An estimated 150 million women worldwide take birth control pills
Such widespread use of birth control pills worries me because many women are not aware of the serious health implications of these drugs. I also believe that birth control pills are often prescribed to address symptoms (like cramping, spotting, irregular periods and acne) instead of finding the underlying causes of the symptoms.
Many women do not consider the very real (and sometimes very dangerous) side effects of these synthetic hormones, but you owe it to your body, and to your future children, to find out more.
BIRTH CONTROL: SYNTHETIC HORMONES
First, let’s understand how birth control pills work in your body.
Typically, your body ovulates once a month, ripening a new egg contained in your ovaries that will then journey down a fallopian tube toward the uterus. Eventually it reaches the uterus, where it would implant, if fertilized.
If not fertilized by a sperm, then the lining of the uterus (the bed for the baby) that had built up in preparation for the fertilized egg is unnecessary. Both egg and uterine lining leave your body (kind of like changing the linens on the bed), cleansing your system and preparing for a new month.
When you take birth control pills, you impose synthetic hormones on your natural cycle.
Many birth control pills contain high levels of estrogen that effectively convince your pituitary gland that you are pregnant (this explains some of the side effects of the drugs) and that you don’t need to ovulate. Because your body thinks you are pregnant, the uterine lining thickens. Once you start the placebo pills, however, your estrogen level drops suddenly, and your body menstruates “normally.”
This abnormal cycle is what millions of women experience every month, and yet few doctors discuss the consequences of taking these prescriptions for year after year.
Here is an overview of the reported risks and side effects of birth control pills.
Some physical and emotional changes take place that are permanent while you stay on the pill. Many of these changes occur as your body’s response to synthetic estrogens and synthetic progesterone.
These changes include:
- Larger breasts
- Weight gain or loss
- Reduced or increased acne
- Slight nausea
- Emotional sensitivity right before your period
- Mood swings throughout your cycle
- Irregular bleeding or spotting
- Breast tenderness
- Decreased libido
The above side effects might be enough to deter some women from taking birth control, but many women are just not aware of them, while others justify the side effects because the pill is so convenient.
But imagine taking your birth control pill, feeling depressed and then taking an antidepressant to handle your mood swings and hypersensitivity. Adding an antidepressant could then contribute to even lower libido, which would surely be noticed by you and your partner.
My point is that birth control pills are a prescription drug with very real ramifications on your overall health.
And even scarier than the “mild” side effects are the serious health risks that accompany birth control pills. These include:
- Increased risk of cervical and breast cancers
- Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
- Higher blood pressure
- Gall bladder disease
- Benign liver tumors
- Decreased bone density
- Yeast overgrowth and infection
- Increased risk of blood clotting
- Cancer, heart disease, stroke, & infertility.
Surely these side effects make birth control pills a less than desirable option for contraception. And now that heart disease has become the leading cause of death among women, one has to wonder if there is a connection between the widespread and long-term use of oral contraceptives, which debuted in 1960… just as the first of the baby boomers were entering their teens.
Birth control pills actually destroy the beneficial bacteria in your intestines, making you more susceptible to yeast overgrowth, lower immunity and infection. Yeast overgrowth and yeast infections are particularly dangerous to your overall health.
After years and years of taking birth control pills and creating an imbalanced inner ecosystem (with an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast), it is no wonder that women are at greater risk for infections as well as chronic diseases like cancer.
Most people don’t know that in order for the body to metabolize THE PILL, the liver requires extra amounts of B vitamins, Vitamin C, magnesium and zinc. This means that if a woman has been on the pill for years at a time, she is creating a situation where nutrient deficiency is more likely.
Does taking birth control pills cause depression or simply worsen moodiness and existing symptoms? There’s evidence that with estrogen and progesterone levels in the body out of their natural equilibrium due to taking the pill, the brain’s response system is consequently altered, leading many to experience psychological side effects. A proportion of women express concern about low sex drive, lack of appetite, helplessness, disinterest and an overall sad disposition while on birth control pills — yet often their doctors tell them, “It’s all in your head.”
A study conducted in Denmark involving more than 1 million women found a notable increase in depression rates among women taking birth control versus women who were not. Progestin-only pills, the transdermal patch and the vaginal ring were all especially tied to higher ratio of depression diagnoses and antidepressant prescriptions.
There are studies indicating “women who took oral birth control before having their first child have a 44-percent increased risk of developing breast cancer.” If this were true, that would bring your risk of developing breast cancer to one in five, a staggeringly high risk.
The link between estrogen use and developing blood clots in the veins (called venous thromboembolism) was identified more than 20 years ago. Extensive literature has now been published describing how the risk for embolism increases as estrogen dosages increase. When a clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg, it’s called a deep vein thrombosis, and if that clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs, it’s called a pulmonary embolism. (10-15% of cases cause sudden death). Estrogen seems to increase clotting factors in the blood, making clots more likely. It’s been found that combination hormonal birth control pills that contain progestins and estrogens (synthetic) increase the risk of blood clots.
