[Ad – this is a commissioned post.] Not too long ago there was some stunningly shocking information released which I’ve been meaning to write about and not quite got around to. And then I was approached about the results of a survey which go hand inland with the topic. Today I’m going to be discussing the differing attitudes of men and women surrounding sex and contraception, and specifically breakthrough bleeding on the pill.

As far as I’ve always understood, not bleeding while on the pill has been okay in limited, special circumstances – such as when going on holiday. Certainly it was discouraged. Which is why the latest recommendations regarding probably the most popular method of birth control is so startling…

It was made public that the seven day break in the pill is not necessary. This essentially means women who use this form of contraception unnecessarily have periods each month which – crucially – puts them at an increased risk of the pill failing.


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Breakthrough Bleeding on Pill Not Medically Necessary

It was widely reported that the break exists only to appease the pope (apparently, gynaecologist John Rock devised the seven day break in the hope the Pope would accept the pill and allow its use by Catholics). However, because I can’t stand the perpetuation of hoaxes and don’t wish to be complicit, I did some digging. I found an article published by the Guardian that seems to debunk that theory.

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To paraphrase, a gynaecologist treating unexplained infertility had a hunch that the body would more readily conceive having already been pregnant. With this theory in mind, patients were temporarily given the pill, which tricks the body into believing it’s pregnant. Early forms of the pill contained higher doses of hormones, which led to the mimicking of undesirable pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness. This was particularly distressing for those women struggling with infertility, and thus the seven day break was introduced, to reduce that painful false hope.

Sadly, the true reason behind the break remaining unnecessarily for 60 years doesn’t make for much better reading than the story about the pope: an unconscious medical bias against females.

This has been borne out repeatedly in studies – women presenting with pain are more frequently given sedatives than pain killers – and heartbreakingly, this applies all the way from paediatric nursing.


Differing Attitudes of Men and Women Towards Sex

I was contacted by the Psychic Guild to share the results of a survey of 2,493 adults regarding their attitudes towards sexual behaviour. The results revealed that men are more than three times as likely as women to sleep with someone on a first date. 13% of men answered that they would have sex on the first date, compared to just 4% of women.

Breakthrough Bleeding on Pill - Feet in Tangled Sheets

by date three, 40% of men would hope to sleep with somebody, and by five dates that figure exceeds half of those men polled. By contrast, only 18% of women would be inclined to sleep with someone on date three, and by 8 – 10 dates that figure rises to 42% of the women polled.

You can see the full results of the survey here, but suffice to say that of the female respondents, nearly a quarter said they’d wait till marriage, compared to 14% of men. The next highest category for the women who took part was more than ten dates. For men, the most popular answer was three dates.

I’d be cautious in drawing absolute conclusions based on the sample size and the fact that it doesn’t mention anywhere the split between the genders, but it’s certainly an interesting subject.


Society’s Attitude and Culture Towards Contraception

It bothers me that if this survey is representative, then we have a situation where men are more often seeking a sexual encounter than women, and yet it’s invariably us ladies who – by default – are responsible for contraception. WHY?

Women are expected to insert foreign objects (such as the coil), or synthetic hormones – which they have to pay for despite earning less than men – or both (implant) into their bodies; all to, essentially, facilitate the pleasure of men.

This is the stark and frightening truth that too many turn a blind eye to. It may sound like extreme hyperbole, but check out Harriet’s arguments here and you’ll start to see that it’s actually incredibly tough to argue.

I recently read a thread on Twitter, and while I’d hesitate to say I agree with the sentiment entirely, it definitely raised some fascinating points which are difficult to ignore. You can read the full thread here, but to paraphrase – this lady basically holds men 100% accountable for every singe abortion that has ever or will ever take place.

When it comes to men and women, our roles in society and what is expected of us, this issue puts the ‘cult’ in culture – the world has been brainwashed, and I’m terrified for my daughters.

It’s easy to get sucked into believing that feminism is winning and things are improving, everything is getting better all the time. But the reality is that life as a female is still unacceptably difficult in many ways, and worse – it’s been normalised.



An award-nominated blogger and author, Kate is an experienced breastfeeding advocate, and expert baby sleep chaser. Her writing has appeared on Mothercare, Huff Post, and BritMums.

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