As an acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, I work with women who have experienced fertility issues. While there are varying causes of infertility, one of the things I do in my own practice is help women regulate their cycles after coming off the pill. It's the first step in starting a deeper dialogue with the body.
I marvel at what the body can do. We are all built of the same brick and mortar, but the nature of elements of these vary—what works for one doesn't necessarily work for the next. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation—on both sides—about how the pill works and we're still finding out how if affects our bodies long term.
What we have found is that synthetic hormones may change normal hormone function. We know that certain hormones found in birth control can prevent the body from absorbing essential vitamins and minerals. While it can help some women deal with debilitating periods and hormone imbalance, side effects for others are varied including nausea, depression, anxiety, weight gain, breast pain, and low libido. Little known fact: the pill is said to alter our senses and skew our lover radar. That's right, research suggests that it may mess with our senses to attract a suitable partner. Who knew!
Regardless of whether you are or aren't on birth control—all forms of hormone contraception must be taken with great care and caution. Sadly, we're not necessarily told this when it's prescribed.
If it's time for you to go off the pill, not because you want to conceive, but because you're interested in healing your hormones or simply as a way to feel more in touch with your body, here are a few natural birth control methods I recommend.