When I was 14 years old I was a high school freshman. I had few cares in the world aside from what I was wearing to school the next day, and making sure I did my homework. In January of 2006, I was in the middle of my english mid-term exam when I was overcome with an unbearable pain. My entire abdomen seized up as I was reduced to tears and the fetal position. I was released from class after convincing my teacher I wasn’t just trying to skip out on my mid-term. Through the next few months I visited many different types of doctors, as well as a few trips to the emergency room. After vigorous trial and error, I was finally diagnosed with Premenstrual Dhysphoric Disorder, or PMDD. In a simple explanation, PMDD causes the sufferer to experience not only the symptoms of regular PMS, which are painful on their own, but a new pain that puts the PMS cramps to shame tenfold.
I was stuck in the fetal position for two weeks every month, suffering the effects of PMDD. My legs would go numb after a few hours, and eventually my arms would also go numb from holding up my legs. If I grew brave enough to move, even just a little, a shock wave of pain raced through my entire body, stemming from my abdomen. The only way I was ever able to describe it was to compare it to a black hole in my uterus, slowly eating away at my insides. I missed weeks of school at a time, and even my own father was quite unsympathetic. I even had a sports coach that didn’t believe that my condition was real.
To add to my nightmare, I also began developing ovarian cysts. Now, for those of you who have not experienced ovarian cysts, they’re no picnic either. Though some women are only plagued with small, minor cysts that they hardly notice, I was not so lucky. My cysts were dangerously large, and extremely painful. As if PMDD wasn’t enough. In 2010 I even spent my birthday in bed all day in pain due to a particularly painful cyst. Not only had this cyst been quite painful when it burst, but the fluid managed to avoid being flushed out of my system for three or four days, and ended up floating around inside me inflaming and irritating my kidneys, causing extreme lower back pain, and eventually causing a UTI. That may have been the worst of my cysts so far, but it certainly wasn’t the only one over the last seven years.
After several months of what can only be described as torture, I was prescribed what seemed to be a magical cure. I was put on birth control, and noticed almost immediate results. Not only did birth control limit my menstrual cycle to every three months instead of every month, it also reduced the size and frequency of ovarian cysts. Thanks to birth control, I was finally able to live a normal life. I was able to attend high school regularly. I was able to relax from the fetal position without experiencing what was more than definitely the most intense pain of my life. Thanks to birth control, I was able to live again.
Now, if only I could share my story with all the conservatives and republicans of this world that want to ban birth control. Those that think birth control is for sluts that want to have sex with no consequences. Not everyone on birth control is using it for birth control. The pill is not only a contraceptive, but it is also the only reason I can get out of bed in the morning. Yet, some people would rather see me live a life of pain, stuck in bed for two weeks at a time, afraid to adjust even slightly, than to disgrace a god I don’t even believe in.
That’s why I support birth control.