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The Pill Is Not the Best Way to Treat PMS

5/19/2010 - 3:26 PM PST

Catholic PRWire

GLENVIEW, IL (May 19, 2010) - The below is from the May/June issue of "Family Foundations," a publication of the Couple to Couple League.

Must I rely on the birth control pill for relief from premenstrual syndrome?

THEY SAY: Each month I struggle with painful cramps and exhausting mood swings. My doctor says the pill will help me manage these symptoms.

THE FACTS: Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can be debilitating. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists estimates that "at least 85 percent of menstruating women have at least one PMS symptom as part of their monthly cycle." Approximately three percent to eight percent of menstruating women may have a more severe form of PMS called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.

When women ask for help, doctors often prescribe the birth control pill, citing research like a 2005 Harvard study posted at WebMD. The article, called "Birth Control Pill May Relieve PMS Depression," suggests that oral contraceptives can help curb PMS mood swings. Yet the birth control pill isn't the safest option for treating PMS, and it ignores the underlying causes. In "Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition," 4th ed., Marilyn Shannon lists a number of possible nutritional and lifestyle causes of PMS. Instead of telling women to pop a pill, Shannon presents natural ways of improving cycle functioning and fertility: nutritional changes, balanced vitamin supplementation, and the right amount of sleep and exercise. "Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition," 4th ed., available through the CCL website (, thoroughly addresses these natural approaches to a variety of cycle irregularities.

If symptoms persist even after implementing nutrition and lifestyle changes, women may need to seek diagnosis and treatment of a hormonal imbalance.

An NFP-only physician can use a woman's charting data to help uncover the causes of her PMS symptoms and consider choices that are safer than the birth control pill.

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Sign up for a membership at Couple to Couple League International at, and receive "Family Foundations."

Natural Family Planning Classes Taught

The next series of classes in Natural Family Planning in northeast Illinois will begin Sun., May 23, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. at Holy Trinity Church in Westmont, and will be taught by Chris & Debbie Lillig. To register, and for a list of classes throughout the U.S., go to CCL International at Chicago area class information is at


Couple to Couple League of Chicago  IL, 60025 US
Monica Cassidy - ,  (800) 745-8252




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