have to say that while I believe ‘the pill’ is a lifesaver and a necessary evil, it is also an over-prescribed ‘castration’. Since its conception (excuse the pun) in the 1950s’, use of the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) has exploded.  

Studies show that 89% of 3569yearold women report having used the OCP at some point in their life and 9% of 35–69-year-old were currently using it in a New Zealand study from 2013 (1). 

With 11 October being International Day of the Girl Child, it is timely to discuss the most commonly used reversible contraceptive option. 

The OCP was initially marketed for cycle control or menstrual regulationand not for contraception, as contraception was prohibitedUntil 1969, doctors could be prosecuted for prescribing the pill for contraception (2). This is probably led to be it being, in my opinion, over-prescribed as the panacea solution to almost all menstrual and female acne issues. 

No doubt the OCP has given women incredible reproductive autonomy and significantly reduced the incidence of unplanned pregnancy, abortion and pregnancy complications. 

Additionally, the OCP and the injectable or implantable hormonal methods of contraception are obviously appropriate in those deemed by themselves (or by their parents, in the case of those under the age of consent) as either: unable to guarantee optimal use of barrier methods such as condoms or natural fertility methodsor unable to use non-hormonal methods such as the intra-uterine device (IUD); or for those with menorrhagia, dysmenorrhoea, or anaemia etc uncontrolled by conservative measures. 

Whilst, the OCP is mostly safe, it is not without its potential side effects. The potential for venous clotting is well recognised, but depression, pancreatitisreduced gain of normal bone mass, hair loss and increased weight potentially leading to self-esteem issues are among the less well-known potential side effects (3, 4).   

I personally have seen women’s depression improve or disappear when they stop the OCP after careful counselling about alternative contraception options. 

Another underrated ‘side effect’ is that the OCP and most other forms of hormonal contraception suppresses women’s normal hormonal cycles. This means their cycles cannot be utilised as a vital signor in other words an indicator of health.  

The importance of this vital sign is backed up by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who in 2015, along with the AmericaAcademy of Paediatrics, said this: 

Identification of abnormal menstrual patterns in adolescence may improve early identification of potential health concerns for adulthood. It is important for clinicians to have an understanding of the menstrual patterns of adolescent girls, the ability to differentiate between normal and abnormal menstruation, and the skill to know how to evaluate the adolescent girl patient. By including an evaluation of the menstrual cycle as an additional vital sign, clinicians reinforce its importance in assessing overall health status for patients and caretakers. 

It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss alternative contraceptive options, but, critically and little known among most healthcare practitioners, is that the American Academy of Paediatrics stated in 2014 that IUDs are a first-line contraceptive choice for teenagers, overturning the previous opinion that IUDs should not be used until after childbirth. The risk of potential side effects of the IUD can be reduced with conventional or complementary therapies, including insertion after sterile swabbing. 

While I am well aware of the time involved, we as healthcare practitioners owe it to our patients to take the time to at least point them to resources to help them make truly informed decisions about all forms of contraception that may help with their menstrual symptoms and/or acne, rather than automatically handing out an OCP prescription 

Such resources include: 
www.cemcor.ubc.cawww.familyplanning.org.nz and www.naturalfertility.co.nz. 

References: 

  1. https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/read-the-journal/all-issues/2010-2019/2016/vol-129-no-1444-28-october-2016/7048 
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3520685/ 
  1. https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/Datasheet/a/Ava30EDtab.pdf 
  1. Scholes D, Hubbard RA, Ichikawa LE, LaCroix AZ, Spangler L, Beasley JM et al. Oral contraceptive use and bone density change in adolescent and young adult women: a prospective study of age, hormone dose, and discontinuation. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011; 96(9):E1380-E1387. 

5 COMMENTS

  1. Note, it was never illegal for doctors to prescribe contraceptives in NZ, it was illegal to advertise contraceptives for sale under the Indecent Publications Act 1910.

