Birth control makes me mad

My sister-in-law Catherine called me last week asking for advice for a friend of hers who seemed in danger of miscarrying for the second time in 8 months.  I gave what advice I could, which wasn’t much, and asked her to let me know what happened.

Her friend miscarried, and was heartbroken.  After losing her previous baby earlier this year at the same point – 8 weeks gestation – she desperately wanted to carry this child to term.

Catherine asked me if I had any idea what might cause multiple miscarriages at the same point, and we talked about possibilities.  Her friend had asked her doctor, who assured her that miscarriages were common and it was nothing unusual to have 2 in a row.  He told her that any further answers were beyond the scope of his knowledge and she should talk to a hormone specialist.

Then Catherine said it: her friend had been on a birth control pill until just before the first pregnancy and miscarriage.

Didn’t her doctor know this?  Doesn’t he know the side effects of the drugs he provides to his patients?  Besides skyrocketing rates of ectopic pregnancies, birth control pills and implants are known to cause abortions and birth defects.  They are known to cause miscarriages in pregnancies that occur during or after use – sometimes up to a year or two later.  This information is available on the package insert of nearly any pill you can buy but doctors plead ignorance, or worse yet they deny it outright!

That poor young woman lost her baby.  She lost two babies.  You can make the case that she should have learned more about the risks of the drug she chose, but I hold her doctor even more responsible.  I also hold those around her responsible.  Someone among her friends should have known and warned her.

Those of us who know these things need to spread the word.  I need to.

Our friends and family may not agree with us on whether to use birth control, but they need to know that certain methods do far more  than simply prevent pregnancy.   If our friends and family believe that life begins at conception, then they need to know that nearly all of the most popular, most effective methods have a Plan B:  murder any unborn child that gets past Plan A.  It’s right there in the fine print that they’ll find in the package.

The quotes below are from Drugs.com.  You will find the same info on nearly any birth control you search except for a simple condom.  All birth control pills work this way.  IUDs work this way.  Implants that gradually release hormones into the bloodstream work this way.

What is Yaz? Yaz prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary) and also cause changes in your cervical and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus

What is Depo-Provera? Depo-Provera is a form of progesterone, a female hormone that prevents ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). Depo-Provera also causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus…

What is Mirena? Mirena is a plastic device containing the female hormone levonorgestrel. This hormone causes changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus...

What is Norplant System (levonorgestrel intrauterine system)? Levonorgestrel is a female hormone. This hormone can cause changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus

Comments

  1. I am reading this rather late also, but sure have gained tons of great information from all of you ladies. I am on the fence regarding hormonal BC and its supposed effects on conception and abortion. Any answers or guidance you can give me is greatly appreciated. I have been on and off BC since I was a teenager. I seem to be very fertile because my husband and I have conceived even when I am on very effective BC. I am 25 and already have 4 children. NFP does not seem to work for me as I am very fertile and my cycles aren’t regular. While having more children is not completely out of the question in the future, as of now I do not feel ready (spiritually or physically) to have more children. My 4 are all under age 6 and I feel like I would crumble under any more pressure or work, but of course I would never want to kill my baby. I am very torn about this and don’t know what to do. Of course when I spoke to my doctor about my BC, he said it did not cause abortion of any kind, which just makes me terribly angry at him, either for his ignorance in being a doctor or his untruthfulness, whichever it is. Add to all of this the stares in the grocery store, snide comments, and flat-out mean-spirited attitudes from my mother and grandmother and strangers about “all those children you have to take care of”, and I feel like I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

  2. Thank God he spared me from the pain these ladies have experienced. I never took the pill for 2 reasons thanks to my wonderful friends who told me about the risks. They didn’t say anything about the risks of miscarriage/abortion. What they did tell me was 2 things (one of which I have confirmed by a research article that was done in a university in CA, which has since been removed probably due to pressure from the pill manufacturer!!)

    1. AUTISM – My dear friend’s sister got pregnant while on the pill and took it for at least another month before finding out she was pregnant. Her son is autistic. Since I heard of this there have been many other women I’ve heard of who had the same exact problem. I read a research paper once that proved this very risk is real indeed, but somehow never gets published for long.

    2. INFERTILITY – Occasionally women take the pill and are never fertile again. A different friend’s sister had been taking it for a while at the start of her marriage (I talked to this woman personally) she very much wanted a child but after 1 year off the pill she was unable to get pregnant. After about 2 years off the pill God was gracious and finally blessed her with a daughter. She no longer uses it.

