Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Let's Talk about Contraception

Or, if you're Canadian, "aboot" contraception. Sorry, South Park on my mind.

But seriously, let's talk about contraception, shall we? I sometimes feel that I have spent the last fourteen years talking sex, discussing the hows, whens and whys with girls and boys of all ages and backgrounds. Shuki's FB status yesterday reminded me of something related that is frequently on my mind -- using protection. She said that she

wishes Morning After pills in India were not advertised as if to imply they were just another contraceptive. It's quite alarming how many young women are developing uterine and ovarian cancer and ileostomies on account of msunderstanding how they work. And as much as she is manic about women's rights and empowerment, she's not sure making them OTC drugs is necessarily a good idea.

What I think most of us tend to forget is that protection is not just against pregnancy or AIDS. There are plenty of other nasties that we don't wish to have any truck with, quite common STDs like gonorhhoea, candidiasis, herpes and crabs, to name but four. Please, read the link, read the related links. This is stuff every sexually active person needs to know about.

We live in an age when sex outside marriage is more widely accepted than ever before and people have less hesitation in going in for casual sex. It's a freedom I greatly appreciate -- I wouldn't want you to think otherwise. But here's a thought: if the person you are sleeping with does not want to use a condom, odds are that that person refused to use one with his/her previous partner(s) as well. How gross is that, seriously? Just because the person you are sleeping with seems clean, hygienic and healthy is no indication that their previous bed partner was also clean, hygienic and healthy or that their previous partners were so.

Remember, STDs are called STIs these days because a person may be carrying the Infection without appearing Diseased.

So, seriously, if the person you want to sleep with is not somebody you are in a monogamous relationship with, I strongly urge you to insist on condoms. The ordinary kind, Rs 3 per piece, does the necessary, is easily available and does not spoil the sex. And if you are in a relationship, a condom saves you so much stress... take it from one who's been there!

A friend of mine pointed out that twenty years ago students

known to buy condoms while in school uniform forever tainting the image of our venerated [school]. I think they were being sensible.

I couldn't agree more. Back in my schooldays the very idea of buying a condom (or more) was quite scandalous. Sex seemed simpler. After all, sex involved only you and somebody you liked/loved. It did not need the involvement of shocked chemists and scandalised fellow customers. It, hopefully, did not lead to a trail of gossip that eventually reached your parents. Buying condoms, being of necessity a public act, was too scary for most to contemplate and most guys I knew chickened out as well as almost all the girls.

Now, of course, department stores sell condoms and we girls have long since stopped buying our tampons and sanitary napkins discreetly packaged in brown paper. Chemists will discuss the various kinds on offer with you in a deadpan tone and other shoppers try to mind their own business.

Me: A big pack of KS plains, please.

Chemist: I'm sorry, I don't have those, why don't you try the dotted instead?

Me: Nah, I don't care for those.

C: But these are good too.

Me: Sorry, they don't work for us. I'll pop in later, then.

(That's an actual conversation.)

Vicky has bought me pregnancy kits from the pharmacy where he's bought stuff almost all his life. I've bought the Pill (Loette) from there although I've luckily never had to buy the Morning After pill from anywhere. Speaking of which, here's what an older relative remarked:

a few days back while waiting at the Chemists to buy my blood pressure medication, 2 girls around 15/16 came in, boldly sought for and walked out with I-pills non-chalantly. What category would this fall into? Use, misuse or precaution??????Curious

I said that I found this incident both worrying and reassuring. You see, I believe that all kinds of contraception, including the emergency kinds, should be available on demand. Here are various statements from people I know which bolster this belief:

1. I remember how difficult it was for me as an unwed/soon-to-be-wed girl to get any advice/ information about them. The gynaec I consulted was very unwilling to even discuss them with me, let alone prescribe. Told me to come back after I was married. I was lucky I found another doctor (a family friend) who sat down and discussed cycles, safe periods and everything else with me and then gave me a packet of pills to take should I decide to do so. She even listed the pros and cons. but I wonder how many girls might/must get pregnant right after getting married just because they don't have access to the right resources and their husbands don't want to take the burden of contraceptives on themselves.

2. A gynec, no less, advising me not to take the OCP before I had my first pregnancy, she was talking like an old wife, not like a doctor. I insisted, having researched about the effectiveness and side-effects, and really appreciated that it worked and gave me a free year after our marriage, while I watched my condom-using friends all get 'accidentally' pregnant.

