As a young woman at university I can safely say that the majority of people I know are on the pill, for a variety of reasons, so my hand is firmly raised! As young, free, modern, women we should be allowed autonomy over what we do with our bodies and by extension, what we choose to put into them. The pill is an amazing medical invention that can protect young women and their partners from the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. But there are many other reasons why you may want to go on the pill, and it's interesting to consider whether going on the pill for “convenience” is a mistake.
In the UK we have two different types of pills, the combined pill and the mini pill (also known as the progestogen-only pill). The combined pill is more popular but the mini pill can now be bought over the counter and is thus somewhat more accessible. There are many pros and cons to both options and within each category there are several brands that you can be prescribed. Having these options is great but it can mean that to find the right pill for you it can be a bit of a minefield. At every new turn there’s a new type of acne or intense mood change on the horizon. Moreover, due to the lack of education and awareness surrounding the pill, young women are often chucked on it and expected to get on with it immediately, and when we air concerns we are not heard.
Is convenience alone a good reason to be on the pill?
Aren’t all the reasons ‘convenient’ in some way? Whether it's to stop you getting pregnant, lessen the negative pain/bloating effects of your periods, pause periods altogether or fix your acne. Everyone's reason for taking the pill is different but equally valid.
Being in a constant state of fear during sex that if something were to go wrong you could end up with a baby bump in your next Instagram post is no way to live. Condoms are effective and still an important aspect in ensuring safe sex between partners, especially if you are having sex with multiple partners, and it's certainly the easiest way to keep those STI’s at bay! There is no shame in this and Fab Little bags could be adaptable to be used for condom disposal too! (https://fablittlebag.com/collections/frontpage/products/starter-plus-pack) But it's important to remember that extra 99 percent accuracy protection the pill offers can work wonders on both the mind as well as the body.
On planned parenthoods website they state themselves that ‘birth control pills aren’t just for birth control. The pill has many perks besides pregnancy prevention’, and then goes on to list the many issues the pill can help tackle. They agree that it is convenient as ‘the pill is birth control you don’t have to think about during sex. If you take the pill correctly, you’re protected from pregnancy all day, every day. Many people say the pill makes their sex lives better because they don’t have to interrupt sex or worry about pregnancy.’ And surely this is the aim of the pill? To make people's lives easier? So taking the pill for “convenience” means you are taking for the thing it was intended for, and there is certainly no shame in that.