Hormones: Why they can be a bad idea
Birth control: Hidden Dangers
So you are thinking about birth control or are already using it. This is the correct course of action for some women, especially those with endometriosis pain or really, really bad periods. So, if that is you, disregard this post altogether. I am speaking to women who take it more or less solely for the….ahem…no baby part of it all.
Much of the time, we are warned of some side effects when we start ye old BC, but we are rarely completely informed. Before I get started, I want to note that much of the information in this post came from Dr. Jolene Brighten, a natural medicine doctor here in Portland. She is extremely knowledgeable, and while I do not necessarily see the necessity for her entire “protocol,” it may be helpful for some women who had it worse than I. Okay, to the meat of the matter….
Birth control severely, and I mean really nastily, messes with your system. After I started taking it, I felt….fuzzy. Like I knew what I was feeling, but I couldn’t really feel it. I felt far away. I figured I was imagining it, and went on to use it for around three years. In some of my earlier blog posts, I talked about fatigue and my body shutting down. While this can be contributed to multiple factors, such as an abusive marriage, sudden divorce, several moves (as a result), and two job changes all in the matter of two years, I believe that a significant percentage of my “shut down” was caused by birth control, and I will explain why.
What does BC do? Well, it convinces your body that you are pregnant, so it does not release eggs to be fertilized. What happens when you’ve been telling your body you are pregnant for a MATTER OF YEARS?! Nutrient depletion, weight gain, mood swings, depression, and fatigue…to name a few. Your poor body is so confused and has no idea why the d^%& baby hasn’t come out yet. This may seem like an elementary way of explaining the problem, but I feel it is the most effective.
Once I started realizing that my BC could be the problem, I stopped taking it. Luckily, I was at the end of a pack, so it wasn’t too much of a shock.
Week 1: Felt relatively normal, had no withdrawal bleed.
Week 2: Felt much more like myself, more mental energy, less fatigue all-round.
Week 3: Some fatigue and depression as my body adjusts to the lower levels of hormones (I guess this could be likened to a mini-postpartum depression).
During this time, I followed the suggestions Dr. Brighten has on her website. She offers many free resources such as food recommendations, supplement info, and what to expect when coming off birth-control. She does have her own line of supplements, but I did not find those necessary. You can find like products many other places.
Here is a list of things I began taking on a semi-daily basis:
Bone broth - Gut healing, many necessary minerals
Vitamin D3 - Duh, happy vitamin
Vitamin B complex - Assists in energy, conversion of food, etc.
DIM - Found in broccoli and cauliflower, this substance can be concentrated into a pill which assists your liver in detox (which helps the excess hormones go bye-bye faster).
Calcium D-Glucarate - Another assist in detox
Magnesium - This is a huge one. Birth control really robs your body of this.
Be prepared for bad days and migraines as your body adjusts. There are some websites that will try to tell you your body will go back to normal immediately after stopping BC. Hah…..good one. How long did it take you to adjust to taking birth control? Usually a month if not more for most women. Why wouldn’t the opposite of this also be true? And if you have been using it for years, wouldn’t it stand to reason that your body would need an adjustment period that might be more than a month?
Birth control is a huge industry. They don’t want to be transparent about side-effects because it would affect their revenue. There are other ways you can avoid getting pregnant without messing with your hormones and affecting your quality of life.
DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE THE ADVICE OF A DOCTOR. ALTHOUGH NOT ALL DOCTORS ARE EDUCATED IN THE SIDE EFFECTS OF HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL, FUNCTIONAL DOCTORS/NATUROPATHS ARE. PLEASE SEE ONE OF THESE TWO IF YOU ARE HAVING ISSUES WITH HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL. THE ABOVE IS SIMPLY MY EXPERIENCE.