Broadsheet has a brief article about how the FDA has put a stop to false advertising by Bayer about their birth control pills, Yaz. Go read it, then come back here.
I thought this article was interesting and relevant, because for a long time I've resisted going on birth control. Basically, there is no need for me to. (let me repeat that for parental units and other interested parties: there is NO NEED for me too.) For years I've suffered through bad periods, with every symptom in the textbook, and I've always managed to get through somehow, usually with the help of Midol and beer. But the last cycle I had (cf: "My Friends, I am Dying") was so bad, so unimaginably horrible, that I decided I cannot go through that again. I am literally scared of my own body's pain. (Note to new mothers: feel free to share labor and pregnancy stories. I will be more than happy to reciprocate with a description of how I thought my heart was going to stop in my chest. Cheers.) So I'm going on the Pill. Yaz, actually, although I read the fine print that Bayer neglects to cover in their spiffy ads.
When I walked out of the pharmacy brandishing my brand new blister pack of pills, I did feel quite liberated, although not liberated enough to head down to the local pub and take my pick of the studly undergrads. Part of me feels sad though--I don't want to be one of those women who's on the pill for convenience's sake, and to clear up acne. This is serious medication, with a serious purpose, and I don't take it for granted. I'm damme lucky that I live in a place where I can get birth control for something as frivolous as cramps. But it also feels like a rite of passage--most of the women I know are on the Pill, encouraging me to join them as if it were another milestone in a woman's life. Not just the women I know, but all the women who've ever been on it, back and back, women taking charge of their reproductive abilities.
Me, I'm just hoping that whatever it is that is making me have horrible cramps and ridiculously long cycles (forty days plus, but that's probably due to stress and a new roommate) will be discovered and soon so I can go back to being au natural. I'd rather treat slight cramps with beer than throw the baby out with the bathwater (or not) and be on pills for the rest of my life.