No, Really, Taking the Pill Isn’t Like Amputating Your Arm: AKA, 1Flesh Be Cray Cray (Episode 8)

Hello, dear readers, and welcome yet again to another episode of debunking 1Flesh. Today, we’ll be reviewing a post in which they claim that hormonal contraceptives are the debil because they can (and are) used to treat a variety of ailments (a drug that has multiple uses? The horror!).

As always, paragraphs in italics are from their site. Also, the three long grey pics you see belong to them, too.


The Health Benefits of Contraception

14% of women using oral contraceptives use them as medicine.

ACTUALLY, 14% of women use them EXCLUSIVELY for non-contraceptive purposes. It’s actually 58% of users who use oral contraceptives in whole or in part for non-contraceptive purposes. See: the picture of pretty Pillamina above.

This use is certainly justified — no one likes cramping, acne, heavy bleeding, etc.

Interesting here that you use such…non-technical, non-medical language. And that you only list a few of the reasons, leaving out some of the most important. Let me help you tech that list up a bit, and round it out. Women use oral contraceptives not only to prevent pregnancy but to: reduce the symptoms of dysmenorrhea (severe menstrual pain – beyond “cramps”); treat menorrhagia (excessive bleeding, which can lead to anemia); reduce acne; reduce hirsutism (excessive hair growth); prevent menstrual-related migraines; treat pelvic pain accompanying endometriosis; and to treat bleeding due to uterine fibroids.

But it is not a cure.

Correct. Here’s a cookie.

Photo courtesy of roboppy.

It is suppressive therapy that ignores women’s underlying hormonal problems.


Original photo courtesy of roboppy.

Original photo courtesy of roboppy.

Telling a woman who is experience medical problems do to hormonal imbalances that providing corrective hormones through medicine is a suppressive therapy that ignores her underlying hormonal problems is a bit like telling a diabetic that insulin is a suppressive therapy that ignores his/her underlying blood sugar level problems.

To help explain precisely what this means, here is a [very] simplified chart of a woman’s normal, healthy cycle:

Oh yay! How to know your friendly neighborhood misinformation disseminator is paying attention to you? They adapt the graphs you use in your blog posts to use in their own. Bravo, 1Flesh. Bravo.  I applaud you Photoshop skillz.

Moving on.

Here is the cycle of a woman suffering with PMS:

As shown, PMS can be caused by that lack of progesterone prior to menstruation.

First, why, when given all of the medical concerns mentioned above that birth control pills can be used to treat, do you choose to focus on one that the FDA has approved NONE to treat?

Second, that’s not exactly what a menstrual cycle with PMS looks like. That’s because there isn’t really a cycle type with PMS. It could be due to low progesterone, low estrogen, an imbalance of the two, or perhaps an imbalance of progesterone metabolites. Scientists still aren’t sure. In fact, there are several research studies recruiting right now to look into this very question.  Which is why I find it quite humorous that you think you have the PMS cycle figured out. I’m sure all of those researchers would be thrilled to meet with you and hear your incredibly educated opinions on the subject based on your vast amounts of independent research.

The prescription of the Pill as a ‘cure’ for PMS is no cure at all, for it does not restore a woman to her normal, healthy cycle.

NO ONE is prescribing the Pill to “cure” PMS. That’s because no Pill is approved to cure PMS. Yaz is currently approved to treat PMDD, but not PMS.

Also, again with this nonsense that providing hormones to women whose bodies may be lacking hormones is somehow wrong, or not a treatment.

Rather it removes the woman’s cycle entirely, replacing it with the hormones of an artificial pregnancy, like this:

Or rather, NOT.

First, just so you’re aware – that graph shows hormone levels based on a progestin-only form of contraception, not a combined pill, like most of those on the market today.

Second, I’m pretty sure I’ve been over this with you guys at least once before, but here’s what hormone levels look like during pregnancy.

Photo courtesy of FastBleep.

See the difference?

This is not restorative. This is an amputation: Cycle problems are fixed by the removal a woman’s natural cycle. This is advertised by pharmaceutical companies as good medicine, yet we’d laugh at the suggestion that arm problems be cured by the removal of arms. No, women deserve much better.

Again, would you call the provision of insulin to a diabetic whose body isn’t producing the correct amount of insulin an amputation? I think not. THIS IS THE SAME THING. Cycle problems aren’t fixed by the removal of a woman’s cycle – they are fixed by regulating that cycle, through the introduction of hormones.

Pharmaceutical companies advertise the Pill’s ability to treat acne, menstrual cramps, PMS, and all manners of ‘period issues’.

Actually, they don’t. At least not PMS. Because that would be illegal. Yaz tried it, and was fined. And now is only allowed to advertise that their pill can help treat the symptoms of PMDD. But what’s a little academic dishonesty to y’all, right?

They fail to mention that this treatment does not heal.

They similarly fail to mention the increased health risks that come with the use of oral contraception — risks of breast cancerheart disease, and lowered sex drive, to name a few.

Okay, here are my posts debunking all your lies about breast cancer, about heart disease , and here’s the one debunking your lies about low sex drive.

Any other misstatements or half-truths you’d like to throw my way?

Natural methods of fertility care like the Creighton Model Fertilitycare System can and do heal, with no side-effects.

Ah, good old Creighton. The natural family planning method with a contraceptive 35% failure rate.  Also, I’d like to point out that NaPro Technologies, based on the Creighton Model Fertilitycare System, has quite a bit to say about how to treat PMS. Like this:

By treating these hormonal abnormalities cooperatively with either cooperative progesterone replacement therapy or targeted HCG support (which should also improve both progesterone and estrogen production) and/or with the use of naltrexone as an opiate receptor antagonist, a high degree of success can be obtained with hormonal treatment.

At the present time, fluoxetine (Prozac) is considered the treatment of choice for women with premenstrual syndrome.  However, in comparing targeted hormonal supplementation (cooperative progesterone replacement therapy) with Prozac, the targeted hormonal therapy is significantly more effective (Figure 29-16).  In addition, the treatment effect is much more rapid in onset and helps attain the normal physiology of a woman so she actually feels more normal and does not feel “drugged.”

Sure sounds like the addition of hormones to me. And no side effects? Check out this list, just about Prozac.

Till next time,

– H

© Heather Parker and Antigone Awakens, 2012-2013.


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