Five Reasons Not to Take Hormonal Birth Control

Considering getting on birth control? Read this first. There are several reasons not to take birth control pills – reasons your doctor won’t tell you about.

Considering getting on birth control? Read this first. There are several reasons not to take birth control pills - reasons your doctor won't tell you about.

For most women, going on birth control isn’t something they think about much.

They reach a certain age, they decide they aren’t ready for children yet, and so they do what everyone does–they visit their doctor for an easy and convenient way to prevent pregnancy until they are ready.

According to Professor Janet E. Smith, 98% of all women ages 15-44 have used some type of birth control. Eighty-two percent have used the pill.  (source)

I know that’s what I did. I didn’t even think twice about it.

I didn’t know there were so many reasons not to take birth control pills. I just figured it was “what you did.”

So I got out the phone book, looked up a number, and made the appointment.

But the truth is, there are some very serious reasons not to take birth control — reasons that every woman should at least consider when making her decision.

Whatever you decide to do with this information – that’s completely up to you and your husband. No need to explain it to me. I just want you to have the information you need to make the best choice possible. Information most doctors won’t bother telling you about.

*Disclaimer: I am NOT a medical doctor and this is not medical advice. My intent is only to present a few facts and opinions to get you thinking and questioning. Please consult with both your doctor and your husband when determining which method is right for you, especially if you have any medical conditions which may affect your decision. Also, this post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure statement for additional information.

1. Hormonal Birth Control Comes with Side Effects

One reason why you shouldn’t take birth control is that hormonal birth control comes with several side effects. Common side effects of birth control include nausea, weight gain, mood changes, a decrease in sex drive, lighter periods, and spotting in between periods. Symptoms including stomach and chest pain, headaches, swelling and eye problems are less common, but have been known to happen.

I remember how frustrated my husband was after I had been on hormonal birth control for two months. He said, “I can’t take this anymore. This isn’t working. You have to stop taking it. We’ll figure something else out.” It affected me that much. And this was supposed to be “normal” until my body had time to adjust.

*As a side note, birth control can also be used to alleviate certain side effects or medical conditions. Please speak to your doctor if you feel this applies to you. 

2. Birth Control is Full of Hormones/Chemicals

I’m a relatively health-conscious person. I don’t want hormones in my milk. I don’t want my food genetically modified. I’d rather open the windows than spray air fresheners, and I don’t take medicine unless I have to.

So why would I turn around then and fill my body with questionable chemicals and artificial hormones every month? It just doesn’t seem healthy–especially when there are much better ways (and I’ll get to that in a minute).

Even though doctors and scientists will tell you that these are the same chemicals your body makes anyways, I personally trust my own God-given hormones more than those that are created in a lab. As long as my body is functioning properly, I’d like for it to continue to do so without assistance.

3. Birth Control Works Against Your Body

I may be crazy, but I believe that when God designed our bodies, He knew what He was doing. He didn’t give us fertile cycles to torture us. They are natural and healthy; it’s the way we were designed. Would it be nice to not have a period every single month? Yes, I’m sure it would! But am I going to completely override my body’s own delicate hormonal balance in order to achieve that or anything else? Not without a very good reason!

4. Birth Control *May* Cause Abortions

Of all the reasons not to take birth control, this one is by far the most important – at least to me.

You see, birth control typically works in one (or more) of three ways:

  1. It prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg. No egg=no pregnancy.
  2. It thickens the cervical mucous so the sperm can’t reach the egg. No meeting=no pregnancy.
  3. It may make cervical conditions unfavorable for implantation, so even if an egg is fertilized, it cannot implant and is flushed right out of the body. (source)

MOST of the time hormonal birth control works by preventing the egg from being released, but not always. An estimated two to ten percent of the time, the egg is still released, making pregnancy possible.

And if the mucous doesn’t thicken up enough and the cervical conditions are unfavorable–then what happens? Abortion. An egg is released, life is created, and then it is simply flushed out of the woman, down the toilet, without the woman having any idea.

To be fair, there is actually a huge debate going on right now surrounding the issue of whether or not hormonal birth control pills actually can cause abortion. And there are great arguments on both sides. BUT the truth is–we don’t know for sure. And as long as there is ANY risk that my taking a pill may result in an abortion–that’s all the reasons not to take birth control I need.

5. A Whole Host of Other Reasons

I recently listened to the CD Contraception: Cracking the Myth by Professor Janet E. Smith and it is FULL of really interesting statistics and case studies demonstrating the harmful effects of birth control on both the woman, but also on her relationship and on society as a whole. These statistics provide plenty more reasons not to take birth control.

Facts and statistics such as:

  • In the same time period when birth control became popular, divorce rates skyrocketed as well.
  • Women taking contraception are less attractive to males. In one study, the men actually preferred the average but fertile woman over non-fertile supermodels.
  • When researchers gave a few female monkeys birth control, the male monkeys wouldn’t sleep with them anymore. When they gave all of the female monkeys birth control, the male monkeys acted confused and became more interested in each other.

Although I didn’t agree with every single conclusion Prof. Smith came to, I found her talk absolutely fascinating. If you’re interested in learning more about her reasons not to take birth control pills, I highly recommend it. You can find it here.

Pros and Cons of Hormonal Birth Control

Yes, birth control does offer some impressive benefits. It is safe, effective (91-99% according to this source), and easy to use. It can ease PMS and help with heavy periods and cramping.

Unfortunately, it does come with several disadvantages too. Hormonal birth control comes with several side effects, including weight gain, inhibited sex drive, mood swings and migraines. It is expensive, you have to take it the same time every day, and you can’t take some types while breastfeeding.

Sounds convincing, but then what would you do instead? You can’t just go around getting pregnant all of the time!

A Better Option: Natural Family Planning

Did you know that a woman is fertile only one day a month? And that she can only get pregnant maybe 5-6 days out of the month? Did you also know that a woman’s body provides all of the signals and signs she needs to know when those days are so she can either avoid or achieve pregnancy? And that it’s just as easy as birth control once you figure out what you’re doing? It’s true, and it’s called Natural Family Planning.

What is Natural Family Planning?

Natural Family Planning is a fully natural and completely legitimate birth control option that allows women to chart and determine their fertile and non-fertile times so they can respond appropriately in order to achieve or avoid pregnancy.

Hormone-free and device-free, Natural Family Planning relies on the body’s natural signals, including temperature, mucus production and cervical position, depending on the exact method used. It is *not* the calendar method.

How Does Natural Family Planning Work?

There are three main signs of fertility: temperature, amount and consistency of the cervical mucous, and the shape and position of the cervix. A woman using Natural Family Planning will observe and chart one or more of these three signs every day, depending on the exact method used. (It sounds complicated, but it easily becomes second nature.)

By observing these signs every day, a woman can read her body’s own, natural internal cues to determine which part of her cycle she is in and whether or not she is fertile. She can then use this information to either avoid or achieve pregnancy.

**For in-depth information on Natural Family Planning and reading your cycle, Taking Charge of Your Fertility is excellent. A must-read!

How Effective is Natural Family Planning?

