It is an immensely challenging and private decision for most women. Which birth control is right for me? When I was new to birth control, I knew I wanted something low hormone, but effective, so I clamored to the mini-pill, assured that it was a successful way to prevent pregnancy from occurring. Due to health issues on it, I switched between a few other types of hormonal birth control and was never able to find one that did not make me sick. So ultimately, I began using non-hormonal contraception (meaning condoms).
Two children later, I decided it was time to begin exploring my birth control options again. I initially was interested in learning about Nexplanon – a small implant that is placed in your arm under skin. My research quickly led me to learn that almost everything I knew about birth control was false.
It turns out hormonal birth controls, such as the Pill, NuvaRing, the Patch, the Implant, and IUD’s are not what I thought they were at all. Each method contains abortifacients, designed to prevent implantation should fertilization happen. This is a problem for many Christians, as most believe that life begins at conception, not at implantation.
So, why did my Doctor tell me that the birth control I was on, was not an abortifacient and merely prevented pregnancy?
Well, I’m glad you asked!
There is a giant loophole that allows the FDA to call hormonal birth control – merely a contraception method and not an abortifacient. ACOG (the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) once also defined conception (when sperm meets egg) as the beginning of pregnancy, which is a biblically based viewpoint. A few years after the introduction of hormonal birth control, they changed the definition of conception (or pregnancy), to the moment the embryo (which typically has existed for around a week) implants itself into the uterine walls.
This change from ACOG was made as soon as shots were fired and they were faced with the ethical dilemma of “is hormonal birth control abortive?”
On hormonal contraceptives, the embryo is faced with extreme difficulty implanting into the thinning, inhospitable endometrial lining that is not able to thicken naturally or remain sponge-like, due to the constant onslaught of estrogen and progesterone interrupting the natural production of endometrial tissue.
So, with hormonal birth control options off the table for the majority of pro-lifers and christians, what’s left?
Non-Abortifacient Contraception Methods
Fertility Awareness Methods – such as Natural Family Planning
Fertility awareness method, is a natural alternative to birth control, based on a variety of factors such as menstruation, ovulation, basal body temperature tracking, and cervical fluid tracking, it has a higher failure rate than most other forms of contraception. This failure rate is mostly because it is a blanket term in which a woman merely tracking her periods (extremely low success), is grouped in with a woman monitoring her temperatures and cervical fluids daily (more reliable).
They really don’t need much explanation, but for the sake of full transparency. Condoms are a thin membrane that covers the penis (or female condoms, can be inserted vaginally) and it is the only method of contraception that can successfully prevent the transmission of STD’s. They have a low failure rate when worn correctly, but with “typical use” may have only an 82% success rate.
Diaphragms are a dome shaped silicone cup that can be placed inside of the vagina hours before sex to block the entrance of semen. It is most reliable when used with spermicide which helps inhibit the sperm from reaching the egg. If you are interested in inquiring about this method at your doctor’s office – you should call ahead and ask about their familiarity. It is a much older method and many doctors are not comfortable recommending it and know little about choosing the right brand or fit.
We are all smart adults here. No explanation needed!
It is also worth mentioning, that there are surgical options available. I am personally not comfortable sharing information on these options however as they have such incredibly mixed reviews and while not being abortifacient, they can greatly alter hormones.
Did you know that hormonal birth control could be a moral issue? Is there a natural method we haven’t covered? If so – share your experience below!