The Pill: A Conversation For Adults

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So here we are, it is 2017 and I’m not sure what I did to be hurtling towards thirty at quite such an unstoppable rate, but there’s not much I can do about it now (apart from invest quite heavily in eye cream).

It only seems like last Friday I was drinking Lambrini in an Essex park, listening to some Razorlight torrent from Limewire and trying to convince boys to add me on MSN.

But not only does this year mark the point at which I’ve become completely delusional, it also marks a decade since I started taking the pill.

Ten whole years.

That innocuous little packet of hormones handed out as a short-term solution to having a (rather short-term) teenage boyfriend. And one choice that has stuck with me for several more years than perhaps I had ever anticipated.

I remember the appointment itself fairly clearly, with the nurse at my local GP, a decision that took no more than ten minutes.

I was pretty smug that she had asked few questions, that she believed me when I said I drunk under the recommend units of alcohol per week (ahem), and that I was being treated as an adult with the power to make choices about my own body.

I’m not even sure I had sex at this point come to think of it…

Leaving that appointment armed with a drug that my body would then adapt to taking every day for the next ten years of my life. Thousands of pills have passed my lips, without ever giving it a second thought.

Apart from that brief blip where I was forced on to a “chemically-identical” pill (because of budget issues) that then played with my hormones so much I became seriously depressed and had to stop taking it, but that is another story all together.

Aside from that short-lived window, I have not lived without this pill for almost half of my life. A fact that becomes ever more terrifying with every passing year.

My GP seems to revel in reminding me that the official advice is for women not to take it for more than ten years, but with no plans for a baby anytime soon, I keep going back for more.

But make no mistake, it is starting to leave a real bitter taste.

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  • You couldn’t have summed up my recent thoughts and feelings better! After a recent visit to my GP (and with 30 whispering my name) I was reminded that I’ve been on the pill for approaching the recommended length. I’ve only been on 2 different kinds – the first one worked perfectly, I was switched to another had a bad reaction, and then switched back to the original. I’ve been on that one since for an uninterrupted 7 years. I considered stopping altogether after Christmas, but with also no-baby plans in my immediate future I’m not sure what the right solution is. xx

    http://www.rhymeandribbons.com

    • Hey Amanda, sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you, I am so glad this has resonated with you too! I think there are so many women in our position, who never imagined reaching that ‘limit’ that we were told when we were teenagers, and here we are. I also have no baby-making plans anywhere on my horizon, so am torn about what to do. But I love having people like you to talk too about it! xxx