February 13, 2005

Now with less complaining.

I've been a regular complainer about birth control methods and menstrual products. Every option has a major shortcoming, and my usual conclusion has been that because of this, there is nothing to be satisfied about.

Meanwhile, I've been using birth control pills for almost six years with no irritating side effects, and I really like being able to have spontaneous sex without barriers. (Bonus: protection against developing endometriosis, which seems to run in my family.) Pills are not appropriate for every situation, and they don't work for everyone, but I've realized that I'm actually satisfied using them for myself.

It's the same with menstrual products. Something sucks about all of them, but because the shortcomings are all different, it is possible for plenty of women to find a satisfactory combination. Right now I'm into organic cotton tampons and a lot of product-free time.

My new conclusion is that it isn't menstrual products and birth control methods that are hopeless; it is only recommendations that are pointless and futile. Whether something makes me happy, or satisfies the majority of women is largely irrelevant to anyone else.

Many women who get IUDs get them removed within a year, but a friend of mine freely declares her love for the IUD she used to use. Lots of women will not use hormones to regulate fertility because the side effects are too major and far-reaching, but for me the trade off for reliability and spontaneity is worth it. If 90% of women are satisfied with something, it doesn't mean I will be 90% satisfied.

This is a very liberating new conclusion. I always feel like I'm missing something when I complain or hate things. (How could I handle this reality instead? What do I want to do about it?) This was all brought on by some major recent complaining on a male contraceptives newsletter I get. Meditation on complaining!

Also, today: my collected links about tampon cases have become a whole page, and I reviewed one of my favourite period books for girls, Sweet Secrets.

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