Saturday, June 03, 2006

Extended birth control use issues that could affect fertility and health

There was a discussion on Ovusoft so I looked up some references based on things that I had read here and there. Studies supposedly show that upwards of 80% of women will return to "normal" cycles upon discontinuation of the Pill. It really does matter how they did those studies though, as cycles before and after hormonal contraceptive use might differ wildly so normal isn't really as normal as you might have been if you hadn't used the Pill.

I never used the Pill, it wasn't anything other than a philosophical position -- it didn't seem right to me to introduce prolonged hormonal manipulation to my body just for the sake of more assurance against unwanted pregnancy. I was careful in my selection of partners, there were few as well that I crossed that line of intimacy with, I was willing to be diligent in my use of condoms and I knew I was open to dealing with any unfortunate outcomes of my approach. Still I ended up with fibroids and heavy period and anemia and who knows if BCPs might not have carved out a different reality for me. My sister on the other hand used all sorts of birth control including Depo and she ended up with 6 fibroids combined to the size of a grapefruit (the size mine was when it was removed after I became pregnant) and that was a good 6-7 years ahead of when I got to that point when you factor in our age difference.

Here are some mentions of the pill that might interest you.

After the pill, the copper IUD, superovulation-stimulating drugs (Clomid, etc.) or previous childbirth, the copper may be over-high and the zinc, and possibly also magnesium and manganese, may be too low. It is vital to adjust this before embarking on the next pregnancy, to avoid the risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
From: Foresight, Preparing for Pregnancy

14 women with a history of taking a combined oral contraceptive (norethynodrel plus mestranol) were studied and were found to have vaginal candidosis which commenced after an average period of 9 months from start of contraceptive therapy. 4 sexual contacts (men) of those women taking the pill were also discovered to have vaginal candidosis; they had presented with candidal balanoposthitis. 4 other men had clinical manifestations suggestive of balanoposthitis caused by hypersensitivity to the candidosis of their sexual partners. Nystatin was a satisfactory treatment in most cases; however, 2 women had to stop using the pill because of frequent relapses of yeast infections.

From: Candida albicans and the contraceptive pill.

Nutrients that can be reduced by the use of Oral Contraceptives (OC):

Folic Acid (Folate). Birth control pills tend to cause folic acid depletion and increase the risk of cervical dysplasia and vascular thrombosis, stroke, and possibly megaloblastic anemia.

B-vitamins. As several B-vitamins are affected negatively by birth control pill use, a B-complex supplement is suggested, especially vitamin B6 if depression is present.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). Levels are lowered by OC use which interferes with the metabolism of ascorbic acid. Insufficient intake of ascorbate is also associated with an increased risk of cervical dysplasia.

Selenium. Selenium absorption may be reduced. Selenium is an important nutrient for cancer prevention.

From: Birth Control Pill Issues

Also since the affect of the pill cause changes in the hypothalmus-pituitary-ovarian axis isn't it possible that prolonged use actually can cause some potential atrophy of this system in how it is normally meant to function? Using a contrasting situation, if you shot up someone who was healthy with insulin for years, even at a low dose, wouldn't it affect the function of the pancreas long-term? (]more about how the Pill works here)

The pill may cause permant sex drive loss

BOSTON, May 26 (UPI) -- Women who take contraceptive pills may suffer reduced sex drive for the rest of their lives, University of Boston researchers say.

It has been long known that oral contraceptives lower levels of testosterone, and thus sex drive, and increase levels of sex hormone binding globulin, or SHBG.

While it was thought that the pill's adverse effects could be reversed, the University of Boston research shows they may be permanent, the London Daily Mail reported Thursday...

Women taking the pill had SHBG levels that were seven times higher than women who had never taken oral contraceptives.

Women who quit taking the pill still registered SHBG levels that were four times as great as non-contraceptive users.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I haven't been doing my qigong I'm sorry to say, but I have been making a concerted effort to walk to and from work a few times a week. It makes dressing a bit awkward, I have to factor in client meetings and the like -- though wearing jeans and comfy shoes every day would be nice. I need to do more dance and lately I've been thinking that I should bring my bicycle up from the basement and take it around a bit.

