Possibly the sickest feminist art blog you've ever read. Possibly.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Technologically Advanced, my ass ( literally! -kind of)


 Here it is, bastard or saint. The Pill, with two capital letters. Statistics say that when you were in High School half the girls were taking it, but should we really be so accepting of the contraceptive methods made available to us as women? 
 Because I live in the UK, and know very little about the availability of various sorts of contraceptives in other places, I'm going to discuss the situation in the UK. However, if anyone knows anything  about anywhere else, I'd be really interested to know. So let's start off with the basic; condoms. 

What guys and gals tend to carry in their wallet just in case a good time rolls round the corner, (though don't because the tightness of the wallet rubs holes in it). I personally can't use them, because I find them unbearably painful- especially the patterned ones; and until relatively recently, I thought I was alone in this, however as soon as I type 'condoms' into my google search engine, I get 'condoms hurt me', 'condoms hurt my girlfriend', 'condoms hurt', 'why do condoms hurt?', 'should condoms hurt', etc. etc. you get the picture. It's gotten to the point where I've just about given up on penetrative sex if I know I have to use a condom.

  As it is, I know that I'm not at risk of getting any STDs just now so I have other methods available that aren't barrier. So what are they?

The pill made women free in the 20th century, but is it doing it's job in the 21st? Anyone I've talked to about it, and bear in mind from the start that most of these girls have actually tried several different types of pill and still had the same weight gain, zits (everywhere), sore, and in some cases, impossibly huge breasts, moodiness, we all know the story. There seems to be no one I know who's had a good experience with the pill, in any form. Personally, I found that for the first few years that I took it, it was no bother whatsoever; it actually made me more sane around my period and made them less heavy and less painful.

 However, in past few months, my experience was totally different: I felt like a hug, groaning ball of hormones the whole time, just ready to burst and spew blood and angst everywhere. My weight ballooned, or I felt it did- to the point where I felt like I would be lucky to fit into a UK size 18, when I'm normally an 8-10. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I was so convinced that just to open my jeans drawer would set me off seeing all those clothes I thought I could never wear again (despite feeling calmer now, I'm still sticking to leggings and baggy t-shirts) that is if I wasn't crying anyway, because a trip out to Tescos (about 2 minutes walk away) would mean I was crying on the way home after seeing all the people thinner than me. It got to the point that, even after seeing the state it got me in, my boyfriend offered to investigate finding something he could take.

 So then I came off the pill and Ta-Da! Back to normal. Or normal-ish, anyway. I really want to avoid anything that fucks with my hormones now because, as they go, the Pill is shown to be one of the most 'lite' methods of hormonal contraception.

 I suppose the other options people go with are things like the patch, the implant, the coil and variations on the coil. I can't think of any others just now. But honestly, just reading all their descriptions on the NHS website (I was on there because I thought I'd missed something, I thought thered had to be something that didn't have a list of side-effects) was scary, and they're trying to promote the use of contraceptives by young people!

 Side effects of these alternative methods included stuff like, very heavy and permanently irregular or in some cases constant bleeding, loss of period altogether (which in any other circumstance would be pretty convenient, albeit a little worrying), mood swings like never before, skin irritation, much increased period pains, pelvic infections, IT CAN GET CAUGHT IN YOUR INTERNAL TISSUE (I think this is a pretty big one, hence caps) or blood clots. Also, ALL of them reduce your desire to have sex.

 I'm sorry, but has no female scientist (because they do exist, even if they are rare) ever said, "Why are you guys fucking around in space when I can't fuck around on my own planet?" Sure, there are plenty of contraceptive options, as I'm sure most of us have heard sex-ed teachers tell us at some point or other; but  do any of them work? I find it totally unjust that there is no form of contraception that just lets me get on with my life, instead of stressing out because I'm having a massive indefinite period, or not having a period at all or I'm so moody and emotional I can't think straight.

 The most irritating thing is that a pill was developed for men to take, they just don't market it. Do you want to know why? The big, awful drawbacks are.......

Because it "can cause mood swings and loss of sexual desire"and "men don't handle side-effects well".

I think I'll leave it there. 

If you think any of my information's wrong or want to share any of your own experiences then go right ahead and comment :)