The amount of hidden information and lies on the topic of birth control, especially among Christians, pains me. Mostly because I have clients every week that are suffering from problems resulting from birth control pills, tubal, and/or vasectomy.
But even more so because of the other lives destroyed by these things. The precious little lives that God creates.
There are very important spiritual and physical truths of not just oral contraceptives but permanent surgical procedures such as vasectomies and tubal ligation that we must know before making a decision whether or not to use these options.
Any time we seek to disrupt the natural process God has intricately designed in His infinite wisdom, we can expect complications.
As believers in the Creator, that should be common knowledge!
I think, however, that many times we don't stop and think about how these things work and that they do, in fact, go against God's design.
In this article, I will seek to first address the spiritual implications of utilizing oral contraceptives. Then we will discuss the physical effects of using OCP's, as documented in medical literature dating back decades even. The very common but undisclosed effects of vasectomy and tubal ligation will also be discussed. Finally, we will briefly discuss what the alternatives are. Join me on this controversial topic for a few minutes and experience the goodness God has in store for you rather than the dangers that come from disrupting His natural design!
This is an excerpt that was once posted on Above Rubies' facebook page describing the process of oral contraceptive use and how it prevents pregnancy:
THE BABY DIES OF STARVATION When birth control came out in the 70's, the estrogen levels were so high, ovulation never happened. The women never released an egg. They found out about 10 to 15 years later, after women started dying that the estrogen level was too high. They stopped adding so much estrogen, but that also left a higher risk of releasing an egg or a higher risk of pregnancy.
To counter the risk of ovulation or pregnancy they started adding progestin. Progestin does not prevent ovulation, so what does it do? Birth Control with Estrogen and Progestin work together like this. 1. By blocking ovulation (release of an egg from the ovaries), thus preventing pregnancy. (Estrogen) 2. By altering mucus in the cervix, which makes it hard for sperm to travel further. (Progestin) 3. By altering the fallopian tubes (the tubes through which eggs move from the ovaries to the uterus) so that they cannot effectively move eggs toward the uterus. (Progestin) 4. By changing the endometrium (lining of the uterus) so that it cannot support a fertilized egg. (Progestin)
The first two steps try to prevent conception. If the first two steps fail, conception could take place and you have new life inside of you (You are pregnant). The new life is complete with 46 chromosomes. At the instant of fertilization, your baby's genes and sex are set. If the sperm has a Y chromosome, your baby will be a boy. If it has an X chromosome, the baby will be a girl. This New Life takes a trip down your fallopian tubes to your uterus. It's grows on its way there. It takes around four to seven days to get there, an average of five days (One Week). When it arrives, it implants in your uterine wall for sustenance (Food).
But wait! Step four of Progestin. Changing the endometrium (lining of the uterus) so that it cannot support a fertilized egg. So, the New Life (Boy or Girl) grows for a whole week and it finally makes it to the uterus. But when it tries to implant, it is unsuccessful. The uterine wall has been changed so that it will no longer support this New Life. It has been changed so that it will no longer allow implantation. Without implanting, the New Life (Boy or Girl) can no longer sustain itself and it dies. It effectively starves to death.
Thus, the fourth Step in Progestin, has successfully aborted this New Life and your pregnancy. The pill has effectively performed an abortion on your pregnancy. You were pregnant for a whole week and you didn't even know it.
The Pill, The Shot, and IUD's all work the same way. They do not prevent pregnancy from happening. They prevent the New Life (Boy or Girl) from living, thus aborting (Abortion) your pregnancy! While the risk of this is relatively low, it can be said that a sexually active woman on birth control will have at least one abortion a year. Also, the risk of fallopian tube pregnancies are higher on birth control. If you take a look at step three, you can see why. If the New Life cannot make it to your uterus for implantation it has two options. It can either die or implant in the fallopian tube.