Couples who purposefully and intentionally follow NFP’s guidelines to the letter can expect an effectiveness rate of 97-99%. (p.s. that’s more effective than the pill.) Following the NFP guidelines half-heartedly will result in a decreased success rate of only 80-90% (source), which is still pretty good for a family that would be okay with getting pregnant but that prefers not to.

Advantages of Natural Family Planning

  • There are ZERO side effects.
  • It works with your body.
  • It does not fill your body with hormones and chemicals.
  • It does not have the potential to abort babies.
  • It is FREE (though you will definitely want to pay for a book or a class).
  • It is immediately reversible.
  • It is environmentally friendly.
  • It supports optimal health.
  • It can be used indefinitely with no ill effects.
  • You don’t have to carry anything with you if you go out of town.
  • You don’t have to stop in the heat of the moment to put something on or put something in.
  • It promotes marital chastity.
  • It fosters a better, closer relationship with husband and wife.
  • (It is also the only method of family planning that the Catholic Church allows, if that applies to you.)

Dsadvantages of Natural Family Planning

To be fair, Natural Family Planning does have a few disadvantages:

  • It takes time to learn.
  • You’ll probably want to take a class to make sure you’re doing it right.
  • (Depending on the type of NFP you do) You may have to take your temperature at the same time every day (also a drawback of taking the pill).
  • (Depending on the type of NFP you do) You may to be asleep for the three hours before taking your temperature, which is difficult to do if you have babies that still wake up throughout the night.
  • Charting your mucus every time you use the restroom can be a real pain until it becomes habit.
  • Charting may be more difficult if you have irregular periods or if you haven’t started your period yet after having a baby.
  • It can be a little icky if you’re squeamish around cervical fluid.
  • It may not be appropriate if you have certain medical conditions.
  • It also doesn’t prevent against STDs (but that’s a whole different conversation!)

Interested? Give it a Shot!

While I completely understand that Natural Family Planning isn’t right for everyone–why not try it and give it a shot before you make up your mind? It’s completely free, has no side effects and is completely reversible, so you have nothing to lose.

If you’re serious about learning and implementing Natural Family Planning, I would highly recommend taking a class in your area to make sure you fully understand just how it works before you give it a go. Ask your doctor or check at your local Catholic Church to find one near you. (You don’t have to be Catholic — I’m not — but they’ll be able to point you in the right direction)

Or, if you’re interested but not sure or you just want to learn more about your body’s natural cycles and what they mean for your health, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler is one very in-depth book that gives a TON of information.

I own this book, and it is very comprehensive. Not even a little preachy, just very, very informative with plenty of diagrams and charts.

Order it on Amazon!

When you decided which form of birth control to use, did you give it much thought? Would you ever consider Natural Family Planning?

Resources:

http://americanpregnancy.org/preventing-pregnancy/natural-family-planning/

http://www.healthline.com/health/birth-control-effects-on-body

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/natural-family-planning/what-is-nfp/index.cfm

http://www.parents.com/parenting/relationships/postpartum-birth-control/side-effects-of-birth-control/

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/birth-control-pill

http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/birth-control-pills

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A devoted Christian, wife and mother, Brittany loves helping other women grow in these roles as well. When she isn’t busy taking care of her growing family, you can find her at Equipping Godly Women, where she regularly shares tips, tricks and encouragement to help you be the amazing woman God created you to be. Brittany also has a thriving online community on Facebook as well.

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103 Comments

I found this article to be very interesting. I have a health condition that needs to be treated more aggressively. I need to go on birth control but can’t take bp with hormones bc I had heart surgery in the past. I was considering paragard but this interesting.

This article is very interesting. But I have a chronic illness. If I get pregnant I harm my baby with all the prescriptions I’m on. Natural family planning is for couples who are willing to take the high risk of getting pregnant. And the risk’s are higher then with birth control. This article is playing with fire. For everyone who is on prescriptions. Talk to your OBGYN. Mom and babies health is most important. Be careful what information you write. These are very personal descions they are’nt one size fits all.

Yes, that’s why it’s called “Five Reasons *I* Won’t Take Hormonal Birth Control” not “Five Reasons Everyone Should Use Natural Family Planning” 🙂

Obviously everyone should discuss their concerns with their doctors and it isn’t one sized fits all, but the fact is that not all doctors will even mention NFP as an option, when it is a perfectly valid one *for many women.*

In fact, when I saw my doctor, she gave me a funny look when I said I didn’t want hormonal birth control. She said “Oh, is it because you’re breastfeeding? We have one that has fewer hormones…” and didn’t even discuss my options at all. “Everyone just gets the pill,” she said. It’s a good thing I had done my research ahead of time! Otherwise, I might have just gone along since “that’s what everyone does.”

If you have something else that works better for you–that’s great! But every woman should be given the information she needs to make the correct choice for her–whether that’s a pill that will change her hormonal chemistry, or a method that’s just as effective as hormonal but without all the side effects.

Great post! Actually am studying at the seminary Dr. Smith teaches and had her for class! She totally knows her stuff….another thing about birth control I’ve always thought is that the use disregards how self-control and abstaining even in marriage are good things! Sexuality is a gift and its just about using in a healthy way that respect the dignity of both spouses.
If my husband expected me to be on birth control, I wouldn’t feel respected because my fertility comes with my sexuality…you get one with the other, a package deal.

That’s awesome that you actually got to meet her. I’d never heard about her before, but I really enjoyed her talk.

In regards to your second point, however, I wouldn’t feel disrespected if my husband wanted me to use birth control. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t want ME, it means he doesn’t want more children–and those are two very different things. And while children ARE a blessing, the fact of the matter is that they are also very expensive and stressful, especially at certain times of your life. While my husband and I are open to any children God wants to give us (we are expecting right now! 🙂 ), I also recognize that there are plenty of situations in which having more children simply would not be a responsible choice.

And that is when you stick to either NFP or go through a period of abstinence (when a couple prayerfully decides that it is not a good time to have more children). It is gravely sinful to separate the unitive and procreative aspects of the sexual act.

Well, thanks. I’m not trying to say there is one right way–just want to get women talking so they can be informed and make the best decisions for them 🙂

#1 and #2 were the main reasons I decided not to go back on BCPs after my daughter was born. I had been put on it years earlier, way before I was even married and having sex, due to crazy cycles. NFP is helpful but we also used condoms when near my fertile time of the month. Because of my wacky cycles, neither of us were willing to chance it. Basically, tracking helped me know when to use added protection instead of abstaining. So there is always that side of NFP as well. Not many people think of NFP and condoms, working together. 😉

I think that’s a great solution. (for anyone who isn’t Catholic of course 🙂 ). I think the technical term is “Fertility awareness method.” I just used NFP since it’s what most people are familiar with.

How come your husband was ok with hormonal birth control, considering that he’s Catholic?
I know a lot of Catholics use birth control other then NFP but as long as you’re on the pill (or your wife is) you can’t get absolution and receive Eucharist. It doesn’t apply to those who have to take it because of medical reasons of course.

Another very important side effect of pills is high cholesterol and it also increases risk of some types of cancer and decrease risk of others but it’s definitely not something I’d play with until we know for sure.

Because not all Catholics follow all of the rules as closely as others, and I don’t think he knew about that rule. We’ve both been learning a lot lately!

