Before you read this blog post, or listen to my podcast on this here, I want you to know that your body is YOUR body, and your choice of birth control is ultimately YOUR choice. Remember that everyone's needs are unique to themselves, so don't let other's judgements impact your decision (and don't judge other people either! Just give love).
I really recommend listening to my podcast episode on the various forms of contraceptive, both natural, non-hormonal and hormonal options. I cover all of the options and their effectiveness, safety, convenience, comfort, cost, personal risk factors, needs, and goals. I also talk about the side effects of the hormonal birth control pill, which 11 million women in the USA, and 100 million women worldwide, are on the pill and 65% of users are using it primarily for symptoms management. These PMS symptoms include, but are not limited to, hormonal acne, bloating, cramping, mood swings, cravings, breast tenderness, anxiety, etc., all of which have a root cause and can be treated naturally through lifestyle and nutritional changes and herbal medicine. Check out my herbal remedy packed with 10 Chinese and Native American herbs to help you balance and heal your hormone imbalances and kick your PMS to the curb! Listen to my podcast episode on herbs to heal PMS symptoms here.
OK...back to birth control methods! Here are the options, and a few of their characteristics, to explore:
- 98% effective when used correctly. 85% efficacy.
- My favorite brands: Lola & Sustain & Maude (make sure to buy non-toxic, spermicide-free, fragrance-free, and all-natural latex)
2. Fertility Awareness Method - Start tracking your menstrual cycle and fertility signs using my menstrual cycle tracker, print here!
- 99% effective when done properly and used in conjunction with condoms or abstaining from unprotected, penetrative sex during your fertile window aka the ovulatory phase.
- This requires tracking your menstrual cycle in its entirety and your fertile signs. Listen to my podcast episode here on menstrual cycle tracking and this one on the fertility awareness method.
- Positives: Learning your body and internal cycles, which is powerful insight into who you are as a human and allows you to understand any potential symptoms when they arise (outside of pregnancy-prevention) and how to live your healthiest, happiest life).
- Downsides: This method takes a few months / menstrual cycles to learn and requires daily maintenance. This method is about 76-88% effective with human error and considering that our basal body temperature, BBT, is very sensitive to stress, travel, illness, etc.
3. Copper & hormonal IUD - Intrauterine device
- 99% efficacy and lasts 3-12 years depending on the kind you get.
- Works by thickening cervical mucus to act as a barrier/plug to prevent sperm from entering (our body naturally does this and you can track this using the Fertility Awareness method). Also works by causing other intrauterine changes that make it difficult for sperm to get to the gg or to prevent a fertilized egg to implant into the uterus by thinning it.
- Copper is toxic to sperm for reasons we don't quite know yet.
- Downsides: The IUD does not have a local effect on the uterus, but systemic effects on the entire body. Pain at insertion. Rare but potential perforation of uterus. Spotting and irregular periods for 6-12 months post-insertion and perhaps heavy periods or complete loss of period. Does NOT protect against STIs or STDs.
- Listen to my podcast episode to hear the full effects, both positive and negative, of both forms of the IUD.
4. Hormonal Birth Control Pill
- 99% effective with perfect use - 93% effective with typical use.
- Comes with many short and long-term side effects such as weight gain, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, sleep disturbances and disorders, insulin resistance, increased cholesterol, increases risk of breast and cervical cancer, disrupts the gut microbiome, increases risk of blood clots, impacts liver structure and functioning, and more.
Sometimes, the "right" form of birth control for you will serve a purpose for some time then you'll find yourself needing something else. I was on the pill for six years before doing my research on the short and long-term health impacts and ultimately deciding to come off, safely. To learn how to stop the hormonal birth control pill safely, listen to my podcast episode on this matter here OR book a 1-1 consult with me here.
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