Birth Control Pills & Thyroid Health
Pills used to prevent births (oral contraceptives) containing estrogen or both estrogen and progesterone can disrupt your body's delicate balance of free and bound thyroid hormone. Birth control pills contain estrogen, which increases the amount of thyroid-binding proteins in the body that is available to bind to thyroid hormone.
How will this affect you?
If you have more thyroid hormone bound to proteins, you will have less active free T4 in your body.
As a result, if you're on birth control and need thyroid medication for hypothyroidism, you may require a higher dose of thyroid medication to achieve normal thyroid levels. You may find that you require a significantly lower dose of thyroid medication if you discontinue the estrogen-containing pills.
Within four to eight weeks, the thyroid hormone levels stabilize. Women with hypothyroidism who are taking thyroid hormone and women who are pregnant need to take more thyroid hormone to keep their TSH levels normal. "Anyone taking levothyroxine ( artificial T4 ) or salt of liothyronine ( synthesis of T3 ), should be monitored for six to eight weeks after starting oral contraceptives."
How do pills rob us of our health?
1. Birth control pills deplete our bodies of selenium, zinc, and the amino acid tyrosine. These are all essential vitamins and minerals for healthy thyroid function.
2. Birth control pills use a negative feedback loop to reduce estrogen and progesterone production in the body. Birth control pills flood our bodies with artificial estrogen and progesterone, preventing ovulation and thinning the uterine lining. This can cause an imbalance in hormones, like estrogen dominance.
3. Pills increase blood clots and strokes. The risk rises dramatically after the age of 35, and for women who smoke.
4. Contraceptives can weaken our bones, resulting in osteoporosis.
5. Oral contraceptives cause a switch in the immune system from the Th1 to the Th2 subset. As a result, the immune system may become unbalanced and autoimmune diseases may worsen.
6. Birth control pills can change the normal flora in our bodies, making it easier for yeast and other harmful organisms to grow and spread.
7. Due to hormonal changes, women who use birth control pills have an abundance of mood swings.
8. Cancers of the breast, ovaries, and liver are more likely in women who take birth control pills.
9. Contraceptives hinder muscle growth despite exercise.
10. Birth control suppresses testosterone, reducing sexual desire. (It’s true that women also produce trace amounts of testosterone in their bodies. )
11. Birth control pills' estrogen boosts TBG. (Globulin that binds to thyroxine ) in which thyroid hormone is bound. More TGB in the blood results in lower levels of free thyroid hormone available for use by the body.
12. Lactose is found in a variety of oral contraceptives and serves as an inert filler. This may be a problem for many people who have food intolerances, as well as for women who have Hashimoto's disease and who frequently present with sensitivity to dairy products and gluten.
13. Birth control pills reduce DHEA Production. DHEA is known as an anti-aging hormone, and low DHEA levels are linked to a variety of conditions, including autoimmune disorders.
14. Vitamins B6, B12, and folate are lost in the consumption of birth control pills. Anemia, birth defects, depression, and other serious conditions can be caused by a lack of any of these nutrients.
There is an alternative to birth control pills that can be taken into consideration. The Fertility Awareness Method is a natural approach to determining a woman's fertile and infertile days without the use of medications, hormones, or surgically implanted devices.
28-day menstrual cycle ( Day 1 should be considered the first day of the menstrual cycle. ) Most women ovulate mid-cycle. However, not all women have 28-day cycles, and not all women ovulate in the exact middle of their cycle. In addition, depending on lifestyle factors, many women may ovulate at various times each month.
Fertilization can take place five days before or on the day of ovulation. So, a woman is usually not fertile at the beginning and end of her cycle, but she is fertile for six days in the middle, around the time she ovulates.
Cervical position, changes in cervical fluids, and the thermal shift in basal temperatures can be taken as a parameter to identify ovulation. After ovulation, temperatures rise by 0.4-0.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and this thermal shift can be measured with a very sensitive basal thermometer immediately after waking up. Temperatures and other fertility signs are recorded in a daily fertility chart to help women track their cycles.
You can track the effectiveness of your treatment for Hashimoto's disease by keeping track of your basal body temperature. Temperature preovulatory ( usually the first 10 to 15 days of your cycle. ) is key to determining thyroid and adrenal health. Normal preovulatory temperature ranges from 97.0 to 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperatures that remain consistently higher than 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit, may indicate an overactive thyroid, while temperatures that remain consistently lower than 97.3 degrees Fahrenheit may indicate an underactive thyroid. In addition, low but inconsistent temperatures may indicate adrenal insufficiency.
Can birth control pills and Thyroid Hormone Replacement Therapy (THRT) medications affect each other?
If you are taking an estrogen medication, consult your doctor. ( such as contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapy )during THRT, you may have to adjust your dosage of T4 hormones. This is because the vast majority of T4 (Thyroid-stimulating hormone, one of two hormones produced by the thyroid ) is bound to proteins called thyroxin-binding globulins ( TBG ) in the bloodstream, rendering it virtually useless.
Because estrogen in oral contraceptives causes TBG to remain in the body for a longer period of time, the amount of TBG in your body, as well as the percentage of all T4 that is attached to it, will rise. Your thyroid gland should strive to produce more T4 to keep enough of the hormone freely gallivanting around your body free from TBG, as the remaining 1 percent of "free" T4 is what actually affects your body, particularly in patients who already have a thyroid disorder. When this happens, you may need to increase your T4 dose to get the thyroid back up to speed. Whether or not you need to change your dose, the estrogen will mess up your T4 levels.
Since a lot of T4 will be hanging out with TBG when your thyroid levels are checked, your doctor should use the TSH test instead of the T4 test. If your T4 levels are too high, it may seem as though your thyroid is working overtime when, in reality, it is just being uncharacteristically efficient. The good news is that THRT shouldn't change how well birth control pills work. However, thyroid disease can make it harder for women to get pregnant because it affects ovulation.
Hence, before taking any contraceptive pills, find a physician, who is familiar with the intricate relationship between estrogen and thyroid hormones. Your doctor should monitor your thyroid levels and the effect of all medications, including oral contraceptives, on them, and adjust your dosage accordingly.
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