Back in November, #thxbirthcontrol was trending all over social media. There were many stories about how birth control has treated women with health problems or helped them in other ways, and birth control was celebrated as a key factor for achieving gender equality.
As both a Catholic and feminist, I think it is unwise how much we praise birth control. First consider that NFP may actually be more effective at helping to achieve gender equality. Secondly, with regards to women’s health, birth control is often prescribed in place of providing better care to uncover the true source of health issues specific to women (and there are medical doctors who agree).
I liked being in control of my cycle.
I used birth control for about three and a half years. I started it because I didn’t want to get my period while I was on a huge backpacking trip where I would have very limited access to running water. I kept using it even though I wasn’t sexually active because I liked being in control of my cycle. Right after I got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I learned about some of the risks of birth control and stopped using it. Interestingly enough, my depression improved and my formerly low thyroid values became normal by my next check-up. That year, I started learning how to chart my fertility cycle as part of my marriage prep. Though NFP has been challenging at times, I am also incredibly grateful for this tool. Like those women who are thanking birth control, I want to share why NFP is important to me.