I have a love-hate relationship with the birth-control pill. It was first prescribed back in 2006 or 2007 when I was diagnosed with a nasty thing called “Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome,” aka: PCOS, after a miscarriage.
PCOS causes excruciating ovarian cysts, irregular, painful, or non-existent periods, undesirable hair growth in weird places, acne, weight gain, headaches, insomnia, and more.
When I went on the pill, my life changed. Suddenly I felt better than I had for over a decade. The hair growth, insomnia, acne, and horrible pain subsided.
Unfortunately, my mood took a severe downward turn and I became depressed. I didn’t know at the time that the synthetic hormones in the pill could cause anxiety and depression. So, guess what? Here comes the anti-depressant!
Enter, stage Left, my new husband. And, add a desire for children. What to do? Stop taking the pill, of course!
The first month was OK. The second was rough. By the third month, I was begging to start the pill again. My PCOS symptoms had returned and I was feeling terrible. We suffered a miscarriage and my body was protesting. My doctor suggested trying two-month increments of the pill, and then a month of “trying to conceive” until we got pregnant.
As much as we desired a pregnancy, this roller coaster ride continued for quite a while. On the pill, off the pill, miscarriage, feeling terrible, back on the pill, and off again. My moods were horrible. The routine got old very quickly. It also later caused a horrible problem with my potassium level which sent me to the E.R.
My life changed when I began doing yoga daily, teaching yoga, getting chiropractic care, and eating a clean diet. With no desire for another miscarriage, I merely stopped taking the pill because I wanted to balance my body naturally and move on with my life.
Two months later, I was pregnant (SURPRISE!), and carried full-term. My daughter is alive and thriving.
But, now that I’m a mother, I’m having problems again. My PCOS has returned worse than ever. I lack time and energy to exercise due to school, work, and mothering, and am not eating as well as I should. I’ve been thinking about going back on that horrible pill that causes depression, anxiety, and nutrient imbalance. And did you know the pill increases the risk of blood clot and stroke a whole bunch? I’m already genetically programed for that stuff. Why would I want to risk it?
Am I crazy? Should I go back on the pill? What’s a busy mother-Grad Student-entrepreneur to do?