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Dangers of the Birth Control Pill

Dangers of the Birth Control Pill

Dangers of the Birth Control Pill

A long time ago I was on the birth control pill, before I knew better, and I may never know how that affected my future fertility (or infertility), or if it will cause any health issues down the road.

Here’s what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride had to say about the dangers of the birth control pill at the Deidre Currie Festival a few years back… (Have you read the sad but touching story behind the Deidre Currie Festival?)

Someone asked her, “How does the pill affect nutritional status?”

She answered:

It causes many deficiencies, it tends to create copper/zinc imbalances, and it causes women to lose all interest in sex, which seems very counterproductive. We need to teach young women about natural family planning and about honoring our cycles! The estrogens in the pill are synthetic, and not the same molecules that the body produces. Instead they’re called, “xeno-estrogens” and are harmful to the body. The pill also causes differences in the viscosity of the blood, and can cause heart disease, stroke, and a long list of problems. We’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg in our understanding of the complexity of hormonal balance in the human body, we are in no position to be messing with that.”

She has also said in the past how damaging the pill is on our gut flora!

Just in case that isn’t enough to scare you far away from contraceptives, read this article from the Weston A. Price Foundation, Rethinking reproductive health. Here’s an excerpt:

Recently, in a medical journal, I read that oral contraceptives are useful “in establishing regular menstrual cycles”1 for women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). For years, I’ve observed that western medicine’s primary treatment of common gynecological problems is the birth control pill; still, I was dismayed to read this misinterpretation of what a menstrual cycle is and what oral contraceptives do to it.”

More from the article on the dangers of birth control pills:

  • A woman who takes the Pill for two years before she’s 25 and before she’s had a pregnancy to term increases her risk of breast cancer tenfold.
  • Because of blocked hormone production, women who take the Pill have decreased sensitivity to smell. Because sexual interest is communicated through smell, the Pill may decrease women’s sex drives.12
  • In Solved: The Riddle of Illness, Dr. Stephen Langer writes that “the Pill. . . can cause severe bodily damage in hypothyroidism.”
  • Oral contraceptives may aggravate insulin resistance and longterm risk of diabetes and heart disease.13
  • Many women taking the Pill have reported weight gain–a sign of estrogen dominance and/or insulin resistance–as well as depression and even psychosis.
  • It’s worth noting that the mini-Pill, a progestin-only pill, may not suppress ovulation or conception from occurring.5,6 (This is the most serious risk of all, in my opinion, because I know what this means…do you?)
  • There were many more, but I didn’t include them all…

This is a shocking comment from Susan that I had to add here, have you heard this before?! I hadn’t…sex lies and menopause

After reading about T.S. Wiley in one of Suzanne Somers’ books, I decided to read “Sex, Lies and Menopause.” It ended up taking me everything I had to get through it. And not because it is a bad read, but because the info in it regarding the pill made me so upset. I was on the pill for 17 years!!! 17!! The book explains how the pill puts us into a chemical menopause, so during the time when we are most fertile and should be making babies (according to nature’s plan), we instead take the pill to avoid a pregnancy we are not ready for, which puts us into menopause. The book explains all things female and although it has menopause in the title, don’t let that scare you. It has info for all ages. I wish I would have had this book when I was in my 20′s. I would have done so many things differently! Because my doctors kept telling me it was perfectly safe, I never thought of any further circumstances, and now because of it, I have put my hormones in such a chaotic mess that it may take me years to heal it. The pill completely destroys your adrenals and once those are out of whack, every hormone in your body is out of whack. It is painful, excruciating, frustrating and maddening for me. How different my life may have been had I not poisoned my body for 17 years!”

Have you ever been on the birth control pill? Do you know if it has been harmful to your body in some way?

  • Where to learn about Natural Family Planning – this is a Catholic organization, but many people not affiliated with any particular faith still learn from them about honoring their cycles and how to follow them naturally.
  • Are you on the pill for PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)? Here’s a post geared toward PCOS and infertility, but would also apply for someone just wanting to treat it without the Pill.
  • Here’s a suggestion from a reader for a hormone-free birth control method (thanks Megan!):

    Just wanted to offer up another option for birth control for those that are overwhelmed or scared of natural family planning. I use a Lady-Comp Fertility Monitor and love it. It takes your temperature first thing in the morning then gives you a simple red, green or yellow light. Red for fertile days (flashing red for ovulation), green for no chance of pregnancy and yellow for possible chance. It learns your cycle over time so you get fewer and fewer yellow lights as time goes on. If you abstain during the red days, the monitor is just as effective as the pill. It also gives you a six day forecast of your cycle. I have loved how I don’t really have to think about it, but yet became so aware of my cycles and symptoms. It also included my husband in decisions every month. It’s a little pricey, but was well worth the cost to me. Hope this helps someone who is scared of making the transition from chemical means to more natural ones. I should also note that it was very easy to transition from preventing to trying for pregnancy. We got pregnant our first try three times.

    Note: if that device is out of stock, here are other fertility monitors you could try.



  1. I was on the pill (and the patch) as a teen, because of my cripplingly painful periods. Years later, after I had figured out that was the worst thing I could have done, was diagnosed with endometriosis. My dr’s only answer for that was the pill. I told him the pill caused me to get gallstones (which it did, and it has been proven to do, and most responsible doctors won’t give you the pill if you have had a history of gallbladder problems) and he shrugged and said that wasn’t his problem, and that I would have to take that up with my regular doctor to get my gallbladder out. I decided right then and there that I wasn’t losing an organ to be on the pill, and I fired my doctor. I have been treating my endo (quite successfully!) myself ever since. There is no good reason to be on the pill. If there is something wrong with your body, you need to pinpoint what is causing it and fix it. Our bodies don’t just “get sick” for no reason. There is a reason, and you can fix it. You just have to be willing to look deeper.

      • A combination of bioidentical hormone treatment (using Dr. John Lee’s books) and diet, as well as careful charting to keep track of how I’m doing. I’ve removed (mostly) all of the sugar from my diet (refined and unrefined!) and the only sources of sugar now are fruit-based. I also really upped how much cholesterol I was getting on a daily basis. I make sure and eat something with cholesterol at every meal. I also really upped my saturated fat content, as those go hand in hand. I use the progesterone cream every day until I start my period (well, until it’s time to start my period) then I go off of it and don’t go back on until I have totally stopped bleeding. That’s a mistake I was making at first, and I wasn’t letting my body fully shed the uterine lining. I’m also getting lots of fermented foods (trying for a fermented food with every meal as well.) Also, doing some very light exercise during my period so that it helps keep my muscles loose and not cramping. I’m working on a liver cleanse right now, because the liver removes the old hormones from the body, and if your liver isn’t working right it will cause a build up of hormones. I’m also working on losing weight as slowly as possible. Losing too much fat too quickly can cause a flood of estrogen into the body, making the endo symptoms much worse. By removing the weight slowly I can make sure my liver can handle the influx of estrogen.

  2. Did I miss something? How come Dr. Natasha had nothing to say about how damaging the pill is to gut flora? She has stated this before, but I haven’t really dug around to see why exactly that is, so I was hoping to find the answer. Lots of scary other reasons why this drug is so dangerous, though!

    I’m so glad I learned about NFP/FAM when I did. Dr. Natasha is so right that we need to educate young women about that!

  3. I had to quit the birth control pill after being diagnosed with gallstones. Currently, I use Mirena, because I am willing to put up with a few hormones to not get pregnant. I suppose a more natural IUD would be the copper one, which I may or may not get next time I make my choice.

    • I used Mirena for about 4 years and was recently told I was going into premature menopause (I’m 33). All the crazy things my body has been doing started when I had the IUD in (about the third year). My problems also could be linked to my thyroid, but it could have been caused by the IUD.

      • I had exactly the same ovarian failure type of symptoms with the Mirena into the third year and had it pulled. The symptoms afterwards were even worse. Progestins are the worst endocrine disrupters in pharmaceutical history only second to Propecia for inducing infertility and permanent disruption of the organs from the HPA level to the gonads.

        Royal maca, major adrenal support and vitex have helped me tremendously. Thank you for your article and quotes from Campbell Mcbride.

  4. Thanks for sharing the truth about the birth control pill. So many young woman are not being told the truth by the person they trust the most – their doctor! Natural Family planning teaches women to understand how their bodies work! It is not another biology lesson, but one of understanding. It is beautiful how it can help a woman achieve pregancy or avoid it. It is as natural as you can get! It is a loving choice, not always easy, but loving and worth it. If we are truly to be liberated women, men will respect us, our cycles and our bodies. They would never ask us to compromise our health. As women, we are worth it!

