health, nutrition

The contraceptive pill

Now I’ve spoken recently about the gut flora, microbiome and it’s significant importance on our overall health. What I find really startling and very concerning, is that not only do many of us not realise the importance of our gut, but also the damaging effects we are having on our guts through our lifestyle choices – one of these being the contraceptive pill.

It’s been hailed a convenient and favourable pill for many people because it helps regulate periods, clears up acne, is an effective contraception and so on. Yet have we really considered just what we are compromising for this “convenience”?

Firstly let’s take a look at what the pill actually does to our bodies.

“Most birth control pills are a combination of synthetic hormones estrogen and progestin. They work by mimicking the hormones in your body, essentially fooling your intricate hormonal reproductive system into producing the following effects:

• Preventing your ovaries from releasing eggs

• Thickening your cervical mucus to help block sperm from fertilizing an egg

• Thinning the lining of your uterus, which would make it difficult for an egg to implant, should it become fertilized”

So the pill releases artificial hormones into our bodies… that even sounds pretty dodgy, right? What we must remember is that our reproductive system does not work in isolation, it works with the rest of our bodies and everything is intricately and complexly connected. Therefore if we start changing and altering our hormones in this area, this will have an impact throughout our entire body – and it usually isn’t good!

The other important thing we haven’t considered is why the pill was sought in the first place. If it was to alleviate painful periods or hide your acne then sadly, you are masking your body’s attempts to let you know it’s in distress and needs your help! Ignoring these signals can be dangerous and will lead on to more problems in the future. You need to work on identifying the root cause of your issues.

Back to the damaging effects the contraceptive pill has on the gut… Just like antibiotics, the pill is devastating to the gut microbiome. It destroys all of the little good guys who are working hard to keep you healthy and in doing so, allows the bad bacteria to thrive (such as Candida). This can then lead to a whole host of problems! Thrush is usually an early sign as well as digestive issues; IBS, flatulence, pains, etc.

There have been numerous studies which show a link between the pill and breast cancer, the pill and glaucoma, the pill and heart conditions, the pill and cervical cancer…. Pop these into google and see what you find! This just shows the effects this is having on numerous areas in our bodies and is not isolated to our reproductive system.

Not only that but if you plan to have children in the future, it’s so important to understand that this now unbalanced microbiome which is full of bad bacteria, will make absorbing nutrients very difficult. That’s particularly bad news for anyone pregnant as this can leave both you and your baby malnourished. You’re also more likely to be iron deficient.

When giving birth, the baby has a complete replica of your own microbiome which again, if unbalanced has been shown to lead to eczema, asthma and learning difficulties to name but a few. The pill depletes the body of zinc which is fundamental for mental development and could impact your child. This is why doctors usually recommend leaving at least six months after stopping the pill, to try and conceive.

I hope that everyone is aware of exactly what they’re putting in their bodies and have weighed up the positives and the negatives before making such a big decision. The fact it’s handed out like candy by doctors or that a massive part of the female population are taking it, should not be justification. You owe it to yourself to do your own research and put your health first.

In 2002, one of the largest and best designed federal studies of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was halted because women taking these hormones became at an increased risk of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke and blood clots. The pill is not dissimilar in that this contains the SAME form of artificial hormones.

If you’re looking for true health, artificial hormones will only prevent you from reaching your goal.

Here are some useful links for further reading –

Stay happy and healthy guys! Xx

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