“GUESS WHAT I HEARD!!!”
“MATHS IS CANCELLED FOREVER?!?!”
“*Enter name* is on the PILL, apparently.”
“WHAT?! She’s having…”
“SEX, I KNOW RIGHT?!”
I’ve lost track of how many times I had that conversation with friends when I was in school. Going on the Pill was a BIG DEAL. It was gold dust for gossip. So-and-so was on the PILL but WHO was she having SEX with?! It seemed so grown up, so adult.
Sex education when I was at school was, um, not great. It was all learning songs about STIs, scaring you off sex forever, and watching your teacher try to put a condom on a banana. It really was as clichéd as that. So, the Pill was for stopping babies. The Pill was used for when you started having sex. Or so we thought.
PLOT TWIST. It’s not! According to a report in 2011, one in three girls are put on the Pill for non-sex reasons. A girl who kept fainting in my English class was suddenly put on the Pill and I thought, “How does she have time for shagging when she’s falling unconscious all the time?” It turned out her fainting was due to horrendous cramps, and the Pill, or another hormonal contraceptive, could help.
WHO KNEW ALL THIS?! Not enough of us, apparently. But what are all these other reasons, you cry? We’re here to enlighten you.
1. To regulate your period
Some people’s periods are just a pain in the arse. They come and go as they please, like a stray cat – but a more annoying and painful stray cat, not a lovely fluffy one. This is more likely to happen when you first start your period and your body’s still getting used to your uterus being the centre of attention. If your period tends to hog the limelight, the hormones found in the Pill could help. It gives your period a strict agenda so you know when to expect it on your doorstep.
2. To chill out your acne
The majority of teenagers get spots, but some get them worse than others. Sometimes it’s full blown acne, and no cream, facewash, or magic voodoo spell will help. Thankfully, the Pill can help to chill your acne the heck out. Go have a bath, acne. Listen to some whale sounds, acne. Relax.
3. To reduce your heavy periods
Again, this can often be the case when you’ve first started your period and your body’s like, “WHAT IS THIS WHAT IS HAPPENING WHAT IS THIS BLOOD NO THANK YOU ALL THE BLOOD OUT IMMEDIATELY.” Your periods can be super heavy, and sometimes dangerously so. Losing a lot of blood could cause anaemia which is just unnecessary, quite frankly. You’re tired enough as it is. So, along with regulating your period, the Pill can ensure your period is dispensed at a calm and gentle pace.
4. To ease headaches
One lovely symptom of PMS is headaches. Some get them before a period, some get them during, and some get them ALL THE DAMN TIME. If your period headaches are super bad and affecting your daily life then the Pill could help.
5. To reduce painful cramps
Much like regulating your period and stopping your heavy flow in its tracks, the Pill can triple whammy it and help with period pain too. Intensely bad period pain can cause vomiting and fainting. It’s real, people. It happens. Never underestimate the period cramp and don’t put up with the pain if you think nothing can ease your angry uterus.
6. To help symptoms of endometriosis and PCOS
Endometriosis and PCOS can’t be cured, but the symptoms can definitely be eased. Most of the above can be often debilitating symptoms of both conditions, so going on the Pill and spreading some hormones around could help you out.
7. To balance your mood your period
PMS can be a bitch and can certainly turn you into one. Sometimes you can’t even tell when someone’s on their period. From the outside, they’re angelic. But others can turn into a monster, and they know it. If your period hormones tend to send your emotions into a blender, then the Pill could definitely balance you out and keep you feeling zen.
So, there you have it. Going on the Pill isn’t just for stopping tiny human creations.
If you struggle with any of the above, or any other monthly symptoms that are making life hard, go and see your GP for a chat. Drag a parent, sibling, or friend with you if you like. But you 100% shouldn’t have to suffer on your period. Tell your uterus who’s boss.
Image: Hailey Hamilton