Since I had a sceduled C-section for my firstborn after we lost our first baby, my doc in the US asked if he should do a tubal ligation while 'he was in there'. I hesitated, because at that point I didn't have a living baby, wasn't sure if [this one] would survive but was sure I would never want a third pregnancy. So he made the decision for me not to cut...a decision that I regretted later.

So after about 3 years of more OCP, I got an IUD inserted. Only the idiot gynec in Bangalore didn't insert it properly, and [...] it was self-aborting anyway, but I had to have a D&E done to 'clean out the uterus'. A totally avoidable and regrettable situation.

After that, we dithered, and used double protection, until finally we decided that my husband would have a vasectomy, since I was phobic now of surgeries and procedures. It was done, and was I glad. Apparently very few men opt for this, and it's a pity, since it's so much easier and safer than tubectomies for the women.

3. 3 [of my friends] have had MTPs, and 3 opted to have the third child, but were quite in shock for a long while.
4. [A friend] adopted, and then got pregnant, asked her gynec to do the tubal ligation cause she was having a C_sec. To her shock he refused, saying they could not ethically do that until a woman had had 2 children. I mean he acted like the adopted first child was not her child, it was so insensitive, she changed her doc.

Makes you think, doesn't it? Two very close friends of mine have had to choose to terminate pregnancies because they were unplanned. Both were already mothers, and money, family concerns, health and other obligations helped them make this impossible choice. They know they did what they needed to, but one mourns a lost child... it doesn't seem to make a difference whether you lose your baby by miscarriage or an MTP, the pain of losing a baby is something you seem to carry for ever.

A third dearly loved friend has just made the decision and there's nothing I can bring myself to say except to wish her the strength and courage she needs. I know a woman who has kept the ultrasound scans of the baby she had to abort because those are the only 'pictures' she'll ever have of this child of hers that she wanted so badly. I know a woman who closes her eyes and sees the daughter she never gave birth to, growing older in her head.

This is the thing that I always say to people who are alarmed at the high rate of abortion and would like to legislate against it -- nobody chooses abortion lightly. Even if they say they do or they seem to do so, it is never the easy option. It takes a huge toll on the female body, is hard to live with and I have seen for myself the effect this can have on men too. For every attention-hungry nut out there, there are thousands and thousands more of women who lead saner lives because they have been able to manage their child-bearing themselves.

And this brings me back to what started it all off, the Morning After pill. Let us understand how emergency contraception such as the iPill works, shall we? When taken within 72 hours of actually having sex (time periods vary depending on the pill) it inhibits ovulation, fertilisation or even implantation. The process is somewhat different from an abortion because medically, one is only pregnant (and can have an abortion) if the fertilised egg implants itself to the wall of the womb. The terminological quibbling is less important though than the importance of understanding that

1. when you use emergency contraceptives you are releasing additional and external hormones in your body. Please, do not underrate the importance of this. Hormonal balance is not easy to maintain and imbalance has a host of effects which we do not fully understand yet. Knowing this, I cannot understand why women would want to pop, say, the iPill on a regular schedule. Emergency contraception is carefully engineered to get your uterus to 'clean' itself out, so to speak, and that is an act that leaves the body requiring a great deal of time and TLC to recover.

2. when you have an abortion you are subjecting your body to what amounts to a certain degree of invasive violence. Depending on your doctor, it can be quite traumatic. The subseqent bleeding and cramps will be brutal even if you do go about your daily tasks in a day or two. And this is only the physical side of things.

3. even the Pill when prescribed can and usually does have certain side effects. When prescribed by a careless doctor, the side effects can be horrific. Witness this testimony:

one doc prescribed pills for me without thinking about my thyroid condition - I gained 13 kilos in 3 months in reaction!!!
So even if you're on the pill, be vigilant. Pay attention to changes in your body, to mood swings and hunger pangs. If your doctor does not pay you attention, get a second opinion. (I speak as one whose gynae has given her a lasting horror of pregnancy.)

4. [later addition] if you are depending on the rhythm method or similar ways, please remember that these do not guard against infection and they don't entirely guard you from unplanned pregnancies either. What the rhythm method does do, is take away a lot of the fun.

There is a book I recommend: Everywoman: A Gynaecological Guide For Life by Derek Llewellyn-Jones. It is easy to understand, extremely matter of fact and very informative. My mother bought it when I was a teenager and encouraged me to read it. I still went ahead and made my mistakes, but this book kept me from making bigger ones.