By Bernard Doherty
Physical Health Problems Associated with Oral Contraceptives
It's important to first note the mechanism that oral contraceptives have because that is why they will likely always cause physical health problems, some now and some not until later on in life.
Permanent Hormone Imbalance
As a nutritional therapist, more than half of my female clients with health problems, especially hormone imbalance, have a history of birth control pill use. Even years after they get off of it, the effects OCP had on their endocrine system still plague them.
In simple terms, birth control pills work by shutting down normal ovary function in an attempt to override it and make its own cycle. Unfortunately, ovary function often does not resume after ceasing use of OCP's. That is why many women notice worsened symptoms of hormone imbalance after getting off, and then getting back on in a desperate attempt to regulate hormones.
Unfortunately, this is like turning off a fire alarm but letting the fire burn. In addition to the health problems and chronic diseases caused by hormonal imbalance, this can cause things such as repeated miscarriages and infertility in the future. Symptoms of hormone imbalance include:
- Heavy periods
- Irritability, Anxiety, Depression, Mood swings
- Decreased sex drive
- Fatigue & Insomnia
- Acne, especially cystic
- Weight gain; difficulty losing weight
- Night sweats/hot flashes
- Thyroid problems
- Breast/ovarian cancer
For the same reason why hormone imbalance happens as a result of oral contraceptive use, breast cancer risk is greatly increased. Because oral contraceptives cause an excess of estrogen, this results in a deficiency of progesterone.
Studies have shown that pre-menopausal women deficient in progesterone have 5.4 times the risk of breast cancer compared to healthy women.
According to Dr. Michael Lam:
Study after study has repeatedly shown that the majority of breast cancers in adult women are non-genetically linked and upwards of eighty percent of breast cancer is caused by estrogen dominance.
Oral contraceptions are one of the leading causes of hormone imbalance that can result in breast cancer. Furthermore, because the hormones found in birth control pills are synthetic, that increases the risk further.
Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, a breast surgical oncologist and co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, says about the link between synthetic hormones like those from birth control pills and breast cancer:
“This stuff is not new, it’s not magic, it’s in the literature,” she said, linking pill use to the 660 percent rise in non-invasive breast cancer since 1973. “Women want to know, and women have a right to know, what researchers have known for over 20 years.”
Here are some of the other increasingly common health problems associated with use of oral contraceptives:
(And/Or Improper Methylation of B Vitamins) This issue can be complicated and I'd like to avoid causing people to gloss over this due to medical terms because it's very important and increasingly common.
Basically, there is a disruption in the way the body utilizes certain nutrients, specifically B vitamins such as B6, B12, and folate, somewhere along the way. It is the leading cause of problems such as spina bifida, tongue/lip ties, cleft palate, hydrocephalus, as well as a cause behind repeated miscarriage, infertility, and more. The term mutation might make some people think that it is a genetic condition, but increasing rates of this massive problem proves that there is something somewhere along the way that is magnifying this mutation. More like an epigenetic mutation--a predisposition made into a problem as a result of external factors. And I propose that it is oral contraceptives.
Why? Because it is common knowledge (in the medical field) that oral contraceptives can cause a severe deficiency of B vitamins, as well as affect the body's ability to properly methylate B vitamins like folate and B12. The same mechanism behind OCP's causing this is likely the same cause of this MRTHFR mutation. Many women who have come to me with a diagnosed MTHFR mutation have a history of OCP use. Additionally, many women without any knowledge of MTHFR mutation but with history of repeated miscarriages have a history of birth control pill use.
It may be that one is born with a methylation problem but it may not otherwise cause any problems until something like oral contraceptives further disrupts the body's ability to methylate these nutrients and/or worsens a deficiency so that difficulty methylating these nutrients results in a severe and health-altering deficiency.
