“I have had countless random fits of uncontrollable rage. When I say rage I mean, I want to scream and punch through a wall anger.”*
“A couple months in I threw my tablet at my mother in a blind rage. When nothing was wrong in my life I felt a constant irritation with the people around me.”*
“I drove to the river one night I wanted the hurt to stop I wanted the anger I felt to go away.”*
“The negative side effects have been about 20 pounds of very quick weight gain, drastic mood swings, where I have been afraid for my 4 little kids and felt like I was a strange monster, and depression like I have never felt in my life.” *
*These are excerpts of reviews from women who were fitted with Implanon/Nexplanon hormonal implants and/or Merena IUDs found at http://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/implanon/reviews and https://www.drugs.com/comments/levonorgestrel/mirena-for-contraception.html
I spent much of the morning reading online reviews of two types of Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs) – Implanon/Nexplanon implants and the Mirena IUD. If you want a snapshot of where Delaware is headed, steel yourself and go read what these women have to say. Their stories are hair-raising, as is the First State’s push to make these dangerous devices widely available to girls as young as middle school.
For every one positive review (and many of these included caveats), there were about four tales of misery. I had been familiar with factors such as blood clots, stroke, heart attack, infertility, and other possible health risks associated with hormonal pills, implants and IUDs. But these women described urgent, dangerous health complications, both physical and mental, that made the others seem like distant abstractions. A familiar thread wove itself through the reviews as dozens of women the world over described the exact same symptoms: long, heavy periods, sudden weight gain, severe acne, thinning hair, frequent urinary tract infections, and ironically, loss of sex drive. And it wasn’t as if they were having one or two of these symptoms; many experienced several simultaneously. The agony was such that many had the devices removed, a “service” not covered by insurance until the minimum three-year expiration date is up. Women without the money to do so, had to wait until they could afford to have them removed.
Another troubling thread was the lack of support from the medical community. Doctors dismissed complaints and urged the women to keep the device in until things “sorted themselves out.” Some refused to believe any connection existed between the birth control device and the patient’s obvious symptoms. Some women were sent for psychiatric evaluations due to the “feeling I was losing my mind,” as one woman expressed it.
As if the physical detractions weren’t enough, what drove so many of these women to express their dissatisfaction was how the overwhelming flood of hormones changed their personalities. One woman expressed it succinctly: “It has absolutely ruined the person I use to be.” Depression and rage seemed to affect almost every person who wrote a negative review. Tales abound of suicidal thoughts, suffering relationships, difficulty at work, and a sense of having lost control of the person she was before. The four excerpts I included at the beginning are just the tip of the iceberg for those with the stomach to keep reading.
The overarching anger that affected so many of the women who wrote reviews throws all kinds of things into a new light for me. Can anyone deny an escalating anger among women over the past 40 years? Was the Women’s March, with its riptide of raging females washing down the streets of D.C., emblematic on a grand scale of the drawbacks of hormonal birth control? Will anyone think to ask the young women who attacked and caused the death of Amy Joyner-Francis at Howard High School if they were fitted with any of these devices?
If any other drug had such severe and consistent side effects, it would be removed from the market posthaste, but this is birth control, after all. So many of the women who gave positive reviews – and some of those who suffered – expressed a willingness to endure physical and mental distress for the sake of not having a child. This attitude is what the lawmakers and social workers count on as they market LARCs to our children in school clinics, wellness centers, community health centers, hospitals, and just about anywhere they can get one of their instantly trained “professionals” to insert them. (The promotional video at http://www.upstream.org/delawarecan/ showing random people being trained to insert IUD’s as if it were a fun, casual thing, will make a normal person sick to his stomach.)
So many women decried the fact that they weren’t adequately informed about the risks posed by LARCs. Governor Carney’s office should be deluged with communications calling for the halting of this program, an investigation into the many class-action lawsuits associated with LARCs, and protection of our young women from predatory social experiments that threaten their health and well-being.