When Standing Up for Women’s Health Means Standing Up to the Pill

“I honestly think future generations will look back on this era of contraceptive drugs and will see it as a very strange time in women’s health. It will be one of those face palm moments.” 

– Lara Briden, author of The Period Repair Manual

This may come as a shock, but contraceptive drugs (or, better known as hormonal birth control) are a literal shock to your system. 

Lara Briden, naturopathic doctor and author of The Period Repair Manual, is standing up for women’s health by standing up to the pill. 

A contraceptive drug that has been celebrated, revered, and spun as a freedom to women’s reproductive rights, “the pill” boasts a 60-year record of “safety”… but Briden is asking if that’s really true, and if we have been ignoring signs and symptoms that have been there all along? 

Headaches, migraines, decreased sex drive, increased risk of depression, weight gain, nausea — it’s a paradigm. Women are being gaslighted, being told they are imagining these symptoms, that they can’t possibly be side effects of the pill.

A women’s health doctor with 20 years of experience healing period problems with nutrition and other natural treatments sans hormonal birth control, Briden has made it her mission to let the world know that the manufactured answer that our doctors have been feeding us to aid in all our period ailments is not actually safe and helpful.

Indeed, it hasn’t been easy to face the pill head on. It’s been something that has been the symbol of reproductive freedom for so many, for so long. Doctors have been told it’s safe and women believe them — why wouldn’t we? But in reality, contraceptive drugs have set back the clock for women’s health, and have put a halt to more innovative research for a better option.

“Those of us who know about this, we have this calling to speak about it. Women’s health has been ignored at best and actively sabotaged at worst,” explains Briden.

Leading the change to better periods in a time when women’s health is becoming less and less our choice, Briden’s book is a gamechanger for the systemic oppression of women’s health. She’s giving women the tools they need to heal their own periods in the face of a system that has failed us. 

The pill should be liberating women, but it’s a vehicle for chemicals that are crucial to an entire industry’s bottom line, and harmful to the intricate hormonal systems in our bodies.

“It’s very convenient for the industry that the burden is being put on individuals, when it should be put on the industry,” says Briden. One hormonal birth control parent company, Bayer, owned up to its wrongdoings and ended up paying out billions to over 8,000 patients who suffered from blood clots caused by one of their products, Essure. But then they kept doing it… which begs the question, how much are these companies actually profiting if it’s still worth it to them to give women these products?

To be clear, you are not wrong for taking the pill. And you’re not alone in the feelings you have from reading this article. The medical system failed you. It did not provide the correct information. We’ve been told it was safe and it’s not our fault. 

But now that we know, we can’t look away, can we?

After speaking to Briden and reading her book, I’ve shared this message with everyone I could. Her take on period health and ovulation as an indicator of overall health gave me back so much power over my body. 

In her book, Briden talks about something called the Fertility Awareness Method, or FAM. FAM is a method of tracking ovulation that requires nothing but a thermometer. Is it weird to give everyone a thermometer for their birthday this year? Because I’m ready to know my body and follow Briden’s lead to better periods.

All our lives we’ve been taught to fear our bodies. Fear getting pregnant, fear getting a disease. I even feared ovulation. But now I know it’s my best friend because it is an indication of my overall health. I don’t want to be afraid anymore. 

Briden’s book can show you the way to better understanding your periods, and to even heal them. In a time when women’s reproductive rights are under direct attack, this empowerment gives hope. 

We are stronger than we know and knowledge of our bodies is power. Thank you Lara Briden for giving us more of both.

Monica Schrock is an introverted copywriter who teaches introverted entrepreneurs to find their voice so they can own their greatness. Monica sits on the board of Women’s Voices for the Earth, and lives in Portland, Oregon, where she enjoys ample rain and coffee. She connects directly with introverted entrepreneurs on her blog Unsocially Inclined.

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