The Equality Pill

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Crossposted from Time.com.

They called it the birth control pill to signal its primary purpose, but it would have been apt to call it the equality pill.

Hormonal birth control, first available only as a pill and now in a variety of forms, is arguably the single most important technological innovation in the emancipation of women.

And Ricki Lake opposes it.

Lake, who became the celebrity avatar of the home birth movement with her movie The Business of Being Born, is embarking on a new documentary based on Holly Grigg-Spall’s book Sweetening the Pill.

Opposition to the birth control pill is opposition to women’s emancipation.

Grigg-Spall claims:

Depression, anxiety, paranoia, rage, panic attacks — just a few of the effects of the Pill on half of the over 80% of women who pop these tablets during their lifetimes. When the Pill was released, it was thought that women would not submit to taking a medication each day when they were not sick. Now the Pill is making women sick. However, there are a growing number of women looking for non-hormonal alternatives for preventing pregnancy. In a bid to spark the backlash against hormonal contraceptives, this book asks: Why can’t we criticize the Pill?

How did Lake, who advocates women’s empowerment by taking childbirth out of hospitals and returning it to the home, come to criticize what is arguably the greatest source of women’s empowerment of all time, as well as a tremendous boon to women’s health?

Surprisingly, the path is rather straightforward. She’s part of a natural parenting movement that is anti-hospital birth, anti-epidural and anti-formula — technological innovations that have made the legal, political and especially the economic liberation of women possible. Opposition to the Pill is the next logical step of that philosophy.

For most of human history, women have been reduced to slaves to their biology.

Childbirth is inherently dangerous and has always been a major cause of death for young women. Hospital birth changed that.

Childbirth is routinely agonizing and has always been a source of tremendous fear and suffering. Epidurals changed that.

Breastfeeding bound women to the home and posed serious health problems for babies of mothers who couldn’t produce enough milk and turned to unsafe supplements. Infant formula changed that.

But the single biggest factor in women’s enslavement to their biology has been the inability to control their fertility — blighting sexual enjoyment, imposing tremendous economic hardship of unwanted children, and bringing death to young mothers who agonized over being torn from their older children. The Pill changed that.

Yes, the Pill has side effects, but they are nothing compared to the side effects of pregnancy or abortion. Lake is apparently horrified that in rare cases, the Pill can lead to blood clots, and possibly death. She conveniently elides the fact that pregnancy also can lead to blood clots and death, as well as pre-eclampsia, hemorrhage and complications of pre-existing medical conditions. It’s worse than disingenuous to bemoan the Pill as a cause of death when pregnancy has a much higher death rate than the Pill, and the Pill prevents pregnancy.

The Pill isn’t simply a contraceptive; it improves women’s health in other ways. It regulates irregular menstrual cycles, leading to less blood loss as well as a reduced risk of endometrial cancer and precancerous lesions. It controls endometriosis, a painful condition that afflicts many women. Moreover, long term use of the Pill appears to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

The technology of the 20th Century — hospital birth, epidurals, infant formula and especially the Pill — freed women from being slaves to their biology.

Opposition to the birth control pill is opposition to women’s emancipation.

It’s bad science, it’s anti-feminist, and it will kill women.

  • sdsures

    Sounds as though if Lake had hr way, we’d all be barefoot in the kitchen.

  • Who?
  • Stacy48918

    Just saw Dr. Amy’s tweet, comparing Ricki Lake’s campaign against birth control to Jenny McCarthy and vaccines. I have to disagree somewhat. Being anti-vaccine is pretty passive, requiring little effort – just don’t get shots. And as long as your kid doesn’t get sick – and most don’t because of herd immunity – has no observable negative consequences.

    Birth control on the other hand? Alternatives are labor intensive and there are readily observable consequences 9 months down the road.

    I don’t think the anti-birth control thing will take off the way the anti-vaccine movement did.

  • RMY

    The pill didn’t work for me (I never relied on it for birth control, I always used condoms, and it caused my horrible migraines to get worse). I came out of the closet after that, so I didn’t need birth control. While I was trying to get pregnant and tracking and stuff like NFP-style stuff, I noticed my ovulation date varies by over a week. If that were my birth control method, it’d mean I’d need to abstain for like over half the month. :-/ I’m not sure if “not having sex” really should count as a useful birth control method.
    Although, whenever I go to the doctor, I put down “monogamous lesbianism” down as my current birth control.

    • Trixie

      I love my IUD so much I’d keep it even if I never had heterosexual sex again. It has improved my life immensely. With I’d had it since the teen years.

    • Sarah

      Bet that’s got a pretty low failure rate.

    • Elaine

      I used fertility awareness when I was trying to get pregnant, but my cycles are pretty short and I’d have at least half each month not being “safe days”, so I’m not interested in using it for avoidance. But I know other women who have had great experiences with it, and more power to them. I’m certainly all for women learning all the facts about different methods, including non-hormonal ones, so they can decide what is best for them. I’m skeptical that Ricki Lake will provide an unbiased presentation of facts.

      • Who?

        My very catholic friend looked into the ‘natural’ thing before she was married and summed it up as: well, you can have sex whenever you don’t want to.

        She went on the pill.

        • Ardea

          …at which point (on the pill) I didn’t want to have sex, anyway.

          • Who?

            Yes that can happen, though I think for her it worked out fine.

    • ladyloki

      A friend of mine put down homosexuality in the “other” section regarding what type of BC she used. The doctor cracked up because it never occurred to him that yes, that was a valid method of birth control. Now that doctor’s office has homosexuality as the option on his forms for BC.

      • Cobalt

        It was a reported (although that doesn’t mean any significant amount of people actually did it) trend among college women 15 years or so ago to practice “LUGing”, shorthand for “Lesbian Until Graduation”. The idea being that not only would pregnancy be a non-issue, but women would be more supportive of each other during difficult school situations.

        My grandmother sent me several articles promoting it, but not only does my sexuality not work like that, I also knew of exactly zero women actually interested in trying it.

        For the few women whose sexuality does include attraction to other women though, homosexuality is as effective as abstinence with perfect use, and more effective than abstinence in practical use.

        • An Actual Attorney

          In my community, that’s always been a derisive term for a woman who was not really gay, but was expected to be married to a man and living as a sahm in the burbs within 10 years.

          • Cobalt

            How common of a behavior is it? And what drives it?

            It perplexes me that anyone would go so strongly against their orientation, and strikes me as incredibly rude to people who are actually lesbians. I would be furious if I had a partner that knew they didn’t like women but wanted to use my time and emotion under the pretense of a romantic relationship. I could have some sympathy if they were still struggling to come out (that’s something that can be incredibly difficult for some because of their environment) but straight girls don’t have that problem.

          • Life Tip

            In college, I had some friends that I would get drunk and experiment sexually with. It was fun. No pressure for any kind of romantic, emotional relationship or any pregnancy worries. As long as everyone is upfront about their desires/needs, I don’t see a problem. Manipulating someone into investing in a romantic relationship with you while you just want to screw around is awful though.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Manipulation is always cruel. Experimenting, exploring the range of your sexually, that’s cool.

          • Cobalt

            Good, honest, informed and consensual experimentation is different. And if it’s more fun with a sane amount of alcohol, that’s a choice adults can certainly make. It’s misrepresentation of self for the purpose of abusing a relationship that waves flags for me. Play all you like, just follow the rules, respect the other players, and make sure everyone’s playing the same game.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Eh, sexually can be fluid and college can be all about experimentation. And it’s basically a mean term, ime, rather than a description of a phenomenon. It’s sister term is LUR, lesbian until release. That’s less derisive, more descriptive, and probably way more actually common. I was just saying that I never heard it used affirmatively to describe a choice to avoid pregnancy.

          • Cobalt

            It was presented that way by a few media outlets, and we know they ALWAYS make sure to capture nuanced facts and would NEVER misrepresent or exaggerate a woman’s behavior. 😉

            I never came across any real life examples (aside from honest experimentation, which is different) and I lived in a women’s dorm in a progressive environment where actual homosexuality was accepted without reservation, so I’m inclined to discount it as an actual method.

        • sdsures

          I think I missed out on that experience at uni.

      • sdsures

        This is quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve read all day!

    • Therese

      A week variation in ovulation wouldn’t necessarily mean more abstaining, it just depends on how many days of fertile cervical fluid you have. If it is the same number of days each month, days of abstinence is not going to vary, even if ovulation varies.

      • RMY

        I generally began getting fertile cm at the same time each month regardless of if it was going to be a late month or not. It’s just come and go on my late months.

    • sdsures

      I have horrible migraines too, so I feel for you. Did your doctor ever suggest a progesterone-only pill? The estrogen in the combi-pill was what made my migraines worse (long story, I still have chronic migraines, but dealing with the Pill at least made a teensy difference).

      • RMY

        They did for cramps at one point, but it was expensive and less effective for cramps than one of those heating pad patches, I don’t really need birth control these days.

  • Liz Leyden

    The pill didn’t work for me. I didn’t get pregnant, but I couldn’t take the side effects. It’s nice to see someone questioning conventional wisdom about hormonal birth control.

    That said, why is FAM presented as the only alternative? I guess it can work if you remember to do it correctly, and your cycles are regular, and an unplanned pregnancy would not be a bad thing. Otherwise, it’s very complicated, with a high failure rate. If that had been my only alternative, I would’ve stayed on the pill.

    I admit that I haven’t read the book, but if the author wants to explore non-hormonal birth control options, why not explore barrier methods? What about IUDs, which are popular in Europe, but have had a bad reputation in the US since the Dalkon Shield? I used Mirena for 5 years. It’s not totally non-hormonal, and it caused some painful ovarian cysts, but I didn’t have the vomiting, labile moods, or depression that I had on the pill. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently recommended IUDs for sexually active teens. IUDs don’t protect against STDs and teens are generally not monogamous, but the pill and NuvaRing don’t protect against STDs, either.

    The book and movie sound like a good idea badly executed. The Pill may not be a one-size-fits-all birth control method, but neither is FAM.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      The pill didn’t work for me. I didn’t get pregnant, but I couldn’t take
      the side effects. It’s nice to see someone questioning conventional
      wisdom about hormonal birth control.

      Um, what do you think the “conventional wisdom hormonal birth control” is?

      The Pill may not be a one-size-fits-all birth control method,

      Oh, a strawman.

    • Dr Kitty

      Mirena IS hormonal.
      It releases levonorgestrel, a progestogen, but because it is intrauterine the dose needed to give 99.5% efficacy is very, very low, as it is released exactly where it needs to be and so it has fewer systemic side effects.
      90% of women with Mirena will enjoy the bonus of shorter, lighter, less painful periods.

      I loved both of my Mirenas, am quite sad I will have to use an alternative.

  • yentavegan

    the pill was not invented for women’s freedom. It was created to make women sexually available to multiple men without the commitment of offspring lurking in the background. The pill is hormonal repression and has destroyed young college educated women from safeguarding their chastity.

    • Who?

      Women on the pill can and do say no, if they want to. Just means pregnancy isn’t an issue for them. Behaving respectfully of yourself and others, and taking care of your health, are all still important.

      Taking the pill doesn’t have the side effect of making one lie in the road, legs akimbo, waiting for a handy penis to pass by.

      • yentavegan

        The pill is given to young women before they are old enough to know their self worth or to even value their virginity. The pill give young women the illusion that they are mature enough to be freely sexually active without complications and sadly with out love.

        • Who?

          That may well be a parenting and social issue-my children knew their value and worth from a very young age.

          I don’t consider virginity to be valued. Fetishing virginity actively militates against young women valuing their brains, hearts and spirituality for the sake of a shred of skin.

          I grew up in that environment, it’s a disgraceful way to operate if you want to teach young women to value themselves as a whole person.

          • attitude devant

            Don’t forget chastity. She wants them to safeguard their chastity. (What does that even mean?)

          • yentavegan

            who is “she”, the cat’s mother?

          • Who?

            I can’t even go there. Heavy petting can be way dirtier (all going well) than straight sex, surely? Not clear how that’s chaste?

          • Roadstergal

            “I don’t consider virginity to be valued.”

            Virginity is a state with some advantages and some disadvantages. It was useful to me through college. It’s not useful to me now. I hit puberty around the time my mother died, and my father continued my education by being honest with me about the joys and potential pitfalls of relationships, love, and sex. That empowered me to make reasonable decisions around my own sexuality given my own preferences and life goals.

          • Who?

            All fine-but virginity has no intrinsic value as a state, surely? You’re not worth less as a woman once your vagina has been entered by a penis?

            Is a virgin who is raped still a virgin? Is a lesbian who has sex a virgin? (sorry, I don’t get out much).

            I’m strongly in favour of self respect and respect for others. Assuming young women are tricked or induced into sex and then lose value because of it is incomprehensible to me.

          • Roadstergal

            I agree, it has no intrinsic value. It’s a risk/benefit tradeoff, and the Pill changes some parts of the Risk side.

          • SuperGDZ

            I think you mean abstinence rather than virginity.

          • Roadstergal

            Hm, I think abstinence is also a state with some advantages and disadvantages, but not to sound too fundie, but I do think virginity is different. Losing it has the potential to be a very emotionally charged experience (not always, but _can_ be), and I felt like I wanted to be emotionally prepared for that possibility before losing it, and I wanted to put some thought into who I was going to lose it to, and that was all something I thought was best put off.

            Once I had lost my virginity, I found that abstinence didn’t have the same value to me. With a better sense of my own relationship to sex, I found having FWB during stressful/busy times was best for me.

        • Roadstergal

          Yeah, nothing made me value my self-worth like painfully debilitating period cramps.

          • yentavegan

            Well then you are the exception that proves the rule. You did not take the pill because it was given to you without your parents knowledge so as to induce you into acting out sexually.

          • attitude devant

            Ahem. So all those kids who go to Planned Parenthood to get free pills are being induced to act out sexually.

          • Roadstergal

            And the Pill prevents women from telling men where their clitoris is, I’m gathering from the comment above?

          • yentavegan

            Give a 16 year old girl the pill , she will let her boyfreind know she is on the pill. Watch her spend the next 10 years unable to even teach her sexual partner how to bring her to orgasm…because the learning curve was robbed from her. I do blame the Pill for a whole generation of women who think it is alright for her boyfriends not to please her sexually.

          • Roadstergal

            I blame the boyfriend, m’self. Plenty of nice young men and women out there consider bringing their female partner to orgasm an integral part of the sexual act.

          • Who?

            You bet.

          • yentavegan

            You have all been drinking the kool aide. Yes the Pill is a liberating vehicle when taken by a mature women in a stable committed relationship,( no STD risk). But in the hands of teenage girls the pill wrecks havoc.

          • Megan

            I started the pill when I was 16 and somehow managed to become a successful physician. I’ve only had two partners my entire life, my first at age 19. Imagine that!

          • yentavegan

            Sorry to ask..why Hormonal birth control 3 years before you became sexually active?

          • Megan

            For PCOS primarily but also at the time I was thinking about having SSC with my boyfriend at the time. After getting the pill I decided I wanted to wait longer. So obviously the pill didn’t cause me to make poor decisions.

          • Megan

            SSC should read sex. Sorry, autocorrect.

          • Roadstergal

            FSC/SSC?

          • Megan

            No idea what my autocorrect thought I wanted to say… Misplaced love for my soft structured carrier perhaps? 🙂

          • Roadstergal

            Lol, I thought I had caught another flow cytometry nerd.

          • Megan

            Sorry. Flow cytometry was a long time ago. Afraid I dont’ remember it much anymore!

          • Who?

            I’ve heard this a lot-being on the pill takes the pressure off young women, so they can choose what to do not worrying about getting pregnant.

          • Allie P

            I was also on the pill years before I became sexually active. Because I didn’t know when might want to become sexually active.

          • yentavegan

            you went on to become a physician..you do know you are not the norm right? My daughter;s could study their brains out and never get into med school. You do know some of that is just luck of the genetic draw coupled with opportunity, right?

          • Megan

            What does that have to do with the pill and promiscuity?

          • yentavegan

            you saw options as a young woman with good grades. The majority of women do not have your intellect to visualize into the future.

          • Megan

            I was merely pointing out that the pill didn’t “wreak havoc” on my life. And I never decided to be a doctor until I was 22. I had no idea what I wanted to do until well I to college.

          • Who?

            That’s a bit harsh, surely? Planning ahead is at least as much about temperament as intellect I’d have thought, and lots of young people live in the moment anyhow.

          • KarenJJ

            There are plenty of very intelligent people that have made very foolish choices or just been plain unlucky. As a mother you just can’t control your kids lives such that they don’t suffer heartbreak, disappointment or regret.

          • Tiffany Aching

            Ok, so you’re basically calling your daughters stupid and you seem obsessed by their orgasms, and you really think that it is the pill that made their lives complicated ? Sorry but this is too much.

          • Trixie

            Yes!
            “My daughters are kind of dim and frigid, to boot, and it’s all that one guidance counselor’s fault!”

          • SuperGDZ

            Sounds like you feel that their virginity was all they had to offer the world and that they squandered it. I hope they don’t feel that way too.

          • Linden

            I too had the luck of genetic draw, plus opportunity. I started the pill in my teens. I am now an engineer. And a mother, at a time of my own choosing. The pill never took away the advantages I enjoyed. It *was* one of the advantages I enjoyed. Your argument sucks.

          • Roadstergal

            “in the hands of teenage girls the pill wrecks havoc.”

            Citation needed. The papers I’ve seen cite social factors as the most influential in risky sexual behavior – specifically, risky peer sexual behavior and parental disconnect.

          • yentavegan

            well then I must be a pretty crappy mother. Thanks

          • Who?

            Parenting teenagers is complex. And emotionally exhausting. And thankless.

            We all do the best we can, according to our values. Beautiful, caring parents have really challenging kids. Some families have 2 ‘perfect’ kids and one tearaway. What’s that about?

            This is all a combination of a lot of things. I’m not sure it’s helpful for you or your daughters to fixate on this one thing as the cause of all evil.

          • Roadstergal

            When did I say that?

          • yentavegan

            “parental disconnect”

          • Medwife

            Your daughters have had their hearts broken. That happens in life. It’s not the pill’s fault, and I’m not inclined to say it’s your fault either. They live in the world. They could have had their hearts broken AND be getting pregnant by the loser boyfriends. But they’re not, thanks to the pill and to providers who educated them on the pill’s proper use.

          • Trixie

            One thing excellent mothers of adult children do is not discuss their children’s sex lives on the interwebz.

