Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and Birth Control, A Dangerous Combination

From “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler

From my previous posts you have learned that I don’t oppose all forms of birth control, but that I urge caution about hormonal birth control.

I have two reasons for this: the first is the fact that hormonal birth control can be an abortificant. The second is much more personal, hormonal birth control can really create havoc on your body and mind.

Shortly before we were married, my wife went to her gynecologist for a routine check and pre-wedding screening (not like she needed it but whatever). While there, the doctor told her she should start taking birth control a couple of months before the wedding. “You don’t want to be inconvenienced by a baby.” she told her. Being young and naive my soon to be wife acquiesced and started taking what the doctor prescribed.

The side effects began her first week on the pill. At first it was a near constant nausea which kept her in bed most of the time. Next, a nearly insatiable libido disappeared. Then came the depression and anxiety. She reported these to the doctor and was assured they weren’t side-effects, she was probably just nervous about the wedding.

Reluctantly, the doctor switched her pills for the patch. Her nausea abated slightly, but the rest of the symptoms remained in full force.

By the time the wedding came, she had very little interest in sex. There were a few nights on the honeymoon where she cried for hours because she couldn’t understand what was happening to her. She didn’t want me anymore. What sort of switch happened that would cause her to suddenly stop her interest in me?

Upon our return, my new wife reported these problems to the doctor only to be told that she was probably just regretting her decision to get married so young. “Depression is not a side effect of birth control.” Nonetheless, her doctor agreed to change the medication again, this time to the Nuva Ring.

While the ring was better for nausea, the depression worsened dramatically. There were nights I would wake up next to a sweating, rocking, tearful woman. Sex was nearly impossible. She contemplated suicide.

All the while, the doctor insisted it was in her head.

I don’t remember exactly what clicked in my mind, but one morning I told her to quit the birth control. While the side-effects weren’t spelled out on the packaging, it was too suspicious to me that they would coincide with her first dosages. She quit taking them, much to her doctor’s chagrin.

Within a month her mood was vastly better. Her nausea disappeared. There were still incredible mental and emotional scars that made sex difficult, but her appetite for it returned in force. Two months after quitting (three months after the wedding), she was pregnant.

After our first daughter was born we ignorantly decided to try the BC again. Breastfeeding was a hellish nightmare (thanks to a lack of lactation consultants) and parenting did not seem like something we wanted to do more of at that point.

Side effects came right back full force. She was told “oh, those aren’t side effects” yet again.

Funny how they disappeared shortly after she stopped taking the pill for the second time.

The labels did vaguely mention that you could have suicidal thoughts as a side-effect. But it was listed as an almost unheard of side effect. Our only guess is that women who do not suffer from Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) rarely have those side effects. Or that doctors simply don’t care.

She was never screened for PMDD, we didn’t know she had it until almost ten years later. But the diagnosis made everything make sense. Any fluctuation in hormones brings about emotional and mental changes in her. Birth control, pregnancy, and breastfeeding each had their own effects, whether nausea or severe depression or decreased libido. Like clockwork she gets severe depression about ten days before her period and starts feeling better immediately upon menstruation. Then she is healthy for a week or so after, before plunging back down again.

Most doctors don’t even know what PMDD is, it’s just not on their radar. They are convinced that BC simply doesn’t have any emotional side effects. They barely listened to her about the nausea.

It’s almost like they have an agenda to push. Hence the “you don’t want to be inconvenienced by a baby” comment.

Needless to say, hormonal birth control is definitely not for us. Since this happened to us we have talked to dozens of women who had similar experiences, even ones without PMDD.

If you decide to use it and you experience similar side effects, don’t let the doctor tell you that you are crazy or that you should just switch until you find one that works. Get your hormones checked and talk to a doctor about the possibility of PMDD. It took a general practitioner about ten minutes to make the diagnosis and prescribe medication and other therapies. Now she is healthier emotionally than she has ever been.

It’s not worth living in misery when there are other ways to go about preventing pregnancy.

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Killing the Seed: How Hormonal Birth Control Violates the Sixth Commandment

avacoado

In my previous post I talked about how I don’t believe sperm by itself is a “seed” and therefore I don’t believe that birth control methods which block sperm are immoral in and of themselves. Today I’d like to talk about how a fertilized egg is a seed.

If we continue the analogy of conception being like sowing seeds in a garden, the fertilized egg is what is “planted” in the uterus. The fertilized egg (zygote), unlike a sperm, has a very real potential of growing into an adult.

Most “pro-choice” people will argue that life does not begin until some magic moment such as the first breath or even later. But logic concludes that two living cells do not come together to form a non-living blob of tissue. The sperm is alive, the egg is alive, therefore the fertilized egg is alive as well. Not only is it alive, it contains its own unique strand of DNA. It is not identical to its mother or its father. Nor is it a mutation like cancer. Thus the zygote is a living person and under the requirements of the Sixth commandment, should be protected as such.

Unlike sperm, the fertilized egg is not just a potential life, it is a life. And without the next step of implantation that life will end. Blocking the zygote from implantation ends that life.

Most birth control pills and the IUD work primarily through preventing ovulation or fertilization, but in the rare instance that these mechanisms fail they also have the effect of making the uterine walls inhospitable to implantation by the fertilized egg.

In recent times, politically charged “science” has called into question whether this is actually one of the mechanisms of hormonal birth control. We actually know very little about how the pill works, we know it prevents ovulation, we know it prevents sperm from reaching egg, and we know it thins the uterine lining or changes the chemical environment of the uterus. Given the third one it makes sense to err on the side of caution and assume that it also prevents implantation of the “seed”.

