For decades, women have relied on “the pill” as a method to prevent pregnancy. In the early 2000s, the pill also became a lifestyle drug to ease women’s irregular periods, monthly cramps, acne, excess hair growth, and premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
Recently, women who have taken the pill all their lives have taken a step back and are wondering what effect the pill has on their bodies and brains. Here are some reasons why getting on birth control has become such a tough decision to make in today’s age.
1. You never knew what you were putting into your body.
For centuries, women have taken the pill without questioning what the pill was doing to their bodies and brains. The pill, like other methods of birth control, works to stop a woman from ovulating so that there is no egg that can be fertilized, but the breakdown of the pill in your body isn’t always explained to you when it’s prescribed.
Based on a study done at the Guttmacher Institute, of the 62% of women who use contraception, 25.9% use oral contraceptives, 10.9% use IUDs, 4.5% use an injectable hormone treatment, and 2% use a vaginal ring. According to an article on Insider, some doctors are seeing the pill’s dominance give way to other forms of birth control, mainly due to concerns some women have regarding the pill’s hormone levels and how these hormones might affect their bodies. It’s very important to do your own research if your doctor isn’t providing you with such crucial and necessary information.
2. Side effects.
Side effects of the pill include depression, mood swings, changes of behavior, and overall quality of life. Extensive research still needs to be done to study the effects of the pill on the brain and body. According to an article from The Cut, “Most of the research women hear about is all from the neck down –– increased risk of this or that health problem –– but they don’t really talk about what it does to the brain,” said Dr. Sarah Hill, a professor of psychology at Texas Christian University and the author of the popular-science book, This Is Your Brain on Birth Control.
3. Healthy lifestyle.
With the all-natural attitude that surrounds us today, there are non-hormonal methods that can still prevent pregnancies like the IUD and the ovulation tracker.
The exposure of today’s wellness society has led initiatives like the “anti-medication movement,” and women have considered alternative treatments that gear towards a healthier lifestyle. This has also influenced women to seek botanical remedies such as herbs like chamomile tea, and ancient Chinese medicine like acupuncture, to treat the usual menstrual cramp or period pimple that appears monthly.
4. Picking the right option for you.
The pill has a powerful cultural significance because of its accessibility and painless feature. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the only option out there for you. If you’ve been on the pill before and you two weren’t meant to be, study your options as there are many ranging from the pill to basal body temperature treatments. Don’t stick to something you need but know is not right for you.
5. Feminist age and cultural influence.
In the U.S., women have recently played a huge role in fighting for their reproductive rights. Whether you’re pro-choice or pro-abortion, fighting to make informed decisions about your reproductive future is necessary for the best treatment options. This feminist age has contributed to sparking women’s voices, uniting as one to defend their choices and to improve treatments they know need to be better.