Recently I have been thinking about my future children. Kirk and I will not be getting pregnant any time soon, but the number of women in my life that are having fertility problems has caused me to really consider my future plans. I have just recently decreased my antidepressant dosage, with the plan of getting completely off of them within the year. The current medication I am on has been shown to have negative effects on both fetuses’ hearts and brains, and I want to take as many steps as possible to make sure my future children start out right in this world. Not only have I decreased my antidepressants, I have been listening to various podcasts (mostly by Melissa Ambrosini) all talking about how birth control has seen to affect many women’s abilities to conceive children.
Today’s podcast was particularly interesting.
Ambrosini was interviewing Dr. Lara Briden, who is a pioneer in holistic approaches to infertility, and Dr. Briden said something that truly blew me away. It typically takes 13 years from your first period to become fully fertile. This means that it takes 13 years from your first period to have a healthy ovulation cycle. Obviously, there are many women out there (some of my dearest friends) who have had healthy children prior to that 13 years.
This means that I will have a healthy ovulation cycle when I am 25 years old (13 years after getting my first period).
Another thing that completely blew me away, is that when you are on birth control you are not actually having a typical cycle, so the periods that you are getting are not ‘real’ bleeds. They are pill-induced bleeding, which is not actually the same as ovulating. This means that for the past 6 years I have not been getting ‘real’ periods, talk about mind-blowing information. This also means that I have interrupted my normal development of my ovulation cycle by taking the pill. Since it takes 13 years to develop your ovulation cycle, and 6 of those years I have been on the pill, I have really only developed my cycle normally for 4 years (I am 22).
This information is the reason why it is common for women to not get there period for a year (sometimes more) after going off of the pill!
This is insane. I went on the pill when I was 16 years old for the reason most teenagers go on it, so I didn’t get pregnant. I went on it with full-endorsement from my mom, because she believed that this was the right course of action to take. Which, of course, is not her fault! This is what everyone has been taught for almost 30 years. Take birth control so you don’t get pregnant. But the thing is, women can only get pregnant for 6 days out of their cycle.
So why are we taking a pill that puts synthetic hormones into our bodies for 30 days?
The thing is.. without the pill other contraceptions have to be put in place to ensure that we do not get pregnant. Condoms are common, but I feel like I speak for most women (and men) when I say condoms SUCK, and typically they have spermicide on them which is not good for our bodies either. There is the diaphragm, but I do not know about you ladies, but my hoo ha is super sensitive and sticking a thing inside of it PLUS a penis just does not float my boat. So we are left with tracking. We can use apps, but they aren’t that reliable, so we are stuck with taking out the good ol’ thermometer and taking our temperature to see when we are ovulating, and that can be a major pain the butt.
Another issue that I have been facing, and I know I am not the only one, is resistance from Kirk. Like me, he grew up with the knowledge that in order to have sex the girl must be on the ‘pill’. So when I told him I wanted to go off of it, he was extremely resistant. Basically stating that if I went off of it, there would be no more sex. I could have resented him for it, but I realized quickly that without the information he really did not have anything to go on other than what he grew up learning.
I do want to go off of Birth Control ASAP.
But I also want to respect Kirk’s wishes, because ultimately if I get pregnant it is not just me whose life changes forever. So I am going to continue to gather information and present it to him until we can come to an agreement. Unlike many women I talk to, the pill does not affect me in anyway, my body took to it quite readily, so I can afford to wait a few more months before getting off of it. However, I know that I want to get off of it sooner rather than later so that I can begin to get my body back on track.
I do not expect you to go off the pill right away simply because you are reading my blog. I hope you do your research and come to your own conclusions, because I know for many of you, this is probably the first time you are learning about any of this. Below I have given you some resources that can help you make an informed decision. I hope these resources help you come to a conclusion that is best for you AND your partner, because remember: Making a baby is a team sport.
Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden
Taking Charge of your Fertility by Toni Weschler
*I would also like to note that I am in no way endorsed by any of the people I spoke about in this post*