I’m curious and genuinely trying to understand your perspective. Is contraception objectively sinful? Or is it just a matter of opinion? How can something be sinful for some people and not for others?

Catholics believe it is. I do not believe it is. It’s not a matter of opinion–There is a right and a wrong. We just disagree about what that is. 🙂

And maybe I’ll change my mind upon further study (that seems to be the trend here!), but as of right now, I can see the benefits, but I don’t see why it would be inherently sinful other than because the Church says so. And since I’m not Catholic, that doesn’t apply to me. It’s like in my Eucharist post, you can say it’s sinful, and I can say it’s not, but without a good argument either way, I’m unconvinced.

The reason for contraception being inherently sinful is not because “the Church says so”. Like a good mother, Holy Mother Church has legitimate reasons behind the teachings. Contraception is sinful because it separates the procreative and unitive aspects of the sexual act. It closes sex to the gift of life.

I’m curious as to how you think the rules don’t apply to you because you aren’t Catholic. God created EVERY person to know, love, and serve Him, and be faithful to His Bride, the Church. You can’t just reject His Church and use that as an excuse for the rules not applying to you. If something is sinful, it’s sinful for everyone, regardless of how they label themselves. Yes, I technically label myself “Catholic”, but I hate labels and more see myself as participating in the fullness of Christ’s Truth and trying to share His love and teachings with all people.

All this being said, contraception is not sinful if used for medicinal purposes, it is sinful if used to block fertility.

Yes, I know all of that. My issue is–I know the church says “Contraception is sinful because it separates the procreative and unitive aspects of the sexual act. It closes sex to the gift of life.” BUT who says that sex without the procreative half or the possibility of making babies is wrong? Is there a reason the two HAVE to go together? Personally, the ONLY answer I’ve ever heard is “because the Catholic Church says so.”

If there is a REASON that separating the two is wrong–I simply have yet to hear it. But if the only answer is “because the catholic church says so” — then that would make it more a matter of obedience to the church than of sin. (I’m not saying it is, just saying, without another reason, that’s the best I can conclude right now.)

For example, Catholics follow Lent because the Catholic church says so. For Catholics to not give up meat is sinful, not because eating meat is sinful, but because it is disobedience. Since I am not Catholic, I don’t fall under those rules and it is not sinful for me to not give up meat. NOT saying that’s the same thing–just an example of the difference between things that are wrong because they are wrong, and things that are just wrong because the Catholic church requires Catholics to follow them.

I guess it all boils down too–“WHY do the two HAVE to go together?” Catholics take for granted that they do, but never explain why (that I’ve heard).

They go together because the marital union is a gift of giving oneself completely to another through sexual intercourse. Contraception negates the totality because it causes a person to withhold their fertility. Just as Christ gives Himself completely to us in the Eucharist, so too do husbands and wives give themselves completely to one another. Does that make sense?

It does, and I don’t disagree with the sentiment, I’m just not sure why it is immoral. What about people who don’t want children? Does everyone in the world have to want children? That seems silly.

The Catholic Church perceives marriage as a Sacrament, wherein a man and a woman fulfill God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply”, coming together as one, giving each other completely to each other. Children are an intrinsic part of marriage. If a couple does not want to have a children, they do not have a valid marriage. For Catholics, marriage isn’t just about affection for another person, but loving the person selflessly. Now if a person is infertile through no fault of their own, they may still get married since the sexual act is still ordered towards life. Try reading this article: http://www.catholic.com/blog/trent-horn/why-the-church-cannot-marry-the-impotent

Exactly. “The Catholic Church perceives…” “For Catholics…” I’m not trying to argue with you at all–just trying to understand. We do welcome children and plan to use NFP, so we are doing the right thing. But I still don’t have an answer to my original question, which is: Why is it immoral to separate sex and child-making? Not why is it a bad idea or what does it mean, but why is it immoral? That’s the question I’ve never gotten an answer to.

It seems to me that Marriage is completely different for Catholics than it is for non-Catholics. I don’t know any way to explain it more clearly…What is marriage and sexuality if a husband and wife withhold fertility from each other and thus do not give themselves completely in a one-flesh union? Did you read the article I linked to in my previous comment?

Ultimately, it comes down to whether contraception is intrinsically sinful. What if (hypothetically) there were to be zero Catholics left on Earth? Would the Eucharist still be Jesus? Would the teachings of the Catholic Church be true even if no one believed in them? Or are the teachings only true if there are people to believe in them?

I did read the article. It didn’t address the question. It reiterated that “procreative is necessary” but no one has been able to tell me why.

Marriage is uniting two people together. But a child isn’t that same “one flesh” — it’s a completely different flesh. And I don’t think not wanting to have children means you are keeping your fertility away from the other person if you both agree. It’d be different if one wanted children and the other refused, but when both people don’t want children, how is creating children they don’t want more righteous than simply enjoying each other and their marriage without children?

And if people can choose to stop having kids after they’ve already had 10–(the Pope said Catholics don’t have to “breed like rabbits”) –why can’t they choose to stop having kids after they’ve had 0? That is still withholding fertility. Is there a threshhold or certain number you have to meet before you can say “no more” and it’s not a sin anymore? (rhetorical question)

And no, the teachings don’t rest on whether or not anyone believes them. They rest on facts. If you look in my Eucharist post, that’s what you’ll find–tons of facts and evidence. But I just haven’t seen any here. Not saying there isn’t any–but no one has been able to give me an argument beyond “Well, the Catholic Church says sex needs to have the ability to make babies.”

I think an argument is this:

God is love; in the life of the Trinity, the love of the Father and the Son is so strong that it generates (eternally) another person: the Holy Spirit.

The Church uses to say that the human family is an image of Trinity, so the love of parents (normally) generates another person, a child.

Also that every act of creation (in the strong sense of the word) is an act of love. When God loves a “possible”, that love brings that “possible” into being, and that’s why that we say that everything God created is good. Having this in mind, we can say that to love and to bring life cannot be separated if they are going to be truly what they are.

(excuse me if my english is not quite understandable; its not my mother language, I’m uruguayan, and the last time i studied english was 5 years ago. If you understand spanish, I can write to you on that language).

I think it could be interesting for you to read the encyclicals “Spe Salvi” and “Deus Caritas Est” of pope Benedict XVI (you can find them here: http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20051225_deus-caritas-est.html and here: http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20071130_spe-salvi.html) they are not too long and i think that they can shed light on some aspects of the catholic faith.

¡Blessings!

I’m not a specialist on the subject, but to your last question what i can say is that there’s a difference between to not have a child, or another child just “because i don’t want to” and to not have another child because you are not physically, emotionally, and economically able (that’s not the exact word that i would like to use, but my brain is not helping me on this) to that. (it could be the situation of the couple with ten children). On the second situation, there could be a matter of responsibility for the parents about the care of their children. I repeat that I’m not an specialist. Just sharing what i know by now.

¡Blessings!

Yes, exactly. I think sometimes people focus more on the number, when in reality, one child may be realistically too many for some. I’m not the one to make that judgement call! Just bringing it up as a possibility.

