Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Newest, Craziest Birth Control Pill Yet

It brings a whole new meaning to the expression “just take a pill” (am I dating myself? Well, I am certainly not dating anyone else, so why not date myself). YIKES. I was reading an article (unfortunately, for some reason the Globe and Mail won't give a whole article, not sure if they are just cheap, or don't want to be refered to, but anyway, you have the date and the title you can look it up some other way, or I am sure some other, more generous, paper has written on the same topic) in the paper the other day that they have come up with, or perhaps even approved of a new birth control pill. The “advantage” of this pill is that you can take it every day of the month, every day of the year. So I guess you don’t forget to take it, ever, since it is an every day thing. Ok, I can see why that is useful. BUT, at what cost? At what cost!??!?!? YOUR BODY NEVER, EVER (because it is an everyday thing) GETS A BREAK. EVER. How can that be good!?!?!

In the past the pill is taken 3 out of 4 weeks (for those unfamiliar with the details). On that fourth week your body gets to rest. That is when you get your period. With the new pill, you don’t get your period, ever. I suppose some women will say, “Great, it was a nuisance anyway.” A nuisance? Sometimes I feel that the fact that my body needs to eat is a nuisance. And the fact that it needs to sleep is too. I wonder if I will ever feel that the fact that my body needs to breathe is a nuisance? I guess if that day comes I really should stop breathing and let it go at that. These are the things my body does. My body does them naturally. It is the way of a body to do them. It has worked for thousands and thousands of years. Why exactly are we messing with it? Oh right, because it is inconvenient. Inconvenient to have bodies. Inconvenient to support our bodies. Well, if you don’t like it you don’t have to have one. There is another option.

Wow am I ranting on this topic. So let me tell you why. While I have no proof, or no specific reason to believe it, I feel fairly strongly that it was my taking the birth control pill as a youngster that set me up to get breast cancer years later. I remember as a teenager that my body went wonky after I started taking the pill. Specifically my breasts. They became so tender between ovulation and menstruation that it was completely out of hand. They hurt so much I didn’t want to have sex, which kind of defeats the purpose of being on the pill. Even when I went off the pill the damage had been done, and things never returned to homeostasis. Was I surprised when I got diagnosed? Yes and no. It is always a shock to be told you have a life threatening illness, especially so young. And I had always felt the shadow of that youthful experience, wondering if and when I would have to pay the price for that choice. So yes, I rant when it comes to the pill. And this new piece, oh so rant worthy, in my books.

That said, there are studies and research that refute what I am saying, such as one sent to me recently by a friend (second piece down). And, if I had high speed at home (which, by the way, I am about to get) I would do some googling and do my own research and I am sure I could come up with pieces that support my angle. In the end we can only ever do what feels right for us and our own bodies since scientists now seem to be for sale to the highest bidder (I realize that is not true for all scientists, but how does one tell them apart, it is not like sniffing a cantaloupe, hoping to discern the ripeness of a report). But darn it all if I don’t chaff at the idea of young women, who don’t know their bodies well yet, and don’t necessarily respect the value of allowing a body to work in its own way, in its own rhythm, being offered a product that makes them more like a man, for the sake of convenience. AAARRGGGGHHHH!

Oh, and back to the key point here, it is not that I object to the body not bleeding, I suppose that might be ok, not that I know the science of it (although the emotional release before bleeding seems like a good idea, otherwise, what? will it just all build up and we will explode, that doesn’t seem good to me, like there are safety valves on some pieces of equipment, letting off steam pre-menstrually seems to me some what of a human safety value, it protects us all from a huge meltdown catastrophe), rather I am concerned about the body not getting a break from the huge hit (apparently 4 to 5 times the amount that the body naturally produces) of hormones when on this non-stop pill. There are clear studies that show that women who are estrogen receptor positive (ER+) increase their risk of getting breast cancer if they expose themselves to greater amounts of estrogen. To the point that if I woman is discovered to be ER+ after her breast cancer surgery, if she is pre menopausal they will also remove her ovaries, because they are producing enough estrogen to put the woman at risk of a reoccurrence. Ah, but the pill is pumping in 4 to 5 times the amount of estrogen than your ovaries do. But don’t worry about that, I am sure it is fine. Never hurt anybody. Well, not anybody that is still alive to tell the tale. Another, great big AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Ok, that is it, I have to stop writing or I won’t be able to get to sleep because I will be just so wired up. But think about it, before you just pop a pill to make things easier. Easier for whom? And, will it be easier in the long run?


At 7:03 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How nuts is this world!! Here where we continue to think that we can manipulate the natural with our concoctions and think it may turn out well. Thanks Franken-pharm for another step back ward....
Signy you are right on the point.
Thanks for the insight re: estrogen receptor....
Looking forward to next week!!!

At 11:20 PM PDT, Blogger Signy said...

Yes, next week when you can hear me rant in person!

I am so excited to see you!

At 4:45 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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