Rare is the feature on women’s health from a magazine hip to New York City’s nightlife, dining, arts and entertainment. Within the past two months alone the magazine featured articles on the Julie Taymor Spiderman play, Jimmy Fallon and John Stewart. Not what one might consider provoking and thoughtful. Yet this week’s issue arrived with a juicy six page article titled Waking Up From the Pill that asks readers to consider the side effects of hormonal birth control.
The author begins her journey at a 50th anniversary celebration for the Pill, hosted by a pharmaceutical company, for “a couple-hundred bejeweled women in gowns” who toast to the Pill’s gift of reproductive freedom for women. But author Vanessa Grigoriadis notes a stunning social side effect of hormonal birth control – that women are waiting to conceive, particularly women in New York who “have shifted their attempts at conception back about ten years. And the experience of trying to get pregnant at that age amounts to a new stage in women’s lives, a kind of second adolescence.” She adds that this period is marked by anxiety and obsessions.
Interestingly, Grigoriadis elides information on the Pill’s physical side effects like increased risk of blood clots, strokes, decreased sexual drive and the like, and focuses only on the social side effects. Perhaps fearing a lawsuit, her language strongly connects infertility solely to durational use of the Pill that lingers beyond a woman’s natural reproductive age. “The Pill didn’t create the field of infertility medicine, but it turned it into an enormous industry. Inadvertently, indirectly, infertility has become the Pill’s primary side effect.” Be sure to read on.