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n Birth defects n Blood clots

Dangerous Downsides Mount n Depression

n Cancer (breast, uterine and colon)

n Cardiovascular disease

n Decreased sexual desire

n Fatigue, low energy and anemia

n Fluid retention and weight gain

n Heart attack n High blood pressure n Migraine

n Osteoporosis n Sleep disorders n Stroke

n Vaginal yeast infections

n Weakened immune system

Sources: American Heart Association; University of Milan, Italy; Berlin Center for Epidemiology and Health Research, Germany; Women’s College Research Institute, Canada; Columbia University, NY; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Parma, Italy; Wingate University, NC; Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, NJ; Institute of Health Sciences Research, Melbourne, Australia

to diseases of aging, including cancer, diabetes and heart disease, according to Pelton. Women that decide to keep taking The Pill should add an array of speci- fied supplements to counterbalance the nutrient loss, advises Pelton. Replac- ing nutrients should, in the long term, neutralize the negative effects of The Pill, even cancer and blood clots, he assures. Better yet, say Sellman and

Pelton, stop taking The Pill and switch to safer forms of contraception. It may take months or even years for the nutri- ent imbalances to be fully corrected, so start now.

Natural Contraceptives Although no natural forms of estrogen are suited for birth control, safe and effective natural forms exist, advises women’s health expert Holly Lucille,


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a naturopathic doctor and registered nurse in West Hollywood, California. She cautions against the potential risks of using estrogen patches, shots and vaginal rings, and recommends avoiding anything that contains estrogen. “Not using The Pill doesn’t mean you have to rely on withdrawal or the rhythm method, both of which are notoriously unreliable,” says Lucille, preferring what she terms “barrier methods”, like diaphragms, cervical caps and male and female condoms.

She notes, “Cervical caps are just as effective as The Pill and you can put them in and leave them a little longer for a bit more spontaneity.” Female condoms are even more convenient, she explains: “They fit much like a diaphragm and they can be left in place as long as eight hours.” Instead of potentially toxic spermicides, Lucille recommends using lemon juice, which, she says, is equally effective.

Kathleen Barnes is the author of numer- ous natural health books including the Basic Health Publications User’s Guide to Natural Hormone Replacement. Connect at

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