Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Up Against the System

Without giving too much information, my 17 year old daughter has been experiencing irregular cycles. Enough to make me worry. When I took her to the military clinic this morning, the doctor immediately wanted to put her on oral contraceptives to "regulate" her cycles. No tests, no bloodwork, just straight to pills. Am I overreacting? I find this appalling that the medical profession goes for the easy "put a band-aid on it" fix rather than trying to find the solution to a problem. After explaining that I was not comfortable with this option, he reluctantly ordered blood tests to check for any abnornmalities. We should hear something by tomorrow. Unfortunately, I am not surprised by this visit. There has been only one doctor in the last 7 years that I felt did a thorough job and took the time to really listen and diagnose my children's ailments. This is not a good percentage, in my opinion.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Jenny,
    I'm not sure where you're living, but do you have the option under your coverage of finding a pro-life women's doctor? It seems to be a common problem - not just you - that many doctors want to jump straight to the Pill. Often there is no real medical necessity, but they figure by late teens its usage is fairly universal.

    Definitely good to get a second opinion on this!

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  2. How does one find a pro-life women's doctor? Is there a list somewhere? I would be overjoyed if this was an option for us.

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  3. Hi, Jenny.

    This is Matthew's wife. I have had many go arounds with this, having had similar issues myself since I was 14 years old!

    It's very important to find the underlying causes of your daughter's irregular cycles. The Pill can mask a hormonal imbalance and/or other issues and cause them to be worse. She might even find it more difficult to conceive later on when she would want to have children.

    Here are some links to some pro-life physicians directories:

    www.prolifephysicians.org
    www.fertilitycare.org

    Even if there isn't one conveniently located near you, you may be able to call an office a few hours away and see if they know of like-minded physicians in your area that they can recommend. The lists above are certainly NOT exhaustive lists.

    Also, sometimes going to physicians who are non-mainstream and liberal can be helpful (surprisingly!). They often don't like the Pill because it's not "holistic." I went to one for a while who helped me straighten out my nutrition.

    Marilyn Shannon's book "Fertility Cycles and Nutrition 4th Edition" is also very helpful.

    Let me know if you would like to talk more about this via email. I've done a lot of research and have a darling 1 year old girl to show for it!

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  4. Thank you Suzanne! My sister had ovarian cysts as a teenager and lost one of her ovaries. I looked at the list of physicians and the nearest one is several hours away. I will have to find out if our military insurance would cover someone outside our immediate area, though I think it would be worth it.

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  5. Jenny -- I just discovered your blog today and read the post about your daughter. My daughter has also suffered from this for several years, and her GYN (who is VERY prolife and doesn't EVER prescribe contraceptives) has her on Prometrium, which is a natural progesterone. She takes it the 1st 10 days of her cycle every month. We are located in Georgia - in the Atlanta area. I don't know if that would help you at all. At a minimum, you could call the doctor's office and see if they could recommend anyone to you or give you a resource to find someone close to you. Her name is Dr. Kathleen Raviele, and she's very well known in pro-life circles. Their office number is 770-491-0255. My sister was also having major cycle problems, but she and her husband were trying to conceive also. Every OBG she went to immiediately suggested the pill to regulate her cycle. Her questions was always - how am I supposed to have a baby on the pill? No one could ever give her an answer or a "better" solution. She finally went to Dr. Raviele, who actually listened to her symptoms and ran some tests. Turns out she probably had gotten pregnant and miscarried vary early - her body was producing the hormone you need to stimulate milk supply and was mirroring that she was in the early stages of nursing a newborn, which as we all know, is the body's natural way of delaying conception!! A few months on some hormonal medications and she successfully conceived her first child. Sorry for the long post, but you are SO right to pursue other options for your daughter. Good luck!!

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  6. Jenny, let me add one idea. This year we moved to a small town (Bloomington IN) far from prolife doctors who are listed in directories like Suzanne mentions above. So we called the local prolife pregnancy centers and asked them for recommendations of pediatrician and obgyn.

    Such institutions usually have a relationship with a sympathetic doctor. So that is always worth investigating. Of course, disposition is nice, but it's also maybe when researching a solution to a possible problem to find somebody deeply trained in the non-contraceptive alternative stuff like Creighton. And it looks like for that you might have to have a drive...

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