By CELESTE ORENDAIN
Pima Community College student “Arianna” was home alone on a Saturday night, feeling sick with an upset stomach and headache.
When severe vaginal bleeding began, she was forced to face a looming question: Am I pregnant?
Arianna, who asked that her real name not be used, wasn’t sure how her boyfriend would react to the possibility.
“It was a big despair inside my chest that was hard to control,” she says. “I wanted to cry and scream at the same time.”
Fortunately, he reacted with care and concern. “I’m glad to have the sweetest boyfriend,” she says.
Like many women, Arianna was taking birth control pills as contraception. The pills have been proven highly effective in protecting against pregnancy, but sometimes they don’t work.
Recalls have magnified the problem.
Earlier this year, both Glenmark Generics and Pfizer pharmaceutical companies recalled birth control pills due to packaging errors.
Lo/Ovral-28, manufactured and packaged by Pfizer but labeled as Akrimax, was among the brands recalled.
Arianna was using Akrimax, and her gynecologist feared she had taken defective pills.
The gynecologist confirmed that Arianna had indeed been two weeks pregnant, but lost the baby.
Her doctor urged her to take legal action against Akrimax, but Arianna feared nothing would come of it and did not see the point.
After the miscarriage, Arianna discussed contraception with her boyfriend and decided to switch to a vaginal ring.
Vaginal rings are inserted into the vagina for three weeks, and then removed for a week to allow for menstruation As difficult as it was to imagine having a baby at this point in their lives, Arianna and her boyfriend were deeply saddened by the loss of their unborn child.
The couple agrees that the situation brought them closer together and helped them put their priorities into perspective.
Arianna feels much better now that the incident is behind her, and is attending therapy with her boyfriend.
They plan to marry next fall in Los Angeles. Someday, they want a big family.