Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Pill: why so little information?

A lot is said about possible dangers of the Pill, which makes perfect sense: it's hard to believe such a powerful hormonal manipulation, used for years and years by some women, has no long-term effects on their bodies.

But why is there so little serious research about the Pill, published in journals that really count for something in the medical world? Why aren't researchers taking up this issue, which touches the lives of so many women in the Western world? And what we do know – why is it dismissed? Why does it seem it's all hushed up? Of all the secular women I know, maybe 25% (my own rough estimate) have never been on the Pill. And how much do they know about the health risks? Very little. It's just so easy and convenient that they lightly take the word of their doctors, who say off-handedly, 'oh, it's nothing'.

Research is based on how funding is available, which makes sense – if we want research, somebody has to fund it, right? But who will do this? Medical companies? Surely not – as such a research might make them lose their profits and doesn't serve their interests. Public institutions won't do it either, because this topic isn't politically correct. Funding won't be given from grant givers. The research team would be labeled as chauvinists, and can only lose from taking such a topic.

As a matter of fact, I think powerful medical companies that care only about their profits and would do everything to stop a decent researcher from showing us all the facts. Bribe. Threats. Call me a paranoid, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out researchers are being paid for getting off this inconvenient topic.

I think it could be possible to do sufficient research to prove the Pill is dangerous and make it well-known, if there was enough public pressure. If people really wanted to know – but do they? Are people ready to stop sticking their heads in the sand, leave their comfort zone of easy birth control and find out about possible dangers? I seriously doubt it. It would mean changing the entire lifestyle of our generation, and possibly the attitude towards children and sacredness of human life. And this, I'm afraid, won't happen so easily.

48 comments:

USAincognito said...

Personally, I think every woman has the right to choose whether or not to take the pill.
However, I have a very personal story to share that ties in with the topic of dangers from taking the pill.
When I first started having my periods, they lasted almost 2 weeks and I would become violently ill for the first several days. I missed tons of school days and could not function. Finally, when I was 17 years old, I spoke to my doctor about what I could do to live a normal life during my periods. He put me on Orthotricyclen (birth control pill). This pill was also used to help regulate periods in people like me. It worked wonders!! My periods became normal and I no longer was violently ill. Without the pill, I reverted - so I continued taking the pill.
Fast forward to the year 2004. I had been on the pill for close to 10 years. All of a sudden my pap smears started coming back positive. This went on all year. I finally went in to see a specialist and that is when they discovered I had Stage I pre-cancerous cervical cancer cells. (some think this is only caused when you contract HPV thru sexual intercourse. this is not always the case! you can get HPV even if you have never had sex.)
I had to have surgery to remove part of my cervix and during that surgery, the doctor botched the procedure - severely tearing my cervix and uterus wall lining.
The next year I was living back near my home doctor and when he saw the scars and damage done to my cervix and uteral lining from the botched surgery the other doctor had done, I was told that I would never be able to hold a pregnancy. I was devastated!!
Through all this, I learned that one of the side affects for being on the pill as long as I was, is the risk for developing cervical cancer (or even breast cancer - which I also struggled with but never knew why til then).
Once I learned that I had probably caused this, I quit taking the pill. I live a nightmare every time I have my period but I will never take the pill again because of what it did to me.

Dawn said...

* clapping *
Could you imagine the "pandemic" that would break out if BC wasn't just handed out like candy but only given to people who really need it (medical problems, not trying to halt a pregnancy). We would be in for a World War 3 Christians and Non Christians alike!
But it is true, women really should research what they are putting in their bodies and note the side effects.
Goes for men too. Many husbands, in fact, most husbands are clueless what the Pill and other BC does to a woman's body. They just think it stops a pregnancy and that's it.
It's so simple and effortless to read up on this subject, know what I mean?
*sigh*

Gothelittle Rose said...

I have seen a few articles in the 'back pages' of a few news websites about problems with estrogen poisoning in fish.

Though all but the conservative-grassroots articles try to play up problems with plastics and detergents as much as possible, those who are investigating the problem of an over-feminized fish population (along with some hermaphrodites) note that the prevalent form of estrogen in those waters (this is in the U.S., mind, not China or India or Africa) is found in The Pill.

