...so I've been writing some more on this section of Dear Uterus. I think it makes sense. I need to insert references and sources, etc. That will be soon to come. It's just that this part has felt a little more involved...anyways! Here we go!
I decided one day that I should think about making my uterus into a zombie by getting a prescription for birth control. Not because I was getting regularly laid, but because I wanted to control my cycle the easy way. My uterus couldn’t do anything about it anyway. I could sneak to the lady doctor and get my stash as my uterus took a nap in my abdominal cavity...and it would never wake up the same. I would think about this from time to time with a Grinch-like grimace crawling across my face. Convincing my uterus that it didn’t want babies, I think, was the biggest form of mind control (and perhaps, stroke of genius) I could possibly inflict on my body. My uterus wants nothing more than to have me walking around barefoot and pregnant throughout my fertile years. I always wondered what exactly birth control would do to my body, and because of how my mind works, I needed a technical explanation. Of course I got some research in.
The basic breakdown of what birth control actually is and what it does is this: birth control is an artificial hormonal contraception and is a synthetic estrogen and progestin. These artificial hormones trick the body to either not ovulate or to hit the ovums off at the pass and prevent them from being able to attach to the uterine lining. Gross, right?
Not so long ago, scientists and birth control advocates decided that this whole inevitable pregnancy nonsense must come to an end. For women to take control of their own bodies and their own sexual pleasure, the pregnancy factor had to be at least controlled to some extent. When it was clear that douches were not working, along with other primitive birth control methods, major research on an “easier,” more effective way to prevent pregnancy became a focus.
Enter Margaret Sanger, nurse, activist and major feminist badass, who founded the American Birth Control League, aka the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She wrote to obtain research grants after it was discovered that certain hormones hindered pregnancy in lab rabbits in the 1930s. After years of study, in the 1950s, Frank Colton invented the first oral contraceptive, Envoid. This was modernized by a cluster of scientists, namely Carl Djerassi, in the 1950s and made into tiny pills, conveniently taken, concealed and easily utilized. These scientists and activists blazed a trail that eventually put out a product that not only secured a woman’s liberal sexuality, but made the prospect of an inevitable pregnancy almost null and void. Of course there was resistance coming from those men and women who think that people shouldn’t be able to choose what to do with their reproductive gifts, and that controversy is still present. Well they can bite me. Despite all of that, I can go to my ob/gyn and get fun things like pills, patches, vaginal rings, shots, etc. to put my natural bodily processes to a temporary stand still until I figure out what I want to do with my awesome ability to procreate. So there.
On the other hand, what can all of these artificial hormones do to my body? First of all, hormonal birth control can possibly put the circadian rhythm all out of whack, which is a major cancer risk. There goes my follicular development. Most pills will induce an entirely different ovulating schedule, if there is any ovulating at all. It sometimes makes the ovaries release the egg at different times, making it inconvenient for the body to house a fetus. The hormones also change the consistency of the mucus that the cervix produces, which confuses the sperm so that they cannot find the egg at all! The fake estrogen and progestin effect the uterus’ hospitality and any developing ovums become very unlikely and unwelcome house guests.
Hold on, though, that doesn’t make any sense at all, right? The uterus being inhospitable to an ovum? That has got to be some major zombie shit right there, and I decided it was. I am supposed to have around thirteen periods a year. If I take the birth control, I would probably end up with about 3 or 4 a year, and as tempting as that seems, I really find that to be incredibly undesirable. Knowing my raging hormones, extra fake zombie hormones would probably do more harm than good anyway.