If it is possible to avoid birth control, do so. There are many other natural alternatives to ingesting drugs with side effects.
– Rehan Zaidi
Birth control is a pretty touchy subject nowadays and most people avoid talking about the issue altogether. Unfortunately, whenever the topic is brought up on a statewide or national level, it usually centers on women’s rights and religious persuasion.
Although both of these topics are significant and valid, the focus has completely shifted away from whether or not “the pill” is safe or dangerous to use. As you’re about to see, birth control side effects can be serious and are very common.
To complicate the issue, women are brought up in a society today, which believes that it’s completely safe to take the pill, and many are even prescribed it by their medical doctor to regulate menstrual cycles, balance hormone levels, and treat acne.
More than 300 million women worldwide take the pill every day and, according to a 2011 survey, 14% of women use it for reasons other than for pregnancy prevention. Just think about it:
What healthy woman requires pharmaceutical intervention to maintain hormone balance and menstrual regularity?
Any woman “requiring” drugs to help her body with normal physiological function is not healthy at all. They are in dire need of a natural health care provider that will evaluate them holistically, and help manage the root cause of their issue; not just push birth control on them!
The reason I am stressing this point is because the pill is actually quite harmful and the dangers outweigh any benefits that can be experienced by taking it.
New Birth Control Pill Research and Risks
Thankfully, I’m not the only doctor shouting from the rooftops warning women to think twice before taking oral birth control.
For example, An article published in the journal Cancer Research this past August has swept through mainstream media, leaving behind some pretty hefty waves in its wake because it linked breast cancer to taking the pill. Hopefully, people will now start to take this issue seriously and forget about the political or religious debate and refocus their efforts on women’s public health!
Up until this study was published, any potential link between breast cancer and oral contraception has centered on self-reported use and case studies. Being the first of its kind, researchers from Seattle took a closer look at this connection and conducted a vigorous case-control study of over 23,000 women between the ages of 20 – 49.
When they evaluated the 1,102 women that were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer from 1990 to 2009, they cross-referenced oral contraceptive use via electronic pharmacy records and discovered that a definite association existed between taking the pill and developing breast cancer. According to the study,
- “Recent oral contraceptive use (within the prior year) was associated with an increased breast cancer risk.”
- “The association was stronger for estrogen receptor-positive than estrogen receptor-negative,” which suggests that the type of contraception women take makes a huge difference in their risk.
- High-dose estrogen compared to other pills was “associated with particularly elevated risks, whereas other types, including low-dose estrogen oral contraceptives, were not.”
This is not to say that low-dose estrogen is safe for you. It’s just saying that the high-dose variety, ethynodiol diacetate, and triphasic dosing are especially harmful!
Top 5 Birth Control Pills Side Effects
In addition to the new research on breast cancer, birth control pill side effects have been proven to be worse than most people realize. Here are the Top 5 birth control adverse effects that I have seen in my research:
1. Candida / Yeast Infections
Because they boost estrogen levels and contribute to elevated vaginal glycogen levels, oral contraception and hormone therapy puts women at an increased risk of developing yeast overgrowth.
Many women have reported a birth control candida link especially when coming off the pill.
If you suspect that you battle from a candida infection, I recommend visiting The Yeast Connection Web site. It will help you confirm a diagnosis and give you tools that you need to treat this condition.
2. Weight Gain
According to an article published in the journal Neurology,
The most commonly reported adverse effects of birth control include weight gain, nausea, variations in menstrual flow, breast changes such as tenderness, discomfort, or swelling, depression or mood disturbances, decreased sexual desire or response, and acne.
Nevertheless, researchers continue to publish articles debunking that the pill causes weight gain. This is one of those cases that I feel it’s important to let common sense be your guide.
If women have consistent experience that they gain weight after starting a series of oral contraceptives, then I’m going to take what the research says with a grain of salt. Sometimes the clinical environment and statistical analysis simply miss the mark.
To learn how to naturally lose weight fast check out my article on how to lose 20 pounds in 30 days.
