Birth Control as Cure-All

28 Mar

Before we had sound medical science alcohol was used for a huge number of ailments.  You name it (disease, disorder, mental conditions (including “female hysteria” aka woman’s orgasm), and even surgery– alcohol was used to treat it.  More examples here:

http://www.barlifeuk.com/index.php/2011/07/drink-to-your-health-the-history-of-alcohol-as-a-medicine/

But then, research uncovered FACTS and we moved away from such rudimentary practices.  Or did we?  I would suggest, for as many good, and legit reasons birth control pills are prescribed there are just as many reasons that fall into the cure-all b/c we don’t know and don’t gave a damn about finding out category.

Don’t get me wrong here. I am very happy birth control is so widely available. I’m glad it gives women control over her own body and child-bearing decisions.  (All stats from Planned Parenthood–an organization I SUPPORT).

-majority of women believe birth control allows them to take better care of their families (63%), support themselves financially (56%), complete their education (51%), or keep or get a job (50%). The financial success and emotional well-being of women are undoubtedly tied to contraception, while unintended pregnancies put a financial strain on everyone. The cost of unwanted pregnancies in the U.S. average an estimated $11.3 billion per year

– Oral contraception can cost as much as $1,210 per year for women without insurance

– 40% of births are unplanned. Birth control not only empowers women, but considering only 5% of men around the world even wear condoms. . .

-ugh–what a yucky stat!  I think the world should focus on the condom instead of how to get more and more BCP out there.  Condoms help prevent STDs too (AIDS!!!).  A lot of unintended pregnancy would be averted if men would take responsibility too.  Plus, it isn’t good enough to force women to have children, make it impossible for her to plan her own choices, AND put the whole burden of sexual activities consequences onto her.   This leaves men to enjoy as much sex, with as many people as possible–with no worry of consequences.  Then, if there IS an unintended pregnancy HE has the choice of how much involvement he wants to have.  Finally, at the same time men don’t have to think about sex, or be responsible for it’s aftermath, THEY get to make the laws regulating women’s access to preventative methods and what she does with her own body.  Tell me how everybody doesn’t see reproductive issues as political power issues?!

That was a train (though a very important one) away from my actual point:  The point is, birth control for women’s freedom and family planning is good.  It’s liberating.  It gives women power, and that is excellent BUT I think it can be lazy medicine.  I think it is haphazardly doled out as a band aid fix-all. Cramps?  Get on the pill.  Acne?  The pill.  Irregular periods?  The pill.  PMS?  The pill?  You’re a woman?  It’s too complicated to delve into what the underlying cause of your problem might be.  Besides, all the research is done about MEN’S problems.  The research funding goes to impotence–there’s no $$$ left to study little menstrual cramps–that’s just part of being a woman after all.

That’s dis-empowering to women.

It’s not for everyone. And just like any Monsanto product, we don’t really know what it is doing to us in the long term. And I think now that would be very hard to study, because we’ve run out of control groups. Even in lesbian populations (not your primary birth control user) BCP are being routinely supplied for skin or period pain.

Anatomy 2

How we (Cool and I) got birth control pills:

–>for 1 day of extreme, incapacitating, horribly painful cramps once a month.

-w/o even an exam of the repro system.
-w/o BW
-no R/O
-even with a hx of hypertension
-in a lesbian–or without even asking sexuality

-33% of teens aged 15-19 and nearly 800,000 women who have never had sex, who use oral contraception for non-contraceptive purposes.  most common reasons why women use the pill are reducing cramps and menstrual pain (31%); menstrual regulation, which for some women may help prevent migraines and other painful side effects of menstruation (28%); treatment of acne (14%), and treatment of endometriosis, a condition that can cause pelvic scarring, severe pain, and sometimes infertility (4%). About 14% of all women use birth control exclusively for reasons other than contraception.

So it’s great that birth control can band-aid so many conditions.  But my questions are:  Aren’t there any treatments specific to those actual conditions?  Why?  And do we KNOW long-term affects of birth control use?  Against an equal control group who has not been exposed to birth control.  Do we know this information for the intended use for reproductive issues AND these extraneous conditions as well?

I suspect the answers are still a mystery and here are the reasons for that:

-it’s because the research/interest for women’s health just isn’t there
-a doctor’s (male-dominated profession) mentality “quick fix” “cure all”

And that’s not good for women at all.

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