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Is The Birth Control Pill Destroying Your Health?

by jenny sansouci on July 23, 2014

The other day, one of my closest friends (and hormone expert) Nicole Jardim and I were hanging out at the World Domination Summit in Portland, just talkin’ bout things like dominating the world, birth control and cervical fluid (totally normal). She had so many insanely brilliant insights to share, we decided to jam about it on a video. You guys know making videos terrifies me but in the name of the comfort zone crusade, I made a video for you. A 30 minute video. Let’s just stay in the judge-free zone about how much of a nerd I look and sound like. OK?!?! PLEASE!!!! THANKS.

In the video, Nicole and I talk about the birth control pill and how harmful it can be to mess with your hormones. We go into some specifics about other forms of birth control she recommends, and we talk about the fact that so many women are on the pill just for PMS symptoms alone — and that all of that can be fixed naturally. Baller, right?

2 Virgos talking about sex. Who would have thought!?

Ok. Here goes. In celebration of Nicole’s Fix Your PMS program (only 50 spots available!!!)…. let’s dive in. :)

Watch video below or link to video here.


Things Nicole said in the video if you’re too lazy to watch it:

“It’s the default for doctors to prescribe birth control pills now – to girls as young as 13 and 14.

Our brains are talking to our ovaries on a daily basis (your hypothalamus is telling your ovaries to ovulate every month), and birth control stops that conversation. If it’s been stopped for a long time, it’s difficult to get the conversation started again. When you’re on the pill, you’re stopping biology from happening.

If your body hasn’t been ovulating for a long period of time, there are a lot of issues with that. You end up having low estrogen and low progesterone – the most important hormones you need to get/stay pregnant.

The birth control pill affects your gut function. It has an antibiotic effect. A lot of people don’t realize that. That’s why so many women on the pill have yeast infections. The pill is causing yeast overgrowth. If you are on the pill, make sure you take probiotics and eat probiotic rich foods.

The pill can cause depression and mood issues, because it blocks absorption of vitamins that produce serotonin. The pill prevents b-complex vitamins, magnesium and zinc from being absorbed properly – which is why so many women on the pill are vitamin deficient and depressed.

The pill lowers your sex drive — maybe permanently. The pill lowers all your hormones, so your body isn’t producing progesterone and not very much estrogen (becauase you’re getting it from the pill). The pill raises “sex hormone binding globulin” – which binds to your testosterone (responsible for sex drive) and the testosterone isn’t usable by your body. Women on the pill can have 200-700% more SHBG than women off the pill, which means sex drives in women on the pill are much lower. When SHBG goes up, testosterone goes down. This can be permanent.

The birth control pill can cause clitoral shrinkage. It can shrink up to 15%. Not good, people!!

Your hormones are the chemical messengers in your body and are tied to every bodily function.

Other symptoms of hormonal imbalance: PMS, mood issues, frequent meltdowns/breakdowns, being weepy/teary throughout your cycle, depression, breast tenderness, heavy periods, painful periods, spotting during cycle, endometriosis, fibroids.

Fix your PMS.

Getting off the pill? Finish out your pack and then start to track your cycle. Get an app on your phone.

Fix your diet. When you come off the pill, your hormones are super low. You will need a lot of nutrient dense foods to build that back up. A paleo type of diet — lots of leafy greens, lots of coconut oil, grass-fed butter, organ meats, and pasture-raised meats and eggs can really help hormones to get where they need to be.

Nicole’s recommended birth control method: I practice the fertility awareness method. I’ve been doing it for 10 years and haven’t gotten pregnant. It involves taking your basal body temperature when you wake up, observing your cervical fluid (it changes throughout the month), and checking cervical position. Your temperature will be low in the first half of your cycle and higher temperatures in the second half, and you can figure out when you’re ovulating.

The thermometer Nicole recommends

Your egg survives for 12, maybe 24 hours in any given cycle, so technically, you can only get pregnant on one day per month. Sperm can live inside us for up to 5-7 days, so that’s a consideration that everyone has to remember. Then you have more of a 7-day window that you could potentially get pregnant. It depends on when you ovulate, but I use condoms between days 10-17 of my cycle.

This method takes practice! It takes about 3-4 months to get comfortable and start seeing a pattern. And it requires a bit of a paradigm shift. Understanding your body and having this kind of body literacy is just incredible, it gives you so much data on yourself.

Another option would be condoms. Nobody likes them but they’re pretty fail safe.

What about the IUD? It’s a tiny coil implanted in your cervix. There are 2 kinds — the hormonal one, and the copper one. Copper is toxic to sperm, which is why it works. If I were to recommend one of the 2, it would be the copper one because I don’t believe in manipulating your hormones. You have to go and get it put in, you can’t put it in yourself. It can be anywhere from $700-$1000. Some women have IUDs that go astray and have to be surgically removed, which can cause scarring and tissue damage, and too much copper can also be toxic in large amounts. Some women do have a great experience with it and it’s very effective, but I just want women to be aware there can be side effects.

