When Hormonal Birth Control Just Makes Everything Worse - My Early Treatment Experiences
One of the first go-to treatment options for endometriosis, especially at the time of my onset and diagnosis, is hormonal birth control pills. 20+ years ago, there were significantly fewer hormonal options available and finding one that worked, with tolerable side effects, was a terrible process of trial and error.
The early days of treatment
I first started taking birth control pills to manage my endometriosis symptoms at around the age of 18. To be honest, looking back I would have to say that in my opinion, that was probably one of the worst things I could have done, especially for my emotional health. At 18, my hormones were already all over the place, and adding in synthetic ones seemed to only make matters worse.
Many people around the world are able to function and find a great deal of relief from the symptoms of endometriosis using hormonal birth control pills. Sadly though, I have never been one of them. Sure, I suppose I was able to regulate my periods and pain a little easier and take a few days off the duration, but at what social and emotional cost? After trying out several different variations of birth control over the course of a year, I was left with more questions about my emotional stability than answers. I’d rapidly go from sullen and moody, to creative and energized, and right back down again.
Rollercoaster of emotions
People shook their heads and muttered, “Teenagers…”, but try as I might, I still struggled quite a lot as I attempted to adjust to the medicine. Daily life was a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs on top of the basic hormones of a teenage girl. I was constantly fighting with my parents, too young to even make sense of the flood of emotions. I was innately stubborn and it was just easier for everyone to write off my fluctuating emotions as typical teenage drama.
In reality, it was so much more.
Stuck between two bad choices
I was ultimately left with having to choose between two terrible options. Either birth control pills, depression medication, and a roller coaster of emotions, or excessive bleeding, cramping, and pain. There really was no good answer. No right choice. On birth control pills, I sacrificed quality relationships with my family and friends for semi-regulated periods and attempts to slow the growth of endometrial tissues. Issues controlling my hormones, and therefore my emotions, led to constant fighting and too many tears.
Even with advancements, it never got better
Through the years, there have been many advancements in the options of using birth control hormones to control endometriosis. Implants, shots, and devices, I feel like I’ve tried all of them, only to end up in the same place each time, an emotional heap of disappointment and depression.
As a teenager, I thought, what do I have to lose by giving hormonal birth control treatment a try? As an adult, I now know the answer. I have everything to lose. Every single time I’ve given in, followed the recommendation for hormonal birth control, it has only made everything worse.
What's in your emergency endo kit?