Oral Contraceptives

  • Do Oral Contraceptives Contribute to Hair Loss In Women?

    Do Oral Contraceptives Contribute to Hair Loss In Women? Ross Pelton RPh, PhD, CCN

    Women account for approximately 40 percent of all hair loss sufferers in the United States. There is an important link between a woman's hair and her identity. For many women, hair loss changes their self-image and is a difficult adjustment both mentally and emotionally.

    When I originally wrote The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook (Lexi-Comp, 1999) I was astounded to learn that oral contraceptives deplete more nutrients than any other commonly prescribed class of drugs. This prompted me to write The Pill Problem (2013) which instructs women on how to prevent the side effects from oral contraceptives.

    According to the American Hair Loss Association (yes, there really is such an organization), women who have a family history of hair loss are at a much greater risk of experiencing hair loss from taking oral contraceptives. In this article, I am going to address the nutrient depletions caused by oral contraceptive that could cause or contribute to women's hair loss.

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology, both oral contraceptives and low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) are common causes of hair loss in women.1 Many health professionals do not realize that there is a connection between these two causes.

    The amino acid tyrosine is one of the nutrient depletions caused by oral contraceptives.2 Tyrosine is an amino acid that is required for production of the thyroid hormones. Hence oral contraceptive induced tyrosine depletion can lead to under production of thyroid hormones. This can lead to hypothyroidism, which has hair loss as one of its symptoms.

    Selenium is also depleted by oral contraceptives.3 Selenium is a trace mineral that is required for enzymes that convert thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3).4 This means that selenium plays an important role in controlling thyroid metabolism. Thus, selenium deficiency can result in hypothyroidism, which has hair loss as one of its many symptoms.

    Zinc is another nutrient that is depleted by oral contraceptives. Zinc deficiency can contribute to female hair loss in two ways. First, zinc is required for the production of collagen and keratin which are proteins that play critical roles in the structure of hair follicles and in hair growth. Zinc is also involved in the synthesis and mode of action of thyroid hormones.5

    Every day hair is exposed to a wide variety of harmful agents that are damaging to human hair. Things like ultraviolet radiation from the sun and environmental toxins and pollutants can all generate free radicals that damage hair and can cause or contribute to hair loss. On the other hand, the role of antioxidant nutrients is to neutralize free radicals, thereby preventing or reducing damage to all parts of the body, including hair.6

    Oral contraceptives have been documented to deplete the following antioxidant nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc and coenzyme Q10. A deficiency of any one of these antioxidant nutrients will result in an increased production of free radicals, which can damage DNA and destroy cells, including hair follicles.

    Beyond hair loss, nutrient depletions caused by oral contraceptives can cause many additional health problems such as blood clots, birth defects, weakened immune system, heart attacks, depression, sleep problems, and various sexual side effects, to name a few. My book The Pill Problem discusses all of the side effects from oral contraceptives and offers women information on how to prevent and/or correct these problems. The Pill Problem is available in paperback or as an e-book at naturalpharmacist.net or on Amazon.com.

    A Safe Alternative to Hormone-Based Birth Control

    Smart Women's Choice Birth Control

    In closing, I want to announce a relatively new form of contraception for women that is a vaginal cream which is all natural, safe and 100 percent effective. The product, which is named Smart Women's Choice (SWC), was developed by Francoise Farron, PhD. Dr. Farron, a Harvard biochemist (now retired), originally presented SWC to me in 2015. After examining the evidence at that time, I realized that Smart Women's Choice was a good contraception option for women and I wrote an article about it which I posted on my blog in October, 2015. At that time, the product did not gain much acceptance with health professionals due to a lack of scientific studies to document its safety and effectiveness.

    In July 2017, Dr. Farron contacted me with exciting new information regarding Smart Women's Choice. An independent lab has conducted a test and verified that Smart Women's Choice is indeed 100 percent effective at immobilizing sperm. SWC works by causing sperm to agglutinate, which means to clump or stick together.