          • Sarah

            Come on, nobody thinks that a teenager doing stuff she regrets and getting her heart broken is the fault of the mother. You can’t protect them forever. Your daughters now regret their teenage sexual activity, ok. That happens. I’m sorry for them, as I am for anyone who feels deep regret. That doesn’t mean they as individuals wouldn’t have done it without the Pill, and we know for sure that as a cohort, teenagers not given access to the Pill and other forms of contraception still have sex.

          • Siri

            I think we’ve established that already.

          • Tiffany Aching

            I really doubt your daughters would be happier today if they had their hearts broken AND unwanted pregnancies to boot.

          • yentavegan

            define risk. I am not talking risk. I am talking about broken hearts.

          • Roadstergal

            You’re talking absolutes that aren’t supported by evidence.

          • Who?

            Broken hearts are part of life. My son’s broken heart was one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with emotionally. I cried many tears for him.

            Watching him learn and grow after it has been such a privilege and it makes me proud of him.

          • SuperGDZ

            You can only learn and grow if you acknowledge your own agency in the choices you make, instead of assigning all responsibility to society, the government, the pill or whatever else.

          • Cobalt

            Sex does not equal love.

          • Kesiana

            I got my heart ripped out and stomped on by someone I truly loved in high school.

            Despite NEVER HAVING SEX.

            You’re insisting that girls’ hearts are ONLY accessible through their vaginas. And it’s a lie.

          • Who?

            This happened to me too, at uni.

            He treated the woman he married really badly, and turned out to be a total arse, so I was all good in the end but it took a while to get there.

          • Tiffany Aching

            Me too ! My worst heartbreak was caused by a man I never had sex with, though we were in an incredibly twisted and sad kind of relationship. And don’t tell yentavegan but having lots of sex out of a committed relationship with respectful partners after that helped me a lot to recover from it. It helped me regain confidence in myself, in my body, in my ability to be happy and feel pleasure again.

          • KarenJJ

            Same thing happened to me. He’s still a lovely guy and we’re still good friends but I’m so glad that we had that tearful talk and the heart break and that when my husband and I did get together than I was fully emotionally available and not clinging to a fantasy life. Plus he ended up being a vegetarian.. And I like steak..

            My experience with the pill was meh. One gave me inexplicable depression and loss of libido. The next I went on for a decade and when I came off it turned out I was actually infertile. So for me it ultimately felt like a large waste of money.

          • Froggggggg

            Same for me, just replace man with woman… No sex is needed for long-lasting heartbreak and permanent scars.

          • momofone

            Broken hearts are hard. And inevitable. And not dependent upon use of contraception.

          • Allie P

            My most horrible broken heart was when I was a virgin, he was a virgin, and there was no BC involved.

          • Gozi

            I’ve seen teenage girls who had cycles that didn’t allow them to go to school for several days out of the month. The pill is more than birth control.

            Ask older people. Teenage girls were having plenty of sex way before the pill came along.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            *raises hand* I can’t even remember how many days of school I missed after waking up in a pool of my own blood… And sometimes that was with with pill!

          • Gozi

            The mini pill made me bleed abnormally.

          • Tiffany Aching

            You would be surprised by the number of women who contracted stds because of an unfaithful husband. A committed relationship doesn’t completely eliminate std risk.

          • Mishimoo

            This! A thousand times this! One of my friends is infertile thanks to the selfishness of her lying, cheating ex.

          • Who?

            Isn’t everything always the boyfriend’s fault? It’s been a long time since I’ve dated but I seem to recall that’s how it went.

          • Allie P

            Personally, I blame romance novels of the 90s for teaching me to expect orgasms in bed. Say what you will about gender norms in those books, those men ALWAYS made sure their lady friends got off.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            My husband is rather disappointed if he can’t get me there. Sometime my antidepressants can cause that to happen. He likes to get me to the point of writhing extacy. Like “Damn I’m good!” mixed with being happy to make his wife happy. We like to make each other happy. XDXD

            Fortunately it seems more and more men are like that. It definitely makes women more eager to pleasure them too!

          • Who?

            Call me old fashioned, but 16 year olds should be playing sport and doing their homework, seeing their boyfriends in public or at her parents’ home with the door open at all times.

            It’s boring, and the kids hate it, but that’s parenting for me.

          • yentavegan

            Oh sister! There are forces out their influencing your children without your knowledge!

          • Who?

            Yes I’m sure. Mine are both over 16, so thankfully not my problem any more, but challenging as it was it was how we parented at that time.

          • Stacy48918

            I sure hope so!

          • Who?

            Exactly right.

          • Stacy48918

            My children are not my property. I hope they are being influenced by people and ideas other than what they hear at home – that’s how they will grow and mature and become well rounded individuals. Might be difficult for me as a parent (and my kids are still little) but it’s a necessary part of life.

          • Who?

            They are not, but you are responsible for them which means you do the best you can with the information at your disposal.

            I have so much admiration for what you’ve achieved over the last few months you’re already an amazing role model for your kids.

          • Stacy48918

            “They are not, but you are responsible for them”
            A big part of why I moved out… 🙂

          • Who?

            Parenting sometimes calls for big decisions.

          • momofone

            Let’s hope so! Let’s hope they’re getting some experience in and with the world that I’m not dictating or controlling. Scary, of course, but wholly necessary.

            Is it just me, or does Finding Nemo come to mind for anyone else?

          • KarenJJ

            I had a family member have a mental health crisis earlier this year and was focussing enormously on the decisions of one of her adult children and the deep regrets she had about not guiding her to make better choices as a teenager. I hope yentavegan is doing OK.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            And you’re not confident that you taught your children to be able to choose who or what to listen to?

            They’ll be adults some day if they’re not already and will need to learn to function independently. Keeling them from being able to make those choices unsupervised doesn’t help them. And we all have free will. They will make their own choices on whether they listen or not. Your children aren’t yours to control forever.

          • attitude devant

            Worked for me! No boys in the house if I was not home, not even ‘friends’ and no visits to houses where I deemed supervision inadequate.

          • Who?

            Are you my evil twin?

          • attitude devant

            Well, possibly we had the same mother. Seriously, if you keep them busy and keep them in plain view it prevents a HOST of ills, not all of them concerning reproduction.

          • Who?

            A tired teenager is a well behaved teenager (often with a broke and exhausted parent lurking somewhere in the background).

          • attitude devant

            Crew!! Crew is the BEST! In that damn boat all day long sweating and dirty. And the boys in a boat nearby, all sweating and dirty too. And besides, if you can pilot an eight, how can ANY boy impress you ever again.

          • Who?

            Too right. We’re bulit like coxes not rowers around here, but I do know what you mean.

            I have a son then a daughter, and a big brother is also a terrific inoculation against boys generally. They are around the house, they say stupid stuff, they smell weird and they also critique the possible boyfriends very harshly.

            Though we did have some rules around his friends being in the house with no parents at home until the girl and her friends left school. I didn’t want to put the boys at risk of ever being accused of anything. Again, boring but necessary.

          • attitude devant

            LOL, but one of mine WAS a cox. And she came home regularly saying “I’m not going to date! Boys are stupid and they don’t do what I tell them to!”

          • Roadstergal

            *infantile giggle at cox*

            Oddly enough, when I played rugby, I wasn’t a hooker.

          • Dr Kitty

            I coxed for my university men’s boat club my first year.

            The dynamic becomes rather different when you’re spending a minimum of 16 hours a week with a group of extremely fit and attractive men who literally do everything you tell them to, when you all live away from home, can legally drink and have sex, and the training doesn’t leave a lot of time to meet other people…fun times, no regrets.

            I strongly suggest you encourage your daughters who cox to join the Women’s Boat Club at their future university if you’re hoping that rowing will continue to keep them away from boy trouble.

          • Cobalt

            I teach horseback riding lessons. My students leave dirty, sweaty, reeking of manure and horse, and with the confidence to control (at speed and over jumps) a half ton animal with a brain the size of a walnut. And they can’t ride if they get pregnant.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I was going to say horse riding! Also as a parent be willing to do a sport that you can do together. Tandem kayaking can be challenging and tiring, hiking too.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Like dogs! Also like dogs, get them to chase a ball. You know, baseball, basketball, tennis, lacross, football, soccer.

          • Gozi

            Here Here!

          • Dr Kitty

            My best friends in High School had, respectively, a grandfather who summered in France and left my friend’s mother the key to his house ( obviously copied several times by my friend) and a mother who bought a house near our school, which she was renovating to flip.

            What that meant was that my group had access to empty houses, with beds, after school and most weekends, without our parents knowing, for the last two years of High School.

            Those houses, while probably from our parents’ nightmares, were actually great. We’d invite only the boys we liked, we’d get pizza and a maybe a bottle of wine and watch cheesy horror movies, before maybe adjourning to the bedrooms with the partner or partners of their choice. No one got pregnant, no one did anything they didn’t consent to, and we all looked out for each other.
            Quite far from the “Animal House” that teen house parties conjure in the imagination.

            But I realise that my teenage experiences are atypical.

          • Who?

            And that’s great, and I’d agree atypical.

            As parents we have our own values and do our best according to those and our knowledge of our own child or children.

            That sounds fantastic to me for the 18 year olds who really do have responsibility for themselves. I’m not so comfortable with it for 15-16 year olds.

            And I’m guessing you were getting your homework done as well.

          • Dr Kitty

            Oh yeah- my circle of friends were the high achieving Oxbridge- bound nerds…who had odd house parties.
            We’re lawyers and doctors and nuclear engineers and things now.

          • Who?

            Nerds often have good house parties.

            Sounds like a gorgeous time.

          • Tiffany Aching

            Wow. I really hope you didn’t really watch your daughter trying to teach her boyfriend how to give her an orgasm. I’ve been on the pill since I was 16 and it didn’t affect my “learning curve” – actually those times when I discovered sex with my boyfriends (yes ! There were several ! What à slut I am !) are some of my fondest memories (ah, the summer of 98’…)

          • Trixie

            You just love talking about the ways your daughters reach orgasm, don’t you?

          • Tiffany Aching

            That said, I’d have a very hard time reaching orgasm too if I’d imagined my mother commenting it on the internet every time I had sex.

          • Trixie

            Good point.

          • Allie P

            WHAT. Um, the pill is NOT to blame for a woman not communicating her needs in bed.

          • AllieFoyle

            One, this makes no sense. Two, even if there were a kernel of truth in the idea that access to the pill led to unfulfilling relationships, why couldn’t they improve the situation now and in the future? A broken heart isn’t terminal; you can change your interaction with your current partner or find another one. I don’t understand — your daughters are young and can change their futures positively. Maybe it would be more helpful to encourage them in that way, rather than bemoaning events of the past.

          • An Actual Attorney

            And this is where multiple partners come in handy (no pun intended) as does masturbation.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Which generation is this? Google Nikki Minaj, for example.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I blame parents who didn’t tell their daughters that their sexual pleasure was not negotiable in favor of using the Virginity Boogymen personally. Also parents who didn’t teach their sons to consider a woman’s pleasure during sex.

            Also the woman missing out on an orgasm and the man rolling over and going to sleep joke has been around far longer I’ve even been alive. It’s nothing new.

          • Megan

            I was on the pill when I was dating my husband and I was his first. Funny, somehow he still knew where to touch me and was a great partner despite my contraception. He sought to learn how to pleasure me from the beginning. Many young men do care about women enjoying sex as much as they do.

          • Gozi

            Wait, what? I missed something!

          • yentavegan

            YES

          • attitude devant

            Your assertions are absurd. There is PLENTY of literature on teen sexuality and access to birth control does not encourage earlier sexual behavior. Your ‘keep ’em chaste by keeping ’em afraid’ message is right out of the 1950s. My girls were both on the pill at early ages, one for heavy bleeding and one for acne, and neither one had sex before age 20. Get over yourself! Just because you don’t approve of your daughters’ choices, don’t prescribe your attitudes for the rest of young women. Would you be happier if they’d gotten pregnant?

          • yentavegan

            I do regret the sadness they are now experiencing. I wish they had the power to go back to their highschool aged selves and refrain from letting the school counselor introduce them to Planned Parenthood and the Pill. I wish I had the fortitude to forbid them to take the Pill but I was bamboozled by the social worker who spoke to the parents about the autonomy rights of our teen agers.

          • Megan

            But who’s to say that they wouldn’t have engaged in the same behavior if they hadn’t gotten on the pill (which is what the studies support)? Then the consequences could’ve been much worse. Wouldn’t you have been devastated if they’d gotten pregnant in high school?

          • attitude devant

            So now at 26 they have the sads that they aren’t virgins? You cannot be serious.

          • Allie P

            People make decisions they regret as teens. But I don’t think that it was the pill that caused those decisions. Think about it this way — if they had NOT had the pill, they probably would have made those same regretful decisions, but with far more disastrous consequences. And it’s not as if the pill was the only options. You can buy condoms in a dispenser in a gas station bathroom. You cannot place the blame on a school counselor for your kids making decisions they would have made anyway.

          • momofone

            I don’t know your daughters, but the quickest way to ensure that teenage me did something was to forbid it.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Yeaaah I’m with you here. Know how my parents kept me from being a hellion with my car? They paid for my insurance andand gas when I was a teenager and it was clear this was a priveledge, not a right, that I had. I could go anywhere I wanted as long as I let them know where I was going and checked in when it got darkdark. Mostly because my car was an unreliable POS that I still loved. Be home by eleven unless agreed on otherwise.

            Never got in a wreck, never sped, never did anything stupid because I liked not having to worry about insurance and gas money. It was great! Other kids tried to tempt me to do things but then I’d realize they weren’t getting the same perks I was with their acting out. It was a fantastic deterant to reward for following the rules and not be stupid and consider the source of tempting voices trying to lead me to go against those rules.

            Never had my car keys taken away, never had the insurance and gas money held over my head or threatened to take away, it wasn’t ever mentioned really. Never found out what would happen because I never did anything stupid enough to find out. I still did stupid teenage stuff, but nothing property or life endangering.

          • momofone

            I had to pay for my car and insurance and gas, but I was pretty stupid, and my mouth got away from me pretty frequently. I had keys/car taken, and was fortunate to get them back. I took great care of the car (which was a year younger than I was), and like you, did stupid things, but nothing property or life endangering, just cost me a lot of time when I could have been doing other things.

          • Who?

            They gave you responsibility in boundaries they were comfortable with and you stepped up. And everyone gets something they want.

            Perfect.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Yeah, it’s almost like you’re supposed to gradually teach your kids to be independent and functional adults that understand actions have consequences instead of brow browbeating them into it with guilt and depreciating their self worth or something! 😀

          • Who?

            Well that will never catch on!

            And the thing is your parents would have had no idea if you ever broke that rule-realistically, how would they-but you knew, sure as day follows night, that if you did, and they found out, the natural and inevitable consequence would be no car. It’s not even a punishment really, just a consequence of your own choices.

            All that said, I’m sure your parents watched that clock creep towards 11 many times, particularly in the early days.

          • An Actual Attorney

            If they are sad now about a high school relationship that was, as I understand it, a decade ago, they need therapy stat. You certainly do. You have lost perspective.

            Also, they knew all about the pill long before anyone told them how to get it legally at pp.

          • Trixie

            You are so full of shit.

          • yentavegan

            I want to share with you that although my opinions may be stupid in your eyes, I still try to be nice when confronted by dissenting voices. I have never said anything mean spirited to you just because we don’t see eye to eye on an issue.

          • Who?

            You’re right, the name calling is rude.

            But it’s sad-and a bit frustrating-to see you making yourself so miserable about this ancient history and what you perceive to be your now adult daughters’ sexual problems. You can’t change what happened, but even if you can’t find a way to re-frame it, or put it behind you, you could perhaps find a way to not feel so unhappy about it now.

          • Trixie

            It’s not mean to talk about your daughters being dumb and frigid on the internet with a picture of your face attached?

          • Gozi

            Induced by whom?

          • Megan

            But many studies have shown that access to reliable contraception does not cause teens to be more promiscuous or have sex earlier. That’s why abstinence only education doesn’t work.

          • yentavegan

            Studies apply to other women’s children. Age 16 is normal for sexual curiosity, the pill is like giving permission to take that curiosity and fling it to the wind.

          • Megan

            My point is that studies show they would do that anyway, pill or not.

          • Mattie

            I live in a country where 16 is the legal age of consent (also the legal age of consent in the majority of US states), so 16 year old young women are perfectly legally and morally allowed to go and get contraception and they don’t have to tell anybody else about it. The pill doesn’t give girls permission to have sex, the law does that, the pill allows women to prevent pregnancy (as well as treat other horrible problems caused by periods/hormones etc..)

            The real question is why did your daughters feel unable to talk to you about it? Perhaps you should look at your own failings before blaming everyone else.

          • Ardea

            Please take a human reproductive biology class at the college level.

          • Medwife

            Well, I was seventeen when I ASKED for the pill without my parents’ knowledge because I was “induced into acting out sexually” by my sex drive and knew I should be using a backup method for condoms. The virginity train had left the station. What I really cared about holding onto was my nulliparity. Now there’s a realistic goal.

          • Cobalt

            “What I really cared about holding onto was my nulliparity.”

            I’m going to need to steal this, because it is perfect.

          • Allie P

            Can’t like this enough. “holding on to my nulliparity!” When I realized how easy it was for me to get pregnant (when at last I was off the evil pill and trying), I was shocked — SHOCKED– that it had never happened before. (I’m literally 2 for 2 on pregnancy as a result of “unprotected”sex.)

          • Siri

            You are accusing medical professionals of prescribing birth control to INDUCE young women to have sex? Have you any idea how crazy that sounds? Yentavegan, there is something very wrong with you, and I advise you to seek help instead of plastering your issues all over this page. It makes for fascinating reading, but your mental health is more important than our entertainment.

          • SporkParade

            If she’s the exception, then how can it be that I was on the pill for 7 years before I first had sex? Also, you could make the exact opposite argument – that young women are being given the pill to repress their libidos in exactly the age where they are old enough to be interested but too young to make wise decisions.

          • Allie P

            “so as to induce you to start acting out sexually?” That’s either the craziest thing I’ve ever heard or a specific isolated case of severe medical mismanagement (or, more likely, the excuse a kid gives to her furious parents when they are trying to deflect blame.)

        • attitude devant

          I don’t value virginity. Why should anyone value virginity? What’s so awesome about ignorance and inexperience?

        • Gozi

          That’s not the pill. That is poor parenting.

