On Birth Control

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Some of these stories will take place during what I like to call “the time of vag hell fire.”

This is, quite literally, the time when sex felt like terrible, horrible pain, because of the medication I was on at the time.

See, when I first heard about male birth control, and the fact that trials would stop due to side effects, I was a little ticked off.


Scratch that, I was pissed as hell.

 

For seven years, I was passed from birth control pill to birth control pill, and spent five years on a pill with dangerously high estrogen levels that put me at higher risk of a stroke, (even more dangerous because of my family medical history) put me at a higher risk of infection, and caused severe damage to the nerve endings in my vagina.

Also, because I kept trying to have sex while I was in pain, my body tried to defend itself against said painful sex, and started causing muscular contractions that still existed up until this year.

There’s actually physical therapy for people who need to work their way through stuff like this.

Essentially, because of ineffective doctors, lack of information, and myths perpetuated about how sex is supposed to be for those who possess a vagina, I suffered for years when I didn’t have to.

I don’t know how to describe it except for the feeling of ‘out, out, I want this out right the fuck now.’

And that’s not how it should feel.

Even if you’re doing it wrong.

 

Which brings us back to this idea of male birth control.

My first reaction was that of, “So they can’t handle a few mood swings? Shut. The. Fuck. Up.”

 

I then recognized my pettiness, and felt guilty. I wasn’t angry at the guys in the trial, I was angry at an industry that for decades has refused to recognize the very real complaints of people suffering from depression, from nausea, from weight gain and loss, from very serious side effects, and has done nothing to improve their products.

But, just because we have suffered doesn’t mean others should as well.

 

I am lucky. It took multiple doctors appointments to sort it out, but eventually I moved to a different city, saw a different doctor, and received competent treatment. They recognized what the meds were doing to me, prescribed medication to help heal the damage done to my nerves, and got me on Mirena – the plastic version of the IUD that I will advocate until my dying days.

 

I say this not only to bring attention to it, but because this era of ‘the time of vag hell fire’ played a role in stories I will tell. I didn’t understand what was happening at the time, but knew that something wasn’t right, and when it was fixed, that played its role as well.

 

For so many reasons, this should no longer be an issue.

  1. We should not be demonizing feminine sexuality – turning feminine virginity into something that can be ‘taken away.’ If we could begin to dispel this myth on hymens and sex ‘supposed’ to be painful the first time, maybe it wouldn’t have taken me such a long time to sort it out. (see above video)
  2. I feel this goes into the stigma attached not only to the health care of women and transwomen, but also to mental health care and sexuality in general. When you’re taking a hormonal contraceptive, you’re taking just that – hormones. You are altering your body chemistry. If we, as a society, were more open to talking about mental health and cis and trans women sexual health, maybe we could get better at sorting out which medication was right for us.

 

The pill and other hormonal contraceptives can be so helpful, but that doesn’t mean they cannot also cause harm.

We have to be better at recognizing this is real, and acknowledging that cis & trans women who are saying something is wrong are probably more aware of their bodies than men are.

 

With that being said, stay tuned for some more stories about terrible sex.

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