Letter 27: Letter from Amanda
I am grateful to your family for sharing your story. Please know that your devastating and unfair experience with birth control has brought attention to an otherwise silent issue. It has also inspired many women to take control of their reproductive health, including myself.
Like you and countless other women, I had trouble finding the right form of birth control. I worried about the known effects of hormonal options, but ultimately made the decision that protecting myself from pregnancy was more important than the side effects I would suffer. My first form of the pill unfortunately contained many unwanted effects, and as a result, my doctor prescribed me Gianvi, a generic version of Yaz.
I was never warned of the drug’s dangers, many of which you suffered. Instead, my doctor marketed Gianvi as a “cure all” that would rid me of acne, bloating, headaches, and mood swings. After taking the pill for over two years, I was pleased with the lack of traditional side effects. But thanks to your story, I now know the benefits of Gianvi do not outweigh the risks.
I cannot thank you and your family enough for educating me and other women on the harms of hormonal birth control. Like you, I am an otherwise healthy, young woman with a bright future. I wonder if these many good fortunes would have been compromised if not for reading your story. Thanks to you, I now have a different doctor and am working to find another version of the pill that is dissimilar to Yaz. I have also educated my friends and family on the hidden harms of birth control in the hopes that I can prevent fateful and untimely events, such as yours. It is all of our responsibilities to share your story and to protect one another. It is my hope that the power of your story will send a message to our government that such medications should be taken off the market and that women’s reproductive health is important to us all.
The University of Virginia, Class of 2021