the pill: is it worth the risk?
It paved the way to sexual freedom, equality and pre-marital sex, but it also unleashed a host of side effects that have become progressively less common over the years. Yes, I’m referring to the Pill.
This form of contraception is produced with synthetic estrogen and progesterone deceiving the female body into believing that it’s pregnant while creating thicker cervical mucus which is almost impenetrable to sperm. Thus, successfully stopping an ovulation process.
It sounds like the perfect solution to stressing over invasive contraception (See: vaginal diaphragm cups, implants and rings) but are we sufficiently aware of the risks we undertake every time we swallow that small little tablet?
According to Dr. David Delvin, one hundred million women worldwide take the pill every day including 3.5 million women alone in the UK, ‘approximately one in three of all females of reproductive age.’ Delvin remarks that because this contraceptive is so vastly popular in society, the benefits outweigh the ‘slight risks.’ These ‘slight risks’ include the increased likelihood of ‘cervical and liver cancer,’ fluid retention, hormonal imbalance and blood clots.
Here, I’d like to pose a question…would you give your thirteen year old daughter this form of contraception, based on ‘doctor’s orders’?
While birth control has been refined over the decades, this synthetic drug still has the capacity to cause internal imbalance, which is why it’s advised to only consume if you don’t already suffer from a life threatening disorder. Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride states that the pill ‘causes many deficiencies.’ One of these deficiencies includes zinc and copper depletion, viscosity in the blood, and a host of potential life threatening illnesses, one of them being stroke. McBride remarks, ‘We’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg in our understanding of the complexity of hormonal balance; we are in no position to be messing with that.’
Could she be right? Is the natural progression of menstruation more vital than our desire for easy contraception?
A global study conducted two decades ago showed that more than two thirds of women ‘preferred to have one monthly bleeds’ with 51% of women in the UK and 91% in India did not agree with induced amenorrhoea (absence of period.) Though times have changed since then, menstruation is still associated with fertility and general health, and while the pill shouldn’t be deemed completely harmful, I’d question whether a majority of women would prescribe their partners the same contraceptive, (a potential spermicide) containing the same risk factors, if it were readily available.
Furthermore, though this form of birth control is considered to contain a great deal of positive attributes (see: less ovarian cysts, menstrual cramps and diminished acne, it still places the main burden on a woman to take full responsibility for contraception.
All in the name of progress, but at what cost?
By Sophia Anna