    A while later a close friend of mine told me she had been forced (FORCED!) to take a shot of depo as a teenager so she “wouldn’t be a teen mom”. She had horrible irregular periods for YEARS and severe pain. Her hormones became so bad she grew a beard! She had at least 2 miscarriages in a row before she was mercifully able to carry to term but she could not start labor naturally, and she can trace it all back to that shot.

    These are just anecdotal but since I knew the people personally, it was enough to convince me. Neither their sisters nor I ever went on the pill because of this. Well it really makes a lot of sense. If your system isn’t lacking in a hormone, it can only throw it out of balance to add more of it! It can not correct a well-functioning system.

  3. Hi Kim

    I am very late in reading this post but I have only just found your blog. Whilst I do not agree with everything you say I do respect your views and if you and your family are happy that is the main thing.

    However on this post I do feel a bit het up about it. The way I read it it sounds like you are saying being on contraceptive (whatever form you use, I myself used the implant for a few years for personal reasons between me and my husband) makes it sound that is the cause of the miscarriage because of it making ” harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus”. This is perfectly true whilst you are on the contraception, as you so rightly put it is in case Plan A doesnt work, however dependant on what research you read the BC pill does not increase the risk of miscarriage and some research even suggests that that using hormonal birth control for a long time could preserve the eggs and decrease the risk of miscarriage due to chromosomal abnormalities for moms over 30. Another study found that long-term use of oral contraception led to mums getting pregnant more quickly after deciding to conceive, and the researchers cited additional past research that suggested pregnancies after recent pill usage were less likely to end in miscarriage. Some research disagrees which will always happen in research as that is what science is all about! I had a miscarriage when I was younger (before I had ever used birth control) that I knew about and a 3 others that were not official but I know they were. I have also since I came of the implant had at least 3 or 4 miscarriages in the last 5 years (2 of them was when I went to the hospital and found out my baby had not made it past 8 weeks in my uterus) and 1 or 2 of them have been when I have tested positive on a home preg test and then about a week later started bleeding. I have been for a tests and there is nothing wrong with my “bits” and there is nothing wrong with my husbands “bits” either, it is just one of these unexplained things. If God wishes to decide that I cannot have children because I used BC then that is his choice but I certainly do not believe that I am being punished because I used BC and even if I am then I still wouldnt change what I did. I do hope that when your sister’s friend was having her miscarriage when she would have been feeling awful that you did not tell her that there was a good chance it had been because she had taken the birth control pill as that would just make her feel even worse. Perhaps her doctor believed as you do (although I would hope not) that it was because of her BC pill but didnt want to upset her any further as really what exactly is she going to now? Turn back the clock and never take it in the first place?

    Anyway I am sorry for the essay and apologies if anything I have said has offended you as I do enjoy reading your blog (only found it about 3 days ago) and whilst I would not want a family of 10 children I do respect your decision to have 10 and you all seem very happy.

    Thanks for reading

    Aileen (from Scotland)

  4. I am a little late in reading this post, but I want to thank you. This post has encouraged me to try again. My dearest, closest friends are all, without exception, on some form of birth control pill. Most of them have been told by their CHRISTIAN DOCTORS that there is no way that the specific pill they are on would ever cause an abortion. I checked that drug (tri-sprintec) on drugs.com and it reads exactly the same as the ones you specified.
    I have talked with all of them before about the phrase you mentioned “harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus” but they choose their doctors over me. It’s convenient that way.
    I love them and do not want to lose their friendship, so I stopped bugging them about it. But one is wanting to now get pregnant. It IS my responsibility to talk to her again. And my other friends.
    I was hoping our lives could be a witness, but I don’t think it’s working. I am taking life-saving medication that causes birth defects. My specialist wants me on an IUD; we refuse. We are using NFP. I thought that would speak volumes–we have “reason” to be on hormonal birth control, but we aren’t. But my friends just give me that “okay so you’re crazy” look.
    Thank you for the push, and for posting. God is still using your post even more than a year later!

  5. ren Baier says:

    My 24 year old daughter died because of birth control pill this past April. BIRTH CONTROL PILLS KILL.

  6. I don’t comment often but this post struck a chord. I was on the Pill for 5 years at the start of my marriage. It was prescribed by a female, Christian doctor, so it never occurred to me that it might have abortifacient effects. Once I learned of the possibility that I might be aborting my children (!!!), I never went back to hormonal bc again. I was shocked when I recalled that the Christian dr. never once brought up the possibility. There are other effective measures for spacing pregnancies, and women do not have to resort to hormonal bc for that reason! Re: the question above why I believe life begins at conception, rather than implantation…well, obviously, it is at conception that you have an entirely new individual come into being, genetically speaking. Implantation is the start of the placental formation, not the formation of the individual. Any medical textbook you read will inform you further.

