9 Reasons You Should Stop Taking Birth Control Pills According To Gynecologists

If you’re a woman, there’s a good chance you’ve been prescribed birth control pills at some point on your life, or at least you’ve 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. (1)

Here are nine reasons why you should stop taking birth control pills (BCPs):
1. BCPs Increase Testosterone Levels
Yes, in order to influence a woman’s cycle, it helps to increase a woman’s testosterone levels. Unfortunately, higher testosterone levels, as well as progestin, 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)

2. BCPs Cause Hormonal Imbalances
Wait a sec! Aren’t birth control pills usually prescribed to help balance hormones? After all, the synthetic hormone used to mimic progesterone, called progestin, does work. Yes, but unfortunately it can influence other functions in the body, throwing the body out of whack. And after a while on birth control, even if you stop taking the pill, your hormones may never return to normal. (3)

3. BCPs Affect Your Gut Health
By now, we know that antibiotics can wreak havoc on your gut, but you may not know that birth control pills also affect gut health. Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are linked to chronic gut inflammation, and both of these illnesses are more common among women who use oral contraceptives. Unfortunately, those with established Crohn’s disease, an extra surgery is more common for those using BCPs. (4)

4. BCPs Make PMS Worse And Cause Blood Clots
Sometimes using “the pill” worsens PMS symptoms. You see, they 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)

5. BCPs Affect Your Thyroid
Yes, studies show that the impact of birth control pills on thyroid hormones is “minor.” However, they do impact the thyroid hormones that the body actually uses: Free T3 and Free T4. Also, 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)

6. BCPs Cause Weight Issues
Many women complain of weight gain while on birth control pills. Is it actually caused by the pill, though? While there is no evidence that BCPs directly cause weight gain, it does increase fluid retention, which can make you feel bloated and a few pounds heavier. Not only that, oral contraceptives have been shown to change a woman’s body shape and influence fat storage. (7)

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. But that’s not all. They also have a negative effect on the absorption of Vitamins C and E, copper, magnesium, selenium and zinc. Of course, the underlying health and lifestyle habits of those on birth control may also influence nutrient levels, but if you’re using an oral contraceptive, a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement certainly can’t hurt. (8)

8. Birth Control Pills Increase Your Risk Of Cancer
This one is pretty straightforward. Since cancers like breast cancer and cervical cancer point to hormone issues, it stands to reason that when you influence your body’s hormones – as you do with birth control pills – then the potential for cancer increases. For example, research suggests that birth control pills increase the risk of both breast cancer and cervical cancer. (9)

9. Birth Control Pills Can Delay Conception
Yes, this one’s obvious, isn’t it? But when a woman wants to start a family, it isn’t as easy as just stopping oral contraceptives. Many women who use birth control may want to get pregnant at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, birth control pills can cause permanent delayed conception. If children are in your future, this could be a huge issue. (10)

Primary Sources:
Waking Times
Dr. Streicher
Hormones & Balance
MBG Health
Mayo Clinic
Thyroid Pharmacist
BBC Future
Dr. Sara Gottfried MD

Additional Sources:
Kelly Brogan MD
Center 4 Research
Web MD
Medical News Today