    Also, Dr. Farron reported that to date, over 1,300 women have been using Smart Women's Choice without a single incidence of failure. This is impressive since all forms of contraception ranging from condoms to oral contraceptives and everything in between have a failure rate. Smart Women's Choice is a natural, hormone-free form of contraception for women that is safe and 100 percent effective. You can view the video of an independent lab test which demonstrates the efficacy of SWC as it immobilizes sperm on www.smartwomenschoice.com.

    References:

    1. American Academy of Dermatology WEB site: https://www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions/hair-loss.
    2. Effect of oral contraceptives on tryptophan and tyrosine availability: evidence for a possible contribution to mental depression. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7266825.
    3. Fallah S. et al. Effect of contraceptive pill on the selenium and zinc status of healthy subjects. Contraception 2009 July;80(1):40–3.
    4. Negro R. Selenium and thyroid autoimmunity. Biologics. 2008 june;2(2):265–73.
    5. Arthur JR., Beckett GJ. Thyroid function. British Medical Bulletin 1999; 55 (No. 3): 658– 68.
    6. Trueb RM. Oxidative Stress in Aging of Hair. Int J Trichology. 2009 Jan-Jun;1(1):6 –14.
  • FINALLY—A Safe, Natural, Non-Hormonal Contraceptive With No Side Effects

    FINALLY—A Safe, Natural, Non-Hormonal Contraceptive With No Side Effects Sherrill Sellman

    Whenever a woman is considering some form of contraception, her doctor will immediately offer her a smorgasbord of options. Of course, the Birth Control Pill made with a combination of estrogen and progestins will usually be the first recommendation. But, she could also choose an implant called Nexplanon®, a tiny, thin rod about the size of a matchstick that is surgically implanted under the skin of the upper arm, releasing progestin for up to four years. Or, perhaps, she would prefer the NuvaRing®, a small, flexible ring containing estrogen and progestin inserted into the vagina and removed after three weeks and a new ring inserted one week later.

    The choices keep coming. There is always the Depo shot (AKA Depo-Provera), an injection of progestin that prevents ovulation for up to three months. For women who prefer something other than the Pill or inserted devices, there is the Xulane® Patch (which replaced the Ortho Evra birth control patch now only available in Europe and Canada). The transdermal patch sticks to the body and releases synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones directly through the skin. It works mainly by preventing the release of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle. A new patch is used each week for three weeks and a week with no patch (during your period).

    A Little Secret About All Hormonal Contraceptives
    The two main ingredients in hormonal contraceptives are either a combination of estrogen and progestin (a synthetic form of the natural hormone progesterone) or progestin-only contraceptives. There are well-noted "minor" side-effects experienced by many women that include breast tenderness, weight gain, skin and acne issues, hair loss, increased facial hair growth, nausea, nutrient depletion, mood swings, vaginitis, varicose veins and decreased libido.

    Major mood changes including depression, anxiety, irritation, and angry outbursts are commonly experienced. A study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that women using hormonal contraception faced a 23 percent greater incidence of developing depression and greater use of antidepressants than women who did not use the drugs. Among teens using these contraceptives, that rate nearly doubled.

    However, there are even more serious problems. The hormonal combinations increase the risk of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, migraines, high blood pressure, gall bladder disease, benign liver tumors, decreased bone density, infertility and yeast overgrowth. They alter the vaginal environment making it more hospitable to sexually transmitted diseases. Birth control pills adversely affect the beneficial microbiome in the intestines, which means a women is more susceptible to yeast overgrowth, has lower immunity and more frequent infections.

    Using hormonal contraceptives is playing Russian roulette with your health. These hormone combinations increase the levels of clotting factors and are responsible for a three-to four-fold increase in the incidence of blood clots. The FDA warns that the patch version poses an even greater risk because the level of estrogen absorbed from the patch is 60 percent more than the amount delivered by the pills. A blood clot can occur in a leg (deep vein thrombosis) or in the lung (pulmonary embolism) and can lead to death.

    The most alarming, yet least known, problem is the fact that estrogen and progestin can cause cancer. Both the World Health Organization's cancer agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program have listed estrogens and progestins as known human carcinogens. What this means is that taking any of the hormonal contraceptive choices will increase the risk of developing breast, cervical, uterine, ovarian, or liver cancers. And, the younger the age of a woman when she begins using them, the greater her lifetime risk.

