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Attention all you old white men bloviating about the end-of-liberty if women get free birth control pills - I hope your punishment in hell includes a uterus of your very own.

Friends ask my why I let things like this bother me so much. I don't need the pill now, and I could afford it without insurance even if I did need it. But the issue bothers me because this is about women's health, not about the prevention of pregnancy or who can afford what. The critical lack of understanding of women's health issues among the people leading the fight against birth control coverage just appalls me. Worst of all, some of these people are women, very ignorant and just plain stupid women (They'll be getting a double uterus in hell I hope).

Several years ago, I had uterine cancer. I was one of the lucky ones who found it at stage 1. A total abdominal hysterectomy and I was fine. I was lucky. So many women don't catch this until it is too late, and I know part of it is because we've been brainwashed into thinking our pains are normal, brainwashing that continues today every time women's health issues take a back seat to politics.

My condition presented as endometrial hyperplasia, a thickening of the wall of the uterus. Endometrial hyperplasia is a pre-cancerous condition, and mine had already become cancer when it was found. Saying I had heavy periods is like saying the Titanic was a little boat. I was quite literally bleeding to death every month for about 2 years. I thought it was the cost of having a uterus and getting old, I had always had horrible periods with horrible cramps my entire life. But going into my mid-40s, it became overwhelming. When I finally did go to my gynecologist, it was because blood tests had shown I was severely anemic and my regular doctors told me I had to deal with it. Not anemia an iron pill every day would cure, but bitten-by-vampire anemic, needs-blood-transfusions anemic (something the Jehovah's Witnesses wouldn't have wanted to cover had I been employed by them).

Had I gone to my gynecologist earlier, like years earlier, one of the treatment options would have been, you guessed it, birth control pills. Controlling those hormones could have prevented the progression of the disease, and could have prevented the cancer. When I finally went, the only option was hysterectomy. I was allowed to take estrogen replacement pills because of the ensuing instant and almost violent onset of menopause with the most horrible hot flashes imaginable, but I'm betting those estrogen replacement pills would be viewed as "birth control" by some or "immoral" for some odd reason, and thus not covered as a "moral" thing by anybody wanting to save some money on insurance policies.

Had I gone to my gynecologist earlier when many insurance plans didn't cover contraception (before insurance companies realized they could save money by preventing pregnancies) and been recommended to take birth control pills, I would have had to pay out of pocket for a drug that could have prevented my eventual cancer. The various plans my employer offers now do cover birth control coverage, but they have not always included it. The idea of being denied coverage of such a necessary drug simply because Rick Santorum thinks I might then go out and do something he wouldn't like just makes me seethe. The idea that any woman suffering the same symptoms could be denied health saving medical coverage simply because of where she works and the religion of her employer, I'm just apoplectic with anger!

For those who don't see this as a "health" issue and think of it just as a "freedom to have sex without caution" issue and that women should just cross their legs and say no to sex, here are just a few other uses for birth control pills from the Center For Young Women's Health:

What kinds of medical conditions can be helped with birth control pills?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): is a hormonal imbalance which causes irregular menstrual periods, acne, and excess hair growth. Birth control pills work by lowering certain hormone levels to regulate menstrual periods. When hormone levels are decreased to normal, acne and hair growth often improve.

Endometriosis: Most girls with endometriosis have cramps or pelvic pain during their menstrual cycle. Birth control pills are often prescribed to treat endometriosis and work by temporarily preventing periods. When hormonal treatment is prescribed continuously, young women will rarely have periods, or not at all. Since periods can cause pain for young women with endometriosis, stopping periods will usually improve cramps and pelvic pain.

Lack of periods (“amenorrhea”) from low weight, stress, excessive exercise, or damage to the ovaries from radiation or chemotherapy: With any of these conditions, the hormone “estrogen” is not made in normal amounts by the body. Birth control pills may be prescribed to replace estrogen, which helps to regulate the menstrual cycle. For girls whose menstrual periods are irregular (too few - or not at all), birth control pills can help to regulate the menstrual cycle to every 28 days and provide the body with normal amounts of estrogen. Normal estrogen levels are important for healthy bones.

