Image Credit: Kirsten Colligan

A love letter to my contraception

By Rebecca Richard

Rebecca Richard offers a counterpoint to negative stories about the pill.

“Suck it up”. What we’re so often told as young girls navigating periods for the first time. We’re expected to sit the hardest exams we’ve experienced so far, take on extracurriculars, maintain healthy lives and friendships all the while wondering if the pulsing pain in your lower abdomen is truly normal.

I was lucky my GP had no qualms when I visited as a wide-eyed 16-year-old unsure what was “wrong” with me. I was prescribed the contraceptive pill right away and six years on, I’ve never looked back.

As a seasoned hypochondriac, I had my notes app at the ready, waiting to track (and likely obsess over) any changes I felt upon taking the daily pill. “Blood clot symptoms” was a frequent visitor in my search history, while I anxiously questioned if I was simply having a down day, or if my pill was bringing on signs of depression. I’d seen the horror stories all over social media of blood clots, mental health problems, unpredictable spotting, nausea. I’m sure many of us have seen the TikTok creators mockingly using their contraceptive pill side effects leaflet as a blanket…

But shockingly, none of it came. I’m sure some of my mood swings can be attributed to good ol’ Rigevidon doing her thing. But a total of 0 blood clots or mental health diagnoses down the line, the pill seems to be agreeing with me. I’ve heard of many trial-and-error cases, trying multiple brands for a few months to see which one had the least drastic side effects. But from day one, mine has been a godsend.

It can’t be understated how valuable it is to be in control of your life again, especially as we’re expected to do so much whilst still navigating growing up. I didn’t have to fear my school Duke of Edinburgh expedition anymore, as I could control whether I’d be in pain and bleeding heavily at home or in a tent in the Scottish countryside with no bathroom… no prizes for guessing which path I took. Exam seasons didn’t seem so worrying now I knew I definitely wouldn’t be hindered by my own body during some of the most important weeks of my life.

I feel for contraception users out there who face a constant uphill battle finding something that works for them, I can only imagine how draining it must be to feel at war with something so uncontrollable. But I also think it’s refreshing to hear a success story. The first pill I ever tried has given me my freedom back, releasing me from days of writhing in pain and the embarrassment of stained school uniforms. Dearest Rigevidon, may our relationship continue to flourish for years to come. 


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