My friend’s doctors have refused to remove her IUD, on the grounds that, in their opinion, she’s currently financially and mentally unfit to have children.
I’ve been wanting to write a post about contraception for a while, and I was especially inspired by Rachel Rayner’s recent blog about the process of getting an IUD. I had no idea it could be so complicated or painful, so I’m really grateful for her bravery in sharing the experience.
I also wanted to talk about the ECP or Morning After Pill, which I’ll do a bit later.
First of all: my friend. Over the last month, she has believed she was pregnant, despite having an IUD. Like all women, she knows her own body incredibly well. She already has one child, so she knows exactly what she feels like when she’s pregnant. She tested positive on several home pregnancy kits.
She went to her doctor to have this verified. The blood test proved inconclusive – her hormone levels were higher than normal, but not high enough to indicate pregnancy. They told her she was not pregnant, and refused to do more tests.
Absolutely convinced she was, she went to another doctor, and got the same result. No one would believe her. They said she was having what’s known as a “hysterical pregnancy” – basically, you convince yourself you are pregnant, and your body reacts as if you are.
She then went to an independent nursing practice, who told her that she had miscarried, despite her having experienced none of that symptoms of this. They did not do a test to verify this diagnosis.
They also refused to remove her IUD, on the grounds that they consider her mentally and financially unfit to have children. She has bipolar disorder, and is currently on a benefit.
This is completely illegal.
And it’s completely immoral. When will women have to stop fighting for rights over our own bodies? She has not met a single medical professional who has supported her in her choices. It seems particularly difficult when you’re a vulnerable member of society – ie an ill woman who cannot afford private medical care. She doesn’t want to have another child – that’s why she had an IUD. All she wants is to make her own choices about her own body – and be fully informed to do so. But the information she needs, and the opportunity to make an educated choice, is being denied her.
My last doctor refused to give me an IUD, because it’s more difficult to have one inserted if you have not had a child. My decision to make? Abso-fucking-lutely.
My current doctor doesn’t want to give me the mini-pill, even though the hormones in the regular pill make me into someone I don’t even recognise.
Last time I had an accident, and had to ask for the Morning After Pill, the male pharmacist grilled me on my social life, recommended I get tested for STIs, and told me several times that the MAP isn’t a valid form of contraception. He gave me a box of condoms when I left and suggested in future, I use them.
MY BODY. MY CONTRACEPTION. MY CHOICE.
I’m not sure why that’s so fucking hard to understand.