I saw an article today that the FDA has approved the sale of a non-perscription "Plan B" morning-after pill for teenagers. To learn more about it you can read HERE. It made me sad to think that poor young girls have one more reason to be sexually active; we have taken away one of the biggest "consequences" of the act. Or have we? I have learned recently that some of these "miracle" pills might have more consequences than we think.
I know that many of us are sensitive about the subject of birth control, but I would like to take this opportunity to share my story with you about how birth control has affected my life and why I have decided not to use it again.
As a teenager, when I fell away from my faith, I did not make the best decisions. This led to me falling into sexual sin which I am not at all proud of. At age 19 I struggled with a weird type of acne that actually developed inside my ear canal and was very painful. When my doctor suggested I go onto the birth control pill to help with the acne, I thought it was a great idea. I would get perfect skin, and I was protected from having children at that age.
I came to realize the error in my ways when I found my faith again, and I stepped away from my sexual sin. I will write more about this later, but let me take a moment to encourage all women who are reading this to stay strong and don't give in to sexual sin. It can only hurt your heart and your future marriage.
When I tried to stop taking the pill, my ear acne came back, so I stayed on it for a while longer. I ended up taking it a total of 3-4 years. I stopped taking it eventually, my cycle immediately regulated, and I never thought about it again. Now I am married and have been unable to have children. I have prayed and tried to come to terms with God's plan for my life. I resisted any kind of testing, even after I got pregnant last September and miscarried just a few days later.
Then my sister got involved in my story. She lost multiple babies through miscarriages, but was finally able to have her son several years ago. One day she started struggling with debilitating hip pain and no doctor could figure out what was wrong. After years with the pain, she went to a natural doctor who tested her hormones and found her progesterone levels were very low. The doctor helped her regulate her hormones and the pain is now gone! Miracle! The doctor also told her that low progesterone makes it difficult to keep a pregnancy, and may be a reason she miscarried so many times.
So a few months ago I got a call from my sister encouraging me to get my hormones checked. After I miscarried, she began to worry I had the same issue as her. I prayed about it and talked with my husband and we decided it was worth looking into. If my hormones were off, my body might be naturally aborting any pregnancy I have in the early stages, and I definitely think children need to be protected from day 1.
So I went to a doctor to speak with him about this, and imagine my shock when he asked if I had ever been on the birth control pill. He said that birth control pills are a very common cause of infertility because sometimes your body doesn't boot itself back up to make all the hormones it needs to when you stop feeding it hormones via pill. Even if your cycle looks completely normal, like mine did, it doesn't mean everything is just right. He said "women who take birth control pills are the #1 infertility patients". I was shocked. I was numb. I was so angry with myself.
I then asked him "Why don't they tell teenage girls this when they get put on the pill?! Why have I never heard any of this before?!"
And he said words that completely shocked me again: "Because teen pregnancy is a bigger issue and much harder to treat than infertility."
That completely floored me. You mean I wasn't fully informed about this because it is more important that teenage girls can have sex than married women can have babies? What a sad, sad world we live in when that becomes the normal way of thinking.
I ended up getting my hormones checked and low and behold I had the same issue as my sister and the same issue the doctor said comes commonly with use of the birth control pills. My progesterone levels were too low to maintain a pregnancy or even to ovulate properly.
Now don't get me wrong, I believe that God is the author of life. But I also believe in medicine and that in a fallen world sometimes our bodies become just as corrupted by illness as our minds become corrupted with sin. It doesn't mean God can't overcome those illnesses if he wanted to. He could give me a baby right now if that was his will. But the point here is that my body itself is actually not balanced, and the last thing I wanted was to end up with the severe pain and issues my sister had or to be naturally aborting any pregnancies I was blessed with.
So I am currently working to correct my hormone imbalance and getting my body back to doing what it should be doing naturally. Hopefully this will make my body better able to carry a child, and I pray daily that God blesses us with one. But I also accept that if my body ends up balanced, I may still be unable to have a baby. I am choosing to trust God in that.
I know that many women take birth control pills for years and never have issues getting pregnant. But the problem is we never hear about the other women, who suffer from the consequences of taking the pill.
Society has taught us that these miracle pills are supposed to cure all female issues, and it has become normal to put teenage girls on them. Then our hearts break with all the stories of infertility and struggle. Don't get me wrong, I know there are many other causes of infertility than the birth control pill, but to learn that it is one of the largest contributors to these issues has broken my heart. It makes me wonder what kind of issues this new "Plan B" drug will cause for young girls before they've even begun to think about having a family.
My sister's issues began after she used birth control pills and an IUD. I have come to realize that God made my body to work in a very specific way. I need to honor the way I was made and honor the fact that children are meant to be the fruits of marriage. To learn more about why I will no longer use birth control, you can check out THIS post I wrote on population control.
I'd appreciate your prayers as I go through this time of healing. I am hopeful, but I know that the creation of life is ultimately in God's hands.