A book just came in the mail from author Alexandra Pope, who wrote The Wild Genie, and whose website is linked here on the sidebar, and co-author Jane Bennett. http://www.inspiredliving.net.au/book_thepill.html
The Pill, Are you sure it's for you? is sure to be a controversial book, but it's very grounded in scientific research.
The main thrust of the book is that although women herald the pill as the great liberator, freeing women from unwanted pregnancies, and granting sexual freedom, it also is the 'greatest medical experiment' ever perpetuated on half of the human race.
We know about some of the side effects, but these are often downplayed. The pill is even prescribed to twelve year old girls with acne to control their skin problems. It seems odd that doctors seek to repress symptoms without looking to find the cause. But then, hormonal contraception is a multi-billion dollar industry with sales of $1.7 billion a year in the US alone (stats from the book The Pill).
There is a very good discussion of the dangers of menstrual suppression, which is touted as 'more natural' than having a monthly period for 35 years by some doctors. For myself, I took the pill at age 17, and went off at age 19, then didn't have a period for two years. It never was an option for me, so I looked into natural methods of identifying the ovulation part of the cycle (easy to do), and my husband and I used condoms until I hit menopause.
Many girls and women have never even considered other options. And they probably aren't told of the dangers of thrombosis or blood clots, mood swings, depression, weight gain, fertility problems and other side effects. (In one study quoted, of 23,0000 oral contraception users, over a third of the women on the Pill stopped taking it because of depression." (29) Synthetic hormones are four times as strong as your natural hormone levels. They affect all your organs and processes. The liver for example, must handle these hormones, break them down so your body can use them, and can get overloaded. "Nausea, crankiness and moodiness as well as feeling depleted, tired and rundown, can in part be traced to this added strain that processing the Pill places on your liver." (41)
I highly recommend you read this book to get fully informed on the side-effects so you can decide if the benefits are worth it. There is a wonderful chapter on how to find the best contraception method for you. And several chapters cover the power of the menstrual cycle and how to tune into your own rhythm, which stems from the work Alexandra Pope has done in her previous workshops and books. The
If you are considering going off the pill, you also may benefit from reading this book. Many stories and examples are given of women who felt disconnected from themselves while on the pill, and now are embracing a greater harmony as they get back in touch with their cycles.
Menstruation is a natural, healthy process in women, and when it's not working, there are underlying health issues that must be addressed, whether genetic, stress-related, or environmental.
Take charge of your reproductive health - ask the right questions, get informed. Make peace with your period. And above all, listen to your body's wisdom about whether the pill is right for you.
More on this book later