Yes or No to Birth Control | Women's Health Month | Acheloa Wellness
Updated: May 8
May celebrates women’s health, and even more specifically, women's health week (May 10-16). Our menstrual cycle plays a crucial role in our health, we are going to dive right into uncomfortable conversations (i.e., birth control, menstruation) to celebrate women’s health!
TODAY'S TOPIC: YES OR NO TO BIRTH CONTROL
Birth control can affect us in many ways. When I first meet women who are feeling "off", one of the first questions I ask them is, "What is your menstrual cycle like?" Their answer can tell me a lot about their health, and I am able to point back to what else could be going wrong. If you are experiencing an irregular menstrual cycle, or a painful cycle, or no cycle, then we investigate why.
If you are on birth control, then you will not have the full picture of how your menstrual cycle is because it is either stopping it altogether or regulating it for you.
FACTS ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL
There are many different types of birth control, pills, shots, IUD, implant, ring, and patch. Birth control is the only medication that tries to break something that is normally in working condition (maybe working too well, hence the "birth control"). Whatever your reason for being on birth control whether it be skin, prevent pregnancy or regulate periods it is not allowing you to fully ovulate which is a natural occurrence our bodies should be experiencing.
By being on birth control, you might be feeling like the light in you is dwindling down, emotions are high, and irritability, just to name a few. That is because you have too much estrogen. Too much estrogen, aka estrogen dominance, is NOT a good thing. It can lead to weight gain, depression, loss of libido, water retention, and increase your chance of breast or endometrial cancer. If you miss one pill or not taking at the same time every day will immediately lose its effectiveness from about 99% to 85%. Your chances of experiencing other symptoms are now higher.
Keep in mind that women are mostly not fertile. We can only get pregnant during ovulation which is only a 12-24-hour window of the egg being fertilized. Then you have the sperm, which can survive inside of a woman for 3-5 days. Understanding the time frames and being in tune with your body will allow you to accomplish your desired result of preventing or achieving pregnancy.
IS BIRTH CONTROL HEALTHY OR HARMFUL?
It depends. If you are on birth control for the sole reason to prevent pregnancy and otherwise healthy, then you are less likely to experience the detrimental effects. If you are on birth control due to a medical condition, then you are just masking the symptoms and the root of the problem still exists. Once you come off birth control, your symptoms could flair up again unless you consider diet and lifestyle changes.
WHAT IS BIRTH CONTROL DOING?
Birth control is made of an estrogen (and progesterone, depending on the type). The amount of high estrogen in the body will trick it into believing that you are pregnant, this prevents ovulation. When you move to the placebo pills, the estrogen drops suddenly and the uterine lining falls, which is your period. All of this prevents you from ovulating/producing an egg. The progesterone creates mucus that prevents the sperm from finding the egg.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF BIRTH CONTROL?
There are some good side effects, makes periods lighter, reduces cramps, and often prescribed to women who have menstrual problems. It can often improve acne and may protect you from some forms of breast disease, anemia, ovarian cysts, and ovarian and endometrial cancers. There are also some bad side effects, irregular bleeding, nausea, headaches, mood changes, and blood clots.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN METHODS? WHICH IS BEST FOR ME?
It is important to be aware of all of your options and most importantly, understand that you are in control of your method and process by being aware of your own body. It is an extremely powerful thing to know all phases of your cycle and advocate for it. Once upon a time, I too, thought I only had the options that the doctor provided is that of a pill, shot, patch, etc. I encourage you to look into natural fertility methods, such as Natural Family Planning (NFP) or the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM).
BIRTH CONTROL Q&A
What are your birth control questions? In the video, I answer some of your questions towards the end. If you have any questions that I did not cover today, please contact Lauren.
TAKE ACTION: CREATE A COVID-19 COMEBACK PLAN
It's been a challenging few months, but it's time to RISE UP. I would love to help give you the tools to empower you to show up as the person you aspire to be. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it may feel hard to be that person right now and I am offering my services to help you create your COVID-19 comeback goal plan. You can email me at Lauren@AcheloaWellness.com and we can set up a breakthrough session.
If you are reading this post-pandemic, and you are still feeling any type of overwhelm, please contact me, I would love to help you!
Join our live audience every Wednesday at 1 pm EST. This webinar is free to join, but you have to register. See you there!