Millions of women worldwide rely on birth control pills. Not only to prevent pregnancy but for cycle regulation, flow reduction, endometriosis and even hormone related acne. While many take the pill, it is important to note there are a variety of side-effects that every female should be aware of before taking birth control pills. These side-effects of birth control range from mildly annoying to potentially life changing issues.
Birth control pills come in several forms. Some are synthetic forms of estrogen, while others are synthetic progestin, and then there are some that include both estrogen and progestin. Whichever type a woman chooses, they are all synthetic hormones, designed to manipulate the body’s chemistry and control the cycle.
Some common, and less serious side-effects of taking birth control pills include nausea, breast tenderness, weight gain, decreased libido, and headaches. While some of these may decrease or even vanish over time, some are permanent while on the pill. The minor side-effects listed may seem worth the cost for a woman, and she may feel some minor weight gain is worth knowing she will not have to worry about getting pregnant for the most part. But there are other concerns about the impact of birth control pills on a woman’s body as well.
Birth control pills, mainly the combination hormone variety, have been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood clots, and the incidence of deep-vein thrombosis in women. These potentially life-threatening issues increase as the woman ages, and increase in severity if the woman is a smoker. The older a woman gets, the less safe birth control pills are for her ever-changing body chemistry.
There is also an increased risk of certain types of cancers associated with birth control pills. Cervical cancer, breast cancer, and even liver cancer increase in occurrence with use of birth control pills. In addition to the increase in cancer risks listed, birth control pills can impact a woman’s health negatively in additional ways.
By altering a woman’s natural cycle, birth control pills alter what is supposed to naturally occur in woman’s body. The menstrual cycle is an indicator of potential issues in a woman’s body. It acts as a barometer of her health and pills offering synthetic hormones can trick the body and hide issues. Women are often prescribed birth control pills to control PMS symptoms, instead of dealing with what is causing the symptoms to begin with. Heavy, painful, debilitating periods are not normal, and placing synthetic hormones into the body only serves to mask the underlying cause, not eliminate the issue.
A woman could be suffering from an unknown medical issue, and because she is on the pill, it does not get diagnosed as quickly as it should, causing more danger to her reproductive system, and ultimately her life. It is important that a woman listen to her body. The pill overshadows the body’s ability to perform naturally, or in a way to alert the woman that something is amiss. By masking symptoms, we are not healing them, we are simply covering them up with a bandaid.
The menstrual cycle has long been touted as an annoying, painful, awful part of a womanhood. But without it, we would not be able to procreate, and bring forth our babies onto this planet. Our cycles are a measure of our health to a great degree, and to alter that cycle with synthetic hormones is to muzzle our body’s natural voice. Women should listen to their bodies and be in tune with what they need. It is when we solve the root issues that our PMS symptoms and other cycle related illnesses will truly become healed.
At Phoenix Rising Acupuncture, we specialize in women’s health and work with women and adolescence who struggle with symptoms associated PMS, painful periods, and mood swings. Phoenix Rising Acupuncture is a modern acupuncture clinic in the heart of River Oaks in Houston that caters to the everyday women looking for natural remedies for their healthcare concerns.