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What you should know about birth control

birth control pil

It is pretty easy for a young woman to get a prescription for birth control pills. This does not always have so much to do with avoiding a pregnancy. In my case (many many years ago), I got a prescription for birth control pills because of some pimplesNow I’m already years without birth control pills, and I am glad to see that women are increasingly thinking and investigating if the pill is as innocent as it seems. We should of course all decide for ourselves whether we should go on birth control or not, but I hope the following facts hopefully will make you consider if birth control is really that innocent and what you should know about it. An actual case where the birth control pill turned out not to be so safe may help you to rethink, but maybe some facts will also help you to decide what to do.

Did you know that birth control is (just like tobacco) classified as a carcinogen? 

Vitamin B

Birth control depletes your body of B vitamins. These are very important for your body, not only for your energy level, but also for your hair and nails. So if you ever stop taking the pill to get pregnant, it is advisable to think about your folic acid and B vitamins.

Hormones

The pill has (of course) effect on your hormones, and not the natural way. I had, after more than 10 years of being on birth control, some nasty side effect when I stopped.  The first two months I had pregnancy symptoms such as nausea. It took another year before I could say the ”old me” was back to normal. My periods were back on track very fast, but it can take months (or years) before it goes back again to its normal routine and that’s quite annoying if you are planning to get pregnant. 

In addition, being on birth control is like driving a car with the radio super loud. How can you know if your body and your hormones are in balance? You will not know, because you do not have a real natural period when you’re on birth control. Especially if you are planning to get pregnant, it is helpful to find out any problems as soon as possible. How do you know if your natural period is according to your menstrual cycle? How do you know if your progesterone and estrogen levels are in balance? Does the hypothalamus send the right signals?

Cancer

Often I heared that many women are on birth control to prevent certain cancers. This does not make a lot of sense to me, because everything that is not natural can not be that good for your body. Indeed some sources suggest that the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer can be reduce when you are on birth control, but there are also studies that state that birth control can increase the risk of breast, liver and cervical cancer.

Libido

The pill reduces the amount of testosterone in your body. So that is great when you are suffering from acne, but less fun for your sexlife.

Did you know that birth control pills may be the reason that you fall for the ”wrong’‘ type of men? Birth control seems to make you go for the more macho and less sensitive type of guys.

Thrombosis

This was the only thing I knew when I started birth control: if you smoke, if you are over 35 years and overweight, birth control is less safe because of the risk of blood clots (thrombosis). But there is more to it. In a 10 year study among healthy women, they found that women who were on birth control had a two times greater risk of thrombosis compared with women who were not on birth control. The chances are little, but they are there
Also, the new types of birth control pills are not much safer. These are pills with a synthetic form of progesterone. This study showed an increased risk of 77% of hospital admissions for blood clots, and a doubling of the risk of closed blood vessels compared to the risks of birth control pills with a low dose of estrogen.

What are the alternatives?

If you think this is a reason to stop birth control, but you do not have a wish to get pregnant any time soon, you might wonder what the alternatives are. Luckily, there are other contraceptives that are as effective as birth control pills. There are for example ways based on your own cycle and your temperature fluctuations. This lady explains everything very well.

I personally feel much better. It is of course a personal decision, but if you decide to stop with the birth control give your body a considerable time to ”detox” and to get back to it old self. I’d love to read your experiences below.

 

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