This August will make four whole years since I decided to ditch contraception NOT to try and get pregnant but because I had been on the pill since I was 12! I started my period at nine/ten years old and suffered so much with the pain, I mean at ten years old how do you even get your head around the whole period thing let alone how to manage the pain. I still very much my remember my dad (I lived with my dad as a child) buying me two books which were made for 7-10-year-olds (I really wish I still had them) one about changing bodies and one about periods. They were written in a way I could understand and instead of images or diagrams, there were cartoons. I clearly remember a cartoon explaining that I was going to get body hair EVERYWHERE, my nine-year-old self cried. For book day, I took them into school, so proud that I was learning and about a subject that was happening to me. The second I got them out to read, they were taken off me and told that I shouldn’t have these and I certainly shouldn’t be reading them outside of my house! That has stuck with me my whole life and probably the first time I remember I was shamed for my body and its changing. Also, I forgot to mention I went to Catholic schools so heaven forbid my body would be anything more than a baby carrier! By year five (9 years old) my body was clearly starting with publicity, overnight I had gone from having soft thin blonde hair to thick coarse brown hair. I was certainly the tallest, heaviest girl in the class and had already started developing boobs. When my period came just a few months later, I didn’t tell anyone, in fact, it would be a year or so before my parents knew. I would use my pocket money to buy towels and tampons (thanks to the books from my dad I understood what was happening and how to deal with it, thanks to the school I didn’t want to talk about it with anyone). Eventually, I would tell my dad and he, from then on would keep one of the cupboards in the bathroom filled with tampons and towels in every size for me and always make sure I had my favourite cans of impulse because I was so scared kids would be able to smell period on me.
I also told him about the pain I was getting, during my period at school I would make up some excuse about illness so I could lay in the first aid room all curled up. I grew up in a very open house, I knew about sex, I was eventually taught that it is to be enjoyable and not to make babies. I was taught that I might grow up to love men, women or both most importantly I was taught that none of it was wrong! So my dad took me to the doctors to have me put on the pill to help with the pain, again something else I was ashamed to talk about because being on the pill would have been made “sexual”, as a fully grown woman the pill still have that shame attached to it!
Since coming off the pill I have noticed
- Shorter periods
- Less painful periods
- Clearer skin
- No excess weight gain (probably the biggest change, I lost a lot of weight and maintain my natural body shape)
- Less headaches
- The sheer number of men “allergic” to latex its a bloody epidemic!
In the four years, I have been contraception free my only negative is the sheer number of times I have had to explain and defend MY choice. And 100% of the time it is with men because all women of a certain age are desperate to trap a man with a baby! Heaven forbid I actually just enjoy sex and instead of me pumping hormones in my body not just for the act but for at least the month before and fucking my body up a man actually just wear a thin piece of latex over his penis for the time it takes. I will say it is not all men, my last boyfriend was very understanding and on the couple of times a condom broke came with me for the morning after pill.
Some of my favourites
- I am allergic to latex.
- I can’t perform as well with a condom on.
- I just find them uncomfortable
- I don’t get the same pleasure!
- I can’t cum with one on
- If you loved me you would go on the pill.
- What if I just pull out.
It is safe to say I would never go back on any sort of contraception, I could imagine ever wanting to put extra hormones in me again. I do wish I knew more about the effects it was having on my body when I was younger, I also wish I was stronger when I was younger to tell partners to wear condoms. I know there is now different forms of contraception available but being on the pill for nearly 20 years has massively put me off it, I certainly wouldn’t want to put a foreign object in my body certainly not for any length of time.
Some further facts from the NHS website.
More women than ever are ditching the pill and condoms in favour of “long-acting reversible contraceptives”, including the implant or coil. In 2007, 21% of women in England accessing contraception through dedicated NHS sexual health clinics chose some kind of long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC). By 2017, this had almost doubled to 39%.
The LARCs include:
- copper coil or intrauterine device (IUD)
- hormonal coil or intrauterine system (IUS)
- injectable contraceptive
While oral contraceptives like the pill remain by far the most common single type of contraception – used by 44% of women accessing contraception through sexual health services – their use has fallen in the last 10 years.