This might not be the easiest thing to hear, but if you’re on hormonal birth control, you should seriously consider getting off it (and sooner rather than later). Listen, I get it. There are a number of reasons why you might be on it. You might be trying to heal acne, reduce period cramps, relieve PCOS symptoms, or you might be on it for its intended purpose: preventing pregnancy. Yep, birth control can do a lot for you, but with its laundry list of possible uses comes an equally long list of possible problems which no one is fully immune to.
The truth of the matter is that instead of being taught how to work with your body, you were convinced to take a pill that works against your body. What was intended to provide empowerment has instead backfired, and many women are now paying the price. If you’re anything like me, I don’t think you want to be a dependent customer on Big Pharma for life, but if you’re reasonably skeptical – props to you for being inquisitive – you’ll probably want some cold hard evidence that proves why you should quit hormonal birth control (HBC). That's why I’ve rounded up 13 reasons for you to take the reins and embrace your nature. Let's get into it.
1. You Might Be Duping Your Brain
It’s difficult enough to understand attraction to begin with. One guy has got you crushing hard, but another guy feels like a safer option for you. Or maybe you’re looking around at all the offerings out there, and you feel totally lost, not attracted to anyone in particular. Research has shown that hormonal birth control alters our brain chemistry in a few different ways relating to attraction.
For one, HBC shifts your perception of men, making you less attracted to masculine male faces and more attracted to feminized male faces. The man you pick while you’re on HBC may not necessarily be the man you’d pick while naturally cycling! Behavioral and evolutionary psychologist Dr. Sarah Hill has explained that HBC preventing ovulation and keeping your estrogen levels perpetually low leads you to lean toward less masculine men.
Furthermore, this hormonal shift could actually dupe your brain into believing you’re bisexual when you’re really not. Don’t believe me? Read up on Dr. Hill’s findings about how HBC genuinely changes your sexual desires, or watch her interview on Chris Williamson’s Modern Wisdom Podcast.
2. You’ll Probably Be Hotter If You’re Off It
When you’re ovulating, you give off pheromones that attract a particular mate to you. When you’re not ovulating, which is what happens when taking HBC, you’re suppressing your natural ovulatory pheromones. But what does that even mean? Well, men might find you more attractive because of your pheromones if you’re not on birth control.
In fact, a study was done which showed that strippers (yes, tried and true adult dancers) made more money at the clubs when they weren’t taking HBC compared to when they were suppressing their pheromones with HBC. The most interesting part of this study is how it goes even further beyond pheromones.
Essentially, you’re at your hottest when you’re ovulating.
During the ovulatory period, you’re at your most fertile. You genuinely look better because of the spike in estrogen, you’ve got better skin, and your confidence is typically at an all-time high. Essentially, you’re at your hottest when you’re ovulating, but when you can’t ovulate, you’re preventing yourself from reaching peak sexiness.
3. You’re Risking Chemical Castration
I’ll get a bit personal here. I have been pretty candid about how HBC (the Nexplanon implant) depleted my estrogen and left me without a period for a very long time. While amenorrhea from birth control is considered to be reversible (and trust me, I’ve been praying that it actually is), you still risk going through a period of time where you’re chemically castrated.
Even if my husband and I were looking to start our family right now, we couldn’t, thanks to the HBC implant I was on. Some women get their periods back right away after quitting HBC, but some of us are far less lucky. Frankly, even “temporary” infertility is emotionally difficult to deal with. From a girl who got the short end of the stick to one who hopefully doesn’t, get off HBC so you can maintain your present fertility.
It doesn’t end there, though. Like I said, HBC is supposed to only cause temporary blips in fertility, but it actually does affect your future fertility in a few ways. HBC is a band-aid solution to a lot of feminine health conditions. Instead of treating things like PCOS or thyroid disease, it masks the symptoms. It also can thin your uterine lining, deplete antioxidants, and, as mentioned before, make it harder for you to find your right mate. All of those things contribute to future fertility, even the latter, because if “your type” is a low-T man, you might be perfectly fertile in the future, but he could be the one holding you back from naturally conceiving. Just food for thought.
