...is really bothered by the pill? (By "the pill" I am conveniently referring to hormonal birth control of every kind: the shot, the ring, the patch...it all works on the same basic principle.) I've never been on it; I'm not worried about side effects or anything. I am just really bothered by the idea of not having a menstrual cycle. And when you're on the pill, girls, you don't...the period you get on the pill, the week you don't take hormones and bleed, is just so you feel like things are operating normally...another thing that bothers me; nobody seems to know this. The pill doesn't regulate your period. The pill makes you stop getting a period and gives you an artificial period, which of course is regular, because it's artificially imposed. Anyway, that bothers me. There also seems to be tremendous implicit pressure to go on it. You're supposed to have a "backup birth control method" when you use condoms...if spermicide is Not Recommended and gives you a rash what is that "backup method" supposed to be, except hormonal? (or a diaphragm, I guess, but those don't get nearly as much press, and I haven't heard tremendously positive things about them) And...pick up any women's magazine and it's pill pill pill pill pill pill pill. Like an assumption that everyone is on it, or should be... Anyway, all this bothers me tremendously. I am very attached to the normal hormonal cyclings of my cunt, and the neat effects they have on my mood and my body. Am I the only chick bothered by this? I'm not super-religious or anti-birth-control-in-principle or have any other separate agendas that I am aware of.
Posts: 54 | Registered: May 2003
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I just have a question for you... where did you hear that when you are on the pill it is an 'artificial period'? That sounds kind of funny to me because I've been around this site for a while now and the sexperts have always said that the pill regulates your period and have never mentioned anything about an artificial period...
And I also don't understand how a period CAN be artificial...
No, we very much have NOT, celery. We sure get asked a lot if hormonal contraceptives regulate a period, but what we'll say is that...
In fact, what this user is describing is called "withdrawal bleed," something we've explained again and again and again.
In other words, she is basically correct. While on the combination pill (if you're taking it correctly and it is working) you do not ovulate, and thus, do not actually menstruate. However, you are still having endometrial lining build up each month per usual, and that's what is being shed when withdrawal bleed occurs.
Mehit, how people feel about the pill differs. I know I was on it in my teens and early twenties, and went off because of the same feelings you're having: I felt very estranged from my own cycles. So, like most methods, this one isn't for everyone. And you're not alone in not liking that. On the other hand, if you poke around the boards here, even, you'll notice that lots of young women actually aren't all that comfortable with their natrual cycles, so for many of those, it's no loss as far as they're concerned.
As well, many people want a backup method. But condoms by themselves are actually excellent birth control when used correctly and used from start to finish every time, something else we point out a lot. When I have male partners, in fact, condoms all by themselves are my method of choice and have been for around ten years now.
I agree, hormonal methods are pushed pretty heavily all around. However, they're also excellently effective and safe birth control for many, and they *are* the right thing for plenty of folks. Too, for women with very problematic or difficult cycles, the pill can sometimes be the difference between hating the heck out of one's body for causing so much pain and getting in the way of so much, and learning to be okay with it -- and that's pretty vital, IMO..
I would add that some new studies are showing that using the pill is preserving fertility. That pill users when they decide they want to conceive are more likely to faster then other hormone birth control methods. So I would say that all hormone birth control is not equal.
Posts: 94 | From: plymouth,mn,usa | Registered: Apr 2003
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Personally, I don't feel there is anything "artificial" about the bleeding a woman has while she is using hormonal birth control. from a physiological standpoint, it's still cycles of hormones coursing through a woman's blood stream controlling the way the endometrial tissue (and various other biochemical responses) behaves. The molecules in those pills might not be true progesterone or estrogen, but they mimic the same effects and mechanisms. The endometrial lining still sheds when the hormone level drops off enough. So while i might not ovulate, the processes that otherwise make up a menstrual period are still there. I find differntiating one from the other to be a matter of semantics.
But anyway, using hormonal birth control is a choice. Me, I like it. I did not enjoy the cycles my body set for itself; they were making me sick. But for those who don't need it, like any other medication, I don't see why a person would choose to take it.
------------------ May suffering and pestilence befall the %$@! who broke into my car.
Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000
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I feel like that, too, a lot - especially now that I'm not relying on the pill for birth control. I very nearly went off of it, and even now I'm really struggling with the decision.
Why? Because, as you said, yes, it makes me feel a little estranged from my own body. It costs me money each month I could be spending on food (food is a big priority and great joy of mine ), and it's a pain to take each night and to get the prescription filled and all that. Especially since I really don't foresee using it for birth control any time in the near future.
But on the other hand, I no longer have cramps so bad they put me in bed for two days a month. My face has cleared up (mostly), though I'm not sure how much of that has to do with simply growing up. And I know practically to the hour when I'll get my "period," something that never happened before the pill, when it would just come pretty much whenever it felt like it, and usually just after putting on a pair of white pants or favorite undies.
So. Pros and cons. The lucky thing is, you can go off it, and you can go back on it, so for now, I'm thinking hard about it, and staying on it. Those cramps are really the deciding thing for me.
"Take a little time for sunshine/Take a whole lot of time for love/...Take your life as it may come, 'cause boy, it'll be gone soon/Take a little time for howlin' at the moon..." - Sam Bush, "Howlin' at the Moon"
From what I've read, actually, the difference isn't just in the fact that the hormones are synthetic. The hormones your body puts out change throughout your cycle, around ovulation and so forth, and I believe that hormonal birth control is the same shit all month except when you're bleeding. Also the uterine lining doesn't build up to the same degree; it gets to a certain thin level and then plateaus, I think, which is why "pill periods" are lighter.
Posts: 54 | Registered: May 2003
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I was really unsure about it when my doctor said "And what about more reliable forms of contraception..."
He then suggested the pill, my argument against it was that I didn't want anything artifical in my body.
But now I'm on it, I don't think, I would want to stop. I like knowing when my period is due exactly and being able to plan around it. Nope, I have no prblem with it APART from sometimes missing it but thats qite rare!
Maybes it's because I don't have to pay for it, the only thing I have to do it see a doc once every 6 months.
------------------ Why is it that the person that makes you cry, is the only one who can make you stop.
[This message has been edited by The1andonlyAmber (edited 05-21-2003).]
Ohh sorry, I didn't know I was wrong, I guess you learn somethin new every day! But I really don't remember reading anything about an artificial period.
But I agree with Gumdrop, I don't really find anything 'artifical' about your period when your on the pill. Sure, you're not ovulating, but your still shedding the endometrium and stuff which isn't really 'artificial', your just not releasing an egg.
I think the pill's great. I'm not sure I could just trust condoms by themselves because there have been a few times when it has broke or slipped off, and I hate that panicking feeling you have waiting in anticipation for your period to come.. and if ur not on the pill, ur period can be unpredictable, which increases the panic. I don't know what you mean about feeling estranged from your body. Our bodies are always changing you just have to adjust to the new changes.
Posts: 68 | From: australia | Registered: Oct 2002
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For me, the pill I'm on keeps my ovaries from becoming even more polycystic than they have the potential to be, and has reduced a lot of the symptoms related to PCOS, including "natural cycles" for me that lasted for six months of bleeding at a time. Ironically enough, it may even make me more fertile, due to my wacked-out endocrinology.
I didn't find having the periods I did have to be the most horrific thing in the world. I accepted what was happening as part of my body and myself, and I chose to go on the pill to help myself feel better and to help reduce some of my PCOS risks, not because I was sick of bleeding or didn't want to have periods anymore. I certainly might decide to go off the pill at some point. But for now, being on hormonal birth control is having positive effects on my physical and mental well-being.
and thanks for saying that erin, because it's been very similar for me. i have pcos, too, but was severly bothered by what my body tried to do "naturally" and couldn't quite work. i've been on the pill for 7 years now, and do not regret it at all, because the positive impact on my health and wellbeing has been significant. sure, i sometiems wish i could do fertility awareness or use persona with my condoms, but i have to accept that i will never be able to do so, and i'm fine with it.
in general, i prefer the pill to other hormonal methods of birth control, such as depo or lunelle, simply because it is easily reversible.
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