For most of us ladies, birth control is like the goddamn Holy Grail: We couldn't live without it.
While, yeah, sometimes the pill makes us crazy or the IUD shifts and kind of hurts, we'll take the minor side effects in exchange for the peace of mind birth control allows us (not to mention, the magical ability to control our periods).
It's easy to forget birth control is a chemical altering our bodies. It's easy to forget it could, on rare occasions, be dangerous -- even fatal.
And that's why this story is so scary.
A 21-year-old woman named Fallan Kurek recently passed away from complications reportedly associated with the pill after being on birth control for a mere 25 days.
The Australian was initially prescribed the pill to regulate her period, as many of us are. But soon after she started taking the pill, Kurek felt weird. She found herself short of breath and experienced random stabs of pain in her legs and ribs. Doctors brushed it off, assuming her symptoms were unrelated. Perhaps she injured herself and forgot.
Almost four weeks into her first pack, Kurek collapsed in her home. She stopped breathing.
Emergency scans found Kurek, an otherwise healthy young adult, developed a large clot in her lung, which affected her heart and in turn, cut off the oxygen supply to her brain.
Doctors soon pronounced Kurek brain-dead and eventually took her off of life support.
Though extremely rare, Kurek's tragic story serves as an important reminder that birth control can be dangerous. Generally, smokers and women over 35 are most at risk for complications.
If your risk factor is high, you may want to consider an alternative form of birth control, and no matter who you are, always go to the doctor if you suspect something is wrong.
What works for one person may not work for everyone, so talk to your doctor before starting any new birth control regimen and learn more about the risks and benefits of oral contraceptives here.