The Dangers of Contraception

By JJimenez Contraception

            When one is sexually active, contraceptives seem like the perfect option if a person does not want to have a baby; one can seemingly use birth control and have no adverse side effects. However, modern medicine does not work like that, and every drug that a person takes will have some effect on her body, which is usually an adverse effect. This is true with all forms of artificial birth control. Many women think that they are perfectly safe to use, but in fact, they are not.

            What the various types of birth control have in common is the way they work. There are three stages of what they do. These contraceptives begin by preventing ovulation, the release of an egg from the ovary. If that works, then the woman never becomes pregnant. They also change the mucus in the cervix, making it more difficult for the sperm to enter the cervix; if this end is achieved, but an egg is present to be fertilized and one or more sperm cells reach the egg, the woman may still become pregnant.  Finally, if both of these stages fail, the third is that the drugs irritate the lining of the uterus so that if the woman does become pregnant, the embryo will not be able to attach and grow, effectively killing the baby since he or she is not able to get the nutrients necessary for survival. This is similar to what is known to happen during a chemical abortion; though the intention with contraceptives may merely be to prevent pregnancy, the effect could be the killing of one’s child. Birth control for women works in several ways, but in the end, the last resort is to kill the baby without the baby’s mother ever knowing about it.  In addition to this disturbing truth, the following paragraphs contain specific information about each of the aforementioned four types of artificial birth control and their side effects, as well as other dangers regarding their use.

            Medroxyprogesterone acetate is a widely used method of birth control known as Depo-provera. It is an injectable, man-made hormone that can cause serious harm to a woman, and in some cases, it aborts her baby.  This contraceptive is injected under a muscle or into the skin and prevents pregnancy for up to three months. However, this contraceptive, like many, does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases or infections. Along with other contraceptives, it is reported to have many side effects. In addition to headaches, Depo-Provera’s side effects may include conditions, such as sterility, cervical cancer, breast cancer, loss of bone density, and severe mental depression. All in all, Depo-provera is certainly not safe and should not be seen as risk free.

            Ortho Evra is a skin patch form of the female hormones ethinyl, estradiol and norelgestromin. The patch can be placed in various places on the body.  It is worn for three weeks; during the fourth week no patch is worn, and then a new patch is worn. The patch slowly releases a combination of estrogen and progestin through the skin. The side effects are common to other contraceptives, nausea, breast tenderness and swelling, headache, and menstrual cramps. The most severe health warning that comes with Ortho Evra use is that the risk of getting a blood clot is significantly higher than with any pill contraceptive. This patch also provides no protection against sexually transmitted infections.

            Seasonale is the brand name of the drug combination of ethinyl estradiol, a synthetic estrogen, and levonorgestrel, a synthetic progestin. It is considered an “extended cycle” birth control pill, as the Seasonale packet contains 91 pills instead of 28; the effect is that the user only has a period about every 12 weeks.  Some common side effects include acne, headaches, nausea, and vaginal bleeding. Women taking Seasonale may be at greater risk for cardiovascular complications; specifically, older women who have a history of smoking are cautioned against taking Seasonale. The pill may cause serious side effects such as a pulmonary embolism, blood clot, or stroke. Additionally, as with all oral contraceptives, Seasonale does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

            NuvaRing is a thin vaginal ring which administers a combination of ethinyl estradiol and etonogestrel, both of which are synthetic hormones that prevent ovulation.The ring is inserted for three weeks, where it slowly releases estrogen and progestin into the body. After three weeks, the ring is removed for one week; a new ring is then inserted. NuvaRing is reported to cause weight gain, sore throat, headache, and coughing. More serious side effects include blurred vision, diarrhea, dizziness, and chest pain or shortness of breath. The effectiveness of NuvaRing also depends on interactions with antibiotics, which can weaken its strength, and it depends on the ring being placed correctly so it doesn’t fall out. NuvaRing offers no protection against sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV or chlamydia. 

            The risks are often overlooked when one chooses artificial birth control. If you are taking or are considering taking contraceptives, you may think, “It won’t be me”…but it could. It could be you who dies of a blood clot, cancer, or heart problems, or experiences permanent sterility as a result of these seemingly harmless drugs. These contraceptives are not safe for you or the baby they could kill. The best form of birth control is staying abstinent until marriage.  Abstinence does not harm a woman’s health.  It is also 100-percent effective at preventing pregnancy; as a result, a woman who remains abstinent need not fear that her method of birth control will allow her to become pregnant, or destroy the child in her womb.