Many people equate having children as an important step in their lives. Finding the right person, having a child, and raising that child is seen as a goal for marriage and as a means of security later in life. Along with bringing a person into the world and showing them that world, having a baby is an incredible responsibility. Along with the costs associated with doctor’s visits there is also the costs that will come from the child’s life. All in all, it is an incredible responsibility.
For those who do not want to have children yet or at all, there are several ways that this can be ensured without skipping sex entirely. Having been used by people for thousands of years, birth control is nothing new. Coming in all shapes, sizes, and implementations, birth control has a long a challenged career in the United States.
Originally strictly regulated, birth control has become more public as men and women express the need to have more control of when and if they have children. Acting as a constant backlash to this is an impending sense of morality from religious groups and individuals who either do not approve of sex in general or in stopping pregnancy from occurring.
Lets take a moment to more carefully consider this contentious issue. Along with taking a serious look at both the pros and cons of this debate, we will go into detail with each point. But for now, lets start by quickly defining what birth control is so that everyone is arguing from the same basic starting point.
What Exactly Is Birth Control?
As stated above, birth control has been around for a very long time and can take any number of forms. More or less however the point of birth control is simple, to stop a woman from becoming pregnant during sex. This can range from a one time use condom to sterilization, as birth control can mean any of these.
For the sake of the debate, lets more narrowly focus birth control down to modern day patches and pills available to women everywhere. Designed to provide women with greater freedom to not get pregnant while also not ostracizing them for having a sex life, birth control often comes in either pill, implant, or patch form. Every form of birth control will have different instructions on intended use and should be carefully followed.
The Pros Of Birth Control
For those who believe in birth control, being able to regulate when you are pregnant provides incredible freedom. No longer stuck between either the risk of being pregnant or of not having sex at all, women are now afforded the opportunity to choose for themselves. Along with decreasing rates of pregnancy among teenagers and making sex more enjoyable, birth control can also provide a range of medical benefits for the women taking it.
1. Helps Prevent Teenage Pregnancy
Providing free birth control has reduces the nationwide birth rates of teenagers substantially. With every child not born, the mother, family, state, and government are all saved a great deal of money. Scientifically proven to be more effective then abstinence only education, birth control assumes that teenagers will follow their basic drives to have sex, and works to prepare them accordingly.
While abstinence only education fails to provide instruction for what happens when you do have sex, birth control instead is more effective when there is proper sex education on the topic. As birth control becomes more readily available to teens, the rates of teen-hood births are expected to continue to drop.
2. Sex is not Interrupted
The experience of sex is different for everyone. While condoms may be a cheaper option, they interrupt having sex and can lead to a loss of mood or enjoyment of the experience. With birth control, sex can continue with relatively little risk of pregnancy and no interruption. For those who truly enjoy the experience as well as the psychological and physical intensity of the moment, not being interrupted means having a more complete experience.
3. Can Reduce The Frequency of Periods
Depending on the version of birth control you have, you may be able to expect less frequent periods. Not being the most fun thing in the world, many women feel empowered by being able to control when they have periods and will sometimes use birth control for no other reason but because they want this freedom. In this regard, birth control has nothing to do with having sex, and everything to do with taking control over one’s body.
4. Reduces Some Serious Health Risks
There is a range of health risks that birth control help to solve. Some of these include a reduction in fibroblastic breast changes, pelvic inflammatory disease, and reduced pain during ovulation. In addition, there is less of a chance of you getting ectopic pregnancy, acne, and ovarian cysts.
Finally, some birth control may even help protect you against ovarian cancers. Because these health risks are serious and birth control is positively helping to reduce these risks, many women take birth control simply because it is healthier for their long-term health.
5. The Best Way Not To Get To An Abortion
Religion in general usually frowns on birth control to some extent. However, what religions usually frown more on is abortions. When considering birth control in comparison to abortion, many people see birth control as the lesser of two evils.
While abortion goes against the notion that life starts at conception and is viewed to be as bad as actually killing a person by some religious individuals, birth control simply prevents this from happening and as a result is far more religiously tolerated.
The Cons of Birth Control
Those against birth control usually form into either conservative or religious groups that see the use of birth control as a sin against the teaching of their religious doctrine. Along with being religiously undesirable, birth control does not protect against STD’s or HIV, and can have a wide range of affects depending on your physiology.
1. Religiously Undesirable
Simply put, birth control is seen as a necessary evil at best, and not tolerated at worst. Depending on the particular religion there may be an allowance for married couples who do not want to have additional children. However, this can at times go against the mandate in religion to procreate. By not procreating, individuals can be seen as not following their religion. In addition, some religions see sex as not being meant for enjoyment.
Instead, it is seen as strictly being for the creation of children and nothing else. In that regard, birth control is undesirable because it focuses on the enjoyment as opposed to the child creating aspects of the sex act. For these reasons and more, birth control is seen as morally wrong.
2. Does Not Protect Against STDs or HIV
Birth control, unlike a condom, does not protect against STDs or HIV. While providing a number of benefits to the women using it, the birth control will allow anything that can be transmitted via sex to be transmitted via sex. This means that men and women have to be more careful with who they sleep with and even potentially use condoms or other dividers that can stop the transference of diseases.
3. Effectiveness Varies
Every person’s body is different. Since each and every one of us have our own unique physiology, birth control can vary between people. While it may work very well for some, others may have side effects or not feel as if it is doing anything for their lives.
In addition, certain medicines can reduce the effectiveness of birth control making it ineffective at stopping pregnancy. As with any circumstance when you change medication or begin taking birth control, you should contact your doctor and discuss our options.
4. Can Be A Hassle
Birth control is a hassle. If you have the pill, then you will have to make sure you take it every single day at about the same time every day. While a single pill may not seem like much, it can be easy enough to forget. Every time you forget, there is the risk that intercourse will lead to pregnancy.
5. May Run Into Issues With Mood Swings
Depending on the nature of birth control that you are taking, you may be switching up your hormones. This can lead to mood swings, depression, and emotional side effects that you may not be ready for.
While this is a potential problem, it is important to remember that every person will respond to it differently and as such you should be careful when you begin taking birth control. It can sometimes help to keep track of your moods in a journal, writing when they occur and using the information you gather to make sure they are a result of the birth control.
Where Does That Leave Us?
Birth control has the amazing ability to free women from having a monthly period while also providing several health benefits that makes its use almost common sense. In addition, a woman is freer to enjoy sex with less risk of being pregnant. On the other hand, having less risk of pregnancy still means that there is some risk of pregnancy there.
In addition, with many religions expressing a moral outrage over its use, it can be a challenge for many religious minded people to use birth control and fold its use into their faith. Like any contentious issue that ultimately comes down to you and your body, no one has the final say in the this discussion except you.