Are Birth Control Pills a Wise Option for Period Pain?

Are Birth Control Pills a Wise Option for Period Pain? Statistics show that over 70% of women will use more than one form of birth control at some point

Written by Keith - Nutritionist, Herbalist, and Reseacher

7 min read

Statistics show that over 70% of women will use more than one form of birth control at some point in their lives. In 2015, nearly 65% of women aged 15-49 were on contraception. The statistics are staggering, and it seems that many people still aren't aware of how profoundly it affects the body. Most doctors certainly won't emphasize the many cons of it during your checkout. After all, they're told and paid to recommend medications in a variety of situations. In this article, we will specifically be diving into some of the hidden truths about hormonal contraception.

While it appears that more people want to take control of their health and be responsible when it comes to what they put in their bodies, there seems to be a dichotomy happening. On one hand, millions of people are analyzing labels and ingredients more than ever. While on the other, many people have implicit trust and confidence in whatever medicine is recommended to them. It's up to each person to delve into what they choose to put in their body and do their diligence. These industries that are fueled by selling medicine without total transparency won't go out of their way to analyze and relay all the research to potential customers.

Unfortunately, there is a high amount of bias in mainstream medicine, and not always the ideal level of transparency. To be fair, the same thing can also occur in the natural industry. Today's focus is on the neglected, overlooked research about birth control and those using it for menstrual pains. Many women go to their doctor in desperate search of a solution to the severe symptoms they experience every month. This is totally understandable and a highly logical course of action. However, we would like to present a case for other options to help you make the most informed decision possible.

The most common form of medicine for menstrual pain by far is over-the-counter pain relievers. Ibuprofen, naproxen, and tylenol, are some of the highest-grossing products in the world for period woes. However, these aren't always effective and don't come without a list of potential health risks. Many studies detail the risks of regularly using these treatments, especially when taking a high dose.

Ibuprofen has been shown to cause a raise in blood pressure, kidney ailments, gastrointestinal damage, and heart problems when taken in high doses. Studies show clear links between regular use to an increase in heart attack risk. And while the risk isn't astronomically high, it's certainly present. Many women with severe period pain often need 2-3 pills 3 times a day to get relief. This is a high enough dose to cause problems, even when taken for 3-4 days each month. 1

Hormone-based contraceptives are now another option that many doctors recommend to their patients. It is known that birth control can help decrease bleeding, shorten the duration, and even slightly decrease period pain for some people. However, it doesn't appear to stop the severe menstrual cramps that many women face, although it may slightly lessen the intensity. Whether rings, patches, or pills, women around the world experience such pain that they will jump at any slight chance to feel better. And who can blame that?

We as humans tend to ignore potential downsides when desperation hits. We'll spend more, do all types of things that are sometimes lacking good judgment, and ignore potential consequences. Sadly, the unbiased truth about birth control is painfully absent from nearly all the mediums it's displayed within. In a world full of health problems, it's more important than ever to realize what we put into our bodies.

Unbiased Research on Birth Control

When it comes to the side effects of birth control, only a few of the acute symptoms are usually discussed. Symptoms like headaches, acne, bloating, nausea, dizziness, spotting between periods, and increased appetite are talked about. While these may seem worrisome, doctors will typically say that these side effects will subside within a few months and all will be well. Meanwhile, the real damage and harm are ignored. This is what is so disingenuous and manipulative.

Before we delve into the specific points of research, I want to commend all of you that have a desire for understanding and want to know the truth about this widespread category of medication. Even if you are currently taking it, it is commendable to be open-minded to learning. It's very disturbing that this class of medication is marketed to young women worldwide when hormones are just developing. While many of the side effects apply to all ages, youth and young women are affected the most. Here are some of the overlooked studies related to birth control use:

Why is Birth Control Recommended for Menstrual Symptoms?

The links between birth control and depression have long been suspected, but have never been well established. Many people taking hormonal contraceptives feel changes in their mood and emotional makeup over time. Several studies in the past show a potential risk of usage with depression, but the studies have lacked the type of data to really establish a very strong link. However, a recent thorough analysis of over a dozen studies on the relationship between mood and birth control saw undeniable links.