Apparently all women pass a certain amount of natural estrogens in their urine, but women on The Pill pass considerably more, and it may be poisoning our water!

Anonymous said...

Also read:

THE DEPOPULATION OF RUSSIA

Due to an anti-religion communist, pro-socialism regime, Russia is losing citizens in large numbers. There are more abortions than births !

Buffy said...

I share your sceptisism and have never been on the pill myself. I also feel concern for the potential damage HRT could be doing. I think the body is a finely tuned instrument and any drugs taken over a long period of time are bound to have side effects.

Anonymous said...

I do believe this is the case with lots of the drugs that are big money makers. It's a bottom line issue.

Brenda

Kyla said...

Great topic. This is actually something that I think about a lot. I was put on the pill over 10 years ago for a "girl" problem. At that time there was very little research about my particular problem and the pill was the only option. I was told that I would be on BC or fertility drugs for the rest of my life. About 4 years ago I started to going to an alternative medicine dr who helped me to use natural hormonal therapy options and eventually I was able to go off of the pill. My hope is to be able to become pregnant drug free. Which is something I was told would never happen!

I think that as women we should be taking control of our bodies by learning the horrible side effects of something as normal as the pill.

Jaimie said...

I agree 100%. I was on the pill for 4 months after getting married, mostly due to ignorance and because it is the "responsible" thing, according to so many people. After doing a 180 degree turn in how we thought about birth control and children, I found all the information I could (which sadly isn't much) about the pill's harmful effects, not to mention the potentially abortifacient nature of the pill. My husband was easily convinced. We just didn't know! This issue really needs to be talked about more, because so many people are deceived.

Anna S said...

USA,

I'm so sorry for what you had to go through. It's devastating. And yes you're right, I do believe women should have freedom to choose whether they use the Pill or not - only it needs to be a fully informed choice. Otherwise, we can't talk about freedom.

Anonymous,

Yes, this has been a problem in Russia for years and years. My mother told me almost all her friends had at least one abortion.

Brenda,

Imagine all those bigwigs who would lose their money if people became more informed and concerned!!

Kyla,

I wish you much strength in your struggles and hope that you become, God willing, a mother, and have a normal, healthy pregnancy.

Jaimie,

'Responsible'? Sigh. Well, this was what I was told, too. But now I don't think manipulating and poisoning our bodies is a responsible thing!

Mrs. Brigham said...

I, too, am very skeptical about the intentions of medical companies in their sharing of information when it comes to most medical care. The lack of honest information about BCPs is just one of many issues when it comes to the medical industry. People must change their lifestyle and take control of their own health care, fully researching their decisions, as they cannot count on doctors and medicos to do it for them.

Before I made the decision to take control of my health, I took the Ortha Evra Patch for ovarian cysts and wound up ill beyond anything I ever thought possible. My body was almost in a revolt against me, both physically and mentally, and I could hardly function due to how ill the Patch left me. Within a week of taking off the stupid Patch, my health began to slowly return. The worst part about the whole thing had to be the fact that the Patch would have done nothing to "cure" my ovarian cysts! All it did was cease ovulation, thus stopping the hormonal process that would cause cysts to grow & rupture. A "cure" does not come just because the symptoms go away, yet much of western medical practices operate on just this faulty logic.

Anonymous said...

I feel fortunate that my mother pretty much told me before I got married that there were other options outside of taking the Pill. Options that included letting God plan one's family, practicing other forms of BC without chemically altering one's body, etc.

I'm not going to say that the Pill in and of itself is evil. I have none individuals that benefitted (or claim to have benefitted) for health reasons that had nothing to do with pregnancy. I will say that I think in general, people are greedy, lazy and will do whatever they can to avoid responsibility so they can live a life of "leisure". And people in general seem to want to have things their way, in their control, so it doesn't mess up "their good time". And in general, I've noticed people want to live by that societal definition of "success": i.e., "I'll have a couple of kids after I fulfill myself educationally, professionally and have had a good time." (It bothers me that some people use babies as a "check-did that" on their list of "Life Things to Do" so I can be "successful".)

The Pill is a great invention for these particular folks I have described, of course.

