Catching Our Rainbow

Hoping for a rainbow after the storm…

Birth Control and Humiliation

on September 12, 2012

Yesterday I went to an appointment at a breast center in town for a follow up. Two years ago, we found a significantly sized lump in my left breast. After a little panicking, I went to this breast center for an ultrasound and learned that I have a fibroandenoma in each breast, but only the one in my left breast is palpable. Apparently these are common in women my age and are not considered dangerous as long as they are not growing at a significant rate. I just had to go to two different six month followups and today was my one year followup to make sure they are not growing. Yesterday, I got really good news: the lumps had shrunk quite a bit and I don’t need to go back until I’m 35 and I start my regular mammograms. 

Why am I telling you about my boobs?

First, I wanted to point out that the lump in my left breast shrunk to a quarter of the size it was originally, but it didn’t start shrinking until I stopped taking birth control. That’s right, these lumps were caused by my birth control, and according to the nurses and doctors at the breast center, these lumps are a common side effect. I have a friend who almost died of a huge blood clot in her leg (stretching from about mid-thigh to the middle of her waist) that was caused by her bc, and I have heard women time and time again wonder if their fertility issues were caused by bc. Yet it seems like doctors are passing out birth control pills like candy, without really explaining the very real possibility of some pretty serious side effects. I could go on for quite a while on the subject, but I will just say that birth control pills are artificial hormones that you are placing in your body to prevent it from doing something it is supposed to do naturally. Once I realized what they were doing to my body, I said goodbye to hormonal birth control and don’t plan on taking it again unless I have a legitimate medical problem  (such as PCOS) that would benefit from using it. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not anti birth control by any means, but I feel like it is prescribed much too quickly to girls and women who don’t really understand the potential dangers of what they are taking.

The second reason I’m mentioning my boob appointment is to tell you about yet another reminder of my body’s failure to grow a child. We were going over my medical history, and the girl was going through a list making sure that nothing had changed. When she said “and you’ve never been pregnant?” my heart just about stopped. I told her that I have actually been pregnant three times, but they all ended in miscarriage. Then she said “ok, so no live births?” I know she was just doing her job, but the nonchalant way she said this just shattered my heart into a million pieces and made me feel so very small. One of the many things I don’t understand about mc’s is the feeling of humiliation. Why is it so terribly embarrassing for me to admit that I’ve had mc’s? Logically, I know that there is no reason for me to be embarrassed, but I feel this need to hang my head in shame whenever it comes up (which, thankfully, is not very often). Has anyone else ever experienced this? Any theories on why it makes us feel this way?

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5 responses to “Birth Control and Humiliation

  1. I felt humiliated talking about my miscarriages after they happened. I think on some subliminal level, as women our job is to create children and when we fail to do so, we project that failure onto ourselves. That’s my theory anyways.

    • I think you are right. I often find myself thinking that I am a failure as a woman and a wife because I can’t seem to grow babies. Logically, I know this isn’t true, but it still feels that way sometimes.

  2. steph50 says:

    I used to feel that way, but then, after a while, it stopped. I’m just always scared I’ll cry when people ask me if I’ve ever had children.
    I have a fibroadenoma, too!! I totally freaked out when I first found it!

    • I worry about crying, too. At this point, I even worry about when I start talking to someone I haven’t seen in awhile and they ask “How’ve you been?” Last time I had a friend ask me that, I ended up sitting in the middle of her living room floor crying. Luckily, we are close enough that it wasn’t awkward.
      I totally freaked out too! I was 22 and I had been married for about a month, and I was like, “Holy crap. I have breast cancer. I am too young for this.” But it turned out to be a wasted panic attack.

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