4 Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Birth Control

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on


The advent of birth control pills seemed like a dream come true. These modern preventative approaches appeared to emancipate women, allowing the joy and pleasure of sex without the risk of getting pregnant. It was all too soon, though, that some women discovered that the control measures weren’t the panacea they thought. In fact, the harm they produced was becoming increasingly clear. If you are over 35, have had a history of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, or breast cancer, have migraines or smoke, then you are at a relatively high risk for adverse effects. Those effects range from fairly minor to potentially deadly.

Of those effects, on the relatively mild end of the spectrum are nausea, headache, breast tenderness, weight gain, irregular bleeding, decrease in sexual desire, less enjoyable orgasms, and pain during sex. Even more serious are the known life-threatening risks, including increased blood pressure, blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.

1. There are Two Types of Birth Control

Most birth control pills contain two types of hormones: synthetic estrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone). A few contain solely synthetic progesterone. It’s important to understand that no one truly knows the full effects of birth control pills, in spite of the fact that they’ve been in use for about 50 years. The fact is that there are increasing rates of many chronic diseases and their causes are generally unknown. How much of this problem could be a result of birth control pills?

2. Birth Control May Interfere with Natural Detoxification

Having a period may seem like a nuisance, but it’s a very good way for the body to release toxins. Some toxins accumulate in our blood, and the release of this blood may reduce toxic overload. What are the long-term effects of injected contraceptives that suppress menstruation? No one really knows, and making a connection could be quite difficult in a world where toxins are everywhere.

3. Injected Contraceptives May Promote Blindness and Bleeding

In the relatively short term, many women have had terrible problems with injected contraceptives. Leslie Botha, who produces Holy Hormones Journal, has looked in-depth at two of them, and the picture isn’t pretty. Implanon, which can prevent pregnancy for as long as 3 years, has been implicated in some serious harms. The drug uses a progesterone-like hormone Etonogestrel, which is similar to the hormone used in Norplant, the contraceptive pill that was removed from the market in 2002 for causing blindness in one woman. [1] Implanon has caused prolonged bleeding—from 2 to 26 weeks—in some women. Removal of the rod-shaped device, which is usually implanted in the upper arm, can be tricky because it often migrates and is difficult to find. [2]

4. Synthetic Estrogen May Increase Osteoporosis Risk

Depo-Provera, along with most progestin-only contraceptives, prevents conception by drying and thickening the cervical mucus. This, in turn, prevents most sperm from reaching the cervix. It also thins the uterine lining, preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg in case a sperm makes the trip. Usually, the drug suppresses menstruation by suppressing signals from the hypothalamus and pituitary, both of which control the monthly cycle. [3]

Progestin suppresses estrogen, sometimes resulting in the thinning of bones. Women known to be at risk for osteoporosis who take synthetic estrogen are known to suffer more broken bones. Many women take oral or injected contraceptives because of problems with irregular periods, monthly pain, heavy or prolonged bleeding, or other concerns. However, as noted earlier, suppressing the symptoms of a problem does not solve it. Whatever is causing the problem is still there—and it could worsen without your awareness. [4] [5]

Forcing changes upon natural, hormonal balance places the body under a great deal of stress. Certainly it’s true that most women won’t suffer from such severe issues related to these medications, but most of those harms are measured over the short term. Over a lifetime, no one really knows what the effects might be.

What type of birth control do you use? Are you concerned about negative health effects? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments!

References (5)
  1. Malek N, Lebuisson DA. Adverse ocular reactions to oral contraceptive use. Contraception, Fertilié, and Sexualité. April 1992. PMID: 12317484.
  2. Heidarzadeh A, Asadi B, Saadatnia M, Ghorbani A, Fatehi F. The Effect of Low-Dose Combined Oral Contraceptive Pills on Brachial Artery Endothelial Function and Common Carotid Artery Intima-Media Thickness. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. July 5, 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2013.06.007.
  3. Wu CQ, Grandi SM, Filion KB, Abenhaim HA, Esenberg MJ. Drospirenone- containing oral contraceptive pills and the risk of venous and arterial thrombosis: a systematic review. June 2013. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12210.
  4. Lalude OO. Risk of cardiovascular events with hormonal contraception: insights from the Danish cohort study. Current Cardiology Reports. July 15, 2013. doi: 10.1007/s11886-013-0374-2.
  5. Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD and Jay W. Marks, MD. Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives). Medicine Net.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • leigh-jane

    Natural methods would be GREAT. But, as far as I know, there is only timing/temperature control method, and the diaphram that are ‘natural methods’. I had a great lack of sensation with the diaphram. 🙁 The Best method of female contraception is Vasectomy!! It took 15 mins out of my partners life and he went back to work in the afternoon, and I’ve never felt better. My body was exhausted by almost 30 years on various pills and when I suggested to my doctor that my partner was thinking about vasectomy, she said I should drag him to the clinic, if necessary.

    It would be fantastic if A) more men could take the plunge into vasectomy after they have had their families, as this would take so much pressure off women, and would dramatically reduce the amount of oestrogens flushed into the water system, and B) that big pharma could take a step back and allow companies who actually give a damn about people’s health to start investing in this. Frankly, women have had enough, and my daughter who is on the Depo injection, has had dreadful problems. This just shouldn’t happen.

  • Great comment and great points, I agree with you. Simple mechanical fixing, pun intended, has many benefits over hormone medication.

  • the dude

    As a male, and understanding that a vasectomy is also messing with the natural balance of the body, I find this suggestion to be very one sided. I wouldn’t want a woman to have her tubes tied, this would mess with her balance and could have many potential side effects as well. I sure wish we could all control our own sexual desires and maybe NO ONE would have to go under the knife or be injected to avoid pregnancy. Seems like we put so much emphasis on sex, Sex, SEX… learn to please yourself! when you are ready for a baby, have sex!

  • Lynnze Naumann

    FAM all the way. And now that I know what I know, I’ll never go back. I am the healthiest I’ve ever been in all areas and that is entirely accredited to FAM. It’s scary walking into a doctor’s office and knowing more than they do about your body – but that’s what FAM does – it gives you body literacy. I use the sympto-thermal method which gives me real-time information about where I’m at on that day, in whichever phase of my cycle I’m in. Birth control choices and health aside – Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden should be a must-read for all women.

  • Marianne

    I am 35 years old and have had primary amenorrhea my entire life. I started taking birth control at age 16 as prescribed by the doctor for me to get my menstrual cycle. I decided to stop taking them for years at a time because I didn’t want to take birth control. My estrogen levels have always been very low but now I am officially post-menopausal. I was just diagnosed with Osteoporosis after having a bone density scan. It is now my decision to choose hormone replacement therapy to prevent the osteoporosis from becoming worse.

  • Sarah Conner

    Hi Lynnze,

    I’m fascinated to know what you know about this stuff. Is it still working for you? You can send me a dm on instagram @sarah_starfire <3 Thank you!!

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