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.


  1. This is a wonderful read on the use of birth control methods. May I kindly ask what other ways there are to prevent pregnancy? Maybe you could write another post explaining the best ways to prevent pregnancy from your own experience as a woman. I ask this because we, my wife and I, have been trying to use these hormonal methods and they affect her a lot negatively sexually. So, which is the best method you could recommend for another couple?

    1. I may write a whole post on this topic, but if you want the short version, I recommend natural means of pregnancy prevention. A woman is only fertile for about 5 days of her monthly cycle. Natural methods of contraception involve tracking her cycle to determine when she is fertile and then either abstaining from sex, doing types of sex (such as oral) which do not lead to pregnancy, pulling out before climax, or using a barrier method during those fertile times. I don't necessarily oppose barrier methods like condoms, but I don't really prefer them either. Natural methods are free (well, you might need a $10 thermometer) and do not have the health risks or the potential to cause an early abortion that occur with hormonal contraceptives. There is a slightly higher risk of pregnancy with natural means than with hormonal contraceptives since it is possible to fail to keep track, misread the signs, or for the woman's body to occasionally do something unusual and have an abnormal cycle. However, with careful use, this can be a very effective means of preventing pregnancy. There is a little bit of a learning curve to figure out the cycle and when it is safe to have sex. Barrier methods might be advisable during this time. Also, if pulling out, it should be noted that this method has additional risks since it is possible for sperm to be present even without a climax, especially if there has been a climax in the last 24 hours or so. There is more that could be said on the subject and whole books have been written on how to track fertility, but it's really a fairly simple method once you get the hang of it.

  2. Hi, Lindsay.

    I am actually going to order a thermometer on Amazon right away.

    My wife and I would really like to get the hang of this. She doesn't like us using condoms and I don't like them either so we share this in common about using condoms. We would like to learn more about the natural method and how we can incorporate it when I get home in April. I'm attending graduate school. I have no problems with abstaining for a few days and they are some many ways I can still love my wife but the pull out method is very difficult for me and my wife knows this quite well. It requires a lot of discipline but this may not come easily for me so she advises me against it. Please recommend some books that we may read to learn from. There is so much junk out there and we don't want to waste our money on something that may not help us.

  3. I will agree with you that the pull out method is very difficult for many. If you have trouble with that, I would recommend not to try to use it. Either abstain altogether or do something besides intercourse when your wife might be fertile.

    The book I see most often recommended on the topic of natural pregnancy prevention and understanding a woman's fertility is Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. There are many books on the topic, but this seems to be the best.

    You can chart your wife's basal body temperature yourself on graph paper or something similar, but it may be easier to use an app that will track and chart it for you. There are multiple apps out there for tracking fertility, and many of them are free. You will want a thermometer that has 2 decimal places in order to have the accuracy you need to detect ovulation consistently. You can just search for a basal body thermometer with good reviews.

    1. Thank you very much, Lindsay for your quick response. I have actually found the book by Toni Weschler and a basal thermometer with 2 decimal places on Amazon. Will be placing an order soon. We already have an app though we needed some additional information such as the one you have provided us with in order to learn to use the natural method well.

  4. To get an accurate basal body temperature, she will need to check her temperature first thing in the morning, as soon as she wakes up, before she even gets out of bed. You want to take it while she's still sort of half asleep and hasn't moved around. Once you start moving in the morning, your body temperature rises in response to muscles producing heat. So to get that basal body temperature, the person has to have been asleep for 3 or more hours and not moving around. A woman's basal body temperature changes during the month in response to her hormones. It is a little lower in the first half of her cycle, goes down very slightly just before ovulation, and then rises abruptly 0.2-0.5 degrees F about 24 hours after ovulation and stays up until her period. In order to know when the fertile window begins, it is necessary to track a few cycles. The temperature rises after the fertile window, so when you see the temperature rise, this means ovulation is past and sex is safe until the next fertile period begins.

    The fertile window itself consists of the 3-4 days prior to ovulation and 12-24 hours after the egg is released. The egg only lasts 12-24 hours after it is released, but sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for several days. I have seen claims of up to 6 days for sperm to survive, but they usually only remain capable of fertilizing an egg for 2-3 days. After that, the enzymes on the head of each sperm break down and they can't penetrate the coating around the egg. So, there should be a period of up to 5 days in each cycle when sex could cause a pregnancy - 3 days before ovulation, a 24-hour window for ovulation, and 1 day afterward. If you want to be extra careful, especially at first when you're still figuring this out, you might add an extra day on each end of the fertile window. The rise in basal body temperature corresponds to the end of the 5 day fertile window.

    For better accuracy in determining a woman's cycle, there is another line of evidence to use. Basal body temperature is useful on its own, but there can be other factors that can affect it, such as a mild fever from illness, forgetting to check before getting out of bed, or things like that. Thus, another part of the natural method is checking cervical mucus. A woman's cervical mucus changes during her cycle in response to her hormones as well. To check it, she can just insert a clean finger in the vagina and swirl it around a little, then check the mucus between thumb and finger to check its consistency. For the first part of her cycle (right after her period), it will be thin and runny and clear with very little of it. As she gets closer to her fertile window, it will begin to thicken and grow more abundant, and during the day or two leading up to ovulation it will be clear, stretchy (stretched between 2 fingers), and have the consistency of raw egg white. After ovulation, it will go cloudy, thicker, and lose the stretchiness and then grow less and less abundant until her period. So you can use this information from cervical mucus to verify the fertile window as well.

    There are more details in the book, and it will deal with complications like irregular periods or abnormal cycles and so on. But that's the quick intro to get you started.

    1. Thank you so much again, Lindsay. The introduction is great! These two natural methods of tracking and verifying her fertility window will greatly help us a lot. We shall spend quite some time trying to figure things out and am sure we shall get the hang of it. I think this is so much better than using the hormonal birth control methods and we shall definitely give you feedback after we conceive which we are planning to do soon.

      May God bless you and your husband for the great work you continue to do!