    Modern women are caught in a terrible dilemma. While they want to control their fertility, they don't want to have to gamble with their health.

    Smart Women's Choice Vaginal Gel—A Revolution In Totally Effective, Totally Safe Contraceptives.

    There is really good news for women! Thanks to the passion and dedication of one woman to save women's lives, there is now an alternative to the dangerous hormonal contraceptives: Smart Women's Choice. SWC is a vaginal gel that contains no hormones and no spermicides; it is proven 100 percent effective, completely safe and causes no harmful side effects whatsoever.

    Smart Women's choice Natural Contraceptive and birth control cream

    Françoise Farron, PhD, an outstanding biochemist, earned her degree from New Your University Medical School and went on to work at Harvard Medical School, studying control mechanisms of cell growth, as part of a larger program designed to understand the phenomenon of uncontrolled growth in cancer cells.

    Francoise knew of the contraceptive formula since her own reproductive years; she used it and it worked for her. But she was not going to abandon her fascinating and successful studies at Harvard to go into the birth control business—until tragedy struck. Her friend's daughter suddenly died from a blood clot while using the NuvaRing®. At that juncture, Francoise felt a personal obligation to bring her discovery of a safe contraceptive to market, to make it available to all women who wanted to avail themselves of its unique advantages.

    Smart Women's Choice, is a novel approach to effective protection from unwanted pregnancies and works in an entirely different way from hormone-based birth control methods.

    In order for fertilization to occur, the sperm must travel from the vagina, were it is deposited during intercourse, up the fallopian tubes to merge with an egg that has been released by the ovaries. But Smart Women's Choice completely immobilizes the sperm in the vagina, within seconds; therefore the sperm cannot make the journey from the vagina into the fallopian tubes and thus, never encounters the egg; so fertilization cannot and does not take place.

    No fertilization = No pregnancy

    Since SWC does not alter or affect a woman's hormonal system, there are no harmful side-effects. Smart Women's Choice is a simple solution to prevent fertilization; it's amazing that no one has thought of it before. It is unique and effective; a patent has been filed and is pending.

    Where's the proof? Dr. Martin Bastuba, Medical Director at Male Fertility Specialists and head of one of the foremost fertility clinics in Southern California, performed a motility test on sperm samples to study the effectiveness of Smart Women's Choice on the motility of spermatozoa.

    The results presented in the accompanying table show unequivocally that SWC vaginal gel immobilizes sperm completely at all dilutions. If spermatozoa are totally immobilized in the vagina and, thus, unable to travel up the fallopian tubes fertilization cannot and does not occur.

    Conclusion: The results presented in the table above show unequivocally that SWC does agglutinate sperm to varying degrees, and immobilizes sperm completely at all dilutions. If sperm is immobilized and thus cannot travel up the fallopian tubes fertilization cannot occur.

    Women around the world who have decided to use Smart Women's Choice are delighted with its effectiveness in preventing unwanted pregnancies and a total absence of ill side effects.

    Smart Women's Choice has been selling for over three years with a terrific track record. More than 1,500 women have been using SWC with no pregnancies reported so far.

    Pharmacist, nutritionist and author, Ross Pelton, RPh, CCN recommends Smart Women's Choice. "I have been a long-time supporter of women's health issues. One of my concerns is the side effects caused by birth control pills. Consequently, I authored 'The Pill Problem,' which teaches women how to prevent the side effects from birth control pills. A safe form of contraception for women would be of tremendous worldwide health benefit to women (and their spouses if women are avoiding the side effects of BC pills & IUDs). I am happy to report that a safe form of contraception for women has been developed. It is named Smart Women's Choice. It works by causing the entire ejaculate to coagulate. Thus, the sperm are prevented from traveling up the fallopian tubes where fertilization takes place. The coagulate exits the vagina at the end of the intercourse and then rinse with water. It is easy and pleasant to use."

    How To Use Smart Women's Choice
    Using it is as simple as one, two, three!

