Well, it’s that time of month again.
If you’re already thinking, “Woah, woah, woah. TMI!”, I’ll give you a moment to escape.
*hums to self*
Ok. For those of you left, I stopped taking birth control pills several months ago. My husband and I aren’t actively trying to get pregnant – I’m just tired of being on that medication. I’ve been on some form of the pill since I was 11 for medical reasons. When I was in London several years ago, I saw a temporary exhibit at the British Museum. I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was called, but one installment featured a long table with every pill a man and woman took during their lives. I remember feeling uneasy looking at the woman’s display – so many birth control pills. There are some health benefits to it, yes. It certainly helped my problem and relaxed me when it came to having sex with my husband. Still… Every time I felt “off”, my mind would recall the pill exhibit and I’d wonder how many I put into my system. How many little white circles would line up on my own hypothetical table? A rather scary scenario last year made me reconsider using the darn things ever again. And although I’ve read recent studies that show agricultural runoff is far more detrimental to aquatic life than birth control hormones released into the water system via the sewer … I’ve never felt good about the environmental impact of the chemicals.
Here’s where I need to pause and say very explicitly that I’m not against women using birth control. I’m not trying to tell my readers to give up the pills. Birth control of some form is very important to keep our population from getting even more out of control – I know that. Like I said, I’ve been on the pill for years and this is just me explaining my journey and my desire to stop using them at this time.
Last summer, I talked with a friend who has also stopped taking the pill. Like me, she’s married and hated the way the pills made her feel. I have yet another friend who stopped using them and underwent the procedure to have an IUD in place to very good results. For the time, I’m opting not to go that way since I’d like to have children in a few years and don’t feel like getting it in only to have to have it removed shortly after. So here I am, pill free for coming on a year and starting to learn about my natural rythms.
It’s been interesting so far. Because of the medical issues I’ve had since the onset of puberty, I never experienced a natural cycle. My doctor at the time told me everything would likely even out as I aged and, now that I’m older, I’m noticing that! (I do hope I didn’t just jinx myself). I’m starting to really observe and listen to what my body is doing. It’s an intimate way to get in touch with oneself, and quite empowering.
One downside to being off the pill is I have been experiencing more painful cramps than I have for over a decade. They last for a day or so – nothing I can’t manage. It’s just annoying, as half of my readership will know! How to deal with that without throwing more pills down my gullet?
One of my weapons is a natural cream with cramp-bark. I rub it on my lower abdomen when I feel the cramps coming on and it really helps alleviate the pain. But my best friend? Ginger.
|I took this photo a few months ago when I originally intended to update about my natural attempts to deal with menstrual cramps. My ginger root is all gone now… 😦|
Ginger has been shown to be very beneficial to women experiencing menstrual cramps. Many websites and herbal books recommend drinking ginger tea. I had been using fresh ginger but ran out. When my husband went shopping last night, he couldn’t find any ginger root at the store so he bought me some organic ginger tea from Yogi. It doesn’t have the full bite that fresh ginger does, but it’s still very good! I brought some bags to work with me this afternoon and it’s the only thing that kept me sane! Along with this delicious, warming tea, I heartily recommend chocolate (organic/fair trade of course!) with bits of candied ginger in it. I always crave chocolate during these times, and to mix it with my preferred medicine? Yes please!