Our Common Misconception

Story by Camryn Hulsey, Reporter

Collectively, people within our community tend to create their own connotations of items pertaining to a certain gender, like women’s birth control. The stigma on birth control is that if a women is taking the pill, she is assumed to currently be sexually engaged, which is not always a fair assumption to make.

Women decide to be on birth control for various reasons, not to say pregnancy prevention is never actually the reason, but there are alternative circumstances that could cause the need of it.
Young Women’s Health Organization is informative when it comes to the purposes birth control is used for.

Approximately 72 percent of high school students, grades nine through 12, admit their initial thought when it comes to birth control is that a woman who’s taking it is having sex. However, birth control is used for many other purposes including helping with menstrual cramps, acne, regulating periods, and even more serious matters like Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI), Amenorrhea, and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
Doctors say that birth control is often prescribed to girls that have POI, meaning they have an ovarys that isn’t producing enough estrogen, often because of radiation, chemotherapy and/or a genetic condition like Turner Syndrome or possible other conditions. So, the goal of the treatment including birth control is to keep the girls’ cycle regulated while also helping keep her bones strong.

Other circumstances that’re considered causation of a women being placed on birth control are high stress levels, excessive exercise, and/or low weight, this is known as Amenorrhea. This condition causes a lack of periods; the women with this diagnosis are placed on birth control to replace their estrogen. This creates normal estrogen levels and a healthy weight which is important for healthy bones. It’s possible that the lack of periods is caused from too low of weight, or an eating disorder, in which case the only remedy is to gain weight to get up to a healthy weight level.
PMS is a syndrome often treatable by birth control considering the symptoms include mood swings, breast soreness, occasional weight gain and bloating, along with acne that can start occurring up to two weeks before a woman’s period is scheduled to.

Based on research, the stigma has been proven an unjustified assumption. Women in our community, especially ages 14-22, have said that they find it offensive when they’re fictitiously looked at as sexually active. Now that you have background on the birth control pill, what’s your initial thought?