How many young women (and girls, sadly enough) who start out on the Pill know the history of the Pill? Do they know that it took years before the powers-that-be could ascertain the damage that the Pill did to women after it's introduction? And it seems to me that the Pill's formula and potency is still being tampered with. . . there's always some new "brand" being introduced and marketed to women. Synthetic anything can't be good for one's body.

The pros and cons, which we do not clearly know, must be weighed intelligently for each person. We have to ask WHY we/any woman is taking the Pill?

To prevent pregnancy in an adulterous or premarital relationship?
To prevent pregnancy in a marriage?
For health reasons?

I suppose some of my comments have made it clear that I don't think handing the Pill out like candy is the best thing in the world. When I went to the OB-GYN before having children, I asked the OB if there was anything I should consider healthwise before having kids (like taking folic acid, etc.), and he spent more time telling me how dangerous having kids was and encouraging me to take the Pill.

Another doc had the nerve to ask me (an assumption) what form of contraception my husband and I were using after the birth of our child. He then lit into a sermon on how c*nd*ms would not be good enough for my husband should we choose that route and encouraged me to start the Pill.

These two docs were ready to prescribe that synthetic chemical to me without complete, conscientious knowledge of my health history. Nor did they bother to tell me the pros and cons. When I brought up the cons with them, both answered that same pat answer: "Pregnancy is more dangerous than the Pill."

Arm yourself with knowledge, and don't be afraid to talk about this, with decency, with young women who are about to marry. They need to know that there are other choices and what the pros/cons are.

AnneK said...

I have shared my "Pill story" before and I have to agree with you. I was on the pill for one year after marriage due to various reasons. Looking back, I regret that decision because of what it did to me. After I got off the pill I happened to look up the internet on the effects and I was surprised to hear of same stories from a lot of people. I still believe that it should be available for women, but they should include a HECK OF A LOT more side effects than they currently include. To make an informed decision, we need to have the complete information.

Anna S said...

"These two docs were ready to prescribe that synthetic chemical to me without complete, conscientious knowledge of my health history. Nor did they bother to tell me the pros and cons."

Anonymous,

A few years ago, an irresponsible doctor DID prescribe me the Pil without knowing anything about my family history and about my particular health risks. He just saw a frightened young girl and, like you said, handed it out like candy. *This* is something I feel we should fight against, even disregarding my current views about allowing God to control one's family size.

Also, pregnancy is not a disease. It's normal. It's natural. It's what God designed us to do. Pumping yourself with dangerous chemicals isn't any of that!!!

Erin said...

I did a cursory search on PubMed and only 17,065 articles were retrieved. My question is is there a lack of study, or a lack of publicity for the findings?

Terry said...

You have a beautiful blog that espouses wisdom well beyond the average twenty-something. God bless you. As for BCP's, anything that changes our God designed hormonal balance can't be good. Unfortunately for the public, the lucrative business of healthcare does little to promote health. Like any other business, it's profit driven, first and foremost.

Anna S said...

Erin,

I ask myself the same question.

One thing is certain: there isn't enough information.

Anonymous said...

Anna,
I am on hormonal birth control. My husband and I prayed about this and both came to this decision together. I also met with my gynecologist, and I am on one of the lowest hormone concentrations--the NuvaRing.

I haven't experienced any side effects, which is different from my earlier experiences for "girl" problems. When I was on the pill for about 3 months in early high school, I HATED it! The ring has been a lot different, for me. Also, my husband and I do not plan on me using this for more than 4 years.

Anyway, I wanted you to know that there are women who choose to use hormonal birth control in an educated, thoughtful and prayerful manner.

Thanks!

Anna S said...

Anonymous,

I know *some* women, at least, make a truly informed choice. But why not *all* women?

And to what extent our choice, as a public, is really informed? How much *do* we know?

Anonymous said...

There have been plenty of studies... I am deeply into natural health/medicine, and almost everyone on that side of things is aware of the dangers of synthetic hormones. However, due to lack of prestigious funding, the mainstream finds it easy to brush these studies aside. If they do report on these findings, they are sure to buttress them with disclaimers like "this wasn't a large enough study to cause an alarm." Of course, there can't be any studies large enough to demand attention without the funding!

