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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What Can a Future Sister Missionary Do If She's Worried About Dealing with Her Period on Her Mission?

Dear Bro Jo,

So I'm wondering on how to ask this question without it seeming like I'm a bad person.

Also I don't want to ask anyone else this question in case it is really wrong, because I absolutely don't intend for it to be bad in any way.

So a couple years ago I worked at a gym and my co-worker mentioned that she (who is LDS and living a righteous life) used birth control to stop her periods (just for the inconvenience of periods, not for anything else).

Honestly I know nothing about whether or not that is wrong. So please keep that in mind.

I am 19 years old and I am going on a mission to Brazil in March, the thing is that in Brazil you can't flush toilet paper.  I know that when I am on my period I'm a little anemic and so I get so so so tired and don't even feel like moving.

And I'm just really Really worried that my period will prevent me from being the best missionary I can be.

So I can try to take iron pills which might help, but then there is the problem of walking around all day in the sun and having to use members’ bathrooms because of my period, and if you can't flush toilet paper...ahh!

Anyways I'm just really worried about this, and I don't know if this is an appropriate question to ask you (sorry!) but I don't really want to "Google" it too much because there are all sorts of random answers you can get, and things like that.

Also if it isn't a bad thing (to only use while on my mission, because I heard it stops your periods- which could be totally false and have negative side effects which I really don't know anything about) then I will for sure talk to my parents about it.

I just don't want to ask them and Then find out that it really is a bad thing and feel judged for it, because honestly I am completely clueless to details about this.

Anyways please let me know if taking the pill is simply a wrong thing to do, or if it would have negative consequences



Dear M,

Here's what I know (as taught to me by Sister Jo):

Birth Control pills don't "eliminate" your period, they keep the egg from being released so that it can't get fertilized.

A woman's period flushes unfertilized eggs on a regular basis, so you still have to have one.

A typical pack of Birth Control Pills has 21 pills that prevent fertilization, and 7 pills that are placebos.

It's while you're taking the placebos that you'll have your period. (So I'm struggling to buy the "just for the inconvenience of the period" thing your coworker said . . . we'll just let that go for now.)

I don't know anything about not flushing toilet paper in Brazil or how women deal with their periods there, but rest assured I don't think you're blazing new territory.

I'm certain millions of other women, including thousands of Sister Missionaries, have dealt with what worries you.

Talk to your mom.

Talk to your doctor.

Talk to other Sisters who have served there.

I'm sure all of them will be able to help with this much more than I can.

I can tell you that Sister Jo has chosen not to take birth control pills because she doesn't want to deal with the side effects of the hormones and chemicals. (No one seems to talk about those much, or that women who take them often find it difficult to get pregnant when they stop taking them.)

I think that's a personal choice.

We've been taught often not to put off having children because its "inconvenient", and we're taught not to do anything that might put us in a situation where we might conceive outside of marriage . . . other than that, I think this is a decision between you and the Lord.

And one you should have a lot more information about before you make any decisions. 

Congratulations on your Mission Call!

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

Correction: You can use birth control pills to "skip" your period if you start a new package and skip the placebo week. There is also a pill specifically designed so you only have a period every 3 months.

Bro Jo said...

Yes, technically you are correct, a period can be skipped by skipping the placebo week and jumping back into the hormone pills.

Your comment is not so much correction so much as additional information . . . but you've left some things out.

HOWEVER, while people can and do, a lot of doctors don't recommend it, there are (as with anything) drawbacks to doing it (including breakthrough bleeding, spotting, trouble with pregnancy . . .) so the bottom line is, whatever you're thinking about doing, get all of the information and talk to your doctor.

- Bro Jo