Dr. Susan Caldwell
If Birth Control Is Not the Solution, What is?
For more than 50 years, the majority of women and their doctors have believed that prescription birth control is the best we can offer to women who want to temporarily prevent pregnancy and who have a multitude of symptoms related to their menstrual cycle. During this time, scientific research and the experience of women using birth control has given us many reasons to question this belief system. So often in my practice, I hear stories from women telling me how birth control failed them, or at least it did not deliver what it promised. Almost daily I read a scientific book or article that details yet another harmful side effect of hormonal contraception. Yet, this does not seem to be common knowledge. Why?????
The answer is simple; too many of us believe that birth control is our only option.
When one thinks he has found the answer, he stops asking the question.
This is why so many women have found themselves at a sort of “dead end” after years of believing that birth control was the solution to their problems. I frequently encounter these women and am able to offer hope and healing. I am grateful to the doctors before me who continued to ask questions, braved the unknown and have shown us another way.
A Better Solution: Family Planning
Sadly, most medical schools teach doctors that natural methods of family planning are not scientific or reliable. This could not be further from the truth. There are many modern, highly effective methods of fertility awareness that help women and couples accurately identify the fertile window during each cycle so that pregnancy can be achieved or avoided – with NO side effects! Doctors generally avoid this approach because:
We are poorly educated about natural methods of fertility awareness, therefore we are not well-equipped to educate our patients
We tend to believe that our patients are going to have sex no matter what we say rather than taking the time to educate our patients on the risks/harms of sexual activity and about the benefits of abstinence until marriage.
Ideally, a young woman would learn to recognize her own signs of fertility long before she becomes sexually active, from her mother, sister and/or pediatrician. If women understood their fertility, they would be less likely to relinquish “control” of their fertility to a pill, device or doctor and would be more likely to take responsibility for themselves in the area of sexual decision making. They would understand the natural connection between having sex and having babies and that they truly are not ready to have sex until they are ready to have a baby with their husband in marriage.
We are failing our adolescents by not educating them properly in the area of their sexuality, leaving them to their instincts to “figure things out”. Can you imagine what would happen if we left them to their instincts when it was time to learn how to drive a car???
Every woman deserves know this information so that they can be in “control” of their fertility. There are many methods and teachers available. For detailed information about the methods visit https://www.factsaboutfertility.org/what-is-charting/
A Better Solution: Reproductive Health Concerns
Birth control is used to treat a wide variety of symptoms without looking for the cause of the symptoms. This is not a wise approach. What if we routinely went to our car mechanic when we saw a warning light on the dashboard only to have the mechanic cover up the light with some tape and tell us that we’re safe to get back on the road? This approach usually causes the real problem to be dismissed for the time being but it is definitely not an effective solution.
Many years ago, we had no real way to diagnose the underlying cause of many problems that women have with their cycles. But times have changed. We no longer need to rely on the “one-size-fits-all” answer of birth control. Decades of research by doctors such as Dr. Thomas Hilgers, the founder of the Creighton Model System and Naprotechnology, have given us very effective means of diagnosing and treating a wide range of reproductive health concerns.
Thankfully, the dark ages of women’s health are behind us. So why are we still behaving as if we’re still in the dark??? The truth must be known and shared with women and the doctors who truly care about them. If you know of a doctor who you think may want to offer this type of care, consider sharing this post with them or perhaps give them this book.
Be warned, however, that knowledge is not the only thing necessary to change the prescribing behavior of doctors. They will need much courage, determination and support in order to put this knowledge into practice. Sadly, prescribing birth control is so easy but the alternative approach is difficult. Be encouraged that pursuing anything worthwhile in life is difficult.
It is much easer to float along with the current than to swim upstream.
Be not afraid to pursue greatness rather than comfort and start asking questions instead of accepting birth control as the answer!