Sunday, March 10, 2013

First Reader: Synthetic Estrogen and Progestin

As I was reading chapter 9 about how oral contraceptives work, I started pondering the question on why are we using synthetic hormones to alter ovulation? In the beginning...Adam was created - after a while he was lonely - and GOD created a help mate (Eve). Both Adam and Eve were the first humans on earth, and they began creating and inhabiting the earth. I do not think we as humans are suppose to interfere with a woman's period, due to this is suppose to happen naturally.

As modern technology have evolved we see synthetic oral hormones in the form of a pill, and using it to trick the body into thinking that everything is still on course. What a huge injustice we have caused to women who have a huge role in creating life.Children are a gift from GOD, and we see thousands of women using oral contraceptives to eliminate; cramping, bloating, inconveniences, bleeding, and to prevent the ability to bring forth a new life.

According to doctor Rock on page 188, oral contraceptives are a way of imitating the natural processes of the female reproductive system. I would like to know what is his definition of natural and synthetic. There is nothing natural about taking oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancies, to produce a period that really is just a synthetic (not real) period, and to allow the withdrawal of the hormone in her body by giving her 7 days of a placebo pill. I wish someone would invent a monthly hormonal pill for men in altering the progesterone in their reproductive system. Oh, wait, someone did invent a hormonal pill for men, "Viagra."

I am not male bashing, but women have received a huge dose of "ungratefulness." Oral contraceptives have been associated with a reduction in ovarian and endometrial cancers, but not breast cancer. The number 1 leading causes of cancers in women is breast cancer, and so not only are oral contraceptives used to prevent pregnancies, but it seem to have 2 faces.


  1. As you mentioned in the beginning, I also believe in Adam and Eve but my opinions differ completely from you after that point.

    In reference to the statement you brought up on oral contraceptives being a way of imitating the natural processes of the female reproductive system, scientists at one point reached the conclusion that the increase in blood levels of progesterone helps in stopping ovulation. So what the scientists did is experiment with hundreds of substances to find natural compounds that imitated the actions of progesterone (and estrogen as well) to come up with a pill in the form of contraception.

    Emily states in Women Know Something You Don't that women have known about and used contraceptives or abortifacents "for millennia" so I really don't think that now that we have 'synthetic oral hormones in the form of a pill' it technically serves as the main reason behind 'injustice' to women in creating life.The only difference I see is that technology simply made it easier, healthier, and safer for women to do what they've already been doing anyway.

    Injustice to me is the increase of political scrutinizing of women's bodies. Before we even think about reducing access, we will know well beforehand that it will only cause more and more disheartening issues among our society considering that we know how many women are out there who want access to contraception. A good example that Emily brings up in the same article is the effects that reduced access to contraception had on women in Kenya. Women started relying on unsafe measures and in doing so, many times it led to fatal infections and ultimately death. There are way too many reasons out there to why a women may not want a child and I certainly don't believe that the government should have the authority to make impositions on these matters.

  2. Responder:

    You make the argument that because ovulation cycles are biologically natural that hormonal contraception methods, interrupting this process, are aberrant. I would like to just add a thought. So as women’s bodies evolved under different circumstances they were likely accustom to lower levels of hormones because of later age of menarche, less secure food supply, and increased number of births. Simply, they experienced less tumultuous waves of hormones coursing through them.

    I have long wondered why a natural process, such as ovulation, is so painful and discomforting in a spectrum of ways to women across the board. Perhaps hormonal contraception modalities are not the ideal accommodation, but can you really blame the women who opt for it?

    I think perhaps it is our culture that is out of balance with our biology and needs a second review. Not only are women reaching ages of menarche earlier, experiencing higher levels of hormones, having fewer children to break the hormonal cycle, but our lifestyles just do not accommodate in alleviating this process. How are our stressful lifestyles adding to the premenstrual discomfort and feelings of inconvenience women have about their reproductive cycles?

    I understand that oral contraception stands in the way of natural ovulation and conception, but similarly, our culture stands in the way of our natural biological functioning. Should women have to live with discomfort and contemptuous feelings towards their bodies, supported by large cultural consensus that menses is ‘annoying so why not just stop it’? Is this ideology not also to be reproached?

    I only bring this up to suggest that perhaps the huge injustice to our bodies has been our cultural environment and not just the fix-its that we humans have come up with. Although, I agree with you that hormonal contraception is unnatural and even quite dangerous in some cases.

    Many of us have heard, that oral contraception ‘tricks’ the body into thinking it is pregnant. Why are our wondrously complex bodies, that are intelligent in their own right, always simplified in such ways? According to Sievert, a woman’s hormonal levels while pregnant are quite different than what is seen when taking hormonal contraception (189). What are the lasting repercussions that these abnormal levels cause?

    Certain foods, those high in saturated fat and sugar, can cause harsher PMS symptoms. So why do doctors not first suggested personalized lifestyles changes, like diet, for improving premenstrual symptoms? This would help not only with the ill symptoms of PMS, but also eventually towards a healthier ideological awareness (as a culture) of ovulation as healthy and normal.