Hormonal Contraception from the TCM Perspective

Proponents of hormonal contraception and especially gynaecologists often ground on various health benefits – from beautiful skin, removal of painful or heavy menstruation, improvement of hair quality to psychical equilibrium – and conclude it all by the following: “Still better than getting pregnant accidentally”.  However, just a few women and girls know that the cycle controlled by hormonal contraception is completely different from the natural menstrual cycle. The claim that hormonal contraception regulates the menstrual cycle is untrue.  Yes, it “regulates”, but at what costs. After all, if that were the case, women would be fertile but not infertile after they discontinue taking it… It is sad to see how many women today are more and more clinging to assisted reproduction, which is again artificially “modified” by another synthetic hormone.  And if the effort is successful, the mother and foetus are “adjusted” during pregnancy with another synthetic hormones, and we can only hope that a full-term and properly “adjusted” child will be born… Each hormonal contraceptive always has side effects on every woman! Side effects occur in all users because hormonal contraceptives affect gene expression and damage genes. Gene expression is the process by which genetic information stored in a gene (DNA) is converted into a protein structure. In any case, this process is strictly regulated, as any fluctuations in gene expression can have serious clinical consequences. The extent and intensity always depends on various factors, such as age, weight, genetic predisposition, smoking, alcohol, the presence of other diseases, whether the woman has given birth or not, etc. The International Cancer Research Organization (IARC) in its latest study from 2012 confirmed that the use of hormonal contraceptives increases the risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer and liver cancer. The sooner a girl starts taking it (before the age of 20), the greater the risk of cancer. The biggest risk of using hormonal contraception is thromboembolic disease, ie the formation of a blood clot called a thrombus. The disease usually affects the lower limbs (deep vein thrombosis), but the clot can release and travel through the blood vessels to the lungs, where it occludes parts of the pulmonary arteries of various sizes – this is called embolism. This condition is serious and life threatening. Thrombosis and pulmonary embolism usually occur at the same time.

Uncommon but also serious are the risks of premature infarction, both  myocardial infarction and apoplexy, or a stroke. The greatest risk is during the first year of use or after a one-month break, in obese women, in women over 35 years of age, in the first month after giving birth or in women suffering from thrombophilia, especially the Leiden mutation. Less serious complications when using contraception are then eg migraines, swelling, water retention, pigment spots on the face, depression, various unclear conditions and pain, psychosomatic problems… These difficulties disappear after stopping contraceptives intake. Women who have a congenital blood clotting disorder or thrombophilia, especially the so-called Leiden mutation (affects about 5% of women), are a high-risk group when using hormonal contraception. They have a 35 times higher risk of developing a blood clot than those who do not use contraception and do not have a blood clotting disorder. Another 5% of women suffer from another type of thrombophilia, which they often do not even know about until they have problems using contraception. According to the TCM view, in the case of any thrombophilia, there is always a so-called insufficiency of blood in the liver pathway with subsequent stagnation, which forms clots or accumulations, ie the above-described state “little water in the stream, which has no strength to flow freely, creating unattractive mud and puddles (various sediments and “carry-downs”)”. According to TCM, the treatment of these problems also consists in nourishing, strengthening and stimulating the blood circulation, ie using the already known to us herbal mixture Sleeping Beauty’s Awakening.