Birth Control?


Hi everyone,

First of, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself. I’m 17 years old. I’m a devout Catholic, and I’m staying pure until marriage. I don’t have a boyfriend or anything, and I’m not looking for one. Please keep this in mind when reading my question.

I suffer from very severe periods. My flow is really heavy and irregular, and I’m in a lot of pain. Somebody once told me that taking birth control for periods is wrong because there are a lot of over-the-counter medications. It’s gotten to a point where Tylenol, Advil, and Midol don’t work anymore. I still get these horrid cramps…and sometimes I feel like I need to vomit or I get to a point where I can’t move. They interfere with my life. I get very sick.

Would it be wrong for me to go to the doctor and go on a low dose of birth control? I really don’t know how to tell my mom. She’s very Catholic too, and she’ll be upset. Would you be upset if your daughter wanted to go on the pill, because she’s in a lot of pain, and she has to leave class every hour once a month because she’s leaking through?

I’m sorry if this is TMI. I’m really confused and I need some guidance.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!




It is OK to take hormonal contraception in order to treat a medical condition, so long as you have no intention of preventing pregnancy. The sin is in the illicit attempt to block the creation of life in the marital act, not in taking the hormones.

That being said, there may be underlying medical conditions you have that might be treatable. Hormonal birth control may only mask the actual problems, though it might be a good thing for you, even if only temporarily. Hormonal birth control may also increase your risk of cancers and might cause other long-term health effects.

I urge you to see a pro-life OB/GYN to discuss your particular medical issues. Make sure he or she is specifically pro-life. They are around in most major cities.

I don’t know where you live, but you could also try the Pope Paul VI institute for possible solutions to your medical issues.

I will pray for you.

God Bless.


It is true that "the pill" can be morally prescribed to treat the symptoms you are experiencing.

However, it's usually more of a "cover-up" than a solution to the underlying problem.

I would advise you to see your OB to see if there are any underlying issues that are causing these symptoms. If your OB's *only *suggestion is to go on "the pill", then as for a referral to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist. Sometimes you have to be your own advocate and seek further help from specialists. Very often issues like this are correctable by treating the underlying issue and not covering up the symptoms with "the pill".

Good luck to you and God bless! Prayers that you're able to have these horrible cramps GO AWAY...


See a doc who will treat your problem and not just slap hormones on you.


Hell. We aren't supposed to give medical advice here. But I'll give you some, "Mom advice"

I can sympathise with painful periods. When I was your age, I missed a day of school a month, more or less.

Tell your mom that you have painful periods. There are NFP doctors who can help diagnose why they are so painful in the first place, and work to heal you.

NFP means natural family planning. An nfp doctor does not prescribe birth control.

You can find one at

Good luck.


By the way… along the lines of what everyone here is saying…

It’s OKAY to question authority! :slight_smile:

If the first doctor you go just wants to put you on the pill, then question that… and then seek a second opinion.

Definitely look for pro-life doctors if there are any in your area (another website to check is… scroll down to your state)… but if not, *fight *for the proper treatment that you certainly deserve.


In your case, being on the pill is allowed by the Church. But if I were your mother, I’d be scared of the potential for breast cancer for you later in life. I’m no expert, so I’ll just recommend that perhaps you and your mom should go read about the connection between the pill (especially for those who use it before their first child is born) and breast cancer. Doctors generally don’t go into these risks with patients— the ob/gyns I’ve been to seem to want everyone to be on the pill for most of their reproductive years. I used the pill for a few years, and no doctor ever told me all of the risks associated with them (and no one told me about the abortive effect either, not that you have to worry about that aspect of the them). Also, the pill made me MISERABLE and emotionally unstable. I just figured I was a depressed sort of person. Now I know better. It’s really sad to me that the pill is dispensed as if it’s a harmless fix to all female problems.


I advise you look for a different solution, while it would be morally permissible for your reason the pill is not a good thing for a woman’s body, and can in extreme cases even cause death.

Look for solutions that aren’t as drastic as making you infertile, anything that can do that to your body is very strong and bound to be dangerous when you think about it.

I would be very worried about my daughters health if she was on birth control.


Hi! I agree with the others that while morally permissible in your situation, you might want to pursue other options because of the side effects and possible underlying problems.

In the meantime (that is, while you're making your decision, finding a doctor, and/or undergoing diagnosis), you might want to try heating blankets (to relax the muscles), and also cutting out caffeine and salty foods from your diet about a week before your period. Vitamin B also helps with menstrual cramps (I take a B Complex supplement), as well as a diet rich in Calcium. The heating blankets really help me cope when the pain, because Tylenol doesn't work on my cramps, either. I've read about the diet recommendations in "Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition," a book by Marilyn Shannon that came with my Natural Family Planning home study course. :) You might also want to start charting your cycles just so that you have some data that would help an NFP-only physician/OB-GYN diagnose any potential health problems.


See an OBGYN about you problem. They can probably help you a lot. My sister and I both had this problem as teens, and went on very low dose BC pills for about 6 months and it fixed it in both our cases. However, you symptoms could be more serious, so you should really get a doctor to check you out.

In your situation if you were prescribed BC pills, you wouldn't be using them for contraception but really more for hormone therapy. You aren't having sex so you aren't blocking pregnancy you are just trying to help you body get straightened out.


Theresa Christie, MD Augusta , GA- devout Catholic- if you are anywhere close 'Southeast" she will help you. I have no relationship with her other than we both are Catholic in a very anti-Catholic area and she attends Masss at the same Church but I assume at a different time (2700 members). I hope you find relief from your monthly "friend"but as a "provider" (no longer a Doctor) I can tell you it will be difficult to relieve all your problems.


Tylenol, Advil, Midol...have you tried ibuprofen? In my experience those do nothing for cramps.


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