Menstrual Cramps: When over-the-counter medications don't help with severe cramps, birth control pills may be the solution because they prevent ovulation and lighten periods.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS): Symptoms of PMS such as mood swings, breast soreness, and bloating, along with acne can occur up to 2 weeks before a young women's period. Birth control pills may be prescribed to stop ovulation and keep hormone levels balanced. Symptoms may improve, particularly when oral contraceptive pills are prescribed continuously.

Heavy Menstrual Periods: Birth control pills can reduce the amount and length of menstrual bleeding.

Acne: For moderate to severe acne, which over-the-counter and prescription medications haven't cured, birth control pills may be prescribed. The hormones in the Pill can help stop acne from forming. Be patient though, since it takes several months for birth control pills to work.

Other Medical Benefits

Because there is less menstrual bleeding when taking birth control pills, you are less likely to get anemia (low number of red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues). Birth control pills lower your chance of getting endometrial (lining of the uterus) cancer, ovarian cancer, and ovarian cysts.

No woman, young or old, underage or otherwise, should have to go through painful periods. Women should never be denied something their doctor suggests might help ease their pain just because some old white man thinks it will make her a slut.

You men out there that would deny your teenage daughter who is having terrible cramps every month permission to take birth control pills because you think she might have sex - GROW UP. If you had to live with a uterus for one minute, you'd get the scalpel and rip it out yourself. If you love your daughter, let her and her gynecologist decide on the appropriate treatment.

Anyhow, just had to vent about this. The ways that I abhor the Catholic church (even though I consider myself a Catholic) and republicans just keep increasing by leaps and bounds.

Originally posted to mdsiamese on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:41 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  asdf (11+ / 0-)
    I'm betting those estrogen replacement pills would be viewed as "birth control" by some or "immoral" for some odd reason, and thus not covered as a "moral" thing by anybody wanting to save some money on insurance policies.
    They would not just be viewed as birth control, in many cases, the scrip for hormone replacement therapy is a scrip for birth control pills.

    "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

    by middleagedhousewife on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:51:22 PM PST

  •  This is a copy of the letter I sent to my senator (39+ / 0-)

    on this subject:

    Dear Senator Gillibrand,

    I understand that you will be meeting with Planned Parenthood on Sunday, in Manhattan, and I wanted to write you in support.
    I am a 50 year old, Catholic, mother of three girls (19, 22, and 23) who are, or have been on birth control. It is not for contraceptive purposes, though I would not have a problem with that, they are on this medication because they all suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

    Through testing, they all have confirmed cases. My oldest has classic symptoms of irregular periods, problems with weight, high testosterone levels, facial hair, and high glucose levels. Fun stuff for a young lady. She occasionally goes on birth control to manage the symptoms but diet and exercise do help. My middle daughter has the mildest case and manages it solely through diet (and her herbal concoctions). My youngest, though not exhibiting all the symptoms of my oldest, has the most difficult case. She has been on birth control since she was about 14 because she would develop ovarian cysts if she is off this medication for more than 3 months. In every instance these cysts landed her in the hospital. (her most recent stay was at a cost of $13,500) The last episode caused internal bleeding that had her hospitalized for 3 days in excruciating pain not to mention the fear of possible surgery and loss of her ovary, at 17. For my girls it is not a choice but a necessity for them to have this medication available to them. Why should it not be covered by the insurance that my husband and I pay for?

    As I mentioned before, I am Catholic, who up until this year was very involved in my church, having taught Religious Education for over 20 years. I have always had a problem with the stand that the church takes on birth control and have used it myself, as do about 98% of Catholic women, because I feel that it is much better to avoid an unwanted pregnancy than to be forced to face the anguish of ending one. My faith condemns ending a life, which I agree with, but not everyone in this country shares my faith. That is my choice. I don't want anyone, the government or my church, making decisions for me or my family. Why would I stand back and let them decide for others? A woman's life and body are her own. Her faith can guide her decision but that decision should not be dictated. It is hers and hers alone.

