Yes, you read that right. I have given my birth control pills back to mother nature. There’s probably a few questions arising from this sudden declaration. Let me have the pleasure of telling you why and how I did so. As you read further, you will find my 21 intents that accompanied the departure of my pills at our ceremony in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on April 1.
Here, I will begin with the Why.
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4 Big Reasons Why I Ditched the Pill
Reason 1: My Libido Freaking Sucked
Over the past few years I’ve gained some suspicions with this form of contraceptive. The most noticeable culprit being the difference in my libido. Day in and day out, I was feeling the same dull feeling. No arousal, no desire… nothing. And I started to wonder… what’s with that? Is it that my partner doesn’t do it for me anymore or is there something else? Interestingly upon my own research I discovered a low sex drive to be a very popular complaint amongst other woman who were also taking the pill.
Reason 2: Synthetic Hormones Are Not Cool
While volunteering as a workawayer in Colombia, we met our hosts Jesse and Tala who are both very knowledgeable about natural alternatives. When I expressed to them at dinner one night that I had been on the pill for almost 10 years with no breaks their eyes almost bulged out of their heads. And if their eyes couldn’t grow any bigger, they did anyways when I mentioned I wanted to switch to the copper IUD.
And why did Jesse and Tala react this way? Well… truthfully, they were just reacting with common sense. First of all taking synthetic hormones at all = NOT GOOD, then taking them everyday = REALLY NOT GOOD, but then taking them everyday for 10 years straight = REALLY REALLY NOT GOOD.
Reason 3: I Have a Perfectly Capable Body
I really didn’t think too much prior to this about the fact that my body’s natural cycle had been completely replaced by a pharmaceutical engineered process. Imagine a factory full of people, working everyday making a perfect product and then one day the head of the factory comes in and says “tomorrow I bring in the robots, tomorrow no one has a job” and suddenly all of the people who can do their jobs just fine, have been replaced… laid off to sit around. That’s essentially what we’re doing to our poor brain and ovaries when we start to take hormonal contraceptives. They no longer have a requirement to make our hormones as plentiful as normal because we are ingesting synthetic ones everyday instead, they go into hibernation.
I have read some cases of long time pill users who never get their periods again after stopping the pill. I would be inclined to believe this has something to do with the little hibernation our hormone makers go into when we take synthetic hormones for a number of years.
Reason 4: My Eggs Are Meant To Be Released
Another thing that struck me with taking the birth control is that throughout the time while taking it, women do not release an egg each month (hello… a normal, natural process). I believe that if we were designed to shed a egg each month… then we should be letting our bodies do that!
So now let’s answer the question of how. If my hosts didn’t use methods of hormonal contraceptives… then what did they do? And then there was the phrase presented to me “The Family Planning Method”. I have heard of this method, it was briefly touched upon in SexED class, usually introduced along the same effectiveness as the “withdrawal method” or something that religious people use because their religion forbids them from pharmaceutical methods of contraceptives.
Because of the way the education system introduced these methods, I had immediate doubts. Like, okay I’m going to go off the Pill and get pregnant using this imaginary method.
Family Planning Methods weren’t really taught as valid contraceptive options. In my mind I was taught abstinence was 100% effective and the birth control pill was pretty close to the same accuracy. If you ask me, this was a direct way to promote the pharmaceutical companies who usually have their financial best interests in mind. Especially when they know they are instructing animals with the biological need to mate, not too (yes that’s us, humans are animals too).
Of course when I marched into my Doctor’s office to be put on the pill at the tender age of 14, she had no objections.
No More Pills- My New Birth Control Plan
After looking into family planning methods… and trust me there are lots of good iPhone apps out there to assist anyone in the process, I decided why not? Why not let my body be in its natural state and trust that I can work with it instead of against it to prevent or promote pregnancy when I choose to?
I would use condoms and map my natural cycle once it had straightened itself out and then use condoms to supplement on the days when pregnancy was likely. Sounds pretty straight forward to me.. and most importantly a lot healthier for my body.
The Beginning of a Beautiful Thing
This is when I told Tala that once my pack of birth control was over at the end of the month I was ditching my last pack. Of course, being the supportive person she is, she suggested a ritual of some sorts where I give my pills back to the earth. I agreed, and with that decision I came up with an intent for each of the 21 pills.
April 1 arrived and I had invited my partner Landon and Tala’s partner Jesse to join Tala and I at this ceremony. It was a full moon that night. Jesse reminded me before the ceremony that the new moon wasn’t just about letting go, it was also about using the moon’s power to fill the fresh empty space with new things and new intentions. A beautiful way to begin the new month.
