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The Problem With the Pill

There is nothing less sexy than a pregnancy scare.

Who wants to be getting steamy in the bedroom, while at the same time praying that the condom doesn’t break?

The answer is no one.

That is why the pill has been so revolutionary for women.

The pill has been around longer than most of the people who are now using it, and this convenient little dose of hormones has allowed women to take their rights back. We’re able to have sex for fun, not just for reproduction. The pill allows us to regulate our cycles, stop painful or heavy menstruation, and cures acne. We can choose when and if we have children and all thanks to a tiny little pill that we only need to pop once a day for 23 days out of the month.

Sounds pretty convenient right?

Well the truth is that while the pill has been able to do so much for us, it may actually be taking from us too.

Ross Pelton, a Pharmacist, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, author and lecturer, has found that the birth control pill is responsible for sucking out some very essential nutrients from us.

Unfortunately, these side effects aren’t explained to us by our doctors when they prescribe the pill to us and, even worse, it’s unclear how long it takes them to resurrect themselves once you go off the pill.

What are some of these side effects?

1. Lower sex drive
All women who take oral contraceptives will have lower levels of testosterone, and testosterone regulates our sex drive. This leads to a reduction in libido, difficulty becoming aroused, less lubrication (which causes painful sex) , and difficulty or inability to achieve orgasm. Talk about an uh-oh face.

2. Higher susceptibility to yeast infections
The estrogen in the pill changes your acid base balance to become more alkaline. A more alkaline environment leads to more yeast because it is a more favourable environment for growth.

3. Higher likelihood of infertility
Being robbed of these key nutrients for such a long period of time can make it harder for you to be able to reproduce at all. You need a healthy body to be able to grow a whole baby inside you don’t you? Well the pill can rob you of that ability.

4. Loss of immune protection
By losing some of these important pieces of the immunity puzzle, you’re increasing your risk for STDs, HPV and anemia.

These aren’t even all of the symptoms!

Ross Pelton has identified 15 different health consequences of oral contraceptive in his new book The Pill Problem: How to Protect Your Health from the Side Effects of Oral Contraceptives.

Now here’s some good news: this data is not found in all of the forms of birth control. That means that you have other options such as:

1. The patch  
This flesh-coloured patch looks exactly like a nicotine patch and is applied to your hip or buttox. The patch is kept on for three periods of seven days and then kept off for a week (much like the cycle of the pill). Used perfectly, less than one in 100 women get pregnant. This is a great method because it only has to be applied once a week and therefore is easier to execute perfectly.

2. The ring
This soft, flexible ring is placed in the vagina for a three week period and then taken out for a week. It has the same success rate as the patch and takes even less work because you only have to remember it once a month.

3. The needle
The shot contains the hormone progestin and is given by your doctor every three months, which means even less worrying than the other forms of birth control. Used perfectly, less than one in 100 women become pregnant.

3. An Intra-Uterine Device
The IUD is a T-shaped device that is either made of copper or releases the hormone progestin. It is inserted by a healthcare provider into your uterus and afterwards can provide up to 5 years of birth control if it releases progestin, or up to 12 years if made of copper, without any action on your part.

There are tons of options out there for you, both with their own pros and cons, so educate yourself before you make any decisions.

If you feel more comfortable with the pill, Ross has found ways to alleviate the side effects with different supplements, which he outlines in his book.

There is nothing sexy about sacrificing your health for the convenience of a pill. There are so many options out there for us and so much information available that there is no reason that we have to spend one more day blindly taking pills.

When you are healthy, protected, and happy, that’s a true turn on.

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Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is an Associate Editor at Goddess Connections for the Women Who Run It E-Mag. She graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications Studies. She is a resident of Toronto and she has a passion for exploring topics on health and fitness, and enjoys writing stories about women’s issues. She also enjoys writing about business and how to build a career. When she is not working for Women Who Run It you can find her exploring Toronto, going for jogs, or simply enjoying life as a strong, empowered woman who runs it. Her goal is to share stories that help women of all walks of life take control of their lives and create balance with ease.