Birth Control Questions!


#1

I am currently dating an amazing Catholic, and I too am Catholic. We both want children down the road, and both are against contraception. I although am on birth control for medical reason. They work perfect to help any symptoms I had. I am not sexually active, and we are both waiting till marriage. I have discussed with my OBGYN about any side effects and eventually wanting kids and what getting off the pill would do to me. She suggested that until the time for kids comes, to continue on them since they have fully helped me, and that once kids are wanting to come into the future then we can try to see what will happen when I get off of them, but she said that there is no need to mess with them now because the symptoms could come back worse. She just doesn't know how my body will react until I get off and why try now since it is for medical. My boyfriend is having a hard time dealing with this, and is lost on how when we get married if me staying on it and having a sexual relationship would be right. I have said that I am more then willing to try to get off them when the time for children comes, and we can see what happens to my body then, but he is insisting that it is wrong and he isn't sure how to deal with this, nor am I. I've read up so much on this issue, and there are so many conflicting stories and teachings. What is right and not right? I want to have an amazing marriage filled with love and eventually kids!


#2

I can only give you an answer from my personal perspective. When I was in my teen’s my acne was horrible. After two separate six-month treatments with Accutane my dermatologist recommended that I be put on birth control pills to regulate my hormones so that my horrible acne would remain under control and I would be pretty much acne free. My mom and I, not understanding the rammifications that would later happen, put me on birth control pills at 17. Twelve years later and I’m finally getting off birth control pills. I kept on the pill for so long because it regulated my acne, reduced the pain of cramps that I remember having, and being on a set period cycle was nice. However, as the years went by I did notice side affects that were caused by being on the pill. The two biggies were my hair started to get noticeably thinner and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t lose weight.

Fast forward to today and, while I’m off the pill, I’m still dealing with the thinning hair, the lack of weight loss, and now I’ve added another biggie - potential infertility due to being on the pill. I know all the doctor’s say that once you go off the pill you can get pregnant on your very next cycle, but what they don’t say is that it could also take up to a year or more for your body to get back to a point where it recognizes that it should start ovulating regularly to get pregnant.

Do you really want to risk infertility later on in your marriage, when you most want kids, to help out with a problem today that could potentially be helped without using the pill? I don’t know why you were put on the pill, but from my own experience I would ask your doctor what other options you have to deal with your medical issue and get off the pill as soon as possible. If you aren’t wanting kids right away, start going to NFP classes now so that you’re better intune with your body so you can recognize the fertil/non-fertil symptoms for abstaining or for trying for kids.

Good luck with your decision.


#3

[quote="angie_sue50, post:1, topic:193717"]
I am currently dating an amazing Catholic, and I too am Catholic. We both want children down the road, and both are against contraception. I although am on birth control for medical reason. They work perfect to help any symptoms I had. I am not sexually active, and we are both waiting till marriage. I have discussed with my OBGYN about any side effects and eventually wanting kids and what getting off the pill would do to me. She suggested that until the time for kids comes, to continue on them since they have fully helped me, and that once kids are wanting to come into the future then we can try to see what will happen when I get off of them, but she said that there is no need to mess with them now because the symptoms could come back worse. She just doesn't know how my body will react until I get off and why try now since it is for medical. My boyfriend is having a hard time dealing with this, and is lost on how when we get married if me staying on it and having a sexual relationship would be right. I have said that I am more then willing to try to get off them when the time for children comes, and we can see what happens to my body then, but he is insisting that it is wrong and he isn't sure how to deal with this, nor am I. I've read up so much on this issue, and there are so many conflicting stories and teachings. What is right and not right? I want to have an amazing marriage filled with love and eventually kids!

[/quote]

Angie,

God bless you and your boyfriend for being faithful Catholics and for wanting to do the right thing. I may have some advice for you based on my own life.

BIG caveat first: I am not a doctor. I am not giving you medical advice. you need to listen to your doctor as far as taking or stopping any medication.

