Contraception: To pill or not to pill…

Yes, I said contraception! I know this doesn’t really have anything to do with yoga or nutrition but I feel like it’s an important topic that we don’t usually talk about. I don’t know if people just feel uncomfortable or whether it’s a lack of knowledge but we just don’t talk about it.

To clarify exactly what I’m talking about here, my focus is on the contraceptive pill and I’m speaking from my own experience in England and cannot speak for what happens in other countries and for others’ experiences.

At school we are taught about condoms (obviously important information) but we are not taught about fertility and other forms of contraception. Even when considering what contraception you want to use with health care professionals, doctors/nurses give leaflets with some information but do not take the time to explain these fully.

With the internet making information more accessible this is changing but it is such an important topic, it should be taught at schools and be more easily available to people rather than having to seek it out for themselves.

When I first started having periods, they were super heavy and really irregular. I believe this is pretty common for most people. When I saw a doctor about this and also the pain I was experiencing I was put on the contraceptive pill to regulate my period and ease the cramps. This was really normal for most girls my age so I thought nothing of it, I didn’t know there were any other options.

Over the years I have tried different pills, as well as, the implant and the injection; all of these giving various different side effects. The pill I settled on was the one that had the least side effects for me. By the end of 2017 I’d been on hormonal contraception for more than a decade, I got to the point that I wasn’t sure if I was experiencing any side effects or not. I couldn’t be sure what the pill was doing to my hormones or my body and that was a scary situation to be in.

As I’ve become more aware of my health and nutrition and what I put in my body I wondered if there was a better way, another option for my contraception rather than putting these chemicals in my body and manipulating my own hormones and reproductive processes.

Researching into the topic: reading “Taking charge of your fertility” by Toni Weschler, reading online articles and blogs by people like FemmeHead (who also has great informational vlogs on YouTube); I’ve learnt a lot.

It worries me that I’d got to 27 without knowing this information about my body, my fertility, my menstrual cycle. It makes me wonder how many others are out there who are also unaware.

Some key learning points I’ve come across:

  • If you understand your cycle and your fertility are often able to help ‘heal’ your period. By this I mean you can help to optimise your cycle to be the best it can be for your body so your fertility is the best it can be. Not necessarily to get pregnant but just so your body and systems are all functioning as they should be.
  • Women are only fertile approximately 6 days of their cycle (the day of ovulation and the 6 days preceding it). Men are fertile 24/7.
  • There is no set day for ovulation for every woman; all women have different cycles of differing lengths. You can track your fertility naturally using the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). If used correctly this is a more effective contraceptive method than most other contraceptives! It is completely natural and does not require putting any hormones or drugs into your body.

Crazy right! You can use FAM to naturally ensure effective contraception as well as to ensure your reproductive system is healthy and your menstrual cycle is as it should be.

When I first got my period, before oral contraception or anything else was considered it would have been great to have allowed my body to work itself out. It hardly had time to settle before I shoved a load of hormones into it. But you have to work with what you have so I decided it was time to do something to try to help my body now.

At the beginning of this year I stopped taking the contraceptive pill and I am so glad that I did. I’m only 2 months in and my illusive period has returned (I hadn’t had a period in about 18 months). I am seeing the patterns in my cycle and am noticing the effects my hormones are having on my emotions, my mood and sensations in my body. It’s amazing and I can’t wait to see what happens as it settles further.

Sorry to anyone who feels this post is off topic for this website but it just seems far too important not to share. It’s something we do not talk about, it’s become taboo which is why so many women do not even know about what their bodies go through and experience on a monthly cycle.

If you want to know more take a look online there’s loads of information out there.

If you have any questions please comment below!

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