I received a tip recently that to eat healthier, you should only shop on the outside perimeter of the grocery store — avoid the aisles, which often contain foods processed with chemicals and preservatives. While difficult, this can be a good strategy, especially for those who pay attention to the ingredients in their food. With a rising awareness of the chemicals, preservatives and GMOs (genetically modified organisms) with hormones in food, more people are turning to natural and organic selections, but how many also don’t realize that the daily birth control pill they or their loved one ingests contains much of what they are trying to avoid in the grocery store?
For those of us who aren’t scientists working with beakers in laboratories, chemicals have come to have a negative connotation. We don’t want them in our food or our homes where we and our loved ones can be affected. There are even studies that show that chemicals from hormonal birth control are getting into our drinking water and are having long-term effects on wildlife and possibly humans. “These chemicals are in our air, soil and water. Some are fat soluble and may accumulate in our bodies while others are water soluble and end up passing through us and being flushed down our toilets, entering our environment where they may affect other animals or enter our food chain re-exposing humans,” said Dr. Rhind at the British Science Festival. Learn more about it here.
So chemicals in our body can be pretty scary stuff. Why, then, take a very concentrated and dangerous version as a form of birth control? Women are often given hormonal contraceptives at a young age from doctors who prescribe it as a quick band-aid fix for cramps or irregular cycles without sharing exactly what chemicals are in it, what they do to your body and the side effects — some potentially deadly — that come along with it. As a contraceptive, hormonal methods are undoubtedly effective, but at what cost?
Effective and safe alternatives exist in the various natural family planning methods, no chemicals involved. So the next time you reach for the organic food option or the all-natural cleaner, think about also cutting out that birth control pill and trying natural family planning.
— Megan Imwalle