I’d like to add that i’m always thinking on a catholic frame, so of course, the mean to regulate the births that i’m thinking on is NFP and abstinence… and that the reasons that you can have to not have more children need to be really serious.
I think Pope Paulus VI explains it better:

“If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained. (20)

Neither the Church nor her doctrine is inconsistent when she considers it lawful for married people to take advantage of the infertile period but condemns as always unlawful the use of means which directly prevent conception, even when the reasons given for the later practice may appear to be upright and serious. In reality, these two cases are completely different. In the former the married couple rightly use a faculty provided them by nature. In the later they obstruct the natural development of the generative process. It cannot be denied that in each case the married couple, for acceptable reasons, are both perfectly clear in their intention to avoid children and wish to make sure that none will result. But it is equally true that it is exclusively in the former case that husband and wife are ready to abstain from intercourse during the fertile period as often as for reasonable motives the birth of another child is not desirable. And when the infertile period recurs, they use their married intimacy to express their mutual love and safeguard their fidelity toward one another. In doing this they certainly give proof of a true and authentic love.” (Encyclical letter Humanae Vitae, 10)

Nothing else. Sometimes i get messy trying to explain myself :S

Blessings again, and thanks for your patience 😀

I am seeing a lot of opinion and not a lot of scriptural references and backing. We don’t do something because the church tells us but we should be as the noble Bereans and study the SCRIPTURES for ourselves. If the Catholic Church teaches “x” then I need to look to the Word of God to ensure that it is true and good.
I highly recommend reading The Profound Mystery of Marriage by Joseph Beard.
http://titus25.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/The-Profound-Mystery-of-Marriage-What-the-Bible-says-that-your-pastor-isnt-telling-you-Job-Joseph-Beard1.pdf
He uses a lot of scripture to support his argument (there is also a lot of other great stuff on his site http://www.titus25.com).

Can’t deny that there really are MANY rules in the Church and when some things are widely accepted (like hormonal birth control) it’s easy to overlook them and not even be aware that you’re doing something wrong.

I don’t think what Margo says about marriage not being valid if the couple doesn’t want kids is true and I’m pretty sure it’s not an official teaching.
Some people don’t want kids and then it’s best that they don’t have them. Kids should be wanted, not something you have to do.
As long as the couple uses NFP in the eyes of the Church they’re all good.

Is contraception sinful or not is a big debate. I don’t think about sin as something that’s forbidden for no good reason, but rather as a faliure to do best that we can (as we are created in God’s image, we should always try to reflect it).
We have a way of maniging our fertility and planning kids, but it requires abstinence for a few days a month. We were given a way which doesn’t harm our bodies like other forms of contraception, it’s natural and it’s based on husband and wife knowing each other and respecting each other. Having sex during unsafe days is motivated by lust and unwillingness to wait and it makes our bodies mere objects. Pills, IUDs, condoms and other methods are based on CHANING one’s body so that it becomes an object made for physical pleasure without fear of getting pregnant. And that’s what makes it imperfect.
Like masturbation and watching porn. Why is that a sin? It doesn’t really harm annyone, but it degrades our sexuality to just an instinct and a need, when it really should be a way to express love and devotion to another person without degrading them in any way.
It’s not wrong to separate sex and procreation (in the end, that’s what NFP is, too). The only thing that’s dubious is the WAY you do it – in a natural way enabled by our physiology, or by changing our bodies for the purpose of pleasure.
For me it’s not because the Church says so. If I were to lose my faith and become an atheist, or if the Church proclaimed that it was ok to use contraception, I would still be convinced that NFP is the best way.

Aaand that’s a huge comment, sorry 😀

I LOVE THIS POST!!!! I HATE hormonal birth control – I mean it.. I took it years ago and it screwed up my body in ways that I’m still trying to heal from. You gave great, simple, concise reasons and facts to back them up. Thanks for posting this, will be sharing!!

I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. 🙁 I know not everyone does, but why would we subject ourselves to a bunch of side effects when there are better options? Thanks for sharing 🙂

This has always been such a difficult subject for me to figure out. I went on birth control as a teenager, not for birth control purposes so much as I had a cycle that was irregular and therefore extremely heavy, and low platelets that made a heavy cycle rather dangerous. So I went on birth control and remained a virgin.
Now of course, I’m married, but I have a boat load of medical problems that make pregnancy very dangerous for me. We took the risk and the plunge and I went off and I had my daughter, but my doctors were freaking out the whole time!
And now, I’m back on, my daughter is three, and I go back and forth all the time about going off.
The risk of it aborting a fertilized egg is tiny, but it is there, so I end up praying that if somehow an egg is fertilized that God protects it from the birth control. I also use a hormonal that isn’t in pill form (nuva ring) in order to minimize any risk caused by missing a dose.
If my cycle went back to how it was as a teen, simply tracking would be hard, as I would go months with no cycle. It would also be bringing up those bleeding risks again as my platelets are still low.
Pregnancy, though a part of me wants to risk it again, is still, according to the doctors, a big and scary deal for me, and would be even more complicated this time around than it was the first time.
I guess all this is to say, this particular choice is not always so very straight forward as one might think.
Also, if you want the fullness of my particular frustrations, I’m on a med in particular that states clearly on the label that pregnant women shouldn’t even TOUCH it. And talks about how people should wash their hands after handling a hazardous drug. It’s a form of chemo.
In other words, birth control is by far not the most hazardous thing I take every day for a pregnancy’s health.
Woo who….. ain’t my life grand?

Yuck, I’m sorry you are dealing with that 🙁 And of course I am NOT a dr and this is NOT medical advice, just sharing what works for me so others can take from it what they will.

For the record, you can still use NFP with irregular cycles and while the stats vary based on how you ask, they are both about as effective. It wouldn’t help with the bleeding though, which I understand as a very valid concern! Personally, if I had so many health conditions, I’d want to be limiting as many unhealthy things out of my body as possible, but of course I have very little knowledge of your situation so don’t take advice from me!

My purpose isn’t to persuade people to choose one way or the other–simply to get people talking and to be more informed about their options 🙂

Oh , Joy, I feel ya. My cycles are all over the place, too. I use NFP- but I use the Creighton Model System. Creighton has the added benefit of having access to doctors who help get to the bottom of cycle, hormone, and infertility issues. I love it. I wrote a little about it here– (and there are some additional links to help you if you’re interested in learning more) — http://www.amateurnester.com/2015/07/allys-infertility-story.html

My mom was the one who taught me about Natural Family Planning when I was a young teenager (13 or 14). I found it fascinating! It’s so amazing that God has created us with everything we need so that we can know fairly reliably when we’re likely to get pregnant. I was on the Pill for a bit, until I found out that it can be abortive. I stopped taking it that day, and realized (again) that’s God’s design is always the best! I plan on teaching my own daughter about Natural Family Planning too.

That’s great that your mom knew enough to teach you. I think it’s really fascinating stuff. And even if women don’t use NFP (which is fine), it’s incredibly useful information to have!

I wish I would’ve learned more about this earlier. Kid one and two were conceived on hormonal birth control and I almost lost kid one. They were also really close together. Then my husband and I tried natural family planning and though my kid 3 was a surprise, it was two years after my daughter. Most successful form of birth control I experienced! I had my tubes removed with my third kid and then 4 years later had an ovary and part of my uterus removed so I’m surgically sterile. But I am facing health problems right now that require me to take birth control for hormonal reasons. I’m relieved that I don’t face the risk of conceiving at all and it’s not as a result of the birth control. But I can’t help but wonder if ALL of it would’ve been avoided had I done NFP in the first place!

