Birth control pills in PCOS: My personal experience
Disclaimer:- Experience cited here is the personal experience of an author. It is not at all intended to replace any kind of medical prescription. Readers suggested not to rely solely on the content written and they are advised to take expert opinion before starting or stopping any treatment for PCOS/ PCOD.
She had started her periods at the age of 13. Periods appeared in her life accompanying with lots of issues over her health. The problem of excessive bleeding was there from the beginning itself. Soon her weight began increasing day by day. She was the victim of childhood obesity but periods made her weighing scale fly high. She used to weigh down 77 kg at the age of mere 14. Skin become rough and excessively oily. Heavy acne and pimple pits appeared on every inch of her face. Her color changed into dark. Unusual hairs started growing on her chin and face. Moreover the process of fat deposition started in her lower body without any known reason. She was just a school going girl who wanted to look beautiful and normal like her classmates. Whenever she happened to see other girls around; infinite ripples of questions used to whirl her mind.
“Why I am not beautiful like them?”, “Why I am not enthusiastic as they are?”, “Why my skin is not flawless as they have?”, “Why I am always in depression?”, “From where those waves of unknown pain blow my mind?”
Unfortunately she did not have anyone that time whom she could share her pain. Her friends were not capable to answer her. She was not able to talk about it to her teachers. Her tender age was far away from trying to seek help of professional counselor. She tried to talk with her mother many times but totally exhausted from her heavy duties at work and parallel responsibilities of home, her mother was too unhappy to talk with her on these topics. Mother’s view was simple.
“Periods are natural phenomenon. Pain is common and you need not to create any big issue out of it. I have suffered it when I was young. You have to endure it anyhow. That’s the custom.” Their conversation used to end on similar notes keeping intact the web of infinite questions in her mind.
Now she was in 10th std. Stress for her studies hiked up. She was unable to concentrate on her studies due to her periods. The pain was increasing in every month. Her monthly period cycle collapsed and she was getting her periods every alternate 15 days. Much bigger lemon size blood clots started to flow from period blood. She had a fair share of crying out loud for her pain become excruciating. Having no energy to move from her bed for hours and days till her period stops. After so many complaints she had taken to the hospital and the real trouble started.
In the hospital she was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome). Doctor prescribed her birth control pills. She ate those pills for first three months for normalizing her period cycle. Much to her dismay her symptoms did not show any progress. Her cycle remained irregular. After completing her prescription she again visited to the hospital with same complaint. She was again prescribed birth control pills for next three months. Unknown to any consequences she would have to face in future she had taken those pills regularly. At the 6th month on a usual day she took her pill and in next four hours she became severely nauseous. Heartbeats increased rapidly. The room began swirling before her eyes and sudden bleeding had started. She was stuck to her bed for next 4 months in a benumbed situation. She was not able to walk, able to study not even able to smile. Overdose – which is actually prescribed by doctor toss down her health in irreparable situation from where it was difficult to come back in normal mode again. Her family have taken second opinion from a competent MBBS MD doctor about her situation. When the doctor learned about the prescription of birth control pills he instantly showed his displeasure.
He asked her mother, “How can you put a 15 years old girl on a contraceptive pills? That too for 6 months a row? What exactly you thought who she is, a wonder woman? Look at her how her health has been suffered, she gained too much weight and if I am not mistaken her PCOS condition become worse than the earlier due to side effects of these pills. Please stop those pill if you want to save your daughter!”
After the reprimand those pills had been thrown away from her house leaving behind their strong impression on her body for the rest of her life. 85 kg weight at the age of 16, facial hair growth, black, tanned face, pimple pits, bulky, swelled body and a lifetime depression to fight for.
This is the story of mine when I was 16 years old. In fact it is the story of every girl who has suffered the symptoms of PCOS in her teen age. I rescued myself but some of us are still suffering.
If you search on net you will find contraceptive pills are generally used for contraception but many doctors refer these pills to teen age girls for correcting their monthly period cycle. If you see the content; these pills contain levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol. It simply means artificial estrogen and progesterone. Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel is used as contraception for preventing pregnancy. If you see the side effects of taking artificial Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel they are listed as vaginal bleeding, breast tenderness, diarrhea, headache, abdominal pain, dizziness, tiredness, Nashua, palpitation. Most of these symptoms I’ve suffered in my teen age. Traditional practitioner may prescribe you birth control pills which contains artificial estrogen and progesterone to treat your PCOS symptoms. The question remains the same. Does they work? In my case it din’t work at all. In my opinion f your body is not secreting hormones naturally how it is feasible to pour artificial hormones and make your body work for life time? It actually worsens the condition and ruin our natural balance system.
Taking superficial hormones no way helped me in my PCOS. So please beware whenever you are going to take birth control pills to regularize your periods and if you got symptoms similar described above take second opinion immediately. At least when there are many unconventional ways to treat your symptoms through your diet, exercise and wholesome wellness remedies like Ayurveda, Homoeopathy or Sujok therapy.
Another issue is weight gain in PCOS and social shaming. Nobody become fat by choice. No one want to ugly again by choice. I never understood the concept of this male dominant society who always call out filthy adjectives to be used for female body. I knew many seniors at court who used to abuse their obese juniors by commenting on their body parts behind their back. Come on, where were you left your professional ethics, your education, degree and so called status? In India it is easy to be blue blood aristocrat by birth but the species of human who is enough sensible to understand the pain of other is rarest of rare.
I saw people fighting over the issue of permitting menstruating woman inside the temple. I always feel pity for them. Nobody raise his voice for the essential issues whether the woman should get rest in her period days, whether the woman should get clean toilets at her home and work place, whether the needy women at distant places should get quality sanitary napkins in her periods, whether the woman should have study programs for knowing correct information about the medical treatments and there side effects for PCOS and other period related problems.
If you ask me my opinion as a woman I would say in my periods I neither want to go in temple or church. If I am suffering from acute symptoms I need to rest in the home, I need to get rid of my PCOS, I want to lead painless healthy life. So my question is for the society, Instead of fighting over trivial issues what you can offer me for my comfort?
– Simply Anjali