Holistic Approaches To Birth Control (and which ones to avoid)
Updated: Feb 9, 2019
Birth control options are on the forefront of concerns for most women. Whether you are in your teens, child-bearing age or post-children, you want to take control of your fertility.
I get it. It is something we feel that we have little knowledge or control over most times. Also, many women are dealing with hormonal imbalances in today's world as well as dealing with heavy or irregular menstruation cycles. These issues can interfere with daily life and when you bring up these concerns with your doctor, they are going to almost immediately suggest birth control.
I am very against hormonal birth control. As more evidence and new research surfaces, I learn more and more about the devastating side effects that manipulating our hormones can have on our overall health and well-being. We are created perfectly, and anything that manipulates how our bodies work long-term will never be good for our bodies.
So, hormonal birth control options are out. You may be tipped off about this already and are heading to what you believe is the next best option. The Copper IUD. This device that is implanted by a doctor into your body is toted to be a safe, non-hormonal option for women to control their flow and hormonal imbalances.
I am here to tell you that in my opinion, the copper IUD not a safe option for you. I am not a doctor and I not giving medical advice, and it's always best to consult your professional healthcare consultant before making any healthcare decisions.
Copper Toxicity of the Copper IUD
If you do a light reading on the copper IUD through the web, you will find statements leading you to believe that the amount of copper in the IUD is safe and no more than the amounts you will find in food. Friend, I am going to be blunt with you. That is garbage. I have coached several women as well as my own sister, who have went through debilitating symptoms from this device and once it was removed, their symptoms disappeared.
With new research surfacing about the MTHFR genetic variations found in many people, this is more reason why women should get tested before even considering this copper IUD device. If a woman has one of these MTHFR mutations, their bodies will not be able to detox the copper from this device like others can. This can cause your body to be incredibly toxic.
Symptoms of Copper Toxicity
Concentration and memory problems
Depression (including postpartum depression)
Anxiety and panic attacks
Addictions may also intensify with excess copper in some people
Lack of feeling or emotional “numbness.”
Cold hands and feet
Weakened immune system with special susceptibility to viral and yeast infections.
If your body is not detoxing and eliminating the excess copper implanted in your body, where is the copper going? Excess copper stores in the liver and the brain...and then on to the reproductive organs. No, no and NO thank you.
Researchers conclude, “It is difficult for many people, including health care professionals, to imagine that an excess of one single nutrient mineral can affect so many aspects of both physical and psychological health. It is indeed the case with excess copper. This may be easier to understand when we consider the fact that excess copper stores in the liver and in the brain. Therefore, excess copper can affect both physical and psychological functions.” (source)
Please know that even if you do not have a MTHFR genetic mutation, I still do not believe the copper IUD to be a safe option for you. I do not believe in altering our bodies, hormones or any bodily functions can ever be a positive impact on our health.
Holistic Approach To Safe Birth Control Options
I understand that women want to feel in control over their fertility and you can achieve this control through non-invasive approaches. As I always guide the women I coach, we must get to the underlying cause of our issues before we can work through them. If you are having hormonal imbalances, irregular cycles and/or very heavy periods, we must address what is causing those issues instead of covering them up by birth control. Your options will depend on your goals. You may just be looking to prevent pregnancy or you may be looking to regulate and reduce painful menstrual symptoms.
This can be done by getting a formal diagnosis by an expert. Once you have a concrete diagnosis, you can work on the solution holistically. Here are safe options that include you tuning into your body. I can work with you on this, as it takes a bit of time, practice and commitment.
Fertility Awareness & Charting Method. This natural birth control method is based on ovulation cycle. This involves abstaining from sex on the days when you’re most fertile and most likely to become pregnant. Charting (also called the Sympto-Thermal Method) includes taking your body temperature as well as observing the changes in your cervical mucus. Sympto-Thermal Method uses a combination of various methods that identify symptoms of ovulation. These include the mucus method, basal body temperature, cervix changes, and other symptoms such as breast tenderness, abdominal heaviness, slight lower abdominal pain, or slight bleeding (spotting). This method may work better for women with irregular or less distinct mucus changes.
Barrier Methods. These are used each time you have sex and include condoms(lambskin condoms are best because they are not coated in chemicals), diaphragms, sponges, and cervical caps.
Withdrawal. Withdrawal is a birth control method when the penis is removed from the vagina before ejaculation. For those who use withdrawal as their only method of birth control, the risk of pregnancy is 22 out of 100.
Natural Herbs For Birth Control
Advocates of natural healing suggest that herbs can be effective at preventing pregnancy. Some believe that these herbs are preferable to chemical-based agents, synthetic hormones, and other popular methods of birth control. (source)
Note: The herbs listed below aren’t approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and haven’t undergone formal medical testing for contraception, so their safety and efficacy can’t be guaranteed. Also, the mechanism of action for some of these herbs may induce a miscarriage or abortion. You should talk with your doctor about the use of these options.
Natural healers commonly suggest, along with herbal supplements, the use of a natural barrier such as a lambskin condom that hasn’t been treated with chemicals. Some of the herbs they suggest include:
Stoneseed Root. Native Americans, such as the Dakotas and the Shoshone, would drink a cold infusion and inhale the smoke of stoneseed root to induce permanent sterility.
Thistle. Native Americans such as the Quinault drank a hot tea made with thistle to cause infertility.
Wild Carrot Seed. Women in certain parts of India eat a teaspoon of wild carrot seed immediately following sexual intercourse. They then follow up with a teaspoon a day for the next 7 days to prevent implantation and conception. It may also act as an abortive.
Ginger Root. Natural healers suggest drinking 4 cups of ginger tea per day for no more than 5 days to initiate menstruation. You can also mix 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger in 6 ounces of boiling water and consume while hot.
Methods & Suggestions For Hormonal Imbalances
If you are solely addressing the problem of hormonal imbalances, here are some suggestions for achieving this, which could help your symptoms.
Stress Reduction --> Meditation, Yoga, Regular Exercise
Herbal Supplements: Rhodiola Rosea, Maca, Ashwaghanda, Holy Basil, Cannibas Oil.
Moving Through Emotional Blocks --> Coaching, therapy, self-discovery
I know that women want to take control of their fertility and menstrual cycles, but we cannot compromise our health in the process. With incorporating these safe techniques and processes into our lives, we can take control over this. After all, it's our body. We know it best and we know what we need to do. Trust yourself and choose the best practice or process for you and your needs.
Love + Light,