  2. Tracy Chandler, obviously you’ve never had an IUD, right? Appalling that you just drop in that IUD should now be used for everything you say the pill was used for. You’re obviously completely incompetent to prescribe any IUD! FYI, IUDs are dangerous, risky, damaging commercial, proprietary non-medical, non-clinical, non-therapeutic profiteering products you’re eyeing up for all the gifts you can get from encouraging their promotion! And as far as “reversible” – what do you mean by this? Is it reversible when infections are “accidentally” put into a woman’s or girl’s uterus? You say there’s only a small chance but what does this mean when the uterus and other organs damaged or destroyed – is this all then reversible? Obviously not! You’re a LIAR, and it’s important women and girls are aware that these commercial products are not reversible at all. And should I mention perforations by this product into the pelvic cavity and beyond, ectopic pregnancies, worsening periods, Wilson’s disease associated with the copper IUDs? You are so incompetent to border on definitively negligent. The only reason that drs want IUDs is that you know you can sneak these in by lying to us and thus do your own form of population control that has NOTHING to do with the best interests of any woman or girl! And another thing you will never tell us is that any problem of any IUD is “expected” therefore no treatment injury compensation or negligence claims are possible! But not only that – none of the problems of IUDs are written down! Only the results which are then attributed to other things. And why is this? Because gynaecologists want to keep sneaking these in without the scrutiny that would happen once all the damages are exposed. You very well know that you can keep a lid on all these damages but retain the ability to keep sneaking these in for government and doctor eugenics, which is your preferred option to stop any of us breeding when you’ve deemed who is allowed to or not.

  3. And, I forgot to mention PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE or SYNDROME arising from these products, which can occur WITH or without any accompanying infections. PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE or SYNDROME causes excruciating pelvic pain from then on for the rest of a woman’s or girl’s life and therefore is also completely IRREVERSIBLE!!! And, since you drs “believe” you do a sterile implantation of any IUD, the only infections that are then tested for are STDs/STIs, and when these come back negative, then any other infection is ignored because you drs “believe” no others got in with your implantation whether that’s true or not! Therefore any other infections from contaminated gloves or equipment isn’t EVER acknowledged, NOR written down when shown in tests to be there when none were there before, and then, of course are not treated!!! And so, how reversible is this?! NEVER, of course! What happens, because I can vouch for all of this, is that any women and girl will then have their uterus removed, which was the goal in the first instance anyway of this population control by dr and sanctioned by governments the world over! And the hospital/“care” related infections? – meaning infections that come from these settings when you have these IRREVERSIBLE INVASIVE devices snuck in, therefore these infections are NOT naturally occurring in any respect. What happens to these HCRInfections? Well, from my experience, these will be left in you, and left to spread, even when they are found in tests – and why??? Because in acknowledging them, and then treating these this would mean a negligence case that any dr couldn’t argue in court and in having sneaked in the IUD when I or any other women or girl had refused any IUDLARC on safety grounds for all the above reasons means that the drs involved in all this would loose their jobs, of course! So, what were you saying about these being reversible, Tracy?! Apparently it will only be sorted when it suits you lot, but in reality it never will, therefore women and girls will have the REST OF THEIR LIVES RUINED! This is the true result of any IUD – and therefore why not let us women and girls decide our own fate? Because this obviously gets in the way of government and dr sanctioned eugenics for their self-appointed population control method, that’s why. What joy do you have when you know you all have been doing this? How much fun is this knowing there are women all around the place, all over the world that have no clue an IUD was snuck into them by lying to them??? From my own experience by the smirking I would get trying to get the HCRInfections dealt with, it’s apparent you all think it’s really exciting and fun to sneak these in when a woman or girl goes for whatever reason to see you and then after you’ve tried to convince her that these IUDs are the best thing since sliced bread and this fails, then you make up any reason to get her back in to lie to her and sneak it in anyway. How professional or lawful is this? It’s NOT, obviously so, but you ALL do NOT care – and why not??? Because how can we PROVE it all, right?! We can’t unless a dr writes things down, right? – or another dr tells us, right? And as you don’t write these things down, and most drs are in on this by coercion or force, you “feel” it would be “hard” to prove, right? But here’s the thing – you will be caught out because the proof of things are always there to be discovered – and don’t you lot hate that?! Anyway, for any women or girl reading this – if you’re told by a dr/gynaecologist or other health “professional” – whether a nurse or other “practitioner” that you need a smear or “sampling” after you’ve refused any IUD, you can BE SURE they’re going to sneak in an IUD/LARC! And the LARC? – a long acting reversible contraception? Only reversible if you know about it, right? Yes – it’s a big “lark” to them when you disagree on any of these because these are the very times they will do this sneaking in, and yes I can PROVE it ALL! Now, if you are part of a cervical screening program that under the guise of this they worked out a long time ago on how to get access to our precious, pristine, sterile uteruses to sneak in these population control devices, then you need to inspect the trolley or surrounding areas of the examination room and look for the device BEFORE getting on the examination table, as it will be hiding somewhere there when you’ve refused these, so better you know what these look like, so get the person to show you it before you refuse it for health and safety reasons – and to really upset them, give them an affidavit copy of your statement that you refuse these all – get it signed by your lawyer and give a copy to EVERY health person you see – yes, certainly, it may be a big red rag to these bullies but when you have your smear or “sampling” make sure the blanket is not covering up the view so if they try it anyway you can stop them straightaway BEFORE any damage is done! Your VERY LIFE AND HEALTH depends on us women and girls making sure we protect our bodies from these people whose only purpose and concern is stopping us from breeding!!! That, AND us needing to stop (for us) all those costly unending visits they intend for us then when these inevitable problems and the accompanying excruciating abnormal symptoms appear, and therefore us wasting all our money when they will never ever treat us (or then even these numerous problems!) with the respect and dignity we most certainly do deserve! The next thing we need to do is to BAN these horrific devices for all the horrendous results these cause us!

