- 10% of women suffer menorrhagia (heavy bleeding) leading to severe anemia in cases such as mine. Since the guys reading don’t have menstrual periods, let me describe what I mean by “heavy bleeding.” Think of soaking to the point of overflowing multiple large sanitary pads in an hour. In some cases, that’s actually multiple Depends adult diaper garments soaked in an hour. Now go re-read the first part of this paragraph. 10% of women, that’s one in every ten women of menstruating age suffer this. These medications dramatically reduce menstrual bleeding. This is not prescribing medication for some sad little hangnail but for a debilitating condition.
- 90% of women suffer painful to debilitating menstrual cramps. Yes, you read that correctly, 90% - nine out of ten women. The degree to which they experience pain varies but for many women, the pain is debilitating. When the pain is debilitating, these medications often provide great relief.
- 60% of women who suffer migraines do so associated with the hormonal swing of their menstrual cycle. This is also debilitating. In smoothing out the hormonal fluctuations, these medications can be tremendously helpful controlling the condition.
- 10-15% of women suffer Endometriosis. This is where the endometrium (uterine lining) grows in places other than the uterus. It damages reproductive organs and scars sometimes to the point of causing infertility. It can be excruciatingly painful. For example, a young lady very close to me used to vomit every day, not every day of her period, EVERY DAY OF HER LIFE from the pain. Have you ever experienced such pain on a daily basis? Can you really be so cruel as to expect women to live in that kind of pain without relief when medication is readily available to treat it? By the way, this same young woman, before hormone therapy, used to bleed rectally, from her breasts, from her nose and even once from the pores of her hands. This bizarre bleeding is perhaps not always debilitating but it does make socializing difficult. By the way, women with endometriosis take “birth control pills” so that they can conceive children in addition to relieving debilitating pain.
- These medications treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormone imbalance that causes irregular periods, ovarian cysts (which can be extremely painful), and infertility. Women with PCOS also take “birth control pills” so that they might be able to conceive.
- These medications dramatically reduce risks for some kinds of cancers – ones for which there are not yet good screening tests
- Sometimes these medications are prescribed for severe hormone imbalance associated with pre-menstrual syndrome.
Keep in mind, any medication is a tool and tools can be applied for positive or negative outcomes. For example, a person can use a hammer to bludgeon someone but a person can also use it to build a home for a homeless person. Don't condemn the tool outright. After all, most women using birth control pills are doing it for controlling a medical condition - a positive thing even in the eyes of the clergy. So, the default view should be with its most common usage...controlling medical conditions. Instead the hierarchy dismisses the tool as "evil" due to associating the tool only with what it perceives are negative applications of the tool. Should I await your lobbying for outlawing hammers, too?