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! It was only when my husband and I decided we were ready to start trying (I know, tmi) that I started to read information online about 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 to my GP, despite being a teenager (on her own with no parent) I was given it far too easily. A boyfriend at the time has insisted I go on it, what a t**t. In front of the Doctor, there was no long chat about the possible effects it might have on my fertility or what it might do to my body, no nothing, just a prescription given and ‘off you go’. Add to this my complete lack of real sexual or self awareness, I was clueless from the start.
I was an inexperienced teenager taking something I had no idea about. Fast forward to more recent years and I didn’t give it a second thought when I ran out of my supply, I’d just automatically go and get another. I never really thought about other methods or about giving my body a break. And I didn’t for one moment think it might take me longer to get pregnant because of the years that I had been on the pill. Rather naively I thought that I would stop taking it 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, ha! 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 but for some 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 and some points below:
- 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 cervical mucus (nice) which your body releases around the time you’re at your most fertile. I started to recognise patterns and the signs that my body was giving out, finally after so many years of ignoring it all. 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 (sidenote – I did get some horrendous chin spots but they were worth it) Since having a baby, I haven’t gone back on the pill again and can hand on heart say I won’t ever again. I can truly see how bad it was now and couldn’t ever do that to myself again.
* This is my own personal experience, 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 🙂