Dangers of Hormonal Birth Control

Dr. Frank Lipman's Be Well blog | 2016

In the United States, roughly one in five women between the ages of 15 and 44 uses some form of hormonal birth control1. They go on it for a variety of reasons, from preventing pregnancy and regulating the menstrual cycle to easing acne and quieting PMS symptoms.

Women who take hormonal birth control tolerate common side effects like fluid retention and breakthrough bleeding (spotting between periods). But, there are additional dangers associated with hormonal birth control methods like the pill, transdermal patch, and hormonal IUDs. For example, a recent study found that the risk of depression is 40 percent greater in women who use hormonal birth control than in those who don’t.

And mood changes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to deeper, darker dangers associated with birth control, say functional medicine experts.

“The liver gets taxed by synthetic hormones because it has to break them down,” says Mark Flannery, DC, a functional medicine specialist in Los Angeles, California. “This extra stress on the liver can lead to poor detoxification, increased inflammation, high cholesterol, and poor immune function.” ...

Laine Bergeson