We need to stop normalising the pill’s side effects

I was put on the pill at age 14 for severe menstrual pain, and I continued to be on it until aged 20. Out of the blue, after years of being on the pill safely, I was told by my new university GP that I could no longer use the combined pill due to being a migraine sufferer. Apparently, I was at a much higher risk of blood clots and strokes, so I could never be prescribed that pill again.

I was told my only option was the mini-pill. This was the start of my pill nightmares. I bled for 3.5 months straight. Every. Day. I repeatedly went back to the doctor and I was told that my hormone levels must be “too low” and was told to take two mini pills a day, instead. The bleeding continued, and everything just got worse. I ended up weak with no appetite and went long periods of time without eating because I felt so ill, leading to me entering ketosis and having to be referred for numerous tests to ensure I wasn’t diabetic (I wasn’t, I was just incredibly ill and weak from the pill). I felt depressed and hopeless from a combination of the situation and the synthetic hormones and couldn’t stop crying.

Even when you overlook the other side-effects, countless studies have identified strong links between taking the pill and poor mental health. So why are people like me, a long-term anxiety and depression sufferer, given this pill to take every day without the GP so much as batting an eyelid?

I chucked the rest of the pills away. Never again. It’s funny isn’t it, that we as a species question the use of daily medication when it comes to supplements or antidepressants or other daily meds, but being expected to take a daily medication for contraception is totally normalised and accepted, even at the expense of health?

My advice: if you’re on the pill because you want to be and it works for you, you do you, girl.

If the pill is having adverse side effects like mine and you’re on it solely for contraception and not other medical problems, consider ditching it. If your man refuses to wear a condom, find yourself a new man.

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