Birth control. Credit: Sarah C via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Birth control. Credit: Sarah C via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Blood clots. Mood swings. Low sex drive. Migraines.

The list goes on and on.

At this point, it’s not really a surprise that shoving mega-doses of synthetic hormones into our systems year after year comes at a price. But for many women, the Pill still seems like the only option.


For years, it’s felt like Catholics have held the best-kept secret in women’s health – Natural Family Planning. A highly effective method of fertility monitoring without the need to pump your body full of artificial chemicals, it also boasts earlier detection for a whole host of diseases and disorders, and an overall understanding of your own health and fertility. Not to mention Catholic teaching that it’s the only moral method of family planning and allows you to be open to God’s will in a way that contraception does not.

But now, what was once viewed as a weird Catholic thing is becoming more and more mainstream. As people become increasingly conscious of what they are putting into their bodies, they are also realizing what it actually means to manipulate your body’s chemistry to the point that a healthy reproductive system no longer functions.

Even Cosmo has acknowledged that the Pill is pretty awful for women, and that natural fertility awareness methods may offer a better option.

In an article a while back (which was originally published in Elle and later run by Cosmo), the author explores the myriad side effects of the Pill – ranging from inconvenient to potentially deadly – and questions the prevailing mantra that the Pill is the best thing to happen to women since the 19th Amendment.

A few highlights:

To Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, prescribing the Pill for debilitating menstrual conditions, such as the endometriosis I suffered from, only masks the problem. “It’s like a mechanic putting a piece of duct tape over the indicator light on your dashboard and claiming he’s fixed your car,” she says.

The “fertility awareness method,” once the sole province of religions that didn’t allow other forms of contraception, has been newly embraced by holistic women’s health experts such as Northrup, who says it can be at least 95 percent effective when used correctly. She says, however, this requires that “women interact consciously with their fertility, and the reality is that many women still don’t have conscious dominion over their fertility.”


You can find the whole article here. Fair warning: it’s Cosmo. Some of the ads and language on the site are what my editor would refer to as “lusty smut.”