Birth Control Questions

Alternative birth control methods include oral contraceptives that can eliminate monthly menses for three months or up to one year if so prescribed by a doctor. Pills containing hormones are taken continuously until the need for a menses. During the week of menses placebos are taken in place of the pills that contain hormones. Taking this type of contraceptive often has women asking many birth control questions. These oral contraceptives contain low doses of hormones and have been considered safe to take but women who use them may experience breakthrough bleeding. Doctors usually recommend only going as long as three months without a menses cycle. There are risks and side effects to using oral contraceptives of any kind. Other methods that can help to prevent pregnancy include shots and patches, surgery, using an intrauterine device, and abstinence. According to the word of God couples who are not married should abstain from having sexual relations. "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification that ye should abstain from fornication" (I Thessalonians 4:3).

Each woman will have to decide which method of prevention is best for her. Alternative birth control using oral contraceptives is the most successful in preventing pregnancy if a woman takes them as prescribed. Experimentation is often used in trying to find the best method for each woman. What works well for one may not work well for another. The side effects will vary as well. Some of the side effects associated with oral contraceptives that delay menses include but are not limited to breakthrough bleeding, cramping, headaches, nausea, and general discomfort. Some studies have linked taking oral contraceptives with increased risks of developing liver, cervical, and breast cancer as well as an increase of developing blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.

Two of the concerns associated with women taking oral contraceptives are the possibility that they cause weight gain and can affect blood pressure. These concerns are among the most common of birth control questions. Oral contraceptives have been linked to an increase in blood pressure among women who smoke and that are older than their mid 30's. Doctors do not usually recommend oral contraceptives for women who are in their 50's because of the probable onset of menopause and the increased risk of heart disease. A woman who is going through menopause may not realize it while taking oral contraceptives because menses will usually continue even though the ovaries have stopped releases hormones.

For women who are single the obvious choice for preventing birth control should be to abstain from having sexual relations. God's word is very clear on the subject of fornication and adultery. "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother" (Mark 10:19). For married women who wish to wait to have children there are alternative birth control methods that may be tried but the importance of listening to a physician should take precedence with making the decision on which method to use. For women who have a hard time remembering to take a pill there is the birth control patch that delivers the hormones directly through the skin. In addition, some women like going for three months without a menses by opting for a contraceptive shot.

The birth control shot may sound very attractive for women who do not want to have to worry about taking a pill everyday and who enjoy the freedom from menses that the shot provides. Birth control questions about this type of method is largely about the side effects and risks associated with it. After abstinence this method is one of the most effective controls in preventing pregnancy. Some side effects associated with the shot are weight gain, breast tenderness, mood swings, breakthrough bleeding or spotting, and headaches. Life threatening risks associated with a contraceptive shot are severe abdominal pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, vision changes, and severe leg pain. This method can also delay pregnancy for over a year after discontinuing the shot.

A device that can help to prevent pregnancy is called an intrauterine device or IUD. The intrauterine device is a very effective alternative birth control method. An IUD is inserted into the uterus as it works to prevent fertilization by changing the lining of the uterus. The device should be checked at least every three months but is good for up to ten years depending upon the type of device that is used. Some of the side effects are headaches, acne, and breast pain. The risks include ovarian cysts, and the possible occurrence of pelvic inflammatory disease.

For married couples who have prayerfully and thoughtfully decided to not have anymore children there are two surgeries that can provide permanent sterilization. For the male there is the vasectomy and for the female there is tubal ligation. Couples should discuss these two surgeries with a physician in determining which one should be done. In most cases a vasectomy is less invasive, cost less, takes less recovery time, and can be done in a doctor's office whereas a tubal ligation must be done with anesthesia and in the hospital. A doctor can answer all birth control questions that surround these two forms of sterilization and about any other types of methods to prevent pregnancy. Once the surgeries are performed they are usually not reversible so couples should really give this consideration before making a final decision.

