If you’ve looked over here you know what combined pills are and you know their general pros and cons. But whether or not these pills are right for you depends on what your health goals are, what your imminent life plans involve and what kind of relationship scenario you’ve got going on.
Not everyone can safely swallow. Taking fake estrogen is not recommended for some women, including those who suffer from severe headaches, smokers or those with a family history of blood clots and if you are over 35 and a heavy smoker (<15 a day) you should not take this pill. NB Always read the patient information leaflet (PIL or in the US it’s the Package Insert) to check for contraindications relevant to you, they are all online.
And regardless of who you are, the pill will compromise your health in some respect, for example it reduces your ability to absorb certain nutrients and increases your risk of developing breast cancer. Therefore taking the pill is a personal choice: Do you feel comfortable sacrificing some of your health in order to have less hassle in your sex life?
As discussed in the Pros & Cons; combined pills are a much safer bet than some of the other methods.
but what about your mental health goals?
Feeling calm and happy is goddamn wonderful. Feeling stressed and sad is absolute bullshit.
When you start any new hormonal contraceptive you are essentially taking a gamble with your mental health. We know the pill can affect who you’re attracted to, whether or not you are depressed, the way you remember things, and much more. However, there is no surefire way of predicting how each individual will be affected, nor whether the changes will be immediate or gradual.
Before taking this gamble make sure there aren’t any other options you’d like to try. Have you thought about fertility tracking methods? You do have to dedicate a bit of time to them but they have zero side effects. Or have you ever considered a diaphragm? I kept mine in a leopard print pouch and used it for occasional booty calls, it was great. And have you ever had sex with a condom that is ACTUALLY good? (It is possible).
Hormonal contraceptives are ideally only a temporary solution… Not a lifelong choice… As they were never designed for women to take throughout their entire reproductive years.
Every individual taking prescription medicines has to understand that no medication…is without risk and no drugs are assessed for long term use.
If you plan to use them a while; think about scheduling in decent breaks so you can check that your cycle is able to return to full health and fertility (but be aware the low risk of VTE is highest when you start and/or restart taking the pills)
…and they’re not ideal if you’re anticipating turbulent times.
If you’re about to start a dissertation, or think your relationship is crumbling, or are about to go travelling by yourself; now is probably not the time. As already stated you are taking a gamble with your mental health when you take hormonal birth control, so it’s preferable to be in a stable situation when you’re starting a new type.
and if you’re like Taz these pills may not be for you.
Do you live in a whirlwind of chaos? Are you scatty AF? If you think it’s perfectly possible that every few days or so you’re going to be struck by the sudden thought of ‘Oh shit where are my pills?!’ then it’s probably not worth bothering. If you don’t take them regularly you are not protected from pregnancy.
By the way, air travel of over 4 hours may temporarily increase your risk of blood clots, particularly if you have other risk factors (the combined pill marginally increases risk). If you take lots of long distant flights you may want to take this into consideration.
If you’re having sex once a month; is there any point keeping yourself drugged up every single day?
This is something that seems obvious but often gets overlooked:
are you actually having frequent sex?!
Because if you’re not, it’s overkill to be taking a profoundly powerful drug all of the time.
Please also consider the following:
A – Are you sleeping around?
If you’re using the pill and not using condoms you ABSOLUTELY need to be taking your pink purse to THE CLINIC on a regular basis. And if you need some more persuading; did you know that frequent and major pruning of your lady garden is associated with an increased risk for herpes, syphilis and HPV?
B – Are you casually seeing someone?
If it’s casual does it bother you that you’re putting all this strain on your body while they get to have the sex-without-sacrifice? Will they support you if it makes you feel like shit?
C – Are you in a committed relationship?
If so is your partner as educated as you are about the pill? They should understand how it works and what it’s doing to your body because they are massively benefitting from it! Tell them to get on this site.
So does the combined pill suit your lifestyle after all?
If you’re ok with the health risks, your life is calm and your partnering habits suit it this could then maybe you’ll want to use it – temporarily!
If so, there are different types. Find out what combined pills are available and how to pick the best one.