I don't preach from a soapbox. Just, you know, be kind to your bodies. The one you have is the only one you'll get in this lifetime. There is a great deal of information on this subject and all others related to women's health, available in books, magazines, websites and other media these days. Remember advertisements are not manuals -- they will not tell you everything you need to know about this stuff. Contraception is easy and affordable. There is no excuse for this level of ignorance.

UPDATE:
Sachinky wrote about it last year.

If any of you post or have posts or links on the subject that you would like to share please feel free to send them to me. I'm happy to add as much information as I can to this post. There is a lot I have not touched upon because I think this one is quite large enough already.

UPDATE 2:
Amrita gives you a little more to think about. I'm particularly fascinated by the calculator but do watch the video as well.

38 comments:

B o o. said...

What an informative post, Sue. And so nicely written. Hats off to you.

Im shocked that the morning after pill is OTC in India. Is it really?

And Hugs.

GettingThereNow said...

This is a MUST-READ for every girl out there. I am bookmarking this post of yours to show to my daughters when the time comes. Must have taken a lot of time and research - a very well written post!!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear God, I'm so glad, someone finally talked about it.Especially the part about taking the morning after pill regularly and the usage of condoms. I know someone who said he had never used condoms in the last 8 years and I was shocked. He basically told me that it was none of my business, but I was horrified. How many educated men and women are out there acting like it wouldn't come back to bite them in the ass. Of course, my horror was also exacerabated by an episode of Law & Order SVU, where this perp who was HIV+ went around deliberately having unprotected sex with several women. Thanks for the tip about the book. I just bought it online.

Anonymous said...

Sue,CANT THANK U MUCH FOR THIS POST.
another feather in your cap after red marker.Personal,informative and well written.
T H A N K Y O U!

Rohini said...

Great post, Sue. I think taking the iPill off its OTC status would be counter-productive given that ready and easy access to it is key to preventing abortions and unwanted pregnancies. If a woman had to go for a prescription to a doctor, she probably just wouldn't being unwed and all that. I think that is why a lot of young women are using it regularly - it is discreet. And they don't know any better. Their parents don't discuss this stuff with them and the ads come with no precautions or statutory warnings.

Saya said...

Great post Sue.

Sachinky said...

The plan B is also OTC in the U.S., as far as I know, if you're over 18. Minors need parental permission, though. Oral contraceptives (regular birth control) need a prescription, which is a pain.

I've been on the pill since I was a freshman in college -- the clinic gynaecologist was super --and we have a bit of a love-hate relationship. I get pap smears every year or so since I turned 21. Here's a little post I did on this very thing last year:
http://say-it-is-so.blogspot.com/2009/07/in-time-of-saas-bahu-serials-and.html

starry eyed said...

Loved it! Wish every parent would talk and support their daughters (and sons) about all this. The iPill should stay OTC, but there needs to be an awareness campaign about it. And sex ed in schools PLEASE, because it's obvious 90% of parents might never talk about it with their children. Your mom rocks, having bought you that book!

And oh yeah, contraception after having 'completed' one's family is another less-talked about topic. It's usually the woman's responsibility and if she conceives and has an MTP, she also carries all the additional guilt, blame and shame.

I seriously wonder if we would have less children abandoned or relinquished (or just plain neglected), if contraception was taken up as a serious issue by our government, schools, medical fraternity and society. I agree with your views about abortion, it's not a decision taken lightly, and anyone who's moralising about it, should be working with the children who were born 'unwanted'. I know, that's a harsh statement, but it's the reality.

Sue said...

Boo -- Indeed they are and they need to be. It's difficult enough for a young, single girl to walk into a gynaecologist's chamber and make and keep an appointment. I agree with Ro on that.

Cee -- Thanks. I really, really recommend that book for the girls too. Or anything similar. Nothing like having one in the house.

Anon 1 -- Good call. You'll find it useful. I was one of those going without condoms for years and boy did I have a traumatic time waiting for my pre-wedding ELISA results. So unnecessary.

Anon 2 -- You're welcome. If you blog and have something to add, I'd be happy to link.

Ro -- The ads don't come with warnings but the pills do. It's just that we tend to disregard the fine print. I think the packaging and instructions ought to boldly note that more than one iPill within, say, 8 months can lead to serious effects like [...]

Saya -- Thank you. :)

Sachinky -- Thanks, I'll link. Very wise of you to get those pap smears. My friends and I have been meaning to get those started too. One simply can't be vigilant enough when it comes to one's own body.

