Join Date: Oct 2004
Re: Is birth control bad?
this is an incredibly controversial topic, as you may notice. this is my opinion, which i feel is very logical: birth control pills, which i took for a year (so i'm not just talking about something i've never experienced, not that anyone else is but, i'm just saying...) are synthetic, chemical substances that cause or delay or prevent certain reactions in your cycle to prevent pregnancy (and for some people to help with hormonal imbalances when there is acne, PCOS and other things). personally, i think to add this mix into your own system, just to avoid pregnancy, is unwise and a bit irresponsible (i did it too, so i'm not pointing any fingers).
there are other positive, effective, free, and chemical-free options (like natural family planning, which i have been using for over a year and have not gotten pregnant). there is a lot of misconception about natural family planning, and a lot of misunderstanding. if you have any questions about it, feel free to ask.
there is plenty of information available to the public that is not written or distrubted by the pharmaceutical industry or people directly connected (usually financially) to the industry about the side effects and risks of chemically/synthetically altering your hormonal balance, particularly if you have a family history of heart disease or cancer. (actually, this information is included in every packet of birth control).
there is also plenty of controversy surrounding the history of birth control but again, information available to the public and not connected to industry, shows a clear connection between birth control and increased risk and number of cases of cervical and breast cancer. this mainly occured when BCPs were first introduced, in ridiculously high dosages (because they didn't know any better) and there is a good scientific explanation for the connection between BCPs and cancer. the industry has since reduced the dosage remarkably. however, as i have heard many people say and i also agree: if two packs of cigarettes a day can cause cancer, so can one, it just might take longer. this is the same logic with birth control: if such high doses originally caused cancer, so can lower dosages, it just might take longer.
aside from the risks of various cancers, there are also other negative, dangerous side effects like deep vein thrombosis (a potentially fatal blood clot) as well as other undesirable side effects that i believe a majority of women taking birth control would tell you about, even if they decide to continue to take it, such as: mood swings (many women i talk to say they get incredibly emotional and cry at the littlest thing, i did while i was on BCPs), lowerd sex drive (i had almost no sex drive at all), weight gain (i definitely gained weight), headaches, and of course, the absolute panick if you miss a dose.
with the exception of the last few i listed, those are all reported in the insert included with any BCPs, so it's not new information. you will have to make an informed decision for yourself.
for me, the beauty of natural family planning is i know my cycle and my body, it's free, it includes my husband in decisions and being aware of when we are fertile, instead of him counting on me to pop a pill every day and that's his only responsibility, no mood swings (i feel like i can actually think my thoughts again and control my emtions, recognize them instead of feeling overwhelmed by them), and increased sex drive (hello! this has been awesome since i stopped taking BCPs)
here is a fact: there is only a short window of time during your entire cycle that you can actually get pregnant, and it's very unwise to try to count the days to find out when, but it's approximately a week after you finish your period, and last for about a week (if you want to be safe). of course, this is different in every woman, and like i said trying to count the days will probably get you pregnant.
my point is that taking a pill every day with the thought that that one pill will prevent pregnancy is ... well i don't want to be crass but it's ignorant. i don't mean that in a negative way, i thought that too, and so did my husband, until we learned natural family planning. after that window of fertility you can have sex without a condom or any other BC method and not get pregnant, because there is nothing to fertilize until the next cycle.
sorry for going on so long, but hopefully this will help you make a more informed decision.