This is an issue that goes in hand with yesterday’s post on women’s health and reproduction: birth control pills, whose use is wide-spread these days in this country (16 million). I can attest to this, I don’t know of any of my friends who are not on birth control or who have not taken it. There are risk, however and I first became leery of them in the Fall when I read of their interference with vitamins. This is only the tip of the ice burg when it comes to the pill, we need to be aware of what we’re putting into our bodies and as I’m skeptical of supplements, you better believe I am questioning of something that is going to effect my hormone levels. Birth control is made from artificial steroids, made to mimic estrogen and progesterone. How does it work?
- suppresses the release of hormones dealing with ovulation
- thicker cervical mucus (that sperm cannot survive in)
- interfere with cilia’s movement of fertilized eggs
- prevents build-up of the uterine lining (prevents implanting of a fertilized egg)
Great, so you may not be pregnant, but what risk are you racking up?
- increased risk of breast cancer (10 times)
- women with HPV and 5-9 years on the pill are 3 times more likely to get cervical cancer
- women with migraines on the pill have 3-4 times greater risk for stroke, than migraine patients not on the pill (I have a friend who was put on birth control for her migraines)
- increased risk of fatal heart attack (12 fold for those who smoke too)
- decreased sex drive
- can lead insulin resistance in diabetes in the longterm
- many experience weight gain that can be due to estrogen dominance or/& insulin resistance
- higher CRP levels (inflammation marker)
- decreased antioxidant activity
- negative effect on lipid levels
The information is pretty compelling and there are natural ways to look at birth control, it just takes a little searching. Like I said, I personally would think twice before I put it into my systems, but the great thing about this country is that every woman has the opportunity to make that decision for herself. I myself, don’t like things that mimic things that my body already produces (the body is smart and I can never really trick it without suffering other consequences).