More women than ever before are saying no to the birth control pill in favor of alternate forms of contraceptive.
Sorry guys, but the days when you can expect every woman you meet to be on the ubiquitous birth control pill may be coming to an end. More and more women are paying attention to the negative side effects found in “the pill” and are instead switching to alternative forms of contraception.
If you’re a guy you probably don’t know this, but birth control pills have a laundry-list of side effects, ranging from the mundane like nausea, headaches, and vomiting, to the far more serious like depression, mood swings, and reduced libido. There have even been links between birth controls and increased risk of breast and cervical cancer, high blood pressure, and blood clots.
And that doesn’t even get into the permanent damage that birth control pills can do to the body after taking them for decades. Hormone imbalances and vitamin deficiencies are common in elderly women who have been taking the birth control pill since high school, and more women than ever are saying “nuts to that” and choosing something else.
That something else is increasingly technology-based.
Meet Emma Everard of Hampshire, England. This 23-year-old went off the pill after she noticed bruising in her legs - a sign that she could be forming dangerous blood clots. Instead, she uses an app on her phone to track her ovulation cycle and tell her when it’s safe to have unprotected sex.
"I’d been on two types of Pill since I was 14 because I had really painful periods. While they helped with those, I was becoming increasingly concerned about putting artificial hormones in my body,” Emma told The Daily Mail. "My concerns began when I was 20, taking Yasmin, and I developed really bad bruising on my legs. At that time, there was a lot of fear that Yasmin could cause blood clots, of which a symptom could be bruising. It looked as though I’d been beaten up, but my contraceptive nurse was blasé and said there was no link with the Pill. Even so, I switched to another brand, and the bruising cleared up."
But that initial scare stayed with Emma, and later she began looking for a more natural method of birth control. “I went online and did some research into fertility apps. I found one called Natural Cycles which we started using in July, and I came off the pill. I have to log my temperature at the same time every morning, and the app will tell me if it’s a ‘red’ day, which means I could get pregnant, or a ‘green’ day, which means it’s safe."
There are downsides to this method of contraceptive. Tracking your cycle with the help of technology is only effective if you’re diligent in taking your temperature every day. Being off by even a few hours from your daily readings can throw the app off and leave you susceptible to becoming pregnant.
Emma’s not alone. The UK has seen a 13 percent drop in pill users from 1995 to 2015, and that trend shows no signs of slowing down.