by Lara Briden
When the Pill was first developed, it could not be sold as contraception because contraception was not legal. Instead, hormonal birth control had to be prescribed to “normalize” periods. “Normalize” was code for being “not pregnant” (wink-wink).
Fast forward fifty years, and the Pill’s fake cover story has become a bizarre counterfeit reality. It’s still prescribed to “normalize” women’s periods, but why? Hormonal birth control cannot fix the menstrual cycle. It never could.
What’s the Value of a Real Period?
A real menstrual cycle is not about the bleed. It’s about the two important hormonal events that occur during the middle of the cycle.
The first event is the manufacture of a powerful estrogen called estradiol. Estradiol helps mood, libido, and metabolism. Estradiol can only come from the ovarian follicles before and after ovulation. It can’t come from a pill or ring. The ethinylestradiol in hormonal birth control is a different molecule, and has almost none of the same benefits as estradiol.
The second event is the manufacture of progesterone, which is a wonderful hormone for mood, hair, bone health, and the prevention of breast cancer. Progesterone can only come from the ovary’s corpus luteum after ovulation. It can’t come from a pill, ring, injection, implant or IUD. The progestins levonorgestrel and
The final event of a real menstrual cycle is the bleed itself. A period bleed is withdrawal from both estradiol and progesterone. It’s not the bleed that matters—but the hormones that came before!
What Is a Pill Bleed?
A pill bleed is a withdrawal bleed from ethinylestradiol and progestin. The timing is meaningless as far as health goes. It could be two or three times per year, but it’s timed to be monthly to keep up the facade of a fake period, and to reassure women and doctors.
Would Men Put Up With It?
By shutting down hormones, hormonal birth control is chemical castration. Imagine a world where we routinely did the same to men and boys.
“We will switch off your testosterone,” we would tell them, “And replace it with a synthetic pseudo-testosterone. It’s going to cause weight gain, depression, and loss of libido—but don’t worry! All the other boys take it.”
This is the world in which we currently live for teenage girls and women. It is time for a serious rethink.
[Help us bring Lara Briden to the Blood Cycle Conference as a keynote speaker!]