It’s important for women to remember that the pill is NOT infallible and in no way shape or form is a guarantee that they will not get pregnant. Fact is, women regularly get pregnant while taking oral contraception.
On a positive note, a study from Brunel University has uncovered that women who’ve taken the pill are able to conceive just as easily as non-users. In the words of David Plourd, M.D. (Assistant Professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Naval Medical Center in San Diego):
“We know that if you miss one pill you can get pregnant. After the last pill is taken, levels of hormones drop immediately, allowing women to revert to their normal fertility levels right away—and with no effect on future fertility.”
This is encouraging for women who not only see the danger of taking the drug and want a more natural approach, but also for women who want children after taking it for several years. If you want to increase chance of fertility, check out these 5 natural fertility remedies.
4. Mood Swings
Ever since a 1968 article published in the British Medical Journal outlined how the pill causes depressive mood changes, more than 1,000 peer-reviewed articles have referenced birth control pills side effects to depression and mood swings.
One of the more recent articles published this past April described how a 36-year-old woman with recurrent major depressive disorder developed rapid relapse in depression once she started taking the pill (ethinyl estradiol 30 μg/chlormadinone acetate 2 mg).
There have been similar cases published in the literature and the authors of the study felt so strong about the association that they concluded that the pill can “induce serious mood disturbances and should be administered with care, particularly in patients with affective disorders.”
5. Birth Control Cervical Cancer Risk
Of the 472 scholarly articles discussing the topic, an Iranian study published earlier this year clearly paints the picture that both breast and cervical cancers are significantly related with duration birth control use.
Essentially, they discovered that the longer women are on the pill, the greater risk they put themselves in developing both cancers. They also uncovered that,
“No significant relationships were found between the two types of cancer and age at discontinuation of oral contraceptives, patterns of use, and intervals from the last use. The use of oral contraceptives may triple the incidence of cervical cancer anddoubles the incidence of breast cancer.”
At the end of the day, the research is conclusive: any benefits a woman might gain from taking the pill are definitely overshadowed by birth control cancer risk.
Please do yourself and your body a favor and seek out natural options. They are just as effective at birth control and you can take them without having to worry about the laundry list of side effects that come with taking oral contraceptives.
What are Natural Birth Control Alternatives?
If you want to naturally balance your hormones, I recommend you check out my article on the Top 10 Ways to Naturally Balance Hormones.
Also, if you are taking birth control for acne read my article on the Acne Diet and Natural Treatments.
And, if you are taking it for the purpose of birth control, read my article on Natural Birth Control Alternatives.
How about you? Do you know anyone who has experience birth control side effects? What natural birth control techniques do YOU use?
Sources & References:
- Beaber EF, et al. Recent Oral Contraceptive Use by Formulation and Breast Cancer Risk among Women 20 to 49 Years of Age. Cancer Res August 1, 2014 74; 4078.
- Tzeses J. Can the Pill Boost Fertility? Internet. Available at: http://www.parenting.com/article/can-the-pill-boost-fertility.
- Brunner LR, et al. The role of body weight in oral contraceptive failure: results from the 1995 national survey of family growth. Ann Epidemiol. 2005 Aug;15(7):492-9
- Frye CA, et al. An overview of oral contraceptives: mechanism of action and clinical use. Neurology. 2006 Mar 28;66(6 Suppl 3):S29-36.
- Farrow A, et al. Prolonged use of oral contraception before a planned pregnancy is associated with a decreased risk of delayed conception. Hum Reprod. 2002 Oct;17(10):2754-61.
- Grant EC, et al. Effect of oral contraceptives on depressive mood changes and on endometrial monoamine oxidase and phosphatases. Br Med J. 1968 Sep 28;3(5621):777-80.
- Gahr M, et al. Rapid relapse in depression following initialization of oral contraception with ethinyl estradiol and chlormadinone acetate. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2014 Mar-Apr;36(2):230.
- Vaisy A, et al. Risk of Cancer with Combined Oral Contraceptive Use among Iranian Women. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(14):5517-22.
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