December last year I made the choice to stop taking the contraceptive pill. I think at that point I was on one called Ginet. How good are the names though.. Estelle, Ava, Yasmin. (Levlen, you really lucked out on the name front). They definitely sound like babes that you want to have in your squad. I can assure you, you don’t. They’re the type of friends that like to make you think they have your back. But they never do, never did and never will. I was compelled to stop taking the pill as I am becoming increasingly more mindful of what I’m putting in, on and around my body. Moving towards a fully natural based approach to my holistic health, I knew this needed to be one of the first things to go. Because there is nothing natural about taking a synthetic pill that controls your hormones and tells your ovaries what to do and what not to do. That sentence alone should start to get you thinking.
(DISCLAIMER: I know there are many people out there who think there is a place for the pill and can tell me a whole lot of medical facts about the many benefits. I am aware we are all entitled to our own opinion, and yes I know I’m not a medically trained professional so please don’t rip me a new one. This is my opinion, my experience and my perception. It’s okay if yours is different and you’re pro pill. If you’re passionate about it, write a blog post, send me the link and I’ll happily read it.)
Firstly, let’s start with why and when I went on the pill (Sorry parental’s and any other sensitive souls. Probably best to skip the next two lines).
Why? Well I’m not sure if that needs too much explanation…
When? Let’s set the scene with minimal detail. Circa late 2000’s. South city house party. Park. Tree. Dog shit. Boyfriend. Pop.
I would like to think I was a reasonably responsible 16 year old, therefore I trotted along to Family Planning. I waltzed on in there and had my very first contraceptive pill script written out. It was great. They give it out to you just like how the child catcher gives out candy in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. You answer some questions, they take some measurements and Bob’s your bloody Uncle (He actually is my Uncle, just FYI #funfact). And it gets better, they then tell you, that the contraceptive pill is 99% effective! You got it girl. Only 1% chance of you and your boyfriend (or boy that’s just a friend, or boy that’s just a boy and not even a friend) having a mini-me running around in 9 months time. BINGO!
Sounds ideal, right? I thought so for 10 years of my life and I can’t believe it took me 10 years. TEN FLIPPING YEARS, to begin to question what it is was doing to my body, my hormones and my potential to reproduce. All jokes and sarcasm aside, let’s get real and look at the facts…
(Huge thanks to my beautiful coaching client Elsa who helped me wrap my head around this topic, because there is so much bloody to it, we could write a book! Check out more of her work here at Blossoms and Figs)
Get ready, settle in and be prepared to become empowered to take control of your own holistic health…
- The pill was the first medicine designed to be taken regularly by people who weren’t sick. What a concept!
- The pill is a synthetic version of your sex hormones. The exact hormones that are made by our bodies can’t be replicated in a lab. The hormones in the pill are actually slightly different to the ones our bodies produce. Not natural by any means.
- In simple terms the pill promotes continuous high levels of estrogen. High estrogen dominance is linked with decreased sex drive, bloating, fibrocystic breasts, headaches, mood swings, weight gain, cold hands and feet, hair loss, thyroid dysfunction, slow metabolism, brain fog, fatigue, insomnia and PMS. Just to name a few.
- The pill plays havoc with your gut health. It actually disrupts the core function and damages your gut lining. Our body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the foods we eat is lowered also. Hello thrush!
- Taking the pill long term can cause depression and anxiety. Low testosterone is associated with an increased risk of depression which is exactly what we experience when taking the pill as it is predominantly pumps estrogen into our body. If that wasn’t bad enough, the pill interferes with your Vitamin B6 metabolism, and guess what? Vitamin B6 deficiency is associated with depression.
- The pill messes with your cervical mucus which in turn can mess with your fertility. Without going into too much detail, the contraceptive pill stops you from getting pregnant by not only tricking your body into thinking it is already pregnant and halting ovulation but it also stops production of a certain type of mucus that is vital for fertilisation while increasing production of another type of mucus that helps to stop fertilisation. With these changes in mucus the sperm can’t live inside your vagina or get anywhere near your eggs. It can take quite some time for your cervix to start regulating your natural mucus after discontinuing taking the pill – and unfortunately your cervix may never fully recover.
- Women who take the pill are nearly at ten times the risk of dying from pulmonary embolism (a blood clot reaching the heart) than those who aren’t taking it.
- The pill is toxic and directly affects the liver. The liver in Chinese medicine is responsible for moving energy, blood and nutrients around the body . The pill very often stagnates this energy meaning that the body isn’t nourished adequately. This is why so many women experience migraines, headaches and even weight gain whilst taking the OCP. It affects the normal and natural rhythm of the body.
- There are a number of people on the pill to help with the symptoms of PCOS and endometriosis, however the hormone imbalances caused by the pill can contribute to the cause of PCOS and endometriosis. The pill is taken to help ‘regulate’ hormones however its not regulating of course its taking over! The pill helps endometriosis symptoms as it stops the endometrial tissue growing and because there is less lining to ‘shed’ each month this causes the a lot of the pain as the body is trying to get rid of it, but there’s nothing there! The pill is again used as a band aid, instead of treating the cause, the symptoms are treated. There are a number of natural treatments to ease the symptoms of PCOS and endometriosis, diet and lifestyle play a huge role.
- On top of all that, have you seen the list of possible side effects that comes with your pill? Go read it. Now.
That list highlights only a number of reasons as to why I stopped taking the pill. You will find all the links I used as reference’s below, as well as a few other goodies that I came across and found super interesting while researching to write this blog post. Nat Kringoudis is your gal to follow if you want to keep learning, and let’s be honest, I know you do.
Part Two – What I experienced when I came off the pill, the good, the bad and the weird plus the products that I used to help support the transition
Part Three – How to not get pregnant once you’re off the pill. And yes, it involves having sex.
References and interesting links – it’s incredibly empowering to do research about your own bod and make your own informed decisions!
See More about The Pill and it’s adverse affect’s on your holistic health..