Are Oral Contraceptive Pills (OCP) the Panacea You Thought They Would Be?

There are 10 million women in the Unites States using “The Pill” as their primary means of contraception. Unfortunately, most women don’t know how the pill works nor do they understand the profound effect”The Pill” is having on their lady parts and their pelvic pain.

What’s even crazier is that I have seen “The Pill” prescribed for everything under the sun including but not limited to depression, migraines, infertility, menstrual cramps, endometriosis, acne and mood swings.

Here’s the Thing:

The Pill has been associated with less arousal, less pleasure, and  less orgasms. Which I find ironic because the “Pill” is supposed to liberate us sexually yet it’s suppressing us. (Smith).

Bazin et al. showed that women who took the” Pill” before the  young age of seventeen were 11 times more likely to develop vestibulodynia in comparison to women who had never taken Pill. I see this condition in my healing center all the time and it has a major impact on these women’s lives. Vestibulodynia is a subset of vulvodynia is it’s a chronic inflammation of the vulvar vestibule.

The vestibule is a thin circular rim of tissue at the opening of the vagina.   The vestibule contains important glands that are responsible for mucus secretion that cause women to get wet when they are aroused. The vestibule is also connected to the urethra( the opening of the bladder) where urine exits from.

When the liver breaks down the synthetic hormones in the pill the liver increases its production of a hormone called- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG).

Why is this Important and How Does it Relate to Your Lady Parts?

The vestibule is rich in testosterone receptors and needs testosterone for its health, vitality, and juiciness. Without testosterone, the vestibule loses its function and liveliness. SHBG hijacks the testosterone receptors in the vestibule rendering the vulva vestibule chronically inflamed, irritated leaving women to feel like their vaginas are on fire. This inflammation then leads to pain with sexual penetration, and many times with wearing certain types of clothes. Actually, anything touching the vulva can become painful when you suffer fromVestibulodynia. Many women develop urinary symptoms that feel like a UTI. Many other women feel a constant itching and burning very similar to a yeast infection. These by-product sensations contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction and pelvic pain. Why? Our pelvic floor muscles are in close proximity to the vulva and they respond to what is happening by becoming tight. This tightness over time contributes to pelvic floor muscle spasms, trigger points and more dysfunction in our lady parts. So if you are suffering from pelvic or sexual pain and using birth control pills you should investigate whether the pill is contributing to your symtoms.

References

Bazin S, Bouchard C, Brisson J, Morin C, Meisels A, Fortier M. Vulvar vestibulitis syndrome: an exploratory case-control study. Obstet Gynecol 1994;83:47-50.

Battaglia C, Battaglia B, Mancini F, et al. Sexual behavior and oral contraception: a pilot study. J Sex Med 2012;9:550-7.

Smith NK, Jozkowski KN, Sanders SA. Hormonal contraception and female pain, orgasm and sexual pleasure. J Sex Med. 2014 Feb;11(2):462-70.

Support Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein’s Movie, Sweetening the Pill

So when #AbbyEpstein and #RickiLake decided to bring awareness to “The Pill” via their movie #SweeteningThePill,  I became excited. I am thrilled to support their work and spread the word about their movie because this information is needed. We must continue to make informed choices about our health.

If you would like to donate to this amazing project click on the pink button above and let’s the discussion  into the mainstream:

About the Author
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ISA HERRERA, MSPT, CSCS

Isa Herrera, MSPT, CSCS is a New York City-based holistic women’s pelvic floor specialist, author of 3 books on pelvic health, including the ground-breaking self-help book, Ending Female Pain, A Woman's Manual. She has dedicated her career to advancing awareness of pelvic floor conditions so that more people can find relief from this silent epidemic that affects over 30 million people in the US alone. Ms. Herrera holds a BA in Psychology and Biology from Fordham University and also a Masters in Physical Therapy from Hunter College. Click here for a complete bio.

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