Contraception and side effects: British women complain of lack of information



According to a new study published by The Femedic on women's health and education, 75% of women in the United Kingdom believe that they have not been fully informed by their doctor of the side effects of their contraception—either when the medication was first prescribed or during follow-up visits.  "What do women choose and why? Have they received adequate information, support and care? " The survey was carried out between October 2017 and January 2018 on the Internet and via social media. Over 1,000 responses were received.

 

This survey highlighted in particular that:

  • 75% of women said they felt that the side effects of their contraception were not explained to them "in depth", 45% said they were "barely" or "briefly" explained, and 6% said they were not explained "at all",
  • 47% said that they had "serious trouble" with their contraception and 16% complained of not receiving adequate care.

 

The side effects mentioned by the women include constant bleeding accompanied by anaemia, blood clots, suicidal thoughts, migraines, contraception-related surgical procedures, weight gain, mood swings and serious psychological problems, etc. "It made me paranoid and emotionally unstable. I didn't realise at first that I was feeling like this because of the pill. It was only when I started to take the same brand again after having my children and the same symptoms recurred almost immediately that realisation dawned", explains one of the women.

 

Moreover, most of the women felt that their concerns fell on deaf ears as far as medical professionals were concerned. "I was told to wait and see what would happen", says one, "I bled constantly for six months and suffered severe anaemia. The doctor did not step in until my condition became so serious that I needed a blood transfusion", said another. There are reports of numerous incidents where doctors have scoffed at their patients or refused to take them seriously.

 

Worse still, "25% of women announced that they felt pressured into taking the type of contraception they used by someone—either a family member, health professional or partner".

 

This survey reveals the genuine "dissatisfaction" of women regarding contraception and "emphasises the lack of attention paid to women's health problems and complaints of pain or problems associated with their reproductive health".

 

"The more choice women have, and the more information they are given, the more confident they will feel about pursuing what they know is best for them", concludes Monica Karpinski, the founder of The Femedic.

 

For further reading:

Contraceptive pill: synthetic progesterone causes depression

Hormonal contraception: risk of breast cancer increases by 20%

Study highlights the link between hormonal contraception and increased risk of suicide

Official recognition of the pill as the cause of Marion Larat's stroke