The birth control revolution brought freedom to countless women. It brought misery to me
Monday, May 3, 2010 07:01 ET
by Geraldine Sealey
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the pill’s introduction in the United States, a milestone that has inspired a raft of retrospective, largely celebratory media coverage. A Time cover story credited the pill with “rearranging the furniture of human relations.” A New York Times Op-Ed by historian Elaine Tyler May hailed the oral contraceptive as “a tool for women’s emancipation.” All true. For millions of women who use the pill daily without intolerable side effects, who enjoy lighter, less painful and more regular periods, spontaneous sex, lowered risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers and zit-free skin, the birth control revolution has been fulfilled.
Then there’s me.
I hate the pill. Hormonal contraception, which covers birth control pills and nearly every other highly effective method on the market, murders my libido. I say that with as much certainty as I can, given the murky, multi-variate thing that is the human sex drive. I’ve experimented with several pills, hoping that any slight variation in hormonal ingredients would yield a contraceptive that worked without neutering me. Each doused my interest in sex as completely as the other. Although a libido-destroying pill does wonders to lower your pregnancy risk, it’s also done a number on my relationships, self-esteem and emotional well-being.