        • Trixie

          Why should we value virginity?

          • LibrarianSarah

            Because how else will we decide how many oxen a girl’s father is entitled to?

          • Who?

            Okay that’s funny. Depressing, but funny.

          • EllenL

            LOL LOL LOL

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I want to be an eight cow wife!

          • momofone

            Damn it. I’m thinking I’m probably more like a couple of chickens and a runty goat.

        • anotheramy

          Your last sentence sums up very well for me my concerns about the messages our culture seems to send about sex: that there’s no complications, that sex is expected (which leads me to wonder about consent and pressure.) I think there’s a lot of emotions involved in sex (not always, of course. I realize that some people enjoy sex with no strings attached) and I wonder if teens are able to handle the emotional complications of sex? I certainly didn’t have the self-worth or maturity to do so as a teen.
          I wouldn’t blame the pill for all that, though. It’s just one piece of the puzzle.

          • just me

            I don’t think anyone’s saying”hey we want our teenage daughters and sons to have sex”.. But the reality is a lot of them are gonna do it. Better be safe. Same with the hpv vax. As Bristol Palin has aptly shown abstinence education does not work…

          • An Actual Attorney

            So tell kids that. The message that most delayed sex for me (maybe one of two) was from a friend’s mom, the ministers wife. She said that if we were curious, we were about 13, we should know that sex is great. Much better than we could ever imagine. And as obsessed as we were, if we had sex, we’d be even more obsessed and emotional. So if we didn’t think we could handle that, we should wait. Genius advice.

        • Dr Kitty

          http://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-protection-system/legal-definition-child-rights-law/gillick-competency-fraser-guidelines/

          Sorry, no, it isn’t.
          I prescribe the pill to young teens to help manage menstrual problems, usually while their mother sits beside them.
          I prescribe the pill to young teens who have just got a serious boyfriend and whose mother is sitting beside them, because she doesn’t want to be a granny yet.
          I prescribe the pill to terrified teens who have come to me for emergency contraception, and who don’t want that to happen again.
          I prescribe the pill to totally self assured teens who know exactly what they are doing, haven’t yet had sex but want to, and have mothers like you who won’t support them.

          What I don’t do is hand it out like candy, and you may be insulted by name calling, but I’m pretty damn insulted when my professional judgement and practice is impugned.
          You know how many pregnant under 18s I have had on my books in the last year? Zero.

          It is ok to regret bad relationships, or doing things you didn’t really want to do, but the answer to that is about self esteem, being a good judge of character and enthusiastic consent so you can learn from mistakes- not trying to enforce chastity through reduced contraceptive access.

          Anyhow, I met my husband when I was 19, we’ve been together almost 15 years and married for almost 10.
          And I went on the pill at 16 and REALLY enjoyed the freedom it gave me to explore my sexuality with multiple partners.
          I’m not damaged goods, it meant that when I met the love of my life I could recognise our relationship as the special thing it was, and how truly physically compatible we are.
          I’ve never had to worry that there was something or someone better out there, I know I’ve got the best at home.

          So while I am sorry that your daughters don’t seem to be able to get over previous bad decisions, I’m going to be raising my kids in a much more sex positive home.

          • Sarah

            I would also like to spell out, as Dr Kitty is probably too modest to do so, that a GP in the Greater Belfast area with no pregnant under 18s on her books is doing something very, very right. The UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe, though NI is doing some sterling work to reduce it, and it’s particularly high in the most deprived areas. Of which Belfast boasts plenty.

          • Who?

            I don’t sign in, so I can’t select upvote, but I would if I could to this one.

        • Montserrat Blanco

          I took the pill for years. I even did not disclose to all of my partners I was taking it, I used it as a back up method in case a condom broke. I lost my virginity when I wanted with who I wanted. And I do value myself very much. I valued my virginity, I just did not think that it was something sacred to be preserved forever. And I am still in favour of that view. I am happy I did not wait until I was over 30 and met and married my husband. I do not think a woman’s value is reduced to her virginity and I find it pretty offensive to suggest so.

        • An Actual Attorney

          I am so glad I learned the difference between a mind blowing orgasm and mind blowing love.

        • DelphiniumFalcon

          Or it could give them the illusion of having some color in their skin because they’re no longer bleeding to death seven to eight days out of the month. Just a thought.

      • DelphiniumFalcon

        Sorry that just reminds me of what my mom says when people say they had sex on accident: “What, were you walking down the street with no underwear and tripped onto a random dick?”

        As I mentioned above, we can be a very blunt family.

        • Who?

          Or, as we say in our house-‘oh dear, must have tripped and landed on an erect penis’.

          Pregnancies (assuming consent) are unplanned, not accidental.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Yes! Love that one too!

            And yes that’s exactly it. We’re sticklers on language at times lol.

    • Roadstergal

      This is a Poe, right?

      • yentavegan

        Alas, no I am being brutally if not clumsily honest. I am the mother to adult women who have had their hearts broken and their menstrual cycles warped by the indiscriminate availability of the Pill.

        • Megan

          I’ll take a broken heart (that I can recover from) and an altered menstrual cycle over destitution and single motherhood.

          • yentavegan

            WHat ever happened to good old fashioned heavy petting?

          • Who?

            Happens all the time, even for us oldies….

          • Roadstergal

            Still going strong, as both foreplay and the main attraction.

          • somethingobscure

            This is simultaneously the best and worst comment that I’ve ever seen on the Internet.

          • EllenL

            The problem is, it doesn’t always end with petting. That’s been true forever. We can prevent a lot of damage to young peoples’ lives by making them aware of the responsibilities of their sexuality. And by making birth control available.

          • Cobalt

            “responsibilities of their sexuality”

            That’s the core issue right there. Sex, because it has risks and benefits and repercussions and potentially very far reaching consequences, requires a lot of responsibility on the part of the participants. Responsibilities to themselves, their partners, and to any humans created. Giving people the education and tools that allow them to meet these responsibilities is critical.

            Keeping young people ignorant of this is reckless at absolute best.

          • Who?

            And it’s unkind to and disrepectful of them as well. Assuming they won’t make good choices if they know all the facts and that they can’t appreciate the significance of those choices.

            And keep ’em tired and in plain view as a backup.

          • Amazed

            I am reminded of that one time when my mom told my brother, “No, kid, you cannot put the red wire into the wall-plug.” At which the three-year-old promptly left the red-insulated wire, grabbed the blue one and… three guesses what he tried to do?

            I repeat, he was three. He needed to have the choice taken from him. But that’s a behavior I hardly expect from a teen.

          • Who?

            Oh teens can be ratbags. Impulsive, rebellious and reckless of their own health and safety. While you’re still legally responsible and housing and feeding them, setting boundaries so they have choices they can safely make is really complex and important.

            And parents have rights too, including rights around what goes on in their house, what they will facilitate and what they will pay for.

            Finding the balance without permanently alienating everyone is exhausting.

          • Amazed

            Oh yes. But with teens, you can at least search for the balance since it rarely is a matter of life and death situation here, now. Different strokes for different ages. I really cannot see how you can keep a teen away from sex using the method that was used to cut another idea of the little brother I was talking about, namely that hanging halfway through the seventh-floor window totally must be done.

            No amount of conversations would have convinced him not to do it. Because – 2 y o. I have a trouble imagining a healthy and relatively smart teen who would be this clueless. Recklessness has nothing to do with it, it’s a matter of development. I was a horrible teen but I today, I still contend that I would have been offended to be treated as if I was stupid, equal to a toddler in my reasoning capacity, and not a horrible teen.

            Finding the balance is about the balance, not about assuming that the teen will automatically make the worst choice possible because she cannot possibly control her sex drive once she felt freed by getting access to birth control.

          • Who?

            Absolutely-the little one needs taking out of the situation, the older one deserves some space and respect.

            I was a very unhappy teen, and treated like I wasn’t to be trusted and my feelings were wrong and not to be trusted. No compromises, no acknowledgment of my general compliance and ‘good’ behaviour. As an adult I look back and see my parents fearing I would make bad choices, and behaving in response to those fears, and this went on well into my twenties.

            I never wanted to be that parent, and have done my best to not be.

          • Gozi

            And only focusing on pregnancy is criminal, IMO

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Ironically, only focusing on pregnancy as a consequence may be the reason some women will find themselves unable to become pregnant when they want to due to ignoring the risk and potential reproductive damage of STDs.

          • Gozi

            I am sorry, but petting makes me think of dogs. And no, not bestiality.

          • Siri

            Mind your own business. Really. Enjoy heavy petting to the point of orgasm; knock yourself out. Do you really not see how inappropriate it is for you to be so obsessed with how your daughters achieve their orgasms? It makes me cringe, and I’m on the other side of the Atlantic.

          • Linden

            How is it more likely to protect women from heartache compared to decent contraception and relationship uninhibited by fear of pregnancy?
            Really, it is like you’re aware that you are imposing impractical and unfair limitations on people’s sexual behaviour (unfair, because women usually bear the brunt of both unplanned and planned pregnancies). You give them an out. It is pointless.

          • Who?

            And if chastity is (part of) the issue, how in the world is heavy petting more chaste than PIV? I’d suggest if you’re doing it right, there’s no way it is.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Now I’m not the most sexually experienced person but stay with me! Generally I believe what happened is Petting started, shirts went one way, bra ended up on ceiling fan, pants went the other way, underwear on assorted lamps and Petting became the Horizontal Tango.

            Really? Heavy Petting is your answer? And you don’t expect sex to follow directly after? Damn, my self control must be shot to Hell then. Or doing the sexual equivalent of Tickling the Dragon’s Tail when you’re trying to avoid getting down and dirty is a bad idea.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            I personally like my “warped” menstrual cycle.

            Wanna talk about depression regarding the pill? How about dancing for thirteen years first with ballet and then tap and jazz multiple times a week to having to quit because of being too exhausted from heavy bleeding and missing half the class anyways every month because of having to run to the bathroom to change yet another overnight pad about to overflow ten minutes after just barely changing it. Knowing there’s nothing you can do about it because of all the hand wringing in Congress about the Pill until your parents and doctor finally say “screw it” and try it anyways.

            That really depresses a teenager. The pill was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I had my life back instead of being being at the whims of the Red Tide’s torrents.

            I was put on it at fourteen. I first had sex on my wedding night at twenty five. So take that attitude about warped menstrual periods and stuff it.

        • Tiffany Aching

          Or maybe they had their sex lives oddly shaped by their mother’s weird and bordering on unhealthy interest on what they did in bed with their boyfriends. Who knows.

          • Trixie

            I’m really glad my mom never posted on the internet about her daughters’ sex lives to a bunch of random strangers. Especially not under a profile picture with her face so that random internet strangers could probably identify her if they ever met her in real life.

        • Bombshellrisa

          I hope that you haven’t brought it up again and again, telling them if only they hadn’t taken the pill that they would be whole and happy.

        • Siri

          I think they’re more likely to have been damaged by your bizarre attitude to their sexuality, coupled with your tendency to ignore and transgress their boundaries.

        • Allie P

          I still don’t understand how the pill is to blame. My SIL is a social worker for teen moms. None of them have ever been on the pill. All of them have been treated terribly by deadbeat men who didn’t care one way or the other what happened to these girls. It ain’t the pill. The pill could have saved these young women.

        • Stephanie

          My heart has been broken by my sexuality, not by the men I slept with, but by the mother who thought I was broken and destroyed because of it.

        • Ardea

          That is ridiculous.

    • attitude devant

      I’ll tell you what’s repressive and destroying: having a baby before you’re ready for it emotionally, spiritually, educationally, and economically.

      • yentavegan

        and a healthy fear of unwanted pregnancy limits the kind of sexual release a young women avails herself to. Now adays their is no more heavy petting to mutual orgasm.Young men too self absorbed and too focused on just getting their penis in miss out on the learning curve to female orgasm.

        • Who?

          I think you need to meet a better class of young man, if the young women in my world are anything to go by. I’m left with the impression they are very engaged in their sexual pleasure and their partners share in this engagement.

          Which is awesome.

          • yentavegan

            How old are you? How old were you when you received your prescription for the Pill? Do you have daughters yet? Are they sexually active without a loving committment? Please do not really think I need you to answer these very personal questions. I am just giving you the side of this mothers heartache.

          • Who?

            I”m sorry you’ve gone through this it sounds like a terrible couple of years.

            Happy to share my journey though. I’m 52. I went on the pill at 19 when I realised I could get it free at uni. Had wanted it since I was 16 due to my heavy periods, fainting with mid cycle pain and general menstrual misery, but my mother was convinced I would run out and have sex if I got it.

            I had a few boyfriends over the years, have had 2 sexual partners other than my husband, married at 27. We still have great sex now.

            I have a 23 year old son and 20 year old daughter. They both went into what turned out to be long term relationships about a year after they left school, and took responsibility for contraception. My son’s relationship broke up after 2.5 years, he has been single for about 18 months, is dating around and seems to be enjoying it. My daughter went on the pill at 18 when she met her boyfriend, she now has an implant. Their relationship is so beautful, caring and respectful.

            I’ve always talked a lot to my kids about respect for themselves and others, and I try to model that in my life. They both know how to ask for what they want, and negotiate to get it, a skill I wish I’d had at their age.

            I’m sorry you’ve had so many challenges, but life’s a big picture, and one thing just doesn’t have that much influence.

          • Medwife

            You sound like you consider your daughters damaged goods. You know mid-twenties is still quite young, right? They’ve got more growing up left to do. Lots of people in their mid twenties feel unlucky in love.

          • Siri

            I think you should butt out of your daughters’ sex lives unless expressly invited in. And I think your attitude towards female sexuality is highly problematic and damaged/damaging. Worse, you don’t seem to have ANY insight into how warped your thinking really is.

          • Allie P

            So you think the PILL is responsible for your daughters’ partners’ disrespectful behavior? Not the cultural messaging those partners may have received? The pill is not to blame. Plenty of dudes are disrespectful of teenage girls without birth control being involved.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            From a religiois standpoint as well, if God created our bodies then that also means he created our sexual organs for pleasure. What other function does the clitoris have other than to provide pleasure? That to me means that a woman should enjoy sex as much as a man. It can in the right situations intensify an already deep connection of love to give and receive something like that with your partner. And from that if you choose you can create life. That’s an amazingly beautiful thing to me. Both the creation or just being able to be that close to someone. A woman’s sexuality shouldn’t be shamed nor should her enjoyment of sex. Whether you believe God created us that way or believe we evolved to select for it or some combination of both, a woman’s body has that capacity to very much enjoy sex.

            Now for my religion, that I choose and chose when I was younger to follow, that pleasure is for a man and woman who are wed but I understand that’s not everyone’s viewpoint. I cannot shove my morals onto others and expect them to obey. But I choose to follow that moral code. That doesn’t mean I can get on my high horse and slut shame. It certainly isn’t going to endear my moral code or myself to people if I do and we should love our brothers and sisters. You can love someone without participating in all of their behaviors. I have gay friends but that doesn’t mean I am now going to be gay.

            A good quote to remember before the finger pointing starts is “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

            The desire to have sex is one of the strongest biological urges we have. All sexually reproducing animals have it. We can excert control over our sexual urges but that control isn’t perfect for nearly all of us.

            No one can be perfect. To expect perfection others, especially our own children, is an impossibly heavy burden for that person to bear. And to keep that resentment inside for so long is equally as heavy. We have a hard time loving ourselves these days, why make it harder for someone to love themselves by expecting perfection that cannot be achieved?

        • Amazed

          Riiiight. Because heavy petting can NEVER go into something more. I must have imagined the two weeks of hell while waiting and praying for my cycle to come, pains and all, after a heavy petting we could not contain within the frame. But I have to say that it helped: since then, I’ve never had unprotected sex. I really have to recommend this method. The problem is, the next 17 year old might not be as lucky as I was and actually get pregnant during the teaching experience.

          I was terrified and sure that I was pregnant. Too terrified to tell my mom. But hey, that’s what happen when irresponsible teen sluts avail themselves to too much sexual release, so they should not complain.

          And that’s one who wasn’t even on the pill to induce her to act out sexually! Imagine what would have happened to me if I had had access to this. I would have given all of my plans for university and stuff and gone to offer sexual service by the side of the road. For free, of course!

        • Tiffany Aching

          Actually it really doesn’t. All studies show that teenagers will have sex, whether they are taught about birth control and safe sex or not, but in the latter case they will end up with stds and unwanted pregnancies. Also, the way they reach orgasm is really their own business.

          • Sarah

            Yeah. It’s a nice theory, but no. Logic would suggest it should be true, but unfortunately it’s not possible to trust that logic will dictate the behaviour of teenagers.

      • Mishimoo

        Yes! I was ready, my sister is not. At her age, I had two kids (after parenting her and our brother for several years) She’s worked hard, studied hard, and graduated from uni. She works where her heart is: with disadvantaged children in a remote area. I am incredibly proud of her and her husband for knowing themselves well enough to know that they’re not ready to be parents yet. Maybe one day, maybe never, and that is okay. Our family is already pressuring them to reproduce even though they only married in December and she has been teaching for less than a year, and it is ridiculous.

      • Gozi

        I’ll tell you further what is repressive and destroying: parents who have to raise grandchildren and their own children. There are preteen and teen aunts and uncles who have to help take care of newborns while trying to go to school. I was a 13 year old aunt. I literally couldn’t come home from school and rest for ten minutes without a baby being shoved in my face. I was often up at midnight caring for my niece on school nights.

        • Ardea

          I have students in that situation and it is not easy for them.

          • Gozi

            Often teachers don’t know it is happening.

          • Ardea

            They have to take the time to pay attention and know their students as individuals, not just “first period” or “my algebra students”.

    • ladyloki

      And you can take your religious pearl-clutching and leave now. Some of us don’t subscribe to a belief that women who have sex are “destroyed.” I am so glad I was raised by Atheist parents who told me that one would never buy a car without test driving it, so why would you not do the same in a relationship?

      And guess what? It was my parents who took me to the doctor at age 15 to get the Pill. But I still didn’t have sex for the first time for two more years and only had sex with four guys in my life with two of those being one time deals, #4 being the man I married. That was a span of 11 years.

      You are an idiot.

      • yentavegan

        And you are a name caller! Yikes.

        • ladyloki

          And that’s worse than referring to women in the way you are how? And judging the way women choose to live their lives, because god forbid women be allowed to have sex like men do.

