As I’ve mentioned in previous posts recently, I’ve been marathoning Grey’s Anatomy. I’m up to season 8 and what I want to know is what the hell are the residents and attendings using for Birth Control?! Without naming names, two women got accidentally pregnant, and while one decided to keep their baby, the other aborted their foetus.The show’s handling it well and there’s no judgement about their respective choices so far, but what I want to know is why! They’re both doctors and they are highly intelligent women at the top of their games, so why are they messing around with condoms? (I am assuming the characters are too smart to risk bare-backing! Good god, I hope not. The circumstances of their situations are never discussed, which seems like a missed opportunity.)
Yes, always with the condoms to prevent STIs, but if you’re in a long term relationship and you know you don’t want kids, why are you not backing it up with hormones? And if you’re not using hormones because the side-effects are not worth it (something I do understand), surely you’d be taking extra special care with the aforementioned condoms? If you thought it had torn, or you “forgot” in the moment, why didn’t you get prophylactic Plan B as soon as you realised? I don’t even.
I can understand the blind faith and denial in teenagers because I was that stupid and got incredibly lucky. But once I’d lost some of the religious guilt and spent enough time marinating in the feminist blogosphere, I got my act together. It took 9 months of hell to find a Pill that worked, and I had to ditch the eostrogen-containing ones for the bliss that was Cerazette, but it was worth it. I still couldn’t cope with the uncertainty of “oh crap, did I take my Pill today?” so I switched to the Mirena IUS and after a horrible week of cramps, it settled down. As a later bonus, my periods became much lighter (other investigations suggested endometriosis with blood-filled cysts) and my endo symptoms cleared up. The best bit has been knowing I don’t need to worry about pregnancy for five years, and once this one’s reached the end of its life, I’m getting another one put straight back in. I don’t want kids right now, certainly not for another 3-5 years, so why take the risk? I want to have something resembling a stable career before I embark on that particular quest. I realise I’m speaking from a place of privilege in a country where birth control is completely free by prescription, and by being a white, cis, university-educated, middle-class,straight-passing female over the age of 18*, but if you do have access to birth control, why oh why would you take the risk? That’s why the two story-lines in Grey’s make little sense in the context of those two particular women. Sigh.
*The UK government and health service was still being surprisingly stuffy about teenagers under the age of 16 accessing BC even for valid reasons like endometriosis, going by my friends’ experiences. Looking back now, I am horrified by the number of teenage girls I knew, myself included, who had to miss 2 or more days of school each month because of cramps and bleeding that meant they couldn’t leave their beds. The Drs thought they were exaggerating their symptoms so they could have under-age sex. FFS.