I’ve taken the same birth control pill since I first became sexually active. At the time, I was actually excited to get on this hormonal medication. I had heard that my skin would clear up and my boobs would get bigger. I didn’t ask my doctor any questions other than if the boobs and skin rumors were true. She said they were not. She was right. Side effects were listed on the label, as with all medications. I didn’t pay much attention to them though. My doctor told me that this medication was very safe.
Once I realized that I was lucky enough not to experience any side effects that some of my friends had (mood swings, depression, anxiety, nausea, etc.), I decided to stick with the same brand and never stray. I’m certainly grateful to be one of the few that hasn’t gone through any scary side effects (yet), and I’m quickly learning how common it is to feel like your life spinning out of control and you have no idea why. Holly Grigg-Spall experienced all of the above side effects, in a period of six months. She thought she was losing her mind. She went through every aspect of her life and ruled out everything else before coming to the conclusion that the source of her struggle was her birth control pill.
In her new book, Sweetening the Pill, Or How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control, she takes you on her personal journey of reaching this conclusion, and then the science behind just how dangerous these pills can be. Holly’s message to readers: “Millions of healthy women take a powerful medication every day from their early teens to their late thirties – the Pill – but few know how this drug works or the potential side effects. Contrary to cultural myth, the birth control pill affects every organ and function of the body. Depression, anxiety, paranoia, rage, panic attacks – just a few of the psychological effects of the Pill for half of the women who pop these tablets during their lifetimes.”
If you’ve experienced any of the above side effects, you’re not alone. Even if you’re someone like me who hasn’t yet, it’s still very important to educate yourself and know exactly what you’re putting into your body.