The moment people see the tag of Dr. preceding my name, they are reminded of whatever ails them and they seek advice. No harm there. I do my best to answer them but the ones that get to me are the women who are looking for a quick fix to delay their periods. And for what? Something like a puja or a trip to the native place. I try my best to hide my displeasure but such seekers often do not notice since they are focused only on my answer. What dismays is that they sound so casual about it.

It’s so ingrained in some of the families that whenever a religious ritual is planned, all the women of the house reflexively rule out their dates. And the ‘unfortunate’ ones are told by the older women to ‘take care’ of the dates. It’s 2018, for God’s sake. Do we really have to mess with nature? In the name of God? I so want to tell them instead of taking it in the name of God, STOP in the name of that very God!! And it’s not a one off phenomenon but an oft repeated one, considering the variety of rituals we have devised.

Please understand that periods are a natural outcome of the hormones juggling in our body. Manipulating periods implies we are meddling directly with these hormones. And the job of these hormones is more than just regulating the periods. Innumerable times, I have tried to educate the ladies but haven’t met with much success. They will pretend to listen to you but will eventually want the pill’s name. They seem to me like children playing with fire. It’s a mindset so hard to break. I have lost count of occasions when I’ve thrown in the towel and given them what they want.

Much as I wish that our society changes its ways, the only thing I can do is give some advice and hope that it makes women think twice before they pop the pill.

Ask yourself, do you really really need to take it?

  • If yes, then please seek a gynecologist not your friendly neighbor or that know it all aunty and definitely not the Google.
  • The consult would make you aware of the variety that is available NOT for you to pick and choose but to suit different subject profile.
  • A gynecologist will evaluate you thoroughly and advise accordingly.
  • There are some which are like the oral contraceptive (OC) pills. Unlike the pills there is no gap in these preparations.
  • Then there are the progesterone only pills and norethistrone based medications. But which one to opt for is an educated and informed choice depending on your history.
  • If you have a history of hormonal imbalances, thrombosis, migraines DO NOT take them.
  • Be aware of side effects like spotting, weight gain, acne, abdominal discomfort, mood swings, water retention, heavy bleeding on stopping the pills. After stopping the medicine, often it takes two or three cycles to be regularized. Are they really worth the trouble.
  • If this hasn’t discouraged you yet, then take occasionally. Please do not make a habit out of it. Prolonged or repeated intake of any type is absolutely contraindicated.

Educate yourself. Knowing about their possible dangers might deter some of you from taking them. And finally consider the risk benefit ratio and take only if you must. Consider a thought, if God wanted you to put them off, why would He have given it to you?



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