  4. And… don’t believe that IUDs/LARCs are the most “popular” most used contraception – they aren’t. For all the reasons I’ve explained, these are not accepted by most women and girls BECAUSE they are so damaging to our health. And that weight gain, dizziness etc etc is also what these devices do and also there’s the cancers as well that are CAUSED by any and ALL IUDs/LARCs because these cause irritation and inflammation as these are foreign things not normal nor natural nor benign, and the steroidal hormones or the copper ones too throw our bodies completely out of whack – but no dr will ever tell you of this! And… a health worker of any description, knowing you’ve had an IUD/LARC sneaked in is NEVER going to do a treatment injury compensation claim for you because of these damages even though ACC told me directly this claim would be accepted by ACC as I never asked, nor agreed, and in fact I had expressly REFUSED any of these IUDs my whole life. Why the hospital gynaecologist and the gp were so desperate to put one in me is inexplicable and I’ve never been given a reason they both lied to me and why none of the symptoms of the horrifying damages were fixed before their then preferred hysterectomy! And even though it was noted and proved the infections had spread through my broad ligaments and then into my pelvic wall, still no treatment for these hospital infections as they need specialist treatment – not oral unspecific antibiotics. They KNOW I refused any IUD always and their respective IUD/LARC in fact and then I was called into the hospital and told a big fat lie so the gynaecologist dr could sneak it in. I found out that the lie told to me as well as the lies she wrote in my hospital notes did not happen – not even the smear she led me to believe was happening!!! She also lied that the outpatient appointment was an inpatient appointment by insinuating on this note that I was in there for a week having a big chunk taken out of my uterus when this NEVER happened. There was no bleeding, no blood, no pain at this outpatient only appointment. There was no cancer and none suspected and the “benign” condition she told me I had needed nothing done at all. The only reason that’s apparent for not doing a treatment injury claim following this is that the gp and her lied to me and this would all come out when ACC did the claim! What would then happen is that ACC is obliged BY LAW to report this to either the registration body for gross negligence and probably then the Police because of all the fraud, negligence and continuing corruption and this all leaving me with nowhere to go for help with this! So, this is what they’ll do to you when any damages turn up – and going by the smirks I got from a few drs, and one telling me I would need to PROVE it all and indicating that I never would, means we can never advocate for ourselves for a resolution, nor for any appropriate treatment that would PROVE the situation. And how did I find out the smear and her “just routine sampling” never happened? Since 2006 there’s been a website called Testsafe Care Connect that the government set up on which all our health information is stored, therefore your tests, appointments, x-rays, scans, operation notes are there for any dr to see when the patient allows these to be there. I was told about this website and then a dr agreed to look there for me for a diagnosis for all my on-going physically excruciating unresolved symptoms. The dr found there had been no sampling done at all at that appointment and found all the symptoms and tests done etc were PROVED to be the very hospital infections found in tests I was never told about!!! Therefore this dr diagnosed a chronic infection of the peritoneum from that procedure done at that outpatient appointment as the PROOF was THERE for ALL to see all along! And it proved that I never had these hospital infections before then! Even though the horrifying physical symptoms from this time ALONE proved it ALL! Did this then lead to a resolution? No, of course not, as putting this all down in writing in FULL in my dr’s notes and in a referral to get this fixed, it would PROVE conclusively the abuse, and that I had indeed become a victim of all their crimes – and yes it is criminal behaviour to do what all these drs did. It’s actually unlawful to render us sterile by sneaking in any IUD that we have always competently refused and also any we don’t know about and this is why I haven’t been able to get this resolved myself. It’s too bad for the drs then that this hasn’t stopped me getting the very help I need then! There’s no limitations to these crimes as they are on-going and provable, and in law there’s no legal privilege that any dr or DHB might try to use for denying their culpability in this. But I don’t want any other woman or girl having to deal with this appalling, horrific and shocking stuff, so please heed my warnings as there’s nothing reversible EVER about any IUD, or LARC as the drs like to call them! And if any dr tells you your uterus is full of diseases and is naturally dirty, then naturally they are STILL LYING as this is not true – your uterus is MEANT to be pristine and sterile – just as mine was before all this.

