In January 2013, I went to the doctor to renew my birth control. I had done some research and asked around, and I knew exactly what type of birth control I wanted; a hormonal pill that could be taken continuously so that I only had four periods a year, similar to Seasonique. When I went to the doctor, I explained that the previous birth control was good, but I would rather use this type for personal reasons. As I spoke, he stood with his arms crossed, staring me down as if I had committed some grand crime against him.
When I was finished, he proceeded to explain to me veeeeeeeeeeery slowly how my body and birth control worked, and how different this pill would be from the old one. He then proceeded to explain alternative methods of birth control to me, including condoms, using small words and hand gestures like I was five instead of, you know, nineteen. He then patted me on the shoulder (you aren’t supposed to enter the body space of a patient without permission, especially for things like that) and concluded by asking me if I understood everything okay, and remarking, “I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but sex isn’t everything. Even with this pill, you’re still going to get your period every now and then. I’m sure those boys will understand if you say no every once in a while. I mean, the standard cycle is 35 days. That leaves 28 for you to have all the fun you want. They’ll find someone else to play with that last week. Now, are you sure you understand all this? It can be confusing.”
I proceeded to push his hand off my shoulder, “You mean do I understand that instead of having my average 28 day pill cycle, including the seven days for my menses, I will have a 70 day pill cycle, including the seven days for my period? Or that this could cause changes in my menses such as heavier or lighter bleeding, depending on the pill, and should consult a gynecologist with any concerns? Or that the use of a barrier method such as condoms will decrease my chances of pregnancy even further than just hormonal contraceptives alone, and how to use barrier methods such as a condom or female condom? Or that certain medications such as antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraceptives and I should use a backup form of contraceptives if I do have sex while on an antibiotic and birth control? I also understand the risks of sex, including pregnancy or STDs, and I don’t appreciate the assumption that my use of birth control means I have multiple partners. I’ve had one partner for over a year, and I’m pretty damn sure my Marine would like to hear how you tried to belittle and backhand slut shame his fiancee. Please, do not touch me, give me my prescription so I can go the fuck home, and who can I speak to to make a note in my file NOT to allow you to see me as a patient again?”
Apparently, the man isn’t a gynecologist at all. He’s a general practitioner who was forced to take a crash course on gynecology, and had a tendency to piss off female patients. I have no idea if he still works there.