Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Natural Family Planning: Part 3: Extreme Birth Control

I remember being baffled by a conversation with one of my best friends shortly after we graduated from college. She had a good job with good health insurance and she had made an appointment to speak with her doctor. She came home outraged. She had gone in and demanded the doctor schedule a hysterectomy (at the ripe old age of 22). She said that she knew that she would never want kids and she was tired on dealing with monthly cycles. Her doctor said no, because of the side effects and because she might change her mind. My friend ranted and raved. It was unfair. If a man wanted a vasectomy she wouldn't have a problem with it. It was sexist to deny her the procedure.

I wasn't particularly religious at this juncture in my life, but I did think a hysterectomy was more then a little extreme. It wasn't something that you could take back! And I was pretty sure the side effects of not having a uterus, weren't worth the trade off of not having a menstrual cycle (with the elective surgery she was begging for). Now I know a bit more and it definitely wouldn't be worth it with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, fractures and bladder function problems like urinary incontinence (I would think that last one would be worse then dealing with a monthly period).

Something that struck me as very odd when this conversation occurred was that this friend was a self proclaimed feminist. Another friend with feminist views told me, after seeing my one month old daughter nurse (in my bed in my bedroom) that breastfeeding was the most disgusting thing ever. I think it's tragic that so many women who have embraced this extremely misguided ideology seem to be ashamed of their own anatomy and, in seeking to make women "equal" seek to make them the same as men. Feminists should embrace the unique God-given gifts of femininity, which make us women and set us apart from men. If my friend had done this she may have been less angry...

Of course few women would go such a radical route and if I hadn't personally heard the idea bandied about when living in the SF Bay, I wouldn't have included it in my discussion of NFP. However since some women apparently do consider it, it's here. Up next, tubal ligation.

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