You’ve been on the pill for years. It’s cut down your cramps, evened out your moods, and lightened your menstrual flow. And yeah, it’s kept you from getting pregnant, too. A godsend, right?
You’re not alone. 64% of women using contraception in the U.S. use hormonal methods, such as the pill. Short-term results aside (and they are pretty appealing), the pill can unleash a number of issues—all which you should be aware of.
You see, your body is an intricate and precise system of self-regulation. Replace its natural patterns with artificial hormones and you risk confusing, overwhelming, and damaging that system.
Pill Side Effects You Didn’t Know About
While oral contraceptives take care of your period’s side effects, they come with heavy baggage of their own.
Birth control pumps excess synthetic estrogen or progesterone into your body, stressing the functioning of your liver and gallbladder. When these organs get stressed, your body creates gallstones, causing nausea, moodiness, headaches, pain, irritability, blood clots, and (ironically) drastically lowering your sex drive.
Studies show that hormonal birth control increases your risk of breast cancer. Determined a Group One carcinogen by the World Health Organization in 2005, it does so by 44% if taken for more than four years or more before having children. Women under age 20 face a one thousand percent increased risk!
Birth control can also decrease your long-term fertility. After years of controlling your body’s cycle, it risks becoming accustomed to the direction—and may struggle to operate in a more natural rhythm.
Going Au Natural: The Billings Method
Most women choose to go on birth control because they have to. It isn’t the right time in their lives to get pregnant, or they simply don’t want to. And I respect that.
But many women aren’t aware that there are natural, hormone-free methods that work just as effectively. The Billings Method is my favorite one.
A scientific method developed by couple John and Evelyn Billings in the 1950’s, The Billings Method tracks female mucus secretions throughout the month. Directly related to FSH, LH, and estrogen hormones, which control the body’s ovarian activity, mucus secretion indicates female fertility.
Not only is The Billings Method 97.5-100% effective; it’s intimate. It gets your partner involved in your birth control cycle, bringing you closer together in a more open, sharing relationship.
Non-Oral Birth Control Methods
Not all of my patients have the time or patience to track their own fertility. But there are other methods and approaches that work.
For example, you might consider an IUD (intra-uterine device). I recommend the non-hormonal copper IUD, as they have minor side effects, do not interrupt your hormonal system, and can be useful over the long-term.
Staying on the Pill: Reducing Side Effects
So this post hasn’t convinced you to go off the pill. That’s fine. But you should at least replenish your body with the essential nutrients the pill depletes.
I get my patients on IV or oral supplements of vitamin B2, B6, methylated folate, B12, Magnesium, selenium, zinc, CoQ10, Vitamin C, and DIM depending on their individual case.
There are solutions besides the pill—and I highly recommend trying them. If you have comments or questions, post below. Let’s start talking about birth control.