I recently posted a blog about Yaz that was more popular than I would have at first expected and it made me think that perhaps there is more to say about birth control pills and their effects on the body. So here we go …
Everyone’s body is different. I’m going on record right now – we are all different. Physiologically speaking we are unique. Similar. Shockingly similar. But definitely individuals.
I guarantee that no one reading this has ever had a doctor or healthcare professional do a blood workup (more than once) prior to prescribing medication of any kind let alone birth control. I’m not going to get into the importance of it to me – it is enough to know that millions of women and girls (emphasis on not-yet-grown-up women) take the pill. No one is monitoring what their baseline hormone levels are, how they change over the course of their natural cycle and no one is matching the prescription to these levels. Doctors are, intentionally / knowingly or otherwise, in the pockets of big pharmaceutical companies. (I wrote a blog about it because it bugs me so much.)
For this reason sites like Drug Watch exist to try to let people know what’s going on. People should be informed and that’s why I found some good pix online to help illustrate what a so-called normal cycle should look like and give some info about what the pill is really doing.
This is what a menstrual cycle should look like:
where menses means menstruation. FSH is follicle stimulating hormone (what literally stimulates a resting would-be egg to mature enough to burst through the surface of the ovary and float down the fallopian tube toward the uterus). LH is luteinizing hormone and when it spikes in production, menses follows.
Now all 4 of the main hormones interact with each other in complex feedback loops. (Eating 1 oreo causes you to want more oreos – that’s a kind of like a feedback loop. I know it isn’t a negative one for me. I’ve never had 1 oreo and thought – well that’s going to stop me from eating any more.)
It’s crazy complex and I have no doubt that there’s still lots for the ‘scientific’ community to learn but just for a couple of examples:
from wiki: “LH receptors are also expressed on the maturing follicle that produces an increasing amount of estradiol“, “the oestrogen rise [with follicle maturation] leads via hypothalamic interface to the positive feedback effect, a … LH surge that triggers ovulation, thereby not only releasing the egg but also initiating the conversion of the residual follicle into a corpus luteum that in turn produces progesterone to prepare the endometrium for a possible implantation.”
from Rocky Mountain Analytical (a hormone detection company): estradiol is needed “for the proper function of progesterone receptors and maintenance of the right balance between estrogens and progesterone” which is “crucial for hormone health.”
Because sex hormones are produced by influencing hormones made in the pituitary gland (FSH, LH, thyroid stimulating hormone i.e. TSH – stimulates thyroid to produce thyroxine and triiodothyronine which in turn affect adrenal function), hypothalamus (thyrotropin-releasing hormone – controls TSH production), adrenal glands (testosterone – which in turn affects estrogen) and ovaries. It is an enormously complex web that the pill disrupts. This little look into the body is enough to tell me that indiscriminately mucking with it is not going to be without consequences.
And so it comes around again – consequences. Side effects. All prescriptives have them. We tend to ignore them but our bodies do not have that luxury. It is no wonder that late night television is swamped with adverts to sue drug companies. I think that part of this trend is due to a lack of full disclosure on the part of the doctors. Time constraints and the pervasive thought that patients cannot handle the volume or detailed-aspect of the information leads many doctors to gloss over the whole story (as it is known to them, and they may not have all of the most current published info at their fingertips). And so big drugs are specifically targetted for law-suits. Check out these links for details regarding suits against Yaz, Celebrex and Nasonex.
I write these blogs to put info out there. If it helps someone, that’s great. An even better outcome from these posts would be to inspire others to check out the issues they have on reputable websites to better know what they are taking and why. A little information can lead to foolish choices or it can bring about questions. Questions could lead to dialogue and maybe better answers from your doctor.
Brought to you by You Get Well Soon.