Wednesday, August 31, 2011

the nobaby pill

If ever you need confirmation that this is in fact a bonkers-gee-whiz-yahoo-nutso world we happen to live in, look no further than the oral contraceptives in your bathroom cabinet.

When doctors prescribe these little no-baby pills, they love to tell you that the risks are minimal for women who aren't planning to take them "forever and ever." They use this amorphous wording because they're protecting their legal be-heinies. They want you to think (even as they hand you a box of pills wrapped in a list of possible side effects that is quite literally longer than your forearm) that what they are saying is that these pills are perfectly healthy unless you are ridiculous enough take them right up until the day you stop menstruating. This is not, of course, entirely forthright of them... as you will discover when you try to sue.

At that point, the doctors (who are either getting some sort of kick-back from the Drug Magnates, or think you are stupid and want to save the world from the possibility that you might procreate) will claim that what they meant was that the pills are perfectly safe if you only take them for three and a half days--after that, it's anybody's guess.

Like everyone not living within the walls of the Vatican, I've known a number of women who have taken these little bad boys, and they have all--absolutely without exception--experienced some sort of adverse side effect or another. Why does this happen, you ask? Why do these pills mess with everybody who takes them? Well, because they "work" (most of the time) by screwing with a woman's hormone levels; in a sense convincing her body that it is perpetually pregnant and therefore will not be needing to "line the nest," so to speak.

But as anyone who has ever been pregnant (or who has ever had the privilege of waiting on an expectant human incubator) knows, being pregnant is not meant to last every single day until you stop menstruating. It's supposed to end after roughly nine months, with a whole lot of yelling and cursing and tearing, and in some cases even a bit of pooping (yes, really).

These pills mess with women's hormone levels. They cause their skin to darken. They make them bloat, grow hair in weird places, have heart attacks, and so on and so on. They even poison any babies they may happen to get pregnant with, despite all their chemical efforts. Because let's face it, folks... in the words of the movie Jurassic Park, "Life will find a way."

So why do women take them? Although some have to because of other medical reasons, I'm guessing that many do it because they don't want to get pregnant and their doctor says it's okay. I could argue that it's because men are dirtbags and pressure them into it so they can blame the woman if she gets pregnant, but I think, rather, that it's mostly because it's easier than the more effective methods (which usually involve knives cutting into human flesh), and less labor-intensive than the less-effective methods, which pretty much all (except for the rhythm thing, but who has time for that?) create a physical barrier between the two partners.

I don't really blame the doctors, either. They probably just figure that before too long, any pill-popping couple having sex is either married or is going to eventually want to get married--at which point sex is going to taper off to the point where the pill no longer makes any sense, and they will start using barrier methods when necessary (birthdays and...maybe... Christmas).

Does this mean I think everybody should go out and have fifteen babies, just like the good old days? Well, no. Not really. I'm too much of a depressive cynic for that. The world's a zoo right now, and before we bring in more animals, we ought to tidy up a bit.

But when fear of pregnancy (which might just sometimes be a fear of being confronted with our own selfishness) causes us to ignore the clear and present dangers staring us in the face, well... I think we've got some re-thinking to do.

In an ideal world, I tend to think it would probably be best that people have sex only within committed relationships, and only when both sex partners are willing to accept the truth: that any time the boy baby-maker travels into the near proximity of the girl baby-maker, the making of babies is always a possibility.

Of course, it's not an ideal world, and I know that a majority of people in this country figure, "no big whoop... I can always just 'take care of it' later if I happen to get pregnant," but I don't really buy it. It smacks too much of a selfish diminishment of love to me.

I guess you could say I think that people who use harmful drugs to lower the chances of baby-making are taking ugly risks with human lives--perhaps even primarily their own--and ultimately ignoring reality to chase after what seems to feel good in the moment. What better definition of insanity is there than that?


6 comments:

  1. Just want to point out that the "effective methods" you mention like going under the knife also present risks with the human's life. As well as does just getting pregnant. In conclusion, sex comes at a price..but, perhaps it's a price people are willing to overlook for the benefits it brings not only to the individual, but to the couple. Insanity? I think not.

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  2. This thing you have said is true... Those methods do have risks. And getting pregnant is risky, yes. I have one son, and if not for the wonders of modern medicine, either he or his mother would absolutely for sure have died in the process of uterine evacuation.

    But any risks require an evaluation of acceptability, and it is my opinion that the nobaby pill is an unacceptable risk, because the benefit does not outweigh the cost - especially given that there ARE other options available. I offer no easy solution, only an exploration of the problem. Easy solutions are available on Fox News.

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  3. What ever happened to the "Keep ya' bloody TROUSers on!" contraceptive? No health risk and ABSTINENCE always works.

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  4. The problem I see with that, auhhhnt aureol, is that bloody trousers are a health hazard, and should probably be disposed of in a safe and timely manner.

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  5. What prompted you write about this?

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  6. You might as well ask a bumblebee what prompted it to zig rather than zag. I've got bumblebees for brains, after all.

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