    Step 1: Squeeze approximately one inch of Smart Women's Choice birth control gel onto your middle finger.

    Step 2: Insert into the vagina immediately before having sex. It helps lubricate for comfort, too. If you have sex repeatedly in short succession, you have to reapply SWC every time.

    Step 3: After completion, just rinse with water to restore the vagina to its normal acidity.

    Women Deserve a Safe, Non-Hormonal Alternative!
    Ever since the Pill was first released in 1960, it has been fraught with serious side effects. Some of them have even been fatal. Women were forced to make the difficult decision, Use the Pill or some other hormone-based contraception and take your chances with the many uncomfortable side-effects and potentially dangerous consequences or risk an unwanted pregnancy. It has taken almost 60 years to find a truly safe natural contraceptive. Dr. Francoise Farron, a fiercely determined woman, has been passionate about her mission to save the lives of women worldwide. After years of research, she has succeeded in bringing her vision of a truly safe and effective, non-hormonal contraceptive solution, called Smart Women's Choice, into the world. As usual, it takes a woman! To learn more go to smartwomenschoice.com.

  • The Pill Problem

    The Pill Problem Ross Pelton

    After the "pill" was approved in 1960, it quickly became one of the most important social and cultural revolutions in the history of the world. Since that time it is estimated that over 80 percent of women born in the U.S. after 1945 have used oral contraceptives at some time in their lives. Currently an estimated 12-million women in the United States, and over 100-million women worldwide are using oral contraceptives.

    Several years ago when I wrote a book titled The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook, I was amazed to find that oral contraceptives deplete a wide range of nutrients from a woman's body. In fact, oral contraceptives deplete more nutrients than any other class of commonly prescribed drugs.

    The health problems that can develop from these nutrient depletions include depression; sleep disorders; anemia; low energy; migraine headaches; heart attacks; strokes; blood clots; diabetes; a weakened immune system; birth defects; cancers of the uterus, colon and breast; and accelerated aging. Actually, studies report that about 50 percent of women who begin using oral contraceptives will discontinue use within the first six to 12 months due to side effects.

    The Dangers of Nutrient Depletions Caused by Oral Contraceptives

    Generally, side effects from a drug occur relatively quickly. For example, a skin rash or nausea and vomiting generally occur within the first day or two. In such cases, you notify your doctor and stop taking the drug. However, the health problems from drug-induced nutrient depletions are more gradual in their onset and much more difficult to recognize.

    Consider the following scenario. A woman has been taking oral contraceptives for the past eight years, seemingly without any problems. However, during the past six months, she has been increasingly complaining to her husband/partner, saying things like, "Honey, I'm so tired I feel like I don't have enough energy to even get out of bed in the morning," or "Honey, by mid-day I'm so exhausted, I'm dragging and can hardly get through the rest of the day."

    Oral contraceptives deplete vitamin B12, folic acid, magnesium and coenzyme Q10. Each of these nutrients plays a critical role in energy production and a deficiency of any one of them will cause tiredness, lethargy and overall low energy. However, the woman is not likely to realize that her oral contraceptives are causing nutrient depletions that are resulting in her low energy and exhaustion.

    It is also important to realize that many women are taking other drugs that can deplete the same nutrients that are being depleted by her oral contraceptives. For example, NSAIDs, acid-blocking drugs and anticonvulsant medications all deplete folic acid. So, a woman may be taking a PPI medication for her reflux, ibuprofen for headaches and if she has a seizure disorder, she will also be taking an anticonvulsant medication. This can create a serious risk of giving birth to an infant with a birth defect as well as other folic acid deficiency health problems.

    Oral contraceptive nutrient depletions also increase risks for future cardiovascular problems. For example, women taking oral contraceptives have lower levels of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid. This can cause elevated blood levels of homocysteine, which accelerates plaque buildup in the arteries. Years later, this can cause a heart attack, stroke or necessitate cardiac bypass surgery.

    Oral contraceptive-induced depletion of vitamin B6 and the amino acid tyrosine greatly increase a woman's risk of depression. These nutrients are required for the production of the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which control moods and emotions. A review of nine clinical trials reported the incidence of depression in women taking oral contraceptives ranged from 16 to 56 percent. In addition to depression, low levels of serotonin also increase the likelihood of developing sleep problems because serotonin is the precursor for melatonin, which is the chemical in the brain that triggers sleep.

