What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
In many ways, I’m a lot like Robo Cop. I’ve known this since I saw him on the front of a video case when I was a child, relating immediately to his pulsing masculinity and metal skin.
And now I’m more like him than ever! A few months ago I got myself implanted wit the contraceptive rod, so I’m technically PART MACHINE.
It’s a tad disconcerting having a leaky hormone stick living quietly in my arm, but it’s also brilliant. I feel like a technology enhanced super woman, who can shoot lazers from her ankles and crush nuts in her excellently pert man-made bottom.
Most importantly, I never realised just how excellent having barely any periods would be. In fact, I'd got as far as to say t’s probably better than giving birth to a baby penguin with human level intelligence. HOW GOOD WOULD THAT BE? So cute, so clever.
I decided to get the implant after reading an article that said that there is no need for women to menstruate when they are taking birth control. That, in fact, the Pill had been designed to mimic the bodies’ monthly flowings, so as not to intimidate the first pioneering women taking them with anything that seemed too unnatural.
This seemed madder than trying to make a cat suit out of squirrels‘ skulls, why on earth were they (I have no idea who “they” are. The Evil Doctor‘s Guild?) MAKING me have periods on the Pill when I didn’t need to? And wasn’t it rubbish to have to take something EVERY DAY, with much “I forgot this many times, I might be pregnant“ fear each month?
I found myself frequently taking packs one after the other without the required seven day break in order to avoid the period, leaving my poor uterus lost and confused in a forest of hormones.
So, in the end, I decided to leave the Pill behind and think about my other options. I hope it’s not too bitter, but I had warned it at the beginning of our relationship that I am a free spirit, much like Nelly Futardo when she sang I’m Like A Bird.
I didn’t fancy the injection, or anything floating around my womb, so soon after, I turned up at the doctors to get my implant. I must have looked paler than a flu-stricken parsnip because my GP was madly kind as she numbed my under arm and shot the rod, which is the size of a hair clip, into my flesh.
Not that she was insensitive enough to use the word “flesh” when talking me through the process. That may have just about finished me off.
But my inherent cowardice aside, the experience wasn't traumatic and I got a big enough bandage to feel important and dramatic.
“I’ve got the implant” I would say to friends and family, waving about my dressed wounds, bravely withstanding the slight discomfort and mild bruising with the stiff-upper-lip fortitude that got this country through the war.
And things went well. I got some bleeding, but this turned out to be the touring musician of menstruation and only spent a small time bothering my Lady’s Chimney before swiftly moving on. Since then there’s barely been a peep out of my wilful womb.
This was a real relief, as I had been warned that I could have months of bleeding before the contraceptive rod finally rearranges the hormonal furniture and settles down.
Previously, the tides of my Womynly Red Seas were so regular you could plan a military coup by them, so not falling to the Communists once in three whole months feels like a miracle on par with anything Jesus pulled out of his pants.
I’ve had vague tickling of feminist guilt though. Is being completely joyful at no longer doing the monthly dance with the Red Bitchface somehow not being properly grown up, or properly womanly?
Periods are a contentious issue, with people rightly saying they shouldn’t be seen as disgusting or shameful and secretive. But surely we can all agree that GOD they are inconvenient, aren’t they? They are THE WORST for inconvenience.
And if the expense, lack of sex and ruined pairs of your favourite knickers weren’t enough, I once read a thing that said in our hunter-gatherer days monthly bleeding was an effective way for PREDATORS that want to EAT US to track our whereabouts.
That’s what periods are, natures trail of sweets for lions and dinosaurs (humans and dinosaurs definitely coexisted, before you start on with your “facts”) on their way to their main meal. Us. The Ladies.
Honestly, it’s enough dealing with the patriarchy without having to worry about whether a bear is prowling about with his nose uncomfortably in tune with your underpants area.
That’s why I love my implant, I live free from the crushing fear of being consumed by bigger animals and don’t have to think about tampons and womb aches and the general rubbishness of entertaining Sergeant Uterus and I think EVERYONE should get it.
There are side effects and the aforementioned risk of the Uber Bleed so obviously weigh up your options, and talk to your doctor and all that. But if you haven’t got it, consider it recommended.
What have your experiences with various contraceptives been? Have you got the implant and, unlike me, hated it? Or would you find a lack of menses weird? Comment below!
Follow Holly on Twitter @ginandthings.