CN: Shark week
When I went to one doctor (years back) about being trans and wanting to get a referral to the GIC, she told me that there was “some sort of implant” I could get to stop periods. Unfortunately, I’d already tried it (Implanon) for contraceptive reasons- and the result was an endless crimson tide*.
Unsurprisingly, I had it removed after four months.
So, she suggested I use the combined contraceptive pill (which I had been using already, and successfully), but take multiple packs back to back.
The only caveat- I might get “breakthrough bleeding”, so I should take care and plan to let Arsenal play at home* about once every two months. It was better than nothing.
A few months ago, I started a new relationship, and anxious not to let anything get fertilised, I looked up scientific studies on continuous use of the combined pill. I was worried that using it continuously might impede its efficacy. However, I discovered something fairly surprising.
The quoted effectiveness of the combined contraceptive pill, the percentage I had to learn in Religious Studies class, is over 99%. That comes with the caveat that the individual take the pill as directed. According to this study, however, the pill ends up being just 93% effective in practice.
Translation: 7% of people who take the combined contraceptive pill on a monthly basis will become pregnant within a year as a result of fucking up their dose at the least opportune time. It turns out that the day on which you are most likely to forget to take a pill (i.e. day 1 of the tray) is the day you absolutely should not miss a fucking pill.
Meanwhile, you don’t have this problem when taking the pill continuously. So it works out being more effective in practice than having Aunt Flo to stay*.
Incidentally, though a large number of volunteers dropped out because of breakthrough bleeding, others pushed through. And, many found that after a while, they stopped having the painters in* altogether.
So, I stopped taking breaks. And I’m so happy. So, so unbelievably happy. I haven’t been closed for maintenance* in about two months now. I even took a pregnancy test to make sure there was no cloud in this silver lining. Negative.
Everything is sweet and beautiful and wonderful.
*Yes, all of these are euphemisms for… ahem… you know. That Time Of The Month.