For Some Women, the Side Effects of Hormonal Birth Control Are Unbearable
Amanda Gray

Excellent and thank you for writing this. My BC experiences, if I may share briefly, have all been hellish. At one point I was warned by a nurse to go off the pill immediately because the symptoms I was having indicated that I was at high risk for a blood clot in the brain. This was alarming since a month prior to this I had heard of a local woman who had died from BC complications resulting in blood clot in brain. Being on BC pills since age 16, I still wonder how that impacted me during my formative pubescent years when my body wanted to adjust naturally to womanhood. I suspect it may be why I am experiencing very early menopausal symptoms and am anovulatory due to low sex hormones in my mid 30s. My body never figured out how to produce these hormones naturally.

My IUD experience was awful as well. I tried the low dose IUD because I was told it would help my endometriosis symptoms. After the doctor at OHSU inserted it, she cheerily said, “Welcome to the Mirena Club!” I was bewildered by the way in which the nurses were all endorsing this thing. My skin turned yellowish right off the bat and I had horrific stabbing pains in my low abdominal. I couldn’t even drive. That happened for a while every few days.

The worst is how I was treated by the planned parenthood nurses (and yes, I am very thankful for the existence of PP) when I shared my symptoms and asked them to remove it. The lady refused to remove it! She implied that it was psychosomatic and that Mirena would never cause such problems. But even if Mirena wasn’t the cause of these symptoms, a smart person looks at these symptoms and concludes that this may not be the best thing for my particular body. And then she said, “But if it is Mirena, you just haven’t waited long enough for those symptoms to go away.” That’s some serious BS. I don’t care if this shit is going away. Why is it not significant that it is happening to my body now? She said that I needed to reschedule an appointment even though I was on her examination table. She would hardly look at me. It takes 2 seconds to remove that thing (I later realized) and she made me go home and wait 2 more weeks with my symptoms before removal.

When I made it back in, another nurse helped me. While removing it she said smugly, “You know, your symptoms aren’t going to go away after I remove this.” She tossed it in the trash and walked out. Guess what, my skin turned back to normal, my sexual interest increased, my mood elevated, and I was never so happy to bleed naturally again.