The pill - Small circular tablet, big effect.
For some, it is a reliable contraceptive, protection against unwanted pregnancies. For other rescuers in need , with hormonal imbalance, diseases such as endometriosis or ovarian cysts. And for others, it's the devil's stuff that needs to be stopped urgently because it leads to water retention, mood swings, or depression.
As I said - small pill, big effect. And while many now demonize the pill and no longer want to talk about it, we want to talk about it. Because it 's not that easy !
The pill is the most widely used contraceptive against unwanted pregnancy.
In recent years, the pill has come under heavy criticism for its side effects .
What many do not know - the pill is the only solution for some diseases .
Table of contents
1. What does the pill do?
The pill, also known as " birth control pills " or simply "the pill," is a hormonal contraceptive used to prevent conception . It contains synthetic hormones that affect the hormonal balance in the female body to prevent pregnancy. The pill is an extremely effective method of birth control when taken correctly.
However, it requires regular intake at the same time each day to ensure maximum effectiveness. It's also important to note that the pill does not offer protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Did you know : Taking the pill can affect your discharge. Read more here .
2. What types of pill are there?
There are two main types of pills: combination pills and minipills .
combination pill :
This pill usually contains two synthetic hormones, estrogen and progestin . They work by stopping ovulation, thickening the mucus plug in the cervix to make it harder for sperm to enter and changing the lining of the womb to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. Combination pills come in a variety of dosages and schedules.
mini pill :
The mini pill contains only one hormone, the progestin . It works mainly by thickening the mucus plug in the cervix to make it harder for sperm to enter. Sometimes it can also suppress ovulation. Mini pills may be an option for women who cannot use estrogen-containing pills due to health conditions, intolerance, or other reasons.
3. Why is the pill so discredited?
When the pill came onto the market in the 1960s , it could hardly be surpassed in terms of modernity and innovation. It gave women the power to regulate for the first time in the history of contraception and led to a social revolution as women now had more control over their reproductive health.
However, the pill was not originally developed as a contraceptive, but as a drug to treat menstrual disorders and infertility problems. The original purpose of developing the pill was to help women with menstrual problems and to promote the regularity of their menstrual cycle.
Since their development , many more birth control pills have been developed and are now rather criticized as contraceptives.
- A common criticism is the increased risk of blood clots (thrombosis) and related complications, such as strokes and heart attacks, which some women can experience, particularly women who are already at increased risk.
- Many women experience side effects such as mood swings, weight gain, nausea, breast tenderness, and headaches. These side effects can affect well-being and quality of life.
- The hormonal changes caused by the pill can affect natural hormone balance and lead to long-term health effects that are not yet fully understood. Some women report decreased sexual desire or sexual dysfunction while on the pill.
- Critics argue that the pill, in a way, takes on the responsibility of women's contraception and alienates them from natural cycle regulation .
- The disposal of hormonal contraceptives, including the pill, can cause environmental pollution as the hormones enter waterways and potentially affect the environment.
- Feminist criticism is that the pill acts as a tool to control reproduction and female sexuality in a male-dominated society.
4. The Pill as a knight in shining armor?!
When my gyn told me for the first time a year ago that he thought it was the best idea to prescribe me the pill, I loudly and vehemently decided against it.
I had taken the pill before, from adolescence to my early twenties, and then consciously stopped taking it. No more hormones.
Not because I had any specific problems with it - the pill had always worked well for me, I didn't notice any side effects on myself, took it reliably and could have just continued taking it - but all my friends gradually stopped taking the pill. A new narrative developed around the once-popular birth control method. The birth control pill is evil. Hormones are bad. And from a feminist point of view - why the hell am I making sure we don't get pregnant by artificially injecting hormones every day?!
But now it was about something else. I suffered from unbearable abdominal pain. Every time I got my period I would either faint or puke my heart out from the pain.
Well, hormones can only be fought with hormones - that's what they said back then. And I don't know about you, but being knocked out two days a month because you're rolling on the floor and all you can do is think, "I can't take it anymore, I can't take it anymore, I can't take it anymore". a condition against which one would do just about anything.
5. Your benefits
So let's move on to the benefits of the pill . Because even if the side effects and risks are definitely valid reasons to be against taking hormones , the pill can (I say it very quietly...) .. sometimes help .
Yes, the pill is commonly used to treat certain gynecological conditions such as ovarian cysts and endometriosis.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can form on the ovaries. Hormonal changes can affect the growth and development of such cysts. The pill can be used to regulate the menstrual cycle and control hormonal fluctuations. This can help reduce the risk of cyst formation or reduce the growth of cysts that are already present.
Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. This can lead to severe pain, inflammation, and other symptoms. Again, the pill is used to help control the menstrual cycle and reduce the formation of just such endometriosis tissue . By suppressing the menstrual cycle, the pill can help relieve the symptoms of endometriosis.
It is clear that the pill may not be the best treatment option for everyone with a menstrual cycle and the decision to use the pill to treat ovarian cysts or endometriosis should be made in consultation with a doctor or gynaecologist .
However, it is important to acknowledge at this point that the pill can be a huge relief for people with hormonal disorders .
A capable gynecologist should anyway consider individual symptoms, medical history and other factors to determine the most appropriate treatment strategy.
If you don't feel understood, taken seriously or well advised, choose another gyn! Because ultimately (in my opinion) it's not the pill that's the problem, but rather the lack of adequate information about taking it, side effects and alternatives.
And it can also be feminist self-determination to decide FOR yourself, your health and your own body FOR the pill.
(PS This is not a recommendation for action!)