    Several of the nutrients depleted by oral contraceptives are important antioxidants, which include vitamin C, selenium, zinc and co-enzyme Q10. When these antioxidants are depleted, a woman's immune system is significantly compromised.

    Oral contraceptives also increase a woman's risk of giving birth to an infant with birth defects. Folic acid deficiency is known to be the number one cause of neural tube birth defects and women taking OCs have lower levels of folic acid compared to non-users.

    Sexual side effects are one of the most common reasons that women discontinue taking oral contraceptives. To put it bluntly, the "pill" lowers sex drive. This is because women taking OCs have lower levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and testosterone. These two hormones regulate sex drive in both men and women.

    Common sexual side effects associated with oral contraceptives include decreased desire for sex, greater difficulty becoming aroused, vaginal dryness resulting in painful sex, and difficulty or inability to achieve orgasms.

    Nutritional Supplement Recommendations For Hormone Based Birth Control

    If you still insist on hormone based birth control recommended by your doctor keep this in mind; most health problems caused by oral contraceptives can be prevented or corrected by taking adequate nutritional supplementation. However, this is not accomplished by taking a one-a-day supplement.

    In most cases, nutrient intakes substantially greater than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDAs) are required to compensate for the nutrient depletions caused by oral contraceptives. Here are a couple of examples. The RDAs for vitamins B1, B2 and B6 are about 1.5 mg to 2 mg daily. I suggest that women take from 10 mg to 25 mg twice daily. The RDA for vitamin C for adult women is 75 mg daily. I recommend at least 500 mg twice daily. Numerous companies offer higher potency nutritional supplements that provide the nutrient intake levels that I am suggesting.

    Nutrients like tyrosine and co-enzyme Q10 are not included in most multivitamin/mineral formulations so they have to be purchased individually. I suggest that women take 500 mg of tyrosine twice daily and 50 mg to 100 mg of co-enzyme Q10 daily.

    The Pill Problem is a health manual that devotes 15 short information-packed chapters to the side effects of oral contraceptives. Each chapter discusses the nutrient depletions that can result in a particular health problem. The Pill Problem also contains dosage recommendations for each of the nutrients that are depleted by oral contraceptives.

    The Pill Problem is available in eBook and paperback from all major online booksellers or from www.thepillproblem.com.

    Hormone Free Alternative To Birth Control Pills And Devices



    Two years ago I was introduced to a product called Smart Women's Choice (SWC), which is a safe, hormone-free form of contraception for women. Smart Women's Choice is a vaginal gel that is made with all-natural ingredients. It works by causing the entire ejaculate to coagulate. This prevents the sperm from traveling up the Fallopian tubes, which inhibits fertilization from taking place.

    Smart Women's Choice Natural Contraceptive and Birth Control

    Smart Women's Choice was invented by Dr. Francoise Farron who is a biochemist by profession. Françoise started her studies at the University of California at Berkeley, got her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from New York University Medical School, and went on to work at Harvard Medical School studying control mechanisms of cell growth in cancer.

    In one scientific study on her Smart Women's Choice formula, SWC caused a 100 percent clumping or immobilization of sperm at all concentrations tested. SWC has been on the market now for over three years and there has not been a single reported pregnancy.

    All hormone-containing methods of contraception for women produce significant side effects. Thus, I was quite happy to learn about Smart Women's Choice and in October 2105, I wrote a supportive article about SWC that I posted on my Natural Pharmacist blog.

    SWC comes in a compact 1 oz. tube that you can conveniently carry. It is recommended to store it in your refrigerator to make it easier to apply. It does not have an expiration date.

    Instructions: Squeeze approximately one inch of the product onto your middle finger and insert into the vagina immediately before each sexual intercourse: afterwards, rinse thoroughly with tap water.

    Each tube has approximately 50 applications.

    You can purchase Smart Women's Choice directly from their website: http://smartwomenschoice.com.