The True Risks of the Birth Control Pill (+ How to Restore Balance Post Birth Control)

Birth control is a topic that stirs up lots of controversy among health professionals and the general public. Everyone has a different opinion, and often, they’re in sharp contrast. 

But if you’re familiar with Primally Pure, you know we don’t shy away from hard conversations. If there’s a controversial topic, and our community wants a natural perspective on it, we’re always willing to dive in. That’s why today we’re going over:

  • The real scoop on the risks of the birth control pill
  • How it can affect your health
  • What long-term effects you should be aware of 

  • We won’t hold back. It’s too important not to be honest + transparent about the things this multibillion-dollar industry doesn’t want you to know. 

    This post is for anyone:

    → Curious about hormonal birth control side effects

    → Looking for guidance on how to safely come off of birth control

    → Wanting help getting your body back in balance post birth control 

    We aren’t doctors, so this isn’t medical advice. But our stance is strong. We believe, that despite widespread myths and commonly overlooked side effects, birth control is not the answer to resolving acne, regulating PCOS, or balancing hormones. Here’s the real truth: there’s a better way. 

    You don’t have to fall victim to the numerous risks of the birth control pill. 

    The Dirt on Birth Control: A Natural Perspective

    First things first, let’s shed some light on exactly why we believe that hormonal birth control isn’t good for your body. From a natural perspective, there are plenty of reasons why we don’t believe in hormonal birth control. 

    The Birth Control Pill Suppresses Your Body’s Natural Functions

    At the most basic level, hormonal birth control tricks your body into thinking it’s pregnant by suppressing ovulation and eliminating (or drastically changing) your menstrual cycle. It also affects your body’s hormone production.

    And sure, there are a lot of nuances in different types of birth control. Some claim to be “better.” 

    But here’s the main takeaway: birth control forces your body into “skipping” over its natural cyclical functions that keep your reproductive system healthy – and arguably your whole body. While some birth controls have the effect of not “skipping” a menstrual cycle and, instead, inducing one, it’s not the real deal. (We’ll get into this more in a bit.)

    Plus, cycles help prepare your body for a pregnancy one day, should you choose to have children. As Lara Briden, naturopath doctor + period expert points out, women NEED ovulation.1

    “Even when ovulation does not result in a baby, it’s still worth doing because regular ovulation delivers the beneficial hormones that the body absolutely expects to have.” 

    Yep, you read that right. 

    You need to ovulate to create the foundational hormones for health. She goes further to explain that your monthly surge of hormones supports balance in your body through:1 

    • Muscle gain
    • Blood sugar balance
    • Supporting your bones, brain, and cardiovascular system health
    • Reducing inflammation
    • Regulating immune function
    • Supporting thyroid and breast tissue

    Supporting your ovarian function goes hand-in-hand with hormonal health. Lara Briden went on to say:1 

    “The benefits of ovarian hormones are both short-term by making women stronger and long-term by building metabolic reserve and health.”

    This brings us to the birth control pills where you still have a “period.” There’s more to it. Let’s talk about it.

    The Birth Control “Period” is Fake

    Many hormonal birth controls still have a “period” to trick you into thinking that you’re not disturbing your body’s cyclical rhythms. But even if you have a period on a birth control pill, the “bleed” isn’t a true period. Lara Briden preaches this time and again on all her platforms:2

    “A menstrual cycle is, by definition, an ovulatory cycle in which ovulation is the main event and progesterone is made.

    Any other kind of bleed is either an anovulatory bleed or a pill-bleed — neither of which are real menstrual cycles.”

    So despite the narrative from big pharma on the efficacy + safety of birth control, your [true] menstrual cycle is a necessary, vital component of health. 

    Birth Control Is Only a Bandaid Fix

    As women, we’re made to believe (or they let us assume) that we can get pregnant any time we have sex, so we MUST have a form of birth control – preferably the pill. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

    Prescribing birth control for pregnancy prevention, acne, and hormone imbalance has become far too flippant. Sadly, there’s hardly any consideration for the risks of the birth control pill. 

