Monday, December 9, 2019

Top 5 Reasons NOT to Use Hormonal Birth Control

Hormonal birth control is extremely common today and many people, including many Christians, take it without a second thought. But there are some important reasons to avoid hormonal contraceptives. Here are my top 5 reasons not to take hormonal contraceptives, in reverse order.

#5 - Hormonal birth control can produce mood swings and even depression in some women. We all know our female hormones can make us moody at certain times of the month. There's a reason we say we're "hormonal." The hormones in birth control can do the same thing. Many women report an increase in feelings of being down, depressed, anxious, or angry while on hormonal birth control. Some women do not seem to be affected in this way, but some are. It can be especially important that women with existing depression or anxiety watch out for a increase in symptoms if they take hormonal contraceptives.

#4 - Hormones in birth control can kill a woman's libido. They have even been known to affect her attraction to her husband. A woman's normal cycle is intended to have a period each month where her libido naturally rises and she desires sex more strongly. Hormonal birth control prevents her natural cycle and this natural increase in desire. The estrogen and progestin in hormonal birth control also lowers testosterone production. While many people believe testosterone is a male hormone, even women produce some. In women, testosterone is one of the major factors that controls the sex drive. Without enough testosterone production, a woman's libido can drop greatly. In some women, it can take away any desire for sex and greatly reduce pleasure during sex. A lot of women go on birth control before becoming sexually active and thus don't have a normal baseline for comparison, so they may think they don't like sex when in fact birth control is destroying their sexual desire and enjoyment.

#3 - Hormonal birth control carries a risk of blood clots. This can be especially dangerous for those with a family or personal history of blood clots, high blood pressure, or various other circulatory problems. The early birth control pills were solely estrogen and killed a number of women due to blood clots. The more recent combination pills, patches, shots, and rings have much lower doses of estrogen, but there is still a risk of blood clots, especially for those with other risk factors.

#2 - Hormonal birth control increases the risk of some female reproductive cancers. This link is especially strong for breast cancer. There is some indication that ovarian and endometrial cancers may have a lower risk while taking hormonal birth control. However, breast cancer risk may increase up to 20% while taking hormonal birth control and for 10 years after stopping. Not only does the pill increase the risk of breast cancer directly, but delaying childbearing can also increase the risk of reproductive cancers. Having children young and breastfeeding them protects against breast cancer.

#1 - Hormonal birth control can be abortifacient. The hormones in birth control make the uterus inhospitable for a baby to implant and thus can cause an early abortion by preventing implantation. In fairness, this is not the main mode of action. There are three mechanisms by which hormonal birth control works. The main mechanism is to prevent ovulation. If no egg is released, there can be no conception. This mechanism is truly contraceptive by preventing conception. The secondary mechanism is to thicken cervical secretion to impede sperm motility. If sperm do not reach the egg, then no conception occurs. However, the third mechanism works as a backup in case the first two mechanisms fail. If an egg is released and fertilized, then the new child will fail to implant in the womb. The baby then starves and dies. There is no way of knowing which is happening each month for any particular woman.

Because of the potential for causing a human child to die, hormonal birth control is not only a health concern, but a moral concern as well. The birth control advocates will tell you that hormonal contraception does not interrupt a pregnancy, but what they don't tell you is that the definition of pregnancy was changed a few decades ago to begin at implantation rather than fertilization so that they could claim hormonal birth control does not cause an abortion. Yet human life begins at fertilization, not implantation. Ending that life is a very serious moral issue.

If we believe every human life is sacred, then we need to show that in our actions. I could not take hormonal contraceptives because of the risk of killing my child. There are other ways to prevent pregnancy, if you must. There are many good reasons to say no to hormonal contraceptives.