I have mixed feelings about this. Even though 6 months ago I would have agreed whole heartedly! I just started taking birth control 3 months ago. I was always against it 100%. The last 3 years I went into the dr office with “issues” during my yearly check up, heavy bleeding, debilitating migraines, passing clots, irregular cycles, etc. Each year they offered me the same option-birth control. I declined. This past year, they offered me something else-a hysterectomy. I cried. I opted for the birth control.

It is super low dose hormone, and the first month I was MISERABLE. Second month, a little better, third month I woke up on the day of my cycle when I should have had a migraine, and didn’t. I cried. This was the first time in 2 years I didn’t have one.I was to the point where I had to plan my month around cycle related migraines.

So, for me, for now, I plan on taking the pills. I think it goes back to what you said, you HAVE to be educated. For me, right now, it helps my quality of life. It keeps my from a hysterectomy, and the risks are less than the benefits. I never thought I would be on this side of the fence, but here I am :/

Hey, I don’t blame you one bit! Medical issues always make things more complicated and there is nothing wrong with that. (Not a doctor) but I’d say for you, yes, the benefits probably outweigh the risks! Can you still keep track of your cycle and avoid your fertile days so you aren’t putting yourself at risk for break-through ovulation?

Yes! We have always been pretty good at NFP. Three kids, 12 years of marriage, and they were all planned 🙂

I think that drs are too quick to prescribe birth control most of the time, but yea for me, for now it is necessary. This post is a great way to get people discussing pros/cons and hopefully encourages people to educate themselves.

Hi Misty,

Have you heard of this site yet? http://www.popepaulvi.com/ They treat women with fertility conditions like you describe, but they find out WHY you are having these issues and dont’ prescribe any birth control. I would encourage you to visit their site and maybe contact them. They are there to help and have helped so many women! I had a friend, who after 12 years, was finally able to conceive with the help of NaproTechnology at the Pope Paul VI Institute! I’m not saying you are wanting to conceive, but they have very high success rate with helping women with various fertility issues including infertility and heavy bleeding/irregular cycles. God bless!

There’s a few issues with this article. First ‘natural family planning’ is not a better alternative than almost any other form of birth control. You’re taking the stat from perfect implementation of ‘natural family planning’ and comparing it to the common use statistic of the birth control pill. You need to compare apples to apples. One quarter of couples who use ‘natural family planning’ will end up getting pregnant anyway vs. 1/10 with imperfect use of birth control. Next you use the word ‘chemical’ like it’s a dirty word. The birth control pill is literally the hormones that your body naturally produces during your menstrual cycle and pregnancy. The fact that it’s made in a lab and not in your body changes nothing about it’s effects. The side effects you quote are basically a lesser version of the side effects of being pregnant. The bleeding between periods is uncommon past three months. Next you did not mention at all that for many women who have irregular/painful/heavy periods that the birth control pill actually can really help improve those symptoms for them. Natural family planning will not do this, except when you get pregnant on this method, and then it will improve these symptoms for a year and a bit. With regards to your abortion argument, that’s more difficult to address. It comes down to what your definition of abortion is. Even when you’re not using birth control, not every inseminated egg makes it into your uterine wall. But let’s be clear about one thing, God is not opposed to birth control. He wants to use our brains and kneel in prayer with him and actually PLAN our families. That might mean never using birth control and having 12 kids (which is totally fine), or it may mean only having one child (also totally cool).

The scary things about articles like this, is that with some research on the internet, and another little bit typing up the article, this ‘education’ on contraception will reach more women in a day than I talk to in my clinic in a week or month, and it’s incomplete and misleading. I’m sure that you did not have any malicious intentions when writing this article, in fact I’ll bet the opposite is true. You also have the right to say or write whatever you feel like at any point in time. Unfortunately I think that with those choices there can also be unintentional harm.

As a physician when I give medical advice to someone, if I tell them something without explaining the risks, they can potentially sue me and if was a serious omission on my part, I can lose my medical licence. This is because I am accountable for what I do. The problem, is that if someone follows your advice and become pregnant and then has to face the challenges of motherhood at a time in their life that they were not wanting those challenges, you’re not accountable in anyway.

To be clear, I think every woman has the right to choose whatever method of birth control, or lack thereof that she desires. I just think that articles like this on the googlesphere make it more difficult to get factually accurate information of relevant medical topics. I think a good rule of thumb is that if you want advice on something medically related, actually talk to someone with training in the medical field who is accountable for what they say. They’re not perfect, but they’ve done more than a bit of internet searching in their lives. Also just for clarity, I love Jesus too in case you were worried that this comment was from some atheist scientist.

Hi, Darren! Thanks for weighing in! It’s great to have a medical doctor weigh in on the discussion. Please allow me to address a few of your concerns:

*The reason I, personally, see Natural Family Planning as a better alternative isn’t because of its effectiveness rate but because of all five reasons (and more) put together. It is more natural, it is free, it works with your body, etc etc. This article isn’t meant to address every single point that could possible be made about the article, but to share my own thoughts on what works for me and why.

*Yes, the side effects of birth control may not be the worst thing ever, but for a healthy woman with no medical conditions, why bother with them at all? Why would I choose to put any hormones/chemicals in my body when I could simply listen to my body and avoid pregnancy without them? For me, it makes way more sense to choose zero side effects over “usually not that bad” side effects. And speaking personally, I *did* experience side effects that I didn’t like. It wasn’t just a minor inconvenience. It affected my marriage.

*I did go back to add a disclaimer that this is NOT medical advice, speak to your doctor, this is just what works for me. I had been reiterating that in the comments, but you’re right–it needed to be in the post as well. The post isn’t about what all women should do, but what I choose to do and why. Now that’s hopefully more clear.

*To me, abortion is any time you cause a fertilized egg to die instead of implanting and growing, whether this is by using birth control to flush it out, by using drugs to kill it or by visiting a clinic to have it sucked out. I recognize (and did state) that birth control does not always cause abortions. But for me, simply the fact that it can is enough reason for me.

*Christians have very differing opinions on whether or not God is opposed to birth control. Catholics (which probably half of my readers are, but I am not) DO believe He is. And actually, all denominations were anti-birth control until 1930 or so. While I’m not personally opposed, I thought that fact was really interesting! (Oh, and by saying Catholics don’t believe in BC, I don’t mean they think you should have 100 kids. You can still plan your family. They just do it naturally, with their bodies, ie *natural family planning.*)

As a healthy woman with no medical conditions, I honestly cannot think of a single reason why I would take birth control. I used to take it–because I thought that was just “what you did.” But once I learned more about it, I don’t know why I, personally, ever would again. I’d like other women to be able to make the same decision–if it is right for them–as well.

Thank you so much for your insights! I appreciate it!

Hey Brittany,
Thanks for your reply. Again I want to reiterate that if natural family planning is working for you that’s great. I think it’s fair to try different birth control methods if one isn’t working for you. I am not trying to advocate the use of one method of birth control over another, just that people fully understands the benefits and risks associated with each kind. It’s also valuable to know there thoughts on unwanted pregnancy and some of their personal opinions regarding abortion. In the end it’s every woman’s God given right to choose an appropriate method for herself.

