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Birth Control Patch Sickens Women

Posted Oct 21 2008 6:06am
I've written before about how you might want to stay away from oral contraceptives, ESPECIALLY if you plan one day to be pregnant--it can really mess up your delicate cycle. Also, again, who's looking out for you? Not the drug companies. From Nerve.Com:

"Those fucking bastards," I whispered to my boyfriend and cat when I read the article. "They're getting away with it!"

In April, The New York Times brought us a nasty update to the 2005 news that pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson had been lying to the public about their Ortho Evra birth-control patch. Marketed as a lower-estrogen birth-control option (meaning fewer and milder side effects than the pill), the patch actually delivered much higher doses of estrogen than the pill; Johnson & Johnson failed to reveal this to the public for six years. At least fifty deaths have been attributed to the patch because of this, with thousands more women reporting alarming symptoms. And now, Johnson & Johnson is arguing that women hurt by the patch cannot sue, because the FDA approved the patch in the first place.

I was one of the women whose body was ransacked by the patch. And as I read the article, I flashed back to 2004 in wavy slow-dissolve: I was living in California, chasing after my man — the cat still a mere twinkle in his eye — with a brand-new Ortho Evra patch affixed firmly to my ass. It was like Erin Brockovich, only in this lurid real-life chick flick, there would be no legal retribution for the estrogen-roofied woman. At least, not yet.

I'd never been the type of girl who wanted to be locked down in any way — by a cat, a job, a man, a tattoo. But then I met The Boy, who transformed me from an aloof Leo to a helpless kitten batting at a string. I left my job, my home, my friends, and moved across the country for a guy I'd been dating less than four months. I'd like to say I was boldly throwing caution to the wind, but the fact is, I simply wasn't thinking. I was in that place where I just wanted to meld my body totally into his. I wanted to lick him with my little cat tongue and scratch him with my claws and devour him like so many Tender Vittles.

The pill was everything I'd grown up resisting: man -made chemicals recklessly messing with a woman's natural bodily rhythms.
Even a condom was too much space between us. So I did yet another thing I'd always vowed I would never do: I went on the pill.

My distaste for the pill might be rooted in my mother. She called my periods my "power time," and when I got sick made me swallow a vitamin-C pill the size of a Baoding ball. In my family, we only went to the doctor when we fractured a leg bone or had a heart attack (and even then, he better not get all patriarchal 'n' shit.) So the pill was an amalgamation of everything I'd grown up resisting: man -made chemicals recklessly messing with a woman's natural bodily rhythms.

But everyone else was doing it, I told myself. And it's safer than when it was when it was first introduced (isn't it?). Most importantly, it would offer me freedom. I'd just have to get annual pap smears in order to buy monthly packets of small orange dots which I'd need to remember to swallow at the exact same time every day. But we'd be able to have impromptu sex in the kitchen, so hot damn.

Unlike many friends, I didn't experience side effects from the pill: no weight gain (I already had extra), no wild mood swings (no comment), and disappointingly, no breast augmentation.

read more here.
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