Thursday, May 13, 2010
The not so sexy truth about "The Pill"
Stress, depression, sleep disturbances, skin problems, drop in sex drive, hormone imbalances, spotting or changes in periods...
That doesn't sound very sexy!
"The Pill", albeit convenient, can have a host of negative impacts on the body. It can lower blood levels of B vitamins and can cause other metabolic changes - for example: it interferes with carbohydrate metabolism which can increase the risk for type 2 diabetes.
It blocks the natural hormone/fertility cycle, may increase the risk of some cancers (granted, it decreases the risk of others) and increases the risk of heart disease. It also increases the risk of pulmonary embolism in smokers.
Jeez! How's a girl supposed to be safe??
In general, the pill's benefits outweigh its risks for a lot of women as it is an effective birth control method. It is only years down the line when deciding they are ready to become pregnant that its past use can pose problems. I have seen countless women in practice in this very situation. Physically there is no reason they shouldn't be able to conceive. Some of these women have never even had an irregular PAP! And from what they tell me, no one every told them that this may happen.
I agree that the birth control pill can be an effective and convenient tool, but I highly recommended it be used only on a short-term basis, if at all.
Many women have been on the BCP for at least a decade. Perhaps it was prescribed to them for their 'bad skin' or 'PMS'. But when they discontinue its use, these symptoms return. The key is in finding the root cause of those problems and treating from there.
Good news! Naturopathic Doctors have many tools that can help.
As for its use in contraception - that certainly can't be denied - or taken lightly. There are ways to educate yourself your own natural cycles and thus take control of your fertility. Women have been doing it for thousands of years!
Either way, know that you have a choice - and to make an informed choice - you need to know all of the risks, and benefits!
In good health,
Dr. Stacey Welton, ND