I'm being baptised into the Church at Easter but I'm still using contraception


#1

Hey all, I had a similar thread a few months ago.

I originally started using the pill because I was having pre-marital sex. However, I developed IBS and tried numerous medications to control it, and my symptoms always got worse around the time of my menstral cycle. I read online that this was true for other women, and I was suffering from chronic stomach pain that often stopped me working I was desperate for a solution. No one yet knows what causes IBS and many doctors don't even think it's real so I was banging my head against a brick wall with trying to get help from doctors - I had to wait several months to see a specialist and he couldn't suggest anything else from what I'm already taking.

I heard the contraceptive implant helped in some cases, so I tried it. And I have to say, since then I've had very little pain from my IBS and I've used to have a lot of time off sick, and now I haven't had to have a single day off due to it. I feel much better in myself. However, I've started to put on weight because of it (my diet hasn't changed and it's a very common side effect) and I have been thinking about stopping it for that reason and going back to my regime of constant painkillers - but I'm scared my IBS is going to get out of control again.

Today at Church one of my friends at RCIA told us that someone went all the way through it but then they found out she was living with her boyfriend so she wasn't allowed to join. I'm scared that my use of contraception may prevent me converting at Easter if I approach my Priest about it. I'm scared that if I'm asked to stop using it, I'll be suffering from constant abdominal pain for one week out of every 4, when my cycle is due. There is always a chance however that my IBS won't ever come back as bad - at the time, I was living with a lot of stress which makes symptoms worse, but now it's all back to normal.

I know I'm bringing the same old things up again, but I feel really lost at the moment. I guess all I'm asking for are some words of wisdom and encouragement, and if anyone else has been through the same. I know there's a chance it will be okay for me to continue to use it as I want to keep it for medicine reasons rather than for contraceptive, but I'm too worried that if I mention it to my Priest he'll tell me I can't convert until I get rid of it. :(

About chastity - I'm working on that, it's something me and my boyfriend are trying to get used to and we're not perfect.

Help? :(


#2

Birth control pills can be used to treat medical conditions as long as the pills arent used to prevent pregnancy. I believe the ABC implants would be the same except in your case you havent been chaste, as you self admit, but also i am not sure if a ABC implant is the only, best, or even possible way of treating IBS. I plead ignorance about IBS but something doesnt sound right about a birth control implant treating a bowel problem. Maybe it does work but something tells me there might be other ways to treat IBS. I would look at all the treatment options. If it were me, I would demand the doctors give me alternatives.


#3

You aren't "using contraception."

You are treating a medical condition with hormones that also have the effect of making you termporarily sterile. This is morally permissable.

I assume you have discontinued **premarital **sexual relations. You do not state if you are married or not.


#4

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:232378"]
... I heard the contraceptive implant helped in some cases, so I tried it. And I have to say, since then I've had very little pain from my IBS and I've used to have a lot of time off sick, and now I haven't had to have a single day off due to it. I feel much better in myself. However, I've started to put on weight because of it (my diet hasn't changed and it's a very common side effect) and I have been thinking about stopping it for that reason and going back to my regime of constant painkillers - but I'm scared my IBS is going to get out of control again.

[/quote]

We are not allowed on this forum to give medical advise, however, IMOHO, you have justifiable/medical reason to continue having the implant. You are under a doctor's care and you are not expected to be subjected to pain and illness that makes you in danger of losing your job or that otherwise interferes with a normal healthy lifestyle.

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:232378"]
... I'm scared that my use of contraception may prevent me converting at Easter if I approach my Priest about it. I'm scared that if I'm asked to stop using it, I'll be suffering from constant abdominal pain for one week out of every 4, when my cycle is due. There is always a chance however that my IBS won't ever come back as bad - at the time, I was living with a lot of stress which makes symptoms worse, but now it's all back to normal.

[/quote]

I don't think your priest would be recommending you go off of recommended medical treatment that has worked for you. You can always provide him with medical documentation if he requests it. You are not expected to go off of medications that control your symptoms and turn your life upside down. For your own benefit, you may want to do a trial without the implant and see how it goes. It may go well so that you don't need it anymore, and it may not, and you will have to go back on them. But that's between you and your doctor. I can certainly understand you not wanting to risk a trial though. But I can't see a priest, in his right mind, who would interfere in a patient's medical care.

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:232378"]
... I guess all I'm asking for are some words of wisdom and encouragement, and if anyone else has been through the same. I know there's a chance it will be okay for me to continue to use it as I want to keep it for medicine reasons rather than for contraceptive, but I'm too worried that if I mention it to my Priest he'll tell me I can't convert until I get rid of it. :(

[/quote]

I can't see him telling you to get rid of it. The guidelines are right in Humanae Vitae, and they say you can use hormone therapy to treat medical conditions, even if the side effect is not being able to conceive. The rules are plain and simple: you can't take contraceptives with the intent to contracept, but if they are being used to treat a medical condition, they are permissible. I know you're scared, and nervous, but I just can't see a good priest making that demand of you and holding it over your head.

