How Do They Work? (Birth Control Series)
Photo courtesy of Brandon Sigma/Free Digital Photos
There are many birth control options on the market today. The most common methods are the pill, the patch, the implant, injectable, the vaginal ring, and the IUD. The pill and the IUD are the two most common, so we will focus on those for now.
The pill is a hormonal contraceptive that contains both estrogen and progesterone. It works by three different mechanism to inhibit pregnancy. There is also a pill on the market with only progesterone and it is typically given to nursing mothers, because estrogen can affect milk supply.
The first mechanism of action is to suppress ovulation. (release of egg from ovaries) Secondly, it thickens the cervical mucous which basically slows down sperm. Thirdly, secretions are altered in the uterus (womb) to produce areas of swelling and dense regularity to keep implantation from happening.
The most common side effects are headaches, dizziness, breast tenderness, nausea, breakthrough bleeding, decreased libido, and mood swings. Who wants that??
There are two types intrauterine devices on the market. The first is copper containing,(ParaGard) and is approved for use up to 10 years. The other one is hormonal (Mirena). It releases progesterone and is approved up to five years.
It is stated that 24 hours after insertion it starts to create a local inflammatory response inside the uterus. This attracts white blood cells that are toxic to sperm. Like the pill, these also work to thicken cervical mucosa. The IUD also works by changing the endometrial lining thus impairing implantation.
Side effects for the IUD include cramps, spotting, heavy menstrual flow, infection, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infertility. It is stated that 1/1000 insertions have to be surgically removed because the IUD perforated the uterus and went into the abdominal cavity.
There is much debate on these hormonal birth control methods on how they contribute to cancers, infertility, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. According to the National Cancer Institute the studies and research to prove the links have been inconsistent. From what they have been able to gather, the risk for ovarian and endometrial cancers have gone down. However, breast, cervical, and liver cancer have all increased. Whatever data you choose to believe, it is a fact that these cancers feed off of excess estrogen and progesterone. To add more of that in your body seems only logical that it would add to your health risk.
Onto birth control being abortifacients.
As you can see for yourself in package inserts one of the mechanisms of action in the two most popular forms of birth control on the market are to effect the endometrium, thus affecting implantation. Basically, just in case the woman ovulates and the sperm makes its way through the thick cervical mucosa and fertilizes the egg, it will die off because it will have no luck trying to implant into your womb. If you are like me and remember back at any certain time when you were on a hormonal birth control and had an extremely heavy period than normal, could have been a miscarriage…
At the moment that sperm reaches the egg new life has burst into being. At that moment its complete DNA makeup, even the sex has been determined. To know that my ignorance of not being informed about this has crushed me. This is why I am so passionate about telling others what I never knew. Imagine all of the babies that have been lost from not knowing this information.
There is not much of a line between abortion and hormonal contraceptives when we look at the facts. We must inform ourselves and seek after what God would have us do.
Please subscribe and share your experiences. Have you had any side effects? Did you know they were abortifacients?
Click here to read other post in this series.