Free Videos about Hormonal Health

The pull out method is actually over 96% effective if used correctly. There is no live sperm in pre-ejaculate, so you can’t get pregnant from that. If you have sex twice, you’ll want him to go to the bathroom first so you don’t get pregnant from leftover sperm. (#omg)

The pull out method, coupled with fertility awareness, and using condoms during your fertile period is really effective.

The depo-provera shot — you can get allergic reactions, heavy bleeding, stopping your period completely, etc. I haven’t heard from women who have had a good experience with it.

A “fem cap” is another option — a cervical cap like a diaphragm – I do know that it can be pretty effective, and there are no hormones. It just blocks the entrance to your cervix. You have to insert and remove it every time you have sex.”

I emailed Nicole shortly after our interview to ask about the Nuva ring — she said – “It’s another form of hormonal birth control that manipulates your natural, biological functions – I’ve seen a lot of girls take it when they are younger without issues but then as you get into your late 20’s and 30’s it has a much more negative effect. No good!”

THANK YOU NICOLE!!!!!! WOW. You rule so hard. So much awesome info! If you guys have any questions, let us know in the comments and we’ll hook you up.

Nicole’s Picks for Best Period/Fertility Apps

Thermometer for Fertility Awareness Method

Want more from Nicole?

Free Videos on Hormonal Health

PMS Program — Fix Your PMS Naturally

 

  • ONLY 50 SPOTS AVAILABLE – registration closes July 31 or when program is full
  • Get a bomb ass 30% discount on the program + 3 free live calls if you register by July 28th
  • Register now and kiss your PMS goodbye!!!

 Get on a free call with Nicole this Friday to learn more!

What do you guys think? I know peeps have opinions on birth control. Strong ones. So lemme know. I’m learning too. :)




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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate July 23, 2014 at 5:37 pm

This is exactly the information I was looking for! I’ve been off birth control for 8 years but have yet to find an alternative that I was truly happy with. Thank you to both of you for this awesome information

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jenny sansouci July 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Awesome, Kate. I know, birth control can be super confusing. Thanks for watching. :) xo

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Nicole J July 23, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Yes Kate, so happy to hear you loved what we had to share! :-)

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Sara July 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm

Great video! So nice to know I’m not alone in the anti pill battle ladies.

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jenny sansouci July 24, 2014 at 11:26 am

Thanks for watching, Sara!! xx

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Stacy July 24, 2014 at 1:55 am

Your video was very informative, however it left me wondering if birth control pills would still be a helpful option to women with hormonal problems that can not be corrected by diet alone. I was recently diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and I’m at the beginning stages of researching the best ways to manage my symptoms. It looks like birth control and Methormin are commonly prescribed to treat women with PCOS who are not trying to get pregnant. Are there any other effective options besides those?

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Nicole J July 29, 2014 at 9:31 am

Hi Stacy!

Thanks for your comment. Sadly, the pill and metformin are common ways to treat PCOS in the conventional medical arena but they are not treating anything. The pill is simply masking your hormonal problems by giving your body synthetic hormones and the metformin is a drug commonly used for diabetes to bring down blood sugar. If you aren’t getting to the root cause – blood sugar instability, along with nutrient deficiencies then it will be impossible to actually fix this issue. There are much more effective treatment options. You can click on the video series above and check out my blog for more info. Thanks so much!

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Laura July 24, 2014 at 11:12 am

A few things about the IUD: it’s actually inserted into your uterus where it floats around and has a string hanging out of your cervix (saying it’s “implanted in your cervix” sounds kind of scary and isn’t quite accurate.) The perforation issue you mentioned is extremely rare, especially if you go to an experienced physician. Finally, Paraguard (the copper IUD) is known to cause massively heavy periods with horrible cramping. I’m not advocating the hormonal IUD necessarily, but just wanted to point out the facts! Such an interesting issue – thanks for brining it up!

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Nicole J July 29, 2014 at 9:34 am

Yes, apologies Laura, I should have said “they go through your cervix to implant it into the uterus”.

Unfortunately I have seen the perforation issue often, but that could be because of the nature of my work. Although rare, it can be very serious and women who have experienced it wish they had known the dangers.

The copper IUD does cause massively heavy bleeding for many women which I believe I mentioned.

Thanks!

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Kelli July 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I’d be interested in her opinion on Queen Anne’s Lace tincture as a form of birth control.

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Nicole J July 29, 2014 at 9:36 am

Kelli, until you mentioned that I had no idea what it was! Upon reading about it I’d say that there is such limited research that you’d be taking quite a risk by using it though.