  5. I was on the pill in my teen years and I immediately ballooned up and even now have a difficult time losing weight. I always knew it had something to do with the hormone balance being screwy but I never knew why until now. After the pill and the patch I was diagnosed with ovarian cysts and later low progesterone levels that were affecting my ability to maintain a pregnancy. After the birth control of my teens I have not been on any hormonal pregnancy preventors and for years tracked my cycles and at one time had a copper T iud. If you must have a physical form of birth control I feel fairly confident in that one, although like mosy unnatural things it is often difficult for the body to accept it. The best imo is natural family planning, although I did end up getting my tubes tied :’ ( have you heard anything about that messing with your body?

    • Having your tubes tied can cause serious hormonial disruptions in your body. It will increase fibroids, enlarged uterus, heavy monthly bleeding, and the need for a hysterectomy. I did not know this before it was done. If I had known we would not have decided to do this.

      • Wow, I’d never heard that connection with having tubes tied to heavy bleeding and the need for a hysterectomy. I feel another post coming on…

        • There is a very big connection to having a tubal ligation and the heavy periods, enlarged uterus, estrogen dominance, and even hypothyroidism. All my pregnancies were high risk. I am very thankful for my children. We decided since I was having a c-section to have the ligation also. Knowing what I know now about the hormone disruption I do not think we would have made the decision. I eventually reached the point to where I could not get off of the couch. My husband took me to the Hotze clinic. They addressed the thyroid, hormones, and some major diet changes was made. There is a lot of info on the internet about the connection between hormonal disruption and tubal ligation. We have thought about a reversal but I do not want to go through any more surgeries.

    • Yes! Having your tubes tied can cause MAJOR problems. I’m an example. I got my tubes clipped in 2005. Within a couple of months, my cycles got all messed up and my health declined dramatically. My husband actually thought I was going to die. After research, I discovered that my health issues were connected to my tubes being clipped off. I found a doctor who does tubal reversals and in 2008, I had the procedure done and it was the BEST thing I could have done. I found out the clips used were METAL (eek!) and my body was also reacting to that. I don’t have the major cramping I used to have and that has made a HUGE difference for me. The bleeding is definitely less and I don’t have to sleep with a towel on my bed at night in case of leakage.

  6. I was on the pill for a few years in college (to regulate periods) and when I first got married. Boy, do I sure wish I had never been on them. Besides it making me extra anxious, I also had one miscarriage after I first went off of them. While I can’t do anything to change my past, I will enourage my daughters, when older and married, to do a more natural approach to family planning.

    • I listened to a talk which explained how the pill works: Plan A is to stop ovulation; if/when that fails, Plan B: change the viscocity of the cervical mucus to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg, essentially turning your mucus into spermicide; if/when that fails and the egg is fertilized, it changes the lining of the uterus to prevent the fertilized egg (or baby) from implanting and the body ‘sluffs’ it off w/ the endometrium in the woman’s period. This is what is called a silent abortion and there’s no telling how often this occurs. It is estimated that a woman who has been on ABC for 5+ years can have this occur several times each year. That’s a lot of babies!

      I don’t want to sound critical, just informative. I was on ABC for many years, just out of sheer ignorance and a lack of good adult direction.

      • I once thought (knew) I had a miscarriage while on birth control pills. When I called the doctor, I was told the only error with birth control pills is human. I was mad! Now I see that I was right! Shortly after that I had my tubes tied. This was way back in the 70s. I’ve never felt that any of my health issues now (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) was caused by my tubes being tied, but maybe it was. I did have very heavy menstrual cycles and early onset menopause afterward. Very interesting post.

      • I want to strongly counter this anti-choice argument that Joanne has presented here. Yes, the pill prevents ovulation; the pill also thickens the mucus surrounding not only the egg but the lining of the uterine wall. Approximately half of all fertilized eggs ( which is what the cells are, just cells, NOT feeling, thinking humans like the adult woman involved- will be shed in the next menstrual cycle on their own.

        If someone truly wants to attempt to use this anti-choice, anti-woman logic of “eggs are people”, then they would have to conclude that women who use no contraception are more commonly “at fault” of this because they are ovulating more frequently in the first place than women on the pill.

  7. Goodness, it’s hard to know where you can get the best information for your health nowadays isn’t it! Education is definitely the key here, thanks for this post.

    • I can’t stand it when I have typos in my post but I looooooove it when readers will catch them for me and let me know. I fixed it now, THANK YOU!!!


  8. I used to take the pill for its intended function, then decided to stop when I no longer really needed it for that function.

    Now I get bugged out when I see people going on it for so many different health issues, and want to throw a fit when women either use it to skip their periods or take the one which limits your period. Menses isn’t a disease! I would love to see more women’s health education along the lines of knowing your cycle, how to deal with menstrual pain without hormones or serious painkillers (I should dig up that article I got a few years ago about how “PMDD” was essentially created by a pharmaceutical company), and related issues. Real sexuality education in this country is a mess, and I do realize what I want to see happen with it puts me in the minority around here.

  9. My daughter was on the pill for out of control
    periods and after she got married. Total time she was on them was approximately two years. For that “help” she received a personality change NOT for the good, a miscarriage (she unexpectedly got pregnant shortly after.stopping the pill), and a stillbirth less than a year later. She is currently pregnant and doing great but I know what caused her first two children to die and a relationship to go south because of her personality change. I hate birth control pills and believe we will continue to see the damage caused by them climb.

    • Yes, I believe it’s called pharamones (SP?) which cause attraction between men and women and ABC suppresses this in women, so we have to say/do/act silly to attract men. The speaker I learned this from referenced this study done by Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox (I believe there’s a book called the Decline of Males). They suggest that women on ABC attract less suitable (read: less apt for roles as husband and father). Then when they go off the pill, they start re-evaluating their relationship w/ said male.

      • I also heard that we have the ability to “smell” and appropriate mate for us based on immune system compatibility but I never quite understood what that meant. I just read this article – somewhat unrelated – but it says a bit about how your husband’s DNA is in your body and helps with your immune system (along with any babies you have conceived). Quite interesting! I wonder what the consequences are if you choose the wrong “immune-compatible” mate?

  10. I took it for almost 3 years when I was a teen/early 20s. Grr. I didn’t notice any major effects of it, and got pregnant within 3 months of coming off it (and had a healthy pregnancy and daughter is almost 4). Have never been back on it.

    I will just hope that having done GAPS, had three successful pregnancies, and 4 consecutive years of breastfeeding (so far) will have negated the increased risk of breast cancer. :)

  11. So THAT’S why I lost my sense of smell for a couple years. I hadn’t connected the two until now.

    I regret the 1.5 years I was on the pill before I knew better, but I’m thankful that I’ve learned and made so many changes since my babies have been born. And thankful that someday I can share this knowledge with my 2 daughters.

  12. I was on the pill for a few years but went on depo provera. I stopped it after my divorce but started again when I married my husband. The second time I got the shot, though, I gained 75 pounds in less than a year! I’m still struggling to lose it, even though I quit getting the shot once I realized the affect it was having. Not sure why it didn’t have that affect the first time, but I reacted very badly to it.

  13. I was on the pill from the time I was seventeen until I was 29. It started out as an “acne treatment” then I stayed on it because I didn’t want to have kids yet. I had never really paid attention to my periods before I was on it. So I had no idea of what “normal for me” was. When I went off the pill and still had all the problems that it was supposed to fix, I was confused. My doc’s suggestion? Take a progesterone only pill. I could honestly send you pages and pages of the issues I have had while on the pill. It amazes me to no end the amount of side effects doctors think are “okay” that turn out to be worse that the symptoms they were treating orginally. Whew! Sorry almost went on that rant.

    Bottom line, birth control of any chemical kind will mess with you. I have learned my lesson and I will take care of my body and try to make up for the damage I caused in my younger days.

  14. I was on the pill for ten years straight. Yes, no period for ten years. I didn’t know any better. I have had no problems getting pregnant and have three children so far. But I have also had thyroid cancer and skin cancer and gestational diabetes and a really crappy immune system. I refuse to be on any form of birth control since I have wised up. I hate to think what all the pill has done to me since I was on it from 17-27 years old before I had my first child.

  15. I’m so glad I’ve never taken them, especially with everything you can find about the harmful effects today.

    I was wondering what do women who have trouble losing the weight the Pill caused do to loose it?

  16. I was on the pill for many years and stopped immediately after attending the Weston A Price conference in 2009. I have already beat cancer and the effects that treatament has on the body. Now I’m dealing with thyroid issues, immune issue and gut issues. Thank goodness we have all this great information to help us heal our bodies since my doctor thinks their really nothing wrong with me now.

