Birth control pills are the most effective and the most hazardous form of contraception. Although they’re a 99% effective form of birth control, they also come with many possible side effects. Experiencing weight gain, breast tenderness, mood swings, tension, depression, circulatory, and gastrointestinal upset are not uncommon. Blood clots, liver and gallbladder problems and cancer are also possible.
How they work
Most come in the form of an oral dose, a combination of estrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone) in amounts higher than the body’s natural levels. This then prevents our pituitary hormones from being release to stimulate ovulation and fertilization of the egg and thus prevents pregnancy.
The deficiencies they cause
Along with the possible side effects, oral contraceptives may create certain nutrient deficiencies and excesses as well as increase your nutritional needs. Some of these deficiencies include:
- Magnesium: plays a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, vital for the health of the muscular, cardiovascular, and nervous systems
- Zinc: assists with wound healing, carbohydrate digestion, growth, and immunity
- Vitamin B6: aids in the digestion, fat and protein utilization, maintains sodium/potassium balance
- Vitamin B12: assist with the replication of genes, synthesis of myelin, maturation of red blood cells (RBC)
- Folic Acid: influences appetite control, body growth and reproduction, hydrochloric acid production, RBC formation
- Vitamin C: aids in collagen production, healing, antioxidant, infection resistance
Going off birth control for some of us is absolutely out of the question. So, what’s the first step we can take to balance out the deficiencies? You got it! Incorporating foods high in these nutrients into your daily routine is a great first step.