“As long as you don’t mind putting your ovaries on “automatic pilot” and ignoring your fertility, there’s nothing that comes close to the pill for sheer convenience.” Christine Northrup, M.D.
The pill is positioned as the convenient, quick, easy fix for ‘the hassle of periods’, ‘skin issues’, ‘erratic hormones’, ‘preventing unwanted pregnancy’ etc, though you and I both know quick and easy alone aren’t the ideal ways to sustain and nourish your Divine body to thrive. Likewise, coming off the pill leaves these ‘issues’ and ‘problems’ still unresolved and at times worse. As a bandaid solution the pill is not where the magic is. Within your body is where the magic is and learning how to work with your body, with nature, with the Divine Feminine power you can change your own life and take back your personal power, fertility and healthy body function naturally.
As a Divine Empowerment coach and sacred sexuality / Tantra practitioner with a base in holistic health I advocate what is natural and commit to such a lifestyle. I haven’t chosen to use the pill as I am aware of what it does on all levels. I never wanted my body controlled and effected chemically, especially by synthesised hormones.
While the pill is a personal choice I come from a place where I feel it’s important to make the decision of taking it or not based on a broad understanding of what it does to a woman’s body; physically, emotionally and energetically, while also knowing the natural options and alternatives.
Your natural hormones and cycle
Image – weebly.com
…the above diagram illustrates how your body is designed to function. The pill stops this.
The pill is a synthesised chemical hormone or hormones (usually oestrogen and progestin) that suppress the natural bodily functions of a woman; by stopping the release of an egg and thickening the mucus in her cervix and the walls of her uterus.
Essentially your body is tricked into thinking it’s constantly pregnant, which often poses an issue of naturally falling pregnant coming off the pill along with numerous continued side effects from taking it regularly including but not limited to;
Breast size increase and decrease
Erratic emotions – with extreme highs and lows
A disconnect to the sacred phase that is a women’s moon time / period each month
A disconnect to the power of being a woman
Inability to orgasm / climax
Another array of issues is the depletion of vitamins, minerals, healthy bacteria and basic internal healthy functioning. Including but not limited to;
Depleted Folate – Folate is important for the synthesis and replication of DNA for tissue growth. Folate is essential before pregnancy especially during the first 3 months to prevent neural tube defects. This is part of the reason why your body needs ‘pill free time’ to replenish it’s folate levels before conception. Folate is also required to lower levels of homocysteine, consequently decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Depleted Magnesium – Magnesium is required for over 300 unique enzymatic systems / processes in the body! As a natural muscle relaxant, magnesium also assists with sleep and overall calmness. It is also your body’s was of regulating calcium levels.
Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases/blood clots – Particularly in women who are taking the pill AND smoking
The exogenous (outside the body) supply of oestrogen increases the production of prostaglandins, which increases inflammation in the body. Consequently, B vitamins are depleted in order to control the inflammation. Unfortunately, if B vitamins are always being used to calm inflammation, other functions that require B vitamins are going to suffer, such as the ability to absorb nutrients in the digestive track. All those alkalising, vitamin dense green smoothies you are drinking while on the pill are thus not being absorbed properly into your system.
Depleted Vitamin B2 / riboflavin – Vit B2 is essential for the production of ATP or energy.
Depleted Vitamin B3 / niacin – Vit B3 helps the body to utilise carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as well as assisting the production of cholesterol and steroid hormones.
Depleted Vitamin B6 / pyridoxine – Vit B6 is important for the metabolism of amino acids and glycogen, the production of haemoglobin and regulation of important neurotransmitters. *Haemoglobin is an iron-containing protein in your red blood cells, this is essential for healthy function as it assists in carrying oxygen around your body. If this is low your organs and muscles will be depleted.
Depleted Vitamin B12 / cobalamin – Vit B12 is essential for maintaining the integrity of the nervous system and for working with folate in methylation and reducing homocysteine. Simply put this is food for your brain! Such deficiency can range from poor concentration and lowered mood to extremes of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Depleted Vitamin C – Vit C acts as a major antioxidant in the body, and is key for the production of collagen fibres and other connective tissue components. It is also required for the production of corticosteroids, such as cortisol, and regulates iron absorption, storage and transport.
