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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

Yeah, gynecology is so fucked up. I still can't wrap my mind around why they can't give pain killer for IUD insertions, it's just torture.

Is it normal for people to be put on a carousel of different medications just in case one isn't horrendously debilitating,

This is honestly true for all of medicine though, not just women's healthcare. They do the same thing with depression meds, sleeping pills, etc. Docs have no way of predicting in most cases how a patient will handle a certain med, it's really trial and error. Also, they don't really know how most meds work at all. Like it still isn't really known why anesthetics work, they just seem to, so they go with it. If you wanted to wait until the science was 100% worked out, you'd basically have to stop accepting medical care.

I took BC pills from the late 80s until the mid 2000s. I was well aware of the risk of stroke or high blood pressure, and other family members who'd been on the pill years earlier had to go off it because of how high the dosage was at the time. I didn't feel well on BC pills for the first couple of years, but it was always worth it to me because I couldn't stand the idea of ever being pregnant or having kids.

Hormonal birth control is probably as safe now as it's ever been. It won't be without risk, and someone who isn't hell bent on never getting pregnant might do better with other options. Anyone who's serious about never being pregnant/never giving birth shouldn't rely on just the temperature method/"natural family planning".

Yeh it depends on your life stage/goals - I have financial stability, don’t wanna get pregnant yet but do in about 3 years

Temperature method is bad - sympto thermal method is pretty good and 99% effective.

You can combine that with pulling out too, if your partner is trustworthy. Always worked for me. Only pregnant when I meant to be.

Ooh really, that’s interesting. I’m not sure I could trust it bc of pre cum too so would probably stick to condoms when fertile but have heard a lot of women say similar to you!

I haven't seen anyone in RL saying I'm so horny I won't fuck no one like this, I mean it can happen but that's why the temp method fails. User implementation. Pls just use condoms. Horny and fertile times coincide.

If you can find the info on a simple google search and just choose not to is it just blind obedience the problem?

You use condoms when you’re fertile

Yeh I think people are taught to just ‘believe the science’ and doctors also just tell you they know best always and doubt patients constantly

Don't forget that giving children the agency to make adult decisions about one area means that you'll be widening what they can be expected to consent to.

Like sex with adults.

Welcome to hell.

I'm with you on this. The purpose of the IUD is to so irritate the lining of the womb that a conceptus can't implant. Why is introducing chronic inflammation a good thing to do to anyone? What sense does that make, unless women don't matter?

No, a copper IUD kills sperm and a hormonal IUD makes mucus inhospitable to sperm

"IUDs cause irritation of the endometrial lining." That is how it makes things inhospitable . . . "makes it harder for a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus."

I know that my mother would never take birth control pills because we had a neighbor who had a stroke when she was in her late twenties. This was in the early 1970s

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

IIRC, the copper ions have some local effects that mildly interferes with clotting factors, plus there's a state of constant, mild inflammation. Paired together, this is responsible for the heavier, longer periods. This is why hormonal IUDs were developed to thin the endometrium and try to reduce the amount of bleeding.

To be fair, I have a copper IUD and while my periods are more painful, they're not heavier or longer

Mine were heavy and long, but mysteriously lacking in pain. All I can figure is that it thinned my blood out so everything was able to come out easier!

It's so individual

[–] Peppermint 13 points Edited

I'm totally in agreement you. Women's health is in the dark ages and remains there. All while they try to figure out how to take women's bodies and make them serve men. I'm also an endometriosis sufferer. I also suffered PCOS... and from my lifelong experiences I absolutely hate the medical profession as it is now. Right now I mostly self heal/medicate by going as natural as possible. It's not a 100% cure but it has helped a great deal. I'm in 90% less pain.

I agree with you on the experiment part. The pill was never right for me. I noticed that right away. I tried other things like diabetes drugs which made me sick and in pain. We have things like uterine mesh that are being inserted in women and causing major problems and lawsuits. There's a new endo drug that just came out as a matter of fact but if you read the side effects it sounds a lot like the ones you get from puberty blockers. No thank you.

Before I peaked, women's health was a major focus of mine but I realize it can never go anywhere as long as women's biology isn't taken seriously.

[–] Hera 13 points

One of my friends is dead from hormonal birth control causing a pulmonary embolism.

She was never made aware of this danger, or how her lifestyle could heighten the risk (gamer during the height of WoW's populariry) of an embolism.

I have another friend who had a stroke from the same thing, only she was lucky enough to survive. Again, they never made her aware of the risk.

I will never forgive them.

One of mine suffered a permanently disabling stroke from one of the implantable hormonal methods.

So yeah.

I'm sorry about your friend.

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?

[–] Eava 6 points Edited

I think you are confusing what some doctors and medical professionals know about various birth control methods, and the full knowledge that there actually is about each method. Everything you described are known risks and side effects, and easily found with a Google search. I have never believed "doctors know best" to the point where I don't do my own research on their recommendations. I don't know what you mean by "as safe as they try to make us believe." Birth control has known side effects, including blood clots and stroke from the pill. So does pregnancy. I know more women who died or nearly died due to pregnancy/childbirth than from any method of birth control. Each woman has to figure out the balance of risks for herself. I've never had a doctor deny those risks. It sounds more like you need to find a better OB/GYN.

And if you think natural family planning will work for you, go for it. For women who are trying to delay an otherwise wanted pregnancy and could handle getting pregnant at a less than perfect time, or would have no issue having an abortion, it is a fine option. But many women aren't in a position to handle an unwanted or poorly timed pregnancy and would prefer not to have an abortion. When I see people tout near 100% effectiveness for "natural family planning" while listing a parade of horror stories from various methods of birth control, I have to wonder what their agenda is.

And condoms are a great option, no hormones, no devices, it is pretty obvious if it failed. Condoms+Plan B for back up is an option that should be more heavily promoted.

This has been my experience with all doctors

We’re talking about different things. Yes it’s easy to find the very obvious and well known side effects like blood clots but not research into the mechanisms or the side effects widely reported by women. Many women’s complaints are dismissed and not listed unless scientists can be bothered to do a study on them. A lot of research is obscured too, like a commenter said below about copper toxicity, probs due to big pharma who knows

[–] ovaryacting Dilatemadaboutit 5 points

Men don't like wearing condoms so it isn't pushed as much as hormonal birth control.

Yeah, we need to teach our daughters to dump those men. Female Dating Standards.

Medical professionals had show again and again that they really don't have evidence for most of the things they promote, they just try it. If it works: good for you! if it doesn't: well, it was your fault that you belived us.

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