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:232378"]
...
About chastity - I'm working on that, it's something me and my boyfriend are trying to get used to and we're not perfect.
Help? :(

[/quote]

Well keep working on it, because you know you're doing wrong and breaking the rules of the Church. That has nothing to do with the implant for the control of symptoms that prevent you from being functional in life. I don't know if the priest will deny you Baptism for that, but it's unlikely, especially if you are truthful about trying and failing, but continuing to try. The Church doesn't have perfect members. We're all imperfect, we all sin, and we all have stumbling blocks. Just keep trying :)


#5

[quote="LemonAndLime, post:1, topic:232378"]
Hey all, I had a similar thread a few months ago.

I originally started using the pill because I was having pre-marital sex. However, I developed IBS and tried numerous medications to control it, and my symptoms always got worse around the time of my menstral cycle. I read online that this was true for other women, and I was suffering from chronic stomach pain that often stopped me working I was desperate for a solution. No one yet knows what causes IBS and many doctors don't even think it's real so I was banging my head against a brick wall with trying to get help from doctors - I had to wait several months to see a specialist and he couldn't suggest anything else from what I'm already taking.

I heard the contraceptive implant helped in some cases, so I tried it. And I have to say, since then I've had very little pain from my IBS and I've used to have a lot of time off sick, and now I haven't had to have a single day off due to it. I feel much better in myself. However, I've started to put on weight because of it (my diet hasn't changed and it's a very common side effect) and I have been thinking about stopping it for that reason and going back to my regime of constant painkillers - but I'm scared my IBS is going to get out of control again.

Today at Church one of my friends at RCIA told us that someone went all the way through it but then they found out she was living with her boyfriend so she wasn't allowed to join. I'm scared that my use of contraception may prevent me converting at Easter if I approach my Priest about it. I'm scared that if I'm asked to stop using it, I'll be suffering from constant abdominal pain for one week out of every 4, when my cycle is due. There is always a chance however that my IBS won't ever come back as bad - at the time, I was living with a lot of stress which makes symptoms worse, but now it's all back to normal.

I know I'm bringing the same old things up again, but I feel really lost at the moment. I guess all I'm asking for are some words of wisdom and encouragement, and if anyone else has been through the same. I know there's a chance it will be okay for me to continue to use it as I want to keep it for medicine reasons rather than for contraceptive, but I'm too worried that if I mention it to my Priest he'll tell me I can't convert until I get rid of it. :(

About chastity - I'm working on that, it's something me and my boyfriend are trying to get used to and we're not perfect.

Help? :(

[/quote]

I say to you , stop the practice of fornication it is a mortal sin(that is, in other words, deadly):eek:. Dump the boyfriend until you both wise up and are mature enough for marriage.Christians do not give into temptation and treat it lightly,time to come to grips with your sin girl!:eek: Peace, Carlan


#6

[quote="1ke, post:3, topic:232378"]
You aren't "using contraception."

You are treating a medical condition with hormones that also have the effect of making you termporarily sterile. This is morally permissable.

I assume you have discontinued **premarital **sexual relations. You do not state if you are married or not.

[/quote]

She has told us she is "trying" to practice chastity! What's that all about when you are single and a month away from entering the Church. :shrug:Carlan


#7

[quote="Carlan, post:6, topic:232378"]
She has told us she is "trying" to practice chastity! What's that all about when you are single and a month away from entering the Church. :shrug:Carlan

[/quote]

While I do agree with you, there's no need to be harsh about it. She said she is trying, we all fail at things, and I see nothing from her that indicates she is "taking it lightly". I do say to her welcome, and keep praying, and remember practical steps to avoid occasion of sin (don't be alone in private together, etc.)


#8

[quote="Blacksword, post:7, topic:232378"]
While I do agree with you, there's no need to be harsh about it. She said she is trying, we all fail at things, and I see nothing from her that indicates she is "taking it lightly". I do say to her welcome, and keep praying, and remember practical steps to avoid occasion of sin (don't be alone in private together, etc.)

[/quote]

Thank you, that is exactly right. I am taking this seriously and by trying I mean that is what I'm doing, trying. That's the verb I chose to use, it doesn't mean that I'm "just having a go". It means I'm not saying I'm a saint yet.


#9

Hi LemonAndLime--

I think maybe I am confused about your situation. I have a question:

Has any doctor that you have seen in person recommended the implant for your IBS? Or is it just your own thought and/or things you have read online?

I'm also wondering a little about you considering going off the implant because of weight gain, but not because your priest might ask you to. Just something to take to the Lord in prayer and ask Him about.

