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Five Ways the Birth Control Pill Negatively Impacts Long-Term Fertility
How many women do you know that have taken the birth control pill? More than likely, it is almost all of them. The birth control pill is one of the most prescribed medications, and not just for pregnancy prevention. What if I told you that the pill, while freely taken by most women at some point in their lives, may actually not be good for long-term fertility? Birth Control Pills
Birth control is prescribed for preventing pregnancy and controlling acne, but also for a variety of fertility issues such as endometriosis, PCOS, ovarian cysts, pain associated with fertility issues, PMS, and irregular menstrual cycles. Sounds pretty great, right? But, is it? Birth Control Pills
A simple internet search of the statement how using birth control impacts fertility will lead you to a list of resources that say, to sum up the medical viewpoint, taking an oral contraceptive pill, aka the Pill, will not impact your future fertility.
Older studies (there are very few current studies), as well as articles on the web, report that women who use birth control don’t have trouble conceiving naturally after stopping its use and get pregnant just as fast as other women, even if they’ve used birth control for years. Birth Control Pills
In fact, one rather large study in which 2,000+ women reported, titled the European Active Surveillance Study on Oral Contraceptives, concluded that “Previous oral-contraceptive use does not negatively affect initial and 1-year rates of pregnancy after oral-contraceptive cessation…” Birth Control Pills
Why then, are we seeing very different results with our clients?
Every day, we work with women who have stopped using long-term birth control (anywhere from 1 to 20 years) and are now experiencing a variety of concerning fertility-related symptoms and health issues.Our abundance of case histories has led us to believe that the answer is most certainly not black and white. We have learned that taking the pill can negatively impact long-term fertility. Birth Control Pills
Prolonged use of birth control confuses the body and may negatively impact long-term fertility in the following ways:
1. disruption of the menstrual cycleFertilityFriend.com shares that studies show the following:
- 10.24% of all first cycles after discontinuing oral contraceptives were not ovulatory (compared with 3.44% of the control group).
- Significant differences also appeared in the second and third cycles after discontinuing oral contraceptives.
- Cycles were longer in the post-pill group up to cycle number 12.
- Cycle disturbances (defined as a luteal phase length of less than 10 days or a cycle length greater than 35 days) were more frequent in the post-pill group until the seventh cycle.
- Cycle disturbances after discontinuing oral contraceptives were reversible, but regulation took up to nine months or longer.
2. Hormone imbalance: Synthetic hormone-containing birth control may provide symptom relief, but it does not address the underlying imbalance that is fueling or contributing to the fertility issue being dealt with.
What the pill is doing is introducing synthetic forms of estrogen and progesterone to the body, which then prevents the body’s natural, beneficial hormones from bonding to hormone receptor sites. Introducing synthetic hormones into the body may further exacerbate hormone imbalance by overloading it.
3. Disrupted ovulation—The synthetic hormones contained in birth control regulate the release and timing of specific hormones in the body to prevent ovulation. This is not how the normal release of hormones plays out in a naturally occurring menstrual cycle. It is necessary, as you know, to ovulate a mature, healthy follicle (egg) in order to achieve a natural pregnancy. Birth Control Pills
The Pill prevents the maturation of a follicle for ovulation, one of the ovaries’ most important jobs. Over time, the ovaries may “forget” how to do their job on their own because they haven’t been signaled with the right hormones at the correct time in the menstrual cycle. Birth Control Pills
4. Cervical mucus changes—The Pill has been shown to thicken cervical mucus so that sperm cannot reach the egg. Healthy cervical mucus is important for conception because it helps sperm travel through the vagina and the cervix to meet and fertilize an egg.
5. Alters the uterine lining – The Pill alters the uterine lining, rendering it unsuitable for the implantation of a fertilized egg.By controlling the body’s estrogen and progesterone levels with synthetic hormones, the pill does not allow for the proper levels of progesterone to build a healthy uterine lining for implantation. Birth Control Pills
Many women begin taking the pill at a very young age and don’t stop until they want to begin trying to conceive. The Pill doesn’t cause infertility but impacts long-term fertility by “silencing a woman’s biological clock for so long that, in some cases, they forget it’s ticking away.” In other cases, women ignore or forget that they are dealing with a fertility issue because the symptoms have gone away.
There can be negative side effects.
Like all medications, birth control pills can have side effects. The hormones in the pill can change your level of sexual desire. You may also notice spotting or bleeding between periods (this is more common with progestin-only pills), sore breasts, nausea, or headaches. These side effects usually go away after 2 or 3 months, and they don’t happen to everyone who takes the pill. Birth Control Pills
There can be some rare but serious risks.
Serious problems from taking the birth control pill are very rare. People using birth control that has estrogen, like combination pills, have a slightly higher chance of having a few rare but dangerous problems than people who don’t use birth control with hormones.
For more information about side effects, talk with your nurse or doctor, or read the package insert that came with your pills.
What warning signs should I be aware of?
Most people on the pill won’t have any problems at all. But just in case, it’s good to know what the signs of a serious issue are.
See a doctor or nurse right away if you have:
- sudden back or jaw pain along with nausea, sweating, or trouble breathing.
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- aching pain in your leg
- trouble breathing
- severe abdominal or stomach pain
- Suddenly, a severe headache
- Headaches that are unusual, worse, or occur more frequently than usual
- (seeing flashing, zigzag lines)
- skin or eye discoloration
You can always call a nurse or doctor, like the ones at your local Planned Parenthood health center, if you have questions or you’re worried about any health issues.
The bottom line is this: women trying to control the symptoms of a fertility issue by taking the pill are not addressing the underlying imbalance that is fueling or contributing to the fertility issue. Instead, they are using synthetic medications to control the symptoms of the problem while simultaneously allowing the body to defy nature.
To learn more about how birth control impacts fertility health and what can be done to help the body recover, please read our article How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control… [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css= .vc_custom_1455099660912border-radius: 2px!important; background-color: #ddcdad!important;”][vc_column] [vc_column_text]
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