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Artificial Contraceptive should be eliminated. This
is my argument. Why you ask? Well, although my viewpoint
sounds a little radical, I have come up with several
reasons why natural is better.
Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia defines with birth
control as any method used to prevent pregnancy from
occurring. Methods available today range from permanent
procedures such as surgical sterilization to temporary
methods that must be with each act of intercourse.
Sterilization, for example, has an effectiveness range from
99.5-99.9%. Yet, we must keep in mind that this operation
can be rather expensive, costing up to $2,500. In
addition, complications like infections or blood clots may
occur (Planned Parenthood, pg. 3). Moreover, sometimes
people later regret not being able to have children.
Another form of birth control is the intrauterine
device or IUD. IUD’s are tiny metal or plastic loops or
coils that are placed in the uterus. They have an
effectiveness of 95-99%(Funk & Wagnall’s, pg.98). A
physician must insert IUD’s, but they can remain there
until it is desired to be removed for a pregnancy.
Although they sound ideal, some women have experienced
uterine cramps and increased menstrual flow when using an
IUD. (Billings, pg.63) in fact, some devices increase the
risk of pelvic infection(Funk & Wagnall’s, pg.98).
Further, in Perry and Dawson’s book, Nightmare, they
proclaim the dangers of IUDs. They focus, especially, on
the Dalkon Shield IUD; an IUD described as “the safest and
most satisfying form of contraception.” In their book,
Perry and Dawson state that “more than 12,000 women have
filed damage suits for complications ranging from
debilitating pain and severe bleeding to perforated uteri,
unplanned pregnancies, spontaneous miscarriages, and septic
abortions(Perry & Dawson, pg. 1).
Yet, another method of birth control is the oral
contraceptive, better known as “the pill”. Oral
contraceptives are chemicals that work by altering a
woman’s normal hormonal patterns so that ovulation does not
occur(Funk & Wagnall’s, pg.98). The pill is nearly 100%
effective when taken according to directions. More
recently, however, “Oxford University researchers showed an
association between oral contraceptives and an increased
risk of blood clots affecting the veins and arteries to the
legs, lungs, and brain”(Billings, pg.164). In addition,
the estimated risk of heart attack is 2.8 times higher in
Pill-users than on non-users(Rosenfield, pg.96). Moreover,
studies from the World Health Organization states, “the
risk of death increases markedly among women over the age
of 35, especially if they are also smokers, are overweight,
or have diabetes, and have used the pill for a long time”
(Billings. Pg. 172). Lastly, former chairman of the ob-gyn
department at John Hopkins, Dr. Allan Barnes, stated that
“The risks of birth control pills far outweighed their
benefits”(Perry & Dawson, pg. 24-25).
On the other hand, barrier methods like the use of
condoms and diaphragms are inexpensive and have no side
effects. In fact, they have an effectiveness range from
86-97%(Funk & Wagnall’s, pg. 98). But, I must also add,
they provide a false sense of security.
Often, sexually active people who tend to relay on
condoms and diaphragms become a little irresponsible. They
feel secure against pregnancy. Nevertheless, this is when
For instance, youngsters, being told that condoms and
diaphragms are safe, are many times lured to believing that
it is okay to have sex. Yes, condoms and diaphragms do
provide protection, but many times they are forgotten to be
used, especially when sexual intercourse is spontaneous.
In short, if artificial contraceptives were not available,
youngsters as well as adults would not be forced to take
sexual intercourse as a highly responsible act. This
would, most likely, decrease the amount of youngsters
taking part in premarital sex. As a result, there would be
least teenage pregnancies.
Now that I have started the pros and cons to
artificial contraceptives, one question may remain I your
head: “ How does she plan to prevent pregnancy?” The
answer or solution is natural. The reasons so many
problems arise with artificially prevent life. Life is
something that happens naturally. Therefore, if life is
desired to be prevented, it should be prevented naturally
Naturally family planning is becoming more and more
popular. This is because as dissatisfaction with
contraceptives drugs and devices grows, so grows the number
of women seeking a fertility control method that is
natural-that does not interfere with the body’s normal
processes(Billings, pg. 185).