  7. Yahoo news had an article on the bad effects of Depo Provera. If anyone is considering using it or (God forbid) putting their young daughters on it (which i have heard of happening too many times to discount, even among Christians), you would do well to read up on it. Abortifacient effects aside, it is ‘easy’, ‘convenient’, and very, very bad for women.

    What I want to know is, why are feminists not outraged over the risks, side-effects, and complications of these drugs. Women were used as guinea pigs in the early days of these things, and women are still the only ones suffering the side-effects. Is freedom from childbearing to be promoted at *any* cost, even at a cost to women themselves?

    Someone mentioned the drugs in the water…my sister’s boyfriend is majoring in something having to do with environmental biology. He’s out slogging through swamps etc every weekend. But interestingly he’s seen the direct effects of bc hormones on the environment up close and personal. It is affecting the fish and frog populations in a very noticeable way.

  8. I feel very strongly it is our duty to take care of our bodies as they are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

    We personally need to inform ourselves of the effects of anything we put in our body, whether Pharmakia drugs (including BC), foods (especially ones with preservatives or chemical brain toxins like msg and aspertame), or un-foods (like white flour/sugar, hydrogenated oils, etc).

    There is so much our there that the big companies make money off and it is not always in doctors best interest (monetarily) to keep himself informed of side effects. Like I said, it is our responsability.

    OT: I watched this yesterday. Can we start a new thread and call it “Vaccines and flu shots make me mad?”:

    (Thankfully, we have been able to avoid any of this in our family. I was raised being informed about vaccines…this just makes it so clear how unfair to the public they are being.)

  9. Jen,
    Other ladies have already addressed your point, but I’ll reiterate: this post is not about whether you believe it’s ok to use birth control, but about the effects and after-effects of certain types of birth control.
    We don’t use NFP; we agree with you that it is simply a natural form of birth control. I linked above to my older post about our position on birth control.
    But this post is not about whether or not a couple should use birth control.
    This post is about the fact that many popular types of birth control don’t reliably prevent fertilization but use a secondary mechanism as backup: they abort a newly conceived child instead by preventing implantation.
    Many who use birth control but would never consider an abortion would be horrified to know this. I hope to help spread the word.

  10. Jen,

    The big thing for me, not just because of my faith in Christ, but also because I believe life begins at the moment of conception…is that BC doesn’t prevent an egg and sperm from meeting and conceiving, it prevents the post-conception egg from attaching to the uterus and growing. Instead, BC aborts the baby from your body.

    Some here may not agree with me, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with using a condom or charting your cycle to prevent pregnancy. There are a myriad of reasons why one would not want to have a baby at any given time, some selfish, some practical, some medical, some emotional…I just don’t believe that BC is the right way to do it.

    Hope this explains it a little better…

  11. Catherine,
    I agree with you as well. After reading “The Way Home” by Mary Pride, I couldn’t in good concsience use any form of BC. My cycle has always been too irregular for NFP, not that I could feel like I could take that part of my life out of God’s hands. The only thing I do is make sure I breastfeed with no food introduction as long as I can. I noticed that even after introducing food while I still nurse, that if at least once a day the baby does that practically asleep rapid kind of subconscious sucking where you know shes not getting anything (and the dishes are wieghing on your mind and you think you might be able to sneak away…) that I had a longer space between children the last two times if I stay there. I’m sure God thinks bonding with our babies is more important than the dishes!

  12. Carey,
    I agree so much with you about diet/ Pottinger info!!!!! (Pottinger’s cats…no ___food factors= no more cat’s=infertility)

    I was *amazed* by an article I read several years ago on the westonaprice.org website about a zoo’s problem with some sort of rare ape they were trying to breed. They were giving it a vegetarian diet like they supposed it got out in the wild… no babies.
    They finally thought maybe our food production was too “sanitary” and added small amounts of animal products (ie. insects). They got babies.

    The research done by Dr. Weston A. Price was fueled by a desire to find peoples with healthy teeth/ no cavities. What he found in the isolated peoples that had halthy teeth all over the world was 11 different factors of diet that contributed to complete health and development of the whole body….including resisance to diseases (tuberculosis being one of them at that time), ease of childbearing, broad/well developed bone structure, and strait teeth with sometimes a little as one cavity for every three mouths (no toothbrushes..he had to remove green slime to find there was no decay underneath).

