Schitt's Creek Star Annie Murphy Says the Wrong Birth Control Caused Mood Swings: 'I Would Have Goblin Days'

·4 min read
Annie Murphy Details Struggles with Birth Control, Stresses Belief in Freedom with Your Own Body
Annie Murphy Details Struggles with Birth Control, Stresses Belief in Freedom with Your Own Body

Evofem Biosciences

Annie Murphy is hoping to normalize conversations about contraceptives in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Emmy Award-winning actress, 35, opened up about her past struggle with finding a birth control that worked with her body — she was just a teenager when she asked her doctor to be put on some form of birth control, and she was immediately prescribed the pill.

"It was like, 'Here's the pill, this is the thing that you use,' " the Schitt's Creek star tells PEOPLE. "So kind of no questions asked, my young 16-year-old brain was like, 'I trust this doctor, they want what's best for me.' And I started on the pill."

It took Murphy a few years to realize that her birth control wasn't a good fit, causing her to experience intense mood swings.

"I would have goblin days where I just didn't even recognize myself; I was feeling really, really sad, really down, really anxious," she explains. "Slowly I started putting two and two together and realizing that it was the pill that was causing these really big ups and downs."

Her doctor then switched her to the NuvaRing as a form of birth control, which still left Murphy feeling uneasy about the effects after a few years. The actress says she decided to stop using birth control entirely, which she called 'a gamble.'

It wasn't until Murphy partnered with Evofem Biosciences and started using the company's non-hormonal birth control, Phexxi, that the star says she stopped "feeling guilty or scared" about what she was putting in her body.

Murphy urges women to speak up for themselves in the doctor's office.

"There are so many options out there. Maybe Phexxi isn't for everybody, but it is an option that I had not heard about at all. And I genuinely hadn't heard about anything but the pill and the NuvaRing — it was limited to those forms of birth control," Murphy explains. "And that, to me, is really disappointing because different women have different needs and different levels of comfort about what they put into their body. And there are so many products out there that we aren't educated about."

"That was the struggle, you know, the content really wasn't there and I feel like the doctors, no one really had the desire to pursue any kind of education with me," she adds.

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About 21% of women in the United States reported changing their contraception methods in the month following the end of Roe v. Wade, according to a survey by the Harris Poll and TIME. Additionally, many political leaders have suggested overturning other landmark rulings like Griswold v. Connecticut, which currently protects the right to contraceptives.

Saundra Pelletier, CEO of Evofem Biosciences, tells PEOPLE that now more than ever, speaking up about reproductive healthcare is important, noting that the country is "going backwards."

"The [Supreme Court] decision was wrong, we think it's an over-attack on women," she explains. "So the people who are now taking it to the next level, saying, let's move forward and try to ban contraception — but half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned — the negative repercussions of those are significant."

"I can't emphasize enough how strongly I believe in everyone's right to bodily autonomy," the actress agrees. "It really does blow my mind that everyone has sex and most people aren't having sex in order to have a baby — it happens billions of times a day on this earth — and still we are so trepidatious talking about birth control and body parts."

RELATED: Pharmaceutical Company Seeks FDA Approval for First Over-the-Counter Birth Control Pill

Annie Murphy Details Struggles with Birth Control, Stresses Belief in Freedom with Your Own Body
Annie Murphy Details Struggles with Birth Control, Stresses Belief in Freedom with Your Own Body

Evofem Biosciences Annie Murphy and Saundra Pelletier

"At the end of the day, access to contraception is critical," Pelletier says. "That's why our partnership with Annie is so critical to say to women, this is your time to use your voice and to use your voice as loud as you possibly can."

Pelletier adds that telemedicine is going to rise, noting that her company's telemedicine platform Phexxi has seen a "huge increase" in demand following the SCOTUS decision.

Annie Murphy Details Struggles with Birth Control, Stresses Belief in Freedom with Your Own Body
Annie Murphy Details Struggles with Birth Control, Stresses Belief in Freedom with Your Own Body

Evofem Biosciences

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Murphy admits that the nation's recent events have quickly shed a light on how topics of women's healthcare are considered taboo for so many.

"The fact that I did this commercial last year and I said the word vagina in 2021 and it caused this kind of ripple that like 'Oh my God, she said the word vagina in a commercial.' That, to me, is still very troubling," Murphy says. "And so I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to be working in this capacity and to just do everything I can do to normalize these conversations because they should be normal and no one should feel guilty or anxious or upset about talking about these things. It's so, so crucial."

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