Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Birth Control

There are certain things that are kind of awkward to discuss in polite society. So I'm going to discuss it here on the internet because it seems that anything goes on the internet.

I want to start with this quote from Elder Andersen's talk in the October 2011 General Conference:

When to have a child and how many children to have are private decisions to be made between a husband and wife and the Lord. These are sacred decisions—decisions that should be made with sincere prayer and acted on with great faith.
I want it to be very clear from the beginning that I am not anti-birth control. There are personal reasons related to the physical, mental, and emotional health of parents that they need to consider with the Lord and not with anyone else. They are personal considerations.

That being said, I've had some ponderings on birth control lately that I hope can be discussed respectfully.

Before getting married my basic understanding of birth control, outside of abstinence, was either "the pill" (hormonal birth control) or condoms. I didn't even realize there were so many different types of hormonal birth control out there. Or other forms of barrier methods.

When I got married the so-you're-going-to-get-married-and-have-sex-now talk with my mom consisted of her saying three words - "I suggest condoms." Because of everything being said everywhere else, we figured we'd use pills. My understanding was they work perfectly and were super easy and had no side effects (the ad agency on that one is doing a real good job).

And then I started looking more into it. And there are a TON of side effects. Granted, incidence of side effects are small, but did I really want to risk weight fluctuations, mood swings, altering my natural hormonal balance, and random break through bleeding in the lead up to our wedding while I adjusted to pills? No, not really.

I'd also heard of IUDs. Which can have hormones or not and are supposed to be super convenient. Although generally doctors like you to have a baby before they give you one of those. I know a lot of people that have an IUD.

But there's one thing I wonder about IUDs. Because IUDs don't prevent fertilization the way a barrier method like condoms or diaphragms do, or even some hormonal pills. IUDs prevent pregnancy by preventing the implantation of a growing embryo.

I know I'm completely biased on this topic because I have pictures of eleven of our growing embryos, two of which implanted and continued to grow for a while and what I want now more than anything in the world is for an embryo to implant again and keep growing.

With that being said, what I'm wondering is how these wonderful people I know who have IUDs feel about when life begins. I know they are all against abortion. Is it then okay to prevent life from continuing to grow through implantation but not okay to stop it from growing after implantation? Do they know that's how an IUD works? I've seen on other places around the internet where people who are not LDS are wondering the exact same things about their LDS friends with IUDs.

So you see, not exactly questions I could bring up at a family dinner. What are your thoughts on birth control options and when life begins?

Please keep the discussion respectful. This is me trying to understand how others think, not tell others how to think. I have my thoughts and opinions and you have yours. Please help me understand your thoughts and opinions. We reserve the rights we have as blog administrators to do what we need to do to keep the discussion respectful.