    What concerns me, and what prompted me to write, is the politicization of this issue. I thought that the issue of birth control had long since been settled and coverage of birth control has been the practice for years now. No one is saying that religiously affiliated organizations have to dispense birth control just that they have to cover it. This leaves the choice of taking it up to the women. And, like is the case with my daughters, sometimes it's not always a choice.

    Thank you for everything you do.


    Anne B

    There are many reasons to use birth control and what really bugs me is if someone is morally opposed to it then don't take it but don't deny others the choice.

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix

    by on board 47 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:09:13 PM PST

  •  Righteous Rant. All verified by this RPh. NT (13+ / 0-)

    WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

    by IARXPHD on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:09:32 PM PST

  •  Many women have hormone imbalances that are (16+ / 0-)

    treated with The Pill.  I think teenage girls are having more problems with this now than when I was young.  My daughter was talking with a group of friends about this recently-- they are all having problems-- such as  heavy periods, irregular periods, polycystic ovary syndrome, hair loss, etc.

    •  makes you wonder (9+ / 0-)

      if there isn't an environmental reason. The food we eat, especially meats, I think plays a big part.

      "Every Pootie is a masterpiece." - Da Vinci

      by mdsiamese on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 02:44:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are lots of chemicals that are problematic (7+ / 0-)

        There is a class of chemicals that are called hormone disruptors.  BPA is among them.  Many pesticides are also hormone disruptors.  These chemicals can cause all sorts of problems that are described here.  

        BPA is most known in plastics, but it is also in scented lotions and nail polish, just the things young girls want to use.

        DDT is a hormone disruptor.  It doesn't kill bugs by poison, it prevents them from reproducing. It didn't kill birds by poison.  It thinned the egg shells so that when the mother birds sat on them they broke.

        Hormone disruptors don't just impact females either.  males are also impacted with lower sperm counts, shrunken testes, and other problems.

        These impacts are just seen in one generation, but can carry over for multiple generations.    

        After the Republicans burn down the world, they will prove the Democrats did it.

        by jimraff on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 05:05:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The summer between 8th and 9th grade (19+ / 0-)

    My best friend's house burned down. We discovered this on our way to the airport for vacation, passed her house with the fire trucks there, flames consuming the house I'd spent many a night in. We didn't know if any one was home, was dead, etc. This was in the days before cell phones.

    It took me five frantic days on payphones to find out that yes, she and her family were alive, though they'd lost several cats (who hid from the firemen). The dogs escaped through a window their husky broke. But they were living with her grandmother in another part of the state. I'd have to start high school without her by my side.  We were so close we finished each other's sentences, and we were neither of us popular girls.

    I skipped my period for four months before my mom took me to see the our doctor. I was on birth control pills for the next year. I didn't have sex for the first time until the summer between my Jr. and Sr. year of high school. Being on the pill didn't make me go out and find a boyfriend and/or sleep around. No one but my family and my best friend knew I was even on it. I was on it for hormonal therapy due to stress. My dad was a union iron worker. His insurance covered it.  I didn't go on birth control again until I was 18, and that time it was for contraceptive purposes and I paid for it myself because I didn't have insurance.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 05:26:00 PM PST

  •  Some would also deny (20+ / 0-)

    you the option to have the hysterectomy. That is a form of birth control.

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 07:59:15 PM PST

  •  I have found this article helpful (7+ / 0-)

    And have posted it, forwarded it, and argued with it, with great success.

    If you like facts.

    Take the high road.

    by esby on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 08:23:29 PM PST

  •  Thank you! I'm one of those, over thirty (17+ / 0-)

    years ago, who needed the pill to stop blood collecting in my shoes every 20 minutes or so (yes, I realize it's graphic, but perhaps it's necessary now). I'm one who felt like someone took hold of the sides of my pelvis, attempting to snap it in half.

    I'm also one who had an i.u.d., until it almost perforated me, and got lectured by the emergency room doctor about using birth control - at age 23. I was also lectured by the doctor who put in that one, which was my second. When I saw the one he was inserting, I thought it looked like the Dalkon Shield, but who was I to question a man with such superior education. It was easier to get than the pills, despite my increasing medical need. It's probably why I never had children. When I got on the pill, I was most probably unable to conceive by then, but it did not matter. I had some relief from pain and got to keep clothes and shoes. yeah, hooray.

