Ok, I’ll say it right upfront…this is probably not a post for the guys, but hopefully you figured that out from the title.
I don’t usually like to speak too much about feminine issues because quite frankly, I’m a bit prudish when it comes to that sort of thing. While I’m happy talking about sex all day, if someone even mentions to me that they’re on their “P”, I get all squeamish and wish the ground would swallow me up. Well, actually I wish it would swallow them up because they were the one to make me feel all disgusting and weird.
Anyway, I digress. What I was heading towards before I ran off track, was that I wanted to talk about hormonal birth control, or rather a lack of.
Before I start, I want to preface everything that follows by saying that I absolutely believe that hormonal birth control has a place in this world. I was on it from the age of 15 until I was almost 29 and if I hadn’t used it during those years, I think I’d be one of those tired-looking, broke young mums with at least 6 kids by now. From when I was 15 until when I was 22 I used one pill consistently, never once forgot to take it and had no problems at all.
At that time though, my body decided it’d had enough and so I changed my pill. Then I changed again, and again, and again. There were a few more changes and eventually I ended up back on the original one.
Here’s my first important point: Sometimes people tell you things about your body that you know aren’t true. One of those pills made me depressed. I mean seriously, woke up crying, wanted to cry all day, went to bed crying, depressed. I got no help from the doctor but miraculously, once I’d figured out the likely problem, I changed my pill and was no longer depressed within a week.
I’ve also had pills which have made me feel really ill. I’ve been tired, achy, miserable, bloated, dizzy, etc, etc. The list really does go on. So, if you are trying out hormonal contraception, I urge you not to accept any of this and to keep going until you find the balance that’s right for you because not all pills are created equal.
Anyhow, that’s what happened around that time. Then, when I was 24, my doctor suggested I try the Mirena coil, which is essentially a hormone filled coil that works similarly to the implant you can have in your arm. You can have this in for 5 years and never need to worry about a thing.
It was no better than the pill was for me but once it was in, I figured I’d stick with it. I stuck with it for nearly 4 years. Oh yes, I stuck with it through the appearance of tiny lumps all over my chin / cheeks; rough, dry skin; spots; constant aches in the gut region; depressed episodes; tiredness; unpredictable monthlies…the lot.
I thought it was my best option and I still maintain that for me, for most of that time, hormonal contraception was the best option.
I spent about 2 years umm-ing and aah-ing about what to do and whether or not to have that thing removed and go hormone free but I was scared. Really, really scared. I’d heard so many horror stories about epic breakouts of spots, boobs shrinking, weight loss, weight gain, awful monthlies, mood swings, lethargy, etc, etc.
Finally though, I bit the bullet because I was feeling so rough anyway and curiosity really got the better of me, so I had it removed.
What a revelation!
Here I am about 3 months later and I feel better than I have in years. My skin is calming down, lots of the bumps have gone and the dryness definitely has. I get fewer spots, I ache less, I sleep less, my monthlies are predictable and pain free, my moods have levelled out. It’s gone so well that I wonder why I was ever scared!
So here’s my real message in all of this…
Different things work for different people. Before my coil, I read horror stories about the procedure to have it inserted. In reality, it was mildly uncomfortable and I ached for a day. Before I came off the hormones, I thought I was going to turn into an acne-riddled monster. In reality, I’m still exactly the same but feeling more alive and looking a little better. Don’t pay attention to the noise of the horror stories because nobody really writes about things when they’re easy or go exactly to plan so you all you hear is the bad stuff.
If you want to try hormones, go for it. If you think they’re not working for you, here I am as a real person saying that even after almost 14 solid years of flooding my body with hormones, it adjusted quickly and I feel better than I did for the majority of that time.
I hope that if you’re thinking about what to do, this has helped you realise that usually what your gut tells you will be right for you, is the thing that really will be right. Take a gamble, try it out and hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised! x