Why Birth Control is Bad And Why You Should Consider Other More Natural Options
When I see female patients looking for hormonal birth control, they primarily want it for one purpose: to prevent pregnancy. Some women do see me wanting to alleviate severe menstrual cramping, reduce acne or regulate menstrual cycles to improve their lifestyle. Some have used birth control medication following a previous doctor’s recommendation and are weighing other options. While hormonal birth control seems beneficial and like an easy remedy to these issues, there are many negative factors and adverse side effects women must consider. I believe my patients need to know all of the facts.
Foreign, synthetically engineered and unnatural hormones, when introduced into the body, cause the body’s defense mechanism to “attack” itself. This results in systemic inflammation and irregularities to our body’s natural chemical reactions, as it tries to rid the body of the foreign substance. After introducing synthetic hormones into a woman’s body, she may find it suppresses the body’s natural ability to procure its own natural hormones. Also, the synthetically engineered hormones found in traditional birth control methods actually can cause female hormones to be even more imbalanced.
Studies conducted in the 90s (including the controversial Women’s Health Initiative) had to be stopped two-years early because of all of the negative side effects women were experiencing. These alarming side effects and complications included increased incidents of heart attack, stroke, blood clots and breast and uterine cancer. I would like to point out at this time that certain synthetic hormones are derived from horse urine! Premarin and PremPro…ever hear of these? Do you see an issue with any of this information?
As a result of studies and findings, I like to highlight to my patients after starting hormonal birth control, they may experience mild side effects like spotting or light bleeding between periods, nausea, changes in sexual desire, water retention, breast tenderness and even other unwanted reactions. Extremely heavy bleeding or longer periods are also a concern and seen in some women during clinical trials.
With other patients predisposed to more serious conditions, I must include mood changes and depression, increased blood pressure and increased risk of liver disease to the list of potential side effects. Let’s not forget the previously mentioned increased risk of certain types of cancers like breast and uterine, strokes, blood clots and heart disease. Because these hormone are not native to the human body, they can create a domino-effect impacting or causing other hormones such as thyroid and adrenal hormones to become imbalanced. That is a lot to consider when you only want to prevent pregnancy or lessen acne breakouts.
It is vital to have an open dialogue with any medical provider after you consider this long list of possible side effects and the sensations birth control may have on your body. After speaking to some migraine sufferers, I have found estrogen-based birth control exacerbated the intensity and frequency of their migraines. (Let’s add that to the list of side effects too.) Unfortunately, to determine its effectiveness and to see if the side effects can be tolerated, hormonal birth control must be taken consistently for two to three months. That is a long time for some women especially when there isn’t a guarantee side effects will diminish or the birth control method will be 100% effective in preventing an unwanted pregnancy.
The closest to the “100% effectiveness rate” patient desire comes from another synthetic hormone option, the injectable contraceptive. This method has its own side effects to consider before the first dose. Women may experience irregular or cessation of periods, weight gain, nervousness, headaches and stomach discomfort. It is imperative to remember these side effects cannot be eliminated once an injection is administered so the woman must tolerate these conditions until the medication wears off, typically three months. Additionally, long-term use may have a negative effect on bone density. Imagine three months of suffering through side effects; exactly why women look for a other options! Still questioning whether to take (continue) synthetically engineered hormones or not? Please check the attached link about this month’s Surgeon General warning and vast recall…
If this is too much negativity to handle and as a patient, you think you are out of options, you would be wrong!
R3 Health and I believe bio-identical hormones are the perfect option. They are designated as “natural” because they are derived from plants and chemically identical to the hormones normally circulating in female bodies. With correct dosage, bio-identical hormones are safe, effective and beneficial to a woman’s health. In addition to hormone balancing, bio-identical hormones can be critical in helping women look and feel their best inside and out and in slowing down the biological aging clock! If this is something you would now consider after hearing the facts and side effects associated with traditional, hormonal birth control, I am always open to continue this dialog. Come learn about safe, natural and more effective therapies you and your current doctor may not even know exist! Make an appointment, and we can discuss more about why I lean towards these natural and safe alternatives.
Side note: It would be improper if I didn’t include this little disclaimer on the important topic of birth control. Any patient must remember abstinence is the only 100% effective form of birth control and no hormonal birth control (or bio-identical birth control method) prevents sexually transmitted diseases.