          And amazing how one line is all you got out of my post. You are so judgemental it makes me sick, and you are probably the one trying to ban birth control like the GoP who want to control women’s bodies that are adding to the increase of abortions, women and children on welfare and children in the foster system.

          • yentavegan

            It is sad that you feel hostile over something you ascribe which was never implied. We are probably more alike in our politics and in our social /cultural views.

      • Fallow

        I was just thinking about my two friends who went on birth control pills as teenagers for severe cramps, who then didn’t have sex for several more years. Meanwhile, I first had sex pretty young. And my mother was all about the idea that “if you just ignore sex and/or act scary about it, and deny access to birth control, it’ll never happen”. She was wrong. And my friends who had been given birth control to allow them to function like healthy teenagers – it didn’t influence them to have sex in the least.

        I don’t regret anything about my teenage sex life. My boyfriends were sweet. All those warnings that teenage sex would break my heart and destroy my life – none of it happened. I had a good attitude about it, so did my boyfriends. The only damage sex caused me, was the fall out from my mother’s horrible attitude and behavior.

        • Bombshellrisa

          This really brings me back to being a teenager. To having severe migraines right before my period and having excruciating cramps. My mother refused to take me to an OB because she didn’t want me to have access to birth control pills, thinking I would immediately turn into a slut if I took them and she would be responsible. She also thought that letting me have the pills would be giving me permission to “sin”. So she put me on a strict regimen of herbs and supplements that did NOTHING to ease my suffering. I didn’t want to have sex (I really didn’t want a boyfriend either, the few boys I knew were not appealing) The boyfriend who became the man I married was the one who helped me go to a doctor and get my health issues sorted out. Night and day difference, no more migraines or terrible cramps.

          • yentavegan

            I am sorry your mother did not take your medical issues seriously. I have taken my daughter to the doctor for her menstrual issues. ( Painful ovulation, cysts) Currently the doctor did not prescribe a hormonal medication but if she had I would have gladly given it to my daughter. I do not equate sex with sin, and I don’t know where in my posts I even hinted at that concept.

      • guest

        I took birth control pills for many years. I’m in my 40s now and have had sex with a total of two men (and no women).

        The pill, it made me so slutty!

        • Medwife

          I’ve had… more than two. And somehow I’m not living on the outskirts of society begging for sustenance and bewailing my lost value. Nope, me and my career and my monogamous child-producing orgasm-having relationship are just fine.

          • guest

            I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

    • somethingobscure

      Ok I mean I get that you’re just a sad, bitter older lady building your opinion entirely off of your own experiences, but you can’t possibly think that’s the actual reason the pill was invented…. There are a lot of methods to prevent pregnancy, hormonal birth control pills being one of them. There are also condoms, diaphragms, and even a laparoscopic method for men that includes an injection to inactivate sperm prior to ejacultion. Is it just the pills that were created to slutify young women? Do couples who use condoms still engage in that heavy petting you love so much? Your comment just doesn’t make any sense. You’re equating your daughters’ heartbreak with a modern scientific breakthrough with significant impacts on women’s lives and the modern economy. I have to agree that this opinion is quite ignorant.

      • yentavegan

        Initially when the Pill became available it was marketed to married women who had already had their children and now needed freedom from conception. Flash forward to 2005 where a High school counselor gives turn by turn direction how to get to the clinic and who to speak to . Just remember to bring your health care ID. My parental influence was usurped by government backed social engineers.

        • Who?

          Ten years ago. Your girls are grown now. I get that you’ve all been very challenged and sad about this but it’s time to put it into context and put it behind you. It’s a shame to be defining your and their lives by something that happened so long ago.

        • Stacy48918

          It was marketed to married women because marketing/selling it to single women was, in many places, ILLEGAL.

          • attitude devant

            You must be from Massachusetts!

          • Stacy48918

            Nope.

          • just me

            Yup, griswold case.

          • Grushenka

            Still is in some places. i’m not on the pill (can’t handle the side-effects) but i had a horrible time getting my hands on the morning after pill when i lived in Jakarta, because i was supposed to have a script and i should have only been able to get one from a doctor after showing my marriage certificate and proving that i had my husband’s consent. i’m not married. i had planned on bribing someone if necessary, but i found a pharmacy in an expat area and got it with no trouble. Women who want to get on the pill or get condoms from a health clinic need a marriage certificate (you can buy condoms at shops, but not everyone can afford them/afford to be seen buying them).

        • Megan

          And if your daughter had come into my office and enquired about birth control I would’ve discussed it with her and given it to her if medically appropriate and she desired it also. And if she asked me not to, I wouldn’t have told you about it because in my state, like many others, that is the law. The reproductive health of minors is confidential, even to their parents unless the teen wishes to share it with them.

        • somethingobscure

          What??

          Ok wait, so this is now a government conspiracy to get girls to have sex with no strings attached? Ok then.

          • Tiffany Aching

            Best conspiracy ever, I might add. Many thanks to the Illuminati and their lizards friends.

        • Gozi

          Condoms were already doing that in many cases.

        • SuperGDZ

          How do you reconcile “Initially when the Pill became available it was marketed to married women who had already had their children and now needed freedom from conception” with “It was created to make women sexually available to multiple men without the commitment of offspring lurking in the background”?

          • Roadstergal

            I believe she is implying it should have remained that way – only available to married women who had already reproduced.

          • SuperGDZ

            I think it’s more like she hadn’t really thought it through…

        • Allie P

          I hope high school counselors can still give turn by turn directions to teenagers who wish to avoid unwanted pregnancies. I thought we lived in the age of abstinence only education.

          • Ardea

            It depends on the state you live in, comprehensive versus abstinence sex education.

        • Ardea

          Oh poor you.

    • fiftyfifty1

      ” It was created to make women sexually available to multiple men ”

      Amen! (which I choose to pronounce “Ahhh…men” in the style of Stephen Colbert). God, does your comment bring back warm memories of my 20s. Multiple men. yum.

      • Megan

        I would totally upvote this if I had a Disqus account.

        • Medwife

          I upvoted her for you.

    • Stacy48918

      Why is chastity something to be safeguarded?

      I went on the pill at 16 – with my mother’s consent. She went with me to the OB/GYN appointment. I didn’t have sex for 2 YEARS after. Still managed to finish my undergrad and veterinary degree. No babies.

      I’m sorry you’ve had personally difficult experiences, but you’ve let it make you a misogynist.

      • Who?

        Can someone talk me through chastity? It used to mean no sexual behaviour of any description any time any how. Or that’s what my mum told me. Was she wrong? If not, how is indulging in heavy petting chaste?

        • Stacy48918

          I don’t get it either. Apparently heavy petting to multiple orgasms is ok…just not PIV sex. Makes no sense at all.

          • Who?

            Well that’s a relief I thought it was just me.

      • Toni35

        I went on the pill at 16 too. I was sexually active and wanted more protection than condoms could afford. The fact that my mom was very matter-of-fact and non-judgemental when talking about sexuality to both me and my brother over the years meant first, that I *had* the facts and knew that going on the pill would be more reliable, and second, it meant that I was comfortable enough to go to her for help acquiring the pill. Unlike some of my other friends who didn’t have that open dialogue with their mothers and whose mothers subsequently ended up being called “grandma” before their time…. I finished my undergrad degree, got married, and now have 3, soon to be 4, children. I had them when I was ready. I’m getting a bit “old” for the pill, and will be looking into permanent solutions now that we’re done having babies, but the pill certainly helped me prevent pregnancy at a time when I was most definitely not ready to be a mom. And, FWIW, the sex came first, then the pill. My “chastity” (lol) was already “ruined”…. the pill prevented me from ruining my life.

        (disclaimer – no, having babies young doesn’t have to ruin your life, but it certainly changes the course of it, and not usually for the better. I do know lots of women who had children in their teens/early 20s who are fine mothers and wonderful people; they just had things a lot harder than I do when they were raising their children)

    • Amazed

      Err, young college educated woman are usually well past the age they should safeguard their chastity. Besides, one would think that after graduating from a college, they would have two brain cells to rub together and decide what to do with their very own chastity.

      What’s wrong with women wanting to have sex with one or many men without offspring lurking around? What about women like me, who never had the pill and are still sexually available for the men they desire?

      Should I give you my address now? And I’ll promise I’ll check for the nearest shop selling whips for sinners.

    • Cobalt

      If a woman would prefer to be sexually available (to her husband or to multiple men), why is that bad?

      Men aren’t shoving pills down women’s throats to turn them into barren sex toys, women are choosing sex without the significant risk of pregnancy. Women can make that choice on its own merits, no male pressure required.

      • Stacy48918

        No kidding. One of the most important things the I’ve done after leaving my husband was to get a hormonal IUD placed. No intentions of a relationship any time soon, maybe ever, haha…but when I do it will be on MY terms. NOT being on birth control previously was a part of my ex’s control over me. NOT being on birth control was incredibly repressive.

        • Cobalt

          Exactly. You can exert control over your own fertility! And should a suitable (however YOU define that) gentleman caller be available at an opportune time, your choice of activities won’t be limited by the overwhelming threat of pregnancy. Your terms, your freedom.

          • Who?

            ‘Gentleman caller’ love it!

          • Roadstergal

            Some of my FWB have been _such_ gentlemen, really. It can be great. And I don’t mean pulling out chairs and wearing ascots and shite, I mean being polite and listening and having interesting things to say and taking me out to do fun things before going back home to do more fun things. 🙂

      • Fallow

        EXACTLY.

        The whole damned reason I got an IUD was to make my body more “available” to have sex whenever I felt like it, without worrying about pregnancy. It’s been great. What an idiotic, backward idea for people to say that women are being manipulated into being, gasp, sexually available at any time. For plenty of women, that’s the POINT. That’s what they’re ON BIRTH CONTROL. To HAVE SEX WHENEVER THEY WANT.

        • Cobalt

          We don’t do it to be sexually available to men. We do to be sexually available to ourselves.

    • Tiffany Aching

      Well, being able to be sexually available to different partners sounds like more freedom to me.

      • Who?

        Exactly. And you can choose, you’re not obliged to have sex. Remembering that can be tricky for young girls sometimes, but it needs to be reiterated.

        • Tiffany Aching

          It means we have to work harder on teaching what consent is to teenagers. Which is harder, of course, if you simultaneously try to explain that Mommy has a say in this.

          • Who?

            Boys as well as girls. ‘No means no’ applies just as much to the four year old boy rumbling with his mate as to the teenager/young adult in a sexually charged situation. If it’s internalised at 4, it must be more normal to them later, surely?

          • Mishimoo

            That’s the plan, here’s hoping it works that way.

          • Who?

            Yes, it’s tricky. I take the water on stone approach-one drop at a time to smooth those rough edges. For my money modelling the behaviour you want to see is the best long-term plan.

          • Tiffany Aching

            Actually I think that these are two different things. The “no means no” you learn at 3 is the equivalent of the law : there are thing that you are not allowed to do, for your own safety (sticking your fingers in the electric plug) or for the greater good (drawing on the wall). The question of consent, however, is very different : it supposes to learn about having real consideration for your partner’s feelings. And for the girls, it is about owning your desires, feeling entitled to it, whether it is not wanting to go further or wanting to go all the way. Being entitled to your sexual desire is something that society has consistently denied girls – which puts them in a weak position when they are confronted to a boy who convinces them that once they agreed to some things they tacitely agreed to everything he wants, because they behaved like sluts already. To be able to say no when you want to say no, you have to be allowed to say yes when you want to : the autonomy of the will is the necessary condition to free consent (which mean parents, while they most certainly have a say in what they allow under their roof, cannot prohibit sex between teenagers).

          • Who?

            Isn’t it a continuum though?

            The particular incidents that stick in my mind involved a lot of physical contact between my son and his mates, at pre-school age. They all loved to rumble, and he was very strong and good at it. On several occasions when I saw him still rumbling when his friend wanted to stop, I’d pull him off and run through it with him: this is something that meant to be fun for both of you. Your friend is now telling you to stop. So you stop. Regardless of how much you’re still having fun. Isn’t that what you would want your friend to do? Who knows if it made a difference?

            I see what you mean re free consent, though not sure why it applies to girls only, or whether that’s where it just happens to be in this scenario. This idea that girls will get talked into doing what they don’t want to, and that it is somehow someone else’s fault, makes me edgy. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood the point you were making. If allowed to own the choices that disappoint them, rather than being told that they were manipulated, perhaps girls will learn to make better ones next time.

            Autonomy assumes acceptance of responsibility. We’d all like to exercise all our rights all the time, and take no responsibilty for the outcome-that would not make us autonomous, it would make us anti-social. Helping kids see the responsibilities that come with their rights-up to and including discussing and negotiating what they want with those they live with and who are ultimately responsible for them-is really critical.

          • Roadstergal

            I’ve had parent friends talk about having ‘ask first’ conversations with, frex, very huggy young boys. I think it might indeed help set the stage, but I’d welcome links to research if any exist.

          • Who?

            I have no idea.

            It makes me uncomfortable how much blame boys are handed in every day, non-violent, non-abusive relationships. Very few of the boys and young men in my world can out-talk or out-negotiate their female peers in everyday situations, and yet somehow, when we’re talking about sexual contact, they become masters of manipulation? And these bright, vibrant young women suddenly become unable to adequately communicate, and that’s somehow his fault?

            Yentavegan’s position makes me more than uncomfortable-giving young women no agency at all, seeing them as the victims of a culture, of boys, of their own ‘wayward’ hormones. No brains or heart or personality involved. It’s a deeply depressing world view.

          • Ardea

            The reporting I’ve seen indicates that it is a small number of men who perpetrate a high number of sexual assaults, and they are often older (and bigger physically): so yes, when you are not looking at same-age peers, some of these young men have become masters of manipulation.

          • Who?

            That does make sense-there are some very entitled men of all ages around, and they may well go looking for someone less experienced that themselves who is an easy mark.

            The line between manipulation (which is legal but inappropriate) and assault (illegal) could also get fuzzy.

          • Ardea

            It does get blurry.

          • MaineJen

            Sounds like an advertisement for “50 Shades of Grey.” *shudder* Did anyone catch the author on Twitter the other day? LOL

          • momofone

            I read a summary of the Q & A–very entertaining!

          • Who?

            I most certainly did not.

            That whole thing gives me the creeps, and all I know about it is the bits I haven’t been able to avoid.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            If you see anything related to Fifty Shades of Grey, this has to be the one. It’s amazingly hilarious! This or FiftyFifty Shades of Chicken narrated by Patrick Stewart.

            https://youtu.be/smD0_X3bQPE

          • Who?

            I’m keeping myself nice but I’ll know where to go if temptation gets the better of me!

          • FormerPhysicist

            Yes!!!

            I should have read farther before I posted!

        • FormerPhysicist

          It really needs to be reiterated that virginity is not a moral issue, and you can choose to say no, or ‘not yet’ even after having sex with someone before. Just because you ‘went all the way’ once doesn’t mean you need to ever time with every partner.

          That seems to me to be a very damaging effect of fetishizing virginity – this idea that once you’ve lost it, there’s never a reason to say no.

        • guest

          Wait, you mean I don’t HAVE to have sex if I’m on the pill? OMG.

    • Gozi

      I destroyed that without the pill. That was destroyed because I have a high sex drive, I was a late bloomer that had been considered ugly, and I was on a college campus. Most of all, my mother never discussed all the consequences of a sexual relationship. There is more than pregnancy to consider.

    • DiomedesV

      Yentavegan, you sound a whole lot like my mother.

      I was raised in a sexually restrictive environment. I’m fortunate that I met the man I married at the time and that we were so compatible, but it was a long time before I was comfortable with myself. You ascribe a lot of influence to your daughter’s choices, and not much to the environment in which they were making those choices. They weren’t living in a vacuum. They were making choices in an environment that you created.

      I have to ask: do you think your daughters don’t know how you feel about them and their choices? Because I’m certain they do. There is no way they don’t feel your disapproval. It comes out in virtually every comment you’ve made here. Do you think that might affect them and their own conception of themselves? Parents have enormous power to shape their children’s self-image.

      As someone who feels her mother’s disapproval virtually every time I see her, I have to tell you that it’s just awful. I have no doubt that she believe she hides it from me, but it is clear to me and many other people, including my siblings. I don’t think anyone could hide something this deep and strong from their children. Clearly this has been bothering you for years. You need to talk to someone about it — not your daughters. It is not their role to bear your disappointments on top their own.

      • Who?

        Thanks for saying this. My mother has long since stopped disapproving of me but the nonsense I endured (and, incidentally she put herself through) when I was a teenager and young adult has left its mark.

      • Fallow

        Yeah, my entire childhood and teenage years were wrecked by my mother’s contempt. My adult years have been full of her hissy fits that she can’t control my decisions. It might be a common situation, but it’s not an acceptable one.

        I just can’t help but wonder what yentavegan’s children feel about her. That kind of nastiness and disapproval reeks out through a mother’s pores. Children are fine-tuned to the devastation of their parents’ opinions. That awfulness never really leaves you.

    • just me

      http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/83/8325/8325oralcontraceptives.html

      The above article has a good history of the pill and women’s emancipation.

    • Sarah

      Setting aside the reason for the Pill’s creation (and you should not assume this means I agree with your assertion) it has given many of us freedom. My life is infinitely better because of it and there are huge numbers of us who feel the same. You should really acknowledge that.

    • Allie

      That is only true if you consider a young womans chastity more important than her sexual pleasure.
      Sex is not an finite resource that women should safeguard and only part with after ther ink has dried on a marriage contract. Women enjoy sex just like men do. There is nothing wrong with a young woman trying out multiple partners before choosing who she’ll spend her life with.
      The pill liberates women to do just that withouthaving to fear an unwanted pregnancy by a man who they enjoy having sex with at one stage in their lives but who isn’t husband material.
      Do you honestly believe that people didn’t have sex out of wedlock before the Pill? Let me enlighten you: they did. There was even a word for the unwanted children that were created that way: illegitimate. This was not rare at all.
      How would creating millions of unwanted children in extremely volatile ‘families’ or with single mothers contribute anything positive to society?

      • yentavegan

        Let me try my best to not sound alarmist but the rate of children being born to unwed mothers has risen even though hormonal birth control is readily available. The Pill did not decrease the occurrence of babies being born to women not financially or educationally ready to be mothers.