Speaking of estrogens in the water... I definitely feel that some of this is linked to plastics and other hormone mimicers, BUT the Pill is, as you say, obviously one of the larger culprits. It is possible, today, to take a sample of ocean water and identify specific pharmaceauticals in it. It seems synthetic Pill estrogens would therefore be mind-bogglingly prevalent, since they are surely the most commonly used drug in our world.

You are right, Anna, that anyone who comes out and demands safety testing is usually made out to be "anti-woman," much like those who demand to know more about the possible link between abortions and other health problems are made out to be. Even if I were pro-choice, I think it stands to reason that a woman is not truly making a "choice" if she is kept in the dark about possible consequences. How is it "pro-woman" to want to keep us from the truth?

~RMC

Mrs. Brigham said...

I thought I had saved the links to several studies I had read about the detrimental health effects of the pill,. but cannot find them now. None of these studies spoke about the abortive nature of BCPs, however, they did discuss the nutritional depletion caused by the Pill, which is pretty scary stuff. Should a woman become pregnant while on BCPs, both she and her baby will suffer from a nutrient lacking environment. The same goes if a woman goes off BCPs to become pregnant but is never aware that she MUST address this important need before conceiving. If you have access to Medline or the like, you may be able to locate these studies. I am going to try to look again after once the baby is asleep.

Kelly said...

Anna, great post. Unfortunatly BCP's are handed out like candy. Women should know ALL of the side effects. I have an internet moms support group. Most of us have kids now but we started together when all of us where just trying to get pregnant. I never took BCP's and after two years had my daughter without medical aid to get pregnant. Most of the other members of my group needed all sorts of medical intervention just to become pregnant. Many had multiple miscarriages along the way. Odd thing is that while none of them were told of any serious side effects of BCP's when they started all were told by fertility clinics that, "you're having such a hard time getting pregnant because taking the pill for more than five years decreases your fertility."
Funny how that wasn't mentioned beforehand.
Kelly

Anna S said...

RMC,

Exactly. You worded very well the concerns I have!

Mrs. Brigham,

I did a search on PubMed, and did find several studies, *but* not nearly enough, and many seem to dance around the truly important issues. Like for example what Kelly mentioned here, about fertility.

When a 16-year-old is handed the Pill (which happens, sadly, very often), one can easily expect she will be on the Pill more than five years, even ten years isn't very far-fetched I think! Very scary.

RMC said...

Another thing I find disturbing is the general lack of concern among regular people. I got married last year, and I cannot tell you how many people asked "have you started the pill yet?" or "which Pill will you be taking?" No one (this includes a great many churchgoers) thought it was even worth asking IF I planned to take it. They were uniformly shocked when I told them the Pill was dangerous, and even if it wasn't proven to be so, I found it too unnatural to use. They mostly either laughed at me or scolded me. I was truly taken aback by their responses. Oddly, I found the women of my own age group (early twenties) more understanding, even though almost all of them have been on the Pill since their mid-teens.

Michelle said...

"Odd thing is that while none of them were told of any serious side effects of BCP's when they started all were told by fertility clinics that, "you're having such a hard time getting pregnant because taking the pill for more than five years decreases your fertility."
Funny how that wasn't mentioned beforehand."

Seriously? That's one I hadn't heard, yet. How horrible! So the push for women to postpone childbearing makes conceiving later difficult in TWO ways -- first because she's older, and second because of all those years on the pill. What a cruel trick.

When I was 17 and my (Catholic) mother and grandmother discovered I was having sex, their only response was to get me on the pill as quickly as they could. The only "danger" I was warned about was being told not to smoke. Fortunately I didn't take it for very long.

Anonymous said...

And just think-a new birth control pill coming out soon will prevent having any period at all!! Is that the way God designed us-very frightening. I am a nurse in the OB/Gyne area and it is just sad what I see daily. Yes, we have free choice... but the consequences will be like "plagues" in our lives. It is already happening!!

PandaBean said...

I was very lucky that my OB/GYN was respectful of my choice to use abstinence (sp?) as my form of BC after Amelia was born.

I have a friend in a similar situation as USAincognito; she is laid up in bed for a week solid when she's not on the pill, her sister was almost as bad and took it for the same reason. I think I should pass this story along to their mom (another friend).

