Saturday, November 26, 2005

Contraception and NFP

Ok, really...why do people take a perfectly healthy, properly functioning system of the body, and intentionally bombard it with hormones, in order to make it stop working? On top of that you have some people who have *no idea* what it is they are injecting, ingesting, or absorbing into their body or what it's doing to them, but continue it anyway. How can the doctors get away without giving full information? Whatever happened to informed consent? Add in side effects of weight gain, libido issues, the possibility of uterine puncture, etc, etc, etc....what are people thinking?

Why are there **SO MANY** people who have no idea that pills, shots, and implants can cause the body to expell a tiny baby? And even if you have no concern about the possibility of forcing yor body to expell a "fertilized egg," how can there be no concern for the effect of the hormones being tossed in the trash, or flushed into our water supply?
A brief overview of contraception:


~The Pill: The Pill hormonally inhibits ovulation, and affects cervical mucus in order to keep sperm from meeting the egg; but it also alters the lining of the uterus, so if ovulation occurs, and an egg gets fertilized, it cannot attach to the uterus. As it can cause fertilized eggs to be expelled from the uterus, it's considered abortifacient. The way this accusation is denied is the defining of "pregnancy" being after implantation. So...sperm meets egg, zygote created...but not until baby is implanted is the mother pregnant. Awfully convenient for the pro-choice crowd, no? I mean, if you're "not pregnant" despite a developing baby being inside makes certain decisions seem a lot easier.
~The "patch" releases hormones into the bloodstream, and is otherwise intended to works imilarly to the pill. There have been quite a few reports of blood clots related to the patch, and even the package insert itself now asserts that users are expsed to 60% more estrogen than pill users.

The Ortho Evra site also includes this quote in its FAQ: "Most side effects of the contraceptive patch are not serious, and those that are occur infrequently. Serious risks that can be life-threatening include blood clots, stroke or heart attacks—which are increased if you smoke cigarettes."

So, basically...'no, really, you'll probably be ok....unless you die.' Yikes.
~"Emergency Contraception"/ The "morning after" pill: basically a super-dose of the pill, to make sure you REALLY get the ovulation inhibited, the sperm inhibited, or if all else fails...the zygote to be expelled.
~Depo-Provera: An injected hormone which...yep, inhibits ovulation, affects cervical mucus which inhibits sperm, and affects the uterine lining "just in case" the sperm happen to meet the egg, and make...a baby.
~Vaginal ring: can you guess? It's inserted into the vagina, and it inhibits ovulation, inhibits sperm, and affects the uterine lining.
~IUD: These are T-shaped devices with an attached string which are inserted into the uterus. They contain copper or hormones which hinder the sperm meeting the egg, and also affect the uterine lining, so a fertilized egg might be expelled. If a woman gets pregnant with an IUD, the chances of an ectopic pregnancy are higher.
Barrier Methods

These include condoms, diaphragms, sponges, and cervical caps: The intent is to *physically* rather than hormonally hinder the sperm from meeting the eggs. Chemical spermicidals are often used along with barrier methods.

~Tubal ligation: Includes burning, blocking or cutting the fallopian tubes, which keeps sperm from meeting an egg.
~Vasectomy: Cuts the tubes that carry sperm.
~Hysterectomy: removing a woman's uterus. Causes premature menopause.
An alternative to the above:

Natural Family Planning (NFP): This is a highly effective method of tracking symptoms which indicate ovulation. If you're trying to avoid a pregnancy, you avoid relations around the time of ovulation. There are no chemicals or hormones involved and it's immediately "reversible" if you decide to try to achieve a pregnancy. NFP can also help identify other medical issues, due to the awareness of the woman's body and cycle.

More information:
Couple to Couple League:
Delpi Forums:
One More Soul (has a list of NFP-only doctors):