You know, sometimes I think I've reached the pinnacle of my ability to be outraged by things on the internet. And then something like this comes along. So I'm sorry, my friends, this is going to be a rant. A mean, probably nasty kind of rant. Sci is not naturally a mean person, but some things really do make me roar with rage.
This is the thing.
It is an article at XO Jane, where the Health Editor talks about how New York City is out of Plan B, and how much that sucks. I agree that it completely sucks. Plan B is an important contraceptive. She then goes to on state why it personally sucks to her. She depends on it for birth control, because she doesn't like condoms, and birth control pills will get her fat and she can't be bothered to take them on time. She sticks to Plan B as her contraceptive of choice. That's her choice to make, and if she wants to spend $50 on Plan B every time she has unprotected intercourse, that's all her.
Here's my problem. My problem is that this "health editor" spends her entire editorial spreading COMPLETELY IDIOTIC AND WRONG notions about HEALTH. Seriously, XO Jane. Have you been hacked? you can admit it, it's ok, we all get hacked once in a while. Are you playing some joke that is only funny on a meta level? Because I find it very difficult to believe that you have a HEALTH EDITOR that is so ill-informed and willfully ignorant about, you know, HEALTH.
So I want to dispel these myths, and I want to talk about fact checking.
2) Birth control pills. NO. They will make me fat; they will make me "spot" (another thing I squeamishly just DON'T LIKE TALKING ABOUT; don't worry, though, everyone else who works here does); they will give me acne; and quite frankly, they will NOT prevent me from getting pregnant! I know this because IT HAPPENED TO ME™.
No, I didn't take my pills right; I forget things like this unless they are FUN pills, or what I BELIEVE, delusionally, to be a "fun" pill at the time; anyway, the point is, unless a pill gets me speedy or doped up as all hell I will NOT remember to take it, and then I will get pregnant! I JUST WILL. (IHTM™.)
For the 50 BILLIONTH TIME. Birth control pills (the estrogen and estrogen/progesterone combination pills). Do. Not. Make. You. Fat.
Would. You. Like. More. References?
Yes, they can affect your skin. They can cause spotting. You can try different kinds until you get one that works for you. But there is NOT a significant side effect of weight gain. If you gained weight, I'm sorry, but it was probably something else.
Also, I understand that some people really DO have problems taking a pill every day. But that DOES NOT mean the pill doesn't WORK. If you had a headache, and I asked if you'd taken aspirin for it, and you said no, do you blame the aspirin for your headache? OF COURSE NOT. Because that's STUPID. The pill DOES WORK. When taken correctly, it works 99.9% of the time. If you cannot be bothered to take the pill, try the patch or the ring, or another method entirely, but do not blame the pill for being ineffective.
So the author says all this stuff about how birth control doesn't work for her. Ok, I get that, estrogen or estrogen/progesterone pills don't work for you...
...so why, exactly, are you taking Plan B?
Let's see here
Plan B One-Step® is safe, effective, and FDA-approved. It contains levonorgestrel, the same ingredient found in many birth control pills. The difference is that Plan B One-Step® requires just one pill, which uses a larger dose of levonorgestrel than a single birth control pill. And, unlike many birth control pills, Plan B One-Step® doesn’t contain any estrogen, only progestin.
(From the Plan B site)
So those meanie estrogens make you FAT and cause you ACNE and they SUCK, and so you're going to take a BIG WHOPPING DOSE OF PROGESTIN INSTEAD?!?!
Of course, she talks about the science behind plan B to back her up.
THIS IS TOO, TOO TERRIFYING AND I REFUSE TO UNDERSTAND IT.
Honey, this ISN'T HARD. Haha, yes, I get it. Teehee, science is HARD, you guys!
No. This isn't hard. This is your BODY. And it's REALLY IMPORTANT that you know what it's doing, why it's doing that, and what you're putting into it. It's your body, and it's your life, and if you have a right to one thing, it's to know what's going on with your own body. If you are confused about ovulation, menstruation, pregnancy, abortion, or birth control, there are lots of sites where you can go which will explain the relatively simple science behind this. Heck some of them even use nice small words.
Far be it from me to tell XO Jane how to handle their hiring, but I do think it's generally wise to have a heath editor who's taken a health course. And who can read. But perhaps I'm too picky.