Two months ago, I started taking the pill. Not just any pill, but THE pill.
After 2 packs of Mercilon, I cannot more acutely feel women’s frustration at their partners’ insistence on the pill instead of other contraceptive methods. While contraception is not relevant to me, I understand what women go through when they take the pill.
As I write, I am lying on my bed, trying to ignore the waves of nausea. The pill is not just any pill. It’s one that got me crouched in a fetal position yesterday, repeating to myself “oh my God, oh my God” because I really did not know how to handle the nausea. It’s one that forces me to take an antacid every time I take the pill because my stomach complains if I don’t. It’s one that makes me double up in pain from cramps when I forget to take it.
I repeat, the pill is not just a pill. Don’t ever, ever think that the pill is the best contraceptive method because it only requires swallowing a little white pill. Its effects are more far-reaching than that: Nausea, Weight gain and a decreased interest in anything romantic in general. It’s not fair to place the burden of contraception of women because women have to suffer a lot due to it. It’s not fair that women are only the ones suffering. Contraception should be the responsibility of both parties.
For me, I’m on the pill because I get painful periods. There, I’ve said it. I’ve always felt a bit shy about saying things like that (due to society’s socialisation that such things should not be revealed), but I realised that the reason I’ve been mistreated and belittled over the years due to cramps is the lack of knowledge of the extent of period pain among people, especially those who are male and sometimes females who have never experienced cramps. That’s why I have to speak out, to let people know that cramps can be very painful. You don’t know what I’ve been through. You don’t know I’ve spent thousands of dollars to this day trying to treat cramps. You’ve never seen me lying on the couch sobbing my eyes out because I’ve maxed out my painkillers and don’t know what else to do to deal with the pain. You don’t know my desperation when I become tolerant to yet another painkiller. You don’t know how many marks I’ve lost because I was so uncomfortable during the exam that I couldn’t concentrate on the exam. You’ve never felt it, so I’m telling you now. This is how much it hurts. It affects my life, and it stops me from attending class and other fun activities. I’ve sacrificed so much; I no longer eat ice-cream or drink anything cold in general because they say it makes it hurt more. Boy, I don’t know when was the last time I ate fruits other than bananas and avocados, as everything else seems “chilly” in nature.
Some girls suffer as much as me. Not all girls, but some. We have problems, but the doctor can’t detect them. So until then, we suffer. Stop suggesting exercise. Obviously I’ve tried it before. Don’t go “all girls have it, what makes you special?” Or “does it mean I have to excuse all girls from activities if I excuse you?”. You know what? Yes. Because we can’t help suffering, so cut us some slack. We don’t want it, but we can’t help it. And if you are a girl, I know sometimes you are inclined to disregard and belittle another girl’s pain because you think you know what she is going through and don’t think much of it (whilst using yourself as a basis of comparison). Trust me, if you haven’t had really bad cramps before, you have no idea what we are going through.
It’s not easy, I know. It’s not easy to imagine the pain and the nausea. But it’s easy to show a little kindness and a little kindness is all we need to make life feel much better.