    I simply track my fertility signs and sometimes I take my temperature. It makes me angry that the propoganda would lead you to believe that Natural Family Planning is soooo hard and soooo unreliable. It’s quite the opposite. It’s so nice to be chemical free! I use and it’s great!

    • Thanks for the mention and hats off to Kelly for highlighting alternatives to hormonal birth control. There are studies out there that show that using the Sympto-Thermal Method has a failure rate (as ALL birth control has a failure rate) of 0.4 pregnancies per 100 women – which is comparable to The Pill. This is when the user abstains during her fertile phase. For couples who opted to remain sexually active during the woman’s fertile phase (using a barrier method), the effectiveness fell to 0.6 pregnancies per 100 women.

  17. This is a very interesting article and I had no idea about any of it (although I did know tube tying creates signiifcant health risks for some), except a (what I thought was slight) increase in breast cancer risk. I know I’m in the minority and I am doing more exploration; however, NFP just is not reliable enough for me and we absolutely do not want children (combination of choice and some complications, so please don’t judge that factor), so I don’t know what to do other than continue to take the pill or consider the IUD (which my mother had very bad reactions from, so I’m hesitant). They won’t tie my tubes or use Mirena because I haven’t had children (which is so very wrong that those of us who want to be responsible about child bearing can’t be, while some people can continue to have countless children as drug addicts, etc.) We do also use a barrier device, but I don’t trust that explicitly (they break from time to time and such).

  18. I practiced abstinance until I was 30, I had regular cycles, no major issues, up to that point. Even though I was a virgin, I knew my body well enough to know I was maturing sexually as I should be, and was really looking forward to having sex. Three months before my wedding, I went on the pill (Levlin/Levora). During my pill time, I noticed my interest in sex dropping off rapidly, and I also could never muster an orgasim during sex. Believe me, hubby and I were doing everything right. The problem was me, internally. At 33, I went off the pill. The good: My sex drive kicked in again almost immediately and I began to have desire again and I had real orgasims for the first time in my life after one month. The bad: My cycles became long and irregular, with mentration lasting an average of two weeks. I waiting too long thinking irregular cycles were normal after going off the pill, only to find out 7 months later that I had 3 ovarian cysts. 6 months later, after going on the pill again (Microgestin, no sex side effects) in hopes of that fixing the cysts, I had major abdominal surgery to remove the 3 cysts. My cycles were regular after I stopped that pill 1.5 months after surgery. I had always charted my cycles, but I learned FAM and began using the TCOYF charts. I still couldn’t get pregnant, and now, after 3 years total of trying and finally going to a fertility specialist, I learned I was never fertile to begin with. I had had 4 major abdominal surgeries as a child. The scar tissue had rendered me infertile, and while I had always been aware that I could be infertile, I didn’t know it for fact until I saw the specialist. It was disheartening that I never even had to be on the pill in the first place, missed out on orgasims, suffered the discomfort of irregular cycles and cysts, and wasted too much time trying to get pregnate when it was hopeless all along. FYI, my hubby is awesome. He also feels bad that he wanted me on the pill when we got married and for waiting as long as we did to start trying for a baby when I had always wanted to have a baby. I had agreed to the pill because I did not want to “baby trap” him and I thought it a safe and easy method of prevention. I only wanted to have a baby with him when we were both ready. Now, after another surgery to fix my infertility issue (interesting story in itself in nutshell: had the ESSURE sterilization procedure in order to make pregnancy possible. Ironic!), we are looking at IVF which means a whole new round of hormones I get to subject myself to. That was my experience with the pill. I only wish that I had not wasted so much time waiting. I should have been more proactive and done my own research instead of following the “don’t worry, it will come” advice. Sorry this was long. Thanks for reading.

    • I’ve also heard that women’s bodies don’t absorb all the hormones and it ends up in the water system which has been linked to male infertility. I believe there was a study of some amphibians in Florida which are changing from male to female and they are linking it to the hormones in the water. You have the excess that’s secreted by the woman’s body and then there’s those instances where people are just straight flushing their ABC down the pot, full strength.

    • Just an update: When I wrote my original message, I did not know it, but I was newly pregnant at the time! Now I am 11 weeks along, really sick, but grateful to be in my current state! Getting pregnant was a total surprise! I wasn’t supposed to be able to become spontaneously pregnant. The procedure was just to help heal my uterous so an IVF baby would have a healthy environment to implant. I definitely am very humbled and excited and hope God continues to bless me that I (with hubby’s unwaivering support) can carry this baby to term. Thanks for the prayers!

  19. I used to have severe menstrual cramps (so bad they led to fever and vomiting occasionally) and heavy bleeding for at least eight days. Turns out it was just an excess of carbs. Thank God my beloved, but clueless, parents never put me on the pill. They didn’t even give me Ibuprofen! My husband and I are having our fourth child in May, but if we ever need to avoid, it will definitely be with NFP.

    • Isn’t it wild how too many carbs can affect everything?! I’ve also heard that lowering carbs can reverse heavy bleeding issues… Too bad docs are so quick to prescribe the Pill. Sadly, most just don’t know any different.

  20. After reading about T.S. Wiley in one of Suzanne Somers’ books, I decided to read “Sex, Lies and Menopause.” It ended up taking me everything I had to get through it. And not because it is a bad read, but because the info in it regarding the pill made me so upset. I was on the pill for 17 years!!! 17!! The book explains how the pill puts us into a chemical menopause, so during the time when we are most fertile and should be making babies (according to nature’s plan), we instead take the pill to avoid a pregnancy we are not ready for, which puts us into menopause. The book explains all things female and although it has menopause in the title, don’t let that scare you. It has info for all ages. I wish I would have had this book when I was in my 20’s. I would have done so many things differently! Because my doctors kept telling me it was perfectly safe, I never thought of any further circumstances, and now because of it, I have put my hormones in such a chaotic mess that it may take me years to heal it. The pill completely destroys your adrenals and once those are out of whack, every hormone in your body is out of whack. It is painful, excruciating, frustrating and maddening for me. How different my life may have been had I not poisoned my body for 17 years!

    • Yes, same with me! It killed my adrenals, too, in addition to the copper and stuff. I want to read that book, thought the same thing after reading “Ageless.” I really hope I can repair the damage, but there’s really no going back. I often wonder how different my health might be if I never went on the pill.

    • Susan, also, are you working with a doctor on hormone repair, etc? What have you been doing? I’m on some supplements and maca, but not sure if this will be enough.

      • I’m adding this info to the post, I’d never heard that the Pill makes your body think it’s in menopause, scary!

      • Hi Amy! I have been house-bound for 3 years now, and was bed-ridden for the first year. I’m able to go out and run an errand or two, but then need the next few days to rest. I have come so far, but I really would like my life -and my old body- back!! I’m so weak and flabby. And don’t get me started on the cortisol belly :(

        The first year, I worked with Dr. Lam’s office (he has a great website dedicated to adrenal issues), but it got too expensive. And as far as supplements go, I have hundreds and hundreds of dollars of supplements in my cabinets. Most have not worked for me. They revved up my adrenals even more and left me more sick. And books on adrenal issues? Sheesh! I have dozens of those too. How many times can you read the same thing? Get rest, eat well, avoid stress.

        But honestly, I feel my biggest steps toward being normal again have come since reading Cheeseslave’s tips on adrenal issues. The book “The Mood Cure” helped me tremendously. I have upped my liver intake and my CFLO. Magnesium is also helping. But the biggest difference has come in the last 3 weeks when I started making continous broth. I am having 4 cups a day and I am feeling a big difference with that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready to take on Cheeseslave’s new “kettleball challenge” because I still get winded sweeping my kitchen, but I swear I can almost feel the broth healing me.

        I’ve narrowed down my supplements, weeding out the ones that made me feel worse, but currently take an adrenal supplement, thyroid supplement, a B-complex, Vitamin C, and then manganese, GABA, melatonin and Rescue Remedy to go to bed. Oh! And I ground myself everyday with my earthing band.

