Because of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate, birth control is more accessible than ever, with contraception being covered by most health insurance companies, sans cost-sharing.
Among the various contraceptive choices, the pill is one that has come under scrutiny, as it is a hormonal method of contraception.
Ross Pelton is The Natural Pharmacist and a WellnessFX practitioner who is passionate about women’s health. His new book, The Pill Problem, teaches women how to mitigate the side effects from birth control pills. After writing The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook, Pelton was amazed to find that oral contraceptives deplete more nutrients than any other class of commonly prescribed drugs, creating a startling amount of side effects, including:
- Sexual dysfunction
- Low energy
- Weight gain
- Fluid retention
- High blood pressure
From there, Pelton discovered that these side effects may cause or contribute to various health problems for women, such as: Increased risk for heart attacks, birth defects, diabetes, weakened immune system, blood clots, and cancer.
“Over 100 million women are currently taking birth control pills worldwide. Many women do not realize that some of the health problems they develop are caused by their birth control pills. This is a women’s health issue that does not get the attention it deserves,” said Pelton.
Of course, all contraceptives are not created equal. As with introducing anything new to your body, each type comes with its own set of risks and downsides.
Hormonal methods, in addition to the oral contraceptives (“the pill” and “mini-pill”) we’ve just discussed, include the patch, shot/injection, and the vaginal ring. Side effects and risks include bleeding between periods, weight gain, sore breasts, and headaches.
Barrier methods, such as a contraceptive sponge, diaphragm, cervical cap, cervical shield, and male/female condoms,have higher failure rates than most other methods of birth control. Side effects could occur, due to allergies to spermicides or latex, and there is a risk of toxic shock for methods like cervical caps and shields.
With implantable devices such as rods or intrauterine devices (IUDs), irregular bleeding is the most common side effect, especially in the first 6–12 months of use. Other more serious side effects include change in sex drive, discoloring or scarring of the skin over the implant, headaches, an infection or pain in the arm, nausea, pain at the insertion site, sore breasts, weight gain, ovarian cysts, mood changes, hair loss, dizziness, and changes in period, pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.
If you’re interested in diving in more to learn about the pill and the side effects discussed, check out Pelton’s book (available in various formats), The Pill Problem.
How WellnessFX Can Help
WellnessFX created a Women’s Health Package, an extensive panel of women’s health-focused biomarkers. It’s not just for fertility – the panel can also test for imbalances in the hormones discussed here that affect factors like sleep, energy, longevity, and mood.
About Ross Pelton
Ross Pelton is dedicated to educating women about why oral contraceptives can cause so many health problems and presents some relatively easy and inexpensive steps that can be taken to minimize their risks. You can learn more about his background and experience by visiting http://naturalpharmacist.net/rosspelton/
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.