago and I still think Mirena was the cause.

You are not crazy. Mirena is a horrible product. There have been lots of lawsuits over it.

I do think the pill is getting pushed more by big pharma - it's kinda expected that all women will be on it

That's crazy! I just can't believe doctors can say so assuredly to people there are NO risks and that any medical complaints you have absolutely CANNOT be linked to the birth control. It's just so irresponsible and dumb?

[–] Lipsy i/just/can't 4 points Edited

Around here (California) you don't need to see a doctor to get bc pills anymore—a new law in late 2017 made pharmacists eligible to write bc prescriptions. (I've heard it can be hard to find a pharmacy where someone on staff will actually do this, though. Maybe because the pharmacist would need to do a[n online] training that lasts a couple hours, and I don't think they're paid any extra wages to take on this extra duty—not a great set of incentives for pharmacists who are alrdy insanely busy on typical days.)

There are two pharmacists at my pharmacy who provide this service—one middle-aged Korean man and one young Black Woman—and both of them do a quick consult with the patient where they discuss relative risks, unless the patient explicitly declines the consultation.

Your post is making me wonder whether any of that information was in their training, or whether they've leveraged the pharmacy's standard procedure for other rx drugs in support of Women's health at their own initiative. I'll have to ask.