        Sorry this is long, but I hope it helps! If you want some more info, maybe we should become good pals and just email each other!! :)

        • Hi Susan, wow that sounds like a terrible experience! Luckily I have not been hit that hard in the adrenal department. I feel a lot of fatigue, which got worse ironically after I stopped the pill due to a lot of stress, plus probably hormonal stress, but I am able to work, etc. I just rest a lot, and honestly my performance in all areas is not the most stellar. I had my mineral levels tested by hair analysis by a lab that diagnosed adrenal fatigue and low levels of almost every mineral except copper, which was overloaded. They go by the Paul Eck protocol and recommended supplements, which I am taking. It is essentially large amounts of calcium, magnesium, zinc and pantothenic acid, as well as digestive enzymes and taurine and vit d. They say that the calcium and magnesium allow the adrenals to rest, and until you allow them to rest they cannot heal. They actually said not to take supplements for most other minerals until the calcium and mg levels rise because the body can’t handle it yet. I’m taking maca as well for hormone health, as well as olive leaf extract to treat the yeast issues and whatever other bugs I may have. As well as kombucha and probiotics. And some chinese tea my accupuncturist gave me. And I’m prioritizing sleep and reducing stress. So far, this regimen has actually been really helpful. I’m operating at a significantly higher level than I was a few months ago, and I think my body is slowly starting to heal. My acne, which was awful this summer, is almost totally gone at this point, which is a good sign. I debate whether I should go to one of the doctors recommended in Suzanne’s book, but I’m going to continue with this protocol for now since it seems to be working, and then assess in a few more months.

          I can definitely see how bone broth would be helpful, too, with all of it’s assimilable minerals. Not to mention the gut healing. I hope you continue to get better! It sounds like you’re finally on the right track now. If this doesn’t work for me, maybe I’ll try the bone broth, but it’s tough to do when you’re working full-time.

          • Amy- I was hesitant to get involved with the broth thing myself, because even though I’m home all day, it always seemed like it would be so much work. Especially when my Italian husband who inhales food like a Hoover, would come home and drink all my efforts in one sitting. So I was very, very excited when I saw this post for perpetual soup. I make it on Sunday and it lasts all week! Even with my husband around!!

            The premise is that you take a cup out to drink and replace that cup with more water. Every time you drink broth, you replace with more water; over and over again. It really works. Sure by day 6 it is not as good as day 3, but it is still good. I have 3 people in my house drinking 3 or 4 cups a day -each! And it still keeps its flavor.

            My husband cuts up the chicken and we roast the breast for dinner, and then everything else goes into the crock pot. Some celery, onion, and seasonings and you are done!


            Hope this helps!!

  21. Ugh, I just got off the pill 8 months ago and it has been an experience. I was put on the pill for bad cramps 15 years ago, and was on it that entire time. I have never been pregnant, so I can only imagine what it’s done to increase my risk of BC. I have copper overload, and yeast issues that I’m still working to clear up (and who knows what else). I hope my fertility is still intact. My sex drive is better now but still not 100% to be honest. Now I use the barrier method, which I feel much safer about, and track my cycles. I learned from Suzanne Somers’ books that the pill makes your body think it’s in menopause, and when your body thinks it’s in menopause it doesn’t think you need to be protected from diseases, etc. because you’re no longer a reproductive person. Probably same with tubes being tied. I regret going on the pill more than any other life decision I ever made, and honestly am angry that no doctor ever made me aware of health risks (I am responsible now, but at 17, I did not know better, unfortunately). If I have a daughter someday I will do everything I can to keep her from going on the pill.

  22. Great article Kelly! Thanks for the reminder!! I have been on the birth-control pill since I was 15 as my ovaries blew up to the size of golf balls each month when I ovulated and I was in constant pain. The pill did not stop me from getting endometriosis and having surgery to get it removed. After the birth of my son (11 years ago) my hormones were completely out of control (my DH said that I was unbearable) and my OB/GYN suggested going back to the pills, but taking the hormones everyday with no break for a cycle. So, I have not had a period in approximately 11 years. I approached my new OB/GYN about weaning off the pill and, of course, she did not recommend it. I am terrified of what I am going to go through to get off them. I would love to stop cold-turkey, but know that would not be an option for me. If anyone has gone through this, please let me know how you did it! I want to get off them ASAP, but I have to be able to not make the people around me (and myself) miserable.TY!

    • Read “Ageless” by Suzanne Somers and go to a really good hormone doc (she has recommendations in the book and on her website).

    • Colleen, I just put something else on Facebook so I can’t do this yet (want to get some good replies to that reader question first), but in a couple hours I’ll put this up and see if we can get more people to respond there with suggestions to help you!

      So be on the lookout…


      • Colleen-

        Your story breaks my heart. It honestly sounds like you have a hormone allergy. I had one that caused my endometriosis. My doctor is one of the only ones in the nation that works in this area. He’s based in Austin, Texas, but I know he used to work with willing doctors in other areas to help them become educated on his protocol. I had been in daily, debilitating pain for years. Within 30 seconds of finding the right treatment (sublingual drops that work on the same principle as allergy shots) I felt different. Within 3 days I felt better. Within 3 weeks, I had my life back. I cannot recommend him enough. www (dot) onlineallergycenter (dot) com. Best of luck to you. God bless.

  23. My apologies if I’m repeating here (didn’t have time to read thru all the comments) but my conversion away from ABC (artificial birth control) came from a talk given by Dr. Janet Smith with One More Soul called ‘Contraception: Why Not?’ It speaks to the why of the Catholic Church’s teaching, but she also references a lot of very good secular facts as well – such as the socio-economic rammifications of using birth control. Loved this post-THANK YOU KELLY!

    BTW, we started out on the Billings-Ovluation method which wasn’t precise enough for me. I got NFP-envy at a mommy’s dinner when I discovered that everyone else was using the Sympto-Thermal Method ( and I switched. It was very overwhelming at first, but practice makes progress and now that I’ve got the hang of it I am so grateful for this method! I believe the secular term for NFP is FAM (fertility awareness methods).

    • Also, for anyone who’s into documentaries, I highly recommend Demographic Bomb and Demographic Winter. They don’t finger ABC specifically, it’s more about declining birth rates – but you can’t deny the link between the two!

  24. I was on the pill for 5 years before I had my first child. I didn’t think there was any damage since I was able to get pregnant within 3 months of quitting the pill and AFAIK I never had a miscarriage. I never went back to the pill and had another healthy child 5.5 years later. However, my gut flora got really bad. When I first went on pill I began having UTIs (not related) and I was on antibiotics something like 4 times in 6 months. I think that in combination with the pill really did me in. I’m glad I never went back and have been on GAPS for the past almost year to heal my gut.

  25. I’ve been on the pill for about two years now and for those two years (probably longer) I’ve been making lifestyle changes, one at a time. I’m happy to say that I’ve made so many positive changes and I really like the changes I see. But I am still on the pill. It’s something that bothers me and I plan to talk to my integrative doctor about other options the next time I go. NFP for avoiding pregnancy hasn’t worked for me (I can admit right now that that’s probably because I am not good at monitoring everything daily) and getting pregnant is not something I can risk right now. I’m wondering if anyone has thoughts on a ‘less bad’ artificial birth control option. Perhaps the ring b/c then the hormones won’t go through my digestive system? Or a copper IUD? But I use a mentrual cup and I’ve heard those don’t mix with IUDs. Maybe something herbal? I’m just looking for some advice to find a better option for me. Thanks!

    • I would say barrier method, like condom, sponge. diaphragm or cervical cap. Copper IUDs work by not allowing fertilized eggs to implant, which people may have ethical issues with, and they can cause their own health issues by giving the body too much copper. Combining both a male and female barrier method is pretty much foolproof. Or combine NFP with barrier for extra security. Having gone through it, I would encourage getting off the pill right away. The damage gets worse the longer you’re on it. It’s not worth it on any level, from my health experience. Get off while you’re still healthy.

  26. My sister had a sketchy history w/ ABC and several partners and lives w/ regret that her wild days led to her infertility. She didn’t have endometriosis and I don’t believe she even got a real diagnosis before she went ahead to IVF. Needless to say, they didn’t tell her why she was infertile and it was only after lots of $$$ and several unsuccessful attempts that she got pregnant – by luck. When she went for baby #2 with no success and again lots of $$$ for about 6 mo. she finally went for a diagnosis. She ended up having to get ‘plugs’ in her tubes to keep the fluid out that was backing into her tubes/uterus and preventing fertilization. I believe her husband had fertility issues as well. Now they have 2 very expensive children and she is sterilized (basically).

    I listened to an interview by Dr. Hilgers w/ the Pope Paul II institute in CA who had a woman come to him after 9 unsuccesful IVF attempts and she had never even been diagnosed! It turns out she had endometriosis and she was just throwing her money away trying to get pregnant without treating the cause for the infertility. Thru charting her cycles and strategic hormone shots, she was able to get pregnant naturally.

