I began taking birth control pills during my sophomore year in high school. This is when I first started becoming sexually active. I went to the gynecologist for the first time and my doctor told me that the birth control I would be taking was low hormone, and it wouldn’t affect me much. After taking it for about a month, my period became worse than ever, I was depressed, and had bad anxiety. Before taking birth control, I’d always been a happy-go-lucky girl. I rarely cried and never was one to overthink the little things in my life. When I was on the pill, I spent hours of the day in my bed crying and worrying that my parents, friends, and boyfriend wouldn’t love me anymore because I wasn’t acting the same that I usually was. I didn’t believe that it was my birth cotnrl making me feel this way so I kept it to myself. I had no idea that all of my friends were going through similar experiences with their birth control as well. After a year, I finally told my mom that I could not take my pill anymore. She made me another appointment with the gynecologist. At this appointment, the doctor told me my best option was an IUD. When I told my best friends I was getting an IUD, they looked at me like I had 2 heads. They informed me about all of the horror stories they’ve heard about IUDs. “People pass out, people scream, people bleed, people cry.” I was terrified.
When I walked into my appointment, I was shaking. I laid down on the cold paper and spread my legs. The doctor did not walk me through the procedure. When she inserted the device, it was the worst pain I had felt in my whole life. It was a sharp pain that was followed by bleeding. As I was crying on the table, she told me it was normal and that I could go home. The rest of the day, I could not move due to my cramps and bleeding. I was miserable and thought I made the wrong decision. The pain was almost unbearable and there was no numbing or pain relief to make it a little bit better. The pain lasted for about 3 days until I felt a little bit better. Fast forward to now, in college, I talk to my friends who also have IUDs, we all have a similar story when it comes to why we stopped taking the pill, and go an IUD. We also all have similar stories about the extreme pain the IUD procedure was.
Now my question is, why are women expected to get birth control? Women are already the ones who for carrying the babies and give birth. Most of the time, men are the ones who make the mistakes so why is there no birth control, other than male condoms and vasectomies, for men? According to an article by ACS, “We wanted to develop a non-hormonal male contraceptive to avoid these side effects”. One of the main reasons male birth control has not been provided is because they are so worried about the side effects. The list of women’s birth control pills is extremely long. The list goes on and on. Most people I know who have taken birth control, have experienced at least two side effects. I believe there should be birth control options for both men and women, and it should be up to a couple to decide who should take it. It is sad that women are just assumed to be on birth control.