• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Catholic Weddings

NFP question

So after reading an earlier post (Taking Control of Your Fertility) a question developed in my mind.  I'm still learning about NFP along with my fiance.  However, I'm currently on a BCP.  Originally it was to help with period issues.  Eventually as I got older that issue went away.  However, when I tried going of the BCP it was discovered that I get horrible hormonal mood swings (to the point where they were interfearing with day to day stuff). Thus, my question is this: Can I start charting for NFP while still on a BCP?
«1

Re: NFP question

  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Charting is to track your ovulation cycle. When taking BCP, you aren't ovulating.

    Honestly though, the pill is very bad for you. It isn't regulating hormones, its putting synthetic ones in you. (and may have caused the probs you're having. Instead, find a doc that will actually treat and cure your hormonal problem.

    I started charting for my health long ago, and discovered several issues I never would hvae found normally. One of these was low progesterone, which came with the mood swings, etc. I take a natural progesterone at the right time of the cycle and it fixed everythign. This is helping my body produce more progeterone, not block it.
    You can find a doc to help with these problems naturally at www.omsoul.com
  • chelseamb11chelseamb11 member
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    How long did you go off the pill before that happened?  I experienced the same thing and I'm still slihgtly experiencing it but not to the extent I was (been off for about a month and a half).  In all honesty, your body is just really confused about hormones because now it has to figure out how much to produce to balance out your body.  I think if you can tough it out for awhile, just wait and I bet your body wil balance after a few months.  Just keep a good bottle of wine on  hand :) it works great for me to calm down when I'm cranky
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for all the advice I will look into stuff.  Please keep in mind, however, that I have looked into the medical side of things and would not be on something I believed to be harming my body.  My issues are apparently genetic as my mother and I have had many discussions about them both between ourselves and my doctor.
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    You can try to get the hang of remembering to take your basal temperature at the same time and check your cervical mucous, but you will not get the temperature spike and normal progression on mucous texture while you are on the BCP because the Pill's hormones prevent ovulation.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_nfp-question-5?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d4e814a2-a8cf-4cdd-98cb-c88a09292f57Post:080703a1-3114-4ca8-b60a-fdd6e6cad72f">Re: NFP question</a>:
    [QUOTE]You can try to get the hang of remembering to take your basal temperature at the same time and check your cervical mucous, but you will not get the temperature spike and normal progression on mucous texture while you are on the BCP because the Pill's hormones prevent ovulation.
    Posted by mica178[/QUOTE]

    mica is correct.

    I think Roman Catholics too often over-emphasize the risks of artificial hormone therapy. (I also believe some doctors under-emphasize the risks.) "Birth control pills" (a misnomer if you're not taking them as contraceptives, but for things like amenorrhea, endometriosis, acne, PMDD, etc.) are not Eve's forbidden fruit. You will NOT surely die if you touch/take them. They've been tested for 50 years now. They're medicine like any other medicine. You have to weigh the risks and benefits with your doctor.

    Among the benefits of some kinds of hormone therapy is treatment of hormone-related mood swings. The mood swings are caused by severe fluctuations in hormone levels. The pills give you high doses of hormones, so you stay at their steady, high levels, avoiding the mood swings. There are other ways of treating these mood swings. None are as easy as just taking a pill. Few are as inexpensive. They usually involve vitamin/mineral supplements and diet changes and exercise.

    It is also true that going off the pills can cause mood swings that go away after a few months. This is because going off the pills rapidly changes your hormone levels, but once you're off for a few months, your body may not have the giant fluctuations.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_nfp-question-5?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d4e814a2-a8cf-4cdd-98cb-c88a09292f57Post:ad1c6afd-d69f-49c9-bdd1-1959db1f80bf">Re: NFP question</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: NFP question : mica is correct. I think Roman Catholics too often over-emphasize the risks of artificial hormone therapy. (I also believe some doctors under-emphasize the risks.) "Birth control pills" (a misnomer if you're not taking them as contraceptives, but for things like amenorrhea, endometriosis, acne, PMDD, etc.) are not Eve's forbidden fruit. You will NOT surely die if you touch/take them. They've been tested for 50 years now. They're medicine like any other medicine. You have to weigh the risks and benefits with your doctor. Among the benefits of some kinds of hormone therapy is treatment of hormone-related mood swings. The mood swings are caused by severe fluctuations in hormone levels. The pills give you high doses of hormones, so you stay at their steady, high levels, avoiding the mood swings. There are other ways of treating these mood swings. None are as easy as just taking a pill. Few are as inexpensive. They usually involve vitamin/mineral supplements and diet changes and exercise. It is also true that going off the pills can cause mood swings that go away after a few months. This is because going off the pills rapidly changes your hormone levels, but once you're off for a few months, your body may not have the giant fluctuations.
    Posted by ElisabethJoanne[/QUOTE]

