18—The Oral Contraceptive Pill

The Pill

Mummy, I can’t wait to grow up and be just like you!

If there’s one drug that really winds me up it’s The Pill.

I can’t believe so many New Zealand girls willingly go on this damn drug. This medication seems to have become an unofficial rite of passage into womanhood!

The Pill is a pharmaceutical marketers Cash Cow

The Pill was initially developed in the 1960s to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Since then, the medical community has been able to increase The Pill’s usage. It is prescribed for all manner of hormonal conditions. It is now used to treat acne, PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), endometriosis, dysmenorrhea (painful periods), and metrorrhagia (heavy blood flow). The ability to come up with multiple uses for one product is gold for its producers.

Note: The Pill can actually increases the risk of PCOS, and shouldn’t be taken if you suffer from Endometriosis. Please see ‘the downside’ below.

The Pill —
The younger woman’s HRT

I see a lot of 16–23 year old women, who have recently started taking The Pill. They come to see me for health conditions that appear unrelated to this drug e.g. they want to ‘detox’ or lose weight, they are experiencing depression, or have poor blood sugar regulation.

I also see a lot of ‘30-something’ women. By the time they come to see me at my practice they have been on The Pill for half of their lives! They often come to me to prepare for pregnancy.  They’ve just come off The Pill and are now waiting patiently to either get a ‘proper’ period, or to have their periods regulate. A lot of these women are in limbo when they see me. They have no idea what to expect from their unmedicated body! Will they go back to having heavy, unregulated periods? Will they break out with a fresh batch of pimples? They want me to guide them through this process.

But guess what? I also don’t know what to expect from them coming off this drug either. It can take anywhere from three months to two years for normal menstrual cycles to resume after you stop taking The Pill.

I’m so tired of seeing this problem go on for so long! The aim of this article is to inform the newcomers to this medication to only take it as a very short term solution to prevent unwanted pregnancy. I also want the women who are currently on this drug, for whatever reason, to seriously consider coming off it. I want them to look for more natural ways to balance their hormones and/or to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

Sexed crazed and open all hours?

Why should we woman have to be on a ‘sex drug’ — 24/7/365?  Who’s idea was it — that we be willing and able to have sex at any time, day or night (hmm I wonder?)  I don’t know about you, but if my partner were to wake me in the middle of the night — in the hopes of ‘getting lucky’— then he would be risking life & limb to do so (and as far as I’m concerned the penis is a limb!)

Think about it. When you’re in a long-term relationship, how much of the year is spent having sex with your beloved, compared to how much of the year you are medicated (to have sex with your beloved)?

Then think about this: you can only actually get pregnant for a few days out of each month. It seems crazy that we should have to take a drug all year round for a maximum of twelve fertile weeks!

Alternative effective birth control

1—The Symptom-Thermal Method
4—Intra-Uterine Devices (IUD)
5—Surgical sterilisation/Tubal Ligation

A condom an alarm clock and a packet of The Pill feature to signify it's time to come off The Pill

The upside of taking The Pill

  1. You don’t have to deal with your womanly woes

    You don’t need to figure out, or address the real issues why you have poor skin or irregular/difficult periods. You can just pop your head in the sand for as long as you want, as Doctors don’t restrict how long you can take this drug for.

  2. You prevent unwanted pregnancies (in 99% of cases)

The downside

The Pill is not good for women’s health. Where do I begin…? How about:

  1. You don’t deal with your womanly woes

    Natural health protocols (directed at your specific hormonal concern) will be not be clinically effective if you are taking The Pill.

  2. It depletes you of numerous nutrients

    The vitamins and minerals we currently know are depleted by taking The Pill:
    Vitamins B1/B2/B6, Folate, Biotin, Choline, PABA, Vitamins C &  E, and Zinc & Cobalt

    Note: Nutrient deficiencies can be the cause of many diseased states.

  3. We aren't fully informed before we take The Pill

    While we are told why we should take The Pill, unfortunately we are not told why we shouldn’t take it.  The Pill increases the risk of:

    Bone loss

    Breast and Cervical Cancer
    it’s listed as a Class 1 Carcinogen by the World Cancer Authority

    Deep vein thrombosis


    Diabetes/Insulin resistance


    Hair loss

    Loss of Libido



    The medical community actually prescribe it for this condition

    Stroke & heart attack


A young girl is trying to decide between The Pill and a condom

You shouldn’t be on, or take The Pill if you suffer from any of the following medical conditions:

—Crohn’s Disease
(The medical community actually prescribe it for this condition)

—Elevated Cholesterol

And more…!

Lisa says:

Only use the The Pill for the first two years of a sexual relationship

During this crazy in love phase, you can make some pretty dumb-ass decisions… During this time you simply can’t be trusted to make decisions that could affect the rest of your life. In this case it’s probably wise to be medicated.

Take nutritional precautions while on it

Talk to your Naturopath about how best to support yourself while you are on The Pill. A good quality Multi-vitamin, Probiotic, and liver tonic is highly recommended.

Look for natural measures to help with acne, heavy periods, or period pain.

Talk to your Naturopath about naturally balancing your hormones. Make no mistake, synthetic hormones do not balance anything. The synthetic substances contained in The Pill are nothing like our own human hormones.

Use Natural Family Planning or condoms

Use Natural Family Planning for long-term relationships, and condoms for short-term ones (or during ovulation in long-term relationships).
Your Naturopath will teach you the Symptom-Thermal Method.

This method uses calendar, mucus, and oral temperatures to identify a woman’s fertile time. When used properly, this method has a lower unintended pregnancy rate than The Pill — 0.4 per cent per year compared to The Pill’s 1 per cent per year.

Note: If you want to get down with the kool kids… Many of my younger clients use the My Days mobile phone app. This application can track your regular monthly cycle (which is used to predict ovulation/fertility).  Like Natural Family Planning you would want to track your monthly cycles for a good 3-6 months before you could confidently rely on this method.

Only take The Pill for a very short term solution to prevent unwanted pregnancy

Isn’t it ironic — don’t ya think?
Women who take The Pill may have problems finding the right partner! This drug affects the way our body smells, and can also affect the way we determine pheromones (body smells in males), which is what instinctively attracts us to a particular mate.

More specifically, The Pill stops a woman from producing copulin — a female pheromone that makes her male partner sexually interested in her!

This is ironic considering the main reason why we take this medication is to have carefree sex!

Make an appointment with Lisa

Lisa Fitzgibbon is a degree qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath & Medical Herbalist. She runs her own private practice – OOMPH in Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.

Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 16 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.

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