Thursday, July 24, 2008


You flip on the television and find another ad full of in-shape, natural looking 20 or 30-something women, often sharing a cup of coffee or a boisterous laugh over cocktails.

They're happy, they're healthy, and their purpose is to sell you birth control.

Two-thirds of the way into the commercial, you're hooked.

Yes! I want only one menstrual cycle a year!
Yes! I want less cramps and bloating!
Yes! I want to be in control of my reproductive self!

And then, a quiet voice over comes in and ruins the premenstrual party.

"Some women may experience..."

What follows is a list many women ignore and many men don't care to know.

That birth control can cause: weight gain, acne, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, headaches, depression, high blood pressure, loss of libido, blood clots, stroke, liver tumors, heart attacks, gallstones, jaundice, cervical cancer... and that's just to name a few.

As the phony-doctors voice drones on, the commercialized women continue to smile and laugh, happy that in spite of all the possible side effects, at least they aren't pregnant!

But I'd like to make my own commercial, one that puts the possible outcomes of using birth control or not using birth control up against one another...

Because in reality, what's a more disturbing image?
Women with babies... Or overweight women with acne, nausea, dizziness, headaches, depression, high blood pressure, no libido, blood clots, stroke, liver tumors...


Chrissie said...

When it comes to hormonal BC, do the pros outweigh the cons?

Wil said...

Well.. as an old broad .. I will say that the pills today are a lot less risky than the ones from the 70s and 80s - far, far, far lower hormone levels. [But then you have fun things like the one that wonks out your potassium level .. and Hey! Not like that could kill ya .. right!?!?]

But .. even still .. as an old broad .. I would be afraid to take the pill now. [Okay .. I am only 42 .. but still.] Stroke and Heart Attack are my two biggest fears followed by the increased cancer risks. [Apparently, I fear sudden death more than long painful drawn out death?!?]

I suppose were I a younger woman that I am now and single, [.. which I am - single - but I have kind of given up on sex/men after my last relationship ended very recently] I think I would be more into secondary systems to provide me with BC. As in .. a condom FOR SURE!! .. and I might also perhaps protect myself from pregnancy with a diaphragm - or if I was very serious about no kids - tubes tied.

I was flying by the seat of my pants as far as BC was concerned .. lover was "fixed" and STD free and I am not able to have children now. So .. I guess I was lucky not to have to make any decisions that way. As for the future .. I figure I will use the experience of having my heart trampled to keep me the hell away from men and sex - period. And really .. Rabbits are much more sane and they don't have mid-life crisis'!

Thanks for the opportunity to sound off!

Chrissie said...

Well said Willow, and I can see where you're coming from. Sometimes the BEST BC is having your heart broken...

Stan Alam said...

I was always found those commercials. Like valtrex etc. to be somewhat strange. I definitely get the same impression. Like ... seriously why is everyone swinging and laughing when they can possibly get an aneurysm and so on.
Not that I'm against medicine.

I found this blog that I like reading. It's maintained by a peace corps volunteer. There's some politics on there, sorry about that.

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