Depleted Tryptophan – Tryptophan is an amino acid for general growth and development. It is used to convert to serotonin, your ‘happiness hormone’ and melatonin, your ‘sleep hormone’. Hence the pills’ effect on mood and sleep patterns.
Depleted Tyrosine – Tyrosine is an amino acid which is essential for the production of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine. It also helps the functioning of organs responsible for making hormones including thyroid hormone, which regulates your metabolism.
Depleted Zinc – Zinc is essential for growth, development, reproduction, immune function, insulin regulation and acts as an antioxidant.
Depleted inner balance of healthy bacteria in your digestive system – This can cause issues with hormonal imbalance, absorption of nutrients, and digestion issues from IBS to cramps as well as lowering your immune system.
Your liver also takes a pounding by absorbing all the synthetic hormones from the pill. (If you choose to come off the pill a liver cleanse would be ideal to look into).
The pill also increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases / blood clots – Particularly in women who are taking the pill AND smoking.
*It is also important to highlight the pill most certainly does not protect you from STD’s so if you are sexually active and not taking other precautionary measures such as using condoms you are potentially putting yourself at risk.
Laurie was learning about how different parts of our bodies talk to us through symptoms as part of our inner guidance system. As she did, she realised that remaining on birth control pills might prevent her female organs from optimally communicating with her, especially in a personal crisis around her own sexuality. She began to awaken to how she had inadvertently become separated from her body by following the dictates of the culture instead of her inner guidance … ‘No one ever celebrated my first period. No one had helped me connect the power of giving birth to my sexuality. I longed to recapture some of that lost magic and mystery’. ~ Excerpt from Women’s Bodies Women’s Wisdom, Christiane Northrup, M.D.
Birth control pills are comprised of potent synthetic oestrogens and synthetic progestins that diminish the levels of follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) – both pituitary hormones. This causes the metabolic suppression of your ovarian function, including both the suppression of ovulation and testosterone production in your body!
In addition, OCs also cause a marked increase in the production of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in the liver. (This is the main binding protein for sex steroids.) The higher the SHBG levels, the more hormones are “bound” and unavailable for biologic effects on tissues. In the recent study on the pill’s effect on testosterone, researchers found that SHBG levels were four times higher in pill users than in those who had never used the pill. This means that although a woman taking OCs produces testosterone in her body, it’s unavailable for normal uses such as stimulating her sex drive. ~ Christiane Northrup, M.D.
What is even more worrying from this study is that SHBG levels remained elevated in women for at least six months after they stopped taking the pill. The study was concluded so no one knows how long this effect lasts, but “researchers are concerned that prolonged exposure to synthetic hormones induces gene-imprinted and increased gene expression of SHBG in the liver in some women who have used the pill.” ~ Extract from the book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. Christiane Northrup, M.D.
So what does this mean? The Pill has a direct effect on your sex hormone levels and thus your sex drive.
The distribution of your sexual hormone levels require communication from your body and your mind, thus the pill effects what I call your ‘Yoni, Heart, Mind’ connection – also known as the ‘brain vagina’ connection as Naomi Wolf explores in her book Vagina. By chemically suppressing your natural cycle your heart is disconnected from your yoni (entire female sexual reproductive area), your mind is disconnected from your yoni, and your heart is like an island alone in between the two, disconnected entirely as well. This has an immediate correlation to your ability to use your biggest sex organ, your brain! In order for you to sync this communication system the three power centres need to talk to each other to best work together. Ultimately for your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing – this includes your sexual wellbeing, as well as your energetic.
Get reacquainted with your natural sexual cycles. Yes, you have them! The menstrual cycle is designed so that your libido has two peak phases: the three day’s surrounding ovulation, and, ironically, just before the onset of your period. This is biological evidence that shows ‘sex’ & ‘making love’ are for more than just the magic of creating babies. This is also re-creation in the most Divine sense of the word. It is during ovulation that your body produces more testosterone, which increases your sex drive while producing potent pheromones that float into the air and make you more sexually attractive to others. The key here is having your testosterone levels functioning naturally to allow this to happen.
Now is a good time to check in with yourself ladies.
If I am on the pill;
How do I feel about taking the pill?
What is my relationship to my fertility and cycle?
