I came across this article written in an American online newsletter - it's called "Is Birth Control the Mother of all Medical Malpractice?" and is subtitled "In the case of no disease, prescribing chemicals with side effects and long-term health risks would be considered inexcusable by any medical standard. Except if it’s birth control."
It's an interesting article (making allowances for the digs at Obamacare and the fact that we're not so big into medical malpractice over here) and echoes thoughts we have had at the Natural Fertility Centre for years.
We have treated hundreds of couples and in a large percentage of these, the woman will have been on The Pill (the oral contraceptive pill, or OCP) since her early teens. Mostly this was prescribed to mask the symptoms of period pains or of serious acne. Prescriptions for the OCP don't get reviewed by the GP, once your on it you just carry on it for as long as you choose so women have often been taking the OCP for 10-15 years.
Our issue with this is that The Pill is not a long-term solution for these issues. It only masks symptoms of what could be Polycystic Ovaries/PCOS, Endometriosis or other hormonal imbalances - issues that still need sorting once the woman stops taking The Pill (usually when she wants to get pregnant or is fed up with side-effects).
We would like to encourage young girls, at the start of their menstrual cycles, to try some other options before embarking on long-term (synthetic) hormonal consumption. You can usually help yourselves before resorting to taking The Pill. Mothers, if you're reading this and have daughters with period pains or other problems, there are choices other than the Pill.
Acupuncture works incredibly well for period pains and regulating hormones and nutritional therapy is encouraged and highly recommended for all hormonal imbalances. For those seeking to avoid pregnancy, then fertility awareness is an obvious place to start - be informed about your body, periods and your fertile time (ovulation) before swallowing something which can have minor and major side effects such as headaches, mood swings and infertility.
Of course, for some, The Pill is a vital resource to help break the cycle of pain and for those people it is recommended, but not in the long term. Ask us about the alternatives open to you so you don't have to pick up the pieces later on in life.