    I seem to still have some anger here.

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken, 1925

    by cv lurking gf on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 08:31:31 PM PST

    •  They let you have an IUD... (6+ / 0-)

      ...with no history of pregnancy?  I asked my doctor if I should get an IUD and they said they generally dont' like to do that for women who've never had a child becuase the uterus is smaller and the device can fall out.

      I've wanted one, I should look into that again.

      I started a blog. It's still a work in progress but if you're interested, come on by. Dawn of Ambivalence

      by DawnG on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:46:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Definitely look into it. (5+ / 0-)
        I asked my doctor if I should get an IUD and they said they generally dont' like to do that for women who've never had a child becuase the uterus is smaller and the device can fall out.
        From what I've read, some IUDs are more likely to be expelled or have to be removed in nulliparous women. But on the whole, there's no reason for a blanket "can't use an IUD without having children" policy. Plenty of childless women use IUDs without any problems.

        The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges. - Anatole France

        by DarkLadyNyara on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:18:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Check the "Planned Parenthood Saved Me" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cv lurking gf, peregrine kate, fumie

        Tumblr page: it has many stories by young, never-had-a-kid women whose doctors told them they couldn't have IUDs, even though for one reason or another the pill was contraindicated.

        Then they went to PP and the doctors and nurse practitioners there said you can, and we'll give you one, and it all worked out.

        I got an IUD in my early twenties, half a lifetime ago, from a gynecologist who didn't think it was a terrible idea. Years later it actually did come out--but that's why the gyno instructed me to check for the little string every so often.  That's easily done, and should be done after every period.  (But I simply found it when it came out. And had it replaced.)

        And IUDs are 1) much improved since I had mine (old attitudes about some bad old ones linger); 2) much more commonly used in Europe than over here for whatever reason. If your doctor is uncomfortable giving you one--try your nearest Planned Parenthood. As long as the wingers have failed to destroy it.

        •  Good points. I was taking the pill (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peregrine kate, asym, fumie

          for health reasons, but then had another issue that forced me to stop taking it. I'd never liked taking the pill, but anyone who has cancer or is at high risk should not take hormone supplements - a quite good reason to consider an i.u.d.

          "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken, 1925

          by cv lurking gf on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:07:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  This was 30 years ago, and I was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate

        given one that had been removed from the market due to the permanent damage it did to many women. The first one I had worked fine; however, I'd been told to have it replaced over some period of time which I no longer remember. That next one, the illegal one, as I wrote above, probably seriously affected my chances of pregnancy. I'll never know for sure, and as I'm way past the age (along with surgery a year ago as I was still having problems), it's one of those regrets we collect throughout life.

        "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H.L. Mencken, 1925

        by cv lurking gf on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:04:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and rec'd (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, FlamingoGrrl, OpherGopher

    and thank you!

    Equality. It ain't complicated!

    by SueM1121 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 08:37:22 PM PST

  •  At 16 (10+ / 0-)

    I had periods so heavy that I'd soak through a pad in five minutes. My mom figured it out (we didn't talk about "that stuff" in 1963) when she discovered my blood soaked bed linens in the laundry. I'd tried to wash them but the stains were too strong.

    The doctor put me on birth control pills. They worked.

    I came for the politics and stayed for the science.

    by bwren on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 08:39:56 PM PST

  •  Bottom line is... (10+ / 0-)

    for some reason, sex, and, in particular, the potential for women to having sex seems to just send these folks around the bend and into invading the privacy of our doctor's offices.

    We aren't like this for anyone else.

    We don't say to lung cancer victims - oh, you smoked!  Too bad, so sad!  Your insurance won't cover it!  No, we try to help them quit smoking.

    We don't say to diabetics - sorry, your diet must have been terrible for you to contract this disease.  No coverage for you!  No, a lot of diabetes treatment includes nutritional counseling.

    We don't say to people with heart or pulmonary issues  that they deserved to get sick because their fitness regimen was terrible, or they suffered too much stress and it's their own fault, so they should get get over it.  No, their treatment includes things like fitness counseling and ways to avoid stress.

