“Depo-Provera: Is it really dangerous?”
There are several topics that as a parent, you never want to bring up with your teenager, one of them being the topic about birth control. However, ignoring these issues is the worst thing that can be done and it is obviously not going to make them disappear. The truth of the matter is that we live in a generation where teens having sex is something that is very common. The least parents can do is give their teens the basic information they need in order for them to prevent unwanted pregnancies. However, many parents are still opposed for their children to be taking birth control. Some of these parents feel that if they support their teens in having access to birth control, they are telling them that it is time to become sexually active and that having pre-marital sex is fine. A common belief that is shared is that teens having access to birth control will be encouraged to engage in sexual activity much sooner than teenagers who don’t have access to it. There are even declarations where parents believe that any type of contraception is nothing more than “chemical abortions”. The people who support this claim are organization such as the American Life League. Organizations like this one argue that birth control is wrong and it completely goes against the laws of God.
The belief this organization is most known for is that teenagers should be taught abstinence-only education. Although many parents claim that access to contraception is to allow pre-marital sex, there is no actual data to support this. Studies done by Advocates for Youth, have said that by providing contraception to teens, it increases safe sex practices among those who are already sexually active but it does not have effect on the number of teens beginning to engage in sexual intercourse. The Advocates for Youth also had a very special person in their article, President Obama. “After an outpouring of support from activists like you, President Obama and the Department of Health and Human Services announced in January that they are standing strong by no-cost birth control. In that announcement, the administration kept intact a conscience clause for churches. While we believe everyone should have access to basic preventive coverage, the Obama administration has already provided a compromise.” Even though we see even the President of The United States involved in this topic, if there has always been an open and honest relationship with the parents, teenagers will not have to worry about having to pay for something that is sometimes even offered for free. As young people grow, parents have the opportunity to give them useful information which will help them make responsible and healthy decisions about their intercourse but also gain the trust of their parents. Teenagers are more likely to make their decision of having sex based on peer pressure than on the reaction their parents will have. Several teens that have little to no sexual experience become easily confused by their fellow peers and may be pressured into sexual intercourse way sooner than they should.
Therefore, if teenagers are educated on forms of birth control, they should be able to understand that parents care for them and want nothing more than the safety of their children. Rather than rushing the sex amongst teens, providing birth control for them allows them to increase their responsibility. In fact, a report by D. Kirby has found that ” adolescent health has demonstrated that being exposed to comprehensive sex information (that includes learning about birth control) does not speed up the initiation of sex or increase the frequency of sex — concerns that many parents fear.” With this in mind, we actually get to see that the typical fear of parents is completely mistaken. Allowing teenagers to get ahold of birth control just gives them a better way to see that there is always something to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Taking birth control is something teenagers should really consider, especially teenage girls. Whether they decide to us condoms or pills they will certainly be protected. As we all should know there are many different types of birth control available, the one’s mentioned are simply a few. The most common and controversial one would have to be the Depo-Provera. The “Depo-Provera, also known as “the shot” or Depo, is a provider-controlled synthetic hormonal contraceptive for women. It prevents pregnancy through suppressing ovulation and making the cervical mucus uninhabitable for sperm.” The Depo shot is received as an injection in the muscle of the arm. Women must receive a Depo shot every three months by a trained physician in order for the effect to keep working. Although this contraception protects women and teenagers from getting pregnant, it does not protect them from sexually transmitted diseases. The reason for it being so popular is because it has been around for more than 40 years but has actually never gotten the full approval of the public and has caused life threatening results. “Several women got cancer and/or died during the trials, but these cases were not reported to the FDA as was required. The director of the study, Robert Hatcher, did not send one legally required annual report during the entire study. Women with medically contraindicated conditions, such as cancer, were still given the shot. Record keeping on the clients was sloppy – over 13,000 women were lost to follow-up.” This quote clearly shows us why so many women are scared to go thru the process of having to fully depend on this contraception.
The history talked about is just one of the many concerns women face. “The FDA again denies approval of Depo for contraception because: 1) dog studies confirmed an elevated rate of breast cancer; 2) increased risk of birth defects in human fetuses exposed to the drug; and 3) no pressing need shown for use of the drug as a contraceptive.” It has been proven that following this form of birth control can have dangerous outcomes. “…Depo-Provera has the following critical side effects on its users: Breast Cancer, Excessive Bleeding, Cervical Cancer, and Weight Change” Some of these are reasons why many women themselves don’t even think about choosing this contraception, especially allowing their teenage girls to use it. True, Depo Provera has many side effects but research has not completely gone thru with this so called results. In my opinion, instead of seeing only the negative side of this they should actually study the whole process of it. When I was 15 years old, I decided that I was going to start taking birth control. To be honest the reason I decided on actually going thru with it was because I would see a lot of pregnant girls at my school, a lot of them included my close friends. I absolutely did not want to end up having a baby when I was only a kid myself.
To my advantage, my parents have always been very supportive in any problem I have been faced with. Having a parent’s friendship is always very important in any teenager’s life. You get a chance to express how you feel without the worry of being judged or picked on. The support my parents offered was the other reason I decided to get it. I never in my life have wanted to let my parent’s down. They had me at a very young age, my mother 18 and my dad 21. Ever since I was young they always told me to wait till I was ready to have children because it is very hard to raise one. I always kept that in mind and that is why I wanted to protect myself. Although they didn’t want me to end up getting pregnant, they said that if I ever did, they would support me in any way they could. When they spoke to me about that I was very happy and knew I could count on them for anything. Just like the women mentioned before, my mother was worried when it was time to choose contraception. I didn’t really care which one I was going to get, what I had in mind was just “Anything will do!” I was sure wrong about that, because as I saw all of the options I didn’t know which one would be right for me. My mother wanted me to get the pill, because that was the only one she knew about. I was not really sure but the doctor was very nice and I ended up going with the Depo-Provera shot. In my case, all of the side effects mentioned didn’t have anything to do with me.
As I went for my second dose, they explained to me that not all women get it, it is just a matter of time and everyone’s body is different. After I got my second dose, I came to realize that I would just use condoms to protect myself, because I was getting really tired of waiting at the doctor’s office for a long time. I also stopped because in that period of time I traveled to Mexico and I obviously couldn’t get it over there. So far, my life without it has been the same as I was before it. No side effects ever showed and I am sure it will stay like this. In my opinion, the parents that don’t agree with birth control should really consider it. If I was a parent I would surely prefer that my teenager be on birth control instead of her making her life difficult by having a child at a young age. We live in a generation that having sexual intercourse is just getting more and more common. It is better for parents to accept it then to keep being in denial about the whole situation. In conclusion, teenagers face many obstacles to obtaining and using contraception. Some of these obstacles include cost, transportation and embarrassment. The best parents can do is educate their teens in a proper way. If a teenager is going to be sexually active they should have the right to understand what they can do to have intercourse in a safe manner. As the saying goes, “It is better to be safe, than sorry”