  27. Oh my gosh…what a timely post for me. I am 29 and been on birth control on and off (but mostly on) since about 18. I struggle with acne, which the birth control helps, but have been thinking lately that I really should try to go off it, to start detoxifying and preparing my body to have kids someday. But I am scared that my acne will flare up, PMS will come back, etc etc.

    Does anyone have any recommendations how to kind of help your body re-normalize itself after going off?

    • Katie- I took in a young man into my home after he had been kicked out of his house. He had terrible, terrible acne when he got here. Within weeks I had his skin looking like a baby’s behind! First off, real food, helped of course. But I also supplemented him with B-5, B-6 and vitamin C. Now there are some B complex pills that will have that combo, but what you want to do is buy these supplements separately. You can buy them cheap at Vitacost. Take them with your breakfast and lunch and if you don’t have adrenal issues or insomnia, you can take them with dinner too (otherwise they can be a bit too energizing on your body). These are water soluble vitamins, so you can’t OD on them.

      B-5 helps control excess oil in our skin, B-6 is healing to the skin and vitamin C helps fight off infection. I worked for a dermatologist for 8 years and saw all sorts of tricks for acne, but never did I see anything clean up acne the way those three vitamins have. Especially in such little time!

      Read Kelly and Cheeseslave’s posts on topical magnesium. It helps tremendously with PMS and cramps! If your gut has been telling you it might be wise to go off the pill, then you should listen to your instinct. It might really save you in the long run. Good luck!!

      • Susan –

        Wow, that is interesting about the vitamins! Someone else below also suggested vit. B and C, so I will definitely be starting those. I have made many improvements in my diet in the last 6 to 9 months (cut back on processed foods, started FCLO, raw milk, juicing vegetables etc.) so I bet that will also help in keeping my skin clear as I go off the pill. I’ll go read the posts on magnesium too.

        I definitely think I could benefit from going off the pill…. I think I have some mild candida issues, also some depression / anxiety and some pretty crazy mood swings (especially during “that” time of the month)! .. oh, and my libido probably isn’t what it should be for my age! LOL

        It would be nice to see how my body / personality is in it’s “natural” state (i.e. off all of the chemicals!). I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised, but we’ll see! :-)

      • Susan –

        Just curious, was the young man still eating any kind of grains when his acne cleared up? I just finished my last pack of pills on Saturday and don’t plan to start a new one! I am now taking the B-5, B-6, acerola powder, vit D and magnesium… and raspberry leaf and nettle teas… and following the Weston Price diet, for the most part. But I have significantly cut back on grains, based on articles by Dr. Mercola. He thinks grains and sugar are the worst thing for acne. I’m still eating fruit, and sourdough bread (just a few slices per week with lots of raw butter), and the occasional sweet.

        Just curious if I should really limit that stuff more strictly or if all the vitamins and healthy fats in my diet might offset some of the affects of the sweets and occasional grains…

  28. (Continued from above…) Here’s her question: “Great article Kelly! Thanks for the reminder!! I have been on the birth-control pill since I was 15 as my ovaries blew up to the size of golf balls each month when I ovulated and I was in constant pain. The pill did not stop me from getting endometriosis and having surgery to get it removed. After the birth of my son (11 years ago) my hormones were completely out of control (my DH said that I was unbearable) and my OB/GYN suggested going back to the pills, but taking the hormones everyday with no break for a cycle. So, I have not had a period in approximately 11 years. I approached my new OB/GYN about weaning off the pill and, of course, she did not recommend it. I am terrified of what I am going to go through to get off them. I would love to stop cold-turkey, but know that would not be an option for me. If anyone has gone through this, please let me know how you did it! I want to get off them ASAP, but I have to be able to not make the people around me (and myself) miserable. TY!”

  29. I would suggest whatever she does, to use detox foot pads to help pull out the drug residue that has been in her system for many years… that will help with the side effects… I can give her a free sample if she emails me from my website. Also, other recommendations: Wild Yam, absolutely NO SOY or soy-based products unless they are fermented and organic, and a good mineral complex. Good luck for her!

  30. I’d highly suggest she go to a natural practitioner of some sort – like an ND (Naturopathic Dr) or a specialized chiropractor that has experience with this. My guess is that her ovary issues are caused by more than just a hormonal imbalance – like adrenal or thyroid issues, PCOS, etc and the practitioner can help her make the changes and supplement naturally if needed. I don’t really have experience with this, but that would be my best thought.

  31. I would suggest going to see a naturopath for a second opinion. They are far more willing to work with patients to find alternate solutions. I would also suggest she continue her research into traditional eating (ie fermented foods, organ meat) for health.

  32. Oh my. Is her uterus still in tact? If so, it’s dangerous not to shed a lining. It can lead to cancer. I am on hormone replacement therapy, since my ovaries don’t function normally. I do use bio-identical hormones, which research has shown to be better than those derived from animal sources. I’ve used BCP as HRT before too. I feel so much better on the bio-identical. There are too many questions… how old is she? How is her body going to act now? Does she still have ovaries/uterus? It sounds like it could have been Polycystic Ovaries back when she was young. There are better things that BCP to help that. The BCP is just supressing her ovaries from ovulating and is masking what the true problem is.

  33. Katie, I would advise not going cold turkey. Shop around until you find a Dr that will help you wean off the Pill.
    Meanwhile, it is time to start tanking on supportive supplements.
    Daily Magnesium soaks and sprays as well as oral.
    Fermented cod liver oil.
    Real vitamin C (plain rose hip or Acerola Powder)
    Lots of extra D in the form of Twin Labs D Dots.
    B complex
    Red raspberry leaf and Nettle infusions

    • Paula –

      Thanks for the info! I guess I wasn’t thinking there was any other way but cold turkey – either start a new pack or don’t. But maybe it still wouldn’t hurt to find a doc or naturopath to help through the process.

      I looked up some of the supplements you mentioned. There is an herb and tea house here in town (Phoenix), so I think I will go this weekend and get the raspberry leaves, nettle and acerola. Luckily, I’ve already been doing FCLO, and have made other improvements in my diet over the last 6 months or so!

      I rememeber wondering if I needed magnesium when I read kelly’s post on it (last week?), so I will look into that too!

      Just a question in the vit. D… doesn’t FCLO have alot of vitamin D? Is it possible to get too much, if taking FCLO and extra vit. D supp’s?

      Thanks again!

  34. Acupuncture is also great for gynecological issues. And when your cycle is under control read Take Charge of Your Fertility for advice on non hormonal family planning. Good luck!

  35. Unfortunately, I was on the pill for 5 years before realizing how dangerous it was for my health. I am so glad to be off it, but my gut health has taken a HUGE beating. But this is SUCH an important issue to address! I see girls in middle school and high school being put on the pill for so many seemingly random reasons. Nutrition isn’t even considered–only what makes people money. Now look at the rise of infertility, PCOS, and other hormone-based issues that so many women have to deal with! Makes me so sad . . .

  36. Zinc/copper balance are crucial. I bet she’s copper toxic and zinc deficient and has been her while life. Please get copper serum and zinc plasma checked. Ferritin should also be considered. GAPS diet will help but probably not enough and supplementing with zinc picoliate should be considered. Zinc is fat soluble and shouldn’t supplement without testing first. Also, if you’re taking a mult-mineral, please make sure it doesn’t contain copper or iron. Most of us get too much copper and not nearly enough zinc. Copper pipes also emit copper in the water! Zinc is the most utilized mineral in the body and is also key in making digestive enzymes. Lack of zinc leads to digestive issues.

  37. Wow! Maybe I’m the old lady here, but I just went off the pill last May after 27 years on it. I’m 47. I never felt confident that I could raise children well and my husband went along with my choice, so we don’t have kids.

    I haven’t had a period since I went off the pill so I figure I’m in real menopause. I have hot flashes although I’ve had them for a couple of years and attribute it to being over weight. I went off the pill “cold turkey” because my husband and I started thinking that it probably isn’t really good for me (duh – we believed the doctors who said it was safe). We’ve been trying to eat healthier and more natural and organic. Luckily I haven’t had any health problems except “high cholesterol” for which I had been on a statin drug and have since gotten off that as well. Now the only thing I take are supplements. I have no idea what damage I’ve done to my body while on the pill, I guess time will tell. I’m sure my hormones are all out of whack as I have no sex drive, have hot flashes, I’m over weight…..other than that everything is okay……for now.

    I feel for all of you girls who are experiencing real health issues and problems with fertility and such. I’ve been kind of outraged about things I hear in the news about groups that want to ban birth control, of course I mainly think of the pill when I think of birth control and I think how that tiny little pill liberated women so many years ago and gave us a “say-so” in our reproductive health……but did it really do us any good?