        • Megan

          In the US at least, the most recent available statistics suggest otherwise:

          “In 2013, a total of 273,105 babies were born to women aged 15–19 years, for a live birth rate of 26.5 per 1,000 women in this age group.1 This is a record low for U.S. teens in this age group, and a drop of 10% from 2012. ”

          http://www.cdc.gov/teenpregnancy/about/index.htm?mobile=nocontent

          If you have some other data to back up your claim, please do share it.

          • yentavegan

            I was not limiting the births to women ages 15-19. I am including ALL births. In the USA 40% of all births are to unmarried women. I rounded the numbers but got the info from the CDC faststats website. If I read them incorrectly I would be open to learning how to interpret the data correctly. I am not a scientist or a statistician.

          • Megan

            “The Pill did not decrease the occurrence of babies being born to women not financially or educationally ready to be mothers.”

            So in your opinion a woman who is unwed is not financially or educationally ready to be a mother? I think that’s a pretty broad assumption. What about lesbian women in committed relationships or women who choose to have a child though they are not married? Marriage does not automatically make one “financially and educationally ready” for children.

          • yentavegan

            No. Lots of mothers choose to become mothers without being married and they line all their ducks in a row before doing so. I am now going to leave the whole Birth Control Pills are Sciences Gift to Mankind debate behind. But in case my co-posters are trying to pidgeon hole me allow me to just state some core beliefs….I believe in Gay Marriage, I am pro-choice, Sex is not a sin and the Pill is still poison. So shoot me.

          • Megan

            I am not trying to pigeon hole you. I simply asked you to provide data backing up your claim that more woman are having babies who are not “financially and educationally ready” to do so.

            When you made that statement I assumed you meant teens, but apparently since you say you are talking about all births to unwed mothers you use a much broader brush to paint women who meet your criteria for being “financially and educationally ready.” I think it unwise to assume the motives and circumstances of such a diverse group of women as those who are unwed.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I guess I don’t understand how you can blame pregnancy out of wedlock of non-teen women on the pill. Wouldn’t that be the a problem of not enough of them on the pill?

            If non-married women are choosing to get pregnant, the pill isn’t helping them do that.

          • Megan

            I guess according to yentavegan women aren’t “supposed” to be having sex outside of marriage? I don’t know. I’m confused about it too. That’s why I initially assumed she meant teens. Hopefully she can clarify this for us.

          • Amazed

            And she claims not to view sex as sin… I still don’t understand how heavy petting fits her moral criteria. Ah well…

            I would have been terrified if my mom decided to recommend any particular course of sexual action to me. Might cause me to lose my sex drive altogether. But of course, I would never dream to discuss my sex life with my mom. I love her to bits but her nose – any part of her, actually – does not belong in my sheets.

            Boundaries, people! What happened to boundaries? My mom isn’t my best friend, she’s MOM!

            ETA: She’s the mother of those poor dumbies who were too stupid to go to college or even open their poor little mouths to tell their boyfriends that the way they were doing the Dirty Thing did not satisfy them.

            I can see how the pill would be a poison to such fragile flowers. Life would be a poison to them!

          • Life Tip

            I’m a grown ass woman and I have a great relationship with my mom, but if I ever heard the words “heavy petting” come out of my mother’s mouth, I would have allllllll the heebie jeebies.

          • Empliau

            Except when singing along to the Rocky Horror soundtrack. Then I endorse it.

          • Mattie

            it only leads to trouble =P

          • Tiffany Aching

            and seat wetting.

          • Charybdis

            And seat wetting…;-):P

          • Charybdis

            I definitely agree with that!! I don’t want to know anything about my mother’s sex life and I sure as hell don’t want her to know about mine. Even when I was a teenager, it was none of her business.

            I’m allergic to the spermicide used in many of the barrier methods: condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, contraceptive foam and jelly and vaginal contraceptive film. It causes swelling and painful, burning itching if I get any on my skin; it is unbearable in the vaginal region. So I went with the pill and was incredibly happy with it for 17 years. Stopped taking it to get pregnant and after my son was born, I had a Mirena IUD installed and have loved it ever since. I’m on my second one now.

            I also don’t *get* the current obsession with purity and virginity. I guess if you hold it up as an ideal and sing its praises loud and often enough, others with the same thinking will gravitate toward you. I also despise the terminology of “losing” your virginity. That implies that you’ll find it wedged under the couch cushions or stuffed in the pocket of your winter coat like a forgotten $20 bill. I KNOW where mine went…

            There are also things that are way more intimate than sex (to me at least). Sex is fun and mainly physical, so I don’t mind getting physical with someone. However, letting someone into my inner thoughts and feelings is way more intimate to me, so fewer folk get that side of me, or get to know me that well. It depends on what you are comfortable with.

          • guest

            It’s not a current obsession with chastity – it’s an old obsession that the few remaining people who believe in it are clinging to hard and loud. They feel their way of life is under threat, and have become more strident. But there’s nothing new about the basic position that a woman’s virginity is her greatest asset and only her first and only husband should get to take it from her.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Random aside, but when I was in college, I worked at a bookstore. Single most awkward moment there:
            Couple who are in, at a guess, their mid-40s come in. They ask me for help finding a book for their son. “Sure, any particular book, or do you need a recommendation?”
            Them: “Well, we need a book on sex education.”
            Me: “Okay, no problem.” *take them to that area of the kids’ department, pick up book which does a pretty good overview of what to expect through puberty, biology, and the lot* “A lot of parents like this one. It gives all the facts, but leaves the question of actual sexual activity and the morality/timing thereof up to the parents to explain according to their beliefs.”
            Them: “We were looking for something a bit more, ummm, mature.”
            Me, confused. “Could you be a bit more specific?”
            Them: “Our son’s getting married soon, and we want to make sure he and his fiancé have a good time, if you know what I mean.”
            Me: “Um. The human sexuality section is down this aisle on the left; perhaps you’ll find something there?”
            *escapes as fast as possible, attempting not to vomit dinner en route*
            As you say. BOUNDARIES, people. BOUNDARIES.

          • Cobalt

            What was the normal education book? I’m always looking for good recommendations for books to help me explain stuff.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Ooof. I was afraid someone might ask that. It’s been so long I can’t be 100% certain, but I want to say that this was it. http://www.amazon.com/Boys-Body-Book-Everything-Growing/dp/1604333529/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435778637&sr=8-1&keywords=boy+body+book&pebp=1435778648514&perid=0A7MD4A53WZQK9TXER67

            For girls, I usually recommended “The Care and Keeping of You,” published by American Girl, IIRC.

          • Roadstergal

            *link to Savage Love archive*

          • Cobalt

            I’d start with this delightful collection of virgin horror stories. Knock some of the sparkles out and get them giggling.

            http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/virgin-horror-stories/Content?oid=25697

          • Amazed

            I am not sure I would have managed. Not losing dinner, I mean.

            That’s crazy.

          • anotheramy

            LOL, LOL, LOL
            Can you imagine the couple opening wedding gifts (or writing thank you cards) “oh, look, a toaster!”
            “Bath towels, how nice!”
            They open the book…
            “Oh my God! Boundaries, mom, boundaries!”

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            We’re a pretty blunt family so talking about sex wasn’t a huge deal. But I wasn’t buddy buddy let’s share sex stories either. It was practical and actually helpful. But she didn’t talk about her sex life at all.

            Things like if you end up with a guy that’s not as gifted down there as others, don’t panic. “It’s not the pen but the penmanship!” as Mom put it lol. Also never shame your man over his size because that’s just cruel and you can’t take it back.

            Get checked out for a thick and inelastic hymen before sex because our family tends to have that issue and bleed like crazy if you just decide to rip through. Plus it hurts. A lot. I really do have to thank Mom for that one because I indeed did have that problem and some stretching prevented a painful and bloody first time. Also emphasized that while there might be some discomfort at first while you figure out wtf you’re doing, sex shouldn’t be painful. If it is then find out if it’s a physiological or technique problem. If it’s technique don’t be afraid to say you’re feeling pain.

            Oh and the first time isn’t that great compared to when you get some experience and get to know each other’s likes. So that means practice. A lot. Which if I inherited her side of the family’s sex drive shouldn’t be a problem. So don’t have sex until you’re married unless you want to be craving it all the time when you may not always have a partner available.

            If it’s consensual and no one gets seriously hurt in a non-fun way then it’s okay and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

            And that was about it. After I actually started having sex we haven’t said another word about my sex life because it’s not hers to be curious about. I think she was worried that I didn’t want sex and so wouldn’t enjoy it, which was somewhat true. I was all but asexual until I met my husband in person the first time and then boom! It was awake.

            Now raunchy jokes, “that’s what she said”s, and double entendres are always on the table as long as they’re actually funny. Fun for the whole family!

            Mom has a delightful prank she likes to play on teenagers who want to use tampons but say it’s too hard. Gift them a bag with a tampon, some lube, and a hammer. Maniacal giggling is optional.

          • Taysha

            Your mom sounds awesome. I’m hoping to be able to offer that level of education for my own kids. I want them to have healthy sex lives and be safe.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Both my parents are, really lol. I just hope to be half as good as they are as an adult.

            It’s better when they scheme together. A risque set of lingure was passed out for a few years with stuff added to it and brought back each year at my dad’s work’s white elephant party. Mom and dad added fluffy hand cuffs and a riding crop if I remember correctly. It was a riding crop or the Joy of Sex book, I can’t remember.

            I think it’s important to be sex positive because I see so many girls that feel ashamed to enjoy sex even within married because it’s been made out to be such an ugly, dirty thing.

            I think my husband summed up the attitude beat: “So let me get this straight. Sex is a dirty, unholy, ugly sinful act that condemns my soul to Hell…and I’m supposed to do it to the person I love most?”

          • Megan

            And incidentally this is an interesting read:

            http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db162.htm

            Looks like the overall birth rate to unwed mothers has decreased very slightly but the breakdown by age is the interesting part. Rates have declined for teenagers the most and rates have risen most for women in their 30’s largely attributed to women in cohabiting relationships but not married.

          • Amazed

            “So shoot me.”

            Gladly. Would you please tell me how the paeans you’re singing to “chastity”, “virginity”, “valuing” them and bemoaning their absence in college-educated woman do not constitute attaching moral values to them?

            I have more choice words for you but they really won’t fit my standards of decency. But I have this to tell you… Stop playing the victim that no one understands. Because it’s you who’s insulting me and the myriad of women who managed not to get their “hearts” broken despite having their sacred virginity demolished on their own free will – and they weren’t scared little mouses, too panicked to tell their boyfriends what their sexual needs were.

          • Nick Sanders

            “the Pill is still poison”

            Tell that to my cousin who gets really awful menstrual cramps, unless she takes birth control.

          • Gozi

            Unless I missed it, she never addressed the non-birth control benefits of the pill. I have an aunt who had a full hysterectomy in her late twenties. Maybe her “female problems “could have been solved by the pill. ”

          • guest

            I don’t believe in shooting people, but you are an idiot.

          • Taysha

            I rather make a little bit of fun of you. The psychological damage lasts so much longer.
            “Lots of mothers choose to become mothers without being married and they line all their ducks in a row before doing so” BWAHAHAHA. Please join a motherhood group and start counting just how many “oops” come along. It would be preferable if everyone could plan their pregnancy, but you know what? Life happens. And the moment you line your ducks up one of their fluffy butts waddles off.
            Or, as my husband said, “there’s never going to be a perfect time”.
            The pill can save lives without ever being intended to prevent a single pregnancy. Because PMDD can kill. So can anemia. So can many other conditions the hormonal treatment can help with.
            Poison indeed.

          • AllieFoyle

            Unmarried parenthood has historically been viewed negatively and has been linked with low SES, but that may be changing as more people consciously choose not to marry. For example, the scandinavian countries have high rates of children born to unmarried parents and they aren’t doing too poorly.

          • Roadstergal

            I’ve noticed a rise in friends in LTRs – well-off, stable, home-owning folk – without marriage who have kids. It’s less of a Thing now, the idea that you have to get married to have kids.

            Also, gays and lesbians who couldn’t marry until, oh, last Friday and wanted kids would count as unwed parents.

          • Tiffany Aching

            My husband and I are the only married couple in our circle of friends. And the almost the only one with no kids yet…

          • Nick Sanders

            There are more factors than just fertility. More people are choosing not to get married nowadays, for example.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Not every out of wedlock birth is unintended or unwanted. I’m not married to my partner of 20 years but I think we provide a reasonable and reasonably stable standard of living for our kid. One of my kid’s friends at school is the daughter of a single mother who made the decision to have a child alone because she did not have a partner that she felt comfortable sharing child rearing duties with but wanted a child. Extended family, friends, and hired help ensure that her child is well cared for and a stable, good paying job keeps their socioeconomic status high. Another child was being reared by an unmarried couple…but is now the child of a married pair, thank you Supreme Court!

          The bottom line is, while having a child outside marriage is a risk, probably an additional risk beyond having one in marriage, I don’t think you can assume that every child whose parents are unmarried exists just because they couldn’t control their fertility and/or lust.

        • FormerPhysicist

          Actually, not at all true. There are estimates that in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s that over half of brides were pregnant. Some areas actively encouraged it – no marriage without proof of fertility. I don’t have the references, I’d have to look them up and get back to you.

    • Stephanie

      My mother was one of those who believed women who have premarital sex will be destroyed. And as a teen, I had a very high sex drive. What destroyed me was not the slutty slutty sex I was having, but my mother’s constant disapproval, her beliefs that I was ruined goods, and my resulting belief that because I wanted sex, there must be something wrong with me. It went so far as to cause a significant identity crisis, suicide attempts, and for a long time, I even wondered if I was in the wrong body – because only boys enjoyed sex. Her shaming did nothing to stop the sex, or the enjoyment of it. It did destroy me as a person, for believing only a bad person wanted sex. Because I hid my sexuality, I did not develop healthy relationships – and ended up in some poor ones. This was not because of the pill, but rather because I couldn’t talk to my family about my ‘lifestyle’. It took years of therapy to understand that I was not bad because I enjoyed sex.

      You asked this question below – do we have daughters and how do we plan to teach them. I do have 2 daughters, one is now a preteen, and I long ago started talking to her about her body and healthy relationships. I talk to her about the mechanics of her body and of sex, but also about consent, desire, pleasure, and risks. I plan on getting her birth control as soon as she asks, but also talking to her about things like masturbation. I plan to, and have started teaching her that having sex is a healthy part of life. I do not plan on teaching her that her sexual self is something to be hidden or shamed.

      • attitude devant

        Good on you! You might be interested in some of Planned Parenthood’s programs for teens. They have a group called OWLs (Our Whole Lives) that is really terrific.

        • Stephanie

          To me, the scariest thing is that there are many other teens going through similar situations, being backed into corners and thinking they are wrong / bad because of their parental belief systems. I am glad there are programs out there to support teen sexuality. I wish there was more support and education to all teens, letting them know those urges are normal.

          Girls with high sex drives are shamed, criticized, and publicly humiliated by those who are supposed to love them most. They end up either repressing and hiding themselves to fit in, or being told they are broken or defective for following those urges, instead of being taught healthy ways of satisfying them. Because they need to hide who they are, they can end up in dangerous situations.

          • attitude devant

            Yes indeed.

        • Dr Kitty

          OWLs is a programme developed by the UUA and UCC- when they deliver it in their Churches is has some faith based stuff, but when it is delivered in secular places like schools or Planned Parenthood etc, the faith-based content is removed.

          OWLs REALLY is about lifelong learning about sexuality- there are modules for kids, but also modules for 18-35s and older adults.

          I’d really like to get some of the teaching materials, because I am not confident about what kiddo will get taught in school.

      • Gozi

        All too often in my circles, the sex talk people have with their daughters consists of only admonishing them not to become pregnant. “You better not bring no babies up in my house! !!” is the common refrain. No one explained orgasms or the emotional toll a sexual relationship can cause. I had an orgasm and didn’t know what it was for months. I thought I was having a heart attack.

    • Alison Mercer

      what the eff are you talking bout? what? don’t have sex then u judgmental sleveen

    • Taysha

      If only that were true. My chastity was all but growing mold by the time I got rid of it!

    • MaineJen

      Where you see hormonal repression, some see hormonal liberation. Men were always free to explore their sexuality without consequence; now women could have the same freedom, without worrying that the exploration would lead to unwanted pregnancy. Not everyone sees chastity as something to be jealously guarded.

      In fact, I think it’s downright immoral to tie a woman’s value or moral worth to her sexuality at all. I don’t see what one has to do with the other.

    • KL

      Or to help young college educated women control the number of children they have so they can use their education. I think it would also be great to be serially available to your husband without the threat of another child that your family cannot afford to pay for. Children are not just diapers, clothing, food. They cost you more to shelter(need a bigger home), to socialize (dance, gymnastics, hockey, football), to educate. Having a smaller family is the wise choice for many couples and hormonal birth control is the way many choose to do this.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      That’s a rather strong statement and therefore requires proof. Do you have any proof to offer?

      Why should women safeguard chastity unless they want to do so? As a general matter, chastity is a patriarchal concept which reduces women to baby producing machines for men who fear being cuckolded.

    • guest

      Because no one ever has sex in high school!

    • Neya

      The thought that formulation of the pill had some nefarious agenda about enslaving women is simply preposterous. There is a great deal of women’s studies and anthropological scholarship that contradicts the statements by Yentavegan. If you don’t want to get too much into the literature, the Birth of the Pill is a great read. On a personal note, I find the statement about safeguarding the chastity of college educated women insulting in so many levels. First, a woman’s body -college educated or not – is hers to choose what she wants to do with it. Second, chastity may have a moral and religious value to some, but those values cannot be imposed on everyone. Third, how does a college education have anything to do with anything? Total non sense.

    • RMY

      The pill was created to prevent pregnancy, period. It was developed with married monogamous women as the target. The sexual mores at the time weren’t amenable to teen sexuality. Legally, doctors could and did refuse the pill to unmarried women for many years after it was developed.

      Having “offspring lurking in the background” is more detrimental to women than men the majority of the time. Look at who ends up being single parent with a deadbeat other parent most often. Look at whose earnings are most compromised by having children. Whose bodies are more likely to have undergone permanent changes from a pregnancy. It’s not men.

  • The next massive leap forward will be when more male birth control options becomes feasible…imagine a world where unplanned pregnancy became a rare, rare exception….

  • Gatita

    Great news! Jerry Brown signed the California vaccination bill intact, no mucking around with it to appease the antivaxxers: http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/06/30/52790/school-vaccinations-brown-signs-controversial-bill/

    • Megan

      Wahoo!! I hope other states follow their example.