Pregnancy After Abortion

The issue of pregnancy after abortion is one that concerns many women who have chosen to terminate unwanted pregnancies at some earlier point in their lives. As life circumstances change, many women find themselves in the position of desiring to marry and begin families. At such times, suppressed emotions surrounding a prior decision to terminate a pregnancy can rise to the surface. Fear over physical limitations that may be the result of previous abortions can also cause a great deal of stress. Ideally, these issues will have been considered before decisions to terminate pregnancies were made. This is not generally the case, however. Often as not, the more pressing immediate needs that women faced during initial unwanted pregnancies will take top priorities. Subsequent feelings of regret or concern over the ability to bear a child to term will frequently later surface, causing anguish and concern for a woman and her family. Generally speaking, an abortion will in most cases not prevent a woman from becoming pregnant later in life. But that is not to say that there are no physical problems that are associated with pregnancy after abortion.

There can, in fact, be certain physical and emotional problems that can arise for women concerned about pregnancy after abortion when the time for starting a family does arrive. For example, if a scaring if the uterine lining occurred during the abortion, this can be a serious issue. Once a woman has failed to conceive after a total of three ovulation cycles, she should be examined by a specialist in the reproductive field. If scarring has occurred, this can be determined through a simple test. This test may involve an injection of saline into the uterus. Such injections make it possible for the physician to detect any scarring that may be present. Scaring can block the fallopian tubes and render a woman infertile. Surgical procedures may be able to repair such blockage and make it possible for the woman to become pregnant and carry a child to term. Other pregnancy after abortion concerns can include an increased risk of bleeding before the twenty eighth week of gestation. Issues regarding retention of the placenta have also been reported to occur more frequently among women have previously had abortions. There is debate about whether or not previous abortions can create a greater risk of low birth weight, but there seems to be little evidence to support such an assertion.

Perhaps the greatest risk associated with pregnancy after abortion is that of future emotional problems. In most cases, the decision to abort a child is a result outside situations and pressures. These social reasons may include a separation from the father of the child or pressure from the father or other family members to undergo an abortion. Making such a decision while under pressure from others is very likely to result in second thoughts, not to mention possible guilt and shame later on. Women who are facing pregnancies that are unplanned may feel that their options are limited. Unfortunately, sufficient information on the long term emotional toll that such a decision can take on a woman's emotional well being are often not provided by abortion proponents. For this reason, any woman who is contemplating terminating a pregnancy should seek counsel and help from a source that will offer a complete and informed picture of the long term ramifications that abortions can represent.

Even pro abortion organizations have been forced to admit that women who have terminated pregnancies end up dealing with some very serious guilt issues when they are ready to start a family. Preparing for a planned pregnancy after abortion will usually necessitate dealing some very tough mental health concerns. The notion that choosing to terminate unwanted an pregnancy will simply wipe away any problems that the unplanned child could create can only be described as short sided and completely false. Frequently, a woman will find out too late that abortions do not simply erase the problem, but instead result in a whole new set of issues that may take years to resolve. The guilt and shame that many women report years after abortions have taken place can have a major impact on the lives of these women and on those who love them.

In addition to risks pertaining to pregnancy after abortion, cases of clinical depression among women who have terminated pregnancies may also be higher. This is particularly true of women who aborted first pregnancies. If a woman finds that she is pregnant for the first time and that this child is unplanned, the choice to carry the infant to term or to abort it can have a major impact on future mental health. According to reports by the British Medical Journal, women who chose to carry the child to term and give birth have a lower chance of experiencing clinical depression when compared to women who chose to terminate first pregnancies. Another factor that seemed to increase the likelihood of clinical depression seemed to be the marital status of women who had undergone abortions. Married women who had experienced abortions were more likely to show symptoms of clinical depression within eight years. For these women, counseling and medical treatment are generally necessary. Women with a strong faith may be more likely to find help from the emotional issues that may be associated with pregnancy after abortion. The Bible promises believers that if they seek God first in their lives, other things will fall into place. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)



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