The Downside to Birth Control - My Experience

How often is it that a doctor recommends going on “The Pill”? It almost seems like it’s a revolutionary answer to all of our problems. You walk into your doctor’s office with a problem and can easily walk out with a prescription for birth control. What are some of the reasons a doctor would prescribe birth control that aren’t related to preventing pregnancy? PMS, irregular periods, painful periods, acne, anemia, amenorrhea, endometriosis, prevent ovarian cysts, or even to prevent ovarian and uterine cancer. HM! But how is it that one pill can treat all of these issues? The truth is that it can’t and taking birth control does not come without side effects, noticeable or not.

Here is what you really have to understand about some of these ailments that birth control is being used to treat. When your body is struggling with acne, endometriosis, painful periods, etc… your body is actually trying to tell you that something is wrong. Your body is saying that something is not right, something isn’t working, and something needs to change in order for your body to work functionally. All that birth control does to treat these issues is mask the problem, causing symptoms to be relieved but never addressing the root cause.

Let’s talk about acne for example because I have a personal experience with this. When I was a teen, I suffered from terrible acne. There were days when I wouldn’t even want to leave my house because my acne was so bad, I was so embarrassed, and I didn’t want anyone to look at my face. The doctor had me on birth control, Accutane, prescription face wash and lotions, etc… but I ONLY cured my acne when I finally changed my diet. Acne is a skin inflammation that can be caused by hormone imbalance, gut imbalance, toxicity from chemicals in our food or in household products we use, lack of sleep, stress, inability to detoxify, and foods that can cause inflammation or clog our pores. So why would anyone take a pill that would mask these issues instead of addressing these issues? It just doesn’t make sense. This is just an example but this goes for all of the other issues that birth control may claim to “treat”. It is much more beneficial to address the ROOT CAUSE.
Fast forward to why I am writing this blog post right now…

After my boys were born, I definitely didn’t want to risk getting pregnant any time soon so I got the IUD, Mirena, inserted for the 5-year plan. The Mirena releases small amounts of a progestin hormone directly into the uterus, which a small amount enters your blood stream. It thickens the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus, thins the lining of the uterus, and inhibits sperm from fertilizing the egg. THE SCARIEST PART to me is that no one knows the real reason why Mirena actually works!!! Directly on the Mirena web site it says: “While there’s no single explanation for how Mirena works, most likely, the above actions work together to prevent pregnancy for up to 5 years.” I’m not sure how much I trust something that doesn’t have an explanation for its function.

The IUD and other birth control contraceptives don’t come without side effects either.
Some of the side effects of Mirena include: pelvic inflammatory disease, perforation and possible internal damage or infection to the organs, missed menstrual periods, irregular periods, pelvic/abdominal pain, cysts on the ovary, decreased sex drive, headache/migraine, depression, acne, vaginal discharge, anemia, unusual hair growth, weight increase, inflammation, feeling bloated, infertility, and the list goes on…

In my personal experience with Mirena, I spent the last 5 years without a period. The doctor who inserted my IUD told me that it was completely normal for a woman with an IUD to lose her period all together so for the longest time I thought that that was just how it was supposed to be. Oh, it was great! I didn’t have to worry about bleeding, tampons, or pads – a woman’s dream! I would still suffer a little bit from PMS and fatigue but I genuinely loved not getting my period. It has only been recently that I’ve been really digging deep into the concept of birth control and trying to understand how it has affected my body. It is just NOT normal for a woman to not have her period for 5 years and it cannot be healthy – I don’t care what anyone says!

A few days ago, I went to the OBGYN and got my IUD removed. My doctor was very sweet, warm, welcoming, and painlessly removed my IUD. I told her that I had not had my period in the past 5 years and she nodded her head in agreement saying what I had heard in the past that it was normal for women on the IUD to lose their period. I am still shocked every time I hear a doctor say that because it just seems so unnatural. A conversation I had with my Abuela over the topic also rings in my head when she had asked me, “Where does the blood go?” Yikes!!! Good question! How can the doctor know the answer to this question when the manufacturers of this contraceptive don’t even know how the damn thing works!?! Do you see a problem with this?? I SURE DO!

Anyway, so I got my IUD removed and my doctor told me that it would probably take about a month for my period to return and that I was all good to go. She forgot to mention the next stage that I was about to go through after the removal of my IUD, which apparently has a name, called “THE MIRENA CRASH”. Well, HOLY HELL! First of all, it didn’t take me a month for my period to return -- It took 3 days. Second of all, my period returned like it has been locked up in a cage for the past century and it’s ready to start ravaging my body. I now have severe cramping, headaches/migraines, cravings, acne breakouts, the whole nine. On top of it all, I feel freaking crazy. My hormones are all over the place. I randomly cry in the car or in the bathroom stall at school. I feel depressed, overwhelmed, an intense feeling of impending doom… This is all because my body is trying to handle the extreme transition of no longer receiving synthetic progestin and my body is currently unable to handle the transition and can’t produce enough of my own innate natural hormone. My body has become so dependent on my IUD’s synthetic hormone that it has forgotten how to produce its own. Apparently this crash could last several weeks until my hormones rebalance but it is also possible that there could be lasting damage done to my body because of the IUD that I have had for the past 5 years…

This frustrates me because this is yet another thing that I am now learning about a little too late. I was 20 years old when I became pregnant. I was naïve and put all my trust in doctors and in the health care system. In doing so, I have made a lot of mistakes that have affected my health and my children’s health negatively. I cannot change time or dwell on the choices I have made but going forward I have learned that I have complete power over my body, my health, and the choices I make. I want to share with others that it is important to do your own research so that you can make the best choices for your health too.

I am excited to start my new journey to rebalance my hormones and truly nurture my body naturally. Through this journey, I have learned to love myself and realize that I deserve to be nurtured. A woman’s body is such a beautiful thing. My body is beautiful and I need to treat it as such instead of overloading it with chemicals that are only going to be harmful.

Have you had a negative experience with birth control? You are not alone. There are many women out there struggling with the side effects and negative results from birth control. I’d love to hear your story! Share in the comments below!




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