5 Reasons you Should Stop Hormonal Birth Control
Updated: Jun 1
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Before I dive in, I just need to say that I recognize the benefits birth control has brought to women. Women have been able to take huge steps in society because of access to hormonal birth control! Birth control has given women options that we didn’t have 100 years ago! I will also say that birth control has been historically pushed out too hastily without proper long-term research on the health and safety of women. 50 years ago, the birth control that was released was just toxic to women. Today, it is less toxic but is still not good for the overall health of women. Most women today are just not aware of ALL their options! Natural family planning is one of those options, but there's a stigma that it's ineffective. That's simply not the case.
Everyone’s circumstances are different, so I encourage you to dig into the research and make the best decision for you.
That being said, many doctors prescribe hormonal birth control to fix hormonal problems, such as long and/or painful menstrual charges or acne. Sure, the problem will be fixed in the short term, but it’s just a bandaid. The root of the problem is hormone imbalances. Without addressing the underlying problem it will persist, and likely worsen over the time you’re taking birth control.
5 Reasons you should ditch your hormonal birth control:
1. Hormonal birth control wrecks your gut health!
It is well-researched that hormonal contractive impacts gut flora negatively. This can lead to leaky gut, yeast infections, weight-loss resistance, and a host of other problems related to gut health! Gut health is so often overlooked today, but is vitally important for our overall health.
Birth control is classified as a Class 1 carcinogen by the IARC due to the presence of artificial dyes, titanium dioxide, and talc. Europe is currently in the process of trying to ban titanium dioxide from all food and drugs. In animal studies, titanium dioxide was found to trigger diseases like colorectal cancer, and bowel inflammation.
Most birth control pills contain chemicals that are just not good for our guts. One of these additives is iron. Iron is added because it's assumed that women are iron deficient. This is not the case and actually leads to iron overload in the body. This book is an excellent resource on that particular topic if you want to learn more. Iron can be stored in the tissues and organs, and can lead to low thyroid function, chronic fatigue, heavy periods, and being more prone to illness.
2. Hormonal birth control saps your body of vital minerals!
Birth control depletes the body of magnesium, B vitamins, selenium, vitamins C and E, zinc, the amino acid tyrosine, and progesterone. The longer you take birth control, the more your body is leached of these vital nutrients. All of these nutrients are needed to keep your body healthy and functioning, and most of these nutrients are needed specifically in thyroid function.
These deficiencies can also make it more difficult for women to get pregnant later. Pregnancy requires a LOT of vitamins and minerals, and today's prenatal supplements are simply not enough to fix the problem. Prenatal's, like all supplements, are not regulated and often contain ingredients that our bodies cannot absorb.
3. Hormonal birth control tanks your libido.
This happens for many reasons. One of them is that your natural hormones are not cycling, so your body is not ovulating.
Possibly the biggest reason libido drops while on birth control is that the pill tanks testosterone production. Women do produce testosterone, and it is needed for a healthy sex drive.
In general, birth control puts the body under stress. The stress of unhealthy gut microbiome, and the stress of nutrients being depleted. A stressed body does not want to reproduce.
4. Hormonal birth control can lead to depression and anxiety
Mental health is directly tied to physical health. If your gut microbiome is trashed and your body is depleted of vital minerals and vitamins, your mental health will of course decline.
5. Hormonal birth control prevents the natural menstrual cycle from occurring
Ovulation is an important event in women's monthly health. birth control cuts off communication with our brains and ovaries. Women's bodies are DESIGNED to cycle through ovulation and menstruation monthly. Our sex hormones affect not just our ability to have a baby, but also our energy levels, our creativity, our appetite, and so much more!
Heavy periods, PCOS, PMS, ovarian cysts, and all the other period symptoms women experience are normal, BUT not natural! These symptoms are signs of hormonal imbalances. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are too high or too low. Birth control and IUDs stop ovulation from happening. Instead of asking WHY these symptoms are happening, we shut down the entire operation, ignoring our body's signals that something is wrong!
"Long-term menstrual suppression via birth control is the largest uncontrolled medical experiment on women in history." - Elizabeth Kissling, PdH
Suffice it to say, we just don't know the long-term effects of suppressing our natural hormones for long periods of time. We KNOW it is not good for us in the short term. But we are not yet aware of the dangers of suppressing our natural hormones long term. Personally, I know that I trust my own body more than I trust the pharmaceutical industry.
If you're interested to learn more, this book is an excellent resource. Dr. Brighten has compiled the research on birth control in a concise, easy-to-read way. She's also laid out a plan for healing! I can't say enough good things about this book!
The bottom line is, hormonal birth control is not good for your body. Is it safe? Yes. Is it the best thing to do for a healthy body? Absolutely not!
Birth control is an important topic, so once again, I encourage you to do your own research and make a well-informed decision for your body and your own family planning choices. Knowing your options is so empowering, and natural birth control is an option!
A bit about natural birth control
My mom used to have a joke about natural birth control:
"What kind of people use natural birth control?"
Very funny, Mom.
This is a common misconception and misunderstanding of how natural birth control works. The most common term is “The Fertility Awareness Method”, not to be confused with the “Rhythm Method”, which just assumes ovulation on day 14. The Fertility Awareness Method, or FAM for short, relies on understanding your body’s natural rhythms and bio-markers. To use the FAM method, I’d recommend reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility and purchasing a good basal thermometer. It’s really important to do your own research here because this method fully relies on you understanding your own body and fertility! If done correctly, FAM is a very reliable form of birth control! If and when you decide to start a family, FAM has you set up for success! Your body will be healthier, and you’ll understand better how to get pregnant.
In my personal birth control journey, I came off the pill in August of 2021 after 2 years on it. I chose to switch for MANY reasons, including the ones listed here! I dove headfirst into learning about FAM, reading books, and listening to podcasts. After about 2 months of using FAM, I realized I also had a lot of work to do restoring my natural menstrual cycle and balancing my hormones! It was a mess from using hormonal birth control and my eating habits! My cycle was all over the place, my periods were terrible and my acne came back with a vengeance!
This is something really important to consider if you’re wanting to switch to FAM. Is your body healthy? If your periods are irregular, you will have a harder time tracking your cycle and reading your biomarkers. A healthy cycle is relatively predictable, thus making it easy to prevent pregnancy. FAM relies on you knowing when you're fertile. That’s why I dove headfirst into healing my hormones, which was one of the best things I could have done for my body!
If you’re considering coming off hormonal birth control, be warned, your menstrual cycle might reappear with a vengeance! I’d encourage you to dig into how to support your body! My article here is a great starting point!
And that's it. FIVE reasons to stop hormonal birth control. What's been your experience with hormonal birth control? Let me know in the comments!