My Body is a Dynamic Reproductive System Again

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 08:28
Submitted by Carlin Ross

I took my last birth control pill and headed out to Planned Parenthood.  It was diaphragm day and surprisingly I was a bit nervous. 

For the record, I have health insurance and I can go to a proper gynecologist (I will find one that I like and make an appointment soon) but Planned Parenthood is just so easy.  There are never any judgments and the women who work there are lovely.  And their office is 7 blocks from my apartment.

I entered the examination room and there was the oracle from Matrix ready to fit me for my diaphragm.  She looked like the oracle, talked like the oracle it was surreal.  She admitted that she thought I was going to be frumpy because of my choice in birth control.  Most women opt for the pill if they're going the hormone route or the IUD if they're going the barrier route.  She slipped the diaphragm in my vagina with ease, took it out, and handed it over to me to try.

I penetrate my own vagina every time I masturbate...I use tampons without applications...I'm not shy about sticking my fingers in my cooch but I was a bit intimidated by inserting my own birth control.  It struck me that being on the pill for 15 years was kind of lazy.  I wanted someone or something else to worry about my vagina.  I was completely disconnected from my body.  

There was a bit of spermicide on the diaphragm which made it slippery.  I slid my index finger in the middle of the diaphragm and folded it in half around my finger...as I went to slide it in the oracle stopped me, "don't just mash it in there pull open your lips".  Wow.  It was like riding a bike all over again.  I giggled and changed my technique and woola.  It was in.  She checked the seal and confirmed that I was a size 75 - she also added that I may want to come down a size.  Betty said she started with a size 75 and ended up with a size 65. 

I came home and that diaphragm sat on my bathroom sink for several days.  I wanted to try inserting it again but I was having my first real period in 15 years.  I started bleeding after my first pill-free day.  And bleed I did.  It felt so cathardic like I was releasing years of repressed hormones.  And the cramping.  I haven't had cramps in so long I forgot what they felt like.  The waves of muscle contractions that travel over your ovaries...to your back...through your entire abdomen.  I felt alive again. 

And my breasts were pleasantly sore.  They ached - not a bad ache - but an ache like they were returning to life.  I've never felt so conscious and connected to my body.  That's when I realized that my choice in birth control had left me feeling like a numb hole.  Yes, my clitoris still worked and I had orgasms but the feelings weren't as intense.  There was a certain disconnection because I was fooling my body into thinking it was pregnant for 15 years. 

My body is a dynamic reproductive system again.  I feel like a woman.  I feel strong.  I feel emotional.  I feel grounded.  In the last week, I've made some big changes and tackled life in a way I never have before.  It's like I can spot the bs a mile away, confront it, state my agenda and move past it.  I feel indomnitable. 

And I feel connected to a power larger than myself - not "god" but humanity.  Maybe that's why we're still fighting so hard for equality: because our role in giving life also confers on us the power to change the planet.  One thing is for sure: with blood comes the truth.   

Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson

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Carlin, I'm so proud of you!

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 09:09

What a brilliant report on getting back to a hormone free self again. And your last line knocked me out. . ."with blood comes truth." Yes, now you own your body not Big Pharma. I'm so glad I never fell for the ease of the pill. When it first came out, all my friends went on it and I observed all the problems that came with it. The earlier versions were way too high with a volitile hormone cocktail that was making my girlfriends miserable. Also with multiple partners, they would catch every bug that was going around while I sailed through America's sexual abundance period with no STD's. Congratulations!

Good for you! I was on the

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 10:00
Heather J (not verified)

Good for you! I was on the mini-pill for about 6 months after my 2nd child while I was still breastfeeding and after my first child, I was on the patch for about 6 months as well... so that's been my experience with hormones and it sucked. Oh! I take that back actually... I just remembered for a while I was also on that birth control where it's straight birth control for 3 months and then a week for the placebo to be on a "period"... that shit sucked even more because I had breakthrough bleeding constantly where I was trying to have a period but the hormones stopped me... that foray into pills didn't last long.

Ever since, I've been doing Natural Family Planning or the Paraguard. While I don't like the extra 2 days of bleeding every month the Paraguard bestows upon me, I like not having to think about it... ever... and I like that I'm hormone-free because honestly, the way hormonal birth control worked for me? I never wanted to have sex while on it and I've never been impressed by the diaphragm's pregnancy odds (not that I was ever impressed by NFP's odds either but it taught me to REALLY work with and know my body and it didn't require spermicide :/)

hmmmm

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 10:12

wow. i just got a hard on, hormone free women are such a turn on to me...
well done.

This makes me very jealous!