    • Roadstergal

      Good news, but I hate it when they call it a ‘controversial’ bill. It’s only controversial if you’re not terribly good at immunology and epidemiology, and yet think you’re better at it than the professionals.

    • Mattie

      Forgive me for being a little dense (non-American here) does this mean it’s law and will definitely happen right now? Or can people appeal it/stall it?

      • Megan

        It is law now in the state of California. Anti-vax groups will probably try to challenge it in court though. They contend that it violates the right of every child to an education. I don’t know what their chances are of a successful challenge though. Probably depends on the judge. Hopefully he or she will see through that argument.

        • Mattie

          awesome, so kids starting school in fall will be required to have the vaccines?

          • Megan

            i couldn’t find info regarding whether this will go into effect for the 2015-2016 school year or the 2016-2017 school year. I hope it’s immediate but my guess is it won’t be in order to give people time to either get their kids caught up on vaccines or to make alternative arrangements for education.

          • Mattie

            yeh that seems reasonable 🙂

          • Stacy48918

            Many kids are grandfathered in though. There are vaccine “check points” at kindergarten and 7th grade. So an unvaccinated kid going into 1st grade this fall still will not be required to be vaccinated until they are starting 7th grade. 🙁

          • Cobalt

            That’s not good enough. Anything is better than nothing, but the kids deserve better than that.

          • Megan

            Agreed. I think those are the concessions they made to get the bill passed.

          • Cobalt

            It takes several months (at least 6, I think) to get fully caught up on vaccines if you’ve never had any, and that’s if you do them as close as possible (which is unlikely behavior from antivaxxers). There’s no way all those kids will be compliant by September of this year.

          • Megan

            What I meant is that I would hope that they require at least a good faith effort to start the catch up process during this school year. Sorry, I should have been more clear.

          • Roadstergal

            Unless they run to Drs Sears or Gordon to get their ‘medical’ exemption.

    • ladyloki

      Between the Supreme Court ruling last Friday and this today, it’s been a happy news week. I live right above where Dr. Bob “practices” so we have some horribly low vax rates around here. Which is why my husband and I and the kid are all up to date.

    • Kesiana

      YAY!!!!!!!!!!! And whew!

      (Now I just need to figure out where Medi-Cal will cover me getting vaccinated… I was up-to-date when I was little, but maybe not so much 30 years later!)

      • Ash

        medi-cal can definitely help you get up to date on your vaccines as an adult!

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    The more I read this thread, the more I’m just glad that we have options for family planning now. That it’s not just NFP and hope you aren’t irregular or just the pill and hope you can stand the side effects or just condoms and hope they don’t break. I’ve never used IUDs, hormonal contraceptives, NFP, etc but it makes me happy to know that they are available–not just because of my needs, but because that means fewer undesired pregnancies, fewer children being born into bad situations, fewer women suffering through a birth control method that doesn’t work for them, etc. NFP, the pill, sterilization, it’s all good if it’s what you want.

    Ok, I’ll stop now and let everyone go take some insulin.

  • Ellen Mary

    I actually have a serious concern regarding NFP in life threatening situations. I trust its efficacy for me, when used consistently & correctly but I cannot encourage another woman to ‘bet her life’ as it were on NFP, given how many seem to bend & break rules by my observation. over time in support groups.

    However, COCPs are also not appropriate for life threatening situations. I wouldn’t bet my life on 91% typical use efficacy. If I were faced with advising a woman in a life threatening situation I would have to admit that LARCs or Sterilization are the most reliable options. So even though y’all think me being a NFP advocate makes me a heretic here, feeling like NFP may not be reliable enough for a woman in a life threatening situation would make me a heretic in NFP only circles.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      The risk also depends on what one is willing and able to do with respect to backup methods. For the past 12 years I’ve staked my life on the notoriously tricky barrier protection method. I’m pretty good with use so I think my risk is pretty small, but if it failed I’d move to plan B–literally. And if that failed, early abortion. I’m not waiting around to see if my uterus perfs in the second or third trimester. Safe, legal, and accessible abortion gives women a lot more leeway to use less than perfect birth control methods even in the setting of being unable or unwilling to have any further pregnancies.

      • Life Tip

        The problem with Plan B and NFP is that, unless you have knowingly have sex when you are ovulating (like, caught up in the heat of the moment), most NFP un-intended pregnancies happen because the user messed up with their charts or missed a fertile sign, so they thought they were ok to have sex until they realize they are pregnant. At that point, Plan B isn’t an option. So, it’s not so obvious immediately as a broken condom would be.

        NFP is my personal preferred method, but I don’t think it would work well in combination with Plan B.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          No, I don’t suppose it would work with NFP. Works well with barrier method failures of the “oops, it broke” variety or the “uh-oh, we forgot” variety. Also with pill errors. For NFP failures you’re really going to be relying on abortion if you can’t or won’t complete the pregnancy.

          • Ellen Mary

            Part or *NFP* is a theology that views human life not as a ‘method failure’. Y’all are using NFP & FAM interchangeably. FAM can allow barriers, is secular.

            People who practice *NFP* strictly would not resort to abortion without a total crisis of faith. If the truth be told I practice a NFP influenced form of FAM, because I don’t consider condoms & alternative sex sinful really. I just can’t. The tricky thing though is that without the incentive, women aren’t that technically adept @ FAM. NFP groups are like fertility grad school whereas FAM groups are like fertility 8th grade. So without Catholic theology, we would not have the advanced NFP/FAM methods we have today, because just using barriers fewer days is not enough of an incentive to become a total boss @ the method.

            However there are serious concerns when a woman who will not consider ending a pregnancy is told by an OB that future pregnancy will kill her & still will only practice NFP, especially because not all women fully understand it or have husbands that are fully willing to comply.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “If the truth be told I practice a NFP influenced form of FAM, because I don’t consider condoms & alternative sex sinful really.”

            So all this time you’ve been lying. You’ve been singing the praises of NFP. You’ve been bragging how perfectly it has worked for you. You’ve criticized women for being sloppy and deceitful if they use NFP, get pregnant anyway and then say they are really fertile. You’ve carried on about self control and motivation. You’ve cried crocodile tears for those poor women who must have husbands that won’t listen to no.

            But really this whole time you’ve ACTUALLY found that NFP doesn’t fit so well in your real life, so instead you’re using a combo of of things including condoms and blowjobs and whatever else you’ve decided is not sinful after all. OK then.

          • Ellen Mary

            Not really, I’ve just been using NFP & FAM interchangeably, as y’all do constantly. My personal practice is much more like NFP than FAM. And I have never told any woman that oral sex or condoms are a *sin*. I just decided for the sake of the thread & the topic to get really precise. I have *never* overtly hid the fact that I am Protestant on NFP groups (even though I was raised as a Catholic). I don’t advocate for things outside Catholic theology in Catholic run groups but you do not have to be strictly Catholic or not ever use a barrier or as you say, a blowjob, to provide support & technical help in NFP forums. And if a woman is actually facing something life threatening I have no issue saying that IDK if NFP can be something to bet her life on if she has had difficult with it in the past, in fact I just posted that on a forum today.

          • fiftyfifty1

            ” I have *never* overtly hid the fact that I am Protestant on NFP groups”
            Please stop it with the starwmen. Nobody has ever accused you misrepresenting your religious affiliation. What I have accusd you of is misreprenting NFP. You have claimed you used it, waxed poetic about how wonderful it was, told anyone who raised any concerns about the feasibility of doing it that they were just spreading myths… and all the while you yourself were finding it unfeasible.

          • Ellen Mary

            I find it feasible. You are moving the goal posts. When people on here talk about NFP, they mean ‘not using contraception’. When I have talked about it, it is about the technical feasibility, not whether or not my sex like ever involves oral. Most people don’t even *know* about no blowjobs & they frequently talk about it interchangeably with FAM which involves heavy barrier use. I was using a colloquial definition, which I clarified for the sake of today’s discussion.

            Practicing a NFP-like FAM as a Protestant hardly makes me more hypocritical than contracepting while donating to & otherwise supporting a church that expressely forbids it, which is the situation most Catholic women find themselves in.

          • Ellen Mary

            Back on track though: what Ricki is advocating is barriers, fine, oral fine. no theology required. It is FAM. It would not be considered licit by the RC, anymore than any other form of contraception used for contraception. It doesn’t involve abstenience.

            And when I have called out myths, it is simply because they were mythical.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “When I have talked about it, it is about the technical feasibility,”

            Oh please Ellen Mary, your comments have never just restricted themselves to the technical aspects of NFP. You have gone on and on about how it is a feasible method in real life, self control, not being sloppy, husbands respecting their wives blah blah blah.

            I’ll lay it out for you again: not a single person on this forum gives one tiny damn what you do or don’t do in bed. Not one person cares what method, or combination of methods you use to control your fertility. What people object to is your deception, judgmentalism and yes, hypocrisy.

          • Ellen Mary

            You are honestly saying I am a hypocrite if I use NFP & call out people who call it the rhythym method or say it only works for the sub fertile if I don’t do it 100% according to the dictates of Rome. Okay then. Staying technical: NFP only Catholic women can use alternative sex or condoms on occasion also. They’d just have to go to confession afterwards. Finding alternative sex or condoms morally fine doesn’t make me a hypocrite, no matter how many up votes you get. I have stated here & everywhere that I don’t find contraception to be a salvation issue @ all. I am personally super glad we have options besides ‘use contraception’ & despite your namecalling, I will go on enjoying myself & helping women who seek them out.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Go ahead and continue to help women who have questions about NFP. Just be sure to tell them right up front that you yourself have been unable to follow NFP. That what actually works for you is a combo of fertility awareness + other sexual practices + condoms.

            Nobody will have any problem with that.

          • Who?

            You won’t be helping if you don’t give them all the information ie that sometimes you use barrier methods and sometimes your husband doesn’t finish inside you.

          • Ellen Mary

            But thanks for that accusatory, inflammatory read on the matter. Of course this was really all about blowjobs, what was I thinking?!? FTR I fully expect your accusation to be screen shot & shared, so again, thx.

    • Gatita

      So even though y’all think me being a NFP advocate makes me a heretic here

      Jesus Christ, NO. Not true. (Why does this bug me so much? I should just accept it and move on, right?)

      • Roadstergal

        It’s like she hasn’t noticed the other NFP users who post about how it works for them, and people are generally cool with it?

        I also wonder what constitutes a ‘life threatening situation’. Pregnancy is always life threatening (greater risk of death vs not being pregnant), and it would threaten my life as I want to live it. So for me, that’s every situation.

        • Cobalt

          Well, some pregnancies are more life threatening than others, due to preexisting maternal conditions. If I was completely unwilling to abort and required pregnancy non-compatible treatment, I would likely just abstain from any pregnancy risk.

    • mostlyclueless

      And keep in mind that the 91% rate is per year — so the failure rate compounds over time. Over ten years of use, the majority of typical users will get pregnant:

      http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/09/14/sunday-review/unplanned-pregnancies.html?_r=0

  • Froggggggg

    I have to admit, I have a long history of depression etc., and as a result I’m extremely worried about depression, anxiety and all the rest of those possible side effects of hormonal contraception. I don’t actually need birth control, but it may have helped control severe bleeding. I’ve been a bit unhappy with a couple of doctors pushing contraceptives as the only treatment options for menorrhagia when there are others as well. Luckily I knew what to ask for (knowing full well that other treatments come with their own risks – and the same goes for no treatment at all).

    But the bottom line is, I don’t take the pill. It is however none of my business what other women do and I don’t understand where people like Ricki Lake get off trying to push us all back into the first half of the 20th century. Would they rather see a steep rise in abortions, infanticide, abandoned or neglected babies…? And they probably think this is somehow being feminist?

  • ladyloki

    I loved the Pill. It regulated my periods so I always knew exactly what day it would start and end. I took it until my insurance started covering Nexplanon, which I prefer due to not having to remember to take the Pill and not having to worry about forgetting to pack it on vacation. Plus menstruation has stopped completely – no period in over 2 years.

    I hate the whole NFP as the ideal to these crazies. I tried it for a year just out of curiosity to see if it was worth it. It is only ideal if you can get enough sleep at night. Get rocky sleep or wake up at odd times and your temping won’t work. And that means instead of a daily pill, you have to use a thermometer daily and hope that you’re getting your temperature correctly. And if you get sick, that might throw off your charting and you might inaccurately record ovulation. Plus, if you have irregular ovulation, you might have a two week chunk of time where you can’t have sex without some form of non-hormonal BC.

    • SporkParade

      I keep wondering if the supposed high level of efficacy of NFP is only due to the fact that you have to be a good candidate for it to even consider trying it.

      • Who?

        But who would admit to an unplanned pregnancy these days? I wonder how many users of NFP would consider or have using morning after contraceptives? And if they do, whether their partners are aware of it?

        • Ellen Mary

          Why would someone’s partner have to be aware of morning after contraception? And *morning after* contraception is just progestin, so what would be wrong with that if they were. They are not though. NFP is largely a religious practice. FAM is secular. So no, NFP users are not going out & dropping $50 on Plan B.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Where does Who? claim that a partner would have to be aware?

            Ellen Mary, it’s very uncool to imply that people have said things that they haven’t or make up quotes.

          • Ellen Mary

            I didn’t include any quotes. You will know if I do when I do this: ‘xyzabc’ – said Xyz person.

            But if you read the last sentence it asks if their partners are aware that they are really using the morning after pill (paraphrase).

          • fiftyfifty1

            She asks IF they are aware. You answer back with a reply that implies that she said that they would HAVE TO be aware.

            Here’s a hint. People get annoyed with people who are intellectually dishonest in their replies. How can anyone take you seriously when so many of your replies are nothing more than strawmen if not outright misquotes?

          • Dr Kitty

            Some of my NFP Catholic patients will happily get it free, repeatedly, on the NHS.

            Maybe they don’t tell their NFP friends, or their husbands, but they do, because just like you Ellen Mary, they actually don’t find strict NFP works for them. So they don’t strictly adhere to it, and have found ways to justify this to themselves.

            I don’t judge, but I do think of them when someone asks me how reliable and user friendly I think NFP and FAM are.

          • Who?

            Of course they wouldn’t have to be aware, but why wouldn’t the woman tell her partner? It’s this great cooperative undertaking, so how is it cooperative and appropriate to not tell the other half of the undertaking how it’s going?

      • ladyloki

        Probably. Those who tried and failed don’t go around admitting it. And a lot of those who use it are trying to avoid pregnancy but are still open to getting pregnant, so the oops becomes a planned.

        • fiftyfifty1

          Or perhaps the rate is due to people like Ellen Mary who claim to follow NFP, but actually use condoms and non-PIV sex.

          • Ellen Mary

            FAM totally integrates non-PIV sex & condoms. You, however, in your initmitable attack dog fashion, have taken me saying that I find alternative sex & condoms to be not sinful to mean that my sex life consists entirely of condoms & non-PIV sex. You just cannot accept that I chart temperature, fluid & hormones scientifically, it works great, the end. The last time I used a condom was Feb 14. #SorryNotSorry about that. It was Valentine’s Day. So you can tell yourself that NFP/FAM success stories are just people who lie, but that is you, lying to yourself & everyone on here.

          • Montserrat Blanco

            Yes, we got it, you use NFP and FAM and it works great for you. I am really glad it does.

            For people that do not like to use condoms, that do not want to track their ovulation and that want a method that allows them to have sex any way they want any day they want we have, between other methods, the pill.

            I count myself in that group of people.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “FAM totally integrates non-PIV sex & condoms.”

            But we weren’t talking about the success rates of FAM + non-PIV sex + condoms, we were talking about the success rates of NFP. You’ve been bragging about your success with NFP, and all the while you were actually practicing something different.

            Once again, nobody here gives a damn about the choices you make on Valentine’s Day. Or New Years, or Christmas, or Groundhog’s day or Columbus Day or Soybean Growers of America Day. What we care about is women being able to know all the facts before they make a decision about their health. And when you promote NFP, but in reality can’t actually cut it yourself in real life, that is dishonest.

        • Elaine

          The number of unplanned (ish) pregnancies among people I know who were supposedly using NFP is pretty mindboggling. Studies do show that couples who use it for “spacing” have higher failure rates, presumably because they want a(nother) kid soonish so the really strong incentive to avoid is not there versus those who totally do not want a(nother) kid at all.

    • Ellen Mary

      You don’t need to sleep perfectly to temp. At all. You also don’t need to temp every single day, you only need to temp from day 6 of your cycle until 3 days into your luteal phase & finally, the Pill cannot ‘regulate the ovulatory cycle’. It eliminates the ovulatory cycle & replaces it with a scheduled progestin withdrawal bleed that is, as it turns out, wholly optional. More modern contraceptives like Mirena eliminate bleeding altogether for many women.

      • fiftyfifty1

        You quote ladyloki as claiming that the pill regulates the “ovulatory cycle”. Where does she claim this?

        • Ellen Mary

          I didn’t quote her. I was just addressing some factual inaccuracies in the post & comments generally.

          • DaisyGrrl

            If you weren’t quoting her then you shouldn’t have used quotation marks.

          • Ellen Mary

            I was using those marks to call attention to a phrase as such. Another use of quotation marks.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Nonsense. Why would you need to “call attention to a phrase” that had never been uttered or even implied by ladyloki or anyone else on this board?

            It’s not cool when you pretend that people have said things that they haven’t and then pillory them for it. We’re on to your game Ellen Mary.

          • fiftyfifty1

            You DID present it as a quote. And why would you need to be “addressing some factual inaccuracies in the post” when ladyloki did not make factual inaccuracies?

            Here is a pattern in what you post: People criticize your pet method. Then you reply back twisting what they said or making up something that they supposedly said (but didn’t) and then cry that they are wrong and spreading myths. What you do is intellectually dishonest, Ellen Mary, and that’s why people object to your posts.

          • ladyloki

            Yes, under my post instead of making a new one. Which means I offended your precious sensibilities because I called out that your method does not work for all women using myself as an example and you decided to have a hissy fit.

            And exactly, pray tell, did I have factual inaccuracies? I wasn’t giving facts, I was listing personal anecdotes. The Pill worked great for me. Nexplanon works great for me. NFP sucks for me.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        That varies wildly from woman to woman. Some can get a consistent basal body temp pattern from just a couple of hours of sleep, but others have their basal temp thrown off just by being woken up once hours and hours before they take their temperature.
        And ladyloki, in my experience in NFP groups, 10 days of abstinence is pretty much the low end of normal. I’m fairly regular, and with my method, it’s generally 10-12 days of abstinence. That having been said, I use hormone testing rather than basal body temperature for exactly the reasons you described above.

