This post will discuss some feminine health issues, so if there are any male readers lurking, you might want to just skip this one if talk of hormones and such will embarrass you. Or if you're female and it embarrasses you!
I checked out a book at the library yesterday called Natural Hormone Balance for Women by Dr. Uzzi Reiss, a gynecologist specializing in hormone therapy. I've been noticing some subtle changes taking place, plus hormones and diabetes are linked (insulin is a hormone), although I haven't done a lot of research about it. I'm interested in natural hormones, rather than the synthetic ones that have been shown to cause some problems such as blood clots. So . . . I picked up this book.
I just skimmed through it last night, and one chapter really got my attention. It's entitled "ABCs of Estrogen" and explains the three types of estrogen and their respective roles in a woman's overall well-being. Two of the types are more "aggressive"; they are the ones that are most responsible for our menstrual cycles and work to help our bones and hearts. The third type is what the author called more benign. It's gentler on us, keeps our skin young and health-looking, helps out with those hot flashes and night sweats, and possibly helps prevent cancer. It kind of balances out the other two estrogens.
Here's what I found interesting: this estrogen is especially high during pregnancy. The doctor points out that the hormones present during pregnancy are especially protective against all the "female" problems, such as menstrual cramps, abnormal bleeding, PMS, endometriosis, to name a few. He goes on to say that, historically, what we consider normal monthly menstruation and fewer pregnancies are basically abormal. It's not normal, biologically speaking, to only have 2 or 3 pregnancies in a woman's lifetime. This increased number of cycles and fewer pregnancies have contributed to the accumulation of the more aggressive estrogens, which the third type helps to balance, leading to estrogen dominance and the problems that many women have today, including breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer.
This doctor also worked in Israel for a four-year period, where most women followed the more traditional pattern of multiple pregnancies. He says that he rarely saw the conditions that he commonly sees in his practice in North America. Their main complaint in Israel was varicose veins and a prolapsed uterus, due to so many pregnancies! Not cramps, PMS, abnormal bleeding, fibroids, etc.
Now. My point. As I read his conclusion, he said, "Obviously, I am not advocating this (multiple pregnancies) as a solution to the dilemma of estrogen dominance." I was amazed! Before you think I'm saying that every woman has to have 10 children, please hear me out. This obviously well-educated man, who has done intensive research into the balance of hormones and how they affect women's lives, is basically pushing aside the scientifically established fact that our bodies operate best the way that God made them to operate! He instead recommends hormone replacement (albeit natural hormones) in place of allowing our bodies to operate in the way God made them. It just amazes me that science can prove that God's way is best, but we can still find a way around it. And be politically correct to boot.
As you know, we only have 3 children. We made that decision ourselves. Most people in this generation do the same. I know that in our family, I was in submission to my husband on this issue, and I stand firm that a woman should follow her husband on the issue of birth control. I also stand firm that it's no one else's business how many children you do or don't have; it's entirely a personal matter. One of THE most personal matters between a husband and wife. But at the same time, I thought it was interesting that even history and science teach us that God knew what He was doing when He created us. We didn't like how God made us, though. We didn't like having so many babies and being tied down. Feminism promised freedom for women. Freedom from the bother of children. Freedom to have your own life. But that very freedom, the ability to choose how many pregnancies we have, has at the very least given us a poorer quality of life, with the rise of PMS, abnormal bleeding, endometriosis; and what's worse, that freedom introduced a far higher incidence of some of the most deadly cancers among women. In my opinion, that's yet another strike against feminism. And for that I say - thanks a lot.