If you’re a woman, there’s a good chance you’ve been prescribed birth control pills at some point on your life, or you’ve at least been approached about the subject by your gynecologist. Whether the goal is to prevent pregnancy or control a hormonal imbalance, millions of women are prescribed birth control pills every day. The problem is, many of them don’t know what they’re getting themselves into. Birth control pills may help prevent pregnancy, but they can also wreak havoc on your hormone levels, destroy your gut health and increase your risk of cancer, among other things.
Here are nine reasons why you should stop taking birth control pills (BCPs):
1. BCPs Increase Testosterone Levels
Birth control pills increase a woman’s testosterone levels. Higher testosterone levels can end up causing a lower sex drive, vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. Up to 40% of women who take birth control pills may be experiencing this problem, but most aren’t talking about it.
2. BCPs Cause Hormonal Imbalances
The extra testosterone in your body causes your hormones to shift out of balance. After a while of being on birth control, even if you stop taking the pill, your hormones may never return to normal.
3. BCPs Affect Your Gut Health
When you’re taking birth control pills, your gut health suffers. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are linked to chronic gut inflammation. Both of these illnesses are more common among women who use oral contraceptives.
4. BCPs Make PMS Worse And Cause Blood Clots
Some birth control pills contain a synthetic form of progestin known as drosperinone. Pills with drospirenone may double your chances of fatal blood clots compared to other birth control pills. This ingredient also worsens PMS symptoms.
5. BCPs Affect Your Thyroid
Birth control pills have a negative effect on your thyroid. The high dose of estrogen increases the activity of Thyroxine Binding Globulin or TBG. TBG is responsible for binding the thyroid hormone. More TBG in the body leads to lower levels of thyroid hormone for your body to use.
6. BCPs Cause Fluid Retention
Many women complain of weight gain due to birth control pills. While there is no evidence that the pill directly causes weight gain, it does increase fluid retention, which can make you feel bloated and a few pounds heavier.
7. BCPs Decrease Vitamin And Mineral Levels In Your Body
Doctors aren’t sure why this happens, but birth control pills lower the body’s absorption of Vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, B9 and B12. That’s not all. They also have a negative effect on the absorption of Vitamins C and E, copper, magnesium, selenium and zinc.
8. BCPs Increase Your Risk Of Cancer
This one is pretty straightforward. Research suggests that birth control pills increase the risk of both breast cancer and cervical cancer.
9. BCPs Can Delay Conception
Many women who use birth control may want to get pregnant at some point in their lives. Birth control pills can cause permanent delayed conception. If children are in your future, this could be a huge issue.