And even if we consider it a slim possibility that the egg will be released, then fertilized and then make it to the uterus, this slim possibility that one will be responsible for the death of another human being should be enough to persuade us to avoid these methods.

Many will argue that if we reach my conclusion we will also have to assume that natural miscarriages are sinful too. What makes the elective abortion different from the natural miscarriage?

This should be obvious, one is willful, the other is not. A woman who naturally miscarries cannot be help morally culpable for the death of her child, she was most likely not in control of the situation that led to the miscarriage.

Stay tuned next week for an analysis of side effects…

*I realized after I was almost done writing this that one could conclude that I am calling all users of hormonal birth control sinners. Please be assured that you are not a part of this category if you are abstaining from sex and taking birth control for reasons other than contraception.

“Equality” and the “A Word” 

“Should individuals be denied their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness simply because they are different looking than you?”

There is not much to say about the Women’s March that hasn’t already been said, good or bad. Most of what I have seen from both sides has been vulgar and not worth listening to. I’ll get to that another post. 
What I will say now is that I completely agree with treating women with respect and honor and as equal to men in rights and protection under the law. I fully support the right of people to protest and speak out against abuse and aggression. I have no problem with speaking truth to power and making sure the underrepresented are represented properly in law and culture. 

Which is why I support the rights of the unborn.

So much has been said mocking the women marching around the world. So much bile has been spewed from their opponents, someone has to stand up and actually pick on a principle not just on people. 

These women are people, and people don’t deserve abuse. As opponents to their ideals,  we don’t need to make jokes about their weight. We don’t have to make sandwich jokes. We don’t have to mock their poorly spelled signs. We should be better than that. We should be mature enough to hit where it counts: right in the hypocrisy. 

They claim to be marching for equal rights. But are they? 

Access to abortion is not a “right”, it is a privilege. A right is something every human being is created with. A privilege is something bestowed by elites upon those they have power over. The privilege of abortion is only given to women, by lawmakers interested in keeping women voters in lock step. 

Men have no such privilege. This is hardly equality. These women are not honestly concerned with equality, they are interested in keeping their privilege. The politicians who grant them the privilege are not concerned about equality either, they just want votes.  

Abortion is not just a privilege that women have that men do not, it is a privilege they have over very very young people. I will refrain from using emotionally charged words like “baby” and I will simply call them what they are: people, persons, individuals. 

Far too many of these women are claiming they should have the privilege of murdering a specific group of individuals simply based on the age of those individuals. 

I have heard the arguments before: persons in the womb have no self-awareness. Neither does a sleeping person, or a person in a coma. We do not murder the comatose or sleeping and justify it by saying “they weren’t self aware so it was okay.” Why do we do this with pre-born people? Do we even know how self-aware they are? 

“Oh, but they aren’t really alive.” So you mean to tell me that two living cells came together and started multiplying into some sort of undead/unliving vampiric lump of tissue? This is what you consider a person before they escape the trappings of the womb? 

“Oh, but they aren’t people.” By all objective standards,  a fetus is an individual with unique human DNA and as they grow, miniature human organs. There is nothing unhuman about a person before they are born. They simply don’t look like adults. 

“Oh, but they are trespassing in the womb.” No. You put them there. You made a choice to create the circumstances where this person is now dependent on you for sustenance until they self-evict from the womb. 

Let’s say you owned a dock, opened it to the public, and kept it in disrepair. Let’s say someone fell off the dock and into the water. You have the ability to save them but you don’t. Instead you let them drown. Are you morally culpable?

Let’s say you actually pushed them into the water, then sat there and watched them drown. In both instances you would be culpable for murder, one count involuntary, the other voluntary. By your actions you put those people in positions of dependence on you. 

When a women places herself in a situation where she might get pregnant, by having sex, she is creating a circumstance where another person can come into existence. The individual who takes up residence inside of her was placed there by her actions. This is not trespass. This individual should not be punished for her actions. 

Yes, less than 1% to 3% (depending on who you ask) of abortions are performed on rape victims. Rape is a crime, it is a violation of the NAP, it is abhorrent and disgusting. There is a great amount of pain and vulnerability involved in rape, more than I, as a man,  could ever understand. 

I do not claim that women who have been raped are in any way culpable for their rape. I don’t care what she is wearing, I don’t even really care if she was drunk. She is a victim and is not morally culpable or responsible for the life that is within her.

However, the person in the womb is not responsible for the rape either. The death penalty should not be carried out on an innocent party.

In the case of a woman pregnant by rape, the rapist is the party responsible for the individual in the womb. The rapist should be made to pay all medical expenses, the cost of the delivery, and the entire cost of adopting the child out. They should pay further restitution to the rape victim and the child up to a limit determined by a judge. 

“But it’s my body, my choice.” Yes, you have ownership of your body, but they too, have ownership of theirs. You do not have the right to treat them as property for your disposal any more than a man should have the right to treat women as property at his disposal.

If you feel that somehow your age gives you some sort of privilege over the unborn, you are no better the chauvinist pigs who feel their sex gives them privilege over women. 

Those who support the privilege of murdering the inconvenient are no better morally speaking than those who supported keeping slavery legal. 

Slavery supporters in this nation used color as an excuse to deny rights to an entire class of individuals. Those who support keeping abortion legal use age and dependency as an excuse to deny rights to an entire class of individuals.

Women of the marches tell me this: should individuals be denied their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness simply because they are different looking than you? 

If your answer is yes, than you are no better than the creeps you protest against.