        • Dr Kitty

          10-12 days of abstinence or Non PIV sex would make the method a complete non starter for many people.

          Ok if you’re a once a week couple, going a few extra days is no big deal. If you are a four or five times a week couple who really like PIV… This method is not for you.

          Human sexuality is so varied- we like what we like, and speaking personally, NFP or FAM is not appealing to me on ANY level, but particularly this one.

          Without going into details… Just… Nope.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Oh, I’m not saying that going 10-12 days without sex is Teh Awesome. Not by a long shot. I mentioned that to give a fair estimate of what one can expect with NFP.

        • ladyloki

          Yeah, 10-12 days without sex just doesn’t cut it for me, heck no, which is why I’m glad I don’t have to wait the 5-6 days of my period anymore.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Yeah, 10-12 days without sex just doesn’t cut it for me”
            And it turns out it doesn’t cut it for Ellen Mary either. She just admitted that she actually doesn’t practice NFP but rather a combo of fertility awareness, condoms and non-PIV sex which she has decided isn’t sinful after all.

      • ladyloki

        Let’s see – when I wake up about 5 times a night and never get more than 90 minutes of sleep in a stretch, as I toss and turn then yes, that is going to mess up my temping. I have a year of charts to prove it. Plus, I can ovulate any time between Day 16 and Day 26. This was backed up by OPKs and ultrasounds. So for me, that is about three weeks of temping going by your method.

        And I don’t need your condescending post about contraceptives. I know how they work because I can read.

        I’m SO sorry that calling out why NFP DOES NOT WORK as the “top” BC method like you seem to think so offends you. Because it really doesn’t if you are trying to avoid and you don’t have the perfect 28 day cycle.

  • Guest

    Semi-OT: interesting article in Rolling Stone this week about a homebirth midwife and an increase in miscarriages and stillbirths. The article blames fracking.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/fracking-whats-killing-the-babies-of-vernal-utah-20150622

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      The first thing that comes to mind is that it’s bloody unlikely she’s such a good shot she’s hitting things at 100 yards with a handgun, unless she’s spending an absolutely massive amount of time on a near-daily basis target shooting.
      Second, how, precisely, does one do a urine test to see if someone’s eaten wheat?
      Third, one of the issues with fracking is that while larger companies generally follow appropriate regulations, there are a *lot* of small, fly-by-night, family-owned fracking companies that totally dismiss most regulations, especially those relating to disposition of the chemicals and wastewater associated with the process. I don’t see that situation improving until regulations are better-enforced. I’m a Texan. I’m proud of our oil heritage. I’d be even prouder if we had stiffer penalties for shoddy frackers and actually enforced the ones we do have.

      • fiftyfifty1

        ” how, precisely, does one do a urine test to see if someone’s eaten wheat?”

        FWIW, if I eat a lot of Honey Smacks puffed wheat cereal, my urine smells like toast afterwards.

        • Amy

          Mine smells like coffee most of the year. The big exception is during the short asparagus season.

          • Tiffany Aching

            I wanted to shout “urine twin !”, but on second thought, that’s gross.

    • Gatita

      I’m not a fracking supporter but that midwife comes across as all kinds of shady. Is she on the radar for Safer Midwifery for Utah?

    • Bombshellrisa

      She went from having 18-25 clients a year to having five or six a year? How does one keep their skills up? Notice too that it’s because of persecution. Is she a sister in chains?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Fracking’s not good for the environment and likely has negative consequences for human health, but I’m having trouble finding a mechanism of action by which it would cause miscarriages, small for gestational age fetuses, or stillbirths. I’d expect to see other issues appear if the risk were that high.

      • Cobalt

        I think the article describes a plausible enough route of ingestion through pollution patterns specific to that location to make it worth actual, unbiased, scientists having a look at it.

        I don’t trust Rolling Stone or any CPM enough to take their words as truth, but it’s worth having someone without bias do some investigating.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          I agree that it’s worth investigating. As are the record and standards of the midwife in this story.

          • Cobalt

            A baby dropping unexpectedly dead into her hands is what started her investigation, after all. I’m suspicious, but not just of the CPM. Rural boom towns can end up owned by industry, creating murky motives for investigations.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Good point. Though a baby dropping unexpectedly dead at birth is apparently not that uncommon in home birth. At least, a number of the cases Dr. Tuteur reports happen that way. I’d expect a toxic exposure to result in more obvious mutagenic or teratogenic damage. However, I would say that a thorough investigation by the CDC and the EPA would be in order.

          • Cobalt

            The CPM’s entire investigation may be an RCA designed to cover her own butt. That’s quite likely, CPMs are notoriously bad at accepting blame and her own descriptions of her care show how far she is from evidence-based practices.

            There were several birth defects mentioned in the article though, including TE fistula and club foot. Something’s going on, and I think you’re right about the better investigating authority.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Yeah, it’s by no means impossible that both are going on: a midwife without adequate training and practice to keep her skills up trying to excuse herself AND fracking causing damage to the environment and population. From what I can tell after a brief medline search, there’s not a lot of really good data on the health effects of fracking but what data exist are not encouraging.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Is hydrogen sulfide even toxic? To fetuses or born humans? H sulfide contaminated water tastes awful but is it a health risk?

  • Amy

    I see the natural earth mamas have already taken over the comments section over there. You’re MEAN, Dr. Amy! NFP is empowering because eschewing technology is empowering– as we will persistently claim on our blogs and in comment sections, from our laptops and smart phones!

  • mostlyclueless

    Much as Ricki Lake et al. turn my stomach — I think it is important to note that there are many legitimate criticisms of the pill, and it seems problematic to me that they are not always clearly explained to women when they start using them:

    1. Effects on mate selection: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/275/1652/2715.short

    2. Possible effects on verbal memory: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0018506X08000986

    3. Possible effects on emotional memory:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1074742711001249, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0018506X12002085

    4. Possible effects on brain structure: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899310013545, http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00330-012-2572-5?LI=true, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899314016096, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hbm.22797/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

    5. Possible effects on stress responses: http://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/Abstract/1999/03000/Impact_of_Gender,_Menstrual_Cycle_Phase,_and_Oral.6.aspx

    I’m not saying that any of these are even bad or reasons not to take the pill, but it seems like there is a lot we don’t know about how it affects women, which is problematic for informed consent.

    • EllenL

      Knowledge is never complete. Nevertheless, the pill has been
      studied for over 50 years, and found to be safe for most women.

      One thing is certain – the pill enabled me, as a young mother, to avoid pregnancy and to finish college (and graduate with honors; no lost
      brain cells, apparently).

      • mostlyclueless

        It is safe in that it is extremely unlikely to kill you. But based on the articles I just posted (most of which are < 10 years old) it seems there is an awful lot we still don't know about the pill.

        As a scientist, I think it's important to keep an open mind and not blindly insist that the pill is only good, when what we mean is that the benefits outweigh the costs for many women. It is still important to research and be aware of the costs. I will hazard a guess that most people who take it are not aware of the effects on mate selection, stress responses, or brain function, all of which are important parts of most people's lives, even if they aren't a life or death matter.

        • EllenL

          The issues mentioned in those articles seem trivial to me in comparison to being able to reliably (1) plan my life, (2) space pregnancies to protect the health of my children and myself, and (3) enjoy sex with my
          husband.

          Other people may have different priorities and concerns. Fortunately, there are many options available to us today.

          • mostlyclueless

            They may be trivial to you but of significant concern to other people, and I think the larger issue is whether women are being made aware of the potential side effects, not whether any individual person considers them important or trivial. Also I think it is a false dichotomy to pretend that the only options are hormonal BC or no control over pregnancy; there are many other options and the right choice for each individual depends on a number of factors.

          • EllenL

            I used the word “reliably” for a reason. That was paramount to me.
            I do think women should be informed, to the degree they want to be. Some people are comfortable trusting the advice of a professional, once they’ve laid out their priorities.
            I wonder why you believe women aren’t aware of side effects of hormonal forms of birth control. That would be a subject of conversation with a health care professional. Plus, that’s the purpose of patient inserts.

          • mostlyclueless

            None of the effects in the studies I linked to are found in patient inserts.

          • EllenL

            I wouldn’t expect them to be, unless the results were
            significant and had been verified by more than one study.

          • mostlyclueless

            Of course all of the studies I linked had statistically significant results if that’s what you mean by “significant.” The effects on the endocrine system in particular have been replicated dozens of times — yet are still not mentioned in patient inserts. Some of the structural changes have been replicated as well and shown to persist at least 6 months after pill discontinuation. Are you really arguing that it’s better not to bother telling people about these issues because it’s trivial? Certainly you agree that women have a right to be informed about these matters and not told that the only risk is a small increased risk of thromboembolism?

          • Who?

            What happens though? Is one predisposed to dance in the moonlight? Wear bad hats? Make unwell babies? If no one knows what the effects are of having a pill-affected endocrine system, then what do you put on the insert? The bare information, which is useless, though perhaps interesting to a subset of people.

            I look at all the different bodies wandering around and marvel at how really robust humanity can be, given a safe environment, some shelter and enough to eat. We’re all exposed to lot of environmental actors all the time-if a change is noted, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference to anything else, is it of anything more than academic interest?

          • EllenL

            I can’t agree with you because I haven’t evaluated every study – and I’m not even sure I have the qualifications to evaluate them.
            You seem to think there’s a conspiracy to keep information about hormonal birth control from women. I don’t see that. You’ve been able to find plenty of information.
            I don’t know if that information is important enough to “sound the alarm” about hormonal birth control. It doesn’t appear to be to me. At the present time, I would say that birth control pills are safe for most women to use confidently, based on known risks AND benefits.

          • mostlyclueless

            Let me say very very very explicitly that I do NOT think there is a conspiracy or anything like it. And of course I’ve been able to find this information — I have written some of it. All I recommend is (1) increased research, and (2) including discussion of these side effects when evaluating the risk/benefit profile of the pill. That goes for physicians and for smart, evidence-based writers like Dr. Amy. It benefits no one to pretend that the only side effects of the pill are a tiny increased risk of thromboembolic events; there are a number of other side effects that, while not deadly, are certainly of concern to people who consider using it.

          • Who?

            Did I miss something here? What happened?

          • Critics of the Pill aren’t wrong in one way: OB-GYNs and even hippie CNMs have thrown birth control pills at me when not sexually active as a treatment for painful periods, acne, premenstrual suicidal ideation, anything.

            When I explain that I’m uncomfortable with certain side effects, I’m offered Nuvaring. Oral contraceptives are useful to treat symptoms of a lot of issues, but I wonder sometimes whether for that reason doctors think there’s no reason to find other treatments for those problems.

          • Who?

            I wonder if it is about the cost and discomfort of investigations, versus the comparative ease and cheapness of fixing many problems/symptoms with the pill?

            I don’t know if the pill will mask something dangerous, but I’m guessing my doctor does. When we talk about my symptoms I’m looking to him/her to use clinical judgment and experience to advise me. It would be frustrating though to be offered something you know you don’t want over and over again.

          • fiftyfifty1

            ” but I wonder sometimes whether for that reason doctors think there’s no reason to find other treatments for those problems.”

            Huh? For dysmenorrhea they have developed a wide range of antiprostaglandins, danazol, pain pills and various surgeries. For acne they developed 6 different classes of topicals, oral antibiotics, oral vitamin A derivatives, androgen blockers and laser treatments. For premenstrual suicidal ideation there is a wide range of antidepressants, mood stabilizers, hormonal treatments, and talk therapies including CBT and DBT. Doctors and scientists have also done controlled studies of alternative medicine remedies for all these conditions (and found not a lot of effectiveness).

            The fact remains that OCPs do a great job for these conditions for a large proportion of women, and so starting with recommending a trial of OCPs is a good idea for OBs and CNMs. And if women have side effects on OCPs they may not on Nuvaring as the circulating hormone levels are lower and it eliminates first pass hepatic metabolism.

            If neither OCPs or Nuvaring are acceptable or effective for you, then move on to the next treatments, and/or move on to a dermatologist or psychiatrist who can prescribe the more specialized treatments. But let’s not imply that OCPs are “thrown” at women out of laziness.

          • Amy

            Maybe because if you have that specific combination of medical issues, the Pill would address all of them? I’m not a doctor, but I don’t know of another drug that simultaneously treats painful periods, PMD, and acne.

            But just to take one example: the other popular treatments for acne are drugs like Accutane and Retin-A. The side effects for those are far more dangerous.

          • Taysha

            Completely anecdotal, but I have PCOS. When I take oral BC, I’m on one of the statistically most dangerous versions (Yasmin, which was even taken off the market for a short period of time). It works fine for me, we monitor potential side effects and it has the added side effect of lowering my insulin resistance, which in turn improves EVERYTHING else
            And now that I’m NOT taking it, I notice how much it helped with PMDD, which is fairly crippling for me, so I’m going back on it. And I am doing it exclusively to treat non birth-control related issues.
            Antidepressants are used for migraine treatments. Antipsychotics, too. Just because something is called “birth control” doesn’t meant it’s all they do. It works well for PMS/PMDD/acne/depression because they are all tied to hormones. Regulate the hormones and you get a bonanza of effects.

          • Who?

            Amen to the PMDD, Yaz is the best ever for that, for me anyhow.

          • Who?

            And that’s fine-if it is of significant concern to a woman wanting contraception, or relief of symptoms, then she and her doctor can discuss and make a decision for her. Equally if she took along the articles you linked to, and the doctor said ‘don’t know’-which I think is what each of them says-then she can decide.

            This feels a bit like the conversations about the primacy of breast feeding-people will say it is always better, but can’t pick a breastfed baby in a line-up, let alone a toddler or child or adult that was breastfed. And blood tests or other objective measures wouldn’t reveal the feeding method either. I doubt if you could tell who is on hormonal birth control and who’s not by looking at a group of women, or by testing their blood. If the two groups blend in so well, is it likely that these issues you raise are really so significant? Women have changed a lot since the sixties, and a lot of that is due to the pill-not the hormones in it but the autonomy and wellness it can bring.

            As discussed below, there are many choices for managing fertility. No one thinks there aren’t.

          • mostlyclueless

            Of course you can tell if a woman is using hormonal contraception with a blood test — I do it in my laboratory all the time.

            Whether I can identify someone as a pill user by sight seems utterly irrelevant to me. The studies I linked to show statistically significant effects on human brain structure and function. Being able to pick someone from a specific group out of a lineup isn’t a valid statistical test for a lot of reasons, I am sure you can understand why.

          • Who?

            I’m not a scientist, so I don’t know what you can pick up on a blood test. I don’t know about statistics either, but am happy to accept that there are many things you can’t learn from a lineup. The point I was unsuccessfully trying to make is that if the effects are so subtle as to defy identification, are they a problem? Perhaps it’s the case we don’t yet know where to look, which is why I hope someone is doing some work on what you have raised for the benefit of people in future.

            Clearly it’s important to you that this get looked into as you believe there could be problems, So for you it’s easy. Don’t use the current products. Tell your friends, Get a website and publish this stuff. Come on to other websites and share your knowledge/beliefs.

            Others are happy to be advised by medical professionals about their health care choices based on current knowledge, and change and update as more information comes to hand.

          • Ellen Mary

            I don’t disagree with those goals, but just FTR I am planning my life, enjoying sex & spacing pregnancies without the Pill. I readily concede that some need or want contraception to accomplish these goals, but as they say, there is more than one way to skin a fish.

          • Taysha

            And that’s lovely that it works for you, Ellen Mary. No one is going to try and shove a pill down your throat.

            Now kindly stop trying to shove a thermometer down ours. We like our better life through chemistry.

      • Roadstergal

        Argh, I seem to have missed all of this! Was a paper with mouse data, or small-n human data with lots of different outcomes and no corrections for multiplicity?

        • EllenL

          The original post had links to studies, or articles describing studies, about possible effects of birth control pills on the brain. I only saved the first link:

          http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/275/1652/2715.short

          • Who?

            (S)he bailed out very all of a sudden-don’t know if there was meant to be a fight and we were being too relentlessly civil, or what happened?

  • Kesiana

    Why can’t we criticize the Pill?

    Who the hell is claiming you can’t? You can criticize it all you want–it’s called freedom of speech.

    But just because YOU don’t like it doesn’t obligate anyone to agree with you. And freedom of speech does not include freedom from being criticized in return.

    And yeah, the Pill isn’t perfect… but WHAT IS?!?! (Hint: nature isn’t, either!)

    • EllenL

      Totally agree.
      In the video asking for contributions for Ricki’s film project, someone says (in an ominous tone) “It’s time to end the taboo against talking about the pill.” Huh??? What taboo is that? In the circles I frequent, women talk freely about all forms of birth control. And they speak in a sensible, non-judgmental “What works for you?” way. I don’t get the paranoia of Ricki and her friends.

      • Gozi

        Uuuhhh, my friends and I criticized the pill in junior high. Ok, where’s my money.

  • Gatita

    OT: Interesting article on PCOShttp://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/06/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos/396116/?utm_source=SFFB

  • Anne

    When the Pill was released, it was thought that women would not submit to taking a medication each day when they were not sick.

    It is fascinating what this reflects about scientific “thought”. Why, then, is the combined Pill the commonest form of contraception in most developed countries?
    I would hazard a guess that contrary to what the paternalistic medical profession in the 70’s “thought”, women highly valued being able to choose NOT to be pregnant following sex. So despite side effects (most of which were/are nuisances rather than life-altering or dangerous), women chose this option, and this helped radically change the societies which made the Pill available.
    It doesn’t matter what we think/say- it matters what we do. Take that, mainstream medical/societal “thought”!

    • Anne

      Sorry, the first line should be in italics- it is a quote from Holly Grigg- Spall

      • SporkParade

        I am actually extremely suspicious of the entire claim given how much spurious historiography I’ve heard from the all-natural folks.

        • Medwife

          My impression of the history of the pill is that medical science expected women to jump at the chance to control their fertility, WHICH THEY DID. Nobody got scammed into taking the pill. Sex with greatly decreased risk of pregnancy? Yes please! I think that’s kinda how it went. Am I wrong?

          • fiftyfifty1

            you are not wrong.

          • EllenL

            You are not wrong. Women were beating down the doors of doctors, asking for the pill in the 1960’s. I was one of them.

