Letter 36: Letter from Kat

Dear Annie,

 

Your story was devastating but one I fear is not limited to just you. Too often, women’s health issues are brushed under the rug with, in your case, fatal consequences. You were seemingly doing everything right. You were young, healthy, and had your whole life in front of you. You knew something was off and yet even your doctors overlooked the fact that a medication you take every single day could be a culprit.

 

I hear so many stories of women putting up with side effects of birth control because they feel like they have to- because they feel like taking a pill every day is their only option. It’s almost just expected that women should just accept the fact they will always have to deal with some sort of issue or discomfort when it comes to women's health. I admired your perseverance to delve deeper into your health concerns and only wish that the doctors could have done something sooner.

 

Your story reminds me of the importance of advocating for your own health and understanding all the information involved with medication or procedures. I recently evaluated my own experience with birth control and realized it was time to make a change for my own mental and physical health. Your quality of life should not diminish as a result of taking this pill or any form of birth control for that matter. It is not a one size fits all approach and I hope your story inspires other women to take the time to reflect on their own experiences as well.

 

I hope that by sharing your story, we also encourage healthcare providers to reflect on how they are going about communicating with their patients when it comes to contraceptives. I hope they take the time to have a conversation and truly inform their patients as well as listen to concerns. No one else should have to die from something designed to make your life easier.

 

Best,

    Kat

    University of Michigan '22

National Center for Health Research

1001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 1100

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 223-4000

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