Guest post by Shanna Babilonia
By now, we are all aware of the unnecessary push to regulate the use of birth control amongst women. Unfortunately, for millions of women across the United States (whose voices are often not heard), some of our leaders and lawmakers are attempting to remove birth control coverage from insurance policies and give corporations the right to terminate the employment of female employees who use contraceptives. Aside from the obvious immoral position of forcing a woman to choose between her career and her own health and family planning decisions, the truth is, women do not use birth control purely to stop pregnancy from occurring. There are several other motives, including some very real life-threatening reasons. Let’s get real about why restricting access to birth control is a horrible idea and is putting women’s health at risk.
Here are 8 other reasons women take the pill:
For some women, becoming pregnant is not an easy task, especially for women who suffer from irregular menstrual cycles. Some women opt to take the pill to create the regularity that will enable them to become pregnant, sometimes even within the first week of stopping the pill.
Some women have such intense pain during their menstrual cycle that it can leave them incapacitated and unable to tend to important areas of their lives – such as their career and home life. In order to circumvent this problem they take the pill, which can reduce the pain and even shorten the duration of her cycle.
For many of us, acne is an embarrassing problem we suffered during our youth, but this is not so for everyone. Some women suffer from extreme cases of acne and uncontrollable hair growth as adults. Taking the pill helps correct these problems and give a woman back her beautiful and clear complexion.
Contraceptives can reduce the rate at which a woman ovulates in her lifetime. Since ovulation itself can trigger cell changes that lead to cancer of the ovaries, this possible reduction in ovulation can lower the risk of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs/growths that can form during ovulation inside a woman’s ovary. Taking contraceptives reduces the risk of a woman developing these cysts when the contraceptive prevents ovulation. Sometimes these cysts dissolve on their own, but if left untreated, they can result in the need for surgery or even become cancerous.
Fibroids are lumps or growths inside the uterus caused by hormonal imbalances in the body. They are usually not cancerous, but can still be life-threatening. Fibroids can produce persistent bleeding, often with blood clots, which can result in severe blood loss. The steady blood loss can cause a woman to become anemic, and even die if the problem is not managed. She may be able to have a full or partial hysterectomy or other surgery to stop the problem; however, if her uterus is healthy her doctor may not allow such surgery, especially if she is young and still able to conceive. The pill can often balance her hormones and stop her constant bleeding without the need for surgery. This is especially useful for a woman who is young, still wants to have children or is, unable at the time, to afford the expensive cost of surgery.
Endometriosis is an ailment where the endometrial lining of the uterus begins to grow outside of the uterus and into other pelvic organs. Endometriosis can cause severe pain, immune issues, and infertility. There is no cure for endometriosis, but it can be treated. Treatments can vary ranging from pain medication and hormone therapy to surgery, depending on the severity. Birth control (hormone therapy) is one of the treatments for endometriosis. By taking contraceptives, a woman may decrease the painful effects of endometriosis as long as she remains on the treatment.
She wants to have children – in fact – she wants a large family, but she is not yet in a position to financially support a child. Many women take the pill simply because they are not prepared for the financial responsibility of caring for a child. This is a mature and honorable decision for her (and her spouse if she is married) to make. She is being wise in her decision by building her resources first and ensuring that when she does bring a child into this world, she is prepared to pay the cost of having one. This economically responsible decision enables her to first create her resources, and then start her family.
When women take family planning into their own hands and allow themselves the necessary time to first achieve financial stability, it is highly unlikely that they will need the assistance of any government program paid for by tax payer dollars.
Every woman, no matter her political, religious, or social standing should be free to determine what is right for her health and make intelligent decisions about how to properly plan her family. It’s time for women to be heard and send a clear message to our leaders that our health and family planning decisions are not up for debate. How do women do this? Through our votes and by speaking out about the obvious necessity for contraceptives.