With tears in her eyes, Lindsey approached me during her junior year in high school after hearing a lecture I gave on the negative side effects of contraception and the alternatives offered by the science of NaPro Technology.
Lindsey was on “the pill” because her obstetrician insisted that it was the best means to manage the severe pain, vomiting, and irregular cycles she was experiencing. Lindsey hated being on the pill. It made her feel “gross,” she sensed that it was just managing symptoms instead of fixing the problem, and she worried about her future marriage and ability to have children.
She pleaded for help. I could offer little. There were no OB/GYNs in Houston who did not prescribe contraception. The nearest was a three hour drive. And Mom insisted the pill was the best thing for Lindsey’s health—it’s what the doctors prescribed when she was a teen, and what they insisted on for Lindsey.
Two years, another OB, and five contraceptives later, Lindsey “forcefully expressed” that she did not want to take the pill again because of the side effects. “Unfortunately, Mom did not support this decision and backed the doctor up when she suggested a new pill.” Lindsey wrote “Mom isn’t convinced that there could possibly be an ‘underlying cause’ to everything that I am experiencing … this is definitely a touchy topic [in our house].”
Now an adult, Lindsey finally said “enough” and stopped taking the pills. “With the samples and prescription still sitting on the kitchen counter five months later, I refuse to even open the packaging.” She paid for it with her “all-time worst” cramps. Though it rarely, if ever, solves the underlying problems, contraception usually improves the symptoms experienced by many women.
So Lindsey searched desperately for an alternative without luck, until Houston welcomed Dr. Kathryn Karges and “Caritas Complete Women’s Care” as the only OB/GYN medical practice in the city that did not prescribe contraception.
By now, Mom was open to “natural” solutions and agreed to take Lindsey to Dr. Karges. Lindsey began charting her cycles, and found out that she had endometriosis on her appendix and other organs. Lindsey noted, “It turned out my right ovary was stuck to my pelvis due to the endo.” No wonder she was in such pain! She had surgery to remove the endometriosis this winter and feels better than she has in years.
Lindsey still has a ways to go as some symptoms still persist, but now for the first time she has a doctor who is seeking to find and cure the cause of those gut-wrenching symptoms. She recently wrote me, “The experience has been wonderful and switching to her has been one of the best decisions for my health. It has been so nice to finally find an OB/GYN who actually listens to what I am going through and actively searches for a solution instead of just giving away birth control.”
She tells me that her parents are now “beyond supportive,” “so impressed,” and “can’t say enough about” the excellent medical care she is receiving from Caritas.
If Lindsey sounds like a walking advertisement, it’s because she is! Clinics like Caritas in Houston, Tepeyac Family Center in Northern Virginia, and The Vitae Clinic in Austin routinely provide tremendous care for thousands of women such as Lindsey. They offer the best of moral medicine, and the women and families who benefit happily sing their praises.
I understand why loved ones may hesitate to take a daughter or wife to clinics like these. Their unique approach to reproductive health that works with the body instead of against it goes against the medical grain. Their approach, however, is rarely replicated not because it’s bad medicine but rather because it’s not as lucrative, and the culture automatically says, “give ‘em contraception.”
Tepeyac, Vitae Clinic, and Caritas offer women like Lindsey something that, in their respective regions, only they can offer because of their unique perspective and state-of-the-art training. Thankfully, such clinics are gradually springing up all over the country. I cannot possibly note them all here so I encourage readers to comment and share the word about similar medical practices that do not prescribe contraception and who offer moral medicine that meets the reproductive health needs of women. Such practices need support from us. More importantly, countless women—our wives, daughters, students or friends—can benefit from the healing care offered by Caritas, Tepeyac and Vitae Clinic.
Lindsey’s life was changed by this beautiful approach to the unique needs of women’s health. Today, there are no more tears.
(Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.)