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 15:54
Virginia (not verified)

This makes me very jealous! I'm 18 and I've been on the pill for 2 years because I had cramps that would make me pass out and very very irregular periods. My doctor has tentatively identified it as polycystic ovarian syndrome and put me on the pill to treat the symptoms. I have a menstrual cup and I love having my "period" now, I only wish I could experience a natural one!

lucky!

Sat, 03/17/2012 - 10:01
Feminism212 (not verified)

This is a beautiful update on your body getting back to menstrual regularity, however I am not jealous of you at all, as for me it was not such a nice experience! I was on the mini pill for 3 years, came off it for a year, which was the worst decision ever! I felt pressured by my fellow feminist friends to give it up, when all it caused for me was a return to extreme pain (my doctor had initially put me on the mini pill not for contraception but to avoid the extreme effects of my period), pregnancy scares, irregular bleeding at unpredictable and awkward times (especially with my job) and just a feeling of no control over my own body, not to mention no safe feeling of being able to have sex without a constant nagging in the back of my head about my high fertility rate. The last straw was passing out for the third time in 6 months in a public place due to my period pains, it was just getting ridiculous! Since then I've decided to not let anyone influence me to this degree again, I won't be coming off my best friend the mini pill until I'm ready for babies!

I'm not sure why but

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:38
Liandra Dahl (not verified)

I'm not sure why but something about this post and what you're doing feels very important. Anyway, I am interested to see how differently you feel when you ovulate coming off the pill after 15 years. Ovulation makes me a horny nut bag... I can't wait for that blog update *grin* 

As for those on the pill for painful periods I have a friend who managed chronic endometriosis with diet, accupuncture, natural rememedies and exercise. There are other alternatives to taking the pill for polycystic ovaries as well that are worth looking into if you do ever decide you want to come off the pill again. 

Yep

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 04:07
M.H. (not verified)

I was on the pill for two years, and I remember how wonderful it felt to go off it and return to my natural body chemistry. I promised myself that I would never again use hormonal birth control, and I have kept that promise. 

Thank you!

Thu, 03/22/2012 - 15:04
Anastacia (not verified)

Hey
Im happy for you, not taking any longer the pill. I tried it, but i felt even after a week so depressed and unhappy. After a while I stoped taking it. Then I red in the world wide web about the gynefix. It's like a thiny little string with 4 coper beads on it. It works like the spiral, and it's made for younger women. I'm sad, that not a gynocolgist could tell me about this little amazing thing, because I'm sure a lot of women would be happy, to stop takeing the pill. Another sad thing ist, that the gynecologist told me the pill would protect me from any sexually transmitted disease. He said it, as if the pill was the solution to all the problems in the world. Of course it's good that the pill exists, but the doctors have also to inform the patients about the side effects. The worst side effect of the pill is, that it kills your interest in sex. Before the pill, I was crazy about sex, I couldn't get enough from my boyfriend. With the pill I lost my interesst in sex. So I stoped taking it, because it is sensles to take it, but not have any sex. Today I`m having a wonderful sexlife and relationship.
Therefore I want you thank you, because this website helpt me to improve my own orgasams!
(Sorry for the bad spelling, I`m from switzerland)
Anastacia

my experiences (after taking pill 15years, then quit)

Sun, 04/08/2012 - 17:17
yoanna (not verified)

Hi everyone,

I stubled upon this site and feel deeply touched by this entry. For 15 years -that is half my life!- I'd been taking the pill, starting to do so once because of irregular periods and cramps.

When five years ago, being in no realtionship, I first thougt about getting rid of the chemical stuff (as my mother then had just died rather young by a liver that ceased to function), my best friend same as my gynecologist and my aunt (who is a doctor herself) laughed at me and named me stupid. I should know better, keeping in mind al the profits I had from the pill, as less pain, knowing when to plan my travellings and important dates without bleeding then, not getting pregnant, and so on. I trusted them and did not quit it. But somehow I felt bad about this.

So finally on 31th of december 2010, the day I should have started the new package, I told myself: no, I'm going to give it a try. If half a year from now I 'll find out it's doing no good to me, I still can go back to taking it, can't I? I was pretty nervous. The first period came precisely after 28 days and without greater pain, and it felt good.

Honestly, I felt (and feel!!) like the first time in al my life I can accept my body.

Background: I've been misused at the age of 10 or 12 just once and by a person that never got caught. My family tried to "forget" this, I never had any therapy, but instead lateron two relationships in which I did somehow "allow" a man to treat me bad. I hated my body for being attractive to anyone while at the same time giving me no pleasure - at least no pleasure with a man, while on my own I loved it but was told that I shouldn't do so because this meant betraying the man... --- I guess looking back that the bad cramps up to simply collapsing where because of all this.