          • Gatita
          • Fallow

            One of my grandmothers immediately got on the pill when it was available, as I’ve been told. Her pregnancies had resulted in very bad complications. Guess they didn’t want to repeat the experience. HUH, wonder why?

            The icing on the cake is that she was a minister’s wife, too.

        • Who?

          Medicine develops-vaccines, antibiotics, surgery, cancer treatments, contraceptives.

          The
          all natural crowd are still using whatever sub-optimal, or useless, or
          actively dangerous thing they’ve been using for ever, because changing
          or learning is somehow considered bad.

          I’ll take the science anyday, thanks.

          As for the ‘what ifs’ I’m not worried. Because when a problem is found it is studied, understood and resolved. The chance of me being the one person with the weird side effect is almost nil; the chance of me backing my car into a pole, or a person, or another care while having raging pre-menstrual dyswhatever, quite high.

  • Gatita

    Woo, there are some cuh-ray-zee comments over on Time.com.

    • Mattie

      “A female is enslaving herself to a zombie land state if she takes chemical birth control pills”

      Yup…

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        The thing I found odd about that writer was that she (the writer presented herself as a woman) kept talking about “females”. That’s usually an MRA way of talking about women. Makes me wonder if the writer is an MRA mimicking what he thinks radical feminists believe. Or maybe the anti-tech “feminists” have more in common with MRAs than you’d think. Certainly both want to reduce women to their uterus and vagina and nothing else.

        • Mattie

          It’s also possible they are a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) using ‘biological’ terms to highlight that only people with a vagina and female hormones are real women. I have no interest in engaging with them to find out more lol

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            TERFs are practically MRAs. Just a slightly different perspective. In any case, I can’t imagine someone who complains about how unnatural the pill is on the (presumably all natural) internet is a very deep thinker.

          • Roadstergal

            It’s interesting to consider – TERFs have gone so far around that they’re back to MRAs. Like the far-left and far-right science deniers who end up at the same place when it comes to vaccines, fluoridation, and homebirth.

          • Tiffany Aching

            I think it has something to do with the rejection of rationality. People on the extremes generally want to be different, to know what’s hidden to general understanding. They can’t accept that the validity of a statement can be examined by an universal tool that’s available to everyone (as Descartes said, common sense has really been fairly distributed amongst men… because no one seems to think he lacks it).

        • Roadstergal

          When I read that, I always think of Mark Twain and Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses. “Now in one place he loses some “females” — as he always calls women…”

        • LibrarianSarah

          Every time someone refers to women as “females” I die a little inside. Ditto for when someone uses the letter u instead of typing out a three letter word.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Depression, paranoia, blood clots, sepsis, and death: just a few of the side effects that virtually every woman who becomes pregnant will experience.

    The above is a true statement. Women who are pregnant or who have recently delivered are at increased risk for depression, paranoia, bloot clots, infection, and death. And virtually every woman who becomes pregnant will experience a pregnancy side effect. But the most frequent side effects of pregnancy are not depression, etc, but rather nausea, mild anemia, and pain on delivery. Grigg is lying with statistics and technical truths with a vengence here.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I didn’t like the fluid retention and the acne the pill gave me. I didn’t like the fact that I had to take it at roughly the same time every day. It was not easy or nice when I was on-call or on a congress or whatever.

      Pregnancy on the other side got me bloated, fatigued, sleepy, nauseous, insomniac, high blood pressure (preeclampsia), the worst headache ever (preeclampsia), a liver failure (HELLP syndrome), a pulmonary oedema, and low platelets (HELLP again). And my first surgery.

      I do not have to choose, but in case I had to… I happen to prefer the pill over a pregnancy.

      And yes, healthy person except for asthma, good nutrition, exercising regularly, normal BP before and after the experience.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    IIRC, when the pill first came out, it was not approved for birth control because, you know, sex for pleasure could lead to immorality and all. It was approved for regulation of menses. A virtual pandemic of menstrual dysregulation occurred in the wake of the pill’s approval for this indication. Women want to control their fertility. They want it desperately. I have never personally used the pill since I’ve had good success with barrier methods and no special reason for needing the pill for other indications, but if it were the only option available and I had to say that I had dysmenorrhea to get it, I’d do that in a heartbeat. Much better and safer than getting pregnant every year.

    • Mel

      I’m Catholic and my priest was a bit nervy about the fact I was very vocal about the fact I was on hormonal birth control. He reminded me that it was totally OK to take BC for other health problems like acne or menstrual problems.

      I looked at him and said “My depression doesn’t do well with recurrent insomnia. I’ve been told small infants are a great source of insomnia. So I’m gonna take my baby-repellant pills so I get a good night sleep, OK?”

      I think that was the moment he remembered that I was my mother’s daughter 😛

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        My Catholic grandmother used birth control (not sure what type) after bearing 2 children in less than 2 years and finding herself wondering how they would feed all the children if this kept up. She told me and my sister this many years late after an encounter with an anti-birth control priest. IIRC, her words were, “What’s a sin? Not having children or not being able to feed them?” The priests in her parish somehow never seem to have a problem with this attitude.

    • Tiffany Aching

      Strangely this pandemic of menstrual dysregulation also happened in my high school…

  • Sarah

    I understand that the Pill doesn’t work for all women, indeed causes problems for a number. Fair enough. It’s not a universal panacea. But Ricki et al will prise mine out of my cold, dead hands.

  • Deborah Rowan

    “This pill might make you moody or depressed. If that happens, call me and we’ll change it or stop it.” How exciting is that?

    • Angharad

      Exactly! My doctor has been very willing to work with me to find a brand of birth control that works for me. I certainly have nothing against non-hormonal birth control (the more options the better) but it’s not like if one brand of pill gives you undesirable side effects you should just swear off hormonal contraceptives forever.

      • Mattie

        Or any medication for that matter, I have had a nightmare trying to find an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety med that doesn’t make me shake, puke, want to jump off a bridge or walk around like an extra from night of the living dead…doesn’t mean I just quit and let the depression and anxiety have me.

  • Amy M

    I don’t get why these women are so quick to embrace the subjugation-of-women lifestyle. It is one thing for them to choose (being slaves to their biology) for themselves, but if they are happy and confident with that choice, why does it matter so much what other women do?

    • FrequentFlyer

      But choices are hard! To many options make things confusing. How can I be happy and confident about my choices unless every other woman on the planet makes exactly the same choices I do about everything all the time?

    • Inmara

      The same old story as with parenting, baby feeding, birth, religious fundamentalism etc. – a need to justify their One And Only Right Choice.

  • attitude devant

    Why am I a gynecologist? Because nothing, nothing, nothing is more essential to a woman’s autonomy than being able to manage her fertility. The pill is one of several choices. It may not be the best choice for every woman, but historically it was the first truly reliable and safe method a woman had under her control. Being able to choose to have sex (which is a fundamental part of being a human) without risking becoming a mother when you weren’t ready? What a breakthrough this was for all of us! How important this STILL is today! Anyone who doesn’t get this is clueless. (Ricki, I’m looking at YOU.)

    • CCL (Crazy Cat Lady)

      I wish I could like this post a million times.

    • Mattie

      Other than the note about sex being a fundamental part of being human, I’m with you 1000%

      • attitude devant

        (discus is not letting me sign in, but this is AD again)
        Seriously? You think sexuality is not a fundamental part of being human? What is it, in your view: optional?

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          You show as signed in on my screen. 🙂
          At a guess, Mattie might have been suggesting that having sex per se isn’t fundamental to a person’s humanity: look at asexual people, or those who decide, for whatever reason, not to have it.

          • Roadstergal

            I suppose it might be better stated that “For those with a sexual drive, sex is a hugely important and enjoyable part of life.”

            For me, the side effects of either the Pill or Implanon were nothing compared to the side effects of abstinence. (Warning: may cause moodiness, depression, and interrupted sleep.)

          • Mattie

            I mean, I’d be cool with simply ‘for many people sex is an important part of life’ because it doesn’t put any sense of ‘normality’ on one way or the other lol and it’s factually accurate,

            Attitude Devant, forgive me, I may just be feeling a little grumpy as it’s Pride week and there’s something sort of disheartening when your sexuality is invisible to LGBT and non-LGBT people alike, I know you meant no offence and none was taken 🙂

          • LibrarianSarah

            It also sucks that the first cable show with an openly asexual character just got cancelled. Also that show was really fucking funny. 🙁

          • Mattie

            there was a show with openly asexual characters/character? Apparently we’re so invisible we can’t even see ourselves lol

          • Roadstergal

            I’m a bit out of touch on TV shows, but Paula Poundstone is openly asexual and talks about it sometimes on Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

          • Mattie

            I just googled this, thank you will have a listen 🙂

          • Roadstergal

            I also happen to think she’s funny as hell. 😀

          • Mattie

            I will be checking out the podcast 🙂

          • LibrarianSarah

            Yup USA’s “Sirens” had an openly asexual character. I think they played it pretty reasonably/respectfully too. Unfortunately it was cancelled due to low ratings. It was one of my favorite shows. 🙁

          • Mattie

            Awesome, will watch it anyway to check it out 🙂 I miss a lot in the UK haha

          • attitude devant

            No worries. For the record, I was talking about having the right to choose for ourselves. Choosing to not is also choosing.

        • Mattie

          I wasn’t saying that sexuality is not fundamental to being human rather that ‘sex’ is not fundamental to being human, people who are asexual are still human, as are those who choose to not have sex, or cannot have sex for whatever reason.

        • LibrarianSarah

          Asexuals are still human.

  • Mel

    “Depression, anxiety, paranoia, rage, panic attacks — just a few of the effects of the Pill on half of the over 80% of women who pop these tablets during their lifetimes.”

    I hate when people use confusing percentages. Let me teacher it up….
    Of a hypothetical group of 100 women:

    – over 80% will use hormonal birth control pills = 80 of those women

    – half of those 80 will suffer “depression, anxiety, paranoia, rage and panic attacks” = 40 women will have those side effects.

    A more coherent sentence would be “40% of women on the pill will suffer depression, anxiety, paranoia, rage or panic attacks while on the pill.”

    Now, let’s see if that means that the Pill is the only reason for mental illness.

    According to NAMI, 25% of Americans will suffer from a mental illness each year.

    I’m not entirely sure how to correctly adjust a raw yearly rate into a lifetime rate but I’m willing to guess that of those 40 women who suffered a wide range of mental illnesses while on birth control, MOST – not all, but most- of them would have suffered the same mental illness while off birth control.

    Side note: Since when is “rage” a mental illness? I get pretty pissed off at sexist, racist and homophobic comments- does that mean I have a mental illness because I’m a woman?

    • Amy M

      Yeah, its sneaky, but equivalent to saying: “40% of right-handed women wore shoes with laces on Friday” as though right-handedness led to wearing laced shoes, and the left-handers only own flip-flops. In my made up scenario, the right-handed population is what, 90% of everybody? In a small enough sample, all of the women could be right handed, so that would mean 40% of women wore shoes with laces on Friday.

    • Inmara

      Does she base these claims on a real research at all? I can hardly imagine that such number of women suffer from aforementioned problems without serious impact on our society. Or is it twisted interpretation of research which says something like “half of women on hormonal birth control can have elevated risks of suffering from xyz in their lifetime”?

      • Amy M

        It’s confounding. Look it at in reverse: of all the women who suffer from depression, anxiety, etc, a lot of them also happen to take the pill at some point in their lives because a lot of women, total, take the pill at some point.

      • Mel

        If it is based on research, it’s also based on a flawed understanding of statistics and epidemiology.

        I’m pretty sure it was as TCAMN spells it out. Up to 40% of women have side-effects on birth control. The list of potential side effects is quite long – but also mostly minor and transient.

        There may be some mental health issues that are triggered (rarely) or worsened (more probable) by hormonal birth control use – but since most women are on BC for fairly long chunks of time teasing out which mental health issues are CAUSED by birth control vs. CORRELATED by birth control is a hefty undertaking.

        On a practical level, since most women’s symptoms are mild to moderate, studying it gets even harder. You’d need to track thousands of women on and off birth control for years to figure out what the control group’s rate of mild to moderate mental health symptoms were compared to the BC group.

        And I’m betting the final result would be a mashed up mess anyways. I’ve know women who have ‘moody” symptoms on BC; I also know women whose “moody” pms symptoms are lessened.

        • Daleth

          Plus, all pills are not the same. I did fantastically on a low-dose pill widely available in Europe, but when I came back to the States and was given a different low-dose pill here, some Ortho-Novum variety, I was whacked with depression so hard I could barely get out of bed or eat for three days. Finally I stopped taking it and dragged myself to the student health clinic, where a nurse said, “Oh, that’s just your body adjusting, it never lasts longer than three months.” To which I responded, “If I wait three months, I will fail all my classes.”

          I showed her the leaflet that came with my European pills, she looked up the exact types of estrogen and progesterone, and found me an American pill that was chemically identical to my European ones. Problem solved.

          • Kelly

            I hate that. I tried two birth controls for three months each. I suffered awful side effects. I got a massive painful cyst in my breast as one of them. I refuse to do hormones anymore because I don’t want to have three months of hell to realize my body is not working with it.

      • Gozi

        The Business of Being Born was based on flawed research and skewered numbers. I think it is a safe bet that this project will be as well.

    • FrequentFlyer

      “Side note: Since when is “rage” a mental illness? I get pretty pissed off at sexist, racist and homophobic comments- does that mean I have a mental illness because I’m a woman?”
      Yes. Of course it does.

    • Anonymous

      Let’s look at this a different way:

      “Depression, anxiety, paranoia, rage, panic attacks — just a few of the
      effects of the Pill on half of the over 80% of women who pop these
      tablets during their lifetimes.”

      Ok so you have to keep in the back of your mind that last part “during their lifetimes”

      You have to consider the number of women that have pre-existing conditions relating to all of those. Furthermore, even if someone develops them over their lifetime, there really isn’t any real evidence cited that says that hormonal based birth control is the underlying issue. You also have to factor in that the women who are using birth control can potentially be closer to jobs or lifestyles that would lead to depression, anxiety, paranoia, etc.

      A similar statement could be made about owning a car:

      “Anxiety, rage, panic attacks, lacerations, back injuries, and even death—just a few of the affects of driving on half of the over 80% of the women who own cars.

      If they wanted to be credible, then they would have given a real percentage not “over half of 80%.” Sheesh, say 45% or 51% or whatever. All this does is make it look like a weasel word allowing the author to claim ignorance.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      I don’t think it’s even that. As I read the statement, half of women who take the pill will have a side effect. Several side effects are listed, but it’s not a comprehensive list. So somewhere between 0 and 40% will experience the SE listed. Others will experience other SE, including such dire SE as enlargement of their breasts and decreased menstrual bleeding.

      The mention of the potential mental illness side effects, though, is interesting. It implies that having a mental illness is the worst thing that can possibly happen. Worse than, say, dying of ovarian cancer or bleeding to death in childbirth with your 15th unwanted pregnancy. Not unexpected from the “autism is worse than death” crowd.

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        Not unusual in this crowd is the notion that psychiatric medication is even worse than vaccines. I’ve seen moms with obvious PPD get berated for even considering going on an SSRI medication because “ALL TEH SCHOOL SHOOTERZ WERE ON THEM!” Mental illness doesn’t really exist, according to a lot of people in that group; if you pretend you don’t have it, then you won’t.

        • Inmara

          Yeah, and most common advice to women who suffer from PPD is “Just cheer up, it’s easy!” or “Take a break, you’re just tired!” Fortunately, it has started to change, at least today at birthing class dedicated to postpartum care midwife really emphasized that you need to seek professional care if you suspect to have PPD.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Good for that midwife!
            Something I’d like medical types to start emphasizing in the discussion of PPD is this fear that seeking treatment will result in having social services take your baby away. That was one reason I didn’t get help: I sort of knew it was irrational, but there you have it. I’ve also encountered since several women who tend towards the more natural/attachment parenting/politically conservative spectrum who are terrified to ask for help because they’re sure their baby will be taken away if they do. Hearing reassurance before it even strikes might help a lot, along with a brief synopsis of what you might expect when you do ask for help: “Call your doctor/midwife, and they’ll listen. They’ll probably write you a prescription for an antidepressant, and may suggest you go to a support group/talk therapy. It can take a couple of weeks for the antidepressant to kick in. If it doesn’t work, they can find something that works better. Keep asking for help.” Etc.
            For me, what helped was realizing eventually that since something like 1 in 8 women suffer from PPD and you certainly would hear about it if 1 in 8 babies were taken away by CPS, that can’t be the norm. However, I only realized this once I was able to think rationally–read, several months after I had just about recovered from PPD.

          • Mattie

            I don’t think it’s irrational, it’s what certain people and for a while certain media outlets wanted women to think. I remember watching a ‘news’ program about women who had their babies removed from them at birth due to (according to the program) mental health problems in their teen years. I believe they mentioned adoption targets as well as some other iffy statistics, definitely a bias going on there.

            It terrified me, and seriously kept me from getting help for my depression for years, because ‘what if they put it on my record and I can never have a family”.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            That’s absolutely ghastly. I’m so sorry it took as long as it did for you, and presumably many others, to get help.

          • Mattie

            It’s a fear that only started to go away when I became involved in maternity services and realised that the only reason midwives cared if a woman had a history of depression was because it was a risk-factor for PPD and meant we could put extra support in place for her at an earlier stage. It’s not totally gone, like with most things my anxiety takes fears and uses them against me…so I get negative thoughts like ‘is this it, is this the crazy that will mean they take your future children away’ but generally I’m more in control now than I was, thanks to actually getting help.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Yep. It can be really hard to break out of that anxiety-fear-anxiety cycle, too, so good on you for figuring out what works for you in that regard!

          • Mattie

            thanks 🙂 yeh, it’s a tricky path but definitely worth it

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      For that matter, I’d assume that the percentages would also vary from pill to pill, and ditto the various types of hormonal contraceptive devices (cervical ring, etc). Admittedly, that’s a guess on my part, but it seems likely since with other types of medications, some have fewer side effects than others, but each generally has their own place and it’s up to the prescriber/prescribed to figure out what works best.
      This is another thing that irritates me often enough about those who teach NFP classes: they’re often inaccurate about the health risks of birth control, and sometimes are just plain wrong. I use NFP because it’s the best option for me within my faith’s parameters. If I can’t defend it to people who have, for goodness’ sakes, already accepted those parameters without lying or using hyperbole, then I’m either uneducated in the subject or wrong in the first place.