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Getting Over The Pill

Here’s a notion: Birth Control Pills are not the only way manage your reproductive health.

The Pill came out 50 years ago, and at the time it was a symbol of liberation and freedom for women. Suddenly, they no longer had to worry about unplanned pregnancy.  It was great.  But now that 50-year-old technology is starting to lose much of the appeal it once had.

Today many women get on the pill as teenagers to “regulate” irregular cycles, and they get off the pill in their late 20s or early 30s when they want to get pregnant. The unfortunate reality is many women find it’s not as easy as they thought it would be to get pregnant.  Ten or fifteen years of being on oral contraceptives doesn’t “fix” an irregular cycle; it just kind of pushes the pause button on your reproductive system.

When you come off the pill in your late 20s or early 30s because you finally want kids, your body has to pick up where it left off when you were a teenager. Often women at this stage of their lives find it takes longer than expected to conceive and wind up on the assisted reproductive technology track — reproductive endocrinologists, expensive and annoying tests, procedures, hormone injections and all that jazz. And, heartbreakingly, after several years and thousands of dollars, that doesn’t always work.

The side effects of the pill are a real pain in the ass for many women, too. Weight gain, depression, loss of libido, and “not feeling like myself” (AKA “I seem to have gone insane”) are some of the more common complaints cited.  In fact, a CDC report on contraceptive use states that 10.3 million women have stopped taking the pill due to side effects, or fear of side effects.

All women need a way to have children when they want them, and to not have children when they don’t. And they need to feel good about the whole thing — not freaked out, bloated and crazy. Imagine how the world would be different if this was a reality.

This reality is possible thanks to the wonderful simplicity of the Fertility Awareness Method — the technology behind Kindara. Instead of women’s reproductive reality being like this:  “Oh my god,  I don’t want to get pregnant” during her twenties, followed by “Oh my god,  I want to get pregnant NOW!” in her thirties, the Symptothermal Method makes it one question: “When do I want to get pregnant?”

Charting your cycle using the Fertility Awareness Method can help you achieve your reproductive goals without pills, side effects, or stress, whether you want to have kids in the next few years, in 10 years, or never.  By charting your cycle, you will see if and when you are ovulating, and you will know when you are fertile, which is the trick to knowing when you can or cannot pregnant. Charting your cycle could help clarify issues that need to be remedied before you can get pregnant too. You can even confirm pregnancy with your chart. Exciting!

If women were taught the basics of Fertility Awareness as soon as they entered their reproductive years and knew that they could avoid or plan for pregnancy by charting their primary fertility signs (temperature and cervical fluid), they would save a lot of time, money and stress.

What a different world we would all be living in if each woman shifted her thinking from “I need this pill so I don’t have unplanned pregnancies, and I need my doctor to prescribe this pill” to “I know just what is going on with my cycle at all times. I am calm, confident and empowered. I manage my own fertility thank you very much, and I don’t need pills to do it.”

Now I’m not saying that oral contraceptives have no place in the world. They are a wonderful invention. Thanks to the Pill, women today can take it as fact that pregnancy can be prevented easily and effectively. But because this is now a forgone conclusion, we are free to look for even better options — options like the Fertility Awareness Method that can prevent pregnancy easily, effectively, autonomously and without side effects.

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  • Marguerite Duane

    1:51 pmDecember 31, 2012

    Typical and correct use effectiveness rates of the Sympto-thermal method of family planning to avoid pregnancy are BETTER that the pill. Two well-designed research studies show that with correct use of STM (women use it correctly all the time) less than 1 in 100 women will get pregnant over the course of 1 year and with typical use (i.e. occasionally forget to record a temperature, mucus observation, etc.) about 2 per 100 women will get pregnant over a 1 year period. http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/5/1310.long
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9288336

    On the other hand, with correct use of the pill, 1-2 women per 100 women who take the pill for a year will get pregnant and with typical use (occasionally forgetting the pill or taking it at the wrong time) 9 women per 100 women who take it for a year will get pregnant.
    http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ByAudience/ForWomen/FreePublications/UCM282014.pdf

    More importantly, there are no medical side effects associated with using STM, whereas there are numerous medical side effects associated with using the pill, including an increased risk of liver, breast and cervical cancer, since the combined estrogen-progesterone pill is classified as a group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/ClassificationsGroupOrder.pdf (see bottom of page 2)
    http://www.polycarp.org/statement_mayo_clinic_article.pdf

    Women deserve better options, so thank you for spreading the message about STM.

    • Kati Bicknell

      8:10 amJanuary 1, 2013

      Hi Marguerite,

      Thanks for posting those links, and for your well thought out comment. I’m always so happy to meet other proponents of the Symptothermal Method. :)

  • Andrea

    7:23 pmJanuary 3, 2013

    I was really impressed with this blog post until I read your last paragraph. Oral contraceptives were not a great invention. Putting drugs into a woman’s body to tell her when to release her natural occuring cycle of eggs is not okay. Taking a drug for convenience is not okay, especially with such horrible side effects in the long term.

    Andrea

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