This is what Gordon’s bay looks like. A secluded rocky inlet in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. This is where you should stop reading if girls and their period make you feel icky inside. Here is where you should go if you have an afternoon in Sydney, or live near here and need somewhere to take your bloated belly.
Birth control, this wonderful breakthrough in medicine allowing women control. Control over something that for some can intermittently rule their world. My mother impressed upon me the importance of allowing your body to rest during menstruation, speaking of native tribes where the woman would spend their period chilling in their homes/caves doing little else. In modern Australia this is an in-practical solution given most places of work won’t accept ‘sorry I can’t come in today I got my period’ as a reasonable excuse of leave. That’s why so many of us take medication to alleviate the side effects, control its occurrence and continue our lives without interruption. What is startling about these oral contraceptive pills is the lack of information given to patients when choosing which one, and the possible side effects of taking ‘the pill’. Girls talk about their side effects to one another, with strong anecdotal evidence to back up their theories, merely theories in contrast to medical discourse. Women, those crazy hormonal creatures lacking insight ruled by a menstrual cycle, eating pills with their breakfast cereal. I once took Yaz, until it turned me completely nutso, having read this article though I’m glad I gave it up so quickly ..
It is baffling that I like so many women know nothing of the numerous blood clots some have contracted using Yaz or Yazmine as a result.
I tried Yaz briefly because I had heard it was the nicer sister pill to Yasmin, my peers had tested out both and spoke highly of Yaz’s relatively minimal interruptions on their emotional well-being. However after merely five weeks on Yaz I experienced a barrage of internal anger, flashes of insane tantrums that often ended up in tears. After one too many frustrating phone-calls to our internet provider, my room-mate watched me storm up the stairs, one heavy step at a time and slam our balcony door behind me. She followed me up, tentatively and approached me with gentle care. I was sobbing, phone flung on the ground and swearing to never call the internet people again. Yes it was annoying, but really nothing to warrant the likes of an afternoon soap-opera style tantrum. She cuddled me and soothed my grievances, and bluntly stated I needed to get off the pill. I never took Yaz after that again, and quickly recovered my sanity.
Another one of my friends experienced intense emotional turmoil on the pill herself and turned to the ‘mini-pill’, containing the least amount of hormones it seemed like a safe option. The first Doctor shook his head as he wrote my prescription stressing how it was not as full-proof as other pills. It strictly must be taken on the same hour every day, or like his niece babies can happen. He justified it by telling me it was a temporary solution and to reconsider other forms of contraception. Getting my prescription filled by another doctor he gave me the same unnapproving head wag, when I asked a question relating to the mental side-effects of Micronor (my chosen mini-pill), he googled the answer for me. I visit a bulk-billing medical centre, where the wait can be up to 3 hours sometimes. Needless to say the influx of patients is huge, in and out.
In and out.
Not one of the doctors informed me that it was a normal side-effect of this pill to completely stop getting your period. A fact I could only find on internet chat forums. I was in Mexico and I wasted alot of money on pregnancy tests and therapeutic tacos . I had no idea how this pill interacted with my body. Trawling the chat forum to gain as much information as I could I learned of numerous girls contracting irregular periods, the usual gaining of weight and one unlucky chick having a non-stop period for months on end. D e v o. The doctors were right about one thing, many girls had gotten pregnant whilst on this pill. But then again so do girls taking the full pill, because try as we might nature sometimes gets in the way of our perfectly controlled lives.
There is never a shortage of opinions regarding the right approach to dealing with menstruation. While getting a facial my beautician waxed lyrically about the effect of new scientific breakthroughs enhancing skin-care products. How wonderful Science could be for the Modern 21st century woman. Now face creams could actively repair skin tissue, and now we know that women don’t need to get their period as much as they do.
“What do you mean we don’t need our period, I asked in genuine wonder.”
“Unnecessary, it’s actually pointless to have it so much.”
I still don’t know how that theory sits with me. I do know that the 13,500 thousand law-suits mentioned in the above article is a startling reminder of the potential severity us girls subject our lives to, without so much as a second thought. Would you like some milk in your tea with a side of Blood clots? I think I’ll pass.