I am having an unhappy body day today, actually I left work b/c I had such a bad stomach ache -- and it turns out a very light fever. I have no idea what it is about, I've been having stomachaches periodically after I eat. I came home and rested and drank a lot of water, particularly hot water and it made me feel better. I ate dinner without any more issues -- it's so weird. Been going on two weeks now. I sent an email to my acus about it, I hope they let me know what they think.
I didn't schedule an acu appt this week and they only had openings for the abdominal massage tomorrow but I didn't call in to make an appt for that either (busy week). I've had this borderline sinus thing going on this week, something is going on in there though its not an infection -- and won't be if I stay on top of it with the saline nasal spray. Then I'm mostly okay but my digestion is still a bit odd, certain meals seem to throw it off again and there are some foods that my body is telling me to avoid such as bananas and alcohol, particularly beer (though I hardly ever have beer). Very strange.

I guess I'll have to see about getting my appointments lined up for next week. I like to go on Thursdays.

Feeling Ill

Here's my note to my acu from today:

I've continued having some digestive disturbance over this week as well, though my schedule was so full that I didn't have time to get in for an appointment. Sometimes after meals I just feel like I'm so nauseous, other times I'm badly constipated. When I do have bowel movements it alternates between dry and firm or very soft and a lot at once.

This week I've also been having some sinus congestion/bordering on infection. I took half a dose of Nyquil last night and it didn't seem to help. I know that sinus issue and digestive issues can be related sometimes.

This morning I woke up and my lower back felt bad, also since I ovulated over last weekend (which was painful and congested feeling in my lower right abdomen and lasted from Friday evening until Saturday morning) my points in my ankles and that spot above my ankle bone have been very achey. I bet if you saw me you would needle all my spleen points on my legs.

I was feeling so bad this afternoon (like I might throw up or have diarhea) that I left work early, I have a .1 degree temperature.

Is there anything I should do or take? I just feel so lousy.

--- and here's what she wrote back ---

I am sorry to hear that you are feeling so awful! I got your email today when I came in for the morning and just wanted to get a quick email off to you for the weekend. First, I hope you are feeling better already!...if not I am hoping that you are able to rest up over the weekend because it sounds like you have had a very hectic schedule.

I have been thinking more about abdominal massage for you. The symptoms you are having currently lead me to believe you would really benefit from getting abdominal massage in combination with the acupuncture both for pain/ cramping and digestive disturbances, in addition to being excellent for fertility. Hopefully it will fit in your schedule to see either myself or Danisha (abdominal massage) in the upcoming week.

Until then, I think eating something very easy on your digestion such as a chicken noodle soup. Try putting some fresh ginger into the soup or have ginger tea to help calm and decrease nausea. Peppermint tea might also help and benefit the sinuses as well. Although it may be tender along the spleen channel, some gentle massaging of those points will help. You may also try some clock-wise (12 o'clock being at your navel) direction gentle massage of your low abdomen.

Hope this helps and your weekend goes well.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


I was at a bookstore last night and was looking up some info in The Encyclopia of Natural Medicine (I have the companion Ency. of Natural Supplements already) and was looking at what it said about asthma as my partner's cousin is dealing with really serious asthma problems. While scanning that section of the book, which also dealt with respiratory allergies, I saw mention of Candida overgrowth as a possible contributor to both conditions. I flipped to that section and it talked about how prolonged anti-biotic use can lead to pathologic overgrowths of candida in the colon which can impair food absorption. It also said this would impair liver function

It just reminded me of when I was on tetracycline in college for mild acne for longer than I was meant to. And that's around when I started having more of my health problems -- digestive issues, etc. It still might be a stretch but I bet that's part of my issue. The book mentioned that it was hard to get rid of once it was entrenched and that the immune system is hyper-reactive to it as well.

Those things are totally in parallel to what my acu has said about my situation -- though the diagnosis is phlegm obstruction (hyperactive immune system) and Spleen Qi deficiency (poor digestion, to be treated with a diet akin to a candida cleansing diet), with blood deficiency (hard time assimilating nutrients) and some Liver Qi stagnation. The diet my acu has me on includes cutting back on alcohol, fermented foods, sugar and simple carbs -- same as one does for candida.

Interesting don't you think?

My digestion is still a bit off, I think I need to get back to my cooked foods, no dairy, low wheat, low sweets, and leafy green veg diet. I've just started back on my herbs and they seem to be helping.

Here are some links about Candida that I've come across:

Intestinal Yeast and Candida

Candida Treatment Overview - Clean the Colon to Check Candida

Candida Albican

Candida Summary

The Candida Syndrome: Health Nemesis or Myth?

TCM Tongue Diagnosis

I just retried this Tongue Diagnosis Tool and it is still spot on with my diagnosis which is so amazing and weird. You should try it yourself, just grab a mirror and something to jot notes on as you click through the questions.

Tongue diagnosis used to be used more in Western medicine as well, but now they are so reliant on blood testing and the like that the observatory aspects of their practice are largely ignored or forgotten.