Thursday, 24 February 2011

Got a headache? Here's the pill!

This has been something that has irked me for a while now. Say you're a female between the ages of 11 and 40 and you walk into the doctors office with some minor symptoms of, quite frankly, nothing: headache, bad cramps, clammy hands, tummy ache, etc. You will walk out with a prescription for the Pill in under 5 minutes (not including waiting time.)

I have friends who aren't even having sex, or intending to have sex until they're married, who are on the Pill for no bloody reason at all. I have a problem with this. Our aim should be to reduce the number of people on any type of given medication. Most women on the Pill have not really researched it, which is pretty scary considering that some will continue to stay on it for twenty to thirty odd years. Call me a crazy hippie or whatever you want but I think we need a more holistic approach to health.

Girls and women tend to think of the Pill as a fool proof option for all their birth control needs. The fact of the matter is that a good percentage of people don't use it correctly and end up pregnant. Same with condoms. You've probably seen those episodes of 16 and Pregnant where quite a few of the girls state that the reason they are pregnant is because they weren't on the Pill and they never used condoms. I mean, really? After that it's difficult for me to be sympathetic when they are having trouble making ends meet. Fair enough if the condom breaks, but even if you're on the Pill you should be using condoms as extra protection particularly when there is no way you are in a position to have a child.

The over-prescription of the Pill hasn't done much in regards to decreasing unwanted pregnancy. Contrary to what sex-positive feminists would argue, there does seem to be a good case for waiting to have sex until you actually know how your own body functions and then limiting sexual encounters. Here in the UK the rates of STI's and teen pregnancy have been steadily rising even though birth control, STI tests, etc. are all funded by the government. When comparing these rates to those of mainland Europe it is even more staggering.

Let's not rely on the education system or the Pill to cover our asses. Don't pretend that government funding means that people are actually using birth control effectively and all the time. And most importantly, let's stop kidding ourselves that unwanted pregnancy is not 100% preventable. If you're not responsible enough to use birth control every time and the right way then you are definitely not ready for a child and should probably just abstain altogether.