If you have any doubt about being on the pill you may want to consider coming off and instead, making friends with your fertility and innate Feminine power.
There are only 7 days a month a woman can become pregnant*
That being one day prior, during, and one day after ovulation, yet so many women are choosing to medicate themselves daily. Determining your time of ovulation is key – observing the vaginal discharge know as the ‘Ovulation Method’ or ‘The Billings Method’ is the most precise and practical way to determine your fertility.
*Please note studies have also been done (By Dr. Eugene Jonas in the 1950’s) which prove a woman may also fall pregnant at the time of her birth – when the same moon angle returns each month.
This method can be used to
Monitor reproductive health
This is a simple, reliable, chemical / drug and device free method and thus there are no side effects.
To confidently know the different stages of your cycle by assessing your vaginal ‘mucus’ or ‘discharge’ allows you to know when you are in your fertile phase.
As a tip, ‘dry knicker’ days are safer not to get pregnant, as when you first see mucus on your knickers or when you wipe your fertile time is beginning! The last day of this ‘slippery wet’ sensation is the most fertile day of your cycle it is known as the Peak of Fertility. You may notice sensitivity, softness and fullness of your vulva on this day. Take note of your knickers and your vulva and start getting in sync with your cycle, ladies.
* Please note if you experience continual, non changing, slight discharge through your entire cycle this may mean infertility. You may wish to consult a health care professional to seek further advice.
To start using this method it is essential to
Keep a record / chart your cycle, daily.
No internal examination or touching of the mucus is necessary.
In the evening make a simple note of the sensations experienced at your vulva and discharge you may have seen as you went about your normal day. *You can use colours or symbols to document your cycle to make the patterns more easily observed
As an example
Felt wetness of blood on day 1 of period/cycle (put a red dot on your calendar / chart / in your diary)
Felt dry / no discharge day 7 of cycle (put a green line on your calendar / chart / in your diary)
* This method is suitable for all stages of reproductive life, including after childbirth or miscarriage, breast feeding, approaching menopause or when coming off contraceptive medication such as the pill and irrespective of your cycle being long, short, regular or irregular.
** It is essential you understand and practice this method accurately before you use it as a means of natural birth control. Recording three cycles in a row will assist greatly in getting to observe and know your unique pattern.
“Birth control pills are interfering with intuitive function. Suggest Alternatives.” unknown male Dr. in correspondence with Christiane Northrup, M.D.
Even if you have found a Pill that works for you on a physical level now, there is a huge factor that many doctors and western medical practitioners often don’t advocate or know about and that is how sacred Moon Time or a regular period is for a woman’s wellbeing; her connection to herself, the world around her and the Divine.
Your moon time (another way to say ‘your period’), is when you are your most psychic; you are super perceptive, in tune with what is going on within and around you. Essentially you have heightened awareness and senses.
Ancient civilisations honoured a sacred practiced at this time, like a ‘retreat’ which was spent in the Red Tent. Women who were bleeding (usually in sync with the full moon or new moon / dark moon) would all gather in the tent. They were not expected to do any of their usual duties instead they were brought food and water, the older women would educate the younger, they would honour their body as a temple, not push on through and force ‘productivity’ and ‘doing’. This was the time of ‘being’, of aligning with Mother Earth and Divine Feminine cycles.
During your period you are supposed to retreat, essentially to rest and allow the natural cleansing and letting go flow (this is like a mini death or ending) and then prepare for an internal regeneration and rebirth. Much like the caterpillar in the cocoon before it becomes a butterfly – though, in sync with your cycle, you do this every month.
Each month when you have your period, you are given an opportunity as you shed your inner skin. It is in this process that renewal and revival of your spirit takes place. The blood you bleed at this time as you menstruate is a symbol of the life/ death/ rebirth cycle. You are shedding the old to allow renewal and regeneration to come. This is powerful, honouring this time is part of being a Divinely Empowered Woman. While it took me years to truly realise the power and sacred nature of this phase I know practice my own Red Tent during my Moon Time. Committing to do my best by at least taking the first day, if not the first two days of my period off to rest and retreat. I honour the magic of my body temple and what I am experiencing by focusing on;
Healing my body temple – giving myself Reiki
Connecting with my body through breathe – slow deep breathing
Sipping warm organic herbal tea and clean lemon water
Sleeping longer and taking naps
Disconnecting from social media, phone calls, emails and to do lists
No exercising or doing strenuous physical activity
Writing / journaling
Focusing on a mantra or repeating an affirmation such as “I am loving, accepting and approving of myself unconditionally, I am.”
