The invention of ‘the pill’ gifted women with the ability to reliably prevent pregnancy and provide for themselves and their families by enabling them to sustain a stable career. While the historical and societal significance of oral contraception need not be underestimated, the potential negative impact on women deserves scrutiny. These side effects are universal, but specific aspects are even more challenging for Orthodox brides and their spouses. From my experience as a kallah teacher, I have seen the pill cause women to fall into depression, suffer from anxiety, turn into crying, moody messes during an already stressful time in their life, suffer from hormonally caused sexual pain, and try and grapple with the myriad changes they encounter on their path to marriage and intimacy while feeling emotionally compromised. The havoc created by oral contraception deeply impacts both members of the couple.
Although many more young women today are self aware and well informed about their bodies, they can still underestimate the influence of birth control pills. They assume that their blues or discontent is due to moving cities, living with a new partner, or their new hair covering. I had mild anxiety as a teen that is being revived by the stress of marriage. My doctor didn’t tell me that this could happen, so it must be something else. Women tend to blame themselves for their increased emotionality rather than their oral contraception, which can lead to loneliness and confusion. . This issue is further complicated for Orthodox brides who are sometimes ill-informed about other forms of permissible contraception, like the diaphragm and various forms of spermicide. No method is perfect, but once a woman has felt mismanaged on the pill, her dedication to barrier methods is often greatly increased.
Many women are prescribed hormonal contraception– with little to no instruction about how to take them, and with no mention about the emotional and physical stress it may cause. Discussing the pill’s sid