Dr. Sara Gottfried is a Harvard-trained MD, bestselling author, and leading expert on hormones. That's why were thrilled to team up with her for a new series this week on balancing your hormones for better health. If you're inspired to learn more, check out her new course, How To Balance Your Hormones For Glowing Skin, Deeper Sleep & Better Digestion.
Millions of women take the birth control pill for contraception, to treat an underlying hormone imbalance, or both. But are they a good idea? That depends.
As a gynecologist practicing functional medicine, I have a skewed perspective when it comes to the birth control pill (BCP). I’ve seen many women over the years suffering with side effects from BCPs. From vaginal dryness to lost libido, from micronutrient deficiency to worsening mood problems, I’ve seen it all.
So I wish more women were forewarned and fully informed before picking up their monthly packets at the pharmacy. I would even call oral contraceptives the biggest hormone problem for women, and yet it’s prescribed by clinicians and considered by most to be relatively risk-free. They say BCPs are safer than being pregnant—but I don't believe that's the right comparator when it comes to a woman’s quality of life, mood, confidence, agency, sexual interest and lubrication.