I also do my best to refrain from chores and even preparing food – this is a wonderful role your beloved, partner, or friend who is not on Moon Time can assist you with – or you can pre plan by making soups, salads, or nourishing dishes ahead of those first two days of your period.
The only thing you need do is be with you. It is a time to recharge as a woman. Some women enjoy being out under the moon at this time either alone or with fellow women also ‘on their Moon’. It is a sacred ancient act to even bleed freely upon the land and give back to the Mother Earth. Explore what you feel drawn to. Release fear and judgment of cultural stigma, others beliefs or conditioning and honour your true self.
Q: How would I like to honour my self during next Moon Time?
The other powerful tool I have also learned being a Tantra practitioner and having learned ways of The White Tigress is how to reprogram my period and to offer this to my clients. To have your period on the exact same time as your body falls into its own sync, chemical free, is very empowering. Likewise, this practice allows you to bleed lighter and for less time, and to have PMS and period pain diminish too. I do this through a combination of Tantric practices including a technique called Ovarian Palace Breathing in conjunction with Tantric breast massage. It has changed my life and the lives of my clients. These techniques are part of an ancient art practiced by women called The White Tigress who were and are female Taoist Masters. We can learn so much from ancient wisdom that has been lost by the suppression of Western medicine and masculine programming if we are open.
Letting go of the old, and embracing the new having a regular, natural period allows a woman to get in touch with the possibility of birth, the reality of death and the ever-changing nature of life.
If we don’t educate young women especially on all aspects of what womanhood truly is they will miss out on a deeper understanding of their unique cycle and the power of their Moon Time. I am committed to guide your empowerment as a woman, not make you think a period is about physical pain and something that gets in the way of enjoying life. It is the source of life and allows you as a woman a rich connection to yourself and the world around you as well as your ability to create and birth, be it literal life or a creative project.
Mothers of young women
Have you considered a celebration for when your girl/s starts her Moon Time?
In honour of giving birth to her magic and mystery of her budding sacred sexuality.
For us as women this is our act of reverence to an age old belief system that we are the keepers of. It is our role, right and honour to pass this wisdom to our daughters so they can pass it onto theirs and the power of the Divine Feminine will no longer be neglected. Instead, she will be in balance with the Divine Masculine.
To opt for a pill free way of life allows a Healing to comes through. It allows knowledge and wisdom to penetrate your world as a woman, to alter your own experience of this sacred time by changing what that experience means to you.
Q: What does this sacred time mean to me?
I love using my Moon Time as a time to rest and ‘be’, not ‘do’. It is the height of the Feminine to ‘be’ and Masculine to ‘do’. While we have both these energies within us it is essential we keep them in harmony. Living a life of doing non-stop, all day every day, throws you out of balance physically, emotionally, energetically and sexually and thus disempowers your innate Yoni, Heart, Mind connection. If there is an ideal place to start learning how to ‘be’ with your Divine Feminine self it is at your Moon Time.
When you can see your Moon Time and specifically menstrual blood as purification, the entire experience of menstruation can be honoured and revered as a ritual; one of cleansing and renewal. When you know your blood is powerful and life giving, you can feel the pride of being a woman who bleeds. Your monthly Moon Time becomes a sacred opportunity to go within and focus only inward to direct your energies to creative, life-sustaining ways.
Q: Am I disconnected and separated from my body temple and my Divine feminine Power?
Do I follow what is dictated by current culture as opposed to my own inner guidance?
If I am ready, open and willing, how can I begin to change this today?
Sit with yourself and ask; What is right for me and my body?
Ask your body this, ask your Yoni (vulva, vagina and entire female sexual reproductive space, ask your heart and ask your mind – the intuitive part, by placing your hands directly over these areas and speak to them like the dear friend that they are).
Sit with the stillness
Be open to what your body wants to tell you
Welcome the message that comes
Commit to honouring your body inside and out and you will reawaken on the path to being a Divinely Empowered Woman.
Power to you, Stella Soul.
With Love, Elise / S*M