Elon Musk
Elon Musk's viral post on hormonal birth control is flooded with women responding with their negative experiences. Wikimedia Commons

Taking to the comments section of Elon Musk's X post about the side effects of hormonal birth control pills, a wave of women have shared personal accounts of negative experiences with the contraceptive.

Oral contraceptives, commonly known as "the pill," are widely used by women and girls around the world. From 2015 to 2017, data shared by CDC suggests about 65 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 were using contraception.

In fact, they are sometimes prescribed for non-contraceptive purposes, such as managing acne in young people. "I started taking the birth control pill as a sophomore in high school to help with my acne. Most of my friends got prescriptions around then, too," New York Post's Rikki Schlott noted in an article last year.

Thankfully, the silence surrounding birth control side effects is starting to crack, with some women sharing their reasons for going off the pill. "Hormonal birth control makes you fat, doubles risk of depression & triples risk of suicide," Musk wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The tech mogul asserted that a "clear scientific consensus" exists, but further stated that many are unaware of it. The post had garnered a whopping 41.2 million views at the time of writing.

In a follow-up post, the billionaire shared a link to a Time magazine article titled "Hormonal Birth Control Is Linked to a Higher Risk of Suicide, Study Says". X user Whitney Grenaway noted that taking pills almost doubles the risk of cervical cancer within 5 years. "Yikes," Musk responded.

The Tesla CEO then shared a link to a study about hormonal contraception and suicide, published on the official website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). He also linked to a separate study in the American Journal of Psychiatry that found hormonal contraception doubles the risk of suicide attempts, and triples the risk of suicide.

A survey carried out by the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) last year found that nearly one in three teenage girls considered suicide in 2021. A concerning 13 per cent of teenage girls had attempted suicide one or more times in 2021, according to the report.

Women share personal experiences with hormonal birth control

Musk's X post had received 16,000 responses from X users, including women who lauded the ever-controversial Twitter owner for bringing attention to the issue. They even shared their own stories.

"Hormonal birth control gave me pseudotumor cerebri, which causes debilitating headaches and if untreated, blindness," Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic director-turned-pro-life advocate wrote.

"I will have to be on medication for my entire life or otherwise lose my sight," she added. Noting that fertility is a sign of health, Johnson urged women to stop taking pills to break something that is working. "I'm so thankful to have gotten off that crap and now have 8 beautiful children," she wrote.

Ashley St. Clair, writer for The Babylon Bee, a conservative Christian news satire website, recounted her personal experience taking hormonal contraceptives for nearly a decade, starting at the age of 14.

She was prescribed hormonal contraceptives at the tender age of 14 for acne treatment. Just a few months later, she found herself engaging in therapy sessions despite not having a prior history of depression. She was then placed on medication known as SSRI.

Is the pill safe for everyone?

Across nearly a decade of continued contraceptive use, she discussed her deteriorating mental health with her doctors, but not a single doctor during that period hinted at the possibility that the daily hormonal intake could be a contributing factor.

Reflecting on her decade-long use of contraceptives, she compared the initial prescription for acne to "killing a mouse with a rocket launcher". This doesn't come as a surprise given that a 2023 UKCRC report showed that the the research into women's health is extremely underfunded.

"Hundreds of thousands of women across the United States and the world have had a similar experience to mine — feeling completely out of their mind on a pill their doctor told them was relatively 'harmless,'" St. Clair continued.

Writer Andrea Mew, who challenged widely held views on hormonal birth control, posted screenshots of her Evie magazine pieces and asked if it is a sign that there's a shift in mainstream opinion.

"I CAN VOUCH FOR the weight gain and mood swings, etc. I took this stuff for about 2 years as a very young wife," another woman responded to Musk.

Other women shared their anxieties about the potential correlation between using the pill and increased risks of developing breast and cervical cancer.