The Truth About the Birth Control Pill

March 04, 2020

The Truth About the Birth Control Pill

Overall, more than half of U.S. women use the pill at least in part for non-contraceptive purposes such as PMS, irregular periods, debilitating cramps, PCOS, endometriosis and acne.


The pill might succeed at controlling all the above, but were you told what else it’ll do to your body?


Here’s a SHORT list of the side effects that are not written on the side of the box:

  • Anxiety/depression
  • Gut dysbiosis
  • Fungal overgrowth
  • Weight gain
  • Infertility
  • Nutrient Depletion

Unfortunately, the pill is now over prescribed the way antibiotics were in the ‘80s.


If you’ve been on the pill, or are on the pill or plan to have kids in the future or are in the process of trying to conceive, then listen up, because these are the things that you’re not warned about when you start taking it.

The pill suppresses your hormones so that you don’t ovulate.

But there’s a huge connection between your brain and your hormones.

 

The Pill Causes Anxiety & Depression

There’s a constant communication, known as the OAT axis (Ovarian Adrenal Thyroid Axis) which is so important when assessing and addressing hormonal imbalances.

 

The pill interferes with this line of communication when it suppresses the reproductive hormones.

 

Without it, symptoms such as anxiety, depression, hypothyroidism, mood swings and adrenal fatigue (just to name a few) start to creep in.

 

The OAT axis becomes broken and the communication between your brain and your hormones becomes so muffled that your body/hormones are no longer in sync with your brain (hence why you can feel anxious “for no reason”.

 

We’re not designed to have a flat line of hormone levels. They ebb and flow daily and each week is a different curve that needs to be nurtured in a different way compared to the previous week.

 

That’s the beauty of our hormones (although they’re often vilified because of this, and that’s really because we’re not taught how to truly work with them).

 

If this is your only option, that’s OKAY! There's no judgement here. But your body needs to be supported while you’re taking it (more on that below).

 

The Pill Causes Changes to your Gut Microbiome

Your body is made up of about 100 trillion cells, but of those only about 10 trillion are “human.”

Your gut houses trillions of bacteria (good and bad, but should mostly be good).

A healthy gut is essential for removing excess estrogen out of the body (via the bowels).

 

When the gut function is compromised, estrogen can’t leave the body, so it circulates back into it, leading to PMS (cramping, heavy periods, bloating, irritability).

 

Gut dysbiosis happens when the microbiome (the ecosystem of bacteria) in your gut is disrupted by bad bacteria outnumbering the good bacteria.

 

The birth control pill changes the normal gut bacteria just like any other pharmaceutical drug and allows for the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and yeast. 

 

On top of that, it inflames the digestive tract, which in turn puts your immune system on alert and increases the risk for autoimmune diseases.

 

When the gut is inflamed it leads to what is known as “leaky gut” - where the tight junctions along the intestinal lining become “loose”. The integrity of those tight junctions is crucial as they regulate what enters or exits the intestinal wall.

 

So if you have a “leaky gut”, then toxins, pathogens and undigested food particles enter the blood and set your immune system in a frenzy, giving you food sensitivities, stomach pains, bloating, gas, indigestion, HORMONAL IMBALANCES and ultimately develops into autoimmune disease.

 

Because of the inflammation and leaky gut due to a compromised microbiome, it can trigger insulin dysfunction and an increase in testosterone, which is how PCOS can develop.

What can you do?

 

Recognize the above symptoms, and start by removing any foods you’re sensitive to, and support your body with nourishing, healing foods.

 

Not sure where to start? Download my free Healthy Hormones Meal Plan by joining my newsletter.

 

The Pill Causes Bacterial and Fungal Overgrowth

Part of that is that it causes the proliferation of bad bacteria and yeast, which ultimately leads to frequent yeast infections, UTI’s (urinary tract infections) and bacterial vaginosis.

 

Doesn’t sound fun.

 

You naturally have low levels of yeast/fungus and bad bacteria, but when they grow and outnumber the good bacteria, this is when the symptoms start to appear.

 

Not only that, but a diet high in sugar and simple carbs continues to feed these pathogens so the problem never really goes away.

 

To make matters worse, these guys actually CAUSE you to crave more sugar. It feeds them, so they want you to keep eating more, and send signals to your brain asking for more sugar.

 

Yes, they do have a mind of their own.

 

And then because of that comes the weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes.

 

The Pill Depletes Important Nutrients

The pill depletes several nutrients and key minerals, including zinc, magnesium and B-vitamins and antioxidants.


Let’s talk about the importance of each of these nutrients individually:

Zinc:

  • needed for testosterone balance
  • important for immune system
  • needed for thyroid hormone production

Magnesium:
  • plays a major role in circulation and the nervous system
  • easily lost through daily normal bodily functions such as muscle movement, heartbeat and hormone production
  • involved in hundreds of chemical reactions that happen in the body throughout the day
  • heavily used during times of stress
  • natural muscle relaxer (good for relieving cramps, headaches)

B vitamins:
  • important for energy, enzyme function, metabolism, healthy nerves, skin, hair, liver, and the GI tract, to name a few
  • needed for proper nervous system function
  • heavily used during times of stress


Antioxidants:

  • includes vitamins A, C and E plus alpha lipoic acid, resveratrol, CoQ10 and glutathione (that’s just a short list)
  • bust free radicals and protect and repair cells
  • anti-aging (so you might want to give them some more attention 😉)


Support your body with these nutrients whether you’re ON the pill or getting off it, in both situations, this needs to happen.


The Pill Impacts Fertility

It’s true that prolonged use of the pill can impact fertility.

Because it suppresses the body’s ability to naturally produce the reproductive hormones, it takes some time for the body to relearn what it used to do before.

The longer you’ve been taking it, the longer it could take for the relearning.

And if it was taken to mask a hormonal issue, especially in the teenage years, then the brain/body has to relearn everything from scratch.

It’s like starting puberty all over again, because the brain was still developing at the time that the pill was taken and didn’t reach maturity.

This is why if a teen girl in your life is suffering from PMS, it should be addressed naturally, rather than hiding the problem by taking this pill.

The problems don’t go away with time, they’re just masked.

And when you decide to stop, these problems come back with a vengeance.

Or worse.

Your period doesn’t even come back.

The communication between the brain and hormones is broken, and the body doesn’t know what to do or how to start making hormones in the proper levels and cycles again.

The pill not only affects our upper half but the bottom half too.

Because it causes a thinning of the endometrial lining (which is why it’s often prescribed for endometriosis), it’s also the same reason why it can create difficulty with maintaining a fertilized egg.

In addition, that endometrial lining becomes weaker with prolonged use of the pill. 

Your body needs the right support coming off the pill!

It’s best to work with someone who can help you determine what’s actually happening behind the scenes to help bring your body and hormones back to harmony.

This is exactly what I love to do. Helping women navigate the roller coaster that is their hormones in order to optimize and activate their fertility naturally.

 

 

 

We work together to support their body nutritionally, mentally and spiritually, so that their hormones are no longer enemies, but rather bff’s 😜

If you’ve been on the pill before and trying to conceive now, let’s chat, there’s some work to do first before you start trying.





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