That being said, if your doctor says that you can get off birth control now, I would suggest you do it. Now (when you are not married and not sexually active) is the time that you should learn a method of natural family planning in order to get in tune with your cycle. My wife and I never took the time to learn NFP before we were married or early on in our marriage. Now we have a three month old and we are trying to learn NFP. You may or may not know anything about NFP, but breastfeeding totally changes what is going on with your cycle. This is the absolute wrong time for us to try to learn it, but it's the only way we can do it. So, like I said before, if you can get off birth control now, I think that you should.

As I was typing the above another thought came to me. You may want to check with a doctor that knows and supports NFP when talking about getting off the pill. I'm not suggesting that your doctor is guiding you wrong, but from my experience most obgyns don't have a clue what NFP is. They are taught that birth control pills are the greatest thing since sliced bread and they have no clue what the downsides are (and there are PLENTY).

I'll be praying for you.


#4

Most Catholics are not aware that birth control pills can be abortifacient. A woman can conceive, and due to the result of the birth control pill, the newly conceived will not be able to implant inside the mother, in order to grow, and its life will be aborted.

So, there is always that chance that an abortion at a very early stage can occur, while on the pill.

Many doctors do not discuss this about the pill. Only a Catholic doctor who follows the authentic teachings of the Church can advise rightly with regard to the need of someone taking birth control pills for other medical reasons before marriage…and then being advised to continue to take them after the marriage until the couple is ready to have a child, thus leaving it open that the pill can effect an abortion in a conceived embryo.


#5

PLEASE!!

Go to the Paul VI institute website and see if you can find a local doctor who understands female physiology.

A very dear freind of mine is a MD and she has taught us about the physical dangers of birth control, and that most doctors treat women’s symptoms with hormones that don’t really address the problem, but only relieve symptoms. You should also listen to “contraception, why not” by Janet Smith. She goes into both the spritual and physical reasons to get off and stay off birth control, so it might be a help for both you and your boyfriend.

Kudos to you for being abstinent. It’s a tough road, but worth it.


#6

I am not sure what your condition is, but you might want to contact the folks at the Pope Paul VI Institute: popepaulvi.com/home.html. NaPro Technology uses the Creighton Model of NFP to identify and actually treat problems like menstrual cramps, PMS, and PCOS.


#7

None of us are allowed to give you medical advice, so all I can do is offer a few general moral principles.

First, it can be morally licit to take the pill for medical reasons. Now, exactly what type of medical reasons would justify it is something you will have to sort out with your doctor and your priest. If the doctor is just prescribing it as an easy fix to a minor problem, that would likely be morally problematic. However, if it is the only medication that can effectively treat a major medical issue, that would be pretty easy to justify. For anything in between, again, you'd have to sort it out with your doctor and your priest.


#8

You need to talk to a Catholic doctor, and see if there is anything they can do for you for your periods, that doesn't involve the pill.


#9

Ok, this may be a bit harsh and believe me I am not coming from on high with this response, this is one of those, do as I say not as I do things, (or in this case, not as I did).

If you're not ready to have kids then you're not ready to get married.

Again, if that seems to harsh I do apologize.

On the other hand, if these pills are keeping you alive then that doesn't mean you can't get married and continue to use them. That's a different story altogher.


#10

[quote="angie_sue50, post:1, topic:193717"]
I am currently dating an amazing Catholic, and I too am Catholic. We both want children down the road, and both are against contraception. I although am on birth control for medical reason. They work perfect to help any symptoms I had. I am not sexually active, and we are both waiting till marriage. I have discussed with my OBGYN about any side effects and eventually wanting kids and what getting off the pill would do to me. She suggested that until the time for kids comes, to continue on them since they have fully helped me, and that once kids are wanting to come into the future then we can try to see what will happen when I get off of them, but she said that there is no need to mess with them now because the symptoms could come back worse. She just doesn't know how my body will react until I get off and why try now since it is for medical. My boyfriend is having a hard time dealing with this, and is lost on how when we get married if me staying on it and having a sexual relationship would be right. I have said that I am more then willing to try to get off them when the time for children comes, and we can see what happens to my body then, but he is insisting that it is wrong and he isn't sure how to deal with this, nor am I. I've read up so much on this issue, and there are so many conflicting stories and teachings. What is right and not right? I want to have an amazing marriage filled with love and eventually kids!

