Katie is a registered pharmacist who’s been looking for avenues to disseminate the following information, which is largely denied by the general medical community. Many of us who would never choose to abort run the risk of aborting our children, unawares, by our use of hormonal contraceptives – Pill, shot, patch… Please read carefully – and if you are effected by this, please talk to your health care provider as soon as you can to get off these products!
prevent pregnancy, right??
Hormonal contraceptives (in all routes of administration – oral, injectable, and other) are marketed to *prevent* pregnancy. While their primary mechanism of action is to stop a woman’s egg from being released during her monthly cycle, that is unfortunately not the only mechanism of action they can carry out. The hormones contained in these contraceptives also have two very important effects on a woman’s body. These actions are listed and noted by the manufacturers of hormonal contraceptives in the fine print of package inserts (prescribing information) that are given with these products, but they are often overlooked and remain unknown and undiscussed. The reason they are so important is because one of them crosses the line of *preventing a pregnancy* to *terminating a pregnancy*. What? How could that be?
The answer lies in how *pregnancy* is defined. Most people believe and accept without question that life begins at conception ~ the fertilization of an egg and sperm. Years of sound medical science and research has proven that cells begin to divide and go to work when that special union between egg and sperm occurs. About a week after fertilization, a process known as implantation occurs, in which the embryo (a.k.a zygote, joined egg and sperm, baby) attaches to the lining of the mother’s uterus to flourish and grow to term. Why are these important facts to know? Well, some groups in the medical community years ago, decided that they would not recognize an *established pregnancy* until after implantation has occurred, which again occurs about one week after fertilization takes place.
What does this have to do with hormonal contraceptives? As mentioned above, there are three mechanisms of action that contraceptives have listed in the package insert that may take place in a woman’s body. The primary mechanism is to inhibit ovulation (stop a woman’s egg from being released). However, in the chance that an egg was released, the hormones in these contraceptives work in two other ways in a woman’s body to stop a pregnancy from going forward.
The first is that it changes the amount and consistency of cervical mucus a woman produces to try to prevent the entry of the sperm into the cervix to stop fertilization from taking place.
The next one, which is the key process to be concerned with, is that it changes the lining of the endometrium in the woman’s uterus to make it *unfavorable* for implantation.
So if the first two mechanisms failed while taking hormonal contraceptives – if an egg was released and it was fertilized as well – the hormones can cause endometrial changes that could stop a fertilized egg from being implanted in the mother’s uterus. Instead, this fertilized egg could be implanted elsewhere – causing an ectopic pregnancy – or – the fertilized egg could be shed in the woman’s menses, without the mother ever knowing it.
Now remember, implantation occurs approximately 7 or more days after fertilization. So a week after that life began, it may be shed away in the woman’s menstrual cycle ~ unbeknown to the mother ~ because this all occurs before a woman would even become aware that she is pregnant.
So why can hormonal contraceptives be marketed to *prevent* pregnancy?
[coming tomorrow in Part Two – Laura]
Katie (Guest Writer and Burdened Pharmacist)