Starry -- Sex ed in schools is nowhere near as widespread as it ought to be by now, I know. I am tired of contraception being any single partner's responsibility. And I am also tired of men thinking it's easy and less 'damaging' to one's health and ego for a woman to get her tubes tied than for a man to undergo a vasectomy.

And yes, Ma Roy rocks. I'm very proud of how well I've brought her up. :D

saptarshi said...

The iPills are advertised on TV is clearly not without an ulterior motive. Thank you for writing this post. What irks me is that even when Google has become something like our extended subconscious there are so many people who don't care to find out about things. Thank you once again for the post.

saptarshi said...

The way* the iPills*...

~ a said...

Happened to chance on your post through a friend and WOW! Really well written especially all the points that you've spoken about. Casually taking morning-after pills, and the state of a woman's mind post abortion...

Your point about warnings on the packaging of the pills reminds me, we are fighting to get gory images printed on cigarette packs with hopes that it will deter smokers from smoking, maybe something conceptually similar can be done for the emergency contraceptives where the term 'emergency' is slowly becoming fine-print...

vivita said...

Great post. I was lucky to have regular sex-ed classes in school. I wish all schools have this. Most parents can't speak freely about sex and contraception, but in schools, at least kids listen.Seriously the govt. should help and concentrate less on censoring and more on sex-ed.

adarkcomedycalledlife said...

I can't believe people pop iPills so easily, I'm still unsure about prescribed OCPs. I was prescribed one for reduction in menstrual cramps but there was bloating and headaches, so I did some research and did away with it. Lots of girls I know get OCPs for the cramps without prescription too, and though it might work for them, I hope they'd do some research and find safer alternatives because in the long run, they all have certain side effects.

This is an excellent post, Sue. Thank you much for doing such a detailed write-up.. some stuff here I really didn't know, I'll sheepishly admit. I'm gonna buy that book too!

Sue said...

Ayesha -- I'm unsure about the gory graphic... the one currently in use makes most smokers defiant rather than repulsed. If I were smoking still I'd probably feel the same way. But yes, I do think the emergency contraceptive packs need to mention in large print that they can cause harm if taken other than as recommended.

Vivita -- Hello there. Thanks for delurking. :) I agree, time and effort is more productively spent on making things safer rather than on bowdlerism and censorship. I wonder if our government understands that?

Dark Comedy -- Usually a paracetamol helps with cramps, something relatively safe like Combiflam. I do hope these girls you have in mind have had their medication recommended at least by a qualified person.

Do buy that book. I find it very reassuring. Keep it prominently where other people can access it. I used to do that.

Sue said...

Saptarshi -- That is weird. People who have no hesitation searching for movie tickets online will not think of googling the working of emergency contraceptives. It worries me greatly because if you screw up your reproductive system when you are still a kid, you are guaranteed mental and physical distress for the rest of your life.

manoshi said...

I once read online that regular usage of morning after pills makes your body immune too. I dont know how far it is true, but I guess people should be aware that it isn't something they can resort to every time they go without protection.

Nice read, and very well written! :)

adarkcomedycalledlife said...

I will, for sure. Oh and Combiflam doesn't work for everyone.. didn't work for me :( Then docs suggested a mild OCP. But I am back to hot water bags and green tea kind of stuff, for what it's worth.. because I was just not comfortable with taking the pill each time. And yeah, I think I'll also be forwarding this post link to some who can benefit from it. :)

Lavs said...

This is such an informative post. I am going to bookmark it and also spread the word among my friends abt it. Good job Sue!

Sachinky said...

Here's one where I hate my BCPs.

http://say-it-is-so.blogspot.com/2009/10/same-places-where-crosses-burned.html

Anonymous said...

This is a very informative post. Here is what I think:

