Is the mini pill still contraception?


#1

My daughter (18) struggles with heavy menstruation (as my wife did) and my wife wants my daughter to see a Gyn to discuss the mini pill to control her periods. My wife says it is not birth control, just hormone therapy to control the menstrual cycle.

I have been doing some reading and the places I have looked all call the mini pill just a modified form of birth control. Am I looking at the wrong thing? Is there a hormone therapy that still allows ovulation but helps control heavy bleeding and severe cramping (not to mention mood swings)?

I love my daughter and it pains me to see her suffer, especially if it is not necessary. However, I do not want to recommend a solution that would be sinful.

I appreciate any and all information this forum may be able to provide.

May the merciful Jesus fill you with His gentle peace.


#2

I’m pretty are all varieties of the pill are contraception - but I don’t think it really matters as long as your daughter isn’t sexually active as she will be using it only for medical and not contraceptive reasons.

Of corse it will be more difficult once she’s married but maybe her hormones will be more settled by then ?


#3

If your daughter isn’t having sex, it’s not contraception and it’s morally ok to use.

However, I would be very hesitant to resort to taking the pill without first making some lifestyle changes- dietary and exercise- to see if that helps. Also, she should see a doctor anyway so that other problems can be ruled out.

Based on my own experience, I would only ever take it again as a very last resort, as the side effects were worse than what I was trying to treat. However, some women really do have a need for it and it can help enormously in terms of ability to function. I would make a doctor’s appointment, but do not have her go in and mention that she would like to be on the pill. Allow the doctor to order the appropriate tests, and have your daughter ask about alternative approaches to the pill if it is suggested (which it probably will be).


#4

Hi OP - it doesn't matter if it's contraception or not, if it is being used for medical therapy!


#5

[quote="gkeuter, post:1, topic:249918"]
My daughter (18) struggles with heavy menstruation (as my wife did) and my wife wants my daughter to see a Gyn to discuss the mini pill to control her periods. My wife says it is not birth control, just hormone therapy to control the menstrual cycle.

I have been doing some reading and the places I have looked all call the mini pill just a modified form of birth control. Am I looking at the wrong thing? Is there a hormone therapy that still allows ovulation but helps control heavy bleeding and severe cramping (not to mention mood swings)?

I love my daughter and it pains me to see her suffer, especially if it is not necessary. However, I do not want to recommend a solution that would be sinful.

I appreciate any and all information this forum may be able to provide.

May the merciful Jesus fill you with His gentle peace.

[/quote]

According to the encyclical Humane Vitae, she can use birth control for medical purposes, regardless of whether she is married or not, and regardless of whether she is sexually active with her husband or not -- which is a moot point because she's not married anyway.

Here is what Humanae Vitae says:

Lawful Therapeutic Means

  1. On the other hand, 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. (19)

The rest of the encyclical is here:
vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html


#6

It is my understanding that Humani Vitae was not referring to the fact that the pill, at times, can act as an abortifacient. (not allowing a fertilized egg to attach to the uterine wall.)


#7

According to every priest I have spoken to, it does. As long as it’s used for medical reasons, and not for contraception, it falls under the principle of double effect.

Lawful Therapeutic Means

  1. On the other hand, 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. (19)

#8

The dose of the pill required to regulate her periods may be too low to act as a contraceptive anyway, that would be something to ask about.


#9

Here is a more detailed answer to this question:

ronconte.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/can-a-catholic-married-woman-use-the-birth-control-pill-for-a-medical-purpose/


#10

Note that this website doesn’t reflect the teachings of the Church, which are available from the Vatican website, and in a copy of the Catechism. It’s important to know the Church’s official teachings.


#11

The mini pill is an artificial contraceptive.

In your daughter’s case it would be allowed to be taken because the intention is not to contracept but to treat an illness.
There may be a better solution than the mini pill. There are side effects and it doesn’t really “cure” anything but masks it. If it were my child I would pursue it further with a specialist to find out the exact cure and determine if there isn’t something else that could be done.


#12

[quote="Seatuck, post:11, topic:249918"]
The mini pill is an artificial contraceptive.

In your daughter's case it would be allowed to be taken because the intention is not to contracept but to treat an illness.
There may be a better solution than the mini pill. There are side effects and it doesn't really "cure" anything but masks it. If it were my child I would pursue it further with a specialist to find out the exact cure and determine if there isn't something else that could be done.

