Nearly 5 months ago Clay and I gave birth to our first child, an incredible experience that gave us a miraculous blessing. However, we don’t plan on expanding our family again until 2018. While we were still engaged Clay and I heard the negatives of birth control from friends and decided to use a natural contraceptive method (hence getting pregnant 3 months into our marriage). We heard that estrogen levels in birth control contribute to cancer and sterility. So after our son Ezra was born we decided that a copper IUD, free of hormones was a good option for us.
During a visit to my obgyn post partum I asked her about the IUD to which she responded that she herself does not insert but she would be glad to make an appointment with one of the other doctors in the practice for me who do. Her response somewhat surprised me, and knowing she is a Christian gave me curiosity. After she left the room to make my appointment to insert the IUD, I paused and something incited me to ask her why she herself won’t insert the IUD. Following her to the counter I asked. Her answer was something I didn’t know. She told me that IUD’s don’t necessarily prevent fertilization, and because of her values it’s a grey area that she avoids.
I knew in that moment that an IUD was crossing the line, and going against my personal values on life and abortion. The contraception prevents the fertilized egg from nesting in the uterus, however to me at that point the fertilized egg is life and the IUD aborts that life by not allowing it to enter the uterine wall. I couldn’t just bend my values to fit my desire, and an IUD at that point was no longer even an option.
Clay and I chose to go on the mini pill, a less effective method (85%), but one that does not effect breast feeding. With increased progesterone the mini pill works through the brain to tell my body not to release an egg, similar to the regular pill sans the estrogen. Talking more with my doctor she stated that there is no conclusive evidence that the pill causes sterility or increased chance of cancer. Feeling a weight lifted off my shoulders, I felt good about our choice knowing that it didn’t cross my morals and also preventing pregnancy until we are blessed with another child.
I don’t share this to condemn or guilt anyone. My goal is simply to educate others that share similar beliefs yet are unaware of the implications of an IUD. The mini pill was right for us and may not be the right thing for every couple. For now our little family will stay as it is, until the time is right. That’s our life, and my life Being Mrs. McIntosh.