The Birth Control Pill… The bad and the ugly
It seems that every time a woman has acne, cramps, or irregular periods, doctors want to prescribe us The Pill. Although important for preventing unwanted pregnancy, The Pill has many side affects that can wreak havoc on our bodies for many many years.
While some birth control pills claim to be more natural and “contain less hormones”, they still change the hormones in your body. There are various methods by which The Pill works, however they are all meant for you to avoid ovulation – when the ova (egg) is released at around day 14 in your cycle – so that you cannot get pregnant.
Back in the 1940’s, an artificial estrogen called diethylstilbestrol was marketed as the very first form of oral contraceptive. Later, this drug was found to increase cancer in the women who took it, and also vaginal and cervical cancer in their daughters. Furthermore, their sons had a higher rate of genital malformations and testicular cancer.
The main reason why the birth control pill causes so much damage to our bodies is because it raises our estrogen levels much higher than they should be. Woman have many different hormones (ex: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) and when even one of them goes out of balance, it throws off the balance of the rest of our hormones. The Pill causes what some call an “estrogen storm”.
Some possible side affects of the birth control pill include:
- Greater insulin release in response to sugar, glucose intolerance, and a tendency to develop metabolic syndrome, hypoglycemia, sugar cravings, weight gain, and diabetes.
- Because it has vasoconstrictive effects, it can lead to cardiovascular problems such as raised blood pressure, clots including deep vein thrombosis, stroke, and heart attack (heart disease is the #1 killer of women!!).
- Increased incidence of headaches, migraines, and nausea.
- Weight gain and water retention.
- Breast changes.
- Vaginal or bladder infections.
- Increased risk of cancer of the cervix, breast, endometrium, and ovaries, as well as cervical dysplasia.
- Increased risk of ovarian cysts, gallbladder disease, pituitary tumours.
- Infertility or problems with conception when off the pill.
- Vaginal dryness.
- Increased risk of miscarriage due to low progesterone levels.
- Decreased libido.
- A deficiency in B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. The immune system is then compromised due to these deficiencies.
- An increase in copper (as a result of a decrease in zinc) which leads to mental instability, resulting in tendencies towards anger, rage, depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia.
Some of you may be frustrated reading all of this if you are currently taking The Pill. You may be thinking, “So now what do I do?”. To start, for contraceptive purposes, there IS a natural birth control that involves, NO hormones, doesn’t have ANY side effects, and doesn’t require you to take any medication. It is unlike anything you have ever heard of before, but is REVOLUTIONARY and will hopefully take the world by storm in the near future. This method of birth control is called the Fertility Awareness Method, and you can read all about it on my Fertility Awareness Method page here.
If you’re taking (or you’re thinking about taking) The Pill to “balance hormones” and get rid of problems like acne, cramps, and PMS, I HIGHLY recommend that you look at other options and alternatives. Woman and girls who take a “low dose” pill are are getting more estrogen than what is recommended for a menopausal woman (seven times as much!!). “Low Dose” means “lower than before” which is still a problem. It’s unfortunate that many doctors will prescribe this to correct these issues (especially to woman as young as 13!!), as they don’t really correct them at all. They temporarily change your hormones for the duration of taking the drug, but as soon as you stop, acne gets worse, cramps get worse, PMS gets worse, and women often gain weight as well. The particular type of pill called “Diane 35” that is typically prescribed for acne, increasing your likelihood of getting a blood clot by EIGHT TIMES. There are SO many things you can do to balance your hormones to correct these issues naturally, with no medication. A healthy lifestyle and diet are VITAL. Correcting nutrition deficiencies by supplementing with vitamins can be life saving. Other supplements to detoxify estrogen can also be extremely helpful. Thankfully this information can be found all throughout this website 😉
In the mean time, if you’re still on the pill (hopefully you’re planning to come off of it) then there are many ways you can support your body during this time.
- Consume foods high in iron (preferably from plants rather than animal products), vitamins B6 and B12, and folic acid.
- Drink water with fresh lemon juice every morning to detoxify the liver (the liver needs some help to detoxify such a huge load of estrogens).
- Restore zinc levels in your body by taking a high quality zinc supplement.
- Eat a healthy whole foods diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, sprouts, and whole grains.
- Eat a diet plentiful in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and chard.
- Exercise at least 3 times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes (reducing our fat stores helps us to reduce the amount of estrogens in our bodies).
- Take supplements with I3C or DIM to help detoxify excess and bad estrogens.
The world needs to shift to a more Holistic way of looking at treating our health issues. There are answers to every question that you have about correcting your bodies health, if you just look in the right places. Humans are not meant to be taking medication for every issue we have. Before reaching for that pill, take your time and think about what you’re doing to your body. I highly recommend you read the Fertility Awareness Method Series on this website. You’ll thank yourself that you did. <3
To contact me personally with any questions, feedback, or for nutrition advice see my contact page. It is my passion to help guide and inspire you on your path to wellness 🙂
- Nutritional Pathology 2nd Edition Updated by Brenda Lessard-Rhead, BSc, ND
- A Smart Woman’s Guide To Hormones by Lorna Vanderhaeghe, M.S and Alvin Pettle, MD