    I have to respectfully disagree with this. While I agree that the dangers of the pill can be overstated by some Catholics and understated by most doctors, there <em>is</em> real damage that the pill can do.

    In rare instances, it can act an an abortifacient, which definitionally kills an unborn child. Again, I think this is often overstated by Catholics, but it is a distinct thing that the BCP can do. It has also been classified as a carcinogen by the WHO. I truly, honestly believes that it damages a woman's dignity and that it damages the souls of both the man and woman in the situation. Those are all very, very real dangers.

    <div>Many, many doctors are grossly misinformed/underinformed about the alternatives to BCP in treating women's health issues. The pill is seen as a cure-all when there <em>are</em> other treatments available. No, some of them might not be as easy as the BCP, but they actually treat the problem. Just because something is easy doesn't mean that it is right.

    Additionally, true hormone replacement therapy, which is 100% ok in the eye of the church, actually replaces specific hormones that are underproduced by a person's system, as Agape discussed in her earlier post. This causes the body to function properly, not mask true function with the BCP.

    Finally, the use of the BCP for the treatment of medical issues is somewhat debatable. Most of us hard-liners will say that NaPro technology and its cousins have advanced to the point that most if not all gynecological issues can be treated without the BCP. Some, however, would argue that it falls under the principle of double effect and, if it is not being used for contraception but for medical necessity, it might be ok.

    OP, I would again suggest talking to an NFP doctor who is trained in NaPro technology. Most doctors are not trained in this, so I'm not surprised that your and your mom's doctors would tell you that the BCP is the best treatment. In his/her mind is may be, but to a NaPro trained doctor is certainly is not.
    </div>
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    My husband and I are both physicians.  I am Catholic, H is not.  There is nothing in H's religion that is anti-BCP (he's Presbyterian). 

    However, yesterday, I was talking about how many ladies I "know" on the Knot who are starting to chart, and H said, "I don't know why more women don't."  And he asked why most doctors don't recommend NFP to women. 

    Yes, I have converted my husband to be a true NFP believer.  Now that he can sleep through the thermometer beeping, he thinks it's the best form of birth control a couple can use.
  • edited December 2011
    bibliophile, do you think that about women's dignity if there's no man involved? I was addressing the OP right now, when she's not having sex, so I was leaving aside all contraceptive and aboratfacient effects and just looking at the pills as they treat the diseases I named and similar secondary indications.

    And if you do think that there's a dignity issue involved in suppressing ovulation, why?

    I agree it is disrespectful to the dignity of women to give them less than the best possible medical treatment in accord with the Church's teachings. I'm just saying, leaving aside the medical pros and cons, and taking out contraception and abortion, is it disrespectful to suppress an unmarried woman's ovulation for the purpose of treating and/or preventing disease?

    Mine might be a hypothetical question. Maybe at this stage the medicine is such that all the diseases "birth control pills" might prevent or treat can be better prevented and treater otherwise. But if it is the medically best treatment, is it an undignified treatment such that a medically lesser treatment should be selected on moral grounds, even for unmarried Catholics?
  • edited December 2011
    Also, I phrased my questions that way, bibliophile, because it's only on the dignity issue we might disagree. I admitted the medication has risks, so physically we agree there is real damage the pills CAN do. I admitted there are alternative treatments. The issue is whether they do more damage than harm in EVERY instance.

    One more thing: When it comes to disease, if 2 treatments are the same in all ways but ease, we should take the easier one. An example would be things you can take by pill or injection. Most people would rather swallow a pill than get a shot. If they're just as effective, and carry the same risks (except injection-site infection v. choking), there's no reason not to just take the pill.

