Health,  Marriage

Let’s Talk Sex + Hormonal Birth Control

I am not a medical doctor. All research that I’ve done has been on my own time and I urge you to do the same. I am sharing my findings and what I have chosen to do in my life. If you have any questions please do your own research and decide for yourself what is best for you.

Let’s talk about SEX! Yes, I said it. I hope we are all adult enough to not blush and hide at the idea of discussing this. Surprisingly, this is a topic that I am asked about almost every single day.

You may or may not know this about me, but I have not taken prescription birth control since I was in college. Reflecting, I notice that a lot of weight gain I experienced in my college years was a side effect of the birth control pills I was subscribed by my doctor. I also believe that birth control pills are often prescribed to mask symptoms (like cramping, spotting, irregular periods and acne) instead of figuring out the underlying causes of the symptoms. I personally like to dig deeper to work on the underlying causes and not mask them and if you feel the same, I would love to share some resources that I am leaning into in this area.

Many birth control pills contain high levels of estrogen that effectively convince your pituitary gland that you are pregnant (this explains some of the side effects of the drugs) and that you don’t need to ovulate. Because your body thinks you are pregnant, the uterine lining thickens. Once you start the placebo pills, however, your estrogen level drops suddenly, and your body menstruates “normally.”

Some physical and emotional changes take place when you are on a prescription birth control that are permanent while you stay on the pill. Many of these changes occur as your body’s response to synthetic estrogen.

These changes can include:

  • Larger breasts
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Reduced or increased acne
  • Slight nausea
  • Emotional sensitivity right before your period
  • Mood swings throughout your cycle
  • Irregular bleeding or spotting
  • Breast tenderness
  • Decreased libido

The side effects that I shared above just might be enough to deter some women from taking birth control. Sadly, before seeing that list, many women are just not aware of the issues associated, while others justify the side effects because the pill is so convenient. I think it all comes down to personal choice after EDUCATING. Whatever you decide to do with your body should be done after the proper education of what will happen short term and long term and not just after you’re perscribed something without further explanation.

Imagine taking your prescribed birth control pill, feeling depressed as a side effect – but not knowing and then being prescribed and taking an antidepressant to handle your mood swings and hypersensitivity. Adding an antidepressant could then also cause more issues including a lower libido, which would surely be noticed by you and your partner.

My point is that birth control pills are a prescription drug with very real ramifications on your overall health and we should all be aware of that before we just take them.

Now that I’ve explained why I decided to stop taking prescription birth control, I am going to share the holistic and more natural birth control methods I use. Intimacy is needed in a relationship between a husband and wife. I don’t know many people who have chosen not to have sex in their marriage and remained happy. I am not saying this is the deciding factor of what a healthy marriage is but I can personally say that when my husband and I are able to connect on that level, we groove better.

There a few forms of natural birth control that I recommend. I will also say, to each his own with what you decide would work best for you and your family. I am choosing to use the following because it’s what I feel most comfortable with.

The most popular form of natural birth control is Natural Family Planning (NFP). This practice limits sexual intercourse to naturally infertile periods; including portions of the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, and after menopause. Another secular term for this practice is Fertility Awareness or some still call it Natural Family Planning. There are several apps that you can download to track your cycle and body changes but I do not use them. I use what I call a “back up.”

With the practice of Natural Family Planning, I am going to also wear a Ava bracelet. Ava is a clinically tested device that uses sensor technology to reveal what’s really happening with your cycle—whether you’re trying to conceive, pregnant, or just want to better understand your body. Worn only during sleep, Ava eliminates the guesswork around tracking your cycle. I personally wear this because it accurately helps me track my body changes and then I know when I should not or should be most fertile. It is SUPER accurate and really helps me stay on track of my cycle.

My next “back up” is in the form of a cream. This cream is from a company called Smart Women’s Choice and was recommended by one of my followers. I started using it a few months ago and I really like how simple and effective it is. It is a natural and non hormonal form of birth control that when properly used can prevent pregnancy. You can read all about the company on their website by clicking here. Smart Women’s Choice immobilizes sperm in the vagina so they cannot make the journey through the Fallopian tubes to fertitize the egg. You insert it vaginally before intercourse and it works like a charm!

If you want to go the route of condoms, know that most name brand condom brands are actually quite toxic so I have found a few vegan and organic brands with out all the yuck ingredients. Sustain Natural not only carries condoms but they also make pads, tampons, wipes and underwear that are free from toxic chemicals. Gylde America has a range of products that you can use in the bedroom including condoms, dams and personal lubricants.

I want to address the question “how do you get intimate with your husband when you cosleep with your children?” Simple, go to another bedroom. You have an entire house to yourselves! Don’t limit yourself to your bed that you cosleep in. We often have our time right after the kids go to sleep so we don’t get interrupted by anyone randomly waking up!

I hope this has answered your questions about natural forms of birth control and offer you some guidance in your own research to find what works for you. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask AND if you are currently using a natural or holistic form of birth control that I did not mention, please share!