Why I Decided to Stop Taking the Contraceptive Pill

*This article was originally published by http://www.thecusp.com.au and has been republished here under first publishing rights, owned by the author**

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Photos by Dylan Starzcak

I was sitting in my ex-boyfriend’s bedroom when I decided to stop taking the birth control pill. For six months, I had taken a pill every morning, and, for six months I had sunk deeper into a depression I thought there was no possible way out of. Despite my misfiring neurons, I came to the conclusion that slipping that piece of pressed white powder behind my teeth everyday had been the moment the crooked maw of depression had plucked me from a place of tolerable anxiety. Six months before I had still been a nervous wreck of a twenty-three-year-old. But I hadn’t been this ashen-faced, un-showered mess; watching the shadows grow longer and the whites of walls open up brighter as though someone was messing around with an aperture switch in my head.

A study conducted in Denmark and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women on the combined pill were 23% more likely than others to be treated for depression, and for those on the progestin-only pill there was a 34% increase. Similar results were recorded regarding IUDs and intrauterine contraceptives. Teenage girls were found to have the highest risk overall, with those taking birth control pills 80% more likely to be treated for depression. Considering the look of confusion on the face of the last GP I spoke to when I went to ask him if the pill could have been causing the upswing of anxiety and depression I was experiencing, this finding has been a blessing for myself and my female peers.

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Mood swings:

A study published by Reproductive Health reported that while 100 million women worldwide use oral contraceptives, 50% of these women discontinue use within the first year, citing changes in mood as the number one reason. A report published by the Guttmacher Institute stated that 10.7% of U.S. women used no contraceptives at all. Research by Dr. Annie Dude suggested that many of the women relying on unreliable withdrawal methods of contraception were between the ages of 15 and 24 – however Dude still cited the IUD as the most effective method of contraception for Gen Y. In many cases hormonal birth control does not afford the freedom it has been marketed as for the modern woman. The dysfunction that comes with depressive symptoms can be life-altering.

“MY SEXUAL EDUCATION WAS TYPICAL FOR MOST GEN Y TEENS – I WAS TAUGHT ABOUT THE PILL AND INTRAUTERINE CONTRACEPTIVES BECAUSE THESE WERE CONSIDERED THE MOST EFFECTIVE”

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Research in the field of endocrinology suggests that the chemicals we consume can carry serious health implications, mental and physical. Much of the commentary surrounding young women foregoing their usual contraceptives stems from the fact that so many women have been taking the pill since their early teen years, often going off the pill is an experiment to see what kind of person they are without these synthetic hormones in their system, how they will act and react.

We know contraceptives are necessary – they reduce the rates of unwanted pregnancy, and abortion – but current methods rarely align with what our lifestyles ask of us. That said, there has been some positive research into alternative methods of contraception. The male contraceptive injection known as vasalgel is currently in the process of being trialled and the World Health Organisation has also published a report raising the idea of testing traditional, complementary and alternative (holistic) methods – known as TCAM – to modern scientific standards.

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Considering options:

I’m personally choosing to stay off the pill. My sexual education was typical for most Gen Y teens – I was taught about the pill and intrauterine contraceptives because these were considered the most effective and, as Dr. Dude suggests, the safest for teenagers. As I seek out my own information with the critical thinking skills adulthood affords me however, I’m choosing to consider my options in a broader sense.

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Eye Of Horus | Cruelty Free Cosmetics Review

Eye of Horus is a cruelty-free makeup brand locally made in Byron Bay. I was lucky enough to be sent a PR package from the beautiful goddesses to test the brand out and swap over some of my usual drugstore and high-end make-up products to these natural alternatives. I was gifted a brow pencil, mascara, two metallic liquid eyeliners and a mascara. Though these items were sent to me all opinions are my own.

 

Eye of Horus Brow Define Pencil in Husk:

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I’ve been filling in my eyebrows with a powder/gel duo and an angled brush forever. So I was slightly skeptical about using a pencil. Once I did though, and found that I could get a straighter arch and more natural looking strokes while building a heavier, thicker brow on top I became a convert. The pencil comes in a twist-up mechanism and has a coconut and candellila wax base, meaning the product doesn’t ‘pull’ when applied and glides on while retaining enough toughness to create even strokes with a high-end finish.

BROW PENCIL INGREDIENTS: Hydrogenated Soybean Oil Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides Polyethylene Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil Zinc Stearate Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax Mica Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate Methicone Ricinus Communis ( Castor ) Seed Oil MAY CONTAIN: C1 77891, C1 77499, C1 77492, C1 77491

link to buy

 

Eye of  Horus Bio Mascara in Black:

Next up, I tried out the bio mascara and was again extremely impressed. I had previously been using a Rimmel London mascara which I liked, but found to be a little clumpy after time, and the brush was too big for me to fully define my lashes. The bio mascara wand is a lot slimmer with a rounded end that I can move to meet every lash. The formula itself is much nicer in comparison to what I was using. I felt this product achieved a more natural look, coating each lash without creating clumps and extending the lashes to taper and fan out, almost achieving a natural ‘false lash’ look. The photography above depicts the mascara without false lashes or curling. I do find that I experience some fall out from this mascara, without rubbing my eyes. It tends to flake, this isn’t something I have found in other mascaras but has happened often enough with this particular product to be worthy of mentioning.

BIO MASCARA INGREDIENTS: Aqua, Copernicia Cerifera Cera  , Stearic Acid, Ricinus Communis Seed Oil , Palmitic Acid  , Propanediol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Palmitic / Stearic Triglyceride , Benzyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum , Kaolin  , Sodium Hydroxide , Potassium Sorbate, Galactoarabinan , Butylene Glycol , Laminaria Digitata Extract, Tocopherol , Myristic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid  , Lauric Acid, Oleic Acid , Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil. May Contain + /-  C177499 Iron Oxides