Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Thing That Piss Me Off Tuesday - The Birth Control Rant

Though a few people like to give me crap about it, I have not been pregnant for my entire adult life.  For a while there, it seemed that way, yes.  But I haven't been the whole time.

Except for the times I have been actually pregnant or trying to get that way, I've been on some form of birth control for decades now.

And you know what?  It all sucks.  All of it.

I've tried all kinds of stuff, different forms of the pill, different methods.  All of them fail at least sometimes (I've got a kid to prove just that), and they all vary in degree of suckage.

The pill is fine I suppose, as long as it doesn't turn you into a homicidal maniac.  I know more than a few women who can't take it at all, in any form, because it makes them crazy.  Like certifiable.  I live in this fantasy world where I claim it doesn't have that affect on me, even if those around me may disagree from time to time, because I'm tired of trying other options.

I've been on the mini-pill, the low dose pill, the tri-phasal pill.  The mini pill doesn't work all that well, as evidenced by my 3 year old.

The low dose one works fine as long as you remember to take it at exactly the same time every single day.  And never get sick.  Or are up all night with sick kids.  Or any of that.

The tri-phasal one, which I'm on now, is supposed to better mimic your natural cycle.  Which explains why I turn into a raving lunatic the week before my period.  Which is this week, just in case you wanted to know when to make sure to avoid me.  The "period" you get isn't an actual period, by the way, just withdrawal bleeding.  There's nothing normal about your cycle at all when you're on the pill.

If the pill isn't an option for you, what's left then?

The Depo-Provera shots and Norplant work in much the same way as the pills, but you don't have to remember to take anything.  Which is more convenient, I suppose, but less easily reversed in a hurry if you react to them.  Cross your fingers.

Well, you could get an IUD which costs literally a bazillion dollars and will make you have cramps that feel like some evil demon is kicking you in the stomach over and over again.   Teeny little t-shaped torture devices, they are.  I've had both incarnations of the IUD, the copper Paraguard and the hormonal Mirena.  They both suck.  I have an astonishingly high pain tolerance, and the Paraguard reduced me to being a pathetic mess, crying in the fetal position, drugged up on motrin.  The Mirena was marginally better as far as the cramps go, but virtually guarantees you won't ever get pregnant.  Because you won't ever have sex.  Because you're going to be spotting all the damn time.

Cervical caps and diaphragms don't work very well, and there's the eww factor.

Spermicides and foams don't work particularly well either, and are fairly allergenic...trust me when I say you don't want to be experiencing an allergic reaction in your lady bits.

Condoms are condoms.  Their single biggest flaw is that they require men to use them.

So, what is left?

Permanent sterilization is always an option, assuming you are completely sure you never want to have any more kids.  I've never been that sure.  I'm leery of messing with your body that much.  I know people who it didn't work for anyway, and they ended up with surprises years down the road.  I know someone now who may have to go in to have the entire process repeated.

I'll admit that I'm just wishy washy, but I can't imagine ever being that sure.

There's always the choice of natural family planning.  Also known as the rhythm method.  And the reason Catholic families in the 50's and 60's were gigantic.  It can work, certainly, if you know what you are doing. The thing is, though, the days you actually have a primal urge to have sex are the days you can't.  You know, the days when you'd literally hump the wall.  No can do.  Good luck with that one.

Why isn't there someone out there figuring out something better?

They invented drugs to make eyelashes grow faster.  Seriously, work on this.


  1. I haven't been on anything in almost 13 years (I think). Got pregnant twice on the low-dose pills. No. Thank you. And homicidal maniac? That's putting it nicely...And don't forget the weight gain and acne. Because every 30-something should have pimples. *rolls eyes*

    Thanks for always being an advocate. The world needs you.

  2. Thanks for saving me the pain and anguish on the iud, it was up next in my birth control method to try list. I stick with condoms, no side effects...well, except human error and I guess that could present a big side affect.

    1. I know a few women who have had the Mirena and love it. I know more than have had problems. I question the percentages when it comes to side effects on them. I wish there was a better option.


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