I was very active as a teenager. I was in 3-4 types of dance lessons, I played volleyball and basketball one year and I liked to ride my bike around the neighborhood. I also had (what I thought at the time) to be a lot of acne. I was completely mortified by it and it affected my self esteem so much that my parents took me to a dermatologist. I took various creams, face washes, tried proactiv and had regular painful chemical peels with a doctor picking at my blackheads.
I remember walking in to the doctor’s office at 18, complaining of painful cramping, irregular periods and acne. Within 10mins, my doctor wrote me a prescription for Yaz, (which was recalled in 2009). My breasts grew a cup size, my mood swings were all over the place, my acne seemed to remain the same, and I had a series of depressive episodes even though I was on anti-depressants prior to the pill. After being off and on the pill, forgetting to take it at the same time every day, or simply taking a different pill to skip my period, I switched to NuvaRing in my early 20s. NuvaRing was ok. It was easy to put in and take out and I didn't feel it. The only downside was that it fell out during sex, (What's the point of that?) and I still had occasional painful cramping. You can imagine how inconvenient it is to have pain at work and how embarrassing it is to have to speak to your male boss about how you need to lay down for a little bit because of cramps. When I turned 25, I was no longer on my parent's insurance and couldn't afford both my anti-depressants and birth control, so I decided to stop the birth control. When I turned 28 I was determined to not get pregnant for awhile and got the implant inserted. The only things I was told was that it lasted for 3yrs and that I could experience spotting frequently or not get a period at all. I experienced the lather. I lost a lot of weight and had frequent anxiety.
In 2016, I read the book "Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life," by Dr. Claudia Welch and it changed my whole perspective. Dr. Claudia combines Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Western Science to explain how hormones work, the effects of hormonal birth control, and bringing your body back into balance through diet, lifetstyle, sleep, and many more! Upon reading that book, I knew I had to get this foreign object out of my body and removed it in December of that year. I also knew I was getting older and if I did decide to have kids, I wanted my body to be rid of synthetic hormones.
So why is it so harmful?
Birth control, (or hormone contraceptives) are endocrine disrupting chemicals that disrupt the health of a woman’s endocrine system to make her temporarily infertile. The chemicals used to make these contraceptives are man-made chemicals that have estrogen & progesterone-like effects in the body.
So what do they do exactly?
They interfere with the ovary’s ability to produce endocrine hormones by disrupting the body’s ability to produce natural estrogen and progesterone. This interferes with the communication between the ovaries (sacral chakra) and pituitary gland (3rd eye chakra) bypassing ovulation and preventing pregnancy.
There are so many side effects of this process; irregular bleeding, nutrient deficiencies (especially B vitamins and magnesium), increase in heart disease, osteoporosis, breast cancer, and cervical cancer to name a few.
We are told by doctor's that birth control is our only option to "fix" painful periods, cramping, endometriosis, PCOS, and other various ailments. Why? They simply don't have the time to explain to us how our body works and why we may be experiencing these symptoms. Like most man-made pharmaceuticals, it masks your symptoms and doesn't get to the root of what's actually going on. It pains me to hear so many women who have gone to extreme lengths like surgery only to find that their symptoms come back.
So what do I do?
Everything affects everything and there are so many factors to look at. Ask yourself the following questions:
-What are you eating? Are you eating processed foods and sugar? Do you know where your food is coming from? Do you eat out a lot? Do you put your leftovers in plastic?
-What are you drinking? Do you know what's in your water? Do you drink a lot of coffee, pop, or alcohol?
-What is your lifestyle like? Do you exercise? What is the quality of your relationships like? Do you have support?
-What are your sleep habits like? Do you fall asleep easily, or toss and turn? Do you stay asleep? How many hours of sleep are you getting?
-What is your relationship to yourself like? What are the quality of your thoughts? Do you tend to beat yourself up a lot, or struggle with finding your voice?
-What kinds of products do you put on your skin? Do you wear a lot of make up?
-Have you had a traumatic sexual experience?
Educate yourself on the inner workings of your body. The Fertility Awareness Method is a method that allows you to track the symptoms your body is giving naturally on a daily basis. This will help you build a deeper connection to your body and help you discover where imbalances are, possible nutrient deficiencies , and how lifestyle and diet play a role in your menstrual health.