    All of these cost insurance companies far, far more than the pill - but, for some reason, the thought of women having (and enjoying?) sex and not having to "pay for it" with children just makes conservative heads explode.

  •  YES (9+ / 0-)

    I've been saying this everywhere.  I wrote to my Senators about it.  My pill is not to prevent babies, it's to prevent me from bleeding to death.

    And if you ever choose to have children, you can stop taking the pill and you'll most likely become completely fertile again in a matter of months.  A Catholic friend of mine uses the pill as her spacer - she wants as many kids as they can afford, but it's not healthy to have them  more frequently than every two years.  So after a child, she'll go on the pill for a bit, and then when it's time to get pregnant again, she'll stop.  So far it's worked for her two beautiful kids and she has #3 on the way.  

    Keep your religion out of my government.

    by catwho on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 08:54:27 PM PST

  •  PMS can cause suicidal ideation. (7+ / 0-)

    My daughter was a highly successful Stanford Univ. sophomore when she began having suicidal thoughts and feelings of overwhelming despair. Fortunately, she recognized that these feelings coincided with her menstrual cycle, and that they were not grounded in the reality of her firing-on-all-cylinders life. So she went to campus health, and they prescribed birth control pills. Long story short, she's now a 25 year old PhD student with a full scholarship and two fellowships, going to be a clinical psychologist. Not dead, not pregnant either. What a miracle.

    Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits. Satchel Paige 1906-82

    by threesmommy on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:03:53 PM PST

  •  i have endometriosis. (10+ / 0-)

    i had major surgery in 1996. i will take the pill till i go thru menopause. not cause i'm having sex or i'm a bad catholic. because i am trying to avoid >another< mega-expensive surgery to "hose me out." birth control pills keep my period to a minimum and minimize the amount of endometriosis "gunk" that can reform. the pills cost 30 bucks a month. blue cross pays nothing. i have paid my own insurance for the past 15 years. i went from no deductible to the max deductible (5-10k, i can't even remember) and i still pay more than i can with >no prescription coverage< at all. that change was shoved down my throat when unicare walked away from illinois, with 10s of thousands of my money, cause they weren't making enough profit,, "selling" my policy to blue cross, which then jacked it up by 100 per month and told me unilaterally that  i no longer had prescription coverage (unicare covered 10 worth of my monthly 30). i could take it or be uninsured (no other major insurers in ill). i get 14 bucks an hour in my shitty part time job. i have a lump on my neck i can't afford the 5k out of pocket to mri, and every month i pay for the privilege of not costing my precious insurance company more money by having the endometriosis come roaring back to the point that it is distending my stomach and requires surgery.  nice that coverage of birth control is even being discussed. pisses me off that any asshole out there have a problem with it.

    Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job. -- Adlai E. Stevenson

    by marzook on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:15:10 PM PST

  •  When I was 14 years old.... (8+ / 0-)

    ...I had VERY irregular periods, ranging from 2 - 6 months apart. My mother took me to a gynocologist who suggested I COULD go on birth control to regulate my cycle (but that it wouldn't be neccessary, it'd probaby even out on it's own eventually).

    We ended up not doing that, but can you imagine a woman in today's world going to a pharmacy to pick up birth control pills for her 14 year old daughter? (And the pharmacy would know it was going to a 14 year old because they require DOB to pick up prescripts now)  She'd probably end up getting arrested for child abuse.

    But the truth is birth control pills are used for more than JUST preventing pregnancies, and all those moralistic twits need to stop casting judgement.

    I started a blog. It's still a work in progress but if you're interested, come on by. Dawn of Ambivalence

    by DawnG on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:27:15 PM PST

  •  Right on. (7+ / 0-)

    Also?  If a doctor tells you you're anemic due to normal menstruation, s/he needs to be educated: Iron deficiency is NOT caused by normal menstruation:

    [T]he main culprit for iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) in men is upper-gastrointestinal bleeding, so when men present with IDA the first thing they do is an endoscopy. When women present with IDA they give her iron supplements and tell her to go home because it's just her ladybusiness. Kepczyk et al (1999) decided to actually do endoscopies on women for whom a gynecological source was diagnosed by a specialist for their IDA. They found a whopping eighty-six percent of these women had a gastrointestinal disease that was likely causing their IDA. Therefore, menses likely had nothing to do with their IDA, and the assumption that menses made them pathological actually obstructed a correct diagnosis.

