Hormones are serious business. They really are no joke, love.
Insulin is a hormone, and when it’s too high, it can cause diabetes. Cortisol is a hormone as well, and it goes crazy when we’re under stress, throws us into fight or flight mode.
Then there’s estrogen and progesterone—our feminine hormones that help us to menstruate, get pregnant, and help us to hold our babies in a nourishing womb for the full nine months they are growing by signaling our body that we are pregnant and need to nourish and protect this child.
The problem with birth control and hormones
Hormonal birth control methods, unfortunately, have to do some pretty hard gambling with your hormones to keep you from getting pregnant, and the price you pay is often in serious health risks.
In fact, did you know the way that hormonal birth control methods work is by making your body think it’s already pregnant—and that that’s why you can’t get pregnant on them?
They do this by elevating hormones in your body, like progesterone and estrogen, to trick your body into not ovulating (not releasing an egg), just as your body would when you are already pregnant.
So you get to experience all the less groovy side effects of pregnancy—but it’s a long, extended, synthetic, unnatural kind-of-pregnancy that has all many dangerous side effects.
Because they impact hormones so greatly, birth control methods such as progesterone- releasing IUDs, BC shots, and BC pills have been known to cause depression, cancer, yeast infections, blood clots, place us at serious risk for breast cancer, and to have other serious impacts upon health as well.
Here are just some of the reasons to stop taking hormonal birth control now.
1.Birth control pills, shots, etc, have been proven to deplete minerals and vitamins in the body
Birth control pills and shots can deplete minerals and vitamins in the body that are crucial for health, especially the B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin C, and zinc. The reason for this is because the liver is the organ that has to process and detoxify all this excess estrogen in the body. Since this level of estrogen is abnormal for our bodies, the liver has to work extra hard to figure out where all this estrogen goes and where to shuttle it.
The way the liver detoxifies our bodies is to take excess compounds like this and combine them with vitamins and minerals to turn them into something the body can safely excrete as waste.
That’s why the liver needs more of these nutrients when you’re on birth control. If you must take estrogen-disrupting BC pills or shots, remember to supplement wisely with high quality, natural vitamins and minerals.
2.Hormonal BC may develop or worsen candida
Hormonal birth control methods disrupt hormones, which impacts the balance of bacteria in your gut and can worsen candida overgrowth in the body. So we’re talking excess bacterial overgrowth in the gut as well as in other places, like our vagina!
For this reason, hormonal BC methods can often cause yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and other bacteria-related conditions like eczema, IBS, leaky gut, and bloating.
3.Women may experience mood swings and depression
Estrogen controls over 150 bodily functions alone.
When estrogen is increased, an array of things in the body can be altered including your mood and your mental well-being.
Excess estrogen can also greatly worsen PMS symptoms.
Hormonal BC pills, for example, raise hormone levels so much that they can impact mood just as much as pregnancy would.
You’ve heard of pregnant women going from crying, to laughing, to getting extremely horny all in one half an hour right? And what do they blame it on? Hormones!—so expect some mood swings, to say the least.
So, you may notice depression, mood swings, or even insomnia (caused by melatonin being thrown off by excess hormones!) with the pill and other hormonal BC methods.
Women with histories of ADHD, bipolar disorder, and especially depression, should talk to their doctor about (a.) how birth control might impact mood and mentality and (b.) how it might interact with any medications you’re on.
4.Birth control may cause amenorrhea (loss of period)
Birth control pills, IUDs, and shots like Depo-Provera have been known to cause what is called “secondary amenorrhea,” a condition when you suddenly stop having your period for 3 months or longer.
The reason for this is simple: It just takes some women’s body quite some time to bounce back after hormone-disrupting BC methods have been circulating through your system.
If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, you’ll want to stop taking these types of birth control months before trying to make a baby!
5.Risk of breast cancer and blood clots heightened.
The way it works with birth control and blood clots is this—the higher the dose of estrogen, the higher the risk of blood clots.
If you are concerned about developing a blood clot and/or have a history of blood clots in your family, you definitely want to talk to your doctor about this. He can recommend a lower-dose estrogen type of birth control pill or device, or talk to you about more natural methods of birth control that really work.
Breast cancer is always a risk with any hormone-disrupting chemical, including birth control pills and devices that disrupt estrogen—as just about all of them do from the IUD to Depo shot.
Extra estrogen in the body, in fact, can overstimulate the breast cells, telling them to grow and proliferate, which can lead to the development of breast cancer. In fact, with BC pills, there is a 44% increased risk of getting breast cancer.
I would be highly cautious of any BC methods that places you this much at risk of a deadly disease.
My recommendations for safe birth control without health risks
There are many birth control methods that are safe and pretty effective from a good diaphragm to something new called The Lady Comp, which as Dr. Axe explains, is a “next-generation fertility monitor that learns, analyses and indicates ovulation, fertile and non-fertile days with 99.3 percent premium accuracy, which is free of invasive hormones and side effects.”
Other good natural BC methods:
Family planning/ovulation trackers
Fertility monitors (see above)
The Mucus method
The Handy Dany Condom (my personal favorite and only birth control method I use).