God Bless!

Lutheran Woman said...

I am within days of having my 8th child. I am a confessional Lutheran who learned the hard way the trials of all the BC methods.

We stopped using BC methods (including the Pill) due to each one of them having such adverse effects on my hormonally. Not only that, but I still managed to conceive using 4 different types of BC.

After our fourth child, we finally began to research what the Bible teaches on the matter since no church that I have ever known of openly teaches anything about family growth and what God says about the matter.

So ever since then we have left it up to God to control the size of our family.

All my friends and family members who have regularly used hormonal methods to prevent pregnancy have ended up with either their breasts removed, their female parts removed or are completly barren. Only one of my friends has had a child, but she can no longer conceive.

Mrs. H said...

I tend to think the reason they don't tell women (or girls) what the real side effects are of taking hormonal BCPs, is because they want everyone on them, and if people knew what they really did, they would refuse them.

I was put on them for ovarian cysts. It didn't help, they also didn't regulate my cycles or anything like that. I also had horribly painful days that no medication would handle. The pill didn't change that like they said it would either. However, what the pill did do was make me very nearly homicidal. I literally wanted to strangle people to death whenever they spoke to me, even people I loved dearly. It was as though it wasn't really me, but this force inside me that compelled me. I never attacked anyone, but I had to warn people, and then stopped taking it when I realized it was the pill doing it. (That symptom never returned after I quit the pill.)

Oh, and that never-have-your-period pill is already on the market, and my sister takes it. She has been bleeding constantly for over a year now because of it. Luckily, she is considering getting off of it, though she'll probably just choose another one.

This hormones-in-the-water thing is scary to me. Not only are there excessive hormones in the water (and are they positive it all gets filtered out before we wind up drinking it?), and excessive hormones in the fish (what happens when you eat one?), but then there are the hormones they put in our beef, the hormones from all that soy they put in food these days, and so on, not to mention the pill. It isn't natural. How could it possibly be healthy?

Emily H.

Dawn said...

That's right...I remember hearing about that BCP that will stop periods altogether! How insane! I mean, I know they can drive us nuts the first few days, but are they really that bad to want to rid them altogether???? I mean, what happens if a woman all of a sudden becomes pregnant? How will she know? She wouldn't have a period? And she could sum up the pregnancy signs as signs from the Pill, know what I mean?

Mensturation in a part of womanhood. God allowed us women to have this bodily function because it ties in with childbearing.

But the pharmecutical company seems to want to strip women of their womanhood with this pill.

Dear Lord, will it ever end????

Katy-Anne said...

The medical industry and the feminists want everyone on birth control. They hate those of us that won't have any part in any kind of birth control whatsoever. Well they will just have to keep hating me, because we are going to keep accepting every little gift God gives us. They also don't tell you that the pill causes abortions, and I know of some doctors who have lied and told a woman it doesn't. When I give women evidence they still deny it simply because their doctor told them it doesn't cause abortions.

Lindsey said...

