The oral contraceptive pill (OCP) is the most used pharmaceutical drug used worldwide, with a remarkable 8 out of 10 women taking the OCP. Since its first approval by the FDA in 1960, it has been praised for its host of beneficial impacts upon women's lives. This 'wonder pill' for many years and even today is deemed as the beacon of sexual liberation by giving women greater control over their sex lives and also assisting in a host of premenstrual and hormonal issues including acne, PMS symptoms, polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis. But do we really know what this drug is doing to our bodies?
Many women are led blindly by their doctors as young as 14 when they begin menses to begin their first course of the oral contraceptive pill, whether it be to prevent hormonal acne, period pain or as a form of contraception - and remarkably continue to stay on this pill for most of their adolescent and adult lives up until they are ready to finally conceive, which can be up to 15 years or more! And when women finally do come of the pill, either to conceive or to simply 'have a break' - there are no surprises in the fact that the symptoms they went on the pill for, simply present themselves again, sometimes by ten fold. This actually really strikes a cord with me of disgust at the western medical system - yet again just 'masking' a problem not actually sorting out the root cause of the hormonal issues in the first place.
For me personally, this topic is one I am severely passionate about. I went on the pill at the age of 18 and was on it for 6 years straight, no breaks. I originally went on the pill to sort out my hormonal skin break outs and for contraceptive reasons, and I was pleasantly surprised that my skin cleared up within 3 months, despite the fact the pill turned me into a mega emotional bitch while my hormones were adjusting. The entire time I was on the pill I never really thought twice about what this thing was that I was taking every morning, it just came part of my normal routine - wake up, roll over, pop pill, continue on with my day. However it was not until early 2011, I decided to come off the pill - this coincided with my quest to 'detox' my life, to get out all the artificial drugs, artificial people, artificial food and just go back to basics and re-wild, if you will. The entire 6 years I knew there was something not normal about having a 'fake' period and messing about with my hormones. However, I knew I was taking a huge risk, this pill had been my safety net 'skin-wise' for the past 6 years.
Anyways a few months after coming off the pill, yes my skin started to break out a little bit - and has been 'temperamental' to say the least since then, however the remarkable thing despite the whole hormonal pimples is that - I only started menstruating THREE MONTHS AGO! So it has taken literally 18 months for my hormones adjust again and receive a normal menstruation cycle again. To me, this does not seem normal, to take that long to start menstruating again, and I have been researching and researching and apparently yes this is "normal" - according to the western conventional medical world. I was told by one doctor that if I don't start menstruating after 2-3 years, then we should start worrying/running tests - I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I have asked many women over the past year and a half about their stories of coming off the pill and this is quite the norm - not receiving their regular flow for up to 3 years post the pill.
It is now my quest to find alternative methods to balance out hormonal issues for women to prevent them from going on this pill to 'cure' / 'mask' their initial hormonal concerns. To get started some tips I have discovered in my research and self learning are as follows:
Addressing the Root Cause of the Hormonal Imbalance
First and foremost hormonal imbalances are yes physiological, however they are only imbalanced due to some deep seated emotional issues, intense stress, unresolved pain, and suffering. The way we feel as a woman, how comfortable we are in our feminine and sexual selves plays a HUGE role on our hormonal regulation - so I have discovered the first crucial step is addressing and working through these issues - to get to the root cause.
Herbs for Hormones
A host of herbs and that assist the liver function which regulates hormones such as; dandelion, burdock, calendula, damiana, chaste-tree, to name a few.
Foods for Hormones
As well as maintaining a balanced healthy diet, which is rich in complex carbohydrates whole grains, quality protein, good fats, vitamins and minerals to promote good digestive system, liver function and endocrine function. Avoid sugar at all cost as it plays havoc with your hormones.
The bottom line is, yes the pill does what it is designed to - it is a remarkable contraceptive method...but at what cost? For women purely going on the pill to assist in hormonal issues, I feel there needs to be much more education surrounding this topic as to how to balance out these concerns naturally by getting to the root cause - which unfortunately yes takes longer, but by continuously masking the issues, is just causing our bodies much more pain and suffering by suppressing and suppressing the issues, and when we do eventually finally come off the pill - our woes come back, normally by ten-fold. I guess essentially it is just a big lesson I have learnt to really do your own research into what it is you are feeding your body, and that what the doctors tell you is not always 'gospel'.