While the risk isn't astronomically high, it's certainly present according to multiple studies. We know that the hormones within birth control influence important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and more. If you already have depression, birth control doesn't appear to worsen symptoms, but it may contribute to an overall shift in mood for some people. Younger women were the highest at risk of developing depression due to birth control. There are natural alternatives that are incredibly effective at improving depression, anxiety, and different types of mood imbalances. 3-4

Increased Risk of Suicide

A pretty important thing to know, yet I'd be willing to bet that at least 90% of people on birth control weren't made aware of this by their doctor. There is a very important moral and ethical responsibility, to tell the truth about what they're recommending, yet it so rarely occurs. In a recent study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, several researchers give a startling report on this. This report states that hormonal contraception use doubles the risk of suicide attempts, and triples the risk of suicide. Teens and young adults were the highest at risk. 2

With all the pressures of society, growing up in today's world, anything that can potentially increase the risk of suicide should be widely known and taken off the market. The study above wasn't a study with 10-20 people over a few months, this was a large-scale study with almost half a million people documented over many years!

Heart Attacks, Stroke, Blood Pressure, and Clots

As we know, heart attack and stroke are one of the top causes of death worldwide. It's been this way for many decades. This is why it's so important to scrutinize everything that we put into our bodies, especially if there are potential risk factors involved. One study in 2015 by Loyola University Health saw a nearly 2 times increase in strokes from taking birth control pills. 5

The type of estrogen used in birth control causes the blood to clot more easily. This will naturally raise the chances of a stroke and heart attack. Combination birth control pills raised the risk of a heart attack by 50%. And yet again, a third study showed a 1.6-fold increase in blood clots within the arteries from using oral contraceptive medication. Since hormonal contraceptives cause an elevation in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, they can raise blood pressure. 6

Autoimmune Disease

It is not well known that hormonal contraception can increase the risk for several autoimmune conditions. It's startling how rapidly autoimmune conditions are growing around the world. This new category of disease was basically non-existent a couple of hundred years ago, and virtually unknown only 60 years ago. Different toxins and compounds are entering everyday life that has caused the immune system to react in a very strange way.

A growing body of evidence shows that manipulating hormones like birth control does increase the risk for Crohn's disease, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, and more! This is pretty shocking and kept very far away from the public eye because of the amount of money birth control brings in each year. It is a disservice to humanity to hide such important research! This is especially important to know since women are much more susceptible than men to autoimmune diseases. 7

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is something that every woman likely thinks about during their life. While the rate of death due to breast cancer has declined recently, it remains one of the leading causes of death around the world, ranking at number 5. In 2020, nearly 700,000 women around the world died of breast cancer. While the causes of this are very complex and have a lot to do with certain toxic compounds, research shows that birth control can raise risks as well. The data varies from study to study, but a 10-30% increase seems to be average. Studies with numbers above that also exist, so it's fairly unpredictable.

One recent study proved that combined oral contraceptive use increased the risk of breast cancer by 50% when compared to those that never used any form of it. What we know for sure is that there is an increased risk of breast cancer. When you combine this with all the other risk factors present in this modern world, it's a cause for concern. Other forms of cancer such as uterine, ovarian, and liver are more likely from taking hormonal contraceptives, although not all types are negatively impacted. 8, 9, 10

These are some of the proven effects of taking hormone-based contraceptives that most never know about. For so many around the world taking this for menstrual symptoms, I hope you will reconsider. Is the chance of a small degree of relief of monthly period pains worth this many side effects? I know for many with severe cases the answer may be yes, it's important to know that there are natural, healthy options for these symptoms. Without a doubt, many women try natural remedies for their pain and symptoms and they usually fail to come through. But it's important to know that natural products have an extremely wide range in efficacy, strength, and quality in the formula. When it comes to medicine and healing, persistence definitely pays off big in the long run.












11. Are Oral Contraceptives a Good Option for Period Pain?