The Birth Control pill (and other hormonal forms) is well-known and prevalent in our society. Many women are prescribed some version of this synthetic hormone combination of estrogen and progesterone in their teenage years and continue for 10+ years without a second thought. You may even think of birth control as a woman’s right. Unfortunately, as with most pharmaceuticals, there are a ton of side effects associated with hormonal birth control (besides blood clots, high blood pressure, gallstones, possibly cancer) that you may not have ever considered:
- Birth control depletes necessary and essential nutrients and antioxidants in our bodies. Some of these include vitamins B2, B6, B12, C, E, and minerals magnesium, selenium, and zinc.
- They suppress our body’s natural production of hormones causing a negative feedback loop in which we begin to rely on the synthetic version of these hormones. This makes getting off birth control and returning to a normal cycle a tremendous feat for some women!
- It can cause disruptions in our mental health and contribute to feelings of depression, anxiety, irritability, anger, etc. You’ve probably thought to yourself or heard another woman say “birth control makes me crazy”. Women using the pill are more likely to be depressed, especially those with pre-existing factors like family history of mental illness (basically everyone) or women who have PMS before taking the pill. The depletion of B vitamins effects the level of neurotransmitters produced which are influential in our mental health.
- Synthetic hormones, along with toxins and chemicals surrounding us in the environment known as xenoestrogens, raise our estrogen levels to unhealthy norms, thereby decreasing our levels of testosterone and progesterone. This not only throws off our hormonal balance but can lead to lower libido.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but I think it covers most of the bases.
You may be thinking, but how am I supposed to prevent pregnancy? (and deal with other symptoms you may have been prescribed the pill for – acne, PMS, irregular periods, etc).
There is another way! And it is not as scary or old school as you may think.
Stay tuned for my next post about how to naturally prevent pregnancy without a prescription and my own personal story.
A Mind of Your Own, Kelly Brogan, MD