    I think the subject of post ABC recovery is a good one and will look forward to hearing more about how women are doing it.

    • I would recommend Suzanne Somers’ books to you, too, for hormonal/menopause info. I found them so useful and am passing them along to my mom.

      I am honestly very angry about the pill. I took it for years having absolutely no idea that it was causing all of these symptoms I was experiencing (and certainly the doctors I saw didn’t know), and it has been costing me a lot of money to resolve everything. I didn’t even realize it could cause health problems until I got into real food and read some of these blogs, and it wasn’t until I read Somers’ books with all her interviews with hormone doctors that I really connected the dots. I don’t think the pill liberated women. There are plenty of barrier methods that do the same thing without the horrible health consequences. I think the pill should be banned, or at least come with extremely strong, black box health warnings. And the worst part is, overall women do not have any idea. I am trying to spread the word to my friends, Some of them don’t listen, but a few of them have and have stopped taking it. Some of my friends only realized after they stopped the pill how much it messed them up.

      • Btw, Kelly, I apologize for being such a comment hog today. This post really touched a nerve with me! I’m glad you’re spreading the word.

  38. I was in birth control for a couple years but i hated it… that’s not the point though, get this, i was told by my mother’s doctors and genetic specialists that i should be on the pill for at least five years before having kids to reduce my chances of breast cancer. I’ve never wrapped my head around that one, glad I didn’t listen to them…

  39. also go gluten free, I and my daughters noticed once we did alot of our hormones evened out, periods went to a more normal cycle. some people actually need more copper, I live in an area where there is a high iron content in the water I found once I increased my copper my hair slowed down its graying and no longer got sick as often, it depends on where you live, also what kind of water and pipes, no copper pipes anywhere around here.

  40. How is it that doctors seem to prescribe BCP for “everything”. They are given to young girls to regulate their periods and for acne, they are given to women to control unwanted pregnancy, they are used during infertility treatments to suppress/regulate/time cycles, they are given to women to manage their endometriosis, and the list goes on. I know many women who should be in menopause (50++ years) and they are still taking the pill. Seriously, there is really a miracle pill that SOLVES all of these issues?!

  41. It’s hard not to go cold turkey. You can’t really reduce the dose or anything but to make it easier on your body, go on a very clean diet like a paleo diet that removes foods that commonly cause inflammation like dairy, grains, vegetable oils and soy. Also see a good herbalist or naturalpath every week to get monitored and help you deal with any symptoms before they get bad.

  42. When I said the pill liberated women I just meant that it was an easy answer to the contraception that was available at the time. The pill came out in the 1960’s and before that the options were slim compared to what we have now. This also coincided with the “sexual revolution” of the 60’s.

    I too think the pill should have stronger health warnings and that doctors should be trained in what the health complications are and how to diagnose women properly.

  43. Something nobody thinks about is how the pill messes with your hormones. I was on the mini pill after my second child and I know that it either caused or exaggerated my PPD. I’ve talked to many friends who have also come to the same conclusion between their own PPD and the mini pill. Doctors really should give all the side effects AND explain that there is a natural alternative. The fact that everyone is getting on the pill at ridiculously early ages (13, 14????) before they need to, for whatever reason (usually because they want easier menstrual cycles) is horrifying. One, doctors should help these kids fix their problems naturally and two, the thought of what all those years before childbirth is doing to them is terrifying.

  44. My only experience with the pill is taking part in a six-month research study, long ago, for which all the participants had to be on the pill. I don’t remember what in our blood they were measuring, but for the participation we got the pill supply and checkups free, so I thought it would be a good way to try it out, thinking that they’d catch any problems that might develop. But I never got my own prescription for it after the study ended, thank goodness. (I did develop endometriosis (and candidiasis), and had surgery eventually. Condoms always worked fine for me.)

    I’ll never forget how one of the other study participants told me she’d previously gotten pregnant while on the pill!

  45. Thank you for this post! I wish I could take back the 3 years I spent on the pill. I have always had irregular periods and have been very erratic since going off the pill one and a half years ago. Had a copper IUD for the past 14 months but decided I was tired of fighting my body and tired of rationalizing the use of potentially abortifacient birth control methods so I took it out a couple weeks ago. I ready TCOYF cover to cover in July and have been trying to chart off and on since then but the IUD messed up my CM, and my temperatures were all over the place so I never gave it a good effort. I am diligently charting now and it’s just depressing. I am day 25 of my cycle, and my temps are all over, and my CM does not seem to indicate ovulation yet. I am determined to balance my hormones and make this work…thanks to bloggers like you who educate and make this information available.

  46. WOW! Talk about the power of the web! Thanks to all of you who have given me suggestions and things to think about. I made the decision that it was going to be cold turkey and I stopped taking the birth control pill yesterday. Heaven help my DH and DS, but I realized that no matter how I do it, it’s not going to be pretty and it’s easier to rip the band-aid off all at once. Plus there is a good chance that I am or will be in menopause very soon. If nothing else, the next few months should prove interesting…

    Thanks again to everyone for their support!

  47. I must say I’m confused. Your link didn’t explain much in the way of NFP to me, but basically if one isn’t intimate when one is fertile one won’t get pregnant? Pardon my cynicism…using NFP there’s no WAY I should have been able to get pregnant on day 21 of a 25 day cycle…but here I am.

    • Hi Marion, you’re right – there is a failure rate with this as with any method. The research shows that when abstinence is observed during the fertility phase (and there are degrees of ‘fertile’ leading up to the most fertile on the day of ovulation), this method has a failure rate of 0.4 percent. It’s a little less reliable when couples use a barrier method during the woman’s fertile phase.

      The way the method works is by teaching women how to recognize signs that they are gearing up to ovulate. Such that even if your cycles are always 30 days (for example), you can’t assume that you’re going to ovulate around days 14/15/16. You watch for evidence that you’re about to ovulate.There might be months where you ovulate earlier or later but you would be able to determine that via these external markers of what’s happening hormonally and so would be able to avoid a pregnancy or properly time intercourse to achieve a pregnancy.

      In your case, I wonder if your ovulation was delayed for some reason that month – illness, stress, etc…

  48. I’ve been on the pill with excellent results for more than 10 years. My periods are irregular, awful, heavy, and make me dangerously dizzy. Maybe I’ll feel better after I get my nutrition on track but for now I am happily keeping my continuous contraception.

    I’m a bit dubious of some of the science in the cited articles, especially the breast cancer link. The best studies I can come up with show a link that high only when there is a strong family history of breast cancer. What has interested me most is the evidence that hormonal birth control provides a reduced risk of ovarian cancer ( I’m also not convinced, for women like me, that having so many periods throughout one’s adult life is healthy. Evolutionarily I should be having children every 4 years starting in my late teens with periods of amenorrhea while breast feeding. The endless menstrual cycles seem just as unnatural as my preventing them completely.

    That said, I think the risks of the pill are ignored completely by GPs and totally glossed over by Gyns. I think my great experience on the pill puts me in a minority, especially as I’ve watched girl friends have horrible results. It’s also important to note that the hormone levels in the pill have been an experiment since day 1 (when they were quite high). Every new pill that gets released has lower and lower hormone levels, which I’m sure is best.

    • I have to agree with Anne- I am super pleased with my experience on BC, and I am very surprised to hear all the talk of low sex drive. I still have a very healthy drive.. if that’s lower I’d be afraid of what it would be off the pill!
      I am not ever having children, and use barrier PLUS BC to make absolutely SURE it can’t happen. I don’t know that I would ever feel confident by using a cycle method or cycle + barrier. I am concerned about chemicals, hormone interference etc, but I have not noticed ANY difference on or off BC, or between brands. All the issues listed here are completely foreign to me & I haven’t had friends with issues like these either…

      • I am so glad I’m not the only one who feels like this!! I am in the same boat, I do not want children, we use BC pills and barrier method and I still worry some, so while I’m concerned about chemicals, I don’t know how to get an easier piece of mind!

  49. I was on the pill for 3 years after I got married, before we decided to start trying for children. When I got off the pill I had 3 miscarriages over almost 2 years before I went to a fertility specialist. She told me I was PCOS and that I needed to lose weight before I got pregnant. So she put me on a different pill, which has since been shown to cause gall bladder issues, among other things, while I ate low fat and lost weight on Xenical. I think we did three rounds of Clomid, which I think hurt more than they helped because when we finally gave up on the Clomid was when I got pregnant. I still had low estrogen and progesterone with both of my subsequent pregnancies and had to wear estrogen patches through most of my first trimester both times. When my oldest was about 6 months old I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and was told it commonly happens after pregnancy. My second was born 5 weeks early because I had gallstones that caused pancreatitis. It wasn’t until after my gall bladder was removed that I started on my real food journey. Since then I have stopped needing my thyroid replacement and I am pregnant again. This time I didn’t need any hormone supplementation at all, I didn’t even pick my midwife until I was 11 weeks pregnant. I thank God for you, Kelly, and Katie who introduced me to you because this baby is going to be the healthiest one so far because of everything I have learned from y’all.

