I wish I read pharmaceutical inserts more often

So for the last year and a half or so, I have had above-average blood pressure.  Initially, I blamed it on stress, but the fact is, I am not stressed all the time!  I’m usually very giddy and happy.  Does being happy give high blood pressure?  Not that I’ve heard of.  I am healthy.  I avoid junk food, I quit GMO foods and aspartame, I cook my own foods almost all the time and I use only very little oil, sugar or salt in my cooking.  So what’s happening?

My chest has been hurting on and off for the last year.  It got so bad to the point where I recently went to ask the doctor to check if I had breast cancer.  Yes, I got THAT paranoid.  I have a reason to!  This hurts more than when I was going through puberty and I was “growing.”

In addition, I have been gaining weight (not much, but still), even though I consciously consume 1400 calories a day along with some form of exercise.  Sure, I do not work out 6 hours a day anymore like when I was first started university.  I don’t have that kind of time anymore, but I haven’t worked out like that years after my first year of university and my weight never really increased for years… until the last year or so.

Something strange has been happening to my body since the last year or so.

For the last while, I have been exposed to the news of pregnancy among members of family and friends.  I can’t deny that it didn’t affect my mind set in some way.  No, I do not want a child at this exact moment, but it did get me thinking… Yes, I do want a child one day, and I would hope to be pregnant before I’m 29 or 30.  I have a few years.  Currently, I am on Tricyclen Lo.  I have been for about 6 years now.  The reason I mentioned them is because for the longest time, I’ve always heard of the potential side effect of sterility due to pills, but back then I did not care to think much of it.  You don’t care so much until you are in the kind of mind state as I am right now.  I used to think that anything is better than being pregnant, and if it does happen accidentally then I would highly consider an abortion.  Clearly people do change.  Now I’m worried if I had screwed my body up by taking those pills.  I hope not.

Now that I have concerns, I started doing research on these pills, including this particular brand.  I went through a huge forum of comments from people who have taken this particular brand and majority of the people complained about weight gain, breakouts, sore breasts, etc.  Weight gain? check.  Breakouts? nope.  Sore breasts? check.  The there was a huge handful of people who commented on how it took quite a while for their natural cycles to return.  Uh oh :\  Oh and there was this one woman who almost died of a stroke due to blood clots caused by taking the pill.  She was apparently under intensive care for a while.  Eep! I then went to Google “getting off the pill.”  Most of the experiences of people getting off the pill have been positive, other than taking a while for the body to resume back to normal.  Oh, and I should note that I had quite an education sex education while doing these searches.  Haha.  I learned a lot about my own body.  Clearly I have not paid attention when they taught it in school!  One of the sites that I went to listed a few of the side effects of taking these pills, but ended with a sentence in bold telling me to “READ THE PHARMACEUTICAL INSERT OF THE PILLS YOU ARE TAKING.”  So I immediately opened a new package of the pills, took out the insert and actually read it for the first time ever.

I wish I had done this earlier because I probably would never have started these pills.  Among the listed risks related to these pills, the ones that struck me most were the following:

1) Some women who use birth control pills may be at increased risk of developing breast cancer before menopause which occurs around 50.  These women may be long term users of birth control pills (more than eight years) or women who start using birth control pills at an early age.  [This is scary because I’ve worried about stuff like breast cancer – hence I made my doctor check if I had it recently due to my pain!  More than eight years is what’s considered long term? so, if I stop now, I may be safer?]

2) Users of birth control pills have a greater risk of developing gallbladder disease requiring surgery within the first year of use.  The risk may double after four or five years of use.  [My mom had gallbladder issues and required surgery.  I was on these pills for 6 years, so… my risk may be doubled now for gallbladder issues.  Shitty.]

3) There may be tenderness of the breasts, nausea and vomiting.  Some users will experience weight gain or loss.  [Ooooh, so it WAS this stupid thing that gives me my chest pain and scared the shit out of me!  while I’m at it, I’ll blame my weight gain on it as well since I do feel it has been hard to lose weight using the same methods that used to work for me before going on the pill.]

4) Occasionally, users develop high blood pressure that may require stopping the use of birth control pills.  [WHAT??? Arghhhh! well then, I guess this does it for me.]

What does this all mean to me?  This means: I have decided that this pill creeps me out way too much now.  I have this feeling that my good days with this pill are over.  It is doing more damage to my body than it can justify for it’s benefits.  I also do not want it’s benefits to stay with me for the rest of my life if sterility is also a potential risk.  Initially I had considered stopping in the next half year… I might do it sooner because the pharmaceutical insert is sitting next to me right now with the risks that I actually experienced highlighted and reminding me how I failed to read this years beforehand.  Also because I don’t want my family doctor to see me for my next physical appointment and tell me that I need to take anti-hypertension pills.  Those things are for life!

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