TBH when I was 12 I still thought avocados were a vegetable and that cracking your knuckles will give you arthritis. Needless to say, I was not prepared to grab myself a pack of pills to take everyday for the rest of my life until I wanted to fall pregnant.
17, 38 whatever age you are in Australia you are able to get the pill from a doctor depending on what the doctor thinks of your maturity levels. There is no age restriction for the pill; technically you just need to have your period. If you’re over the age of 14 you can get a prescription without your parent’s signature. All you need is a Medicare card really and the contraceptive pill is in your hands.
So why is this alarming?
Here at TBH The Pill we worry about whether the clear benefits of hormonal contraception in adulthood can be experienced by adolescent girls, some as young as eleven or twelve years old. With the contraceptive pill’s imperfect administration and high discontinuation rates, they aren’t that great as contraception. Aside from that, there are also additional, physiological concerns. What are the effects of giving doses of hormones to young girls with newly developing hormones? Where irregularity is regular in adolescence does the pill effect the feedback loop between the brain and the gonads is priming and developing in this period of puberty? The sensitivity of the feedback loop is being established. And if the pill floods this feedback loop with extra hormones, does this alter its sensitivity? It is a question worth testing.
By flooding adolescent girls with hormones during puberty, the pill is regulating a cycle that normally is irregular the contraceptive is increasing estrogen exposure. And it is known that high lifetime estrogen exposure is a risk factor for breast cancer and other reproductive cancers.
Let us hear your thoughts on prescribing young girls with the contraceptive pill in the comment section, our Twitter or Facebook page. Should they be prescribed artificial hormones in their developing stages?