So a quick summary of your 5 points and some of my thoughts and understanding about them:
1) There are side effects. -> Yes some women do experience some of the side effects you described. Many do not. Often times all it takes is switching to a different pill and there is a noticeable improvement. You chose to stop taking the pill after two months, which is fine. You may have found that if you stuck it out past three months that some of those side effects went away, or if you switched pills that they went away all together. Medicine is not a perfect science and sometimes it takes a few tries before you find the right fit, if that’s what you want to do. Remember that the ‘side effects’ of pregnancy are much worse than what most women experience on the pill.
2) It’s full of chemicals: The chemicals you are referring to are hormones that your body makes naturally called estrogen and progesterone. When used in combination these pills prevent ovulation from occurring. Some women can get breakthrough ovulation if they forget to take the pill, but ovulation in women who are adherent to their pills is incredibly rare. You are not filling your body with ‘questionable chemicals’. A lot of people don’t realize that a chemical that makes up about 70% of their bodies is absolutely toxic when ingested in high doses. It’s called H20. Yes there are harmful chemicals, yes if you took way more than the recommended dose of birth control pills there would be significant adverse effects, but not every ‘chemical’ is bad for you. Referring to hormones that your body makes as ‘questionable chemicals’ is fear mongering.
3) It works against your body: To the contrary, the birth control pill actually utilizes the natural hormones and processes of your body to prevent pregnancy. Yes God made our bodies. He also made our minds, so that we could figure out solutions to the problems of life.
4) It may cause abortions: As far as I know the number one cause of abortions is unwanted pregnancies. There is a very small theoretical risk that the birth control pill may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting. The majority of the time an egg is never released. In the rare times it is, the sperm never reaches it. So in essence we’re weighing a very small theoretical risk of a fertilized egg being unable to implant to a very tangible likelihood of an unwanted pregnancy (which is a much higher predictor of abortion).
5) A whole host of other things: Most of these points have no backing. No, birth control pills do not cause divorce. Financial trouble certainly does though. Unwanted kids = extra unplanned expenses. No, women who take the birth control pill are not less attractive. This is pure opinion. In fact many men would argue that they would prefer a woman who is taking the pill. It’s a lower chance at child support payments later. I would also disagree that natural family planning has zero side effects, again with the aforementioned 1/4 chance at getting pregnant (a significant side effect).

Anyways, Brittany I will leave your blog alone from here on out. I normally don’t comment on the many ‘natural’ posts that I see through my Facebook feed and to be honest I’m not sure why I took the time to comment on this one in particular when there a hundred more just like it. I guess I needed a refresher on some differing views of birth control pill and it also gave me a good chance to verify my sources and evaluate if the information I am giving my patients is helpful, unbiased, and factual. In closing, I guess I would recommend natural planning to people who would be religious about obeying all of the fine print, are opposed to every other method of birth control and in the end who don’t mind getting pregnant. What I recommend to most people though is a combination of the birth control pill and condoms. That way not only do we prevent unwanted pregnancy and STDs, but we then eliminate the grey area of whether or not the pill is aborting a minuscule number of fertilized eggs. At the end of the day though, it is my patient’s choice of what they want to do and I respect that. I wish you health and happiness in your family life.

Agreed.

1. You state “Remember that the ‘side effects’ of pregnancy are much worse than what most women experience on the pill” — True, but that’s comparing apples to oranges. Comparing the birth control pill and natural family planning — the fact is one has side effects and one doesn’t. Whether they are mild or severe, whether they go away, and whether it just takes switching medication, the first one does and the second one doesn’t. Personally, I would opt for the method that definitely does not have any side effects ever, rather than one that meant I had to endure side effects for who knows how long (depending on the person and how long it took them to find the right meds/right dose). (And I actually was on birth control for several months–I talked my husband into sticking it out. The symptoms did get better, but they never completely went away. They weren’t horrible, either. But why have them at all? For any length of time.)

2. Maybe, but saying that chemicals/hormones created in a lab are every bit as safe isn’t necessarily entirely true either. This is a whole different debate, but scientists used to say formula was nutritionally complete… and then they discovered more unknown things like DHA, etc that they didn’t know of before. Scientists are smart, but I simply don’t believe that whatever they create in a lab can ever be a match to what we are given in our own bodies. If things created in a lab are necessary–by all means! I’m thankful the technology is there when we need it! But if we don’t need it and when it offers no additional advantages–why not go with what we have that works just fine? (In other words, not saying birth control shouldn’t exist. Just that–in otherwise healthy women–NFP seems like a safer option in my opinion)

4. Yes, intentional abortion is a much bigger and more important issue. It just happens to not be the subject of this post. As a blogger, I write primarily to my own audience–which very likely contains a minuscule number of women who would consider abortion and a very large amount of women who would consider birth control–making it a more relevant issue on my site. If I wrote a post about “don’t have an abortion,” most people would skim right over it and say “yep. yep. we know.” With this post, it’s getting people thinking and discussing. And anyways, birth control can only help prevent intentional abortion, NFP can help prevent accidental AND intentional abortion, making it a better option.

Also, from everything I’ve read, NFP doesn’t have a 25% failure rate, but a success rate in the 90s, just like birth control. Yes, it does require vigilence, but so does BC.

And no need to shy away–I love great debates on important topics! I would just encourage you to not shy away from telling healthy women about NFP just because you personally like BC better. I think many women would really love it and do well with it–but they simply don’t know it exists or that it is a viable option because too many doctors are so quick to automatically write prescriptions for birth control. If you always automatically prescribe birth control every time without even mentioning other options (and I’m not saying you do), that’s just as biased and misleading, in my opinion. Just food for thought!

Thanks for your thoughts!

“it’s every woman’s God given right to choose an appropriate method for herself”

I’m not sure what God you are talking about but if you can site your source that would be helpful.
The Christian God mentions no such thing in the Holy Bible.

I love Taking Charge of Your Fertility! It’s such a thorough book, and when I was trying to conceive, it was such a useful tool. I agree that I am not a fan of hormonal birth control either, and love the other options you suggested. Thanks!