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Nicole J July 29, 2014 at 9:37 am

Sorry I mean’t to finish that sentence. If you’re using it as your only source of birth control it seems risky. I’d proceed with caution :)

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Barbi Jaycox July 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Great video! I have been off birth control for 10 years also and will never go back. We actually have practiced the fertility awareness method to GET pregnant. As you know, it’s been pretty effective, lol! Once you understand it, it makes you super aware of what your body is doing and reeeally helps you understand your entire monthly cycle. Not just your period week. Highly recommend! Now that we are done having kids, Paul took care of it so we won’t have to worry about it anymore, but it is definitely something that would be beneficial for all women to learn :)

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Nicole J July 29, 2014 at 9:41 am

Thanks for your thoughts Barbi. Agree, just having a basic understanding of our menstrual cycles can be life changing. :)

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Barbi Jaycox July 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm

By the way, there is a website I used that can help you track your temps, cervical fluid, etc and it helps you figure out when you are ovulating. It’s http://www.fertilityfriend.com. I haven’t checked out which ones she recommended, but this is the one we used for all of our pregnancies.

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Barbi Jaycox July 24, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Ok just checked out her recommendations – just as helpful if not more than the website I used. :) But when I was learning about tracking my cycle, it was well before I had a smartphone or app 😉 Anyway, love that you are putting this info out there!

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Milissa July 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm

I truly enjoyed this and learned a lot. I’ve always known I’ve had a hormonal problem. I have bad endometriosis and adhesions and cysts causing a ruckus. I was prescribed birth control to ease that. Was also told to skip the last 5 pills or however many so I won’t get a period. Would you happen o know if this is even worse in the the hormone department? I was feeling like crap and tries to get off the birth control a few months ago cause I was scared I would never get my period again. Worst idea ever. I felt so awful and had so much acne my face hurt. Period didn’t come for months. Also I am paleo and believe most problems of today can be helped by diet, not pills. So once again this stuff is right up my alley so thank you!

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Nicole J July 29, 2014 at 9:44 am

Hi Milissa,

Thanks for your comment. Yes I think not having a period at all puts you at risk of not getting it back when you do come off the pill. Additionally, can you see how being on the pill is only masking the underlying problem because as you said, when you came off of it you had terrible acne and pain. Unfortunately the pill is only making things worse for you and you’ve got to get at the thing that’s actually causing all this in the first place. Diet is 90% of it for many women but our emotional wellbeing is absolutely huge too. Also, targeted supplementation is key too. :)

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Keara July 25, 2014 at 10:49 am

Really amazing video!! I personally have been off the pill for a few years now and have never looked back. I think it’s terrible we don’t get this type of eduction as teenagers when many of us are put on the pill. Thank you for sharing this great information!! I also practice the FAM by taking my temperature every morning but think I will start tracking cervical fluid (eeek!) as well as I find my temperature fluctuates a lot – likely an underlying hormonal balance. Thank you for sharing!!! x

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Nicole J July 29, 2014 at 9:47 am

Hi Keara! Right on girl! If your temp fluctuates a lot it could be based on how much you’re sleeping and if it gets disrupted, when you’re waking up, if there is plane travel, or a sickness with slight fever, etc. That’s why tracking fluid helps so much too.
If your temps go up and down a lot it might mean that you’re not producing estrogen consistently in the first half of your cycle and progesterone in the second half. So one day it’s high the next it drops a bit – which technically can be considered a hormonal imbalance but it’s more just something minor to correct with diet and supplements. Hope that helps.

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Hadley Gustin July 25, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Loved, loved, loved this video, Jenny! You just glow on camera and are such a natural. I give you all the credit in the world for starting to release these videos and can’t wait to see more from you soon.

I love Nicole and will definitely be looking into all of her offerings, as well. Thank you for providing us all with this valuable information. I know I was super curious on this subject of birth control, too.

Hope you’re having a spectacular summer! 😉

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Nicole J July 29, 2014 at 9:47 am

Hadley you’re a star thanks for writing this! Makes me think we’re on the right track here for sure!!

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Lisa July 26, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Hi Jenny!
Great video and info., but my situation is a tad different. I’m back on the pill after years of being off– due to very heavy periods with clotting. I became anemic due to this. So….it’s been 3 months now and my symptoms have cleared up tremendously. I can leave the house without worrying….. BUT— I have read about the dangers of producing blood clots while ON the pill. Go figure—the exact reason I got on them. UGH. Can you help me with this?? Stay on or go off and risk those terrible periods??
Thanks!
Lisa

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Nicole J July 29, 2014 at 9:50 am

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for writing this. So as I was saying to the other girls, heavy periods are just another symptom of wacky hormones. The pill is basically reducing the amount of hormones in your body or controlling them because it’s a controlled dose. So your periods become lighter. You should definitely look at my free video series (link is above) and get all the details on this. The pill isn’t going to make this problem go away forever it’s just doing it while you’re on it. So you want to be treating the root cause, not just the symptoms – heavy periods. Hope this helps and let us know how else we can help. :)

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Hannah February 8, 2015 at 5:57 am

Thanks so much for this eye-opening talk!

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