  5. And sadly, there’s more… So, you’ve probably understood throughout this report that the health workers involved – to the point of bullying their colleagues to stop revealing everything, but in all they wanted to keep the unlawful procedure, the hospital infections I got during it, the hysterectomy, the operation findings and tests and results, and further operation notes all completely separate, right…!? Now, if you’re a patient enduring this rubbish you’d wonder why, right? The reason is simple – for them at least and obviously so, as it’s to keep you away from any reporting of this adverse event, stop any treatment injury compensation claim and stop the proof coming out about it all, in which, of course they try to stop the whole criminal event being exposed, which would point the finger straight at them! This is their tactics to stop the inevitable scrutiny – and the inevitable prosecutions, loss of their jobs and exemplary damages for gross negligence in a court case! As it is, for me, and others who experience this abnormal and abhorrent unlawful behaviour, the damages are far reaching. There’s the inability to get things fixed and return to your normal life, which doesn’t bother them one bit apparently going by what they’ve put me and others through! ACC legislation does point out also that every visit you make to try to get this fixed means another treatment injury compensation claim. This means that in not fixing it, it is a completely new claim for as long as this happens. Yes, ACC treatment injury compensation claims cover unlawful procedures, which are then reported, also non-treatment and treatment, which is then shown to be inappropriate for your condition too. So you can see why they never want it all exposed! It means that the full cost is to them and not the patient but health workers don’t want this to happen for obviously unlawful reasons. In all it’s a shocking indictment of health care in NZ and this all was never meant to happen when the DHBs were formed and neither any legislation nor ethics about this. If I’d had the appropriate tests to confirm these hospital acquired – not expected and not natural to me infections pin-pointed, I would not have lost my precious uterus but in pin-pointing and connecting these appropriately to the unlawful invasive procedure these infections would’ve immediately meant the normal process of evidence and recriminations directed where they should have been and this happens all the time apparently! ACC told me that any health worker can put all the evidence together and send it to them with the correct date – and, believe me I’ve tried!!! as I reported a problem following this unlawful procedure, which was noted down as the 8th September 2008 to the gp (apparently involved in the criminal event), but of course I had no clue I’d been lied to because I did refuse their respective and any IUD always, so they knew on the 8th September 2008 they were in deep trouble but telling me wasn’t what they wanted to happen, therefore the long journey they intended for me has come about. Luckily, as I’ve written here, the on-going and proved events means it’s still able to be prosecuted, and if they don’t treat it, it will mean attempted murder or murder charges along with the fraud, negligence and corruption that they’ve been up to. So, if you are in this same place, don’t ever give up a lawful result, never give up someone will whistle-blow this as a protected disclosure to the ombudsman – and never give up that there are good, decent, lawful people ready to help you or any one else in these situations. Stay calm, stay safe, stay focused no matter how many years those despicable people prefer to leave you in their quagmire, the truth will always be revealed and then the appropriate things will come about as that’s the law and why we have the law to help us then. In making a protected disclosure you need the paperwork showing the fraud – but the actual results and tests proving their criminality they will try to hide and that’s where Testsafe Care Connect comes in. The DHBs have decided that the people that want to help the victims and expose the lies may be denied access to Testsafe and the DHBs say they don’t have to give a reason for this, but, of course, that’s just more criminality they use to further it. Don’t be bothered because although access to this proof on Testsafe shouldn’t be denied to any one anyway and really just means more power is needed by the authorities, which can then be organised through the proper channels. As we say – NO ONE is above the law – NO ONE, and this means just that!

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