    This is not what we're discussing about hormones, of course. But I want to repeat it because there's still a lot of taboo about women's health. If I have diabetes, I don't think I'm dirty or shameful. It's not a punishment for sin, not necessarily, anyway. But when it comes to a lot of OB/GYN conditions, there's lots of shame, and I think that shame can keep people from seeking treatment. In fact, I know it can. Women believe they need to suffer through this stuff. It's part of Eve's curse, or it's God punishing them. I think the Church is past that thinking. Improper levels of estrogen, for example, are no more a moral or theological issue than improper levels of insulin.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    There is a LOOONGGG list of docs and other medical professionals who will agree the the BCP is pure poison.

    Why? because it is stopping the body from working the way its supposed to. NOT helping it. It may stop symptoms, but thats all its doing. Its masking and covering it up.  I do believe it is against women's dignity to artificially stop the working or struggling to work reproductive system.  Janet Smith has done some research (that has just been backed up by a secular organization) about the harms it causes in the chemistry/pheromones, etc.

    If you had a headache in the same place every day for months, would you keep taking advil to ease the pain, or actually figure out what is causing the problem and cure/fix that?

    You all might not believe me on this, but there has been LOADS of data that has not made any medical journals of the harms of BCP--especially to the link to breast cancer. (For instance, the data only cleverly included women over 50,  not the astronomical amounts from the most susceptible, those aged 18-23 who haven't had children yet)
  • edited December 2011
    Thank you to all who addressed my original question. ^_^

    For the rest of you, enjoy your debate.
  • RaeilyRaeily member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    OP, 
    I am in a very similar situation. I have been taking the BCP for about 5 years on and off because of my menstral issues. It is believed that I have endometriosis but I cannot afford the procedure to find out for sure not to mention the surgery (or surgeries) to correct it. When I am not on the BCP I cannot describe how bad my periods are. I have to call out of work at least the first day, sometimes more. 

    I've been trying to get someone to tell me what would be a "Catholic Approved" way of dealing with the pain? Should I just suffer until I can afford the surgeries? 
    January 2013 Moms - February Siggy Challenge - My Valentine
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    Anniversary
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    i absolutely think the pill might have cause me irreparable damage.  i was on it for 10+ years.

    while i get a period every month, and appear to be ovulating based on my temps, my cycles are very short (23-25 days) and i only bleed for one day.  everyone told me my periods would be longer when i went off, they are much, much shorter (4 days to 1 day).

    my doctor has no explanation.
  • edited December 2011
    Calypso, I can't remember, have you seen an NFP-only doc yet? I recall that there wasn't a convenient one in your area, but s/he might have an explaination that a regular doc would not.

    Mica, I love the story about your hubby. I didn't realize he is a doc, too. My H is a 2nd year and just had a fit when he sat through a lecture about how terrible natural forms of BC that people "read about on the internet" are. It really is about converting one person at a time.

    ElisabethJ, sorry I didn't get back to you last night (got caught up in life stuff). However, yes, I do believe that just throwing the Pill at women, even those who are not having sex, undermines their dignity. As Agape said, the Pill does not treat symptoms. It masks them. It says that instead of treating diseases in their God-given reproductive system that they only deserve to have them masked. Yes, there is a lot of shame in reproductive health issues, but women deserve to be given the dignity of treatment. Plus, doing long-term damage to a person's body is a serious risk and violation of dignity, regardless of whether or not a person is having sex.

    Also, as both Agape and I have said, if a person truly has low levels of estrogen or progesterone or other hormones, the Church as absolutely no (zero, zip, zilch, nada) issue with giving hormone-specific therapy to threat that issue. That hormone will allow the body to work properly. This is different than throwing the BCP, with all of its other problems, at the person. It is also not a case of equal in all but ease of use, because these treatments are not equal.

    Raeily, I'm truly sorry that you are going through this. I know that endometriosis is one of the things that is most difficult to manage without BCP, and I know surgery really is the best option, but that there are other factors involved in that decision. If you have not talked to an NFP-only doc, I would, because they surely know more than I do. However, I will keep you in my prayers and hope you are able to find a resolution to your health issues.

