At The Wellness Programme, our focus is always on treating the root cause of a problem, rather than just addressing symptoms. When it comes to hormonal imbalances and women’s health, it is certainly no different. This is why I feel it’s important to shed light on the hidden dangers of the contraceptive pill. While the pill has been touted as a liberating tool for women’s health and their sexuality, the truth is that it comes with a host of potential risks that are often not disclosed when they go to their doctor to discuss their options. Far too many young women and girls are chucked straight onto the pill without knowing the truth. In this post, I’ll take you through what the pill is, how it works, and the ways in which it can impact your health.


What is the Contraceptive Pill?

The contraceptive pill, aka “the pill,” is an oral contraceptive that contains synthetic hormones. The hormones in the pill work by preventing ovulation, which means that an egg is not released from the ovaries. Without ovulation, there is no chance of fertilization, and therefore, no chance of pregnancy. It is one of the most popular forms of birth control, and millions of women around the world use it to prevent unwanted pregnancies.


How Does the Pill Mess up Women’s Hormones?

While the contraceptive pill may prevent unwanted pregnancies, it can also cause hormonal imbalances. The synthetic hormones in the pill work to override the natural hormone production. The pill suppresses the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle. The pill also suppresses the production of progesterone, which is necessary for maintaining a healthy uterine lining.

When a woman takes the pill, her body is tricked into thinking that it’s pregnant. This is because the pill contains synthetic versions of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are present at high levels during pregnancy. The body responds to the synthetic hormones by shutting down the natural production of these hormones. When a woman stops taking the pill, it can take several months for her body to resume its natural hormone production. This can lead to a variety of hormonal imbalances, including irregular periods, acne, weight gain, and mood swings.


How Can the Pill Deplete Minerals in the Body?

In addition to causing hormonal imbalances, the contraceptive pill can also deplete important minerals in the body. It can interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals, which can lead to deficiencies over time. One of the most significant mineral depletions caused by the pill is magnesium, which is a vital mineral involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It’s essential for the health of the nervous system, the heart, and the muscles.

The synthetic hormones in the pill can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb magnesium. This can lead to a deficiency in this critical mineral. A magnesium deficiency can cause a wide range of symptoms, including muscle cramps, fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia. Magnesium is also necessary for the proper metabolism of calcium, which means that a magnesium deficiency can lead to calcium imbalances in the body. This can contribute to the development of osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.


What are the Other Risks of Taking the Pill?

In addition to causing hormonal imbalances and depleting minerals in the body, the contraceptive pill can also increase the risk of several health conditions. These include:

  • Blood Clots: The pill can increase the risk of blood clots, leading to serious health problems, such as stroke and heart attack.
  • Breast Cancer: Studies have shown that long-term use of the pill can increase the risk of breast cancer. The synthetic hormones in the pill can stimulate the growth of breast tissue, which can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer. It has been labelled as a class 1 carcinogen, which tells you all you need to know really.
  • Liver Disease: It can also increase the risk of liver disease, particularly in women who have a history of liver problems.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: As mentioned before, the pill can deplete minerals in the body, which can lead to a range of nutritional deficiencies. This can increase the risk of several health conditions, including heart disease and osteoporosis.
  • Mood Disorders: The hormonal changes caused by the pill can also lead to mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety.
  • Decreased Libido: The synthetic hormones in the pill can also decrease libido, which can negatively impact an individual’s sex life.


What are the alternatives to the Pill?

If you’re looking for a natural alternative to the contraceptive pill, there are several options available. One of the most effective natural methods of birth control is the fertility awareness method (FAM). This involves tracking your menstrual cycle and identifying your fertile days. You can then avoid intercourse during these fertile days to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Other natural methods of birth control include barrier methods, such as condoms and diaphragms.

Whilst the pill may seem like a convenient and easy solution for preventing unwanted pregnancies, it comes with a host of potential risks that women should be aware of. From hormonal imbalances to nutritional deficiencies and an increased risk of several health conditions, the pill can have serious consequences for women’s health. I would always recommend taking a holistic approach to your sexual/reproductive health and consider natural alternatives to the pill.

This article was written by Ellie Dobbs