*drawing credit @ohgigue
After six great years, my beloved Nexplanon was removed from my arm without replacement because I can no longer afford the little matchstick-sized rod of progesterone. And by “no longer afford” I mean – I officially make too much money to get it covered under Planned Parenthood policy. Standard insurance doesn’t cover it. And unfortunately I don’t have an extra grand lying around to splurge on a new one.
It’s a physical declaration from the system letting me know that I cannot, in fact, have it all. I can have a career, or an easy baby-free existence. But not both.
Which means that I’m once again on the never ending hunt for a new form of birth control.
(( That is, if it’s still available by the time I get to see an OB. Because fun fact, I also haven’t been able to get through the vastly-impacted westside health system to even see a primary physician, let alone get an OB referral. But I digress. ))
We all have our birth control horror stories – I myself have a handful of girlfriends who’ve ripped out their Nuvarings, had their IUD removed on the fly after it moved (blech), or stopped taking the pill one random Wednesday as the chemicals seeped into their sanity.
And please don’t even get me started on condoms. Why hasn’t science improved these little buggers yet?
It’s almost impossible to find the perfect form – not only because everyone’s body is different, but because the hormones we are putting into our bodies …aren’t really meant to be there. When you think about it, it’s like you’re adding unevenly to a quadratic equation that’s already balanced on both sides. It’s no wonder so many people prefer to opt for the ever-risky rhythm meathod.
And despite the fact that you’re taking the bullet for the entire male population by embracing all the side effects, birth control isn’t even properly covered by insurance.
And then there’s Emergency Contraception for when you mess up…which basically infiltrates your system with capsulized hell. The best part is that men have absolutely no idea what this even means.
You say to another woman – oh I changed my birth control/ just took Plan B/I accidentally skipped a day – and you’re met with immense empathy and a chocolate.
Meanwhile, the man you took the bullet for: “Are you emotionally distraught? Physically ill? Dying? Insane?”
And you’re sitting there with a forced smile on your face: “Oh all of the above yaaa.”
And then you’re consequentially met with terror, concern, and a ten foot poll. Because horemone-induced side effects are arguably worse than an STD to a member of the male population.
So what the heck? We’ve always had to fight for our right to affordable, endurable birth control; and yet it only just occurred to me that we’re basically fighting for our right to chemically induced psychosis. Baby-free, but full of anxiety.
I get it – this is where the celibacy talk comes in. You can have sex sans-fear when you’re married. So long as you’re not looking to have a little time as a married couple without kiddos. You can have a decade of bliss until you’ve maxed out on your salaries. Then it’s back to abstinence for y’all so you don’t reproduce so much you’re a drain on the system.
But on the bright side menopause starts fairly soon after that.
This THIS is why I’m a feminist.
Literally the last time I had to take emergency contraception, I felt like I was coming down off some horrific drug. I assumed this is what meth was like. Like in Harry Potter when they need to grow new bones… except I needed to grow a new soul. I’d gone from Gryffindor to Lord Voldemort in less than 24 hours.
Well so should we be keeping this ubiquitously-female experience mums-the-word? Suffering in silent covens, keeping men in the dark to maintain sex appeal? Are we failing to accept this brutal honesty about our own existence? Living in the blissful ignorance of ImFineImFine. *Berates self for lack of imperfection and personal failure*
I don’t have an answer to any of it. But this is why I write. To sort through my thoughts and to start the conversation.
In the meantime, I have birth control without hormones, based on an algorithm, coming to me from Sweden. Yikes.