the pills

Ayurveda has always propagated that we should never ever go against nature and has on many occasions given us summaries of consequences of doing just that…going against Nature! Ayurveda, for example says,” eat food that is grown regionally and in seasons that such foods grow”. We are worried about pollution of any kind but won’t do anything to at least curb it in our personal capacities. Have we ever wondered what harm we inflict on our bodies with what we proudly call “inventions of medicine..”? what about polluting the body..?

I am not in any way suggesting that these inventions are bad or harmful. But going crazy over these or using these inventions mindlessly always exhibit very adverse results on the physiology. Then why blame these inventions?

Take the example of the ‘Pill’. Yes, I am referring to the oral contraceptive that has become a rage amongst the modern women…Age & frequency of usage no bar(Unfortunately)!

But before I go into a detailed discussion on this, let me tell you why I have chosen this topic. During my travels across the globe and having made my presence felt through my lectures and paper presentations in global symposia, the one thing that I came across was the uninhabited use of the ‘Pill’ especially among young girls! And even before I begin to tell you why I strongly feel against continued use of the pill, let us look at what it is:

The birth control pill (also called “the Pill”) is a daily pill that contains hormones to change the way the body works and prevents pregnancy. Hormones are chemical substances that control the functioning of the body’s organs. In this case, the hormones in the Pill control the ovaries and the uterus.

And how Does It Work?

Most birth control pills are “combination pills” containing a mix of the hormones estrogen and progesterone to prevent ovulation (the release of an egg during the monthly cycle). A woman cannot get pregnant if she doesn’t ovulate because there is no egg to be fertilized.

The Pill also works by thickening the mucus around the cervix, which makes it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and reach any eggs that may have been released.

Wow, what a fine invention it is. Isn’t it..?

Of course it is! But let us go back a little and ponder one aspect of the pill. What does it do..? It stops some natural processes that are intrinsic to a woman’s physiology and natural physical processes. And with longer usage (I prefer to call it an overdose or a premature dose as when young girls across globe use it regularly to avoid unwanted pregnancies), the body gets conditioned to this force-changed process.

But beware! there are a number of side effects of the pill too!

The hormones in the Pill can also sometimes affect the lining of the uterus, making it difficult for an egg to attach to the wall of the uterus besides:

  • Nausea, Weight gain
  • Sore or swollen breasts
  • Small amounts of blood, or spotting, between periods
  • Lighter periods or even missed periods
  • Mood changes & of course,
  • Reduced libido

Experts have always cautioned that the following side effects, easily remembered by the word “ACHES,” are less common but more serious. These symptoms may indicate a serious disorder such as, Liver disease, gallbladder disease, stroke, blood clots, high blood pressure, or heart disease. They include:

  • Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
  • Chest pain Headaches(severe)
  • Eye problems (blurred vision)
  • Swelling or aching in the legs and thighs

Birth control pills that contain drospirenone, including YAZ and Yasmin, have been investigated by experts because of the possibility that they may cause an increased risk for blood clots.

I get a number of cases these days when women have postponed their pregnancies after marriage to pursue the bliss of married life or to continue their economic or social or ‘whatever-they-prefer’ goals. And now when they actually want to bear children, they realise that they are not getting pregnant. Sounds scary, isn’t it..?

Thankfully, I have had a more than satisfactory rate of success in treating the infertility related conditions among my patients yet, I still worry!

But the question is does it make YOU worry..?

Dr. Manjiri Joshi

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