Side-effects of Hormones/Birth-control Pills

Hormones/Birth-Control Pills for Managing PCOS
Mainstream medicine advocates long-term management of PCOS through hormonal medication or birth-control pills. The rationale is to force the uterus to shed its lining periodically to prevent a thick endometrium; synthetic progestin enable this. These pills also thicken the cervical mucous to hinder the sperms, inhibit the egg from travelling down the fallopian tube and make the uterine lining unfit to support implantation of a fertilized egg. Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate), Cycrin are examples of such pills.

In addition to synthetic progestin, some pills contain synthetic estrogen and suppress the secretion of hormones in the ovulatory phase and prevent ovulation. Diane-35/Dianette (cyproterone acetate and ethinyl estradiol), Ortho Tri-Cyclen (norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol) fall in this category.

Some of these hormones are also available as patches, vaginal rings, injections, etc. These pills reduce the risk of uterine cancer and help very well with controlling acne. They moderately help with hirsutism.

Side-effects of these Hormones
Women with PCOS are inherently unable to ovulate correctly. On top of this, using pills (with ethyl estradiol) that externally suppress ovulation further aggravates the body's inability to rectify its natural rhythm. I have seen less painful side-effects from use of progestin-only pills; but prolonged use of even these have been harmful. Some of the side-effects from using these pills I have noticed in my practice are:
- When on these pills, women experience obesity, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, depression, etc.
- After withdrawal from these pills, many women who had irregular menstrual cycles (occasional ovulation, short/long cycles, excess/prolonged bleeding) before taking pills complain of lack of menses for over a year or excessive spotting/bleeding not responding to the pills anymore .
- After withdrawal from these pills, acne, hair-loss and hirsutism recur with greater intensity than before taking the pills.
- Many women experience lower sex drive as well when during and after taking the pills.
- Fertility treatment in order to induce ovulation in women attempting to conceive can become quite complicated after discontinuing the pills.
- Many women struggle to shed the weight they gain when they are on the pill for several months and even years.
- In addition there are the long term health hazards (including cancer, cardiac problems, thrombosis etc.) that can be found in the manufacturer's description.

Even with natural and herbal remedies, it is tougher and takes longer to cure the women whose symptoms are worsened by hormonal therapy. Nevertheless, most women have improved their health, regularized their cycles and gone on to be happy mothers after undergoing natural and herbal treatment. This blog shares many of these stories in the section Case Studies.

1 comment:

Izzy said...

In addition to the nasty side effects on the label, birth control pills are suspected to cause a vitamin B6 deficiency, a vitamin which reduces the production of prolactin. Having a lot of prolactin causes testosterone to be taken up by tissues. Also, when there is a vitamin B6 deficiency, the cells appear to have an exaggerated response to hormones.

Long term, birth control pills spell disaster for a PCOS patient.