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Thursday, August 10, 2006
Oral Contraceptives
This post is about birth control. Since my virtue has already been compromised, I have decided that I will no longer worry so much about what will disturb certain Muslim sensibilities and write about whatever I want. I have also decided to change my blogger name to "Carmen", my alter-ego.

Anyway, if you're not interested in details about birth control, you may want to skip this post.

A couple of months ago my gynecologist suggested that I go on birth control. I've always had pretty bad periods; cramps, etc. She said that birth control would alleviate some of the problems. I explained to her my fear of cancer (I am DEATHLY afraid of cancer) and she told me that I shouldn't worry. After talking with her and getting second opinions (from other doctors and, of course, Google), we decided that I would go on birth control.

The stumbling block taken care of, the decision on what kind of birth control to take had to be made. And it was not easy! Who knew there were so many choices out there?

First thing my gyno suggested was the NuvaRing. The ring is about two inches in diameter. You insert the ring into your vagina once a month and when 21 days are completed, you remove the ring to have your period. After seven days you insert another ring. Apparently it stays there, you don't feel it, and it doesn't disturb your life in any way. My gyno showed me a sample and told me that she'd used it before and didn't even realize it was in there. For me, it was just a freaky notion and told her I wasn't too comfortable with that.

The patch didn't really appeal to me was expensive and the side-effects seemed too much to have to deal with.

We went through the different kinds of pills on the market. There's Seasonale, a pill that allows you to have your period four times a year. When I first heard about it I was a little skeptical. How safe is it, really, to get your period only four times a year? It didn't sound healthy. I was told that it was perfectly safe and normal not to bleed every month.

So why are all both control pills designed for a woman to bleed every month?

Because when they first developed oral contraceptives, they chose a regimen of 21 active pills, followed by 7 hormone-free pills to mimic the average menstrual cycle. It was believed that this would be perceived as more "natural", thereby making the new product more acceptable for women, AND the Roman Catholic Church, which the developers were trying to appease.

I was fascinated by the thought of not getting my period every month. But then I learned about the side effects (breakthrough bleeding) AND the cost (around $600).

So that was a no go.

Finally we decided on a low-dose pill, fairly new on the market, will get my period three days a month. Not too bad. It's still pricey, but I'm hoping once I get health insurance it'll be covered.

I didn't start taking the pill till last month (after my last rage episode). I was reluctant to start. I was afraid of the side-effects and was worried that I wouldn't remember to take it at the same time everyday. The first week was fairly okay...I forgot to take it at the same time twice. I used to take it around lunch time, but when I started feeling sick to my stomach I thought it might be better to take it in the evening, so I switched to that.

The pill hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. The first couple of weeks were rough; I was nauseous, my head felt somewhat heavy, and I started feeling bloated. Within a week, however, my breasts grew so much that I've had people ask me if I were pregnant. The boobies have gotten more attention than they've ever had. I've always been big, but damn.

The one thing my boyfriend likes the most? The lack of PMS. I just got my period a couple of days ago and didn't bite his head off!!!

I'm not sure how I feel about being on the pill though. I mean, I hated my PMS, both the physical and emotional roller-coaster sides of it. But it kinda had me attached to my body, you know?
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 8:39 PM
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Who: Carmen

xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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