Why You Should Avoid Hormonal Birth Control


Photo Credit: starbooze via Compfight cc

As I mentioned in my previous post, I went off birth control this spring. I found many personal reasons for doing so: I didn’t like the side effects, I didn’t want to put chemicals into my body, and I wanted to live a more natural life. Birth control pills produced waste and cost a lot of money in the long term. While these reasons would be enough, in my research, I have encountered many more reasons why avoiding artificial hormones in general is the best choice for any woman. But don’t take my word for it! Check out my sources, and their sources, and, if you are on birth control, read the information insert that comes with your pill pack.

There is a risk for blood clots. This is the one everyone knows about. If you are over 35 or a smoker, don’t take birth control because of clotting risk. If you are low risk, you are fine. Not true. I know young, non-smoking women who have had blood clots while taking hormonal birth control. Yes, the risk is small, smaller than when pregnant, but it is still a risk to consider. (source)

Birth control pills increasing the risk of certain cancers. Although the pill reduces the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers, there is an increase risk for breast, cervical, and liver cancers. If you believe you are at risk for either of these cancers, you may want to rethink the pill. Luckily, studies have shown that once discontinuing birth control pills, breast and ovarian cancer risk begins to decrease back to normal. (source)

Birth control pills are classified as a carcinogen. Oh, yeah. Carcinogen, the word that is always associated with cigarettes. Because of the increased cancer risks, that means that birth control pills are a carcinogen. (source)

There is an increased risk of bone loss. Women who use Depo-Provera (the shot) have been found to lose bone mineral density (BMD) in long term use. Luckily, provided the woman has not reached menopause, BMD begins to increase again after discontinuing Depo-Provera. Despite these findings and evidence gaps (such as whether women using Depo-Provera are able to achieve peak potential BMD after discontinuing), The World Health Organization unfortunately does not recommend any restriction of this form of contraception. (source)

As a note, while for simplicity’s sake, I just talk about birth control pills (except on bone loss, which is Depo-Provera specific), these concerns apply to all methods of hormonal birth control, and even more so for the long-term ones. The hormonal IUD has the added concern of being a foreign object implanted in your uterus, and the risks that come with that.

Overall, the take away is that, as with all chemicals, women should be fully educated about not only the risks of what they are putting into their body, but also that there are alternatives available. Most health problems “treated” by birth control are just being covered up. When the woman goes off the pill, the condition will still be there and frequently will result in trouble with conceiving. If the woman instead pursues treatment for the cause of the issue, not the symptoms, she can preserve her fertility and truly be free from whatever is causing her distress, be it PCOS, endometriosis, or simply irregular cycles. NaPro Technology can be a particularly useful tool for this.

For birth control, stay tuned. Next time I will discuss a natural and effective method of avoiding pregnancy. Update: You can read that post here.


About How We Flourish

Welcome! I'm Chloe. I have a passion for creating a healthy life and a healthy environment. Join me as I explore homemade and reusable products, essential oils, and real food. Look around a bit. I look forward to getting to know you.
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20 Responses to Why You Should Avoid Hormonal Birth Control

  1. I think it is great to practice Birth Control without pills or Other Invasive Method!! I have used a Natural Method with My Husband for nearly 20years. 🙂

    • Healthy People Healthy Planet says:

      Good for you! I love hearing encouraging numbers like that. On Friday I am posting about Natural Family Planning. I don’t get to practice it just yet, but I have been loving learning it!

  2. I stopped BC pills a long time ago due to these side effects. My body just couldn’t tolerate the constant nausea from those poison pills. I decided to use the basal thermometer method instead and learned my cycles. Thanks for the informative article ~

  3. Raven says:

    Sorry if this comment is “too personal”: I have multiple genetic bleeding disorders similar to hemophilia. When I have my “lady times”, I’m practically wearing a diaper and still having to buy new clothes and sheets, etc. The doctors decided that I should be on the Pill nonstop, so I haven’t had a “lady time” for over 2 years. I wish the doctors had also told me that it would cause a hormonal imbalance. I have had multiple side effects, but I took my health in my own hands and have started taking herbal medicinal teas to balance my hormones. I am still on the Pill, however, because I am afraid of the bleeding problem. Any advice for that? I will gladly get off the pill if I figure out a way to deal with my bleeding disorders.

