Scary facts EVERY woman should know about the pill. We’ve been assured the pill safe for us to use and why wouldn’t we believe that? It has been around for a reallylong time. Heck, many of us have taken it in excess of 10 years mostly because we’ve been told it’s fine to. Some of us even skip the sugar pills meaning our bodies haven’t had the opportunity of it’s natural rhythm – but reality is, there is nothing natural about a ‘withdrawal bleed’ in the first place. I’m here to bust out some truths. It’s time women knew all the facts. Before I go on – know this. There are SO many little facts related to the pill that women need to know. I’m going to cover 5 here, now. 1. It’s harder to fall pregnant after taking the pill. The pill knocks our hormones out of whack pretty badly – adding a level of difficulty when it comes to falling pregnant when freshly off the pill. In 2004 a study called ‘time to pregnancy’ found that couples coming off the pill took 2-3 times longer to conceive than to those who were not previously taking it. It is important to factor in at least 6 months of supportive natural fertility treatment after taking the pill to best prepare your body for conception and to ensure that the mother’s body has everything it needs to be able to pass on to the baby – resulting in healthier babies. Maybe you’re not ready to have babies yet but if it is certainly something you’re wanting later in life, please keep reading. What I’m about to tell you every woman should be aware of whilst taking the pill. So don’t run off just yet. 2. The pill makes it hard to find the right partner. Did you know the pill alters our senses? Just as a pregnant woman senses are heightened, she smells and craves particularly odd foods. Research has found that women in their most fertile phase of their cycle are most sensitive to smell (especially that of male sweat) just as pregnant women had increased sensitivity to food and odours. This study went on to find the hormone mix in the pill is very similar to the first months of pregnancy meaning that women on the pill are consistently more sensitive to food smells and less sensitive to the smell of male sweat. Now if you are wondering what my point is here, let’s put all that together. Our sense of smell, our own body smell and our immune system are all wired up together and therefore women who are not on the pill are attracted to males that smell differently from themselves. When partners who smell different from each other have children, their children have a wider range of immunity than if their parents smelt the same or similar – isn’t it fascinating! This study also went on to find that because the pill reverses the usual smell-immune system signals, women who choose to mate with a male that has a similar immune system will have increased difficulty falling pregnant – and even when they do fall pregnant -the child may be born with a lessened immune system. 3. The pill isn’t as effective as you might think. Of the most importance of those taking the pill, is its effectiveness and it’s ability to prevent pregnancy. But the thing is – it isn’t all it is cracked up to be. In America alone some 6 million pregnancies occur in woman taking the pill. This isn’t necessarily because they weren’t taking it correctly. So many factors affect it’s ability to work. An Australian study of women ages 18 to 39 on the pill who weighed 70kg or more found that they were 60 percent more likely to have their pill fail than women who weighed less. The average women in Australia weighs 66.6 kilos. Professor Dr Victoria Holt says because women who weigh more have a higher metabolic rate, they need higher levels of hormones to prevent pregnancy – demonstrating again, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all kinda situation. It’s also thought that because the pill is toxic and our bodies trap toxins in our fat stores, the pill may also be less effective in overweight women as it isn’t where it needs to be to work – in the blood stream. 4. The pill sucks the living daylights out of us Zinc is one of the major essentials severely drawn out via the pill. Guess what happens to a zinc deficient woman? They have less elastic skin, they have perineums that don’t stretch but tear in labour, have cracked nipples and prolonged labours. Zinc is essential to maintain good copper/zinc ratio in the body – vital, since high levels of copper have been linked to depression. Zinc deficient babies (as passed on by the mother) are more jittery and more likely to cry a lot. It certainly isn’t a winning combo – a Zinc deficient, depressed breast-feeding mother coupled with a zinc deficient upset baby. Simply taking a multi-vitamin alone may not be the saving grace – it will certainly help but if you have come off the pill and things aren’t feeling right or going back to ‘normal’ (with your menstrual cycle) seek help as soon as possible – it can be easily treated with natural methods including Chinese medicine (being one of the best and most effective forms). 5. The pill can make you crazy. Oh and it lessens your libido too. Scientists have discovered that the chemicals produced in the body as a result of the pill to stop ovulation continue to suppress testosterone levels – central to sexual desire in both men and women. This can continue for up to four years once a woman stops taking it. I find this quite ironic because in theory, you can’t get pregnant whilst on the pill – but if you don’t want sex whilst on the pill, then you can’t get pregnant anyway! Don’t think it stops there –let’s add to that mood swings, weight gain, brittle bones and migraines. These are just four more of the most commonly seen side effects of the pill. Time and time again I hear women report (especially those who haven’t been on the pill but need to take it as part of IVF treatment) how they feel ‘psycho’ on the pill, as if they could murder somebody or cry for no reason. This is what incorrect levels of hormones do! If they are doing that to our moods, think about what that is doing to our insides. The fact remains that the hormones in the pill aim to mimic hormones in your body, however they are not identical to your natural hormones. This is also because a normal dose of the pill is four times the amount of oestrogen normally present in the body. Pills are a “one size fits all”, however if no two bodies are the same, it be comes easy to recognise why so many women experience negative side effects. Who is Dr Natalie Kringoudis? Dr Natalie Kringoudis is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturist, Natural Fertility Educator and writer. Natalie’s belief in the benefits of alternative therapies saw her establish her own Women’s Health and Natural Fertility in Melbourne, The Pagoda Tree, in 2003. The birth of Natalie’s first child – daughter Olivia – further fuelled her love for natural health and home living and revealed to her an entirely new treatment perspective – integrating the western medical approach with alternative therapies, Chinese medicine and natural fertility methods. Natalie’s expertise is in women’s health and fertility, specifically supporting women to become mothers. Her knowledge in fertility and natural medicine has been featured in many publications, including Marie Claire, Cosmo Health, Cosmo Pregnancy and Body + Soul, and she has appeared on The Morning Show as their Natural Health expert. With a passion for educating women on the use of alternative therapies and nutrition, Natalie provides her specialist insight on her website, www.melbournenaturalfertility, with up to the minute information on health and fertility, as well as recipes for healthy living and wellness. It is with this passion that Natalie has written Fertilise Yourself, to allow her to share her knowledge with women world-wide.
Next week: Blog post that will follow: “So if not the pill, then what?”