Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Birth Control--"THE METHOD"

My wife and I married at the end of our second year in seminary. Neither of us had a job, neither of us had money--we were not ready for children. As we sought various options, we were told there was really only one good option with a near perfect success rate--"THE PILL." So shortly before our wedding, Kristin began taking, "THE PILL." Once we were married, she would often comment, "I hate this. I feel like I am taking my death pill each morning." It wasn't that she believed it was killing anything living, but that it was altering her body such that it ceased to have the potential to bring forth life. After a couple of years, she reached a breaking point (and we were a little more financially secure). So we went off "The Pill" and turned to the only other option we knew (and could live with)--the ole rhythm method; which I have recently heard referred to as rhythm and blues. Three months latter, our daughter was on the way. She is a great gift from God, but not one we planned on. And perhaps that is the best kind of gift. But after our daughter was born, we went back to the doctors and said we really aren't ready for two. Are there any other options? The answer--sure, we can give you a hormone shot; oh and you won't have a period but four times a year, isn't that great!

This really bothered us. It seems God made the female body to function in a particular way, and we were medicating it as if her fertility were a disease. We soon learned of the Creighton Model. Instead of medicating to change cycles and inhibit fertility, the Creighton Model teaches couples to understand the signals that the body is made to send during cycles. We chart daily mucus activity (I'll spare details) and are able to know exactly which days are fertile and which days are not. The system has a 99.5% method effectiveness (how effective the model is when used properly), and has a 96.8% use effectiveness (how effective people are at using the method properly). This rivals that of "The Pill" and as soon as you wish to have a child, the same method that prevented unwanted pregnancy turns into a fertility aid.

In addition, the few doctors who are familiar with the method have found that charting the body's activity can help diagnose certain diseases, including ovarian cancer, long before current traditional methods of detection.

The problem is, why would no medical professional tell my wife and I of this model when we asked for a full list of possibilities? It is assumed to be a strange Catholic practice, not unlike the rhythm method. But it is very different. It is much more researched, there is an enormous amount documentation; and yet we continue to be told that medication is the only way to deal with the problem of the female body.

Finally, and sorry for the long post, it seems that this should instigate again the debate about birth control. Here is a natural method that respects the female body, avoids implicitly labeling fertility as a disease, and allows couples to have some control over when to have how many children, while giving women tools to notice something out of the ordinary long before traditional medicine would have noticed. Is it too late for such a method to even be considered? Why has this model been kept secret. It seems that objective doctors, who are indeed "practicing medicine" should at least be familiar enough with the model to let an inquiring patient how to find more information.

1 comment:

Pastor Blue Jeans said...

Eric,

Every time I come to your site I learn something new. This was very informative. Thanks.