If the priest doesn't want you to join the Church, it woudn't be because you are more sinful than the rest of us, because for sure that isn't the case. But in the case of the person who was living with her boyfriend, for example, having someone join the Church, just to be in a perpetual state of mortal sin, may not be helping them. I don't know the circumstances of course--my point is just that it shouldn't be viewed as a punishment because I'm sure it's not meant that way.

If a doctor has actually prescribed the implant for your IBS, I think you should have no problem with that. If not, perhaps if you explained your situation to a doctor, s/he might agree and prescribe if for you. But either way, you have to tell the priest. If he raises any objections to your joining the Church, please ask him to explain it completely, because I'm sure it would be for your own benefit. Not telling the priest something that you have reason to believe he would want to know, is not a good thing.

And now for a word of encouragement. Sorry it took so long. :) Regarding chastity, it really is possible. There are several things you can do to make it easier on yourself, too. First, you could start each date with your boyfriend with a prayer, to remind you that God is always present with you, loving each of you even more than you love each other. You could try, at least for a while until the habit of chastity becomes easier, not to have dates with your boyfriend in places where chastity is more difficult. Go out to places; go to movie theaters instead of watching movies on the couch. Try to avoid movies and TV shows that are focused around sex. Ignore the message of society that it is impossible to be chaste. It is NOT impossible. You really can do it. Lots of people have done it through the ages, and plenty of people do it now.

And even if it doesn't come right away, as the other poster has said, if you are really trying to be chaste, that shouldn't prevent you from entering the Church, even if you do fail occasionally. And once you have access to the Sacrament of Confession, this will be a great help for you, as well.

God bless you!

--Jen


#10

Hi L&L praying for you. With grace everything is possible. Wait for marriage and the Lord will bless your union abundantly. Keep trying. Praying for you at this special time. I would speak to your priest. He will see your humility and honesty and work with you from there. Happiness awaits :)


#11

As someone who also suffers from IBS combined with endometriosis I also have to use contraceptives. I eventually will be having a hysterectomy done in the future after at least one child so you are not alone in having a medical condition that requires the use of a contraceptive.


#12

[quote="glamourdollxoxo, post:11, topic:232378"]
As someone who also suffers from IBS combined with endometriosis I also have to use contraceptives. I eventually will be having a hysterectomy done in the future after at least one child so you are not alone in having a medical condition that requires the use of a contraceptive.

[/quote]

Do you take it because of the endometriosis or because of the IBS, or both?

And no this was not recommended to me by a doctor as he said having the implant would make my acne worse, but I explained my reasoning to him and he seemed fairly non-committal, I'm not with that doctor anymore. I think the important thing is that it works. Also, our doctors can only recommend evidence-based treatment, and research into treatment for IBS is on-going.

I found this on a website about IBS -

Most women with IBS quickly learn through experience that menstruation leads to a worsening of their abdominal pain and bloating, and increased bouts of diarrhea as well. This is often due to the high progesterone levels that trigger the uterine cramping of menstruation, which can also cause gastrointestinal muscle spasms. Studies actually show that three-quarters of women with IBS say their symptoms are worse during menses.

For many women, taking steps to prevent or relieve menstrual cramps can also help prevent period-related IBS symptoms.

Regular exercise, abdominal hot packs, and herbal teas with smooth muscle relaxant properties (particularly medicinal strength peppermint or high volatle oil fennel, but chamomile and raspberry leaf as well) are all healthy approaches to take for reducing or preventing menstrual cramps and resultant IBS symptoms.

Personally, I've had spectacular results reducing menstrual cramps (and completely eliminating cramp-related IBS flares!) from practicing yoga. For some women, birth control pills can lessen menstrual symptoms and associated IBS flares - this is an issue to address with both your GI doc and your ob/gyn.

helpforibs.com/footer/pregnancy.asp


#13

[quote="Blacksword, post:7, topic:232378"]
While I do agree with you, there's no need to be harsh about it. She said she is trying, we all fail at things, and I see nothing from her that indicates she is "taking it lightly". I do say to her welcome, and keep praying, and remember practical steps to avoid occasion of sin (don't be alone in private together, etc.)