    The majority of the women in that study were bleeding internally, and no one had figured it out until then because they had periods. [emphasis original]

    Obviously, this was not the case with you; you had very heavy periods.  But normal menstruation is not a pathology, and shouldn't cause iron deficiency anemia.
  •  I very good friend of mine has PCOS (7+ / 0-)

    She mostly controls it through diet and working out like a fiend (2+ hours in the gym or running a minimum of 7 miles), but she still needs the pill to control it.  I never heard of hormone-balancing uses for the pill before I met her.

    She's also very poor, she's a student who had beaten the odds by being in college and succeeding despite coming from a really horrible childhood and the foster system.  What money she has comes from ever-dwindling assistance programs for people from her background who are doing well academically in college.

    This whole issue infuriates her.  She gets minimal health coverage through the CSU system, but still has to pay a co-pay for the birth control pills.  She hates what she feels is an underlying subtext of single woman on the pill = slut.  For the record I do to.

    "If you don't stick to your values when tested, they're not values! They're hobbies" - Jon Stewart

    by LivingOxymoron on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:56:26 PM PST

  •  Tipped and Rec'd (7+ / 0-)

    I had absolutely horrible periods when I was in my teens and going on the pill when I was 14 mostly fixed that. It was my grandmothers idea- one of my aunts had had the same issue in her youth, to the point where the school staff thought she was having a miscarriage on one occasion. I won't go into how they treated her due to that assumption, but it wasn't pretty.

    No one in my family freaked out about how I would suddenly have "permission to sleep around"- they just didn't want me to be in pain. (And, you know, were smart enough to realize that teenagers were having sex well before the pill was available.)

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges. - Anatole France

    by DarkLadyNyara on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 10:01:21 PM PST

  •  Messing with my GYN health AND my blood pressure (6+ / 0-)

    If I were an animated character this whole issue would make steam come out of my ears.

    I have had various menstrual issues since puberty. I did not discover what birth control pills could do until my thirties. For the last 12 years I have been through two procedures to address uterine fibroids. (If menopause doesn't hit in the next year I may have to have a hysterectomy.) I have been on hormones at different points during this time to help control bleeding so heavy that I also have had to go to emergency rooms and have come close to needing a transfusion. And, yes, I have been anemic much of my life.

    As for contraception, I tried in my mid-30s to get my tubes tied. I had to attend a special "information" session that was only held about every 3 months, sign all sorts of paperwork, then go on a waiting list that was many months long. Unfortunately, I could not afford to go outside my HMO to have it done. I got a new job and moved out-of-town before I ever got close to the top of the list.

    I have never felt so patronized in my entire life. Dammit, how insulting is it that I can't be allowed to just make a decision about my fertility, especially at that point in my life? And so what if I change my mind later (which I did not)? Isn't that the point of being an adult - you have to be allowed to make mistakes and learn to live with them.

    What happens with my ovaries and uterus, for whatever reason, is between me and my doctor, and even she is there to impart professional information, not to make the final decision. (OK, my partner in a serious relationship, my BFFs and my mother (a retired RN) might get to share advice but that's it.)

    So every time one of these misogynistic, moralizing, patronizing, hypocritical idiots talk about freedom of religion, or protecting life, I understand the expression "seeing red."

    •  hysterectomy (0+ / 0-)

      after so much pain, the hysterectomy was liberating! Don't be afraid of it, and the earlier you get it done, the more likely that you can have a vaginal one. There was a lot of pain, but the pain killers worked well and I was only mildly uncomfortable.

      Don't be afraid of it. It really is not that hard to go through. You will have such a higher quality of life without all that pain!

      "Every Pootie is a masterpiece." - Da Vinci

      by mdsiamese on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 06:21:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are so many stories like yours (5+ / 0-)

    on the Planned Parenthood Saved Me tumblr, from women who needed the pill for non-birth-control reasons, and couldn't afford it or were otherwise blocked without the help of PP.