[/quote]

If it was my daughter, I would do the same. The pill masks the cause and only treats the symptoms, plus gives her a higher risk of stroke, blood clots, cancers, lupus, etc.

A lot of women find out that their moodiness and pain during menstrual cycles are related to their diet...oftentimes finding what is deficient, like magnesium, or zinc, or copper, etc....can take care of a lot of it. I would do everything "natural" first before resorting to the pill.


#13

[quote="Rence, post:10, topic:249918"]
Note that this website doesn't reflect the teachings of the Church, which are available from the Vatican website, and in a copy of the Catechism. It's important to know the Church's official teachings.

[/quote]

You are correct - that website absolutely does not reflect the teachings of the church!


#14

The OP didn't say anything about moodiness, cramps or such, it's heavy menstruation. He also said his wife has the same thing so it could be hereditary, not diet. I have tend to have heavy periods and I don't get moody or have cramps at all, they don't go hand in hand.

Anyway, when I was younger, a Catholic hospital put me on the the pill for menstruation problems--but being on the pill wasn't long term. They did extensive tests first to rule out ovarian cysts and other things. The pill ended up being the, "we can't find anything wrong with you, but this might help" solution. The idea was (at least at the time) that the pill would get my body into a rhythm and then the pill would be taken away and my body would still be in a rhythm. It did work for a few years, but over time, my body went back to what it used to do. So a mini pill might help, but like others have said it might not be a "cure."


#15

He DID say she had cramps and moodiness. :confused:

OP, mineral and vitamin deficiencies can cause these things (I’m thinking mostly magnesium, calcium, maybe zinc) AND hypothyroidism can cause these things, ESP the cramps and excessive bleeding).

I’d check her general health in these areas before committing to putting her on a pill, like I said before…


#16

yes it is but like regular BC pills it can be prescribed for other purposes for which the hormonal manipulation is needed, and use for that reason is not prohibited by the Church or natural law. Like all very drastic medical prescriptions the prudent patient should get second opinions and explore alternatives, because even the mini-pill has drastic side effects, but as parents that is your duty. Objectively, as long as she is not using it for a contraceptive purpose, she can take it.

all we can discuss here is the church teaching, medical advice is prohibited by forum rules.


#17

Yes, the mini pill (Progestogen only pill) is a hormonal contraceptive. It is different from the the common “the pill” (Estrogen & progestogen combination) but the moral/health implications are similar.

It is not sinful for your daughter to use it (so long as she’s not using it as contraception. Since she’s 18 and consulting her parents when making health care choices, I’m assuming she’s unmarried so her intent is likely not contraceptive.

Is “hormone therapy” the best way to manage menstrual pain? I personally do not think it is worth the risk of increased blood clots, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, etc. not to mention the inconvenient side effects like acne changes (for some women it clears it up, for others it makes it much much worse), weight changes (some women gain weight, some women do not), dry eyes (some woman find wearing contacts very difficult while using hormonal birth control), etc. No one but your daughter knows how bad the pain is and how effectively she can manage it without hormonal contraceptives, but I hope she (or you, as her adviser) will at least research the risks and side effects and consider other pain management options before resorting to the pill.


#18

No, no, no, no, no!!!

Do NOT allow your daughter to go on hormonal contraceptives as a treatment.

I have PCOS and I learned that hormonal contraceptives are often used as a treatment but really they don't treat the true, underlying cause of why you have those issues in the first place.

It was actually a CAFer here who told me that the "period" you would get from taking those pills isn't even a true period-- in fact, the bleeding is not even necessary because the natural design of the body is altered to simulate perpetual pregnancy. Many women, back when the pill was created, would have felt uncomfortable being in this state of fake perpetual pregnancy, so in order to feel "normal" they had the bleeding time. But that is not a REAL period. Real periods involve hormonal fluctuations that are normal and necessary in order to involve a natural cycle.

Anyway, you need to take her to a specialist, someone who knows about NaPro technology and can use it to help her with these issues. I used to have (pardon the TMI) murder scene-like issues but then I ended up losing a lot of weight and a lot of the issues subsided, but I still need proper treatment. I will not go on ABC as a treatment ever again, after knowing what I know now. I don't care if Humane Vitae says it's okay because there are so many other implications one needs to consider that are far-reaching and can really change the way your body functions.


closed #19

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