Many women take oral contraception, either for birth control or for the hormonal benefits for preventing medical conditions affecting the female reproductive system. Yet hormones have a distinct effect on the body, and their side effects are not always favourable. The link between taking hormones and infertility has long been debated. Women who have menstrual pain are often prescribed birth control since this helps to reduce menstruation. Yet the same hormones have been thought to cause structural changes to the endometrium, the inner lining of the womb.
Many western doctors have rubbished the idea that taking long-term birth control reduces women’s fertility in the long term. Some claim that as soon as you go off the pill, you can conceive quite easily. But other admit that this is common but by no means guaranteed. As a professor of obstetrics and gynecology put it: ‘with a few notable exceptions, immediately after you stop using birth control, your fertility will go right back to what it was destined to be’. It is those ‘notable exceptions’ that women want to avoid. Also, to focus exclusively on fertility ignores the other possible harm hormone treatments can do to your body. So what is the alternative? There are Ayurvedic therapies that work in a complementary way with women’s reproductive wellness. In Ayurvedic tradition, internal treatments using herbal preparations that enhance fertility have been used for centuries.
There are also various external treatments that work more with aligning energies and balancing the key elemental life energies of the body, the three ‘doshas’. These elementary energies, named ‘Pitta’, ‘Kapha’ and ‘Vata’, must be balanced for good health and menstrual pain is thought to be closely linked to the ‘Vata’ dosha (which governs movement) being out of balance. The verdict might change from year to year on whether or not hormone pills reduce your fertility, but when there are Ayurvedic treatments that will ease menstrual pain and maintain reproductive health, is there any reason to take chances?