    The most recent one posted was from someone who, as a freshman in college, had to go to the ER for what turned out to be an ovarian cyst "the size of a grapefruit." They removed it; and she was prescribed the pill after her surgery to stop more cysts from growing, took her prescription to Walgreens--and was loudly told her parents' insurance "doesn't cover birth control" by an angry, shaming pharmacist.

    Because there was no law that made her insurance cover a medically necessary medication that also happened to be birth control, only Planned Parenthood saved her from having to come up with almost a thousand dollars a year, that she didn't have, to buy the pills retail.

    That's a great Tumblr by the way, which demonstrates over and over how much women's reproductive health boils down to just women's health, one way and another. (With even a guy or two saved by PP.)

  •  Rec'd and tipped after reading the first sentence. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, technomage

    What'd the devil give you for your soul, Tommy? He taught me to play this here guitar REAL good. Oh son, for that you traded your everlastin' soul? Well, I wuddn' usin' it.

    by ZedMont on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 06:40:16 AM PST

  •  HI! /wave/another former menorrhagia sufferer here (4+ / 0-)

    I went off once about an anti BCP person saying that it was lies that there were women like us and that BCP help

    My story:  KosAbility: Velcome to my house ov horrors

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 07:29:20 AM PST

  •  Thank you for this reminder. (5+ / 0-)

    A friend was put on birth control pills in the early 1970s because her periods were both heavy and highly irregular, and it gave her her life back.

    She was a teenager, but her parents were happy for there to be something that could help her.

    She wasn't sexually active, and being on the pill did nothing to change that, contrary to certain conservative belief systems.

    "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

    by JBL55 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 08:05:00 AM PST

  •  I Can't Say I Feel Your Pain, But (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Harm, Calamity Jean, live1, mdsiamese

    with a wife of 34 years, 2 daughters, and 3 grand-daughters, you better believe this issue has got me so fucking mad I can't see straight.

    Plus, I live in Virginia, where the legislature is about to pass a law defining a person at the moment of conception (which then makes "illegal" certain birth control methods); and anyone who wants an abortion must have a rod stuck up their vagina in what amounts to state sponsored rape.

    Did a time warp take us back to the 13th century?

  •  Here's what I don't like about the "other things" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:



    Letting the assholes even say that is the wrong tactic.

  •  This is a red herring argument (0+ / 0-)

    The right is not arguing with you on prescribing the "pill" to address issues that are not germane to birth control but are actually for treatment.  It is possible that a health plan may not pay for it, but not because it is being prescribed for treatment -- few health plans pay for all FDA approved drugs.  Not even Medicare pays for all FDA approved drugs.  It may be a different discussion as to what a health plan should pay for in the range of FDA approved drugs and their indications, but it is different from a discussion about the prescription of a drug for birth control purposes.

    •  No it is not a red herring (0+ / 0-)

      Plans that do not cover "birth control pills" do not cover them for any reason, including non-birth-control reasons. There are no exceptions. What these zealots are doing is assuming #1 that "birth control pills" are only used for birth control, and #2 that they get to tell doctors what meds to prescribe for what ailments, and both are intolerable.

      "Every Pootie is a masterpiece." - Da Vinci

      by mdsiamese on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 01:12:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, that's not how insurance works with drugs (0+ / 0-)

        "Birth control pills" would denote any drug which is prescribed for birth control reasons.  If the drug is prescribed for another FDA-approved indication, then the drug is not a birth control pill.  It may be the case that a health plan excludes a drug by name and then it does not matter what the drug is prescribed for, the drug by name is simply not covered (an example of this is Medicare Part D which does not cover benzodiazepines for any reasons and it names a class of drugs and not a specific purpose).  If an insurance plan does not cover contraceptive drugs, then it does not cover a particular drug for purposes of contraception. That is not an exclusion for prescribing the drug for other purposes. It would need to name a specific drug or class of drugs in order to never cover that drug for medically necessary purposes or other FDA approved indications.