    This is a P&R 'cause I've got to run to work, but I'll be back this evening if there are other comments.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Bibliophile -- H is a psychiatrist, so he's not exactly talking birth control on any regular basis.  Neither do I (professionally), but, as a female doctor, more people talk to me about it, and, well, it's of direct concern to me and my body!
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    bib, no, i havent.  i think there were only two or three in all of MA and they were not anywhere near me, and they were all males if i remember correctly.   could also be my weight too - i packed on 20 pounds when i went off the pill - again, the reverse of what everyone said would happen - usually you gain when you go on, not when you come off.

    who knows.  when we start trying if we have issues, tehn ill have to address it.  otherwise, for now, i kind of like the short periods even though i know it cant be normal. 
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Calypso, pm me if you would rather (or dont' reply if you don't want to talk about it), but when you say one day periods, is it surrounded a few days by brown or spotting?

    I have this, and its indicative of low progesterone. This could cause a miscarriage.
  • lalaith50lalaith50 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_nfp-question-5?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d4e814a2-a8cf-4cdd-98cb-c88a09292f57Post:d0731063-792f-4029-9d73-14efae5ce255">Re: NFP question</a>:
    [QUOTE]For the rest of you, enjoy your debate.
    Posted by theangelcin[/QUOTE]<div>We're good at that around here... </div><div>;-)

    </div>
    Anniversary
  • edited December 2011
    Raeily,  they told me I had a more mild form of endometriosis.  For about 1-2 years (if not more, I don't fully remember) I suffered through pain so bad I had to leave school. I tried controlling it with over the counter meds, exercise, and healthier eating. Nothing I tried work, hense going on the pill.  Luckily for me as I got older things corrected themselves, and as stated earlier I now continue to be on it for the hormonal mood swings.  I tried to give those time to level out without the pill, but they also were greatly affecting my day to day life.

    From glancing through the debaters posts, I would recommend talking to someone educated in NFP.  Perhaps through your church?  Personally I wouldn't recommend mentioning you're on the pill unless you have to.  Obviously some people take great offense to it and will no longer focus on your original question.  If you find yourself uncomfortable talking to the first person you go to, find another. Talk to your OBG/YN.  Get recommendations for OBG/YN's from Catholic friends who won't "condem" you for your situation and will help. ^_^

    I totally get where you're coming from.  I hope you find the help you're looking for. ^_^
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011

    **TMI**

    agape, it is preceded by 2 maybe 3 days of extremely light spotting. 
    the one day of period is very clotty - tampons dont really work, so i use pads now (yuck).  my luteal phase is short, so i know i might have issues with the egg implanting.  but if it does implant, and i'm low on progesterone, you are saying i might miscarry too, rather than just have a "phantom" pregnancy?

  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Catholics take offense to pill usage when there is no need for it. And mainly the offense is at the medical community/society who scoffs at the idea that NFP can help cure your menstral problems.

    The Church does approve of the use of ABC pills in extreme medical cases, where there aren't better options. Unfortunately, many people assume their situation fits this criteria, when it doesn't. This is why you get passionate responses, because so many ladies come to the board and post about their uncurable "condition" that requires BCP, when the best option for them is a form of NFP with other natural medications. I realize this isn't the case with every poster - just trying to give you the background of what we've seen here.

    I have a friend who has endometriosis, she's had the surgery to remove it, but is still on the pill. She doesn't want to be, but hasn't found another alternative. Her doctors tell her the only way to help it is to start having kids. She is unmarried and single - so that isn't happening in the near future.  I've been researching for her myself, and haven't found anything.

    Does anyone know of non-ABC pill treatments for endometriosis?
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    Most of the treatment for endometriosis is hormone based, and all of the non-BCP options have pretty horrible side effects.  And they're expensive and non-curative.

