Monday, October 01, 2007

accessing birth control hits home

Behind the Price of Birth Control

for the first time, i'm on birth control. when i was 18 i was briefly on the Pill to regulate my irregular and heavy periods. now, almost two decades later, i'm back on it. Seasonique is my new best friend. and each prescription roughly costs about $140.

i'm not on birth control simply to prevent pregnancy (though that's an added bonus). seasonique is preventing ovulation to assist in the shrinkage of my fibroid and to give me more of a chance to increase my iron levels - which would be dangerously low if i continued to ovulate and bleed every month.

what if i couldn't afford to buy Seasonique? i'd be screwed. my doctor and i would be in a tough spot - i'd keep ovulating and bleeding, my fibroid could possibly get bigger and more unstable and my anemia would continue unabated, affecting my overall health in a very dangerous way.

for social conservatives who think every woman is just like any other and all reproductive health issues are all the same, and simple, my being able to buy my prescription of Seasonique is no big deal. to some extent, it's not, really. i'm middle class, employed and have great health benefits through my employer. the odds of my not being able to afford a prescription for my birth control is fairly low. but what if i lose my job? what if my job changes? what about other women - what about women in the service industry who most likely don't have comprehensive health care plans, women who are working poor, or student women?

but the paucity of social conservative's rhetoric is patently unthoughtful: 'don't have sex' is their solution to complicated problems like access and, somehow, women who want to control their fertility or must depend on medication to address a reproductive health situation are 'irresponsible.' for these people, living like a religious celibate or 'letting nature, sickness and illness' run its course is preferred to prevention.

birth control has become the newest battle to control women's autonomy and i don't think women (any woman) can afford to be complacent about it. think about what life was like for women before the Pill - no, do more than think about it. research it. look at the laws and policies governing women's bodies before the Pill became available to women and think about what changes that brought to women's lives.


E. K. said...

Hi ChirchGal!
I just saw your post on Seasonique... are you still taking it? How are your moods? Some people have reported moodiness and all likes of terrible side effects. I realize everyone is different, but I am curious to hear if it's still working out for you. My doctor just gave me a 3-month sample pack and I am nervous about taking it, beginning any day now.

ding said...

I'm not a doctor and my situation was sorta different, but I loved taking Seasonique.

There was a little bloating (but that also could have been my fibroid and the other hormones flooding my body) but, overall, things were great. When I was combining it with Lupron, I suffered crazy headaches and nightsweats; when I stopped taking Lupron, those side effects stopped, so I'd say that was more Lupron than Seasonique.

I stopped smoking completely and I felt great; no moodiness, nothing horrific. It took the whole package to actually regulate my period so that it stopped completely. And it's really important you take the pills at the same time every day. (I took mine in the morning.)

I loved it. I'm not very cool with hormonal birth control but this prescription wasn't bad at all. Try it and pay attention to see how you feel after the first month or so.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ding! I'll post back in on my progress. Honestly I think the more people speak out about this pill, the better. I have seen some terrible rap about it online. But I find that many of the women who have the most trouble seem to be the ones who admit to having skipped pills. :o An easy thing to do, for those who have long days and hectic lives.


ding said...

an update to this post:
I'm back on Seasonique and was having bad headaches in the first month.
I was worried but then figured out that it was because I wasn't being regular with my pills. So I got back on a schedule and the headaches are gone.

Much better.