Brittany,

I enjoyed your thoughts on this very counter cultural subject matter. While I don’t necessarily agree with all your points in this post, I appreciate your continued thirst for truth and wisdom according to God’s plan. I’m so glad you listened to Dr. Janet Smith since she is right on! Did you hear Dr. Jane Smith’s frog in the boiling water analogy yet? So good!
Have you read this post by Dr. Janet Smith titled, ” The Connection Between Contraception and Abortion” ? http://onemoresoul.com/contraception-abortion/risks-consequences/the-connection-between-contraception-and-abortion.html#more-180
Her post is on One More Soul’s site: http://onemoresoul.com/

My husband and I have lived and promoted NFP since our marriage almost 18 years ago and I’m so blessed to have the Catholic Church’s wisdom to guide us on marriage and family planning. At the time of our wedding my husband wasn’t Catholic (he came into the Church in 2006) and we had some differences in theology, but one area we have always agreed on is the Church’s teaching on marriage and family planning. I think if we didn’t agree on this most important aspect of our marriage, our marriage would be alot different and not necessarily in a good way. Our fertility is a gift to be understood, not a disease to be eliminated and NFP has given both my husband and I a greater understanding and appreciation for our bodies, our sexuality and our marriage. I love knowing more about my fertility and my body than my doctor (NFP charting has helped us tremendously when we tracked our children’s due dates with more accuracy than the doctor’s charting) and it is freeing to know that I am not destroying my fertility and the marital embrace by using contraception of any kind.
Sadly, the birth control pill can be an abortifacient (refer to “Connection…” article linked above) and is often used to alleviate heavy, painful periods. But, the pill only MASKS the real underlying problem and only puts a band-aid on the fertility issue. Doctors are so quick to prescribe the pill as a quick “fix” (not to mention the $ that is generated from the prescriptions). Doctors need to find out WHY these women are having painful periods! For anyone struggling with fertility issues I recommend this site (http://www.popepaulvi.com/about.php) that treat women with the following conditions:

Infertility evaluation and treatment
Repeated miscarriages
Surgical treatment of endometriosis
Prematurity Prevention Program
Premenstrual syndrome
Abnormal uterine bleeding
Recurrent ovarian cysts
Dysmenorrhea
Postpartum depression
Perimenopausal/menopausal care
Polycystic ovarian disease
Reversal of tubal ligation

I am so grateful for my marriage that is totally free, faithful and fruitful in all aspects of it, including the most intimate part. I will continue to pray for marriages, mine and others, everyday!

God bless you Brittany!

Thankfully, my husband and I have always been pretty much in agreement as well–no matter which option we’ve chosen at the time. I do like the Church’s “children are always a blessing” sentiment–that’s very sweet. I just don’t know why not wanting children is considered immoral. God made us all for different purposes and for different tastes! Why would one lifestyle (at home with lots of kids) be a great fit for everyone? That doesn’t make sense.

“Children are a blessing” is actually scriptural. It is found in Psalm 127, Gen 1:22, Gen. 1:28, Gen 9 and a few other places. I don’t know the Catholic Church’s doctrine, but the common thought in many evangelical “quiverful” circles is that children seem to be the only one of God’s blessings that people turn down. Most people wouldn’t turn down blessings in food, housing, promotion, money, fruits of the Spirit, etc. as readily as they turn down more children. So, the sin would be in turning down God’s blessings that He wants to give you in His Sovereignty.

I came back to make sure I answered the question. I can’t edit my post. I clearly answered it for “more children,” but believe that my answers would apply to not wanting children.

I agree we were all created uniquely and for a special purpose. In addition to that, the scriptures clearly teach that we were created to express that within certain confines. God created woman to be a help meet or helper. This was a very specific purpose and I don’t think it is only applicable to Eve but to ALL women. Titus 2 says “…teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” It is good for women to “be busy at home” that should be the desire of our hearts, so that no one will malign the word of God. It may seem that I am changing the subject but I think this roll goes hand-in-hand with that of motherhood. I agree with Elizabeth’s comments below as well and would add them to my own.
I think it is important to understand WHY some might think that having children is “not for me.” It is certainly counter-cultural and to the Christian detriment! I have three boys under the age of three and they drive me absolutely crazy on most days. I often think I can NOT handle any more kids nor do I want to. BUT I know that God is using motherhood to refine my soul and draw me to him and as I invest in the future generation and raise them in the fear of the LORD I am having a greater impact on our culture and society than doing anything else.

As someone with an irregular period and limited discipline for doing things routinely :), a side effect would be unexpected pregnancy. I don’t take birth control pills either. I’m looking for a more permanent solution.

YEEEESSSS!!! I could not possibly agree more with this!!!! I led a married women’s bible study a few years ago and across the board the girls were on birth control and across the board they had low libido. ‘I’ll have sex…if he vacuums!!’ My jaw was on the floor. We take this body-twisting chemical and then blame our husbands for having the healthy sex drive we were born to have too. Birth control is such a lie, and natural family planning works perfectly. Thank you for this important post! Definitely sharing!!

Yep. Exactly. Of course it is often more complicated than that, but if you are otherwise healthy–why go for side effects at all? and thanks for sharing! 🙂

Dear Brittany, (long post warning)
I would like to provide for you the reason why every act of sexual intercourse must remain open to life, apart from the “Catholic church says so “.

“Married love differs from any other love in the world. By its nature, the love of husband and wife is so complete, so ordered to a lifetime of communion with God and each other, that it is open to creating a new human being they will love and care for together. Part of God’s gift to husband and wife is this ability in and through their love to cooperate with God’s creative power. Therefore, the mutual gift of fertility is an integral part of the bonding power of marital intercourse. That power to create a new life with God is at the heart of what spouses share with each other.

“When married couples deliberately act to suppress fertility, however, sexual intercourse is no longer fully marital intercourse. It is something less powerful and intimate…[that]…denies part of the inherent meaning of married sexuality and does harm to the couple’s unity. The total giving of oneself, body and soul, to one’s beloved is no time to say: “I give you everything I am—except. . . .” The Church’s teaching is not only about observing a rule, but about preserving that total, mutual gift of two persons in its integrity.”

Ultimately, openness to life is one of the vows that makes a marriage valid. No one may get married without the intention of being open to having children. One of your readers said that a Catholic couple may use NFP and choose not to have children at all . This is an incorrect understanding of Catholic teaching. To intend not to have children nullifies the marriage vows from inception.

Also, every act of marital intercourse is intended to be a renewal of your wedding vows, which as mentioned includes openness to life. To contracept nullifies the renewal of your vow in the act as well.

In Christ,
+Deacon Gregory

http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/love-and-sexuality/

I’m curious – what about couples who enter in to their marriage knowing that they will be medically unable to have children? Does this nullify their marriage from the start? If they don’t have that power to create a life, does that make their marriage somehow less special or blessed than another marriage? I have been told by my doctors that because of my family history with difficult pregnancies and some personal health issues that it would be incredibly unsafe for me to try and get pregnant. My fiance and I both know this, and are entering our marriage knowing that we will avoid getting pregnant (and risking my life in the process) at all costs. We will need to intentionally inhibit our fertility – so we will be sinning?

We DO want to be parents, and are planning on adopting in the future…but our children will not be biologically ours. Hope our marriage is not cursed in your eyes 🙂

And what about couples who feel led by God to seek adoption as their only option for growing their families? Surely it couldn’t be a sin in God’s eyes to devote one’s marriage and all the resources necessary to raise children between a married couple to caring for and bringing home the orphan in to a loving family?

Ginny

NOT an expert on this, but I don’t think that’s a problem? I know couples can use NFP to avoid pregnancy when it doesn’t make sense to have babies. That’s a great question though.

I’m not quite sure you know how birth control works. The pill creates/releases progesterone. While you’re on the pill, it tricks your body into being pregnant. When you’re pregnant your body is producing high levels of progesterone. Which is why when you’re on the pill you don’t get pregnant. Your body doesn’t release an egg because it already “thinks” you’re pregnant. Also, you talk about side effects. There are many different formulas of the pill and if your symptoms are unbareable you can talk to your doctor and talk about another form of the pill/BC in general. Lastly, I firmly believe that God has a plan for your life I have been on the pill for seven years and conceived in December. I am almost five months into my pregnancy with a healthy baby girl. Your body will not “abort” a fetus. Your body will have a miscarriage and they are very VERY common. If you are meant to have a baby, God will give you a baby whether you’re on the pill or not. I’d love for you to think about these points and send me an email with your response/thoughts.