    • Healthy People Healthy Planet says:

      The main problem is that birth control suppresses hormone production, so taking herbs to balance hormones won’t do much. Why you went through sounds awful and I don’t blame you for wanting to stay on the pill.

      I would recommend seeing a NaPro doctor. They will work with your body to solve what is happening to you and treat it naturally, without artificial hormones. A holistic healthy practitioner may also be helpful.

    • Angela says:

      Research organic blackstrap molasses for heavy periods…I haven’t used it but I’ve heard it’s amazing. Might take a couple months of daily use before you see results though.

  4. I can’t believe doctors prescribe those pills…I used them up until a few years ago, and I’m so glad I stopped. I had told my doctor that I thought they decreased my sex drive, but he said they couldn’t do that…it was all in my head – yeah, right! I’m so glad we stopped using them, especially when I realized how unhealthy they were.

    • Healthy People Healthy Planet says:

      I can’t believe your doctor would say that! My doctor was totally upfront about that being a side affect! In fact, I know very few people who haven’t noticed that.

  5. Jessica says:

    What is this cure for endometriosis?? My doctor says there is none. I already follow a real food diet and take herbs. I had a lap but the pain is starting to come back. After we have a baby I plan to go back on BC. Living with horrid pelvic and lower back pain is not worth it.

    • Healthy People Healthy Planet says:

      I do not personally know the treatment. You will have to talk with a NaPro doctor, or some other holistic health professional, to discuss your options if you do not wish to go back on birth control.

    • Maria says:

      I have endometriosis as well. My dr told me there is no cure. I have done my own research and he is right. I take BC for that reason. I tried getting off but couldn’t handle the side effects of endometriosis so I got back on

      • Healthy People Healthy Planet says:

        I looked up endometriosis in my textbook on NaPro Technology. Birth control, as well as any other medications, will not cure endometriosis and it will do nothing to help fertility. However, there are surgical procedures to remove the disease that have a less than 20% recurrence rate. Combined with treatment of the underlying problems, fertility can even be regained.
        You can learn more by going to the NaPro website I link to in the post and finding a doctor that specializes in this. You can also find doctors at this link: http://www.fertilitycare.org/ or conduct your own search of holistic health practitioners.

  6. stephanie says:

    I have read all the things said about BC. I am considering them not to prevent pregnancy but to help with my heavy periods and severe cramping. Need some advice.

    • Healthy People Healthy Planet says:

      Have you looked into natural, holistic remedies for period pain and hormone balance? Heavy and painful periods can be a sign of a greater problem that should be addressed. While not always the case, I would recommend looking into that with the help of a supportive doctor, rather than just covering it up.

  7. Kimberly says:

    This makes me pleased I could never remember to take the pills for them to actually work so it wasn’t worth taking them at all. Taking Charge of Your Fertility is an amazing book for those who struggle with the Natural methods to help them understand the queues their body is putting out to have success with it

    • Healthy People Healthy Planet says:

      Thank you for your comment! It’s great to hear from people who have read TCOYF!

      • Ilka W. J. says:

        The book came with a “fertility tracker” that I bought. It’s like a thermometer, but has a self-calibrating mini-computer build in, so it gave me a read-out for fertile and non-fertile days when I pushed a button. Neat! BTW, it worked “both ways” — to avoid a pregnancy, and to achieve one when we were ready. Need to get back to it.
        My SIL introduced me to “Cycle Beads” http://www.cyclebeads.com/shop/CB You can even see in the dark if you are at a fertile day or not! 😉 — Alas, with those, one needs cycles of 26 days and longer (one cycle per year less than 26 days is ok, but if you have more short cycles, this is not for you). I’m often below the 26 days mark — other than that, I love the idea. 🙂

      • Healthy People Healthy Planet says:

        I’m not sure I trust cycle beads, but I also have irregular cycles that tend to be long. I wouldn’t trust anything I can’t see on my own body, like temps and mucus. I think it totally depends on what the couple is most comfortable with, though.

  8. Jenn says:

    Interesting article, scary too. My daughter has been taking birth control and it works for her because she has hypothyroidism, which requires taking another synthetic hormone everyday. Any information you might have on whether the two pills at once are carcinogenic and what are the side effects, would be helpful.

    • Healthy People Healthy Planet says:

      I don’t know how those two medications interact, however hypothyroidism is something I have been meaning to look into. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help.

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