We all gathered outside in a circle, cross-legged under the pitch black, starry night. We were all surrounded with love and support. I could feel it. As I popped out each pill and put it into the oil burner, I read aloud each intent.
Here are my 21 intents:
1.) To rid my body of synthetic hormones
yaaas girl, you don’t need them.
2.) To get to know my body’s natural flow cycle without dictation by synthetic hormones
hmmm… wonder what that’s going to be like. I wouldn’t know since I started the pill when I was 14. Too young in my opinion to understand what my body was even like on it’s own.
3.) To find and experience my beautifully natural, repressed libido
4.) To re-stimulate my brain into making the female hormones naturally, that my body needs
Ooof, it’s been a long time.
5.) To take control of my schedule and not have to feel concerned about the time of day and day of week
no more remembering to take the pill, ever again.
6.) To discontinue my support for the Pharmaceutical companies who rely on “societal norms” to make their money
birth control is so normal in today’s society that nobody even questions the fact that they take a pill everyday for a bodily process that women already have.
7.) To empower and educate other’s with my change
I’m always open to discussion, this is such a positive change for me, I would love to help others through this decision making process
8.) To apologize to my body for feeding it pills out of convenience
because let’s be honest… it was out of convenience and my body means more to me than that.
9.) To bring awareness to what I am subjecting my body to for the future
not only with pharmaceuticals.. but also food! I want to be conscious of what I am subjecting my body to always.
10.) To feel powerful as a woman that I have a body capable of providing me what I need it to
I have a natural reproductive cycle for a reason, it’s time I use it.
11.) To liberate myself from the idea that contraception is a “woman’s only” responsibility
In the process of preventing pregnancy, men are responsible too! It is not only a woman’s responsibility. It is false thinking to believe it is fair for the woman to subject her body to synthetic hormones for the convenience or benefit of a man.
12.) To feel “clean” and in my most natural state
13.) To experience the ups and downs of a natural ovulation cycle
14.) To better understand how to read my body from natural
Sounds good to me!
15.) To save my time spent at doctors offices and pharmacies filling prescriptions
let’s be honest, the time adds up and I have more important places to be.
16.) To experiment with family planning methods that didn’t feel like valid forms of contraception before
Because I believe I was misinformed.
17.) To reaffirm myself that I am in control of the drugs that I take and I can choose if I want to take them and when I want to stop taking them at any time
that’s right… anytime!
18.) To find out what ovulation feels like
Shedding an egg? Women are supposed to do that?
19.) To feel free and in control
Awh yeah, I have the power!
20.) To rid myself of the side effect risks that are associated with birth control
You know that long list of side effects hidden in your birth control box? Infertility, blood clots and whatever else you could think of? Yeah, no more.
21.) To not feel like a part of a dystopian novel plot
taking a pill everyday because it’s the normal thing to do is scary.. when you zoom out and imagine all of western culture participating the same way, it totally could be something that you read in George Orwell’s 1984
And finally, for the last week of Placebo Pills:
Let the week of placebo pills be a reminder to always be real with myself and never do anything just for the sake of doing it.
I feel wonderful. I am so grateful for the beautiful, loving people who attended the ritual and surrounded me with their abundance of presence and support. I was fortunate to be in such a picturesque location through this process that offered me wellness and a sense of nature within myself. I would recommend participating in a ritual to give back to the earth, it set my choice in stone and helped give me the power to do what was in the best interest of my body.
My Challenge to You
I have a lot of women in my life that tell me that they couldn’t make a change like this because of a number of reasons. My challenge to you, if you are a woman that is taking the pill or any other type of hormonal birth control is to find your why and to investigate it. I found when I was doing my own research into my reasons why, they were mostly for my own convenience and a result of misinformation. I decided that my body was more important than any sort of convenience that taking a synthetic hormone could produce. I think it’s important to educate ourselves on birth control methods such as Family Planning because I do believe they are unfairly portrayed in the educational system.
Something to Remember
Humans are animals. Animals all have a reproductive cycle. Just like a cat or dog in heat, they have an optimal time for reproducing.. and guess what! So do we… There’s a miscommunication along the line that has informed us that any unprotected sex at any time means you will get pregnant. My advice is to do your research. I take comfort that I will find my natural cycle and can rely on mother nature and my window of fertility (day 8-19) in my cycle to prevent or promote pregnancy as I wish.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this post, I wish you a day full of positivity and new growth.