1) For the physical and emotional well being of every individual be it a male or a female, casual sex and underage sex should be avoided. Abstinence should be the first step in sex education. Pre-marital/extramaital sex for a responsible adult is something different, and it depends on each one's belief system and their ability to deal with the risks associated with it.
2) Everyone should have the knowledge about contraception and protection. I think it is extremely irresponsible for someone to be sexually active and do not practice safe sex.
3) I really cannot understand well educated, married couples choosing abortion as a method of contraception. I think this is again being irresponible. I have family and friends where one spouse is a doctor and has chosen to abort because they did not want the baby at that time. When they talk about it, it almost seems like they are very proud of their fertility. These people definitely know about contraception. I am not against abortion for the right reasons and believe in a woman's right to choose.
4) Birth Control Pills may have side effects for some but can work very well for many - not only as a method of contraception, but also for treating and preventing many gyn issues. People are paranoid about taking a pill everyday, but do not think that an invasive procedure like abortion or taking the morning after pill can have more serious side effects.
5) Condom use by men is the easiest way. For unmarried sexual partners if the man does not want to use condoms and makes the woman responsible for taking contraceptive measures - the woman should get out of the relationship as she is just being used here.
6) Sex is natural and an integral part of life. But practicing it with recklessness is not what nature intended it to be, and that is why there are consequences such as unwanted pregnancies, STD's, AIDS etc., This is not what true freedom or liberation is. Being sexually active should be a responsible decision.
6) We as a society should condone teenage sex. Yes our grand mothers were married at 14 and 15. But they lived adult lives at that age. Today teenagers want to be treated like a kid with no responsibilites, but want to have sex. Raging hormones need to be under control, so they can focus on education and financial independance.
7) Above and all we should raise our children with knowledge and values about everything including sexual health to live their best life.

Regards,
SN

R's Mom said...

Thanks Sue its a wonderful post...and you know what I am definitely going to book mark this for R..yaa yaa I know R is only two and has YEARS before any of this would make sense to her, but I am seriously going to do it..thanks..and can I add without any shame, that I have learnt from this!

starry eyed said...

@SN: Agreeing with much of what you say, especially your views on the Pill, but not with point 3. Enough family and friends (all well educated and married) have opted for abortion, after contraceptive failure, be it condoms, Copper Ts, diaphragms, and 2 couples I know even conceived ectopic pregnancies after tubal ligation...so it's unfair to assume ALL 'educated' people did not use contraception and so went in for abortion. There are standard failure rates for every method (even sterilisation), and abstinence (as you suggested) is the only 100% safe route. Have a look at this http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/summarychart.html

Sue said...

Manoshi -- Really? I hadn't heard that one before. Must verify.

Dark Comedy -- Nothing like a hot water bag, really. Works better than everything else. Of course, mine are mainly manageable.

Lavs -- Thank you. :)

Sachinky -- That sucks. That's partly why I've never gotten around actually starting them. Taking hormones is such a big step. But goof up on the protection and you've got yourself a Wee Bhablet. Hmmm...

SN -- 1. It's up to responsible sex ed and on-the-ball parenting to keep kids from doing it. And even then the kids will do it!

2. I agree.

3. Nobody I know has actually used abortion as a means of contraception -- not that I know of. I know people who have aborted pregnancies they could not afford to continue for various reasons. I've long stopped judging those who make this decision because in every single case there has been much more to the decision than is commonly known.

4. Very true.

5. I tend to agree.

6. Should not condone teenage sex, do you mean? I doubt any of us really condone or encourage it but I for one prefer to act knowing that it's likelier to be happening than not. (If not, good.)

7. I agree. We really need to teach our children to value their bodies.

R's Mom -- No shame in it yaar, we all learn something all the time. I was shocked at some of the stuff that came out of the testimonies.

Starry -- Thanks. Would you like to do a post on this, do you think? Or perhaps one on the gynaecological experiences in India and outside, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

This is only my experience with no scientific data to prove:

I have lived in the U.S for the last 20 years. I do not know one person who has had an abortion, and pretty much all my friends and family here are in the child bearing age. Very rarely one would go ahead and have a third child due to an unplanned pregnancy. And trust me raising a child in the U.S is equally hard both physically and financially.

Whereas I personally know atleast 10 women from my own family and friends in India who have had one or more abortions because they did not want the child at that time.

The disparity in the two countries is because, abortion is illegal in the U.S and one can get it done easily in India.

Also, one is fertile for a mere 48 or so hours in a month. Contraception failure rate is probably less than 2% (I have not looked it up for the exact statistics). With both of these put together, unless one does not use contraception the right way, or medical procedures were not done properly - there should not be such a high failure rate.

My heart goes out to the women who had to choose abortion due to a reason that was not in their control. This is not the case in the instances that I know.

I have 3 women in my own immediate family who have all had abortions because they did not like the gap between their first born and second pregnancy. All three of them never had a second child for different reasons and today live with regret of the choice they made many years ago.

One of our family friends in India said to me about 10 years ago..."when I found out that I was pregnant with twins the second time, I just went and had an abortion. Who wants to deal with raising twins...". She had one kid already and her husband is an accomplished physician. I just went speechless. I have heard similar arguments first hand.

