Sometimes taking the pill doesn’t feel like a choice. Many women take the pill because they think it’s the only option they have to avoid pregnancy or take care of their health. I asked women from across the world to share stories about the things their doctors have told them in an attempt to persuade them to take the pill.
I’m sad to report that their responses range from ignorant insults to cruel fear-mongering.
However, I believe that most doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are wonderful healers. I am grateful for their dedication, skill, expertise, compassion, and self-sacrifice. Furthermore, I am confident that most doctors would be horrified by these stories and I hope that the women who shared them find better health care. Nonetheless, it is sad that many women have heard such comments from those they trust to give them sound medical advice.
Here are some of the stories women sent me. Take a look… you might want to be sitting down.
1. “I know you use the rhythm method, but let me know if you ever change your mind. It’s not nearly as effective.”Samantha B., Chicago, IL
Her doctor knew she didn’t use the rhythm method; she used the Creighton Model of Fertility Care which is absolutely as effective as artificial birth control. Click here for an overview of the effectiveness rates of Fertility Awareness-Based Methods of Family Planning and Natural Family Planning, and for an explanation of why the rates are frequently misrepresented.
2. “Oh, well, I’ll see you back here in 6 months.” Samantha W., Clarksville, TN
We get it: you don’t think NFP works. This is one of the most common responses women get when they tell their doctors that they use Fertility Awareness-Based Methods or Natural Family Planning.
3. “You need to stop being such a religious zealot. I’m Catholic too and there’s nothing wrong with the pill. If you’re too religious to take it, then I can’t help you.” Anonymous
She wasn’t religious. (And if she were religious, shouldn’t a doctor respect his or her patient’s religious beliefs?)
4. “Without birth control, you’ll bleed out and die. I hope you don’t. But you probably will.”Laura R., Stephens City, VA
5. “You just got married. You don’t want to start a family this soon.” Katie T., Indianapolis, IN
6. “You don’t want another baby this year.” Heather P., Larose, LA
7. “There’s nothing else that will help with your PCOS.” Natasha W., Shoalhaven, Australia
She had endometriosis, low progesterone, cervical stenosis and a bicornuate uterus, none of which the doctor diagnosed. ( And, there are often ways to help treat these issues).
8. “You are just asking to get raped and pregnant if you go to college without birth control.”Sarah R., Strasburg, CO
Yes, I saved the worst for last. The male doctor brought in a second male doctor before he said this. There are so many things wrong with this that I don’t know where to start.
Do you have a similar story? If so, feel free to share it! Tweet me at @mollymdaley.
First published by The Guiding Star Project: http://theguidingstarproject.com/when-taking-the-pill-doesnt-feel-like-a-choice-women-share-their-stories/