I can't quite believe that after blogging for this long, I haven't posted anything about family planning! You might be thinking - "She got prego after 6 months of marriage - what does she know about family planning?" ;) But alas, I happen to have a passion for the topic and love sharing my opinions on it with others. The trouble is, how much detail should I really go into, when any male who wishes could come upon this post and be utterly embarassed. [Ok, men... after writing this post, I'm pretty sure it is PG enough that you will not be embarrassed. It only contains the word "period" once, in a generic way.] :)
Anyways, I'm not to great about keeping my mouth shut when I have a strong opinion. And I consider this to be an incredibly important topic. So I'm going to attempt to share...
I never really thought much about family planning until I was engaged. For the first time in my life, I had to consider... are we ready to start a family? And if not, what are we going to do about it? (In hindsight, I would recommend discussing this pre-engagement, as this decision could have a huge impact on your marriage!) In an act of God, I happened to be a part of a Relationships class in college during this stage in life, and we happened to be studying the big B.C. (Birth Control).
It was the first time in my life that I heard that The Pill could be considered an abortifacient. (Big word meaning that it causes abortions). Oh yes, The wonderful little Pill that gives you lighter, shorter, more manageable periods and assurance that there really doesn't have to be a connection between sex and babies... has a dark side. I was totally shocked, and a little incredulous. If this was really true, why had I never heard it before?
And like any good student, I decided to do some research. Here is a short overview of the way The Pill works, taken from Randy Alcorn's "A Short Condensation of Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?"
"...according to multiple references throughout The Physician's Desk Reference, which articulate the research findings of all the birth control pill manufacturers, there are not one but three mechanisms of birth control pills:
1. inhibiting ovulation (the primary mechanism),
2. thickening the cervical mucus, thereby making it more difficult for sperm to travel to the egg, and
3. thinning and shriveling the lining of the uterus to the point that it is unable or less able to facilitate the implantation of the newly fertilized egg.
The first two mechanisms are contraceptive. The third is abortive."
I would highly recommend reading his entire e-book, available to downoad free as a PDF here.
After finding this information about The Pill, we decided against using any hormonal form of birth control. We didn't ever want to risk aborting a baby, not to mention the other side-effects that The Pill can cause.
So, after eliminating the option of hormonal birth control, we saw three available options: forego B.C. altogether, use Natural Family Planning, or use barrier methods. I will talk about these three options, as well as a theology of Family Planning, in my next post. :)