        •  but you said (0+ / 0-)

          "It may be the case that a health plan excludes a drug by name and then it does not matter what the drug is prescribed for, the drug by name is simply not covered"

          If a plan excludes a drug by name, then it excludes it for all situations. You said it right there. If a plan excludes XYZ birth control pills, then those pills cannot be prescribed for any other medical reason.

          "Every Pootie is a masterpiece." - Da Vinci

          by mdsiamese on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 01:26:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  sorry meant (0+ / 0-)

            they can be prescribed, but will not be covered.

            "Every Pootie is a masterpiece." - Da Vinci

            by mdsiamese on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 01:27:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, that is indeed true (0+ / 0-)

            But excluding a drug by name and there not being coverage for any FDA-approved purposes is different from excluding drugs prescribed for birth control purposes.  

            The bishops are not prohibiting Catholic institutions from covering drugs which may be used for borth control or for X-reason.  Whether the drug is excluded by name for any purposes is dependent upon the health plan that the institution has adopted.  This is exactly the same what other health plans do for a host of non-controversial drugs.  There is a long list of drugs which are FDA approved for medically necessary purposes which a variety of health pkans (including Medicare and Medicaid) do not cover for any purpose.  And there are many drugs which health plans may pay for for 1 purpose but not another purpose.

  •  As someone with a variety of issues, thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have various issues with my uterus and my ovaries, none of which have anything to do with sex, procreation or the lack thereof.  Preach on!

  •  Took the words... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdsiamese, CitizenOfEarth

    ...from my mouth!
    Thanks for sharing. I have not been through all you have been through. Thank you for all of your great info. But I am the first woman in my family for four generations to not need a hysterectomy by the age of 42 because of endometriosis. All of this B.S. about the Pill has made me realize how fortunate I was and how unfortunate the women before me were that they did not have the medical care and the medication that could have made their lives so much better. Rock on Sister!

  •  My doctor prescribed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a combination of female hormones to alleviate problems during menopause.

    My pharmacist informed me that my (expensive) insurance would not pay for those hormone pills.  Why?  Because they're also known as "birth control pills"!

    Funny how my husband has no such problem when he needs male hormones.

    Why do they want to discriminate against women's hormones?

    Power isn't something you are given. Power is something you TAKE.

    by lonelyutahdem15 on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 12:24:49 PM PST

  •  I'll bet most of the old men testifying at con man (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Issa's hearing today are undercover gay therefore they have no idea about  goes on with women "down there".   And I wonder how many little boys have been "diddled with" by the religious experts on the panel as well.  This would be laughable if it's wasn't so scary.

  •  Breaking a lance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with a caveman friend of a friend over this issue on Facebk, I made a similar point about the medical uses of oral contraceptives. I would guess his eyes just glazed over, as he ignored the point altogether. These neanderthals are willing to hold so many things hostage in what they perceive as an ongoing war between the sexes, fretting about what they will have to "pay for" and advancing one emotion-charged straw man argument after another -ignoring everything else.  Finally, the only argument remaining is the comic scenario of , say, a janitor of a Catholic hospital somewhere exploiting a lowly, multi-billion dollar health care provider. All this at the behest of a President who has somehow acquired "dictatorial powers." They talk about the "real world" a lot, and yet, in their lives, the door to it seems barely ajar. No one else has a story. There is no story but their story.

    Thanks for this one.

  •  First sentence of the diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    should have been read at ISSA's house committee hearing today. Perfect. (although there was an old black man on the committee too. But we get the point.)

    Remarkable that the Repub strategy to divide the voters is to 'Piss off half the voters' -- aka women. Despicable really.

    There's enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed. ~ Gandhi

    by CitizenOfEarth on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:50:50 PM PST

    •  And as for the "Don't make me pay" meme (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      What people fail to realize is that it is far cheaper for an insurance company to provide contraceptives than to end up paying for doctors visits/tests/delivery/followups for thousands of unwanted pregnacies and babies.

      Thus, your insurance is cheaper when the insurance company covers contraception. Anything else is a discussion between you and your gawd.

      There's enough on this planet for everyone's needs but not for everyone's greed. ~ Gandhi

      by CitizenOfEarth on Thu Feb 16, 2012 at 02:54:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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