There is no judgement here, just observations. These are personal decisions and the impact is felt by the person involved and does not have a significant impact on the society...and I for one do not want my religion or the government tell me what to do with my body.

My point here is that abortion an invasive procedure that can have serious physical and emotional consequences is treated very lightly - when there are ways to avoid it in the first place.

Sue, I really appreciate the opportunity on having a healthy dialogue on women's health issues.

Regards,
SN

Sachinky said...

SN--Whoa, whoa whoa! I have a hard time believing that you've been living in the US for twenty years! Where on earth did you get the information that "abortion is illegal in the U.S.?" Sure, it's perhaps more tightly controlled than in India and those restrictions might differ from state to state but that's a mighty stretch to make a blanket statement like that! Ever heard of Roe vs Wade?

starry eyed said...

@SN: Agree with Sachinsky! As for failure rates, I don't think half the women who've had abortions go around talking about them, so maybe we don't know how many there are? Precisely because they meet with so much judgment, it's easier to keep quiet.

I know one woman who had an abortion in Georgia because she conceived when her elder one was 9 months. I judged her then, but like Sue said, I now don't think we can judge people because we don't know their full story and we're not in their shoes. Another friend in Michigan did have a third child after an accidental conception.

How lightly they take the decision is also something we cannot ever know.

A friend acted very holier than thou for going ahead with an unplanned third pregnancy. Fine. But then she conceived a fourth time, and came to India (only coz she wanted her mother's help), had an abortion and tubal ligation done. To me, it just looks like massive irresponsibility on the man's part. If anyone thinks their family is complete, why don't they get a vasectomy??

starry eyed said...

@Sue: yes, I do think I will post my views on this. Later this month, hopefully. Sorry for taking up your comment space so!! :)

George said...

COLD SHOWERS!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sachinky - Thank you for your correction. My point here was that the rate of abortion seems directly related to how easily it is available.

Stary Eyed - Thank you for your point of view. I am glad to know that my personal experience with family and friends is not the norm.

Regards,
SN

dipali said...

I was one of the unfortunates whom the OCP did not agree with. I went on it after nursing my firstborn for about a year. Within months I developed fairly painful endometriosis. Subsequently I had very frightening episodes of DUB (Dysfunctional uterine bleeding) which entailed hospitalization and blood transfusions. Swore off the Pill ever after.
A very valuable post, Sue!

Sue said...

OK, back after my Diwali weekend. Now, let's see...

SN -- How do you know that the people you know in the US haven't had MTPs? The grapevine in India is harder to hide things from, I know.

Abortion has been legal in the US for a long time now and a good thing too, because the death rates of the back street abortion clinics were horrifying.

About your friend who aborted her twins, well, I prefer not to comment on it. I don't think my feelings are very different from what yours must have been, though.

I agree wholeheartedly with your view of abortion as "an invasive procedure that can have serious physical and emotional consequences is treated very lightly - when there are ways to avoid it in the first place." That is why I wrote this piece.

I appreciate you taking the time to comment in such detail. Every little bit helps when one is looking for real life experiences.

Sachinky -- Thanks for the reminder.

Starry -- Waiting! :) And please don't apologise. Like I told SN, posts like these need all the information they can get.

Dipali -- That sounds awful, it really does. The Pill is so useful for some and can be such a pain for others. :(

Unmana said...

Sue: Have nothing new to add except - amazing, awesome post, Sue. Thank you for writing with so much honesty.

Anonymous said...

An excellent post! I wish I had means to read such information in my teenage years. It took me an unplanned pregnancy and the subsequent MTP, to realize what a absolute fool I was with regards to contraception or even sex-ed.

To this day, I don't speak of my MTP with any of my friends, and consider my first born as the second child.

After all this, it horrifies me that my sister, as a medical doctor, considers that the risks for side-effects of OCPs outweigh those of unplanned pregnancies!

No wonder we considered buying condoms will result in greater mortification (by being found out) than getting pregnant.

Sue said...

Unmana -- Thanks. Also for linking. :)

Anon -- You understand where I am coming from... far too many of us have made our mistakes and some, like you, continue to carry the burden of that. That is why I wrote this post. People should be able to make informed choices, I believe.

Y said...

Awesome post Sue.

Sue said...

George -- What, and miss all the fun?

Y -- Thanks. :)

Indian Home Maker said...

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