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GAPS Legal Birth Control. This is not something I have seen discussed before. And why not? We are scared to talk about it because sex is so taboo in our society. We only take time to talk about it to tell people to keep their opinions out of our bedroom!
But birth control is an incredibly important topic for people on any sort of healing diet. Some forms of birth control can augment you healing, while others can completely undo all the efforts you are putting forth. Many methods are relatively safe, but may cause reactions in certain individuals. How can we expect people to heal their bodies if we don’t talk about how to family plan in a way that supports that healing? Oh, and that works, too. No one needs the stress of an unplanned pregnancy when on GAPS (unless you want one!).
So let’s talk about birth control today. And I’m not going to spend the time extolling the virtues of Natural Family Planning. Although it is the best option, I’ll address all the widely available options for birth control in the United States. To start, I’ll share the ones which are very much so NOT safe for those on GAPS or any other healing diet.
Any Hormonal Option – I address this in pretty much every post I write about women’s health. Hormonal birth control is bad news. Especially if you are looking to heal your body. Not only does it interfere with your body’s natural rhythms and hormone regulation, but the birth control pill can also be extremely damaging for the gut. To be completely honest, there is no point in being on the GAPS diet if you are on hormonal birth control. You are on this diet to heal your body. Being on artificial, gut damaging hormones will just undo all the work you are doing. The birth control pill triggered my hypothyroidism and severely damaged my gut, as well as caused a host of other problems. One of my greatest wishes is to get every woman off of hormonal birth control.
These dangerous options include not only the birth control pill, but also the patch, the shot, the implant, the hormonal IUD, etc. For more information about the side effects of the pill and how to recover from them (GAPS is a great option!), check out this post from Empowered Sustenance.
Traditional Spermicide – GAPS and other healing diets are not only about cleaning up the diet, but also cleaning up what products you put on your body. The skin is your largest organ. While healing, the last thing you want to do is put harmful chemicals on your skin where is can absorb. No, actually, the last thing you want to do is put it on your mucus membranes. Like the vagina.
Traditional spermicides contain nonoxynol-9, a chemical which can increase the risk of HIV. The reason it does this is because it is very good at killing cells. Although this includes sperm and microorganisms that cause STDs, it also is incredibly irritating to the walls of the vagina. This allows viruses and bacteria to get into the blood stream more easily. Does that sound like something you want in your body when you are trying to heal? (source)
Copper IUD – This is a long term, hormone-free, reversible option that many women enjoy. Common side effects are pain upon insertion, heavier and more painful periods, and pain with certain sex positions. There are also more serious side effects such as the IUD slipping, an infection, or puncturing the uterus (I cringe just thinking about it!), although these are rare. (source) I would be very concerned about having a foreign object in my uterus and the effects of the copper on a healing body. Please do your due diligence before considering this option.
Diaphragms/Cervical Caps – These are a great, natural, and reusable option for many women. However…they require spermicide. As discussed earlier, this is a problem. Luckily, there is a spermicide on the market called ContraGel, which does not contain nonoxynol-9 or any other harmful, synthetic ingredients. It is also vegan, water-based, and gluten free. Although I have not used it myself, I have heard good things. Like anything, it could still cause irritation, so be careful.
Condoms – As a non-hormonal option, condoms can be another good option. Of course, if there is any risk of STDs, using condoms is essential. Well, abstinence would be ideal, but I know not everybody will take that option. However, condoms can be coated in an irritating lubricant or spermicide. Latex allergies are also a concern for many people. I’m also not a fan of the waste that goes into using condoms. I am not familiar with safe condom options, so you will have to find the best option for yourself.
Sterilization – If you have already had your tubes tied or a vasectomy, no worries. You’re good! However, if you are looking to have one of these procedures done while on the healing diet, caution must be taken. Side effects of pain management drugs and of the surgeries themselves must be taken into consideration.
Completely Safe GAPS Legal Birth Control Options
Fertility Awareness/Natural Family Planning – My favorite method, as you all know. 🙂 No chemicals, no artificial hormones, no waste, no foreign bodies, nothing to be concerned about from a GAPS perspective. It is highly effective for either avoiding or achieving pregnancy. It will also allow you to keep track of your cycles as your heal your gut. GAPS can throw off your cycle at the beginning, and it can work wonders for your hormones as your body heals. FAM will help you keep tabs on this while naturally avoiding pregnancy. Learn how to pick the best method for you here.
Withdrawal – When used perfectly, withdrawal actually has a decent success rate (96%). (source) Of course, that is the trick, isn’t it? Using it properly. Withdrawal requires a lot of trust and control. It may come naturally to some couples, while it totally takes the enjoyment out of sex for others. Many women like to use withdrawal in combination with Fertility Awareness to extend the time period when they can have sex, but still abstain during the most fertile period. If it is a method you are interested in, it is of course a completely GAPS legal birth control option – no concerns about that! Just be careful.
Have you been wondering about GAPS legal birth control? What have you found works for you?
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