We’re very lucky in this country to receive free contraception on the NHS. While it is wonderful to have access to a variety of treatments, I was only ever really interested in one; the pill.
I had read, and still do read, so many horror stories about the pill. This isn’t one of those. So if you’re looking for something a little more dramatic – I’d head to google. This is my honest, down to earth, story.
I was already taking medication for my mental health before going on the Rigevidon pill; Fluoxetine, to be precise. When I first started taking Rigevidon, I didn’t see much of an instant impact. I remember it felt odd, but comforting, how ‘systematic’ my periods would be. As a sufferer of anxiety and also OCD, I’m all for anything that will help me organise my life to the day, hour and minute. I won’t lie, I also felt grown up. I was 17 when I went on the pill and I finally felt like one of the ‘cool girls’ because I had a little pink packet next to my A-Level folders in my New Look shoulder bag. (Sorry, mum.)
Let’s skip a year or two later. What changed?
Before taking the pill I was a size 8. If the pill changed anything, it was my craving levels. I was already a girl who likes her food, but I began to notice I had the ‘pmt’ cravings every day. For a couple of years, this had no impact. When I started university, and began to give into those cravings (In a ‘I don’t live with my parents – I can have pasta for breakfast!’ sort of way). When I went for my most recent check up, I have gained just over a stone since going on the pill. While this is down to hormones, we also have to bare in mind I went to uni and stopped going to the gym for a little bit! I definitely think the hormonal cravings played an important role in my weight gain. If this was something you were really worried about, just make sure you’re staying healthy and perhaps monitor your cravings. Looking back, this is something I probably should have done.
The first time I came off my pill, I noticed I was a lot happier. While a lot of this may have been due to getting over a relationship that had ended and enjoying my free time more, I do think the pill has a big part to play in my everyday happiness levels. Some days, I feel fantastic, but if something bad happens, it will hit me hard. While this has always been my personality anyway, the pill probably doesn’t help with this. I can really see the pill as a bit of a puppeteer when it comes to my moods and emotions.
You also hear a lot of horror stories where people have got pregnant on the pill, or people have used those fitness teas which have ‘flushed out’ the pill before it became effective. I used an app that reminded me to take my pill everyday, and for me, this was a great way of keeping track and not forgetting. If you take the pill as instructed, it is a massively low chance that you will get pregnant. Be sensible with it.
While I’ve mentioned the negatives of the pill, it has also served me very well. Not forgetting that it has successfully served its function, it’s has helped my periods become a lot more regular, and this was something which wasn’t apparent in my life before the pill. I think that a few mood swings is a small price to pay for what it does overall.
Overall, I think it’s safe to say my pill has been a good match for me, despite a few of the side effects being a thing. The best thing to do is to keep a good bond with your doctor and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go to your pill checkups. These are SO important. Even if you’re like me, and didn’t want to be weighed and asked about your sex life by a complete stranger, it’s important your pill use is monitored. Doctors and nurses only want to help.
If you’re thinking of going on the pill, please speak to your doctor first and consider all of your options. There are so many ways you can be safe and sensible. It’s ok to try different methods too! Not everything works for everyone.
** DISCLAIMER ** Advice offered in this blog post should be read at own discretion. Opinions stated are from personal experience. Please seek medical advice before taking any form of contraception.