Is your period bringing you down?
Do you get symptoms like painful cramping, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, or low energy around or during your period?
You shouldn’t have to live with a painful, uncomfortable period! These symptoms likely compel you to cancel plans and stay home from work, which is not going to cut it for much longer. You know that you have to do something before your period ruins a whole week of your life again.
The thing is, you’ve gone to your doctor to get their opinion on your period issues and they weren’t that helpful. You’ve been down this road before. They told you that your pain and suffering is all caused by a hormone imbalance and that the birth control pill would be an easy, convenient remedy for that.
Should you go back on the pill?
Actually, you’re tempted to agree with them. You were on the pill when you were in high school and it did help reduce your cramps. However, you stopped taking the pill because you felt uneasy about it and you’ve heard some unsettling information over the years about hormonal birth control. It also took you some time to detox from the pill, and you don’t want to go through that again.
At this point you’d like to try something else. In fact, you suspect that your horrendous periods are a sign that there’s an underlying issue with your health. What you’d really like is to find out why your uterus wants to claw itself out of your body every month and treat the cause directly.
So if you’re dreading your next period and need to decide whether to pursue a natural, holistic solution or go back on the pill, this is the article for you.
The truth is, the vast majority holds false beliefs about hormonal birth control. We believe that everyone, especially females, should know exactly how birth control works in the body. Once you have all the information you need, you will feel comfortable making an informed decision about whether the pill is a good fit for you.
Myth #1: The Pill Balances Your Hormones
This belief is the reason why many teenage girls are prescribed the pill. Girls who experience heavy periods, irregular cycles, painful cramping or skin breakouts are told that the birth control pill is the best option to balance the hormones responsible for their symptoms.
What’s really going on:
The birth control pill contains synthetic versions of estrogen and progesterone that override your natural hormone cycle. The pill is designed to prevent ovulation, which is a super-effective way of preventing pregnancy. If there’s no egg for the sperm to fertilize, then there’s no way you can become pregnant. When used correctly it makes women infertile and that’s why it’s more than 99% effective.
Female Hormone Balance 101
After your period, estrogen and testosterone begin to rise and hormone levels peak when you ovulate. These hormones work to restore your uterine lining and prepare for a potential pregnancy. Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) cue ovulation, and a mature egg is released from the ovary. If the egg isn’t fertilized, it breaks down provides essential progesterone for the body. When estrogen and progesterone levels reach a low point, it triggers your period.
How the pill works
Birth control pills contain either synthetic estrogen or progesterone or a combination of both, which is used to suppress your natural menstrual cycle. Because of the hormones from the pill, your testosterone levels are affected and LH and FSH don’t get released. And when you take the sugar pills, or pills containing synthetic progesterone, your body releases the scant uterine lining. This is how the pill cues bleeding, reduces your flow and diminishes painful cramps.
So what’s the problem with the pill?
The fact is, the pill doesn’t balance your hormones. Hormonal birth control overrides estrogen and testosterone, prevents the release of LH and FSH, and stops your body from producing natural progesterone. The pill is designed to prevent ovulation to make you infertile, and it does this by halting your natural menstrual cycle altogether.
Myth #2: The Pill Has Only A Few, Small Side-Effects
If there was a birth control pill for men that effectively prevented pregnancy, but depressed their moods, decreased their libido, accelerated hair loss and increased the risk of certain cancers, would they take it, even to prevent an unwanted pregnancy? We don’t think so! So why is it acceptable for women to experience these exact same side effects? There are even more alarming symptoms that are caused by the pill, but I want to give you the information on these four today.
The Pill Enhances Depression
When your mood is low, it puts the breaks on your productivity, dims your self confidence, and makes it very hard to look on the bright side of life. So why would we opt for medication that makes it more difficult to stay positive?
In fact, there are mood-related side effects associated with hormonal birth control. A study from 2018 used data collected from over 27,000 Korean women between 2007 and 2016 to show an increased association between use of the pill and suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts.
Another study from 2018 found that women using progestin-only birth control pills had significantly higher Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores compared to women who weren’t on the pill. Scary!
The Pill Lowers Libido
Your sexuality is an important part of your well being, and if you are in a committed relationship a sex helps strengthen your bond outside of the bedroom. So you can see how it’s a problem if you’re turning your back on your partner on a regular basis.
Many women don’t even realize how depressed their sex drive is, and are surprised when their sex drive increases after they stop taking hormonal birth control. Testosterone is affected by the pill and is the main hormone that influences your sex drive, affects the size of your clitoris and the moisture in your vagina.
In 2015, researchers studied a group of 3740 Swedish women aged 22, 25 and 28 years and found that the women using hormonal birth control were more than twice as likely to experience reduced sexual desire compared with women using hormone-free contraception.
The Pill Accelerates Hair Loss
Imagine that you had large handfuls of hair fall out every day, so much so that you had to style your hair to hide the bald patches. Although hair loss isn’t life-threatening, the psychological impact of feeling unattractive takes an emotional toll that impacts your overall health.
In fact, hair loss is an official side effect of the pill that is rarely mentioned to patients, and if it is, the statistics are downplayed. According to the American Hair Loss Association, women actually account for 40% of American hair loss sufferers. This may come as a shock, but it’s plain to see that society has made it much more acceptable for men to experience hair loss as ‘normal’.
The pill can cause hair loss because some birth control pills contain a higher dose of synthetic progesterone. This increases the androgens in your body, which cause your hair follicles to stop growing and fall out sooner than they normally would.
Women who have a family history of hair loss are more likely to experience this side effect while on the pill. It’s also common for women to lose hair for several weeks or months after they stop taking the pill.
The Pill Increases The Risk of Certain Cancers
Cancer. It’s probably one of the most talked-about diseases because it’s so lethal. We go to great lengths to ban products that contain carcinogens, improve and maintain our health to prevent cancer, and invest in research to treat cancers. In fact, so many people are affected by cancer you probably know at least one or two people who have battled cancer.
Because cancer is so widespread in our modern world, manufacturers of the pill focus on the benefits of the pill which include protection against ovarian and uterine cancers. However, if you have a family history of breast cancer you should know that the pill further increases your risk.
For example, a nationwide study in Denmark published in 2017 showed that the risk of breast cancer was higher among women who use hormonal contraceptives than among women who hadn’t, and the risk increased with prolonged use.
So what’s the problem with the pill?
If all the pill did was act on the female reproductive system to prevent pregnancy, it wouldn’t be prescribed to treat acne, heavy flow, period pain, irregular cycles and a multitude of other concerns. The truth is that the pill acts on the entire body, and some of these effects are harmful to your health.
Although the birth control pill is very effective at preventing pregnancy, it comes at a cost. The menstrual cycle is halted, and there are adverse health affects associated with the abnormal hormone levels. We hope that this article gives you some basic information on the real side effects of hormonal birth control so that you can make an informed choice about whether it’s right for you.
If you experience painful periods and you want to figure out why, book a free Period Audit Call with Natural Hormone Healing. We’ll assess your period and what you’ve done so far to reduce your symptoms. You’ll get clarity on how to move forward with a holistic solution to your period pain.
The Pill and Libido
The Pill and Depression
The Pill and Hair Loss
The Pill and Cancer