Okay, so you now know at which step you think its okay to interve in the whole Baby-making process. Based upon that, what are your options? I’ll go through these step-by-step.
Disclaimer #1: Ultra big, super important disclaimer from Jayme’s legal team: Jayme is not a medical doctor. She didn’t even take Biology in high school (sad, but true – she really stuck to the physical and chemical sciences. She did have a semester of Cell Biology in 8th grade, but her table partner was an annoying jerk, so her memories of that are less than fond). She is not giving medical advice in any way, shape or form. /Legal advice over.
Disclaimer #2: This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive. I’m sure there are other options out there. I either don’t know about them or didn’t consider them significantly different from other options enough to include. But if you’re interested them, find out how they work and see how that lines up with where you think life begins.
Disclaimer #3: Birth control pills are a tricky thing because there are different types. What one type of pill does, another doesn’t. It all depends on what goes into them. So…in these steps, I’ll just say that there are hormonal pills that fit into a category. But I don’t want to dodge the subject either, so I’ll take a whole ‘nother post to talk about them. I include IUDs and implants in this category since they’re hormone based and work like pills.
Without further ado, here we go:
Step 1. Once a month-ish, an egg gets released from the woman’s ovary and makes its way towards the uterus. “I’m free! I’m free! I’ve waited my whole life for this moment!” it screams.
Options: 2 main options:
- Female sterilization where a woman’s fallopian tubes are tied so that the egg can’t make its way to the uterus.
- Hormonal pills. Some birth control pills work by tricking the body into not ovulating.
Step 2. Sperm gets into the uterus (I won’t be teaching this part of the story!). A whole bunch of swimmers swim along trying to find the egg. As they go, they sing “Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!” (I imagine.)
Options: 3 main options here:
Men could be sterilized (a vasectomy) so that sperm isn’t present when they have sex. That would definitely prevent a pregnancy from occurring.
A condom prevents sperm from getting into the uterus even when there is sexual activity.
Spermicides don’t stop sperm from getting in, but it does start to kill them off rather quickly and prevents them from being able to swim fast.
Diaghragms stop sperm from getting into the uterus and since they also require a spermicide, they get that benefit too.
Abstinence — there’s a “pregnancy control” methodology called Natural Family Planning that uses abstinence as its way of preventing the sperm and egg from meeting. They use a woman’s body and its signs as a way of telling when a woman ovulates and then prescribes abstinence as the way of preventing pregnancy. More on that in another post too. Someday. But it’s essentially “educated and temporary abstinence”. Some people follow Fertility Awareness Method because they use those same signs of ovulation, but instead of abstaining, they choose barrier methods (or something else) during that time. Think of it as Natural Family Planning with more freedom.
Step 3. Sperm meets egg. Romance between them ensues. One sperm fertilizes the egg. At this point, the cell(s) begin to have a different DNA than the mother or the father.
Options: Hormonal pills are, again, your only option here. Some birth control pills work by chemically changing the uterus’ environment so that eggs can’t be fertilized.
Step 4. The egg recognizes that it’s been fertilized and implants onto the wall of the uterus.
Options: Again, hormonal pills. Some birth control pills make the uterus lining thin enough so that an egg can’t implant.
Step 5. The body says “Hey! There’s something different here”. It starts producing chemicals hormones that tells the body to do things differently than it did last month (most noticeably: not have a period).
Options: Hormonal pills are the only way to counteract these hormones. Some birth control pills will force a period no matter what – even if an egg has been fertilized. Even if an egg has been implanted. This is often why women who menstrual problems are put onto birth control pills (when birth control isn’t the reason). Some women don’t ovulate or have periods like they should, so doctors will often prescribe The Pill as way of making that happen.
Step 6. About 40 weeks later, the woman gets an insane urge to push and like magic a baby pops out. It’s been born! “Waa! Waa! Waa!”
Options: An abortion is the only thing that can stop this. An abortion could technically be performed at any stage in the pregnancy, but I think it’s illegal to have an abortion after 12 weeks.
Those are most of the options. I’m sure there are more. Next post will be all about hormonal methods. I’m sure you’re excited!
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