While birth control pills are indeed effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies, the risks far outweigh the benefits as far as your health is concerned. If you are currently using birth control of any kind (the pill, shots, the patch, etc.), I cannot urge you strongly enough to stop using them immediately. There are many other safer ways to prevent pregnancy.
Many women may also be taking birth control pills to alleviate painful cramping or irregular periods. The pill, however, does nothing to address the cause of the problem, and instead can even compound the problem.
Dr. Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. explains that “cramping or painful and irregular periods are often due to a deficiency of progesterone and an excess of estrogen. So estrogen-alone birth control pills — as are the most commonly prescribed pills on the market now — often compound the problem.”
That’s why some women have intolerable estrogen-induced side effects when they are on birth control pills like:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Breast tenderness
What’s Wrong with the Pill?
Birth control pills, patches and shots promote continuously raised estrogen levels in a woman’s body, something that is neither natural nor safe.
“A woman’s natural cycle is composed of rising and falling levels of estrogen and progesterone. Birth control pills work by keeping estrogen at a sufficiently high level that they fool the body into thinking it is pregnant, therefore another pregnancy cannot occur,” Dr. Dane reminds us.
The effects of continuously raised estrogen levels in the body include:
- Increased risk of breast cancer
- Increased risk of blood clotting, heart attack and stroke
- Gall Bladder disease
- Increased blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Mood changes
- Nausea, Irregular bleeding or spotting
- Benign liver tumors
- Breast tenderness
Most people don’t know that in order for the body to metabolize the pill, the liver requires extra amounts of the B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc. This means that if a woman has been on the pill for years at a time (as most American women are), she is creating a nutrient deficiency in her body–one of the two causes of all disease (the other being toxicity).
The Pill and Yeast Overgrowth
While yeast (candida albicans) generally makes its home in the digestive tract, common lifestyle choices like use of birth control pills, antibiotics, a refined grain and sugar diet, and high stress levels often lead to a candida overgrowth.
Toxins from yeast overgrowth can lead to a host of other problems in the body, presenting themselves in a variety of manners far beyond the common vaginal infection.
Symptoms like migraines, infertility, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, psoriasis, PMS, depression and digestive disorders have all been linked to yeast overgrowth. The evidence clearly shows that when you address the yeast overgrowth, the symptoms improve or subside.
Yeast overgrowth has been closely linked to estrogen dominance in a woman’s body caused by the pill.
Increased Risk of Cancer
The National Cancer Institute tells us that the risk of developing breast cancer is 1 in 8 for the general public.
But studies done by Chris Kahlenborn, M.D., from Altoona Hospital in Altoona Pennsylvania, indicate that “women who took oral birth control before having their first child have a 44-percent increased risk of developing breast cancer.”
That would bring your risk of developing breast cancer to 1 in 5-staggeringly high.
“There’s tremendous vested interested — drug companies with a lot of money, government agencies who give a lot of money for contraception. It doesn’t make people look good when a study like this comes out,” Dr. Kahlenborn said.
There are many safe and effective contraceptives to consider:
- Male Condoms: At a 98% effectiveness rate, they are nearly as effective as the pill.
- Female Condoms: While these are not as familiar to most people, female condoms are 95% effective and are less likely to tear than male condoms. It consists of a small pouch that fits inside the vagina before sex.
- Diaphragms: These must be fitted by a doctor and are 92-98% effective at preventing pregnancy. They are thin, soft rubber mounted on a ring which are inserted into the upper part of the vagina to cover the cervix and act as a barrier to sperm.
- Cervical Cap: This is a heavy rubber cap that fits tightly over the cervix. It must be put into place by a doctor and can be left in place for 48 hours. These have a 91% effectiveness.
- Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness: A great method for the female to track her natural cycle, identify times of fertility, treat premenstrual symptoms and evaluate the effects of stress.
- Calendar Method: Abstention from sex during the week the woman is ovulating. This technique works best when a woman’s menstrual cycle is very regular. The calendar method doesn’t work very well for couples who use it by itself (about a 75 percent success rate), but it can be effective when combined with the temperature and mucus methods described below.
- Temperature method: This is a way to pinpoint the day of ovulation so that sex can be avoided for a few days before and after. It involves taking the basal body temperature (your temperature upon first waking) each morning with an accurate “basal” thermometer, and noting the rise in temperature that occurs after ovulation.
- Illness or lack of sleep can change body temperature and make this method unreliable by itself, but when it is combined with the mucus method, it can be an accurate way of assessing fertility. The two methods combined can have a success rate as high as 98 percent.
- Mucus method: This involves tracking changes in the amount and texture of vaginal discharge, which reflect rising levels of estrogen in the body. For the first few days after your period, there is often no discharge, but there will be a cloudy, tacky mucus as estrogen starts to rise. When the discharge starts to increase in volume and becomes clear and stringy, ovulation is near. A return to the tacky, cloudy mucus or no discharge means that ovulation has passed.
The Bottom Line
The risks involved with unnaturally altering a woman’s estrogen levels are far too great to be ignored. The estrogen dominance and nutrient deficiencies created by the pill cause a host of health problems that could easily be prevented by using safer, more natural means of contraceptives, or addressing the cause of irregular periods and cramping.