Women Using Birth Control To Treat Medical Conditions
Birth control. It’s a topic that still manages to be a huge talking point within our politics. When women were once able to receive free birth control under the Obama administration, now, a ruling from Trump no longer makes it mandatory for a company’s insurance policy to cover basic forms of contraception.
I know first hand what it’s like to have to spend too much time figuring out creative ways to maintain access to my birth control. Since 19 I have been consistently using some form of contraception, mainly the pill, and my reasons had nothing to do with preventing pregnancy.
Instead, my gynecologist discovered that I am prone to ovarian cysts, and not the kind that my body naturally passes during its monthly cycle.
No. The type of ovarian cysts I get need to be surgically removed because they grow to the size of a tennis ball. True story. I also get hemorrhagic ovarian cysts, which fill with blood and are at risk of bursting.
It’s something I am genetically prone to, most of the women on my mother’s side also struggled with the same issue, and the only form of treatment to prevent monthly cyst formation was to begin birth control immediately.
Not only did this stop my cysts from forming, it also made life manageable during my monthly cycle. I could actually get out of bed and move around.
My bleeding had reduced so much so that I no longer felt dizzy, and I could make it through the day without having to find a restroom every hour.
In the end I found out I had Anemia from the amount of blood I would loose, but I was able to have a life all 30 days out of the month as oppose to 20 days.
And it was all because of this little daily pill. That was until I discovered that my monthly dose of pills would be upwards of $80 dollars a month, and that was with insurance.
At one point my generic birth control was cheaper to buy in a three month supply until the pharmacy suddenly informed me the price had jumped from $50 dollars to $200 dollars.
My doctor tried her best to supplement my monthly packet with samples from her office, and I collected every discount card I could find. In the end the only thing that saved me was being able to get access to free birth control under the Obama administration.
I was no longer stressed about trying to get my medication every month, let alone figuring out how much it was going to be and how I was going to foot the bill.
Because at the end of the day, I am like the 58 percent of women in the US who use monthly birth control to treat a medical condition.
It has nothing to do with not getting pregnant, and everything to do with not having to be rushed to the ER because my body is going into shock from a hemorrhaged cyst.
I even tried to stop taking birth control after going through a slew of different generic pills that did nothing but screw up my system in an attempt to save money.
All I was left with was a month of no birth control in my system and an ovarian cyst on my right ovary. I had no choice but to stay on birth control because my body needed it.
I needed the pill, specifically because it was the only medication that gave me a dose of both estrogen and progestin. That combination was the trick to keeping me healthy.
But in my humble opinion I don’t think it should matter why I am taking it, and I should not have to justify my use for it. Whether I am in need of it as a method of treating a medical condition, or I am being responsible and preventing an unwanted pregnancy from happening, my choice to use a method of birth control should not dictate its accessibility.
A woman’s right to take care of her body should never come down to religious or political views. In the end, a woman’s right to her body and how she cares for it should come down to the woman herself.
I could just say screw it and request to have a complete hysterectomy. Instead, I choose to take a little pink pill every night and go to bed soundly knowing my body is healthy because a medication was able to do what my body couldn’t naturally do.
I don’t know if I will ever be able to go off of birth control, that’s still up in the air. But until that day comes, I want to know that I am able to access my medication without having to take out a personal loan to pay for it.