The PILL & YOUR BRAIN
The pill works mainly by mimicking the second half of a woman’s monthly ovulatory cycle, in which the hormone progesterone is dominant. Its primary ingredient is artificial progesterone – so-called progestin – which shuts down the brain signal that prompts egg development. But that also means the ovaries aren’t producing estrogen, the hormone which dominates the first half of a woman’s natural cycle. And estrogen does some of our favorite things to our brains and bodies, making us feel sexier and more energetic. While most pills include some synthetic estrogen – primarily to offset progestin’s unpleasant side-effects – women can feel the lack.
A less well-understood mechanism is that progestins, which are often created by changing the molecular structure of testosterone, aren’t an exact match for our progesterone receptors. This means they can potentially stimulate other receptors, including those for testosterone, leading to masculinising effects, and for cortisol, which over time can dysregulate stress response. The stress hormone profile of pill-taking women, research suggests, is similar to people who have experienced chronic stress. Other research has found effects on the immune system, learning and memory.
MENSTRUAL DIFFICULTIES & YOUR THYROID
When you are experiencing menstrual irregularities, you may not need to look any further than your thyroid for the cause. Some studies have reported that as many as three out of four women with thyroid conditions have some form of menstrual problem – a rate that is two to three times higher than for women without thyroid problems.
Here is an overview of some of the menstrual problems that can affect you if you’re hypothyroid.
Many women experience premenstrual syndrome – also known as PMS – but thyroid patients are at a greater risk, and often experience more intense or debilitating symptoms. PMS is typically related to the hormonal changes that take place in the week to 10 days before your period starts. Some common PMS symptoms include:
* bloating, fluid retention
* breast tenderness
* food cravings
* tension, irritability
* anxiety, depression
* trouble concentrating
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful periods. Primary dysmenorrhea means that there’s pain, but no traceable reason. Secondary dysmenorrhea is painful periods, but with a physical cause, such as endometriosis. The main sign of dysmenorrhea is cramps. Severe dysmenorrhea, which affects 1 in 10 women, and appears to be more common in thyroid patients, can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness and diarrhea. Typically, dysmenorrhea begins in the several hours before the period starts, and lasts no more than around 3 days.
Oligomenorrhea refers to cycles that are repeatedly longer than 35 days — or only 4 to 9 periods per year.
Polymenorrhea refers to repeated cycles of less than 21 days, or menstruation at 2 to 3-week intervals.
Metrorrhagia refers to bleeding at irregular intervals, such as between menstrual periods. Metrorrhagia can range from light spotting, to continuous bleeding for weeks. While occasional spotting in women is not unusual, frequent metrorrhagia needs evaluation, and it should always be evaluated in pre-pubescent girls, women who are post-menopausal and not on hormone therapy, and women who have had a hysterectomy.
Menorrhagia refers to a very heavy or excessive period. Excessive means soaking through at least a pad or tampon an hour for several consecutive hours. Sometimes the term hypermenorrhea is used, and it refers to a more than 20% increase in the heaviness of the menstrual flow. Women with menorrhagia also frequently pass large blood clots, and may have excessive tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath that could point to anemia due to excessive blood loss.
Because hypothyroidism is so often the culprit when it comes to irregular or problematic periods, it’s essential that you and your doctor know how to diagnose and effectively treat an underactive thyroid. For some women, simply getting properly diagnosed and optimal treatment for the thyroid problem – often for the first time in their lives – will restore their menstrual cycles and flow levels to a more normal pattern!
THE Natural BIRTH CONTROL SOLUTION
Sometimes birth control methods are necessary for preventing unwanted pregnancies, but I urge you to learn more about other natural options that do not damage your health.
Condoms (both male and female), the diaphragm, the Today Sponge, and a cervical cap are all reasonable options for birth control. These are all non-hormonal methods of birth-control.
If you are taking birth control pills for a reason other than contraception, please reconsider.
Whether you are trying to clear up your skin or ease disruptive and painful PMS, keep in mind that birth control pills are merely addressing the symptoms and are not solving the problem. Your body is actually trying to tell you something. Acne may indicate that your colon, lymph and liver need cleansing because they are toxic, that your hormones are out of balance, that your life is too stressful, that your thyroid and adrenals are fatigued. Acne is also a common symptom of a yeast infection, candidiasis, food allergies and most definitely insulin resistance!
It’s interesting that just like any other DRUG on the market… Birth Control pills cause the very symptoms that they are supposed to help!
Birth control pills may improve your symptoms for a short time, but your body and its overall health is at risk when you consider the long run.
Instead of using birth control as a therapy to solve your issues… change your way of life. Eat a gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar & fat-free nutrient-rich high-fiber, alkaline, plant-based diet … Balance your adrenal and thyroid hormones… this WILL give you the results you want without the serious side effects.
So what does a young lady do who is concerned about getting pregnant and now wants to prevent pregnancy naturally?
2. Natural Family Planning: https://ccli.org/what-is-nfp/
3. Non-hormonal copper IUD
5. Cervical cap
6. https://usa.daysy.me – personal fertility tracker
Give us a call… we’re here to help you naturally!
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