    Our friend + trusted fertility expert Lisa Hendrickson-Jack had a really valuable way to drive home this point: 

    “There are serious potential side effects, although it’s somewhat rare. This is a serious medication. It does have life-threatening side effects. It does have a black label. It is actually a medication, and we should be looking at it as such. Yet many view the risk level as equivalent to a vitamin.”

    Hormonal birth control has been normalized in our culture and accepted as a safe “treatment.” But to us, using birth control as a remedy for hormonal issues, acne, mood, or even pregnancy doesn’t make sense. 

    Pumping your body full of synthetic hormones is far from healthy – or normal. 

    Many health professionals would argue the synthetic hormones in birth control are the same “composition” as your natural hormones. But like many things in life, it’s simply not the same as the real thing. 

    So, no, hormonal birth control is not “balancing” your hormones. Your body is equipped with unique receptors for your hormones – there’s no way to recreate them exactly, so there’s no perfect match with synthetic hormones.3

    Synthetic hormones force your body to work harder to utilize + process them, creating a cascade of deficiencies. It’s a bandaid approach for “fixing” things like hormonal imbalances or hormonal acne – when often, the root cause is inflammation in your body.

    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the risks of the birth control pill. So, when considering birth control for any purpose, it’s important to keep a big-picture view. Because, in the long run, hormonal birth control can contribute to bigger, more severe issues.

    → Our raw, honest opinion on birth control? 

    Sacrificing your body’s normal functions to avoid pregnancy or “resolve hormonal issues” simply isn’t worth it. Especially when there’s a wide array of effective holistic approaches that can address the root cause.

    Not only is hormonal birth control just a bandaid fix, but it also comes with some serious risks. It's essential to understand the risks of the birth control pill before making any decisions. 

    The Risks of The Birth Control Pill 

    There are plenty of known risks of the birth control pill in the immediate, but we know there are also harmful effects of birth control pills in the long term. 

    Some of the more obvious risks of the birth control pill include:

    • Fertility struggles you don’t ovulate on birth control, so coming off of it can be very confusing to your body. It can take months or even years for your body to regulate your cycle and become pregnant. 
    • Your skin could get worse (especially coming off the pill) – though hormonal birth control is often prescribed to “fix” skin issues, you may experience the opposite. Why? You’re layering in more “hormones” instead of regulating your body’s natural production of hormones.
    • Severe mood swings or depression – this is a common risk of the birth control pill since your body depends on a healthy balance of hormones to regulate your mood. And each birth control contains a different “blend” of hormones.
    • You lose touch with your bodyyour period is a sign of health and balance in your body. Without this reference point, you can easily lose touch with yourself. Being disconnected from/not understanding your body is an epidemic in our culture. 

    And it doesn’t stop there. Many doctors and patients across the board have also reported – or experienced – other complex issues like:

    Big or small, these risks of the birth control pill should be taken seriously. 

    With a long list of side effects and little promise for “benefits” aside from an unplanned pregnancy or the suppression of various symptoms (like acne), our take is simple. The risks of the birth control pill are not worth it. There are plenty of other ways to care for your body, resolve imbalances, and monitor your fertile cycles. 

    So, what if you’re on birth control now or want to get off birth control? Don’t worry. It’s possible to bring balance back to your body. 

    Balancing Hormones After Birth Control

    It can feel daunting to come off birth control, especially if you’ve been on it for years and you’re not sure what to expect. Not to mention what we know about the effects of birth control on fertility. 

    There are plenty of ways to tangibly support balance and health throughout your body – reproductive system included. 

    Here’s everything you need to know about how you can support your body and bring balance to your hormones + reproductive system post birth control. 

