“If you don't want to get pregnant, keep your legs closed. Don't take birth control."
“Why would you take birth control so young? You shouldn't be having sex."
“Birth control is just for sluts."
Most people are thankfully educated on the drastic health effects that monthly periods can impose on a woman's body, while those who aren't can be unnecessarily brutal. I surely wasn't happy about taking the birth control pill starting at 13 years old; it was just another pill to add to my daily line up.
PMDD (better known as Pre Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder): “a condition in which a woman has severe depression symptoms, irritability, and tension before menstruation. The symptoms of PMDD are more severe than those seen with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). ... In most cases, the symptoms stop when, or shortly after, her period begins."
I didn't ask to struggle with suicidal thoughts and severe mental tantrums during the last week of every month, and I surely never asked anybody (except for my doctor) their opinion on whether or not I should be taking birth control to treat it. Nobody asks to experience the heightened anxiety, intense stomach pain, and various other physical repercussions that come along with a period.
I could've legally been prescribed Xanax and I could've been put on the "happy pill" just like my mother and various other women of my bloodline. My birth control prescription is the reason that I'm not in therapy or even a mental hospital, and I know that there are multitudes of other women out there who can relate with the challenges I've faced. I've always been open with the fact that I take the birth control pill to practically everybody I know because I think there's an immense issue with the stigma behind it.
Even for women who don't struggle with PMDD, why do they have any less reason to receive help regulating their irregular menstrual cycles and emotions because of the societal stigma around the idea of birth control? Why should women have to suffer in silence although so many of us are suffering? Not to mention, what about the women who simply want birth control to prevent the inevitable- pregnancy?
If you're old fashioned and look down upon young women who take birth control, I ask one thing of you: educate yourself and open your mind. Those of us who already struggle with the side effects of it are having a hard enough time, although most of us don't really care about your opinion anyway.
Whether you're a woman who takes birth control to prevent pregnancy, a woman who suffers from a disorder and uses birth control to treat it, or one of the many women suffering in silence; you aren't alone. Birth control is not a determining factor of a woman's self-worth although many uniformed men and women will tend to make it seem that way.