Yes, that’s how it is *supposed* to work, but even just the chance that it could flush out an already fertilized egg makes it not a good option for me. And yes, you can find a different formula, but that generally requires months of tweaking. Why go through those months at all? Why not work with your body and have no side effects and no chance of abortion? I don’t understand the benefits of the pill (barring medical reasons–which I imagine isn’t why most women are on it).

Thank you so much for taking the time to write on this topic! The book, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, that you mentioned in the article is a must read for all women IMHO. I learned so much about my body as a woman so much more than a person could ever learn in a sexual education class. She also wrote a book called Cycle Savvy for teenage girls and I absolutely plan on purchasing it for my daughter when she is ready. I want her to be just as informed about her body as I now am. Another great article on the issue is here:

http://kellybroganmd.com/article/that-naughty-little-pill-birth-control/

Another pro to NFP is you can determine when your date of conception is within a couple of days. Many babies are being born prematurely because doctors think it is overdue and induce labor or force a C-section. While I was nursing my firstborn I had a 72 day cycle and was able to tell my midwife EXACTLY what day we had conceived and avoided risk of setting my babies due date two months too early. I am a huge proponent of NFP and recommend to EVERYONE I know!
I have never taken the pill, never wanted to take the pill and will never take the pill.
On another note the WHO put out a statement a couple years ago classifying the pill as a class-1 carcinogen and there are links from the pill to breast cancer. I believe that birth control is one of the worst things that has happened to our society. Thank you for helping spread the message!

Hello!! I just found your site and I must say I am in “love” with it!!

I too was raised in a Methodist church and married a Catholic husband. I have since converted to catholicism.

I too was on birth control however, have since done NFP for the past 2/3 years. My body was not my body. My husband and I had no sex because there was no drive. I was moody towards both family and friends. I had gained weight and was not happy all around.

I started to do research and learned it could’ve been my birth-control. When I made an OB appointment to discuss the situation my OB shoot me down. Telling me it was all in my head.

I started looking for a new OB right away. I found a Catholic one who understood what my husband and I were wanting to do. I took it out (IUD) and my bony is back to normal!! My sex drive is back and I am in love with my husband again!

That’s great that you figured out the problem and found something that works!! How many women out there have the same problems, and have NO idea why? or even that there’s anything wrong? 🙁

Found you on Pinterest! Thank you for sharing this. I apologize for all the discouraging comments. I appreciate your open-minded responses, and I agree that this method isn’t for everybody, but I enjoyed reading it. There aren’t many blogs that catch my eye on Pinterest, but I actually read the post from the pin right away. This one did it for me! I agree with most everything you wrote. Thank you for sharing. Keep up the good content! ~Talitha @ Doing It All with Dignity

Thank you for this post!! I just found your blog on Pinterest and I’m excited to follow along! I was on hormonal birth control for 2 years and my husband and I recently decided to go with Natural Family Planning. I always had nagging doubts and frustrations about hormonal birth control and I already feel so much better. I want to do the right thing for us, and the right thing period! I appreciate your vulnerability and boldness in posting about this. 🙂

Thanks so much for your insight!! I am not planning on having any more children but have decided to use birth control for the simple reasons that birth control reduces your risk of several cancers which you failed to mention. Also, my BC is 99.1% effective which is higher than NFP. I do think you have some good points though!

My husband and I are devout Christians so we decided that natural family planning was the way to go after our first child was born….. Three more babies later, after following the family planning method to a T, I’m starting hormonal birth control. Wish we would have started out using hormonal birth control in the beginning, although I love each of my children and wouldn’t trade them for the world!!!

We use the fertility microscope by Fertile Focus and pulling out. Super easy and you don’t have to remember anything. Just test your saliva to find out if you’re fertile! It has worked for us for 7 years.

God and His amazing timing – I just found this today. NFP is what helped me get pregnant when I was told I’d need IVF. More people should be educated on this wonderful, “safer” alternative! The Taking Charge book was/is very helpful as well!

Very interesting post! I have the book taking charge of your fertility it is soo big lots of pages and important information in that book! Girls should research before wanting to go take the pill. I did take the pill the side effects are true i fell on a article that made me stop taking the pill i cant remember the article but there are videos on youtube. Thanks for your excellent post 😀

I agree with you but in my case i can’t aply natural metods as they are. Since age of 15 I have had irregular periods. I tried observational methods but results were random. Anyway I do not want to go back to hormonal treatment. Lately I found Afrodyta microscope a device to analyze saliva for hormone structures. It helps to identify fertile days by watching structures in saliva in easy way with no doubt . I think it aplies as a natural metod of birth planing for women like me. How do you think?

This is very disappointing to read. I am a Christian woman, and take birth control because of other health issues. The way you’ve written your article says that women on birth control are less than. Just because I take hormonal birth control *does not* mean that I lack self-control, don’t care about my body/the way God made me, or don’t care about unborn life. Ridiculous.

I’m sorry that’s the message you got, Angela! That wasn’t my intentions at all. This article is about why *I* don’t take hormonal birth control, not that every single woman in the world has to make the same choices I do. Health conditions definitely have to play a factor in whatever decision you make. I just wanted to present a few facts that doctors routinely leave out so that every woman has the information she needs to make the best choice for her and any potential babies that may result.

I consider an abortion to be when a life is created at conception and then intentionally lost. In the cast of birth control, this *could* happen by the birth control making the uterus unfavorable to human life. So the baby would be conceived, but unable to implant, so it would be flushed right out. I’m not saying that this is what regularly happens; just that this is a known possibility with hormonal birth control.

Absolutely. From the last time I went in, seems like pills are such the default option, but there are other options. Natural family planning does have quite a learning curve, or you could do a diaphragm too. You might have to ask around to find someone who does them, but they are pretty easy to use and way healthier than birth control pills.

Love love love this, especially #4! A lot of Christian women do not realize this, or dismiss it as if it’s not actually true. I think a lot of us would like to believe that the pill is harmless and doesn’t actually cause abortions. We also tend to think that the medical community has it all figured out–when they say that the pill prevents pregnancy (we ignore that they don’t know 100% how), we believe them. Birth control in any form is very controversial, so thank you for sharing this. I have a one-year-old, and since having him I’ve been developing what I think is a more biblical view of conception/family. I hope your post will inspire other moms to do the same 🙂

Thanks Kara 🙂 I know it wasn’t something that I really thought about when my kids were little but now… it’s just not worth the risk.

Also, I remember hearing several, several years ago about a drug that used to be given to women to help prevent miscarriages. It worked and there were no serious negative side effects, but then THEIR daughters were having trouble with infertility. I wish I knew more details (that’s all I know), but that story always stuck with me.

Infertility seems to be more and more of a problem. I wonder what that drug and birth control have to do with it…we may not know for a long time!

I’ve thought the same thing. We have so many new “miracle drugs” for this, that and the other thing, but a whole slew of health problems too. I’m no doctor of course, but I am pretty skeptical of most things