4. HBC Opens the Flood Gates to a Host of Health Issues
I addressed how HBC is a pretty little mask for major and minor health issues, but on the flip side, it actually opens you up to a host of other health-related issues. Remember when Hailey Bieber opened up about suffering from a blood clot? She reported that it was related to her birth control.
Birth control increases your risk of blood clots and stroke at a young age, but that risk goes up if you’re in your 30s or if you smoke. In addition to that, HBC has been shown to increase your risk for certain cancers like breast, ovarian, and liver cancer. One other major health risk that is sadly underreported is how HBC causes immune system imbalances in your body, which can perpetuate autoimmune conditions. Hormonal birth control has made this generation of women sick with unique conditions our mothers and grandmothers didn’t have to deal with.
5. You’ll Get Your Libido Back
Have you had trouble getting in the mood? HBC might be the culprit because it suppresses your testosterone and estrogen levels. And yes, women do have testosterone. Not nearly as much as men, but we still need to for basic sexual function! HBC also changes your serotonin production, but more on that later.
So if you’ve been feeling a lull in your sex life, or if you’ve thrown your hands up and think you might just even be asexual, chances are you’re not broken, you’re not dysfunctional, you’re not asexual – you’ve just suppressed your natural hormones!
6. Chances Are, Your Skin Will Get Better
Your doctors might have sold you on HBC as a method to clear up hormonal acne. Simple equation, right? Hormonal acne problems minus those pesky hormones equals better skin. Except it’s not so simple. HBC can actually change your normal gut flora, which could make you sensitive to gut-disturbing stimuli. This, in turn, affects the texture and clarity of your skin because yeast and pathogenic organisms thrive in weak gut flora.
Additionally, HBC lowers the production of your anti-aging hormone known as DHEA. Yes, you can layer on the retinoids and stay out of the sun, but if you’re not taking good care of your skin from the inside out, then it won’t visually improve!
7. You Might Actually Lose Weight
No, the weight you might’ve gained on HBC isn’t just from “fluid retention” like the mainstream narrative suggests. There isn’t necessarily a direct correlation between being on birth control and gaining weight, but the change in your hormones can affect a bunch of different aspects of your life.
When you’re experiencing chronic health issues like low energy, headaches, anxiety, depression, and gut flora imbalances, it’s a lot harder to manage a healthy weight. You might lack the drive to exercise. You might feel that cooking your own food and fueling yourself with proper nutrition is just too exhausting.
HBC limits just how much lean muscle you can gain.
What’s more, HBC also limits just how much lean muscle you can gain, so try as you might at the gym, you might not see any gains! Weight loss isn’t just about fat loss; it’s also really important to increase your lean muscle mass.
So when you look at photos of women before and after taking birth control, it’s pretty clear there’s a good chance of you losing weight after getting off it!
8. You Can Reclaim Yourself from a Lie
HBC was sold to you as a lie of liberation…but for what purpose? You get to have unbridled casual sex? Hookup culture makes us feel pretty crappy. You get to #girlboss it up and be more like the guys? Hustle culture also makes us feel pretty crappy.
HBC is lauded as a great equalizer for women because it shifts our natural hormonal cycles from the 28-day, four-phase cycle we’re biologically programmed to flourish with to something that it’s not. We don’t even end up on the male version of a hormonal clock (the 24-hour cycle where T-levels are high in the morning and low at night) because we have no hormonal fluctuations at all!
You don’t need to force yourself out of operating like a woman to be successful or feel fulfilled. Reclaim yourself from that lie and embrace who you truly are!
9. You’ll Finally Be Able To Balance Your Hormones
Earlier, I alluded to HBC being a band-aid solution to many health problems. This is because HBC doesn’t actually balance your hormones; it neutralizes them and masks any potential menstrual cycle irregularities or PCOS symptoms. You’re putting yourself through a negative feedback loop. HBC suppresses how your body naturally produces progesterone and estrogen, instead pumping your body full of artificial swaps.
So, your ovulation stops, and your uterine lining thins. Because of this, you might end up with estrogen dominance, or you might end up totally drained of your estrogen. You don’t want either, but speaking from personal testimony here, I can assure you that you really don’t want the latter.