We know that nature has provided various indications
that ovulation is occurring or has occurred. These
indications have been researched, and many different
methods of natural birth control have been devised. Among
them are the Rhythm Method, the Basal Body Temperature
Method, the Sympto-Thermal Method, and the Ovulation
Method(Billings, pg. 186).
Of all the main candidates, my personal choice is the
Ovulation or Billings Method. This is because it is
suitable for everyone. The Ovulation Method can be used by
all women at all phases-whether her menstrual cycles are
regular or irregular, during adolescence, coming off the
pill, when breast feeding or approaching the
menopause(Billings, pg. 14).
The Billings Ovulation Method was developed by
Melbourne physician Dr. Evelyn Billings together with her
husband, Dr. john Billings. In her book, Billings
describes that the basis of the method is awareness of the
mucus at the vaginal opening. Basically, the mucus can
indicate whether you are fertile or infertile by its
sensation and appearance(Billings, pg. 12).
When the mucus indicates possible fertility, it is
necessary to postpone sexual intercourse if a pregnancy is
not desired. For most couples, this means that up to half
the days of a typical cycle are available for intercourse.
In general, days available for intercourse are scattered
throughout the cycle, so that abstinence is not required
for lengthy periods in any cycle. In longer cycles, a
greater portion of the cycle is available(Billings, pg.
Billings also states that like other methods, it is
susceptible to the human factor, but couples who are
motivated to make it work will find it safe, reliable and
simple to use. As a matter of fact, preliminaries findings
indicate an effectiveness of about 99%. This means that
among 100 couples who follow the method guidelines for a
year, an average of one pregnancy can be expected to occur.
This with the effectiveness of artificial contraceptives
methods including the pill and IUDs(Billings, pg. 13).
As also mentioned in her book, the method requires a
high level of motivation and cooperation. Yet, unlike
other contraceptives, the method causes not side effects or
changes in the natural body processes. With this method no
equipment is necessary, making it inexpensive. In
addition, a bonus to the method is the “sense of wonder and
deep satisfaction that comes from tuning in to the natural
rhythms of your own body”(Billings, pg. 15).
often, artificial contraceptive advocators agree that
natural family planning is not reliable. Part of their
argument is that it never worked in the past centuries. In
addition, they state that the number of children per
household has decreased from 10-15 to 2-3 in the past fifty
years(Billings, pg. 53). Yet the reason for the decrease
is that children in the past were needed to help out the
family, for example to work in the fields. On the other
hand, today children represent a great economic cost to
parents. A cost, which in turn, is one of the most common
reasons couples choose to use contraceptives in the first
place(Billings, pg. 54).
In addition, the Ovulation Method is so reliable that
many women have discovered the significance of the mucus
themselves, and have used it as a sign of their fertility
or infertility even without the scientific verification of
the method that is available today(Billings, pg. 13).
“For instance, it is known that at least three African
tribal groups (the Taita, Kamba, and Luo) have used the
mucus produced by the cervix as a marker of fertility for
generations past. [In addition], an elder of an Australian
Aboriginal tribe, Nirangi, recently described how young
girls of his tribe were taken away to a sacred place by the
older women and taught about the mucus. [Also], in western
societies, it is not unusaul to hear of an individual woman
who has discovered for herself the message of the
mucus”(Billings, pg. 14).
In sum, if artificial contraceptives were eliminated,
we would be forced to relay on natural family planning. In
doing so, sexual intercourse would become for everyone as
an act of high responsibility. Moreover, if this method
was well taught and adopted by everyone, it is possible
that we might even decrease the number of unwanted and
Billings, Evelyn. 1st Ed. The Billings Method. Random
House: New York, 1980.
Perry, Susana and Jim Dawson. 1st Ed. Women and The Dalkon
Shield. New York: Macmillan, 1985.
Rosenfield, Albert. Responsible Parenthood, The Child's
Psyche Through the Six-Year Pregnancy. 1st Ed. Holt,
Rinehart and Winston: New York, 1980.
Funk and Wagnall’s. Contraceptives. 30 vols. Raintree
Milwaukee: WI, 1997. 3.
Word Count: 1494
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