I’m not here to deliver sex education, but a story about the National Health Service in the UK recently caused a kerfuffle on social media, so I think this needs addressing. The NHS recently changed its guidance and now advises that women take the contraceptive pill continually, diverging from decades of insistence that a week-long break be adhered to, in order to facilitate the continuation of periods on a 28 day cycle. This original guidance essentially came out through efforts to have the Pope approve of contraceptive use for married couples.
When I was in secondary school in (very Catholic 1990s) Ireland, a biology teacher told my class one day that this advice was bullshit, and that scientifically there was no reason not to take the pill continuously. She told us, full of raging feminism, that this was a prime example of women cowed into accepting a rule that took away true choice and rendered consent uninformed and meaningless.
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