Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

June 5, 2010

Babies, the Pill, and Infertility

I have a theory. A theory about birth control and infertility treatments. I cannot tell you how many women I know who have been on the pill for about 10+ years, recently got married, and have now decided to get off the pill and try for a baby. And they cannot get pregnant. Their brains have simply stopped telling their bodies to ovulate. That is SCARY. So, they go to an infertility doctor and get put on another pill just to get pregnant. I cannot say this is true for everyone, but my anecdotal evidence leads me to suspect that a little more (well ok A LOT more) research needs to be done to assess the effects of prolonged birth control use on womens' fertility. I have a hunch that the results will be devastating. Thoughts?

Photo here


Grace in my Heart said...

I agree the pill has something to do with it. If I hear one more commercial for a fertility clinic on the radio...ugh! However, I do think we have to be careful with our assumptions. For example, I've never taken the pill and suffer from infertility.

I think instead (and more importantly) we need to educate women on the church's teachings about the pill and also the harm in reproductive technologies.

Lea said...

Fertility decreases with age. This article reports on a study that found the decline begins in the late 20s:
The study looked at couples who were not using any "artificial" birth control. Like it or not, your fertility will decline with age regardless of whether you use the pill. In my comment to your other post, I noted a study that showed that use of oral contraceptives correlated with higher fertility, not lower fertility.

Edith Magdalene said...

To Grace in my Heart - you are right - not all women who struggle with infertility have been on the pill or any form of birth control. There are many, many reasons a woman can receive this Cross - I know quite a few couples who have never used any form of birth control that do indeed struggle with this. The point I am making is that women should seriously reconsider prolonged use!

To Lea,
Thank you for your input. The point I am making is not that women just simply wait until their clock is almost up - but women who started the pill at ages 15 or 16 and are now 25 - 28, married and trying to get pregnant. These women are hardly old maids, even if they are in their late 20's, when, as you say, fertility goes down. But their bodies simply do not generate the signal to ovulate on their own any more - that to me seems certainly suspicious, since it is exactly what the pill messes with. I find it hard to believe that taking oral contraceptives actually helps women get pregnant, except maybe in extreme circumstance like PCOS - but even that is debatable - plenty of women control symptoms by ceasing unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking, eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise. I think more research should be done, and preferably not by Planned Parenthood or Susan Komen. It's time for us women to stand up for ourselves!

Related Posts with Thumbnails