Essay, Research Paper: Artificial Contraceptives

Sexuality

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Artificial Contraceptive should be eliminated. This is my argument. Why you ask?
Well, although my viewpoint sounds a little radical, I have come up with several
reasons why natural is better. Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia defines
with birth control as any method used to prevent pregnancy from occurring.
Methods available today range from permanent procedures such as surgical
sterilization to temporary methods that must be with each act of intercourse.
Sterilization, for example, has an effectiveness range from 99.5-99.9%. Yet, we
must keep in mind that this operation can be rather expensive, costing up to
$2,500. In addition, complications like infections or blood clots may occur
(Planned Parenthood, pg. 3). Moreover, sometimes people later regret not being
able to have children. Another form of birth control is the intrauterine device
or IUD. IUD’s are tiny metal or plastic loops or coils that are placed in the
uterus. They have an effectiveness of 95-99%(Funk & Wagnall’s, pg.98). A
physician must insert IUD’s, but they can remain there until it is desired to
be removed for a pregnancy. Although they sound ideal, some women have
experienced uterine cramps and increased menstrual flow when using an IUD.
(Billings, pg.63) in fact, some devices increase the risk of pelvic
infection(Funk & Wagnall’s, pg.98). Further, in Perry and Dawson’s book,
Nightmare, they proclaim the dangers of IUDs. They focus, especially, on the
Dalkon Shield IUD; an IUD described as “the safest and most satisfying form of
contraception.” In their book, Perry and Dawson state that “more than 12,000
women have filed damage suits for complications ranging from debilitating pain
and severe bleeding to perforated uteri, unplanned pregnancies, spontaneous
miscarriages, and septic abortions(Perry & Dawson, pg. 1). Yet, another
method of birth control is the oral contraceptive, better known as “the
pill”. Oral contraceptives are chemicals that work by altering a woman’s
normal hormonal patterns so that ovulation does not occur(Funk &
Wagnall’s, pg.98). The pill is nearly 100% effective when taken according to
directions. More recently, however, “Oxford University researchers showed an
association between oral contraceptives and an increased risk of blood clots
affecting the veins and arteries to the legs, lungs, and brain”(Billings,
pg.164). In addition, the estimated risk of heart attack is 2.8 times higher in
Pill-users than on non-users(Rosenfield, pg.96). Moreover, studies from the
World Health Organization states, “the risk of death increases markedly among
women over the age of 35, especially if they are also smokers, are overweight,
or have diabetes, and have used the pill for a long time” (Billings. Pg. 172).
Lastly, former chairman of the ob-gyn department at John Hopkins, Dr. Allan
Barnes, stated that “The risks of birth control pills far outweighed their
benefits”(Perry & Dawson, pg. 24-25). On the other hand, barrier methods
like the use of condoms and diaphragms are inexpensive and have no side effects.
In fact, they have an effectiveness range from 86-97%(Funk & Wagnall’s,
pg. 98). But, I must also add, they provide a false sense of security. Often,
sexually active people who tend to relay on condoms and diaphragms become a
little irresponsible. They feel secure against pregnancy. Nevertheless, this is
when trouble arises. For instance, youngsters, being told that condoms and
diaphragms are safe, are many times lured to believing that it is okay to have
sex. Yes, condoms and diaphragms do provide protection, but many times they are
forgotten to be used, especially when sexual intercourse is spontaneous. In
short, if artificial contraceptives were not available, youngsters as well as
adults would not be forced to take sexual intercourse as a highly responsible
act. This would, most likely, decrease the amount of youngsters taking part in
premarital sex. As a result, there would be least teenage pregnancies. Now that
I have started the pros and cons to artificial contraceptives, one question may
remain I your head: “ How does she plan to prevent pregnancy?” The answer or
solution is natural. The reasons so many problems arise with artificially
prevent life. Life is something that happens naturally. Therefore, if life is
desired to be prevented, it should be prevented naturally as well. Naturally
family planning is becoming more and more popular. This is because as
dissatisfaction with contraceptives drugs and devices grows, so grows the number
of women seeking a fertility control method that is natural-that does not
interfere with the body’s normal processes(Billings, pg. 185). We know that
nature has provided various indications that ovulation is occurring or has
occurred. These indications have been researched, and many different methods of
natural birth control have been devised. Among them are the Rhythm Method, the
Basal Body Temperature Method, the Sympto-Thermal Method, and the Ovulation
Method(Billings, pg. 186). Of all the main candidates, my personal choice is the
Ovulation or Billings Method. This is because it is suitable for everyone. The
Ovulation Method can be used by all women at all phases-whether her menstrual
cycles are regular or irregular, during adolescence, coming off the pill, when
breast feeding or approaching the menopause(Billings, pg. 14). The Billings
Ovulation Method was developed by Melbourne physician Dr. Evelyn Billings
together with her husband, Dr. john Billings. In her book, Billings describes
that the basis of the method is awareness of the mucus at the vaginal opening.