[/quote]

From what I can gather, you were planning to continue using the pill even after your marriage, until such a time as you wanted children. However, it would not be morally licit for you and your (then) husband to have marital relations, because the sexual act would not be open to life. Therefore, even if there may be licit uses for using the pill, while one is living a chaste single life, whatever the reason is, it will become illicit once marriage.


#11

The use of contraceptives to treat medical conditions IS allowed by the Church.
Humanae Vitae states, “the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from—provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever” (HV 15).

The rest of Humanae Vitae is here for you and your BF’s review:
vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

The Church allows you to take the Pill to treat medical conditions, married or not. Your boyfriend may not realize that because there are a lot of traditional Catholics that don’t recognize this fact, or maybe they just don’t now by word of mouth. And you do not have to abstain from sex with your husband while you are taking it. Also, you should discuss it with your priest. No one here is as qualifed to give spiritual advice as your priest.

The only time the Church forbids the use of contraception is when it’s used FOR contraception, that is, when it’s primary usage is to prevent pregancy. That’s not what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to get relief from medical conditions that the Pill will help you regulate and treat, and from what you’re saying, you’ve gotten relief and successful treatment from the Pill. I would suggest that you listen to your doctor, do research on your own and with your doctor, and talk to your priest if you have any questions. It’s always OK to talk to your priest.


#12

[quote="Crown_of_Thorns, post:10, topic:193717"]
From what I can gather, you were planning to continue using the pill even after your marriage, until such a time as you wanted children. However, it would not be morally licit for you and your (then) husband to have marital relations, because the sexual act would not be open to life. Therefore, even if there may be licit uses for using the pill, while one is living a chaste single life, whatever the reason is, it will become illicit once marriage.

[/quote]

This is not an accurate representation of Church teaching. Abstinence is not required in such circumstances.

See how the CAF Apologists answered this question:

[LIST]
*]Is it OK to take the birth control pill for medical reasons?
*]Is it o.k. to take birth control pills for health reasons?
[/LIST]


#13

I second the advice to find a Catholic physician with whom you can discuss other ways to treat your condition. Especially once you are married and have marital relations with your husband, I think being on the pill will become a major obstacle to your intimacy. From what you wrote, I gather that it is already a moral problem for your boyfriend. Regular doctors will generally resort to the most common, well-known remedies for certain conditions. Unfortunately the birth control pill is one of those remedies. A Catholic physician will look at it from a completely different perspective, and I believe will be of much more help to you and your future husband. Good luck, and God bless!


#14

[quote="angie_sue50, post:1, topic:193717"]
I am currently dating an amazing Catholic, and I too am Catholic. We both want children down the road, and both are against contraception. I although am on birth control for medical reason. They work perfect to help any symptoms I had. I am not sexually active, and we are both waiting till marriage. I have discussed with my OBGYN about any side effects and eventually wanting kids and what getting off the pill would do to me. She suggested that until the time for kids comes, to continue on them since they have fully helped me, and that once kids are wanting to come into the future then we can try to see what will happen when I get off of them, but she said that there is no need to mess with them now because the symptoms could come back worse. She just doesn't know how my body will react until I get off and why try now since it is for medical. My boyfriend is having a hard time dealing with this, and is lost on how when we get married if me staying on it and having a sexual relationship would be right. I have said that I am more then willing to try to get off them when the time for children comes, and we can see what happens to my body then, but he is insisting that it is wrong and he isn't sure how to deal with this, nor am I. I've read up so much on this issue, and there are so many conflicting stories and teachings. What is right and not right? I want to have an amazing marriage filled with love and eventually kids!

