I took the contraceptive pill for years—8/9 years on a continuous basis. My gynecologist suggested it would alleviate my Endometriosis symptoms and slow down the growth of the Endometriosis cells. To me, it felt like there was very little other choice—well… from the flyers on the doctor’s wall this seemed the least extreme or painful. I didn’t really know what it did but I trusted in him and the pill somehow seemed fairly harmless. After years of following my gynecologists’ methods of taking the pill continuously, my body eventually rejected it. It started to react to every side effect on the label and somehow it didn’t seem to matter which brand I tried, they all gave me a bad reaction. I had to give it up… and eventually discovered natural methods.
Now, perhaps you are lucky and your body doesn’t react to the side effects at the moment and it somehow feels “safe” as after all it is just “the pill.” Perhaps the idea of combining the pill with natural options seems like a perfect combination—western medicine with holistic medicine… right? That’s what I thought for years. I combined all sorts of holistic methods with the pill and I think it did more for my “feeling like I was doing something good” than for my actual health.
So, let me explain what the pill does and how it actually affects your body and ultimately your healing with Endometriosis.
Here is an explanation by Sister Zeuss: http://www.sisterzeus.com/Pill.htm
Birth control pills are made of synthetic estrogen, the egg needs estrogen to develop, the pill supplies just enough estrogen to keep estrogen levels in the bloodstream high enough to fool the pituitary gland so it doesn’t release the estrogen tropin, preventing the egg from maturing, thus preventing ovulation.
In a normal, natural cycle (without hormonal influence) estrogen rises in the body causing eggs to develop in the ovaries. When estrogen levels reach a certain point it triggers the pituitary gland to release a follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which causes the most developed egg to ripen, and leave the ovary.
With a pill cycle this process is disrupted. Estrogen levels never reach the level needed to trigger ovulation. If something within this fails, and by chance an egg does ripen, and gets fertilized, the pill has a secondary feature which protects against this happening by supplying the body with just enough synthetic progesterone to trick it into thinking progesterone production is adequate so the body does not produce its own progesterone either. There isn’t enough progesterone circulating to allow the uterus to develop the uterine lining like it would in a natural cycle. This makes it very difficult for a fertilized egg to implant. This is why the pill is 98–99% effective, because no egg is ever released.
Because the uterine lining doesn’t develop with the low levels of progesterone circulating, many women who are on the pill notice their pill period is much lighter in flow, often dark red or brownish in color, fewer cramps and has a shorter duration than their regular natural flow. When on the pill, bleeding during the sugar pill week is caused by the withdrawal of the hormones. The underdeveloped uterine lining is shed, and the next pack of pills begun on schedule.
I hope that made sense. Basically, what we need to know out of this is that we are essentially fooling the body into believing it has more estrogen and progesterone in the body than it really has. This “fooling” the body actually creates a number of imbalances that don’t just relate to our Endometriosis.
The pill dramatically lowers the following minerals and vitamins in the body:
- Vitamin B6: this is an incredibly important vitamin for healing Endometriosis. Vitamin B6 creates prostaglandins and hormones within the body. When we don’t have enough good prostaglandins in the body, we have more bloating, blood clotting and inflammation.
- Folic Acid: this is crucial if you wish to have a baby and it prevents serious DNA related birth defects. It also helps us to avoid depression. It has also been proven that low levels of folic acid can cause breast cancer. Hence the high statistics in high breast cancer statistics for women on the contraceptive pill. According to Australia’s ABC News in 2003, there are findings in a ten-year Norwegian study involving over 10,000 women—you are 25% more likely to develop breast cancer if you use the contraceptive pill! If you take it over the age of 45, your risk of developing breast cancer is doubled!
- Riboflavin: riboflavin helps with the repair and maintenance of the body, namely your skin, hair and eyes. It is a necessary vitamin to metabolize fats, carbohydrates and proteins into energy for use in the body. It also helps absorb other vitamins for the body.
- B12: we need B12 to form red blood cells. This is one we are likely lacking if we feel tired, get a cold easily, breathlessness, numbness, menstrual problems, headaches, weak pulse… sounds kinda familiar to the symptoms of Endo?? Do we really want to put something in our bodies that decreases this even further?
- Vitamin C: we know this one! Great for the immune system and fighting off infections and disease. Once again, we want this one!
- Vitamin A: we know it is good for our vision—do you know why though? It helps with mucous linings in the body. That includes our uterus and the intestinal tract, the secondary side effect of endometriosis.
- Copper: this one repairs damaged cells, amongst many other things.
- Iron: helps the blood flow better and purer. Lack of it will make you feel tired and listless—oh, how familiar that sounds!
- Zinc: controls the release of hormones and creates a circle of replacement of cell generation. Helps with blood sugar levels. This reduces stress and inflammation in the body. A deficiency in this one causes period pain.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… can’t I just take all these supplements and make up for the deficiencies the pill causes? Thing is, there is a reason the pill causes deficiencies in these minerals—it blocks absorption. This is because it is sending a message to your pituitary gland which is wrong! False message! Little liars…
The pill causes imbalances which are not just within the uterus, which relates to Endometriosis but throughout the whole body. We need all these vitamins and minerals to do heaps of other things besides what I have mentioned in this one article. They all do heaps of different things and work together to make the body work, including healing.
I know it is scary to go off the pill. I know I found it scary. What is scarier to me is what it is really doing to your body and your health. Do you really know?
I know you don’t want to hear all this stuff and you want to believe you are doing okay on the contraceptive pill. I know, because I was just like you. Unfortunately, every year that you take it, it will alter your body’s natural balance further and further and repairing the imbalances later becomes harder and harder.
Going natural means committing 100% to doing the best you can for your body. Do you really think the pill is giving you the best? Don’t agree with me? Feel free to share your thoughts!