    And factor number 11…is that they told their children what foods were important (practically sacred) for pre-pregnant parents, pregnant and nursing women, and children, as well as how to properly integrate the other 10 food factors!

    Guess what? In *every* culture, no matter the food source, it was always an animal source high in fat soluable vitamins such as Vita. A and D. For the Swiss it was fresh raw butter in the spring that was an almost orange color. For the Scottish of the Hebredies I believe it was a certain fish dish. (Yes, in the ape’s case, insects fit the bill.)

    Here’s a link to 10 min. of a video that discusses Price’s work by Sally Fallon. (Her book Nourishing Traditions is an absolute treasure trove and wealth of information that expands on Dr. Weston A. Price’s book Nutritional Degeneration.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNu7XeJxV2w

  13. I’ve never been on birth control pills and it has been a year of ‘trying’ with no luck. The abstanance training I grew up with had me thinking that sex=babies and its been an adjustment learning otherwise. I’ve been through so many emotions as I hope, then wait, then get frustrated that everyone else seems to be having kids but me. I have wanted to ‘fix it’ and I’ve tried the ‘don’t think about it and it’ll happen. I’ve always been irregular and my hormones are likely out of balance. I’m not diagnosed as polycystic yet but that will probably ring true. Bethany-thanks I’ll look into that site. I try to do the right things for my body but there is always room for improvement. I’d rather avoid any ‘treatments’ but I want a family. It took my mom 4 yrs to have her first, that seems like an eternity to grow the family. How long do I go before I take it as a sign that perhaps we were meant to adopt?

    Lizzykristine-I’m sharing that comment with a few gluten intollerant friends, very interesting.

    I’m glad Margaret threw in a scientific perspective and I agree with Heather on the water cycle. What are humans doing to our world systems?!?!?! We really don’t know the greater effects of our actions.

  14. Catherine Hochschild says:

    Jen,

    You are perfectly right that NFP is a form of control. That is why the Catholic Church in Her great wisdom teaches that NFP is only to be used for grave reasons, i.e. the life of the mother would be threatened with anoher pregnancy, or the famly is living in a box on the street and simply cannot feed another child. The idea is that God has given us our reason, and the ability to exercise prudence in our lives, always within the moral bounds He has set for us. NFP falls within those bounds becaue it is merely making use of the natural infertility of a woman’s body at certain times, for serious reasons. Birth control does not fall within moral bounds, because it is a deliberate contravention of the naturally intended results of the act of procreation, one of the ends to which marriage was ordained in the first place. In other words, using birth control perverts the marriage act, exalting a selfish kind of pleasure over trust in God and the total giving of oneself required in marriage. In addition, this attempt to avoid the natural purpose of procreation can result in the murder of a child. So, yes–a “sincere Christian” should not practice birth control, since a sincere Christian surrenders his life completely to Christ–not everything in his life except his fertitlity.

    tereza crump: I agree with much of what you said, except for the part about Christ’s death putting an end to any form of bondage or suffering on earth. I would like to know how you support that assertion. It seems to me that Our Lord made some very clear references to His followers suffering after His Ascension: for instance, Luke 22:16 (in the RSV): “You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death: you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.” That sounds like suffering to me. There is no indication that Our Lord intended to take away all earthly suffering–rather, He died and rose again, that we might be able to unite our suffering with His, and so come to His Kingdom.

    KimC: I agree in large part with you, except about the greater part of responsibility falling on the dctor’s shoulders for the lack of information. The responsibility to research our own healthcare decisions as far as possible and to know what we put in our bodies falls on our own shoulders primarily. It is trusting doctors, hospitals, and drug companies too much that has brought about many of the medical absurdities we see today, such as 98% of births taking place in hospitals, the rise in C-section rates, and the amount of unnecessary drugs prescribed annually.

  15. I was on the pill for 9 years before stopping for three months to get pregnant. I got pregnant immediately a;nd had a healthy daughter with no complications. And then three other children with no complications! And I went back on the pill. My issue with this topic is the “generalization” that ALL women who take birth control pills will have these issues. I have no problem with your convictions and beliefs. My issue comes with the fact that you assume they should be everyone’s beliefs. Someone actually said that a “sincere christian” does not believe in birth control!! Seriously??

    That being said one thing I have never understood about NFP. Is that not just another form of “control”?? If we truly believe that God is in control of the womb, why is NFP acceptable? It’s still, in a different way, “preventing” a pregnancy, is it not?

  16. Just want to leave a comment and let you know that I posted a link to this article on my blog on a post entitled “A Few Good Reads”.
    http://www.livingwaterke.com/2009/12/few-good-reads.html

Don't just think it: say it!

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