  50. All I can think of when I read posts like this is HOW THANKFUL I am to have found Weston Price, real food and natural medicine. It has saved my life, and the life of my future children, friends, peers and hopefully one day, family. Praise THE LORD.

  51. My sweet hubby and I dated for 4 years before we got married and stayed pure throughout the entire relationship. I got on the pill two months before we were married and looking back, I realize that the reason the last two months were so much easier for me to stay pure than previous months was because the pill totally killed my sex drive. It stayed that way for almost two years until I came off the pill last May. I noticed a difference almost immediately in my libido & realized that the pill had caused my lack of interest. That was the only side effect I experienced (that I know of), but after all the reading I have done, I am totally against the pill now. Thank you for exposing the truth!

  52. Just wanted to offer up another option for birth control for those that are overwhelmed or scared of natural family planning. I use a LadyComp fertility monitor and love it. It takes your temperature first thing in the morning then gives you a simple red, green or yellow light. Red for fertile days (flashing red for ovulation)’ green for no chance of pregnancy and yellow for possible chance. It learns your cycle over time so you get fewer and fewer yellow lights as time goes on. If you abstain during the red days, the monitor is just as effective as the pill. It also gives you a six day forecast of your cycle. I have loved how I don’t really have to think about it, but yet became so aware of my cycles and symptoms. It also included my husband in decisions every month. It’s a little pricey, but was well worth the cost to me. Hope this helps someone who is scared of making the transition from chemical means to more natural ones.

    • Thanks for the suggestion Megan! I’m going to try this. I’ve wanted to try the “natural” methods for a while so I can be done with the hormones once and for all, but all of them seemed really difficult and tedious, and also with a lot of room for user error (it seems like a lot of unplanned pregnancies happen with them). This seems much better!

  53. I should also note that it was ver easy to transition from preventing to trying for pregnancy. We got pregnant our first try three times.

  54. Hi all,

    I stumbled upon this post randomly this morning and it is very informative and scary! I’m 23 and have been on the pill since I was 18. However, I was prescribed to go on the pill following abdominal surgery to remove two large (and very painful!) ovarian cysts. The cysts were a result of ovulating into sacs so I was put on the pill to prevent any future cysts.

    Now it doubles as a preventative medicine for my cysts as well as a birth control. If I was just on it for birth control I wouldn’t have a problem going off it and looking to other alternatives but I’m on it because of these cysts. Does anyone know of another way to treat that instead of the pill? As far as I was made aware (and to be honest I don’t remember much about my hospital stay) the other alternative was to just be aware if I was in any pain in that area and to get checked out if I was. For me, I don’t think I would be able to differentiate between pain from that or normal cramps (mostly bc the first time it happened I didn’t think anything was wrong!) I don’t want to be on the pill if it can affect my fertility and healthy down the line but I don’t want to continue getting cysts and having surgeries or procedures to get rid of them either.

    Any suggestions?

    • Managing ovarian cysts is an involved process. BC is the easy way: take a pill, don’t worry about it. However, there are other ways of doing it. Firstly I would recommend Dr John Lee’s books, as he describes an amazing protocol using progesterone cream. Secondly, you must get your diet to be as healthy as possible. No refined grains, and any grains that you wish to have must be prepared properly (ie, soaking, sprouting or fermenting.) Some people find it easier to simply give up all grains, and that is an acceptable way to go. You must also eliminate all industrially processed seed oils (ie, canola, soy, corn, etc. Anything labeled “vegetable oil” must go) and give your body lots and lots of good fats, and especially cholesterol. The reason that your ovaries are not bursting their egg sacks and forming corpus lutems is because there is a lack of progesterone and/or an abundance of estrogen. You must fix this. Avoid all forms of soy, very strictly, and make sure that any cosmetic or toiletry items have no parabens in them. The other thing you must do is chart your cycles. The book Taking Charge Of Your Fertility is the best book on the market to teach you how to become away of what is happening in your body. For example, you say you don’t know if the pain is a new cyst, or if it’s just normal period cramps? It’s easy to tell if you are charting, because you can see if your temperature has jumped and if you have exhibited signs of ovulation. It’s not easy to do, being healthy. It’s far easier to simply take a pill every day and not think about it. But it’s important to become healthy. Over time, as you adjust to the new routine of health, it becomes second nature to simply pop a thermometer on your mouth in the morning, and write down the temp. Then put progesterone cream on at night if you need it, and head off to bed. Getting into the routine is more difficult. And as always, you can go to a naturopath to help you.

    • Amy,
      My daughter is a nurse who has ovarian cysts but who is now being treated by a specialist who treats hormone imbalances and ovarian cysts. My daughter was prescribed birth control for so long, but was told the high level of estrogen worsened her condition. My daughter visited the ER every month, but now is doing so much better since off birthcontrol pills and on progesterone and some other meds to keep hormones in balance. Hope you can find a doctor who treats hormone imbalance. My daughter lost one ovary and thank God she found a specialist who is saving her other ovary. Take care, and will pray for you. Mary

  55. I first used the pill at age 23 after our first child was born. I tried the mini-pill for several months, but didn’t like the side effect (acne). So I switched to the regular pill, and tried two different brands, but didn’t like the side effects of those either (weight gain on one/severe PMS on the other). Also, I was nursing while on the mini-pill, and I could kick myself for that to this day. After about a year on different pills, I quit using them and haven’t used them since, thank goodness. We went back to our old method that is safe, doesn’t mess with your body or hormones and is reliable as long as you use it 100% (condoms). I’ve looked into NFP, but because I shouldn’t have any more children, it’s not an option for us. I can’t take that risk.

  56. I was wondering if anyone had any leads on research regarding the way male and female hormones interact during/affect sex. Specifically I’m trying to find scientific basis for my own experience of having my libido murdered when engaging with women on oral contraception.

    Thank you!

  57. HELP! I went off the pill in January after reading this story (after being on it for 10+ years). The first couple of months off the pill were fine, but now 7 months off, I have gained about 10 pounds (seems to be in my middle section), pretty bad acne is back… mostly jaw line, forehead and HORRIBLE chest and back acne UGH!! Oh, and a lovely little mustache on my upper lip!! I am having regular periods, about every 35 days. No idea if I’m actually ovulating or not.

    Does this sound like PCOS to anyone? I was actually on the pill AND Spironolactone prescribed by a dermatologist. Spironolactone has the affect of decreasing testosterone, which helps those of us who seem to have high level of androgens (at least this is what seems to be my case, based upon what I read). I’m guessing the Pill and the Spironolactone were working together to regulate my hormones, keeping all these ugly (literally) symptoms at bay!

    I feel SO depressed and disgusting! I haven’t been able to wear a tank top all summer due to this weight gain and horrible chest and back acne (and I live in Arizona!!). I’ve always dealt with acne, so I’m kind of used to that, but this weight gain thing is totally new to me. I’ve always had a flat stomach no matter what I ate! Now there is a definite “pooch”.

    I have been taking the Vit B-5 and B-6, vitamin C, vitamin D and cod liver oil this whole time, based on the previous suggestions… but obviously hasn’t completely helped. I bought some Red Raspberry leaf tea and Nettle tea, but haven’t been drinking it that much.

    I just ordered Taking Charge of your Fertility and the Pre-Menopause book by John R Lee on Amazon, so I’m hoping those will help.

    Some options I have come across in my limited research are Saw Palmetto and Licorice Rt. which I think I saw might help decrease testosterone. And Vitex, which helps regulate hormones. And also Progesterone Cream. And there is a recipe on the Naturally Knocked Up blog for a tea which includes Dandelion Root, Red Raspberry leaf, Red Clover, Rose hips and Nettle Leaf… which might help.

    Does anyone have any experience in using these or know if all of them can be used together?

    Ugh… I’m so angry that my doctors were just throwing these meds at me without ever explaining what actually might be going on with my hormones or fixing the real cause! I’m 30 and just now figuring this all out!!

      • Thanks, Kelly! I’m on a yahoo group for one of the local chapters.. I looked through the archives (thinking that naturopaths have probably been discussed before) and found one who has tons of experience and specializes in women’s health and even teaches at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine… it seems like she’s pretty good.

