First proper post, here we go, its a biggie. I started to write this a long time ago and my baby is 8 months now, so starting on the road to ‘try’ and get pregnant seems like a lifetime ago (about two years to be precise). Having a baby was something my husband and I knew we both wanted and were heading towards after getting hitched. We knew it was part of the bigger picture and I just assumed it would happen straight away when we were ready. I was on the pill for about 15 years before thinking about babies, which, I actually can’t believe it was that long when I see it written down – that’s a huge amount of time! (sorry mum!) It was only when my husband and I decided we were ready to start trying (I know, ewww!) that I started to read information online about coming off it the pill, when you should stop taking it when trying for a baby etc. It was on one of my many interweb searches that I stumbled across this website. Nat Kringoudis is an Aussie lady who is a natural fertility expert and a Chinese Medicine Doctor, amongst other things. She is a firm believer of healthy living, eating well and not being on the pill. Nat is all about getting to know your body and recognising the signs your body gives you when you are fertile each month rather than masking these signals with the pill. It’s clear from reading her site that she sees a lot of women in her practice to help with fertility issues and many of these women have been on the pill for a long time before trying for a baby.
Nat believes that over the years that the pill has been handed out rather too freely to women, without us having proper discussions about what other options are available or without any real education taking place about our bodies and how they work. I know in my case, when I went and asked my GP many years ago for the pill, the whole situation was so embarrassing for me that I don’t think I listened to anything that was said about contraception and sex. I’m sure my Doctor did try to educate me, but I was probably so embarrassed by the whole situation that I certainly didn’t listen and my school sex-education was virtually non existent, so it’s safe to say that I was pretty clueless about what I was about to undertake by putting myself on the pill.
Fast forward to more recent years and I didn’t even give it a second thought when I ran out of my pill packet, I’d just automatically go and get another supply, I never thought about other methods or thought about giving my body a break. I didn’t for one moment think it might take me longer than I thought to get pregnant because of the years that I had been on the pill. Rather naively I thought that I would stop taking my pill then ‘sex‘ (said in Miranda type embarrassed voice) would happen once, maybe twice if my husband was lucky and then taaa-daaa, pregnancy would occur! … Wrong!! Nat reckons that it can take up to a minimum of six months for your body to get back to normal when you’ve stopped taking the pill, as it rids itself of the toxins and effectively ‘rights’ itself again. Now, this isn’t relevant to all women, some can stop taking it and WHAM, pregnant straight away, it has certainly happened that way for at least two of my friends who I think literally looked at their partners and got pregnant but for others, that isn’t always the case so surely this should give us food for thought? If you’re still not sure, here is a brief lowdown from Nat about the downside to taking the pill:
- The pill makes us infertile because it is designed to do so.
- It messes with our hormones and in many instances, our bodies have great trouble getting back on track.
- It isn’t a solution to PCOS or endometriosis, solutions fix a problem. The pill is a temporary ‘band aid’.
- It degenerates the crypts that secrete fertile mucus essential for conception. Without fertile mucus, the sperm can’t reach the egg.
- Side effects include nausea, depression, breast pain, migraines and low libido.
- It robs your body of essential vitamins and minerals.
Reading Nat’s blog really made me take a look at my own situation. First things first, I stopped taking the pill (it’s an obvious one, I know) then I got myself a good multivitamin and Zinc supplement. I also started keeping a diary logging things like dates of when I got my period back, how long it lasted, the colour (yes, really) pains I experienced and heaviness of the flow. Then I was looking for other things like signs of mucus (mmm) which your body releases around the time you’re at your most fertile. These things combined along with some other measures helped me, I believe, along the way to getting pregnant as I started to recognise patterns and the signs that my body was giving out. Our own fertility is possibly something we don’t even give a second thought to when we are younger, we’re so busy trying not to get pregnant that you don’t think ahead to the future. Coming off the pill made me feel a lot happier in a time when I was trying for a baby, I felt like I was doing something good for my body. Since having a baby, I haven’t gone back on the pill again, mainly for the reason that I believe it’s not good for my body but also because I would like another baby at some point and to go back on it, just doesn’t make sense to me. I feel I’d be giving my body all the wrong signals so it’s not something I will ever take, ever again.
* This is my experience and what I found, I am not recommending that anyone should come off the pill without seriously thinking about it or talking it through with their partner/family/friends/GP etc, okay?