Now, more than a year and three month later, I've changed basicly: I start to love my body, like for the firt time in my life to look at it in a mirror, I feel alive again, no more suppressed by chemistry. I had'nt hardly any irregularities in the periodical bleeding up to now, I'm only feeling sick sometimes (as I'd felt while taking the pill, too). The thing that's changed most is that I still have to get going with the fact that along with the hormones within a cycle there are times when I feel I'm getting hot on merely nothing (is that "normal"?) and could spend a lot of time in bed with myself, getting a totally different reception on common things ;-) e.g. I love watching football (though my parents told me this was not proper for a well-educated girl), and around the ovulations it happend I'm finding it hard to focus on the very game but instead my eyes stick to every bit of delisious piece of thighs or muscles or bare flesh... I'd never guessed it would be that way, that is, me so depending on which part of the cycle I'm in. (Sorry if my English is a bit bumpy, I'm no natural speaker. Hard to find right words, even when using a dictionary...)

The one thing that's rather shocked me was that about 12 full cycles after quitting with the pill I unpreparedly and for the first time in all my live I experienced an ovulation happening wihtin my body. I felt nervous that morning, than there was some unknown pain wich grew for almost two hours, than stabbing, me crying without knowing why, then the pain faded out. When meaning to note that in my calendar, I saw that it was the 14th day of the cycle, and checking google on this topic proved me right. Since that cycle I've felt this happening each time (that is, two more times up to now).

In total: I'm still feeling a bit unsure about all the changes, but I'm (may I say so?) fucking proud I took this step! I feel like I'm finally getting in touch with this my body I've hated so much, and I finally really enjoy the pleasures it is offering me. I don't know yet what will happen if I ever dare again having a relationship, but right now I'm feeling great.

Uff. This has become halfway my memorial now. Hope it was'nt too much?? (sorry, otherwise!) But someway it has been a real good occasion to reflect the stages I've been going through. And maybe it may encourage others as well to dare trying it?!

Women should read the pill packet information leaflet!

Fri, 05/18/2012 - 16:27
Bianca (not verified)

Hi,
well done for getting off the pill!
I have negative experiences with hormones too, but found that doctors don't take that seriously. I would say that women should get informed better about the severe side of the side effects of the pill. These include thrombosis, embolism, certain forms of cancer and stroke. This is not a secret, every pill packet leaflet states these. They are all online too, on the pharmaceutical company's web page. It appears nobody reads it or adopts a "it's not going to hit me" attitude.
Unfortunately, the pill is a lifestyle product even more so than a prescription drug (in the uk it's actullay otc). If you make a not conventional contraceptive choice there is a lot of negative reaction, from men AND from other women AND from doctors.
I got thrombosis from the nuva ring. Even before that the damn thing wrecked my health no end, but I was afraid to stop being on it. I am lactose intolerant which is why I never trusted the normal pill enough. The nuva ring seemed like a godsend. I was in for a terrible ride.
Before that I had the copper coil. It went well for 2 years, then my body rejected it and you don't know that. I didn't get pregnant but that was luck because I always used a condom too out of principle at that time.
Now we use fertility awareness with the lady-comp and use the femcap plus condoms in the fertile phase. I am healthy and it suits us perfectly. All very easy to use. My friends laugh about it though and pass comments that I'd surely soon end up knocked up (we use that since 2010 - not one pregnancy scare since). 
There is more to contraceptives than the pleasure side that Carlin described. It can turn nasty health wise and women should at the very least be aware. Read that damn pill leaflet!!!

Non-conventional contraception

Sat, 05/19/2012 - 10:39

Bianca,
You're right about the reaction to non-conventional contraception methods. Last week I went to see my GP about something (not relating to contraception) and we got onto my sexual history, at which point she jumped at the chance to ask if I'd like to be put on the pill. I told her instantly that I won't use hormones and she was a little taken aback, asking why that was so. I explained that I'd like my body to stay in a natural state, as it always has been, and I don't feel comfortable messing around with my hormones, not to mention the side effects it can cause. In her defence she didn't question it further, but when I then enquired about diaphragms she was all the more shocked (fair enough, they're not popular here in the UK and I'm only 23; she probably wasn't expecting it) and said they're "messy and old fashioned" and they don't fit them there.
I've made an appointment at the health clinic (where the GP suggested I go) and I'm fully expecting them to be equally surprised when I say I'd like to try a diaphragm, and hoping that they will actually fit one for me.

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