Lichen sclerosus, a very uncomfortable and life-altering condition that affects the skin around a woman's vulva, is triggered by oral contraceptives as detailed in this study:
Our data suggest that disturbance of the androgen dependent growth of the vulvar skin by OCPs and especially by OCPs with anti-androgenic properties might trigger the early onset of LS in a subgroup of susceptible young women. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18055095
How often are we told that using birth control can cause some major deformation in our vaginal skin?! It wasn't until I had a client presenting with this health problem that I even heard about it!
Since 1962, more than 25 studies have been devoted to the relationship between oral contraceptives and stroke. Anything that increases hormone imbalance, namely estrogen dominance (too much estrogen and not enough progesterone) has the potential to cause blood clots/stroke.
Oral contraceptives, even at low doses, significantly increase the risk of cerebral venous thrombosis. (Cephalalgia. 2000 Apr;20(3):183-9.)
These are just a few of the many health problems associated with oral contraceptives. There are many more, including risk to future children by damaging mom's gut flora which increases baby's risk of many things, including autism.
For IUD's, I think I will refer to a very good article on the topic. http://www.theholykale.com/2013/01/iud-is-the-health-risk-worth-the-benefits/
This author has written a very fair, unbiased article on it. She covers both the copper IUD (ParaGuard) and Mirena. The health risks she lists are very real and very common.
So what about permanent methods?
It's important to note that our bodies were not made by accident; they were uniquely and very intricately designed. Every. Little. Bit. And there are reasons beyond our grasp that the reproductive system was made the way it was. There are consequences of altering that natural design. Science and medical research is only starting to discover the intricacies of God's natural design. Here are some of the effects of altering that design through surgical procedures like tubal ligation and vasectomy:
Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome
Post tubal ligation syndrome is often the result of a rapid decline of estrogen/progesterone hormone levels caused by the blood supply being damaged to the ovaries during the TL surgery. Depending on the damage to the veins and capillaries, blood volume to the ovaries may slightly decrease or can be eliminated completely which is called isolated ovarian syndrome (common with hysterectomy operations). Many of the symptoms of PTS are associated with menopause, hormone shock, or of having an estrogen/progesterone imbalance. http://tubal.org/symptoms_of_pts.htm
For a full list of the symptoms associated with post tubal ligation syndrome to see if you have PTLS, click on the article link above.
Vasectomy Causes Autoimmune Disease
"In more than 50% of men, vasectomy leads to auto-immune pathology."http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7283529(Note study is from 1981; still, doctors are performing more vasectomies than ever before 30 years later.)
Autoimmune illness, to put it simply, is basically any disease where the body is essentially attacking itself: diabetes, allergies, chronic pain, arthritis, lupus, eczema, gastrointestinal problems, M.S., and much more. The reason vasectomy causes autoimmune conditions is described here:
Let’s use an analogy of a 40-year-old fire hose. You hook this fire hose up to a hydrant and turn on the water. Let the hose represent the epididymis portion of the testicles and the vas deferens, which would measure some 20 feet in length if stretched out, and let the water represent the 50,000 sperm cells a minute that a man’s body manufactures, even after vasectomy. Now, tie a knot in the fire hose. What happens? Something is going to rupture, right? That’s why fire departments don’t use 40-year-old fire hoses, and why men develop ruptures in their testicles after their vas is tied off during the vasectomy procedure.
Actually, the technical term for this phenomena is a “blowout.” According to Campbell’s Urology (a textbook for urology students and doctors) “The brunt of pressure-induced damage after vasectomy falls on the epididymis and efferent ductules…. It is likely that, in time, all vasectomized men develop ‘blowouts’ in either the epididymis or efferent ducts.” This rupturing can occur spontaneously at any time following vasectomy, and often when the epididymis is under pressure, such as when a man is ejaculating.
