I took the pill for over 12 years. It was something recommended to me by my doctor in my late teens as something that females my age all should be on. It would help prevent pregnancy as I became sexually active and help with any hormonal issues I dealt with through puberty.
All my friends were on it too, which made it seem to make more sense.
I was told that the side effects were minimal and any of the bigger potential “issues” listed on the label were so “rare” and they were nothing to worry about.
Seemed like a pretty good deal to me…it all sounded positive with very minimal negative.
Unfortunately, I only got half the story from my doctor. What she didn’t tell me, and what I didn’t learn until 15 years later, was that it wasn’t the magic solution that she had told me about. There were some facts that had been hidden from me, and I ultimately found out were the answer to why I dealt with migraines, brain fog, anxiety, depression, brain fog, and more.
In working with my clients, I have found that these facts were hidden from them too. It seems that only the positive side of the pill (and really all birth control) is talked about in the doctor’s office. And I think it’s important to know ALL the facts.
Thus, I want to share with you 5 secrets that you may not know about the pill:
Secret #1: It can cause some nutrient and mineral deficiencies AND excess of others
When we are on the pill, it can greatly reduce our ability to absorb nutrients. So even if you eat healthy food most of the time, you may not be getting all the benefits from it.
Also, birth control stresses the body out and when we’re under stress, we start to lose key minerals, which is the body’s way of trying to compensate and manage it.
When I test mineral levels for my clients after they’ve been on birth control, I tend to find that key minerals like potassium, magnesium, selenium, and sodium are low. I also find that their calcium levels tend to be way higher than they should be. Most of these clients also need a few key vitamins to help support their energy and metabolism.
When our nutrient and mineral levels are out of balance, that can lead to a lot of symptoms we deal with such as fatigue, insomnia, brain fog, chronic pain, and mood issues.
Secret #2: It suppresses your natural hormonal rhythm
When NOT on the pill, our natural hormonal pattern typically looks like this:
And now let’s look at what things look like on the pill:
As you can see – no ebb, no flow. And in fact, what you’re seeing in that graph are synthetic hormones. Our natural hormones are essentially flatlined at the bottom.
The natural hormone profile of a woman on the pill is similar to a woman in menopause. The pill suppresses hormones that much.
What also happens is that estrogen and progesterone get out of balance. Some pills have way more estrogen that we need. And then there’s progesterone, which is designed to balance estrogen out. The synthetic progestin that the pill produces is way weaker than our natural and it can’t do its job. Thus, estrogen stays high.
When this happens, women can experience things like bloating, breast tenderness, decreased sex drive, mood swings, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia.
Our body is meant to be in harmony much like a symphony. But when we take the pill, things get out of balance. And what happens when one instrument in a symphony gets out of tune? The sound isn’t as good. Other musicians will try to compensate for one instrument that is out of tune, and that causes the sound to deteriorate more.
This essentially is what happens when we take the pill.
Secret #3: It can stress out your liver
The liver is an extremely important organ. Its job is to process toxins that we come into contact with and help keep us healthy.
The liver also impacts our metabolism, nutrient absorption, blood sugar balance, and our immune system.
When our livers are stressed, we start dealing with symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, mood issues, insomnia, and more. This is because toxins and excess hormones get backed up and can lead to inflammation.
When we take the pill, our livers have to process out the excess synthetic hormones. And this just adds to the job the liver has to do.
This is why one of the first things I do with clients who want to come off birth control is to ensure we are supporting their livers so that they start working properly (and a bonus – people usually notice an improvement in how they feel pretty quickly too).
Secret #4: The pill is said to be the #1 cause of copper toxicity in women
Copper toxicity is an accumulation of copper in the tissues. First, it accumulates in the liver, and when the liver is full, it begins to accumulate in the brain. While we need some copper, toxic levels can wreak havoc.
It can lead to fatigue, ruminating/racing thoughts, high anxiety, brain fog, extreme mood swings, hypothyroid, candida, and many more health issues. Copper is a very emotional mineral and many women who experience copper toxicity, also experience a lot of mood-related issues.
The reason this happens is that estrogen and copper have a complicated relationship. When estrogen increases, it causes copper to rise. And when copper rises, it causes estrogen to rise.
This is much like when two kids start picking on each other. The first kid picks on the second kid and makes him mad. So the second kid fights back and picks on the first kid. And things just escalate from there.
Most doctors don’t know much about copper toxicity, which is why they are not talking about it.
Secret #5: It acts like a bandaid to what was causing any symptoms before you got on it
Close to 60% of women take the pill to address hormonal symptoms; doctors prescribe it to them as a fix for period pain, irregular periods acne, endometriosis, migraines, PMDD, PMS, depression, anxiety, and more.
And while it can very much make those issues feel more manageable at first, it doesn’t “fix” them. The synthetic hormones might be there covering up those issues, but what really needs to be done is ask WHY you were experiencing those things in the first place.
Symptoms are a sign that there are imbalances inside. Suppressing your natural hormonal rhythm, which is designed to keep the body in harmony, and synthetic hormones only masks what’s really going on rather than addresses it.
Thus, when you come off the pill down the road to either start a family, because you want to, or to head into menopause, the chance of those things still being an issue is pretty good.
So what does all this mean for you?
Knowledge is power.
Birth control is a very personal choice, and I’d never tell you to get off birth control. BUT it’s important to know all the facts — good and bad — about whatever we use.
And it’s important to support your body so that it can thrive no matter if you’re on birth control or not.
That’s why I am a huge believer in my Activate program. It’s designed specifically to get to know what unique imbalances your body is experiencing that are leading to your fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, insomnia and more. That way you know EXACTLY how to support it.
There’s NO guessing because Activate includes a lab that gives you answers to why you’re feeling the way you are.
Women who follow the recommendations I give them in this program typically start to see an improvement within just a few weeks.