Whoa! I just happened across your blog! You quote John Senior! I LOVE him! His son taught me in college. :) :) :) Have you read any of his books?

~~~

Anyway, drop me a line at
principii at gmail dot com

if you'd like!

I love your blog in it's entirety, btw!

Take care,
Lindsey

Anna S said...

Hi Lindsey! No, I haven't read any of his books; just came across this quote in one article, and loved it so much I simply had to have it!

Marita said...

"And yes you're right, I do believe women should have freedom to choose whether they use the Pill or not"

I am confused. After reading Randy Alcorns 'Does the Pill cause abortion' and reading the pro-life website, it is a fact that the Pill does cause abortion. Not all the time, but some of the time. How many abortions is ok. one? two?

Now this is what I am confused about: Do you then say that we have the freedom to choose to kill our children? I.o.w. Is it ok to break the 6th commandment just because we believe we have a right to choice?

I don't think that is what you are saying, but can you please clarify your statement?

So by the way, I do like your blog. You are very insightful. Thank you.

Regards
Marita

Anna S said...

Marita,

You are right; I just didn't phrase my thought too well.

I'm fully aware of the abortifacient nature of the Pill, and will not use it again myself.

I don't think it's realistic to make it illegal, though.

What is possible is to educate women about the *true* effects of the Pill. And then they can truly choose if this is what they really want.

Kimmie said...

hmm, interesting topic

in my early twenties I was put on "the pill" by my obgyn, being told it would help my irregular cycles.

I later had problems getting pregnant, and I am pretty convinced it was due to the pill. My Dr. deny it of course.

I did get pregnant once...can you believe while on the pill, but also on some heart medication that made the "pill" void...but for the last 14 years have suffered from what they call secondary infertility.

God still used it for His glory though...as now I am the mother of 6...all through adoption.

Kimmie
mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted
come meet us!

Jess said...

Anna,
It's a hard balance to strike, isn't it? Wanting people to be informed, wishing that they WOULDN'T make that terrible choice... and yet not wanting to impose personal moral convictions on the country, via gov't regulations. It's hard to determine 100% what the right thing to do is, in a country such as ours... where people have the protected freedom to worship Satan if they please.

But on the other hand, it is difficult to come to the realization that the BCP and all of the things it has communicated to women have increased abortion, as opposed to decreasing it (which is what they initially claimed it would do, and some still claim that it does). The abortion/BCP lobbyists don't want us to talk about it, but it's true. Telling a woman she has absolute freedom over HER body then naturally leads to abortions, because well, when the BCP pills (that were supposed to protect her from having a baby, dang it!) don't work, well then, off to the abortion clinic she goes... Cause regardless of ANYTHING ELSE, a woman has total control over her own body!!!

It's a horrible thing that we have come to a place in society where the very most helpless among us are completely at the mercy of our "rights" and the exercise thereof.

Thanks for this article. More women need to hear about the dangers of BCPs.

Blessings!
Jess

Anna S said...

Dear Jess, you're absolutely right, striking the balance is terribly hard in a world where it is considered even *possible* that killing her own child could somehow benefit a woman.

Hope you and your precious ones, especially your newest blessing, are doing well.

Rachel said...

Hey Anna, it's lovely to find your site. Just from the few posts I've read I've gathered that you're engaged and I'm so glad that you and your fiance are discussing this issue now. :) I got married just this last December, and my sister-in-law-to-be gave my then-fiance and me a little book that really opened our eyes. It's called Open Embrace: A Protestant Couple Re-thinks Contraception by Sam and Bethany Torode.

I'd strongly reccommend the two of you read this together. It is sweetly and beautifully written, as well as informative and Godly.

Anna S said...

Rachel, yes, I'm engaged and we're already discussing this issue; as a matter of fact we already decided to let God be in control of the size of our future family.

Seung said...

Funny, just a couple days I had a patient who had several liver complications from oral contraceptive use. See this article; there are several health risks from contraceptive use that we of the medical community have known of for a very long time. Now, it is true that the rates for developing something like a focal nodular hyperplasia or a hepatic adenoma from taking contraceptives is quite low -- but then, think of the millions of women who are on birth control.

I have a young female friend who recently went on the Pill, and when I informed her of these health risks, she told me something to the point of "so? The risk's really small." I don't think she realizes that a number like 0.1% will only seem tiny until you fall into that 0.1%, at which point it's too late ...

Anna S said...