        I have an appointment next Friday!

  58. UGH… This article leaves me so very frustrated with the professionals who have screwed up by not telling thier patients the truth. I have battled with endmoetriosis for a long time. I had my first surgery to remove a cyst in 2000, the cyst was 12 inches long and 5 lbs. no way around not having surgery. Because my Dr. knew I wanted children she tried to leave at least 1/4 of my left ovary as my right ovary had to be taken aswell as the tube. Well thankfully I gave birth to my daughter in 2003 with only a 1/4 of an ovary. Then a few years later in 2009 I had to have another surgery they removed the more ovary leaving what they could so as I wouldn’t have to take hormone replacement, here is where it gets tricky while in this surgery they removed my other tube just leaving me with a partial ovary and a uterous. Thus leaving me without the choice or ability to have anymore children naturally. I was very upset, but what could I do? When I go back for my followup the Dr. proceeds to show me photos they had taken during surgery to show me what they had done and then suggests I start Lupron shots, which I trusted him and went on them, after I finished the 3 rounds of those I went on Seasonique and have been on ever since. Not realizing all the while I placed my trust in professionals who are suppose to look after the health of women NOT destroy it! While I like not having to deal with a menstral cycle every few months as they are extremely painful and VERY heavy, I now am at crossroads and don’t know what to do to help myself so that I could come off all this medication. My Gyno also has me on Glucophage as she determined I have metabolic syndrome and at risk of diabetes as it runs in my family! HELP, lost and confused after reading this. I don’t want to cause further harm to my body, but I don’t know what to do to not have more problems with endometriosis as mine is very severe without medications?

    • Hi Alicia,

      I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through!!! If I were you I’d do some asking around (maybe at your local WAPF chapter group?) to find a good natural practitioner who could help you moving forward from here.

      Hugs to you and prayers for your complete healing! :)


  59. I guess I wish I could get some information about the best choice for birth control in my less common situation: I currently take the pills (and use protection), my husband and I do not want children at all, which causes us to stay away from sex more than we’d both prefer–I was hoping I’d be able to consider a hysterectomy in several years, but learning more about those complications, and knowing the birth control pill side effects esp. the older I get, I wish I knew what else is truly effective for someone who does not under any situation want children. (And yes, please spare me–I know it’s what my body supposedly was “made for,” but it’s not what I want.) I also am on the pills to keep ovarian cysts at bay which I have suffered from several forming & bursting–those were primarily before switching to a whole foods diet but they are so painful (and expensive from ER/dr visits), that I’m afraid to see if I will have them again if I go off the pills.

  60. Thank you!!! I was on the pill several years ago. I ditched the hormonal contraception in favor of the copper IUD. The hormones literally turned me into a raging psychopath every month. With the IUD, I had 1-2 days of irritability and upset, but NOTHING compared to the clinical psychosis. A week ago, I had the IUD removed. (I’m done, I’ll be TTC in the somewhat near-ish future. Also, the drawback of Paragard is the cramps. And menstruating/dealing with period-related things for all but 7-8 days of my cycle.) They gave me the morning-after pill. I have now had two periods within three weeks (bleeding from hormone disruption)… And I’ve gotten a memory refresher on how TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY PSYCHOTIC SYNTHETIC HORMONES MAKE ME!!!!! Holy cow. I think the word “psychosis” is a very mild descriptor. We’re talking total breakdown here. Suicidal ideations, self-injurious urges, etc. I’ve been a mess. Hopefully, this bull**** clears out of my system soon and I can get back to cycling regularly and happily.

    • Youza, girl, you’ve been through it haven’t you??

      If you need help with any specific issues, be sure to email me or send a Facebook message and I can ask on my FB wall – my readers are SO smart and have dealt with a lot of different things and can really help you. (

      Hugs going out to you and prayers going up!

  61. Gosh some comments have really hit home.

    I was on the pill for 10 years from 17. Each time I visited the doctor my blood pressure was check and I was given a new prescription. Never was I told of the deficiencies or implications. I wanted to get off the pill but was deterred each time.

    I have been off for 2 years now, it has been hard and my body has been all over the place.

    I was diagnosed with alopecia, am autoimmune disease 4 or 3 yrs ago. I am questioning if there is a link to this and the time I have been on the pill. I am also wondering if leaky gut syndrome is tied to it as well. The pill can cause this which then leads to an auto immune disease.

    Regret the pill, wish there was more education and awareness. I question anything artificial these days including antibiotics.

  62. Hi there,

    Thanks for this article! I became aware of these facts about 2 years ago, so I immediately stopped taking the pill. Since that very moment I have had the most painful periods ever. The pain is so strong that my body reacts with diarrhea, vomiting, sometimes it results in me fainting, etc. I have been to various doctors to get it checked and they all claim there is nothing wrong (I even had an operation because they thought it was endometriosis but they didnt find anything!), so now they tell me that the only solution is to start taking the pill again.

    I really don’t want to, but I am already living quite a healthy life (so not that much to change there) and I don’t know what else to do, because I really don’t want to continue with these painful periods.

    Does anyone have any other ideas/suggestions??? I would be really grateful for any help!

    • Steph,

      I’d go to one or two (or three for more opinions) naturopathic or holistic docs for answers!!

      You shouldn’t have to stay in pain like that!!

      I’ll pray you find answers, also, I’ll post this on my Facebook page & see if we can get more ideas of what could help.


    • Try the herb Vitex, aka chasteberry. It is known for reducing menstral pains, also oral iodine drops. You can get iodine on amazon. Lugol’s is a good tyoe. Hope that helps!!

  63. I was on the pill for almost 7 years and had the Mirena in for five, and now am learning that my hormones are a mess which is making getting pregnant difficult. I wish I had know the damage I was doing to my body when I was younger. I will never go on hormonal birth control again, natural family planning only for me!

  64. My doctor took me off pills containing estrogen back in the early 90’s because my bp went up and he told me then that estrogen can cause elevated bp. So, if I were her, I would change doctors. Seems like her doctor just doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s definitely not new information.

  65. She asked her dr, who get a kick back for scrips he writes, if the scrip she’s taking could be causing her harm. I wonder what percentage of his answer was based on ignorance, and what percentage was based on how much he’s paying for his next vacation.

  66. My doctor convinced me Implanon was the way to go, I had nothing but problems after it was inserted and had to fight with them to take it out, shortly there after it was taken off the market, the one that replaced it is part of a class action law suit…. No thanks our health for a few dollars :(

    • I think it’s interesting that you had to fight to get them to take it out. It just goes to show how motivated doctors are to keep people on drugs! Maybe there is a population reduction agenda tied to this class of drugs as well, that prevents doctors from applying good judgement to patients who are clearly having problems with it.

    • Quite possibly, I was in a stuck position as well because at this time there were only 3 doctors in my state using it so I had to go to one of them, or the hospital to get it out, prior to getting it (which I was very hesitant) I talked lengthy with the doctor due to always having issues with birth control including but not limited to getting pregnant while on it :(

  67. you know you need a new doctor when….Every single time I took them (2 different times in my life) they asked if I smoke. Why? Because they said if I smoke while on them it doubles the chance of heart problems. Common sense says if smoking+ BC doubles it, then risks are higher just by taking it compared to taking nothing.

  68. If we even just think about what drugs do. They interfere with or totally HALT a normal body process. Give hormones to STOP a normal hormonal process.. Like we’re not even FIXING anything. Then think of anything else. BP meds, GERD meds, diabetes meds. It doesn’t FIX anything, just shuts off our bodies’ response to the symptoms. What havoc man is wreaking with his natural body processes by doing this to himself. So sad.

    I was a victim of this mentality for years. Then got autoimmune hashimoto and had my thyroid taken out!!! Did it CURE anything? No of course not. The inflammation started attacking me all over.

    Stop the insanity folks and get in tune with the body God gave you.

    Stop all the dyes and artificially perfumed fragrances in EVERYTHING, artificial colors and sweeteners in EVERYTHING, adulterated ingredients in EVERYTHING.

    Then Detox detox detox. And go WHOLE REAL NATURAL.

  69. I developed a DVT when I was on birth control pills. My gyn swore there is no way they were related to it, but my internal medicine doctor was equally convinced they were the prime culprit. Even mainstream doctors can’t agree with each other!

  70. When I was 21 I was on birth control pills and started having chest pains and breathing issues. When I asked the Dr if the pills could be causing it he said no. After a million tests–heart tests ecocardiogram etc I asked the Dr if I should stop taking the pill. He said–Do you want to get pregnant. Anyway, I listened to my gut stopped taking the pill and all my symptoms went away!

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