Birth control is a tricky subject. We understand the importance of having an effective way to protect yourself against unplanned pregnancy, but there are serious negative effects to using the common forms of birth control prescribed by most doctors. Luckily, there are some options for people who want to lower their risk of an unplanned pregnancy that are completely natural, non-invasive and hormone-free.
The Problem with the Pill
Many traditional birth control methods (like the Pill or the arm implant), flood the body with synthetic hormones, which can affect every one of the body’s functions because of their impact on your genes.
Birth control has high levels of estrogen (a hormone) that are used to trick the body into believing that there is no reason to ovulate or line the uterus with a protective layer on a monthly basis (two factors that make it possible to get pregnant).
The problem with adding estrogen to the body is that estrogen also controls something called thyroxine-binding globulin, which can have negative impacts on your thyroid and liver. As its levels go up, your thyroid and liver function can go down.
Poor thyroid function is linked to some pretty nasty, undesirable side effects, including weight gain and depression. Like the thyroid, the liver can impact your mental health. Our livers are where our bodies take proteins apart and create neurotransmitters. If the liver can’t create the right neurotransmitters because it isn’t functioning optimally, you can feel depressed as a result.
A Natural Alternative
When talking about birth control, we always advise people to consider a hormone-free alternative to traditional birth control methods, such as the calendar method, the cervical mucus method or the temperature method — all of which are effective at preventing unplanned pregnancy but require some planning and tracking, as well as observing days of abstinence.
The Calendar Method
With this method of birth control, you can track your fertile days on a calendar to accurately predict which days you are fertile and which days you are safe to have sexual intercourse without the risk of pregnancy.
The Cervical Mucus Method
If you begin taking not of your vaginal discharge on a daily basis and tracking it on a calendar, in a notebook or on your phone, over time it will allow you to be able to make assumptions about your fertility based on the consistency of your discharge. Once you have the understanding, you will be free to have intercourse on infertile days and will know when to abstain on fertile ones.
The Temperature Method
Similar to the two methods above, you can also use a daily thermometer reading in order to track the fertile and infertile days of your cycle. The body naturally changes in temperature slightly depending on which day of your cycle you are currently in. Tracking it regularly can show you with great accuracy which days you are safe from pregnancy and which days you are not.
We’ll Work with You
Any of the methods above can work well to prevent pregnancy if you are dedicated to keeping accurate records and committing to the necessary effort. Need help with your hormone-free birth control plan? Schedule an appointment for counseling and support today.
Jay Goodbinder DC DABCI is a doctor in Overland Park, KS who serves patients in surrounding Kansas City areas, cities across the United States, and in several countries around the world.