That high dose of artificial estrogen, which might leave you estrogen dominant (common with people who take the pill as opposed to other styles of birth control), actually increases the activity of a substance called thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) which binds thyroid hormone. What does this mean? If you have more TBG circulating through your body, there’s less free thyroid hormone ready for your body to use. Therefore, you could end up with worsened thyroid issues.
10. Any Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies May Go Away
Vitamin and mineral supplements are all well and good, but it’s really hard to counteract deficiencies with dietary supplements. Being on HBC can deplete your body’s levels of zinc, selenium, and tyrosine, which are all really important to make sure your thyroid functions normally. Being on HBC also can deplete your body’s levels of B6, B12 vitamins, and folate, which could lead you to become anemic, depressed, or experience birth defects if you choose to get pregnant soon after quitting HBC.
11. You’ll Likely Be Happier off It
Did you know that HBC triples young women’s risk of suicide? Research shows that women on HBC are significantly more depressed and are more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than those who naturally cycle. It’s worth noting that some people report feeling better on the pill, but that doesn’t negate the many who feel otherwise.
Why might this be? Dr. Sarah Hill explained to TED that HBC doesn’t properly stimulate the neurotransmitter GABA receptors in your brain. When this happens, you feel more overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed. Low levels of GABA are linked to mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, panic disorder, depression, and even alcohol dependence. She also noted that neurotransmitters you might be more familiar with, dopamine and serotonin, are negatively affected by HBC.
Pill-taking women have a blunted positive emotional response to happy things.
“Consistent with this idea, research finds that pill-taking women – when compared with their naturally cycling counterparts – have a blunted positive emotional response to happy things and don’t experience activity in the reward centers of their brains when looking at pictures of their romantic partners,” she explained.
12. HBC Zaps Your Competitive Spirit
Alright, we know that HBC can make you more depressed and anxious, but it goes deeper than that. Being on birth control can actually disrupt, and in some cases, destroy your natural drive for self-development competitiveness.
A study was done which suggests that when you’re mid-cycle and ovulating, you experience a boost in competitive feelings. During ovulation, you’re at your most fertile because of the surge in hormones. The researchers discovered that a woman who ovulates is more likely to want to express herself, discover her abilities, and test her limits.
“Hormonal contraceptives disrupt the natural cycle and blunt the expected peak in competitiveness that is observed around ovulation,” explained study author Lindsie Catherine Arthur, Ph.D. candidate.
Wouldn’t it be nice to experience that competitive spirit? It sounds much more empowering, in my opinion, to get this emotional boost instead of keeping yourself at a flat line 24/7.
13. You Can Tell Big Pharma To Hit the Trails
By 2028, the global contraceptive drug market is predicted to reach $16.5 billion. Last year alone, global revenue from HBC was already $12.1 billion because women are prescribed pills like they’re candy. Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis, Allergan, Bayer, and plenty more notable names that comprise the infamous “Big Pharma” crew reel in profits when more women get on HBC. Let’s also not forget that HBC is about to go over-the-counter, which will only increase Big Pharma’s profit margins…all at your expense!
Have you noticed that while birth control has become the norm, you might have lost a certain amount of personal autonomy over your own body? You get stuck relying on a pill, patch, implant, or shot to fix something about your life, whether that’s a skin problem, hormone imbalance, or an aspect of your lifestyle that you wish you could change. You’re a free woman. Would you like to genuinely embrace that empowering freedom or would you prefer to be dependent on drug companies?
There are many different reasons why a woman (or girl, many of us started at a young age!) go on birth control. This product was sold to us as empowerment but instead disenfranchises us in a shocking number of ways. Unfortunately, you won’t see the mainstream media address most, if any, of them.
Quitting hormonal birth control was easily one of the best health decisions I have made in my adult life so far! There are good reasons why quitting HBC is having a cultural moment right now, from restoring autonomy over our own bodies to crushing the stranglehold that Big Pharma has on our health. If you’re wary of following trends, I assure you, this one is well worth it.
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