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Why on earth do Catholics believe *that*???
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25th-Jul-2006 08:47 pm
I am new to this community, so allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Megan and I have recently decided to convert to Catholicism.  I am very excited about this new chapter in my life and I am trying to become a faithful young adult.

Anyway...the point of this entry is that I am a young adult that has unfortunately made BAD decisions in her life.  Yes, we all have, however, I am trying so hard to end these things now.  I think this is the key time in my life to make a change.  I am going to college to mold myself into a person that I can love and that God will be able to use for his will.

I was on birth control up until this month.  In the beginning it was for my irregular periods and severe cramps...however, I don't care about that anymore.  Now that I know what God can bless us with, I want to live up to his will and what the Holy Church believes and promotes.  So, yay!   I am so proud.  I finally took the step to stop taking the pill.  It makes me feel like I have to be in control of my body now because now nothing is protecting me from getting "into trouble" except for myself.  So, I feel that this is just getting a step closer in leading the life that God has intended for me.  I thank God for this right now...*amen.*

Well, that's it.  Positive feedback appreciated.  Constructive criticism taken to heart.

26th-Jul-2006 02:04 am (UTC)

Just an FYI, using the pill as a way to regulate your cycle and help deal with severe cramping is allowed by the Church, since the intent at that point is not contraceptive. But if you can go without it, go for it...quite apart from the moral issues, hormonal contraceptives can also do unpleasant things to your body.

26th-Jul-2006 02:17 am (UTC)
Yes..however, I allowed the pill to allow me to think that I could do whatever I wanted with no side affects so to speak. I think I didn't give my period enough time to work itself out. I was almost 16 when I started using it...so I should have waited for a while. Thanks again!
26th-Jul-2006 03:16 am (UTC)
I see...yes, that is a problem, and one of the dangerous things about contraception...it tricks people into thinking that they can have the pleasure of sex divorced from its deeper meanings and consequences. It's a wonderful thing that you've been able to examine this and see it so clearly...good for you!
26th-Jul-2006 01:51 pm (UTC)
I can't speak for severe cramps as I've never had to deal with them, but I think putting soeone in the pll for irregular periods (uless that means excessive bleeding) is counter-productive. everyone's cycle is different. I've gone anywhere from 5 weeks to 3 months between periods, but simple observations have shown that i am in fact ovulating and everything is working fine (several months prior to getting pregnant, that is). the pill on the other hand doesn't regulate anything, because it eliminates a cycle all together and replaces it with 3 identical weeks of, well, nothing happening, followed by a week of with drawl bleeding caused by not taking the hormone pills. it's not even a "real" period, as it doesn't serve the same function as menstruating.
27th-Jul-2006 01:49 am (UTC)
I agree with you. Irregular periods are just a variation on the norm much of the time - if there's no other reason to suspect that things are going wrong (and charting will show that anyway), then there's no reason to impose an arbitrary 28-day 'cycle' on a healthy body.

I think it comes down to knowledge, and therefore control. My cycles have always been all over the shop, and when I went on the Pill to "regulate" my cycles, it was about control: knowing when I would 'menstruate', knowing how much pain I'd get (it was all pretty regular on the Pill - just some mild cramping), and knowing I wouldn't get pregnant.

Now, I know when I'm going to menstruate even though my cycles are still irregular, so I don't need the Pill for that. (Even better, it's real menstruation, not anovulatory withdrawal bleeding). I also don't feel like cramping is unnatural any more - I still take pain killers if I need them, but mostly I feel happy that my body is telling me everything's working fine when I get a bit of cramping. And now I really know that I won't get pregnant (when we're avoiding pregnancy, as we are currently) - I actually know and understand how my body's cycles of fertility work and can take advantage of that, instead of relying on medical intervention and crossing my fingers.

All in all, I have to say that I'm a total convert to NFP. Quite aside from religious reasons, which is what originally drove me to get off contraception, I find the practical benefits far outweigh any other considerations.

...but I'm preaching to the choir here. ;)
26th-Jul-2006 02:32 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! it is wondeful that you have taken such a large step in your faith journey. you will most definately be in my prayers!

26th-Jul-2006 10:41 pm (UTC)
Hi! I'm in a similar situation in that I took a long and winding road to get to where I am now (happily married in the Catholic Church, and not using contraception). (I realise you're not married yet - I'm just edging around my 'colourful' past there *wink*).

