The Pros & Cons of The Pill: What Your Doctor Would Never Mention

The Pros & Cons of The Pill: What Your Doctor Would Never Mention

Bad News if you're an Air Hostess but Good News if you Love your White Trashy Jeans

Neon Yes and No sign
Warning: Contains explicit content ♦ & is not to be used as medical advice ♥ Disclaimer here

So Part 1 gave you the info on what The Combined Pill is and what you should be doing with it.

But let's move on to the good, the bad and the ugly: what is so great about the combined pill and what are the downsides you should definitely be considering...

💔 The All Important Side Effects:

All hormonal contraceptives have side effects. With the combined pill you could expect some weight gain, some headaches, and a ride on a never ending emotional roller-coaster. However, everyone can react entirely differently. See The Big List of Possible Side Effects from Combined Hormonal Contraceptives to make yourself aware of all potential effects.

💔 Taking a Whizz on the World:

You eventually piss out the synthetic estrogen from your pill. This is flushed into the water system and is not filtered out.

This means it ends up in our drinking water or in the rivers and seas. This is bad for us and bad for the fish; it causes problems with their sex differences and thus leads to less reproduction. Decreases in fish populations, as most people are aware, have major detrimental effects to the whole food chain and ecosystem.

Fish chatting to another about Daves sex change

💔 Do you like Seafood:

See above. If you want to enjoy fish forever you may want to consider protecting them.

💔 What Company you Keep:

When you take a prescription drug a pharmaceutical company profits. Some of them have some pretty shady practices and by using their products you are implicitly supporting these.

For example Bayer (makers of pills such as Yasmin and Microgynon) are also the largest manufacturer of neonics; toxic bee-killing pesticides that have almost been banned in Europe. Bayer have spent millions of dollars attempting to influence policy makers and prevent any laws being passed that would restrict the use of the controversial pesticides. They also contributed millions of dollars towards a huge study to assess whether or not bees are actually being killed by neonics; but after the scientists found that these particular types of pesticides were indeed a serious problem; Bayer accused them of presenting false information! The lead author of the study, Dr Ben Woodcock had this to say about Bayer:

 From a personal perspective, I don't really appreciate having them accuse me of being a liar. And accusing me of falsifying results by cherry-picking data. That's not what we've done. I've got little to gain from this and it's been a major headache. We just present the results we get.

- Dr Ben Woodcock, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

 💚 Tried and Tested:

The combined pill is The Original; it was the first ever hormonal contraceptive and therefore is the method with the highest volume of data on it's safety and efficacy, including the most documentation on its long term effects.

One would assume that all medications that are set free into the grasps of the general public are incredibly well tested and that their long term safety has been thoroughly evaluated. This is not necessarily so.

"At the time of its licensing, a medicine will only have been tested in a relatively small number of patients for a limited length of time." - Official advice from the MHRA (Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency)

The vaginal ring and transdermal patch also contain synthetic estrogen and progestogen, just like the combined pill, but they have additional health concerns. The trouble with the Nuvaring is that it contains newer generation progestins that aren't quite as safe as the old versions AND there are concerns that some rings unexpectedly release massive hits of fake estrogen; so it's a kind of double whammy of potential mishaps which has led to the manufacturers, Merck, being aggressively sued. Similarly, the trouble with the Ortho Evra patch is that it's dose of fake estrogen is pretty high. The deaths and suicides it has caused in some users have also resulted in its manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson, being quite rightly sued.

I wouldn't want some sticky death patch on my arm or arse thank you very much.

Unlike the combined pill, the contraceptive injection is progestogen only. However, just like the ring and patch, it has issues; issues such as bone loss and osteoporosis. Because of these concerns women under 18 are advised not to use it. And although I run the risk of sounding like a broken record it's manufacturers, Pfizer, have also had the sh*t sued out of them.

If you like to err on the side of caution you are still left with the implant, hormonal coil (Read: 3 Things We've All Got Wrong about The Coil (including your Doctor), copper coil and the POP pill to compare. These all have different active ingredients than the combined pill and therefore different pros and cons, so you may want to thoroughly assess these methods before deciding which you fancy (Complete Guides to all cumming soon).

💚 Pro-Choice:

Most hormonal contraceptives only have one or two versions on the market but the combined pill has many; you can choose different types of hormones, different doses and different routines of taking them. This means in theory you can find the pill that feels best for you.

But a word of caution; this choice (in relation to trying different types of pill or different contraceptives in general) can sometimes lead you down THE RABBIT HOLE; where you think you'll eventually find the one that feels right, so you put up with all sorts of hormonal turmoil in the process and slowly start to forget what 'normal' feels like...

Alice in Wonderland
Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!”  - Alice in Wonderland

 I've been on it for so long... I do wonder what I'd have been like if I hadn't started... Perhaps I'd have had less mental health 'stuff'.

- Emily on The Pill

If you're determined to try various types it may be wise to have substantial breaks in between each; so that your hormones have a chance to return to their regular pattern and you can accurately assess 'stable hormone-free you' vs 'pill-ed up you'.

Although please note that the risk of blood clots may be higher if you restart taking a combined hormonal contraceptive (the same product or a different product) after a break of 4 weeks or more.

💚 Medium Levels of Organisation:

You don't have to be that precise with what time you take the pill everyday, compared to the POP pill, but you do still have to remember to take it every day at a similar time (excluding your pill break if you have one). Taking one pill every day sounds laughably easy but it does require more organisation that you might expect.

💚 Removable Ready:

Because it’s a pill, unlike an implant, coil or injection, you can stop using it immediately if you change your mind or start to feel like you’re losing your marbles.

It can take months for your body to start regularly ovulating again, but at least you don't need to wait for a doctor’s appointment before you can sack it off.

💚 Insertion Free:

You also don't need to go through any painful and potentially dangerous procedures.

💚 Pale-Trouser Proof:

Compared to the POP pill, and other progestogen-only types, you are less likely to have random spotting or bleeding.

💚 Slightly Glamorous and Munchable:

You’re carrying little pills around with you so you can get laid all the time. When you start taking them there is at least a fleeting moment where you think ‘yeah, I’m cool’ (anyone who denies this is lying).

Katy Perry has said that she swallows her pills ‘‘like candy; nom nom nom...’’ So you could try that too if your cupboards are looking pretty bare.

(I like to think she was saying this as a joyous f*ck you to the extreme right wing types in the US who want to deny women any choice over their wombs)

💚 Never Awkward:

Before, during and immediately after f*cking; the pill can not be seen, it does not have to be touched, it cannot be smelt or heard and neither of you can feel it.

And you certainly don't have to talk to each other... 

Or even look each other in the eye.

There you have your basic benefits and drawbacks of taking the combined pill. The most important point being the first; that they’re not good for you. But these pills definitely have a few good things going for them;

They've been used by millions for decades,

They don't tend to cause any random spotting,

And you don't have to endure anything painful to start or stop taking them.

You might be feeling pretty positive about them thus far and if so read on and find out if they are the right option for your particular lifestyle

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♦ Over to You ♦

WHich pill do you take? Can you relate to any of these downsides? Leave your thoughts below and use the buttons to share, share and share - thank you!

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