    • Support your body with nourishing foods. Food heals! Gut health is critical for full-body health and is linked to hormonal balance.4 Choose whole foods and minimize sugar, inflammatory foods and oils, and processed food. We could spend a long time on this point, but here are a few specific pointers:
      • Prioritize hydration to keep your body balanced + support proper detox.
      • A protein-forward diet from quality animal sources helps balance hormones.
      • Healthy fats boost cellular health + function throughout your body.
      • Beets are great for liver health, which plays a critical role in regulating your body.
      • Brazil nuts are a great food source of selenium, which birth control depletes.
    • The right supplements can support balance + provide necessary nutrients.
      • Take a high-quality prenatal to achieve your baseline of nutrients + some of the more obscure minerals and omegas that are more sparse in foods. (we love Seeking Health’s Optimal Prenatal)
      • Beef liver – in a capsule or food form is one of the most nutrient-dense supplements.
      • Adaptogen supplements are great for regulating the body.
    • Fertility tonics aren’t just for getting pregnant. A healthy reproductive system is also one that’s fertile. So, it only makes sense that fertility tonics can provide support for balancing your hormones naturally. (We love Milk Moon Nourishing Fertility Tonic.)
    • Reducing stress helps your body balance hormones. Stress is innately linked to hormonal health. Cortisol, the “stress hormone,” is responsible for many actions within your body, like blood sugar, inflammation, memory, blood pressure, and even fetal development.5 Lower stress = healthier cortisol levels and balance throughout your body. Reduce your stress with: 
    • Regular use of a castor oil pack supports your liver function, among a long list of health benefits. And good liver function supports hormone regulation. 
      • Switch to a natural method of birth control. Getting back to the basics with birth control will let your body return to a more balanced state. You can try:
        • Barrier protection
        • Tracking your cycle with devices/apps
        • Charting your cycle manually with the three signs of fertility (basal temperature, cervical discharge, and cervical placement)

      The power really is in your hands – especially when you let your body return to its natural rhythms. While these are all generally safe + effective practices, if you want personal guidance, a functional doctor could be a good fit. Functional doctors work to assess + treat you in a variety of personalized approaches, using your body’s self-healing capabilities and addressing the root cause.

      Here’s the thing: we all fall victim to overcomplicating health at times. At the end of the day, we just need to take good care of our bodies, and they will self-regulate, balance, and heal. Give it the right tools and resources – your body will do the rest. ;)

      Say No to the Unnecessary Risks of the Birth Control Pill

      Despite the narrative that periods are evil, annoying, super painful, or inconvenient, we choose to take a different perspective. It’s actually pretty incredible how intricately our bodies work to sustain us through cyclical functions.

      Yet, large industries continue to profit off misinformation and assumptions that birth control is perfectly safe + normal. Maybe you’ve believed them at some point or you just weren't aware of a better option. Either way, there’s no shame. And you're not alone in feeling this way. 

      That's why we wanted to shed light on the little-talked about risks of a birth control pill (or any form of hormonal birth control). Your menstrual cycle plays a critical role in your health. In the long run, eliminating it with a synthetic pill isn’t going to make your life better – or more convenient. 

      There are much better ways to avoid pregnancy, fix hormonal imbalances, heal acne, and eliminate painful periods. Thankfully, you can avoid the risks of the birth control pill and achieve the same goals – naturally. 

      Your body is intelligently designed – your job is to support it not inhibit it. 

      Here’s to empowering information + embracing your natural rhythms.  



      1. Lara Briden - The Period Revolutionary | The Secret Powers of Ovulation (It’s Not Just to Make a Baby)
      2. Lara Briden - The Period Revolutionary |Ovulation Is the Main Event of the Menstrual Cycle 
      3. Happy Healthy You | Dangers of Synthetic Hormones
      4. Biomed Research International | Interplay Between the Endocrine System and Immune Cells 
      5. Verywell Health | What Is Cortisol?


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      Birth control fixes hormonal issues and acne, right? No. Here are the real risks of the birth control pill + why you benefit from a natural, undisturbed cycle. | Primally Pure Skincare

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