I felt so pressured to go on birth control I ended up getting myself hospitalised
The coil infected my womb causing contractions like I was giving birth
At university, there is an incredible stigma about sex. Are you having it? If not, why? How come you haven't pulled yet? Why do you sleep with so many people?
However along with this uni culture there is the even bigger issue of whether or not the girl is on any contraception. If she isn't, whether she is sexually active or not, there is an immediate judgement and the phrase "well you should, just to be safe".
I have never had a good experience with birth control. I started on the pill when I got my first boyfriend "just in case" and it made my periods heavier, the cramps worse and turned me into a nut-job. I then decided to get the implant, in hopes it would be a better option. After discussing with many doctors and nearly earning my own degree in medicine through Web MD, I thought "well why not? You know, just to be safe". However, this painful endeavour of getting a stick forced into my arm was not a successful one.
The implant turned me into a hostile person which I never was before. I had a period for a solid three months at a time, making me feel sick, get anaemia and just feel all round rubbish. My depression and anxiety had become the worst it had ever been, and after hearing my story my therapist immediately had my implant removed. He also explained to me that when I am on contraception, the hormones interfere with my brain and almost inhibits my medication for my mental health.
From then on I swore off contraception to ensure my mental health remains intact. But then I joined university – the embodiment of safe sex movements and contraception's biggest fan. I went in refusing to substitute my health for a "possible" pregnancy or STI, even though I would use condoms, always.
But people have other agendas – people would call me stupid for not being on birth control, regardless of whether I was sexually active or not. In my delusional state, I chose to have the non-hormonal coil. I convinced myself that because it does not use hormones, then it would not effect my mental health and be the best option. So I got my coil fitted, and then that evening I spent the night in hospital.
The pain was excruciating, and I mean excruciating. I sat in the doctors office in foetal position crying. I've broken bones and it was still not as painful as that. The coil has to be pushed through your cervix for it to work, and trust me, your body does not always agree with that.
I went home and lay in bed unable to move, my lower abdomen felt as though it was being twisted and my insides were in a blender. That's when I started throwing up. I called 111 and spoke to the NHS who kindly got me into the gynaecology ward for some tests as they were worried the coil had moved and imbedded into my uterine wall. After many hours and tests, being prodded and poked in the most private part of my body, they found no evidence something was wrong. They simply said the coil being inserted hurts a lot, but it will subside. They sent me home with a box of antibiotics. I felt I had once again risked my health, "just in case".
The next week the pain came and went. It was like a period pain from hell when it was at its least painful. I was bleeding, vomiting and unable to get up and do my university assignments.
A week and a half after the coil insertion, I convinced the surgery to give me an emergency appointment. I explained everything to the doctor to which he replied: "You look very, very unwell, why didn't you go to the hospital and speak to us sooner?" He did some tests and it turned out that my womb was contracting, as if giving birth, in order to expel the coil. I also had an infection in my womb. Within two minutes of being in the doctor's office, he took out my coil.
After that he sat me down, gave me some antibiotics and asked me what contraception I would like the try next. I was not sexually active and did not plan to be for the foreseeable future, but I was still being pressured into the next birth control method "just in case".
After two weeks of having contractions, unbearable pain, vomiting and falling behind on my university assignments, as well as years of unsuccessful birth control methods before that, people were still encouraging the idea of potentially dangerous contraception. "Just in case" is not a good enough reason to pressure girls into going on birth control, ploughing themselves with synthetic hormones, potentially jeopardising their health. If a woman is practising safe sex, then allow her to have a safe wellbeing too.