But that’s not all. When the rupturing occurs, sperm cells enter the blood stream, where they were not naturally intended to be. As a matter of fact, nature makes a very specific point of keeping sperm cells out of the blood stream, because sperm cells have very strong enzymes on their surfaces and only half a DNA strand. What does the body think is happening? The immune system is sent on full alert to fight off a perceived infection of millions of invading cells per day, and the body becomes “autoimmune”, i.e. the body goes to war on itself. Again from Campbell’s Urology: “Vasectomy results in violation of the blood-testis barrier producing detectable levels of serum antisperm antibodies in 60 to 80 per cent of men….” Once this reaction starts, it is nearly impossible to stop, even with a vasectomy reversal.
Research has shown that a sperm count taken prior to vasectomy is a good indicator of the likelihood of this autoimmune response; the higher the sperm count, the more likely a man will become autoimmune. Most doctors choose not to do this test prior to vasectomy, or to even inform their patients of the likelihood of this response. What can’t be predicted, however, is the specific reactions a man might have to the formation of these antibodies. That is left purely to chance. http://www.quiverfull.com/birth_control/dangersofvasectomy.html
So what are the alternatives?
This is where people start to wish they hadn't come to me for advice. Why? Because of two reasons:
1. This is an area where we think we know better than God. And we don't. I mean, do we EVER?! This is an area that represents truly how much faith we have in God and how much we trust our own rationale. Too financially strapped to have children? Well do you trust Jehovah Jireh, our Provider, to provide for His children or not? Don't have enough patience? Scripture tells us that time with God gives us patience (2 Peter 1). Traumatized by a previous difficulty with pregnancy or sick baby? I can assure you that God can change that too!
I understand there are some very serious health issues that some people have and must take into account for their family size. However, I do see often that the things doctors say are life-threatening were often a result of medical intervention in the first place. I had someone tell me that their baby turned blue after birth and if they weren't in the hospital, their baby would have died. But the Pitocin that caused that would never have been given had she not been in the hospital! I had preeclampsia with 3 of my pregnancies and never once did the doctors address nutritional factors; they only told me pregnancy was dangerous for me.
There is a whole cascade of complications that very commonly results from conventional obstetric practices. If that is the reason for hesitating to get pregnant, I encourage you to watch The Business of Being Born!
All that said, this is a very personal issue and we all have the freedom to choose.
2. Most people want a quick solution without having to do any extra work. A quick pill or contraption is preferred because it is easier and quicker. Unfortunately, the quick fix usually causes many more problems. The quick fix now can result in breast cancer later, and that's definitely not easier to deal with than some of the natural methods of birth control that we will discuss!
There are forms of Natural Family Planning (NFP) that families can utilize to naturally space out children.
My husband and I have found ecological breastfeeding to be very effective for doing that. It gives me time to solely breastfeed one child for two years or more while also restoring my body's nutrient levels adequately to support another pregnancy and another period of lactation. Most people do not consider the extreme nutritional toll pregnancy and lactation takes on a woman's body, but throughout history this was crucial. Women would feed off of the society's most nutrient-dense foods before getting pregnant as this was common wisdom for them.
This is also ideal because increased menstruation with less time pregnant and lactating increases risk of breast cancer as well. According to Dr. Lam,
One hundred years ago, the average woman started her menses at age 16. She got pregnant earlier and more frequently. She often spent more time lactating. In total, women back then experienced the menstrual cycle about 100 to 200 times in their lifetime. Today, the average modern woman starts puberty at age 12, seldom lactates, has less children, and menstruates about 350 to 400 times during a lifetime.
God's design is just so amazing!
Other forms of NFP work well for others, such as Fertility Awareness. For more explanation on various methods and resources, go here: http://www.nfpandmore.org/ or here for very good basic info on just Fertility Awareness: http://americanpregnancy.org/preventingpregnancy/fertilityawarenessNFP.html
I pray that whatever we would choose, we would do so with full submission to and trust in Our Heavenly Father. He has proven to me over and over that He always does what is best, even when I didn't like what He was doing at the time. When it comes to children, I am forever grateful that He showed this mama the blessing of letting Him enlarge our blessings! May the Lord increase your blessings as well!
Blessings of good health,