    I'm sorry that you're going through this, OP.
  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_nfp-question-5?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d4e814a2-a8cf-4cdd-98cb-c88a09292f57Post:778dbe20-5ca2-4b94-9812-b85851f1aa8e">Re: NFP question</a>:
    [QUOTE]There is a LOOONGGG list of docs and other medical professionals who will agree the the BCP is pure poison. Why? because it is stopping the body from working the way its supposed to. NOT helping it. It may stop symptoms, but thats all its doing. Its masking and covering it up.  I do believe it is against women's dignity to artificially stop the working or struggling to work reproductive system.  Janet Smith has done some research (that has just been backed up by a secular organization) about the harms it causes in the chemistry/pheromones, etc. If you had a headache in the same place every day for months, would you keep taking advil to ease the pain, or actually figure out what is causing the problem and cure/fix that? You all might not believe me on this, but there has been LOADS of data that has not made any medical journals of the harms of BCP--especially to the link to breast cancer. (For instance, the data only cleverly included women over 50,  not the astronomical amounts from the most susceptible, those aged 18-23 who haven't had children yet)
    Posted by agapecarrie[/QUOTE]

    But when I have cramps in the same place every month, at the advice of my doctors, I recognize it's the uterus doing it's usual thing, and take the Advil.

    Except, if it's really not just usual uterine issues, but endometrium that's extra-thick and outside the uterus, that's super-painful and can wreck my fertility permanently. Seems like the prudent thing to do would be to stop that destructive process while I'm single so that I can participate in the life-giving process when I'm married.

    What do you mean by "struggling to work reproductive system"? It's a really complicated system. One part can be working really well, but another part be all messed up. Sometimes fixing the messed-up part influences the otherwise-OK parts.

    Again, so it is with lots of medical treatments. I might have a bacterial infection that requires an injected antibiotic. You have to puncture my skin and inject something into healthy muscle tissue to fix an infection elsewhere.
  • edited December 2011
    So it appears we have one example where one of the worst side-effects of birth control pills as birth control pills, how the effect the uterine lining so it can't support a pregnancy, is a good "side effect" for a debilitating disease that, again, can destroy fertility if left untreated. But the hormone therapy for it is undignified. Makes an adult female less a woman.

    Bah! This is lots of why I'd rather be thought a damned contraceptrix than a cursed barren woman. (And it's not like anyone but I and my doctor can tell the difference once I'm married.) We need to move past a society where a person's dignity is caught up in their biology and ability to reproduce.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Calypso, I don't know much about it, I just know that progesterone is the hormone that helps keep an egg implanted.

    I am on prometrium, the natural progesterone that helped with moods, anxiety, insomnia, spotting, etc.

    For those trying to conceive, NFP docs will most likely give you progesterone shots. (Make sure its one that knows the ovulation cycle and doesn't go by calendar--- but you know this) I know some people take them at home. It's important to get to the doc immediately when suspecting pregnancy to get the shots, and I know some people who get the shots during pregnancy from the doc.
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Elizabeth. agape was not talking about your situation specifically. She's talking about many other ailments for which women are mistreated. Just trying to counter-act those doctors that over-prescribe the pill when it isn't necessary. These uninformed doctors do unecessary harm to their patients and put them at risk.

    Again, there are circumstances where the pill is the best answer. No one is disagreeing with that.

  • edited December 2011
    Agape said, "I do believe it is against women's dignity to artificially stop the working or struggling to work reproductive system." A system "struggling to work" is not working. Yet she seems to think that suppressing ovulation even in that instance destroys woman's dignity. Hopefully she'll come back and clarify.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the medical information, agape. And it dares cite Guttmacher, so it's open to all sources, that's good.

    On acne, most of those treatments will be tried before or in conjunction with hormone therapy. A sort-of exception is accutane, which is a last resort. The doctors who will perscribe it without birth control are very few and far between, though. Accutane is linked to many babies born each year with severe birth defects, and requires special pregnancy-avoiding protocols.

    It seems inconsistent to say "treat the cause not the symptoms" for other gynecological problems, and then say, "If your periods are just painful, just treat the symptoms [with painkillers]." It seems to me all pain is injury or disease, and we should treat the wound or the disease. Hormone therapy gets at the cause of the disease.

    Similar with endometriosis. And, for the umpteenth time, just treating the symptoms there can lead to worse problems down the road. Suppressing ovulation and the thickening of the endometrium can preserve fertility for later.
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    "destroy" goes much further than damage, or "goes against"

    Sometimes we have to be damaged in some areas to preserve others. I am assuming agape would not choose to make a woman infertile over having her take ABC, if those were the only two options.

    I just wish when we assume what someone is implying, that we assume the best, and not the worst. And calmy ask for clarfication rather than angrily responding to something they haven't actually said. This happens way too often on this board.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards