We talk about the concept of “women’s health” a lot, but we don’t seem to be on the same page about what that actually means.
There are a lot of different views on what that term means. A pretty popular outlook on it is that generally, if there’s any kind of issue with our fertility, we tend to be prescribed a birth control pill. And in college, that’s an easy fix — and it’s pretty cheap to get.
But ladies, I think we’ve been sold a pack of lies about what it means to care for our bodies.We’ve been lied to about what true health and wellbeing should mean for us.
So, to begin: What does “health” mean?
One definition is, “The state of being free from illness or injury.” I’ll apply that definition to the way we treat women’s health.
In other areas of medicine, when health is broken down, doctors prescribe hormones, pills or devices. They’re designed to bring the body back to health.
But what about the way we treat women’s health? The common methods of care such as contraception, abortion, in-vitro fertilization, sterilization and artificial hormone therapy actually harm, suppress, interfere with and/or delay health — the opposite of what it ought to be. With this kind of “treatment,” we’re not free from illness or injury. We’ve just suppressed it with artificial band aids. And in reality, many of these methods can lead to serious health problems — even life-threatening ones.
So, then: What do I propose to be authentic women’s health?
Simple: I define it as methods that align with women’s natural biology, hormones, and reproductive cycles. For example, methods like Natural Family Planning, Naprotechnology, adoption and resources for women in crisis pregnancies.
These methods focus on treating the root causes of any dysfunction, not simply treating symptoms through suppression of cycles like a band aid. It’s treatment that respects natural fertility, the sexual act and any human life that may come forth from it and the family.
To the rest of the world, this is pretty controversial stuff. But the best way to make informed decisions about topics like this is to research. So here are just a couple! But I encourage you to do even more — there is so much out there!
Click here to read Pope St. Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which discusses the Church’s view on sex, marriage and the beauty of human life!
This is real, ladies. Most of us — especially women in college — are simply clueless as to what their monthly cycle does. Heck, I was one of them! We don’t know what’s going on during the days between one period and another. This is a great tragedy! If we don’t know what’s going on inside our bodies, how can we take care of it, let alone trust a doctor to treat us?
There’s a simple way to live this out in your daily life.
I want to challenge all women reading this to begin tracking your cycles as soon as possible. Get to know your body! It’s never too early to start.
This topic hits close to home for me. When I was in college, I experienced pain throughout my cycles. I went to a local OBGYN who prescribed birth control pills for me. I decided against taking them since the doctor didn’t give me any indication that this treatment would heal my pain but only delay its return. I was frustrated.
A year later, I began to chart my cycles. In comparing my chart to the normal looking ones, I knew immediately something was wrong. I took these charts to an OBGYN trained in reading them. The doctor then used my chart to order blood draws and prescribe treatments to fix what was actually going awry within my body. I felt empowered when I realized that I understood what was going on within me, and I was grateful when my doctor took the time to seek out answers to heal me, not to just treat the symptom.
Again, I challenge you ladies to learn about your cycles and discover how God made you as a woman. It’s truly remarkable! Learning to chart should be like learning to floss your teeth. It’s something you do to care for your reproductive health, just as flossing helps you maintain your oral health.
Practically speaking, what other steps can you take to embrace women’s health?
- Download a cycle tracking app
- Learn the Creighton Model or any other form of Natural Family Planning
- Find a doctor trained in Naprotechnology to treat any health issues
- Support women in crisis pregnancies
- Support adoptive families
Those are only a few examples of many, but I hope they encourage you down a path toward authentic women’s health! If you have any questions, click on the “Contact Us” button over at http://www.truegoodandbeautiful.net.