MANILA, Oct. 19, 2011—“I increasingly hear of more and more cases of breast cancer, and taking the pill just isn’t worth the risk of being one of those women. Because I was on the pill for nearly three years, the fact that I knowingly increased my chance of [developing] breast cancer haunts me. I just wish I were wiser then and never took it at all.”
Mother of two Tintin has freed herself from contracepted sex and its consequences—both actual and possible—and she made this choice primarily out of concern for her health. But later on she and her husband learned that her decision would also allow the very survival of any of her future babies still in the initial stages of life.
“We have never looked back since [deciding to use the natural method of family planning] and I’m glad we made that decision because over the years since we stopped using the pill, we’ve learned that the pill can actually cause [chemical] abortions,” the 32-year-old artist said.
“The chance may be slim, but why would you needlessly take that chance? This is someone’s life on the line and you don’t toy around with that.”
Like many other young women these days, Tintin adopted the “default” notion of artificial contraception as the way to delay pregnancy. As a soon-to-be bride some years ago, she asked her doctor’s recommendation for a “good birth control pill brand” and was given a “’good brand’ that was low-dose and had ‘the least side effects,’” without the doctor really explaining possible risks it involved besides weight gain and nausea.
‘So what’s the point?’
Regardless of the brand of contraceptive pills (she used more than one), a common consequence was undeniable.
“What I did notice was they caused me to have a really low sexual drive—I just never felt like it at all,” she recalled, recognizing the irony of it all.
“Here you are, taking contraceptives to prevent a pregnancy, and yet you never feel like having sex—and therefore barely ever have sex—in the first place! So what’s the point?”
The main reason Tintin decided to stop taking pills the first time was the decision by the couple to start trying to have a baby. She conceived three months later and gave birth to a boy, whom she breastfed for over a year.
“A year after my son was born, I got my period again and my OB-Gyne prescribed another type of pill that’s ‘safe’ for breastfeeding mothers. I took it for a while, but again, the pill made me feel bloated and made my sexual drive non-existent,” the young mom said.
She pointed out, however, that above all the discomforts and the inconveniences (“I was just so tired of having to remember to take the pill every day at the same time [of the day]”) that came with being on the pill, it was knowingly exposing herself to serious health issues that finally persuaded her to junk the drugs.
Turning a blind eye no more
“After reading the insert the pills came with, I immediately became concerned,” she recalled. “It mentioned side effects such as stroke—particularly for smokers—breast cancer, and other serious illnesses. However, I was not a smoker, and I stupidly felt as though I was ‘safe’ from breast cancer since I was still young.”
Since the literature claimed that though breast cancer was a risk, the pill could also prevent certain types of cancer such as cervical cancer, “so it sort of softened the fear against acquiring breast cancer.”
Several years later when she was prescribed an oral contraceptive supposedly formulated for nursing mothers, Tintin was hesitant.
“I was uncomfortable using any unnecessary medication while breastfeeding, even though they are labeled as ‘safe.’ So after a couple of months, I stopped and we just decided to use natural methods [of family planning].”
“We have never looked back since then and I am so glad we made that decision,” she enthused. Besides liberating herself from “that awful bloated feeling, my hormones are back to normal! We also feel so much more comfortable because there are no more worries of any unnecessary serious side effects.”
The husband-and-wife team has been living the natural family planning (NFP) lifestyle for some six years, with Tintin conceiving again two months after the couple decided to try for a second child.
“And we are now at peace with any ‘accidental’ pregnancies that might happen because we now realize that if God wants to bless us with another child, then he will. And no type of prevention can stop that from happening!” (CBCP for Life)