When Culture of Life Africa founder Obianuju Ekeocha tweeted about dangerous birth control devices, like IUDs, on November 28, 2018, she asked her followers to share their stories of using natural fertility awareness methods. They not only responded to what she asked, but they also shared their birth control “gone wrong” stories.
Referring to birth control devices as “shackles & chains”, Ekeocha said she “can’t believe women are convinced to put these devices into their bodies.” The truth is that most women and their partners don’t know the true risks of these birth control methods, because no one tells them. In a lot of cases, they find out the hard way.
I can’t believe women are convinced to put these devices into their bodies (some of which could harm them)…shackles & chains.
I want to hear from friends here who use fertility awareness methods or those who would like to learn this healthier option pic.twitter.com/KitRrjXDXK
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) November 28, 2018
My best friend developed cancer at the spot her IUD perforated her uterus. She is ok now but how horrifying to get that diagnosis as a single working mother of four.
— Jennifer (@jennibu) November 29, 2018
I would never put a foreign object into my body that could potentially harm me, no matter how it’s sold to me. My sister in law had to have her uterus removed due to a device that made her very sick. It was sold to her as a method that was safe.
— RenéMiette (@MieteRene) November 28, 2018
My sister had the IUD. Just last week she had to have emergency surgery because it failed and she had an ectopic pregnancy.
— Dolan McScrooge (@Mjonesy16) November 28, 2018
Same – a colleague became very sick and her hair started falling out, and they finally realised it was the IUD
— Sarah C (@coffeecup6891) November 28, 2018
Birth control, whether it’s the pill or a device such as an IUD, is touted as safe, despite the risks of blood clots, infertility, and even death. Like most people do when given a prescription or a medical device, women taking birth control listen to what their doctor tells them, and often don’t bother to read through the paperwork filled with fine print about the side effects and risks associated with it. So if their doctors aren’t telling them the full story, they don’t know.
Women also seem to be kept out of the loop when it comes to understanding their own bodies and menstrual cycles. Natural Family Planning is an accurate way to know when to skip sex if you are trying to avoid pregnancy and what days during the month are your most fertile when trying to get pregnant. It is not the rhythm method, as so many doctors still believe. There are multiple methods, including the Marquette method, which allows women to use the ClearBlue Fertility Monitor to track their cycles. When used properly, NFP is as effective as birth control. In the case of the Marquette Method, it is 98 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. But just like with birth control, you can’t skip a day if you want it to work. Ekeocha’s followers shared their stories about NFP:
NFP has worked for my wife and me our entire marriage. Neither of us want her taking a known carcinogen every day.
— Cheeky Jesterton (@CheekyJesterton) November 28, 2018
NFP worked great for my wife and me.
— Louis Gambetta (@LouisGambetta) November 28, 2018
I’ve practicing the Fertility Awareness Method for almost two years, and I feel a sense of power with all this information I have about my body now.
— Katelyn Lynch (@KatelynTweeter) November 28, 2018
Does hormonal birth control equate to “shackles & chains” as Ekeocha states? Here are the facts: it comes with a 70 percent increased risk of depression, an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke, a 20 percent increased risk of breast cancer (after 10 years of use that jumps to 38 percent), and an increased risk of cervical cancer. Some hormonal birth controls can decrease bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis. Others can cause benign liver tumors. In addition, hormonal birth control can lead to infertility and unintended abortion.
NFP carries none of those risks, and all of the benefits of understanding your body and your cycle. That’s empowerment.