Help! My doctors keeps pressuring me to go on birth control!

I absolutely loath going to the doctor’s office. It’s not because of the doctor’s office “smell,” awkward checkups, or possibility of needing to get a shot (although I’m not a huge fan of needles either), it’s because sometimes, as a college-aged woman, doctors pressure me to go on birth control. It’s awkward and uncomfortable and I used to panic when the words “birth control” were mentioned during an appointment. After a lot of trial and error, I have a better handle on how to deal with those awkward situations where you have to refuse birth control from a doctor.

1) Stay educated on why to avoid birth control.
I used to refuse to go on birth control because I knew that the Church taught against it when it’s used as a contraceptive. It’s what every chastity speaker told me. But I never really knew why the church thought so or exactly what birth control pills, shots, patches, and implants could do to my body. After doing some research, I learned that the risks of contraception outweigh the benefits from a medical perspective and I realized that the church makes logical sense to teach against it—both from theological and medical perspectives.

It’s important to form your conscience and do some research about not only what the Church teaches but also how birth control can harm a woman’s health. I used to go into the doctor with a speech prepared on the health and spiritual reasons against birth control, but realized I only needed to know those reasons for me to better understand why I should refuse it.

2) Be polite
I often times felt the need to get very defensive when a doctor began the birth control chat. Several would keep repeating, “It’s important to keep an open mind.” That would make me mad because I wondered where their open mind was about my beliefs. But they are simply doing their jobs. So be polite and refuse. I have found a simple “no thanks” is enough to stop the discussion. If they ask why not, I usually respond “for religious reasons.” and then they stop. Usually that reason alone is enough and they make a note of that in my file so they don’t push it as much next time I come in.

But instead of just refusing the drug, try to educate them about it! Some doctors don’t realize that birth control pills can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer and that it can act as an abortifacient. Feel free to print up these medical journal articles to help them see where you’re coming from: [1] [2].

My general practitioner asks me if I have changed my mind on birth control every time I go in. I say no and we move on. It gets easier if you are confident in your desire not to go on birth control.

3) Ask about alternatives to birth control
I used to struggle with acne. I saw five different dermatologists about it and all of them suggested going on birth control to help balance my hormones as acne is sometimes a result of spikes in hormone levels. They also offered to give me a treatment that required I go on birth control because should I have gotten pregnant while I was taking the medicine, my child would be born with many birth defects. For the first time, at fourteen-years-old, my mama bear instincts kicked in and I refused both the birth control and the potentially harmful medication. I asked if there was anything else I could do to help treat my acne. They gave me other options and I was able to select a better, more natural, safe, and healthy way to fight acne without using birth control.

While there’s nothing morally wrong with going on birth control for medical reasons such as acne, PCOS, endometriosis, etc… it’s good to know that you have alternatives. Sometimes, you may need to get a second (or third) medical opinion for your treatment. Where do you begin? Look into NaPro Technology or find for an NFP-Only Doctor near you.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where birth control is so widely accepted by the medical community that it’s crucial for all young women to understand why the Church teaches what she does. Stay informed and always trust your intuition.
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hanHannah Crites is a sophomore at Franciscan University of Steubenville majoring in Mass Communications with a focus in Journalism and minoring in Theology. She is currently living in Washington D.C. and working as an intern for The Washington Times. She hails from Denver, Colorado and enjoys eating Twizzlers, long walks on the beach, talking in a horrible British accent, and the word “discombobulate”. Connect with her through Twitter @hannah_crites and check out more of what she has written at http://youngcatholiccentral.wordpress.com/

10 Comments

  1. As a catholic medical student, thank you for posting the two journal articles with this! I’m going to study them and hopefully use them in discussions with my professors and peers 🙂 thank you!

    By Cat | 2 years ago Reply
  2. I’m curious what you ended up using for your acne. I have had similar issues with the birth control question and Acutane but I didn’t want to use either. What ended up working for you? I’m a senior in college and still have trouble with my face. Any direction would be lovely!

    By Christina | 2 years ago Reply
    • I have a 17 year old daughter whose acne was horrendous. She tried all manner of treatment including orally ingested medications. Nothing worked. Then she tried “AZTEC SECRET” Indian Healing Clay. You apply it to your face like a mud pack. Now her face is as smooth as a baby’s. You can purchase it from The Vitamin Shop. Directions for use are on the jar it comes in.

      By Tom Kalil | 2 years ago Reply
  3. great opinion! I am not catholic however I am a Christian who also doesn’t believe in birth control. Unfortunately I am on it. I have PCOS. It’s a tricky syndrome with many underlying problems and many different symptoms. I am always looking for alternative medicines for my condition but there really isn’t anything that can improve my body’s natural hormon levels (yet). If you or any one else has any natural remedy is love to try but until then I think I’m stuck with birth control…

    By Samantha | 2 years ago Reply
    • Have you heard of the Creighton Model FertilityCare System? You can find a Fertility Care Practitioner online and they can explain the system to you. Basically you chart your cervical mucus observations and working with a NaPro doctor you can take natural supplements instead of artificial hormones to manage your PCOS. If it weren’t for charting my cycle I would have never even known that I had PCOS! I’ve been very satisfied with using the Creighton system.

      By Danielle | 2 years ago Reply
  4. You commented that there is nothing wrong with using birth control for medical reasons but that is not exactly correct. If you are married and sexually active then birth control has the potential to abort your babies before you even know they have been conceived. You cannot morally kill your unborn children. If you needed to temporarily use birth control, you would need to abstain from sexual relations. And considering the link to breast cancer, blood clots, etc. it certainly would be wise to treat acne with someone that could kill you.

    By Tara Brelinsky | 2 years ago Reply
    • Sorry for the typos…it certainly would not be wise to treat acne with something that could potentially kill you.

      By Tara Brelinsky | 2 years ago Reply
  5. I been going to yearly check up for the past 10 years but last month was the first time a Dr. promoted birth control and told me that it is cover under Obama Care. I was shocked and speechless.

    By Jo | 2 years ago Reply
  6. Thanks for posting this. When I was in my teens and twenties I had a lot of health issues and my condition continued to get worse amd worse. My doctor at the time viewed my refusal of birth control as a sign that my problems were psychological and a result of my religious beliefs. When I finally found a doctor who was willing to listen I had a diagnosis in three weeks, I had Graves disease and a thankfully slow growing thyroid cancer. I am now in my 30’s and my husband and I are expecting our first child any day. All thanks to a NaPro doctor. Always take the time to educate yourself and never be afraid to stand up for your body and your beliefs.

    By Fiona Hall-Ayala | 2 years ago Reply
  7. The reason why your doctors constantly suggest you take birth control is highly likely because they are best buddies with the pharmaceutical companies who make the birth control pills.
    THEY JUST WANT TO MAKE MORE MONEY. Not give you the best method that is healthiest for you.

    you can find a lot of investigative journalism pieces on just how much the pharmaceutical industry has corrupted/infiltrated the government and medical field.
    There is a reason why there is a need for natural practitioners outside of the main medical system. Pharmaceuticals also have too much wealth and are able to carry out long lawsuits if things don’t go their way.

    By Vivi | 2 years ago Reply

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