Contraception and Pregnancy/My Relationships/Sex and Chastity The Pill: It’s Just a Cover Up by Erika Parks The first time I was “recommended” (judgmentally urged) to begin using the birth control pill by a doctor, I was 16 years old. My doctor’s reasoning was firstly, “because you never know, and you’ll want to be protected” and secondly, because I had an irregular cycle that she claimed would be made “regular” by the pill. At the time, to be honest, I mostly declined the pill because I was highly offended that this doctor didn’t believe me when I said I wasn’t going to be sexually active until marriage; but in the years since, I’ve continued to decline because I know using the pill for my “medical reason” is not the best, nor the only, option for me. And it shouldn’t be for any woman. Nothing More than a Mask I know many women who are in a similar boat as me (read Karina’s personal testimony here); whether it’s insane cramps, headaches, acne, PMS, cysts, irregular cycles, or any other number of things, the only way out of the misery seems to be the magic little pill. At least that’s what society and nearly every doctor make us think. However, the truth is this: the most commonly used birth control pill is nothing more than a mask. Just like makeup only covers up a pimple, the birth control pill only covers up the symptoms of a woman’s menstrual issue. Sure the pill might make a woman’s cycle seem regular, but in reality, it is only fooling her body and her mind. What the pill basically does is trick the body into thinking it’s pregnant, and therefore doesn’t produce an egg, which also means no period. However, one week of the month, the hormone filled pills are replaced with placebo pills. Suddenly the woman’s body no longer thinks it is pregnant, and the woman has a period. What may seem like a regular cycle is actually a faked pregnancy. As soon as the pill stops being consumed, all the irregularity and other symptoms come back; no different than taking your make up off and still seeing that dreaded pimple. The Dangers of The Mask Now everyone knows that covering a pimple with oily makeup can often make it larger or worse and give you more acne! The same is true with the birth control pill, but on a much more dangerous level. The pill can give a woman what seems to be a regular cycle, but it could also give her to various life-threatening illnesses. Woman who rely on the most commonly used type of birth control pill, estrogen plus progestin, have a 41% increase of having a stroke, 50% higher chance of getting blood clots, 29% increase in heart attacks, 22% increase of cardiovascular disease, and a 26% increase in having breast cancer. Sure the pill might take away cramps and decrease a woman’s chances of getting ovarian cancer, but is it worth the risks? About 21,990 new cases of ovarian cancer will be found in the next year; however, about 230,480 new cases of breast cancer will plague women this year as well. Since breast cancer is nearly ten times more common than ovarian cancer, and taking the pill only increases a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer, is it really worth the risk? What if there was another option? Now I know the above statements might be hard to hear; many women are reliant on the pill to live a productive life, not plagued with debilitating pain each month. But ladies, there is hope! There are other options that could possibly cure your symptoms and not just mask them! The best part is that there are options that won’t hurt you. My first suggestion is to find a pro-life doctor or medical professional that is willing to dig deeper into your issue with you. Go to fertilitycare.org to find a doctor in your area who practices pro-life medicine and fertility care. Don’t settle for a doctor who tells you the pill is your only option! Next read up on Natural Family Planning (NFP). NFP is not just for married couples seeking to have or not have a baby. The purpose of NFP is for women to learn to understand their bodies. Visit nfpandmore.org to start learning. The Creighton Model FertilityCare System is especially designed to help women discover any issues they may have with their menstrual cycle. By tracking your cycle every day, women can pinpoint the cause of their issues. Here is a list of websites that offer more information: CreightonModel.com FertilityCare.org PopePaulvi.com (The Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction) NaProTechnology.com These are just a few places to start looking for options other than the pill. Once a woman finds the cause of her symptoms through tracking her cycle, a doctor can help her solve the issue in various ways. Tracking your cycle through NFP may not sound like it could relieve your menstrual cycle issues; but combined with the help of a pro-life doctor, you and thousands of women could be on their way to healthier lives. God created us women, and our bodies, to be something so mysteriously beautiful. Stop covering that beauty with a mask; dive into the mysteries of your body and leave the pill out of it. “Statistics’ Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, accessed March 12, 2012. Media. ‘NHLBI Stops Trial of Estrogen Plus Progestin Due to Increased Breast Cancer Risk, Lack of Overall Benefit.’ NIH News Release, July 9th, 2002. ‘U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics,’ Breast Cancer.Org, accessed March 12, 2012. Media.