[/quote]

I'm sorry that you've received such conflicting information, both in your other research and here on this thread. The truth is, the Church does allow for a woman (married or single) to take birth control pills to treat a legitimate medical reason. The links in the previous posts by Rence and Joe 5859 will explain this in more detail.

So, there's that. But the other issue is that the Church *never *allows birth control pills for contraception. I understand you are against contraception. I only mention this because of some of the things you mention in your post that (which I underlined) indicate you might be planning to put off children anyway once you're married...? If so, just be advised that although the Church allows the Pill to treat a medical condition, you can't morally take advantage of the contraceptive "side effect" of the Pill when you're sexually active. Even if you are married and sexually active and the Pill is in fact keeping you from conceiving, if you're only taking the Pill for your medical condition then the contraceptive action of the Pill would be secondary and not intentional. And therefore, not sinful. It's all about your intent and being open to life.

In other words....if there is another treatment that could help your medical condition and would NOT act as a contraceptive, but you decide to not switch to that medication once you're married until you are ready to start having children, then you would guilty of using the Pill as a contraceptive in that case. Or if you could, medically, ditch the birth control and you even intend to stop taking it (say your condition improves or your tolerance to the condition increases, etc.), but you decide to wait and not stop taking it until you and your husband are ready to have children....then again, you'd be guilty of using the Pill as a contraceptive in that case. Does that make sense?


#15

Get a second opinion. Find an NFP only doctor who will do the work to find an alternative solution . Or , stay on the pill if you have serious reasons to use them since the church does allow it. Discuss with your priest whether your treatment is necessary.


#16

onemoresoul.com/nfp-providers


#17

[quote="ac_claire, post:14, topic:193717"]
I'm sorry that you've received such conflicting information, both in your other research and here on this thread. The truth is, the Church does allow for a woman (married or single) to take birth control pills to treat a legitimate medical reason. The links in the previous posts by Rence and Joe 5859 will explain this in more detail.

So, there's that. But the other issue is that the Church *never *allows birth control pills for contraception. I understand you are against contraception. I only mention this because of some of the things you mention in your post that (which I underlined) indicate you might be planning to put off children anyway once you're married...? If so, just be advised that although the Church allows the Pill to treat a medical condition, you can't morally take advantage of the contraceptive "side effect" of the Pill when you're sexually active. Even if you are married and sexually active and the Pill is in fact keeping you from conceiving, if you're only taking the Pill for your medical condition then the contraceptive action of the Pill would be secondary and not intentional. And therefore, not sinful. It's all about your intent and being open to life.

**I think what the OP is trying to say, (correct me if I'm wrong), is that she has to be on the medication due to her medical conditions, and that the symptoms of her ailments are being controlled by the contraceptives but will come back when she doesn't take them. In order to get pregnant, she obviously has to get off the contraceptives. So in the case of someone taking contraceptives for a lengthy period of time, without a plan to come off them until they want to get pregnant, unfortunately, you're going to have to plan when to have kids...do you know what I mean? if it was as simple as her just getting off of them and live goes on, it'd be different, but the OP says that she's been on them a while and is willing to try to come off them, but that her doctor thinks she'll have to go back on them due to a return of symptoms. She didn't say what she was treating, but it may be that she will have to plan when to have kids if she is dependent on the medications.

Also, not sure if you're aware of this but many women have to give their body time to readjust after getting off contraception. So as long as she's being treated with contraceptives for a true medical reason, she's going to have to consciously plan the pregnancies in order to come off them. And hope she can do so (without suffering ill effects from the original medical problem) long enough to get pregnant. **

In other words....if there is another treatment that could help your medical condition and would NOT act as a contraceptive, but you decide to not switch to that medication once you're married until you are ready to start having children, then you would guilty of using the Pill as a contraceptive in that case.

