Birth control comes in a lot of different forms, but for the purposes of this post, I’ll be focusing on the pill. The most important point to remember about birth control pills, as well as hormone patches or injections, is that they are potent synthetic hormones, whose adverse health effects have been well documented over the past 30 years (1). Many women turn to birth control because they are not aware that there are safer options available.
If you’re using birth control pills for reasons other than birth control, such as to regulate your menstrual cycle or treat irregular bleeding, cysts, endometriosis, or even acne, you are not treating your underlying problem. You are masking it with a potentially dangerous drug. In these situations, it is essential to balance your adrenal glands, as cortisol levels modulate and control the female hormones—especially progesterone. The pill merely treats your symptoms (irregularity, cramps, or acne), not the underlying cause, which just adds to your problem as your body struggles to find balance (2).
Here are the possible side effects of the birth control pill:
- Cycle irregularities
- Increased risk of breast cancer
- Increased risk of cervical cancer
- Blood clots
- High blood pressure
- Increased arterial plaque
- Lower bone density
- Cramps, irregular bleeding
- Breast tenderness
- Vaginal infections
- Yeast overgrowth
- Gall bladder disease
- Depression/mood changes
- Loss of sexual function
- Impaired muscle gains
In my opinion, the pill’s benefit of convenience is largely outweighed by its very serious health risks. I debated for a long time whether to go on birth control or not. In my gut and my heart I knew I shouldn’t, but I went on it anyway. Because I was scared. As a newly married grad student, there was no way I could have a baby, nor did I want one at the time.
I went on a really low dose birth control pill for 5 months. In the beginning, I didn’t notice a change in my emotions or weight, but after 3 months I (as well as my husband, friends, and family), started to notice certain changes. I was irritable all the time and could feel it. If Jacob didn’t do something I asked, even a little thing like hand me a napkin, I would get so annoyed. None of these extreme feelings are normal. Even if you just feel a little bit off.
The second my husband and I decided that I should stop taking birth control I felt free. Days passed and I started feeling in control of my emotions again. It was shocking realizing just how out of whack my hormones had become. When you’re taking synthetic hormones or any kind of drug on a daily basis, it does not just effect one target system. Those chemicals effect the entire being because the body is all connected.
No matter how advanced medical technology becomes, disrupting the balance of your endocrine and immune systems is a dangerous game. So here are some natural birth control options to feel confident in and still be in control of your health.
- Male and female condoms
- Diaphragm: A diaphragm, which must be fitted by a doctor, covers your cervix (the entrance to your uterus), so that sperm cannot enter. They are used and removed each time you have intercourse. When used correctly with spermicidal jellies, they are 92 – 98% effective.
- Cervical cap: This heavy rubber cap fits tightly against the cervix and can be left in place for 48 hours. Like the diaphragm, a doctor must fit the cap. Proper fitting enhances the effectiveness above 91%.
- Clue app: Clue is an app on your phone that tracks your cycle and lets you know an estimated time of when you’re ovulating. The time you are most likely to get pregnant is during your “fertile window” which are the days leading up to, including, and immediately after ovulation. It is not 100% accurate due to cycles differing each month, but it is a great prediction.
The months following stopping birth control I knew I needed to detox because those chemicals can stay in your body for months. There are many different ways to detox and your body is naturally doing so continually throughout each day. Therefore, the best way to detox is to support your body’s already detoxing power. This is simply done by living a healthy lifestyle.
Eating organic whole foods, exercising at least 3x/week, and keeping negativity at bay is your best defense against unwanted hormonal imbalances. Trust me, I know this is a lot easier said than done.
Additional to living a healthy lifestyle, supplementation can help regulate and balance your hormones. Supplements seem to be everywhere these days, but it’s so important that you invest in high quality. A lot of supplements on the market today have unnecessary fillers in them that do not lead to health in your body. Some supplements at Costco or even Sprouts and Whole Foods aren’t supplying you with the best quality and benefits to your body.
When looking for quality supplements, I recommend Standard Process, Garden of Life, and Now Foods. These brands are organic whole food supplements and contain no synthetic chemicals or fillers. To balance hormones, my absolute favorite is Standard Process’s Female Endocrine packet. To purchase this packet, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org because this brand is only sold through practitioners.
Recovering after taking birth control for however long you were on it is a long hard road. But if you stay diligent and committed, your body’s ability to rid itself of those synthetic hormones and chemicals will improve and you will find balance. We are constantly looking to build health in the body. Every single thing you consume or inject is either causing health or causing disease, so take control of your health and watch it flourish.
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