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Sometimes experiences that test and aggravate us at the time later turn out to benefit and encourage others. (2 Corinthians 1:4). I had an experience with the pill that might help Jennifer and other young women who are deciding about this issue.
When my husband and I married, my doctor automatically put me on the pill. I don't recall that the doctor even talked about any other birth control method. I remember him saying that unless I wanted to have a baby, I could stay on the pill until I was in my 40s. I had a vague feeling that I didn't like how the pill made me feel, but everyone else I knew was using the pill, so I took it.
One evening when we had been married about a year we invited another couple over for dinner. My friend and I were in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on dinner, when she began complaining about her gynecologist. She said that he didn't completely trust the pill and that he made all his patients get off once a year. I told her about my gynecologist who wouldn't talk to me about anything but the pill. We laughed and said we should switch doctors, but before she left my house that night, I got her doctor's name.
I made an appointment with him, and he said that while he believed the pill was safe for most women, he wanted his patients once a year to get off and have one normal menstrual cycle. Then they could go back to the pill. He had information about lots of other birth control methods and the percentages of effectiveness for each one.
My husband, being an engineer, recognized the statistical principal that combining two methods would increase the effectiveness to equal the pill. So I stopped the pill; just for a few weeks, we thought.
It was a full year before I had a period. It was two years before my cycle was back to normal. Some women, like me, over react to the pill, but there is no way to know ahead of time who will do fine and who will have problems.
Now that I have two children I ask myself, "What if I had stayed on the pill for years until we were ready for a baby? How long then would it have taken for my cycle to return to normal? Could I ever have gotten pregnant?"
Needless to say I never went back on the pill. I don't oppose other women taking it, but I think that gynecologist's idea of giving your body a break once a year is excellent. I also believe that the conversation in the kitchen with my friend was the direct intervention of God in my life and in the lives of my future son and daughter.
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