Why The Birth Control Pill Is The Worst For PCOS

Adriana Espinosa Janković
12 min readMay 7, 2020

I got on the birth control pill when I was 15 years old. I was living in Northern California and my mother took me to see a gynecologist right after I started my period for the first time. I don’t remember much of that appointment, but I do remember the doctor telling me that I had a condition known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and that I would “need help getting pregnant” when the time came. He then quickly wrote up a prescription for a contraceptive pill and sent me on my way. It all happened very fast and I didn’t think much of it. The idea of getting pregnant seemed like lightyears away so that didn’t worry me at all, and the notion of taking a daily birth control pill seemed easy enough. I was used to daily pill-popping back then anyway. It was the early 2000’s and antibiotic use in America was highly prevalent. It seemed like I was always being prescribed a course of antibiotics, whether it were for the common cold, teenage acne, or any other minor allergy. So my mother filled my prescription and I followed orders.

I was on the birth control pill for the next few years until I moved to Mexico to start college at 18. The stress of the move caused my Anorexia to relapse and I reached a very low body weight. I went to see a nutritionist, per my family’s advice, and the nutritionist suggested that I stop taking the birth control pill. She said that my monthly periods were causing me to lose a lot of iron that my body needed to store. Once again, I didn’t question this either, and just simply stopped taking the pill. Doing this stopped my periods from coming completely, also known as amenorrhea. So I went from having a monthly period to only having about one or two periods per year. But again, this didn’t really bother me nor did I put much thought into it.

Fast forward another few years, I was back in the US on summer vacation and went to see a different gynecologist for my yearly check-up. She did a quick examination, determined everything was fine, and then told me she was prescribing me a hormonal birth control pill. This time I asked, why? In Mexico, doctors don’t jump at the chance to put you on pharmaceutical drugs like they do in the US. I wasn’t used to taking daily pills anymore and the thought of having to refill a prescription every month sounded tedious. She told me it was “just a good idea to…