Thank you for your input, Seung! And, however small the risks, women still *must* be informed; I think it's really outrageous when a young girl is handed oral contraceptives like candy. Will she care to ask more about risks? Of course not! She is young, foolish, terrified of pregnancy and pressured into having sex by our insane culture. *sigh* It's her doctors responsibility!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty surprised that I'm apparently the only person here to have a positive experience with birth control pills, or "The Pill" as some ominously call it... It would also be less biased / judgmental to realize that for many it has nothing to do with controlling birth; it has nothing to do with sex at all for many young women that I know, myself included. I had three separate and serious problems with my period that were interfering with my work/school life, my ability to function, not to mention the actual pain. My hormones were out of whack; so taking something "synthetic" (as some people have called it) has been very positive and helpful for me. Just remember that for many women, these hormones are for medication, medicine, and I am one of these people. Btw, I had never even thought of taking it until I had it suggested by several different doctors; the first two also refused to prescribe it, so take it from me, it is NOT given out like candy. I wish. Also, from my perspective (college student), it's ridiculously expensive. But please don't judge people for taking medicine that balances their hormones, which, left in a natural state, happen to be unbalanced.

Anna S said...

Anonymous,

Several people emailed me, saying something similar to what you just said, and I think I should have put a disclaimer: I'm NOT talking about women who take birth control pills to alleviate certain health conditions. If it helps you, and your doctor says you need it, who am I to say anything?

But, I think you will agree with me that the reason why *most* women take The Pill is for its direct purpose: to prevent conception. At least from all women whom I know personally and who are on birth control pills, only one or two take it for symptoms such as you described. The rest take it because they don't want to have children. So obviously, I'm speaking here of the general trend, and not of individual circumstances such as yours.

JMarie said...

Though I've had a generally good experience with BCP, I am concerned about long term effects (and the "secondary" abortifacient effect, which no on told me about in the beginning). Consequently, I've been very interested in NFP.

One of the earlier posts mentioned Sam & Bethany Torode's book, _Open Embrace_. I thought it was worth noting that they've posted an update regarding their position on this issue:

http://www.torodedesign.com/NEW/embrace.html

Lady-in-the-Making said...

I have just read this and done research on the Pill - which I have been on for most of my adult life. I am 41. I'm stopping it TODAY.

Thank you, Anna. Your posts have encouraged me to change my life.

Hannah said...

The pill did not appeal to me- cost, messing with hormones, abortifacient potential, there's nothing wrong with me, etc. I'm using NFP; I've been married for almost 2 years and it's worked fine to avoid pregnancy. Hope to change that next year :)

Anonymous said...

I am personally against hormonal birth control not only because it is an abortificent (sp?) but because of my own previous experiences with it. I went on the patch (if you choose hormonal birth control, I wouldn't recommend it) as a teen and throughout my first year of college because of irregularity. Being on it was great as everything was "normal." But after a while, my limbs would get numb for no reason. I'm not saying the 'asleep' numb, but the, I don't have an arm/leg numb. It would freak me out. I would go to doctors and they would just write it off. I finally looked at the fine print on the box and it said that if you experience it, that you were supposed to discontinue use. So why did none of the doctors I went to show any type of concern? They all said it had nothing to do with the patch. So I stopped taking it. Then I went on the BC Ring, which makes you gain a lot of weight (I know this because I was 100 lbs before it, was on it for a few months and got to 122lbs but after getting off it went back down to 100 lbs). I guess that may be a superficial but a short person like me does not handle extra weight very well.

After having taken antibiotics (which will knock out the effects of birth control, just to let you know), I never went back on birth control and never had a problem with it. However, after getting off it, I had amenorrhea (sp?) which mean they completely stopped (and here I was an healthy 18 year old). I eventually had to go on hormonal treatments with high doses of progesterone to get things back to normal. And I was not a happy person to be around at the time (the doctor had warned me that I would be 'grumpy'). So, in short, using it for one problem created a whole bunch of other problems! Now I do know that it is unavoidable for some people (I know some who have cysts or other serious issues...is it me or does it seem odd that a lot of young women are having hormonal issues, at my college every girl I know has some hormonal issue) but I feel that it needs to be carefully thought out but for birth control, I would suggest non-hormonal methods as it just causes too many problems and really is not as effective as supporters make it out to be. And besides when you decide to have a family, you want to be able to stop it and start right away (amenorrhea is quite common after the cessation of birth control).

I also hate that everytime I go for a checkup, I'm always asked if I am on BC and if I am not I am bullied into getting some anyways (I'm not even sexually active! And if I can make it to my senior year of college, then I can make it anywhere). Last time, the doctor was like "well do you want to get pregnant?" What am I to say to that as an unmarried person? Yes? And then she wrote me a prescription for whatever BC pill was hot at the time. I think they prescribe BC because of kick-backs or something as they never discuss alternative methods.

Anonymous said...

O, I forgot to mention in my above post that the symptoms of numbness can be symptoms of stroke or blood clots which has killed a few people on the BC patch.

http://www.anapolschwartz.com/practices/ortho-evra/