Birth control stigma discourages use for other disorders

I was diagnosed my sophomore year of high school with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

This is a hormonal malfunction that can ultimately affect every organ in my body and lead to a plethora of disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, infertility and cancer.

PCOS is incurable, but medication and diet can help with the symptoms and slow down some of the progress.

My doctor recommended three medications, one of them being birth control.

Fifteen-year-old me heard the words “birth control” and panicked. The thought of my family finding out and thinking of me as some high school floozy terrified me.

I know the stigma of using birth control is outdated, and that it’s used to help with cramps, regulate periods, ease the symptoms of PCOS and even serve as a contraceptive, but being labeled as a “slut” was something I didn’t want to have to deal with.

I tried one of the other medications for a few months, but the side effects made me feel violent.

I went off those meds for both my own safety and the safety of my family.

I received a lot of flak from the people who knew about what I was trying, and it really bothered me. Despite my attempts to explain why I stopped my medication, I was criticized for not trying to take care of myself.

A year later, I took a break from all medication for a few months before thinking about trying birth control to regulate my PCOS.

After giving my body the break I thought it deserved, I decided to swallow my fear of trying birth control.

For five months after I started birth control, I was at a whole new level of low. I had never felt so empty, hopeless and terrible in my entire life.

On top of my depleted mental state, some associates of mine found out that I was taking birth control and razzed me about being on it.

I decided to stop taking my birth control the August I started college and just deal with my PCOS.

People then threw tantrums about me ceasing to take contraceptive medication so close to starting college.

This really bothered me. How could someone tell me what I needed to do for myself when they couldn’t fathom the emotional and mental pain that I was putting myself through to ward off my PCOS?

Unless you have a medical degree specializing in the female body, don’t think that you have the right to tell anyone what to do concerning their body. I know how my body operates and malfunctions. While my coping techniques may not be optimal long-term, I’m just doing the best I can.

I don’t care who you are, but labeling someone as a “slut” or assuming they are going to go out and live carefree because they are on birth control needs to stop.

While birth control didn’t work for me, it may work for others.

If you have PCOS, there are other options besides birth control. If birth control hasn’t worked for you, I suggest talking to a doctor about different methods that have been known to help regulate this condition.

I personally have yet to try the third medication suggested by my doctor, and part of it is because of how afraid I am to relapse.

Frankly, if someone decides to go off their medication, that is their own business. Respect their decision and move on. Outside opinions, unless specifically asked for, are not wanted.

While birth control might not have worked for me, shaming others that are seeking to help themselves with or without mediation is pathetic. Any juvenile labels and intrusive criticisms are both useless and unhelpful.

The relationship between a person, their health and medication are between them and maybe a doctor. If you’re not in that group, take a chill pill and butt out.

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