Letter 13: From Saira
Learning more about your story has made me so upset for you and your family.
No one deserves to have a daughter taken away from them at such a young
age. I am truly shocked that these oral contraceptives continue to be sold.
However I feel lucky to have come across your story. Ever since, I have tried to
educate myself as much as possible on the risks of different birth control pills,
including my own.
When I think back on when I was prescribed the pill, I never remember hearing anything about its negative effects. Instead, I was put at ease from my doctor’s endless assurances that the pill was a VERY safe and effective option. And I continued to believe this until I witnessed firsthand in the Emergency Room one of its serious risks. While volunteering with the Stroke Department in the ER, I saw a young girl in her mid-20’s rushed to the hospital by her boyfriend after suddenly being unable to speak. I had never seen a stroke in someone so young. I was confused until the doctors explained that the woman was taking birth control with a history of migraines--a dangerous combination she should’ve been told about it.
When I remember that poor young woman who had no idea her birth control would give her a stroke, I think about her loving family that was there to help her on her path to recovery. And it makes me so sad to think she was lucky enough to recover, but you never got that chance--your family couldn’t help you.
Your story shows the need for accountability from Bayer and other companies making birth control with drospirenone. My hope is that more and more women will read about your story and educate themselves on the health risks of the drugs they take daily.
University of California, Los Angeles, Class of 2018