I took the birth control pill since I was 16 on and off. I was sexually active so I figured it was a necessity. However, there was always an intuitive concern in the back of my mind about the hormones and chemicals that were going into my body on a daily basis. I had struggled with mental health issues, and I thought that maybe birth control played a role in that. Turns out I was right.
This is why I’m such a huge proponent of following your intuition. The intuition is a higher form of wisdom that cannot be rationally explained, but it can help guide us in making the best decisions for our health. Your body has an innate wisdom, and it knows what it needs. Those needs may or may not be aligned with the values of society or the mind. In my mind, I figured I needed to be on the birth control pill if I was having sex. But then I thought… why didn’t men have to do the same? Why don’t men have to put these hormones into their bodies to have sex? It was one of the first thoughts I had that started to change my perspective on the topic, and it honestly made me feel a bit angry at the time.
When I was putting the birth control pill into my body, I was not fully loving myself. I was doing it for convenience purposes and so that I could have sex and not worry about getting pregnant. But I wasn’t thinking about the effect it might be having on my body (which I was quite dissociated from for many years). As someone who studied public health, I know that Western medicine has more of an agenda of preventing unwanted pregnancies over promoting natural health. I used to be on that train as well, until I started recognizing the side effects of hormonal birth control pills.
I remember the first one I took at age 16– it caused my breasts to become so tender that they hurt, and I started having trouble with self-lubricating. I quickly went off that one and opted for another brand. For years I switched or went on and off different brands. I convinced myself that there were no side effects, that what I was feeling was just part of who I was, but my mental health over those years gradually worsened. I can now see a big correlation in my own life between being on the birth control pill and the state of my own mental health. And even though doctors may tell us that the side effects are minimal or not to be worried about, only you know what is best for your own body.
I’d been thinking of going off the pill for a long time, and once my ex and I broke up (in January 2018), I stopped taking them and haven’t looked back since. So I’ve been totally birth control pill-free for a year now, and I’ve never felt better. I have made other significant lifestyle changes as well, but I feel as if the hormones from the pill were being slowly leached out of my body for the past year. And perhaps they are still continuing to be.
There are plenty of other non-hormonal birth control methods, such as the copper IUD. I also use an app on my phone called Flo to track my period.
My biggest goal is to help others take control of their own health as I am doing for myself. The current state of our healthcare system is a reflection of the health of our country, which is overall not good. We can take responsibility for our own health, but only if we are informed. When I was 16 going on the pill, I was not thinking very logically or considering the health of my own physical body. I just wanted to have sex without having to worry about getting pregnant, and it was the best option at the time. No one would have been able to convince me otherwise because I was extremely stubborn.
Going off the pill is not for everyone. If you are having sex frequently then I don’t recommend it. But perhaps it’s time for a change in perspective. Think about your body as a temple– do you really want to be adding extra hormones into it? Are you compromising your own health for the sake of convenience?
The body is extremely sensitive– much more than we may be aware. For me, it was the state of my mental health that inspired the change. Some people go on the pill for purposes other than birth control (painful periods, PCOS, etc.), but the body is also speaking to us through those symptoms. More natural methods of relief are attainable.
The birth control pill, like antidepressants, which I have also taken in the past, can seem to be an easy fix for these unwanted symptoms, but they also have side effects of their own. The body is extremely intelligent and these symptoms are usually indicative of underlying issues in the emotional or subconscious body that need to be resolved. Natural healing can do a lot to improve the state of the emotional and physical body.