[/quote]

yes, Blacksword, I suppose in todays world my comments are talken as harsh.But this old person believes that one of the things wrong in our Christian world today is the sugar coating of serious moral sin.Divorce and remarriage , singles cohabitation, birth control,and ultimately abortion.This moral relativity is rampant amongst the young and university populations.Young people seeking to enter the Church should be ultimate good examples , and for the most part the ones in this small University town, the ones participating in the University Newman Center, are very much so..Peace, Carlan


#14

[quote="Carlan, post:13, topic:232378"]
yes, Blacksword, I suppose in todays world my comments are talken as harsh.But this old person believes that one of the things wrong in our Christian world today is the sugar coating of serious moral sin.Divorce and remarriage , singles cohabitation, birth control,and ultimately abortion.This moral relativity is rampant amongst the young and university populations.Young people seeking to enter the Church should be ultimate good examples , and for the most part the ones in this small University town, the ones participating in the University Newman Center, are very much so..Peace, Carlan

[/quote]

I know where you are coming from, Carlan. I was an RCIA sponsor last year and I was really shocked at the wishy-washy way the RCIA staff approached such things as chastity, birth control, abortion, and others. They put much more emphasis on a well-formed conscience. One can convince oneself that what they want to do that is in conflict with Church teaching can be shoved aside because they have "a well formed conscience".

We heard that we really did not know whether Jesus and God are males or females. I don't recall any of the apostles talking about a "she" Jesus. It was all very disconcerting.


#15

[quote="mary_bobo, post:14, topic:232378"]

We heard that we really did not know whether Jesus and God are males or females. I don't recall any of the apostles talking about a "she" Jesus. It was all very disconcerting.

[/quote]

Not to mention absurd -- how exactly do they explain Christ's circumcision? :rolleyes:


#16

[quote="Carlan, post:13, topic:232378"]
yes, Blacksword, I suppose in todays world my comments are talken as harsh.But this old person believes that one of the things wrong in our Christian world today is the sugar coating of serious moral sin.Divorce and remarriage , singles cohabitation, birth control,and ultimately abortion.This moral relativity is rampant amongst the young and university populations.Young people seeking to enter the Church should be ultimate good examples , and for the most part the ones in this small University town, the ones participating in the University Newman Center, are very much so..Peace, Carlan

[/quote]

Yes, all granted, but I re-read what she said again just to check and I do not see anything in her post that sounds like moral relativism. She obviously knows what the church teaches on chastity outside of marriage, accepts this as right and an absolute, and is trying to conform her life to this teaching.

If you've reached moral perfection, then please share with the rest of us how you did it. Otherwise, try not to assume wishy-washiness on morality when it doesn't appear to exist, just assume the same striving for a holy life we all are engaged in, with the same sorts of stumbles we all experience on the way.


#17

[quote="Blacksword, post:16, topic:232378"]
.

If you've reached moral perfection, then please share with the rest of us how you did it. Otherwise, try not to assume wishy-washiness on morality when it doesn't appear to exist, just assume the same striving for a holy life we all are engaged in, with the same sorts of stumbles we all experience on the way.

[/quote]

Of course Blacksword, nothing or anyone is perfect,we are all sinners.
I was not assuming wishy washy morality on what the poster said of herself, I was not judging her. I was judging the immoral behavior of fornication. When that kind of behavior is admitted by someone publicly on a forum such as this one and we know it to be mortally sinful we should say so .Peace, Carlan


#18

LemonLime, if you're taking contraception because it's the ONLY THING that helps your debilitating pain, it's not a sin! If you're doing it because you intend to contracept, that's different.

My husband and I are very lucky. He was admitted into the Church - and I was welcomed back - while we were still living together (though mostly chastely). Like you, we tried to be good and sometimes failed. Our faith community loved us and was patient with us. Now we're fervent Catholics who use only NFP and are welcoming our second baby in November. We plan on having a big family. NOT where we started out, and we wouldn't be there without the patience of everyone around us to give us time to let God get us where He wanted us.

I would say, though, to be careful you're not ... I guess ... taking advantage of the contraception? More people are better educated on this than me. But I know some forms are abortifacient. You may want to talk to a good priest about what to do about that, if you are sexually active.


#19

Definitely meet with your priest. He may be able to help direct you to medical resources (doctors, clinics) that will be supportive of your efforts not to contracept. Sometimes hormonal intervention is the best way to treat a medical condition but sometimes it is just the easiest. I have severe PCOS so more than one doctor has suggested an IUD to reduce the severe pain I experience every month and prevent the anemia that never completely resolves. After much prayer I have chosen not to get the IUD, not just because it is contraceptive, but because every doctor has told me that part of their effectiveness comes from preventing a fertilized egg from implanting. The idea that another baby would get started (my husband and I have been blessed with two beautiful children) and not get a chance to grow just breaks my heart.

Some doctors have been supportive of that decision and some have rolled their eyes at me. In the end you may need to continue your current therapy to manage your medical condition, but do yourself a favor and find a doctor who is supportive of your religious beliefs so that you feel confident they are telling you all of your options. It may be the best option for you now but medical practice changes all the time and I would want a doctor who will keep you up to date and informed.


#20

Pardon me if this is intrusive, but since you brought it up, does your boyfriend want to stop having sex also? How supportive is he of your desire to stop?


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