Don't get too strung up on your past 'bad' decisions. You do the best with what you know at the time - the point is that you're moving forward, just like the rest of us.

Anyway... one thing I've noticed since I had my contraceptive implant removed and started using NFP (we use the Billings Ovulation Method, which is much easier than I thought to use - and also far less restrictive than I'd expected) is that I have developed a real sense of wonder about my body, and about intimate relations between myself and my husband. I guess what I'm saying is, learning so much about my own body and its power means that it's so much more precious to me suddenly.

Obviously I'm married, so it's not a question for me anymore, but I suspect that if I'd been single when I started using NFP, I'd have been a LOT more chaste. I just didn't understand what contraception did to my body, and to relationships; and I didn't really understand how precious my own body is. Even though you're planning to be chaste, I suspect it's really worth looking into NFP, just because it gives you such a high level of knowledge (and therefore power) about your own body. It's great!

Well done for making such positive changes in your life!

With that said, the return of regular PMS and cramps is kinda ordinary. ;) But, that sense of wonder about my body and its cycles means that when I get cramps, I feel good about nursing myself through it gently. It's not a pain to be got rid of, if that makes sense, but a natural and wonderful sign of God's intent for my body. (It's also a great excuse to make my husband do the dishes while I curl up with a book *wink*).

Also, I have very irregular periods naturally - at times, my cycles can be extremely short (about 2½ weeks) or ridiculously long (once as long as 4 months - for no apparent reason. I can vouch for the Billings Method: it easily accommodates irregular cycles. The Creighton model is the same in this respect - I believe it's a more advanced/personalised application of Billings in the main.

Well done again, and I pray for your courage and strength!
27th-Jul-2006 01:06 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the encouragement!
I need to learn a whole lot about NFP and the other methods associated with it.
I'm not married yet, however, it is very important to me because I know that I will be a member of the Catholic Church that my future husband, my current boyfriend, will be able to deal with us as a couple dealing with when we should be trying/not trying for a baby. You know? I hope we deal well with that. I think with my faith in the Catholic Church, I will be able to...I have to work on him in this situation.

I just don't like having to guess about when my period is going to come, so I hope that it is going to be more regular once my body gets used to not having the pill in it.

I'm nervous about this new chapter in my life, but I know that it is in God's will and that he will take care of me!

Thanks again!
27th-Jul-2006 01:37 am (UTC)
One step at a time, eh? ;)

The thing about NFP is that even if your cycle is irregular, you can always predict your period accurately. I don't want to bombard you with info, as you'll learn it all in time, but once you learn to identify when your body ovulates, your period always comes at a set interval after that (between 11-16 days, but the actual length of time is constant for each woman - for one woman it might be 13 days, for another it might be 15, but it's the same from cycle to cycle). That means that even if the pre-ovulatory phase differs (it can vary from happening right after you menstruate, to weeks or months later in some women), once you've ovulated you know exactly how far away your period is - about two weeks, but after a few cycles you'll be able to predict it to the very day. My Billings teacher said when she was fertile (she's 60 now), her period always arrived on the morning of the 13th day after she ovulated - being able to predict things so accurately just seemed crazy good to me! I'm still learning my own cycle (I've only been charting for a few months now), but already I can predict menstruation fairly accurately for the first time in my life.

I know all about the stress that comes from irregular cycles. I used to freak out all the time because I didn't know when my period was coming, and if I thought I felt something and I couldn't get to a bathroom immediately to check I'd get really anxious and paranoid. Now, I'm always confident I'm not going to get caught by surprise! I guess that's one simple way that avoiding contraception has given me more control over my body. It's great!
27th-Jul-2006 01:52 am (UTC)
Yes, I have that problem. Do you have AIM? If so, let me know so we can chat about this in quicker time. I am exactly like that about freaking out when I think it is time for it to come..or was before the pill..but I didn't realize the dangers that come along with the pill. I need to learn to control my body, emotions..and unfortunately, temptations!!!
How do you know when you ovulate? Do you use a machine to check or what?
6th-Aug-2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
i just went off the pill a month ago, i was supposed to get my period a week ago and havent. i on the other hand, havent stopped making bad decisions with my life. i still have sex with my boyfriend. its really hard to stop... im sort of at a point where i dont really know what to do. so i guess i want to ask YOU, what made you stop? what was the breaking point? any help that you could give me, would be much appreciated.
17th-Feb-2013 07:33 am (UTC)
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