Why NFP? It's Organic!
So about a year ago my mom started learning a lot about eating organic foods and using all natural products. Her interest eventually seeped into conversations with me on the other line, and I started to get on the bandwagon.
I’m personally rather attached to my boxed foods with expiration dates that seem likely to never arrive, but she had some good points. Some of the statistics she was throwing my way and the side effects of these chemicals made my stomach turn (or maybe that was the spray cheese from a can).
I had a lot of comebacks though (Oh Snap!). “But isn’t it really expensive to eat organic?” “Haven’t people been eating this stuff for years, and they seem fine?”
All of her responses left me without clever retorts. “Eating organic might be more expensive right now, but it could save you on medical bills down the road.” She also linked certain chemicals in popular use in everyday foods and a corresponding rise in several illnesses. Needless to say, I starting picking up foods (and not all of them boxed J) that said organic or at least all natural with the USDA stamp.
It was around that same time that I started to learn about the Catholic Church’s teaching on birth control. (I’ll save that post for another time.) The reasoning for the Church’s stand on birth control was beautiful to say the least, but I wanted to know if there were any secular reasons to not use birth control. Boy was I shocked to find that I would have been looking for NFP even if I weren’t remotely religious. Let me take you through some of what I found. We’ll start small.
Some of the side effects of the pill:
- Menstrual difficulties (breakthrough bleeding, menstrual irregularities, abnormal uterine bleeding)
- · Weight gain
- · Depression/mood changes
- · Decreased sex drive (this could be very serious to some ;))
- · Headache/migraine
- · Breast pain/tenderness
- · Fatigue
- · Irritability
- · Nausea/vomiting
These side effects vary from person to person and are triggered or worsened by various other activities like smoking. I can personally, after 10 years on the pill, attest to several of these side effects that I eventually just thought were normal me. In fact I was worried about discontinuing the pill mostly because I was afraid of who I would be without the hormones each day. I was positive my hormones would be all out of wack and my mood swings would have my new husband second guessing “I do.” Come to find out I was harder to live with on the pill than off!! My moods have never been so steady and normal! The list goes on, but perhaps best for another post.
More serious side effects of the pill:
- · Bone density loss
- · Heart disease
- · Delayed return of fertility
- · Increased risk of breast cancer and other estrogen- or progestin-sensitive cancers
- · Adrenal insufficiency (doesn’t allow the adrenal glands to produce the chemicals necessary for certain organ function)
- · Arterial and venous thrombotic disease (fancy talk for blood clots)
- · Live tumors
- · Liver disease
- · Renal impairment (aka kidney failure)
These facts (both lists) were taken from “Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention” (1995) and Yaz’s (a brand of the pill) warning label. Both lists are very serious reasons to consider using an alternative form of family planning. If you purchase foods that don’t have certain chemicals in them to protect your body, why would you pop a pill that would negate those efforts? There are ways to avoid a pregnancy (that yes take some self control, but so does not eating spray cheese) that are good for your body today and in the future. I hope you’ll consider it if you haven’t already.
Special thanks to the women at IuseNFP for making the stickers included in this post. Like their Facebook page if you are interested. One is a medical student :)