On Love and Periods
When I first heard about IUDs I made a joke about IEDs. It was obvious in the “periods remind me of wartime” kind of way. I swore I would never let someone implant something inside of me until I had heard a viable argument that it was better than any possible form of birth control for men. I gave an impassioned speech or two about how women can have one child every nine months, but a man can impregnate a woman every time his sperminators (medical term) recharge. I might have been serious, or I might have been scared.
I definitely changed my tune when Donald Trump came in and took the White House like Kaa from the Jungle Book. Except no, because that’s insulting to Kaa because he just wants to sing some songs and eat Mogli for dinner, and at this point I’d prefer that in my president, wouldn’t you? Anyway, I changed my tune because we put a Slytherin in the White House, and I moved to the South. Admittedly I didn’t run a controlled study for comparison, but all of a sudden, my birth control was no longer free, and my new doctors began to refer to my period as “that time of the month” so, qualitatively speaking, I was freaked the fucked out. I weighed my options, and if you’ve read about the Rocky Horror Shit Show that happened in my uterus, I chose to get an IUD because come hell or high water, at least for the next five years, I have free and hidden birth control.
IUD’s can do some crazy shit to your body. I have a friend who had to have her IUD taken out because she didn’t stop bleeding for a year. For some people, they make your period go away, which actually freaked me out before Handmaid’s Tale convinced me that weird science experiments on my uterus might be best case scenario. My good friend from college got an IUD and her period stopped immediately. Can you believe the freedom? She could wear white pants 28-31 days of the month, except that I explicitly told her that that was a terrible idea because she falls down a lot. But then she got a lump in her boob and they told her she had to get her IUD out to regulate her hormones. Now every month she gets a monthly reminder about how good she and her left boob, and her vagina had it. Plus, she has to buy tampons again which aren’t even tax free in most states. Cancer and tampons are just so expensive. They told her she could get a copper IUD but who wants to go through all of that pain again after you’ve just been told you need to deconstruct your boob? Haven’t we been violated enough?
When I was on the pill, I was regulated by white pills and blue pills. Now I’m just hormones in the wind, free flying however the calendar might take me. My IUD makes my period short enough to keep it interesting, and long enough to remind you that hell is real. I’m grateful that my period is short. But it isn’t a sweet, tea party. Instead, I think my uterus is a hoarder. It saves everything up like it’s waiting for a therapy session. New, old, painful, stylish, last year’s model. When I was on the pill I bled blood. Now I bleed mud and oil and deconstructed emotions.
My period is needy and clingy. It shows up on dates, and at my gym. It rolls in like a friend and then goes all Texas Chainsaw on my ass when I dare to RSVP to a pool party. I used to think I was hella lucky, back in the good old days when birth control wasn’t a bigger issue than heroin. But oh, how the mighty have fallen. I’ve given up the pill for a birth control that cannot be taken from me, or price hiked. So long gone are the days of cramp-free periods and pill planning vacations. My Aunt Flo has a mind of her own, and she hasn’t been to see her therapist about her social anxiety and abandonment issues in far too long. So, you can find me at the drug store at 4am tomorrow buying tampons so I can take my fucking period with me to Mexico. I hope she has a passport.