*I think that's the issue: these are the meds her doctor wound up treating her with. Unless I missed it, she didn't say what her medical issue was. Her problem may have not been successfully treated with anything else. *

Or if you could, medically, ditch the birth control and you even intend to stop taking it (say your condition improves or your tolerance to the condition increases, etc.), but you decide to wait and not stop taking it until you and your husband are ready to have children....then again, you'd be guilty of using the Pill as a contraceptive in that case. Does that make sense?

*It makes sense if she *can get off them. For example (and again, she didn't say what she was taking the meds for) if she hemorrhages during periods, and contraception is controlling her bleeding, and when she gets off them, she hemorrhages again, it would not be sinful to remain on the contraceptives and plan pregnancies thereby going off them to get pregnant and go back on them afterwards to control bleeding....because in order to stay off the meds, she would need transfusions and such. So, it depends on what they're treating. But who knows, I have often heard of womanly problems resolving after pregnancy :) So maybe she won't need them after the first kid. One can hope, right? I truly hope it's not something she'll have to take for years and years.

I think that's why the Church made that stipulation. If you must be on contraceptives to treat a medical condition, you can do so with a sound good conscience and with consul of your priest and doctor.
**

[/quote]


#18

[quote="Rence, post:11, topic:193717"]
The use of contraceptives to treat medical conditions IS allowed by the Church.
Humanae Vitae states, “the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result there from—provided such impediment is not directly intended for any motive whatsoever” (HV 15).

The rest of Humanae Vitae is here for you and your BF's review:
vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

[/quote]

Question for you. Do the birth control pills cure your disease or do they mask the sypmtoms?


#19

[quote="takers, post:2, topic:193717"]
I can only give you an answer from my personal perspective. When I was in my teen's my acne was horrible. After two separate six-month treatments with Accutane my dermatologist recommended that I be put on birth control pills to regulate my hormones so that my horrible acne would remain under control and I would be pretty much acne free. My mom and I, not understanding the rammifications that would later happen, put me on birth control pills at 17. Twelve years later and I'm finally getting off birth control pills. I kept on the pill for so long because it regulated my acne, reduced the pain of cramps that I remember having, and being on a set period cycle was nice. However, as the years went by I did notice side affects that were caused by being on the pill. The two biggies were my hair started to get noticeably thinner and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't lose weight.

[/quote]

i'm no medical expert, but thinning hair and difficulty in losing weight comes with age, regardless if you take pills or not. maybe you're just blaming the wrong thing

weight thing has something to do with your metabolism, which i don't think the BC pills have anything to do with

and the hair, again a product of age. anyone who reaches the age of 30 would have some thinning

[quote="takers, post:2, topic:193717"]

Fast forward to today and, while I'm off the pill, I'm still dealing with the thinning hair, the lack of weight loss, and now I've added another biggie - potential infertility due to being on the pill. I know all the doctor's say that once you go off the pill you can get pregnant on your very next cycle, but what they don't say is that it could also take up to a year or more for your body to get back to a point where it recognizes that it should start ovulating regularly to get pregnant.

[/quote]

could be true. my wife was on the pill for the longest time for the same reason. stopped when we got married, took us 1.5 years of actively trying to concieve to actually do. it'll come. it may or may not be the pill. some people who never took the pill still have some challenges conceiving

[quote="takers, post:2, topic:193717"]

Do you really want to risk infertility later on in your marriage, when you most want kids, to help out with a problem today that could potentially be helped without using the pill? I don't know why you were put on the pill, but from my own experience I would ask your doctor what other options you have to deal with your medical issue and get off the pill as soon as possible. If you aren't wanting kids right away, start going to NFP classes now so that you're better intune with your body so you can recognize the fertil/non-fertil symptoms for abstaining or for trying for kids.

Good luck with your decision.

[/quote]


#20

my understanding was, as long as you don’t have sex, then taking BC pills is not an issue

the issue with BC pills is that it prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb. but since the egg is fertilized, you’ve already concieved (whereas some others would argue that the point of conception is when the egg attaches to the womb) so this would constitute an abortion

so as long as you don’t have sex, you don’t fertilize the egg, you don’t commit abortion, no sin


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