Are you curious about the sympto-thermal method’s role in the life of a feminist? Are you worried that it isn’t woman positive enough?
A lot of feminists get up in arms when anyone dares to disgrace the pill. The pill has been regarded as the catalyst to get women out of their role as nothing but baby producers and give them more of choice in what they do with their lives.
Regardless of it’s history, I believe you need to keep a critical eye on something that is pressed on women, particularly without proper education. Though there are women who jive well with hormonal contraception, there are countless others who go crazy on it.
Isn’t it creepy that the pill and other hormonal contraceptives can alter our moods and personalities so much, and all of us women are encouraged to participate in taking it?
One of the reasons that I teach the sympto-thermal method is because it is good for the overall empowerment of women.
1. Women are smart enough
Inevitably, from medical professionals to organizations trying to get more access to birth control, rather than being given fair and balanced information so that women can make an educated choice that she is happy with, women are told that they must use types of birth control that are “fool-proof”, despite many of them having the highest discontinuation rates.
Among all methods of birth control, only 5% of unintended pregnancies are from women with correct and consistent use of their method of choice, the rest are due to women and couples not using their methods at all or correctly.
My guess would be that high discontinuation rates, non-use of their chosen method, or incorrect use is so prevalent because of dissatisfaction with the method.
The sympto-thermal method is particularly demonized as being “too hard”. Excuse me? Since when are women too stupid to take their temperature, know if one of their body parts is currently releasing fluid, and write that down? We are supposed to rely on methods developed by men, but of course not used by them (too many side effects).
Higher sex drive. Even disregarding the evidence that so many women have a lowered libido in general on hormonal contraceptives, there is also the fact that they are robbing themselves of their natural fertile period, at which time sex drive and pleasure increases a huge amount.
Of course, using the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness for natural birth control you can’t have unprotected intercourse during this time, but you can take advantage of it in many other ways :).
Hormonal contraceptives lower women’s sex drive by increasing output of something called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which (you guessed it) binds to testosterone and lowers our levels of it, thereby decreasing your sex drive.
3. Choice and power
Yes, you can control our fertility on our own. So say “Thanks, but no thanks!” to those who try to convince you otherwise. You deserve real information about all kinds of birth control methods so that you can make a choice about how you want to control your fertility.
You also have the power to do what you want with your fertility. When you use a product or device that is made by someone else, who may not have your health or best interest as their top priority, you are taking a gamble. Those with authority telling women what they think we should do without providing accurate information reeks of misogyny.
It’s a rare woman who chooses a method of birth control out of the norm that is well supported by doctors.
4. The sole burden is not on the woman
Women are made to think that it is their responsibility to contracept, and take it on because they are the ones that have to carry a baby if pregnancy is to result.
Just as a child shouldn’t primarily be your responsibility if you are a women (unless that is what you wants), neither should the contraception.
The sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness is great because your partner can help chart, and during the fertile phase your partner can be the one to contracept or you both can endure abstaining together. Either way, your partner can be much more involved.
5. Women’s abilities are amazing
Because your hormones work in a cyclical way, you have different abilities during different times of our cycles.
There are times you are more creative, times when you communicate better, times that you can get clarified on what you want and need in your life, etc.
These natural highs are ameliorated by the use of hormonal contraceptives. Even though, in my personal opinion, the fact that women have these abilities give them an ADVANTAGE over men in these ways, these abilities get squelched by hormonal contraception.
6. Because we are sick of not having real medical help for any “woman” problems
How many real and awful problems do women have that are simply “fixed” by going on the pill? This is often how traditional doctors deal with PCOS, endometriosis, heavy bleeding, cramps, acne, irregular periods, and a whole host of other problems. Hopefully this hasn’t happened to you.
Though the pill does offer suppression of the symptoms that are associated with these problems (in some cases), it can also give a whole slew of other problems that women are not often given enough information about, leading to years on a pill that is decreasing their quality of life.
In addition, because it is a hormonal imbalance that is being “covered up,” if a woman decided she wants to have children and was not given the opportunity to work on that imbalance she will possibly be less fertile in addition to having to endure whatever symptoms she had before the pill.
7. Overall health
Hormonal contraception has long lists of side effects and the non hormonal IUD forces you to put up with heavier bleeding and cramps while possibly exposing you to too much copper. Essentially, if you want a long term method of birth control you have to live with side effects that can range from annoying to a huge health threat.
Medical professionals, drug companies, and the FDA will all tell you that the benefits outweigh the risks, but when there are very effective viable alternatives, do they really? They may for some women, but when women are not educated about each method they are not given real choice, they are being forced to participate in another form of oppression of their gender.
Interested in learning the sympto-thermal method of fertility awareness? Check it out here.