Basically, the mucus can indicate whether you are fertile or infertile by its
sensation and appearance(Billings, pg. 12). When the mucus indicates possible
fertility, it is necessary to postpone sexual intercourse if a pregnancy is not
desired. For most couples, this means that up to half the days of a typical
cycle are available for intercourse. In general, days available for intercourse
are scattered throughout the cycle, so that abstinence is not required for
lengthy periods in any cycle. In longer cycles, a greater portion of the cycle
is available(Billings, pg. 12). Billings also states that like other methods, it
is susceptible to the human factor, but couples who are motivated to make it
work will find it safe, reliable and simple to use. As a matter of fact,
preliminaries findings indicate an effectiveness of about 99%. This means that
among 100 couples who follow the method guidelines for a year, an average of one
pregnancy can be expected to occur. This with the effectiveness of artificial
contraceptives methods including the pill and IUDs(Billings, pg. 13). As also
mentioned in her book, the method requires a high level of motivation and
cooperation. Yet, unlike other contraceptives, the method causes not side
effects or changes in the natural body processes. With this method no equipment
is necessary, making it inexpensive. In addition, a bonus to the method is the
“sense of wonder and deep satisfaction that comes from tuning in to the
natural rhythms of your own body”(Billings, pg. 15). often, artificial
contraceptive advocators agree that natural family planning is not reliable.
Part of their argument is that it never worked in the past centuries. In
addition, they state that the number of children per household has decreased
from 10-15 to 2-3 in the past fifty years(Billings, pg. 53). Yet the reason for
the decrease is that children in the past were needed to help out the family,
for example to work in the fields. On the other hand, today children represent a
great economic cost to parents. A cost, which in turn, is one of the most common
reasons couples choose to use contraceptives in the first place(Billings, pg.
54). In addition, the Ovulation Method is so reliable that many women have
discovered the significance of the mucus themselves, and have used it as a sign
of their fertility or infertility even without the scientific verification of
the method that is available today(Billings, pg. 13). “For instance, it is
known that at least three African tribal groups (the Taita, Kamba, and Luo) have
used the mucus produced by the cervix as a marker of fertility for generations
past. [In addition], an elder of an Australian Aboriginal tribe, Nirangi,
recently described how young girls of his tribe were taken away to a sacred
place by the older women and taught about the mucus. [Also], in western
societies, it is not unusaul to hear of an individual woman who has discovered
for herself the message of the mucus”(Billings, pg. 14). In sum, if artificial
contraceptives were eliminated, we would be forced to relay on natural family
planning. In doing so, sexual intercourse would become for everyone as an act of
high responsibility. Moreover, if this method was well taught and adopted by
everyone, it is possible that we might even decrease the number of unwanted and
aborted children.BibliographyBillings, Evelyn. 1st Ed. The Billings Method. Random House: New York, 1980.
Perry, Susana and Jim Dawson. 1st Ed. Women and The Dalkon Shield. New York:
Macmillan, 1985. Rosenfield, Albert. Responsible Parenthood, The Child's Psyche
Through the Six-Year Pregnancy. 1st Ed. Holt, Rinehart and Winston: New York,
1980. Funk and Wagnall’s. Contraceptives. 30 vols. Raintree Milwaukee: WI,
1997.
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