Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Dr Eki Wari and Physician Lim Sock Ling on June 19, 2022

How To Best Support Womb Health For The Young Adult Woman Taking Birth Control

Birth control is helpful for preventing unwanted pregnancies and controlling menstrual symptoms, but it doesn't come without its risk of side effects and potential dangers. Learn more about how to support womb health while taking birth control here.

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Taking birth control as a young adult woman is a good way to regulate your periods. It can also prevent pregnancies before you’re ready. After all, just because you’re not ready to start a family right now doesn’t mean you won’t be one day.

However, many women are concerned that taking birth control now may affect their fertility later in life. There is also concern that it may increase the risk of certain cancers.

Our physician sets the record straight in this guide on birth control, cancer, and fertility. They also provide tips for supporting womb health while taking birth control so you can best support your reproductive health.

What Is Birth Control?

Birth control, or contraception, refers to any device, method, or medicine that prevents pregnancy.

There are many different types, including:

  • Oral contraceptive pill (COCP)
  • Patches
  • Shots
  • Vaginal rings
  • Intrauterine devices
  • Hormonal implants
  • Barrier methods, such as condoms, diaphragms, sponges, and cervical cap

Is Birth Control Safe?

Your doctor may prescribe birth control to help with painful periods.

According to the Centers for Disease Center Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 90% of teens used birth control the last time they had sex.

While this helps keep the number of teen births down in the United States, some parents and young adults are concerned that birth control may not be safe.

We asked registered Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Physician Lim Sock Ling to explain any potential risks of taking it as a teen or young adult.

According to Physician Lim, there may be an increased risk of breast and cervical cancers among COCP users. However, there are studies showing that the risks of endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal cancers are reduced.

Physician Lim stated there is also a rare but dangerous risk of developing blood clots with COCP. This is likely to develop during or after pregnancy. It can be serious when the clots are in your legs, lungs, or brain. 

“Additionally, long-term use of oral contraceptives containing estrogen may cause an increase in blood pressure, increasing the risk of hypertension. Indirectly, this can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack,” stated Physician Lim.

Does Birth Control Affect Fertility?

Despite the potential side effects listed above, Physician Lim stated that birth control should not affect your fertility later on in life.

According to Physician Lim, “Birth control pills do not affect fertility as the hormones in the birth control pills only remain in the body for a short time. Hence, one needs to take a pill every day for it to be effective.”

“People often have the misconception that birth control can affect fertility. In fact, birth control pills are likely to mask delays in fertility and pre-existing irregularities and conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can affect the chance of pregnancy, hence the delays in fertility,” continued, Physician Lim.

One study found that people who used injectable contraceptives had the longest delay in the return of their normal fertility. This was followed by patch contraceptive users, then oral contraceptives and vaginal rings, and finally users of hormonal and copper IUDs and implants.

Tips For Using TCM To Support Womb Health

If you’re a young woman taking birth control and you’re concerned about your health or fertility later in life, then talk to your doctor or a registered TCM physician.

TCM can support womb health by helping you find balance within the body.

According to Physician Lim, “Birth control affects the normal actions of Chong and Ren meridians, as well as the Kidney, Liver, Spleen, and Heart organ systems. One of the symptoms is a delayed period or spotting. TCM can help to rectify the issues usually caused by three basic syndromes: Kidney Yang Deficiency, Liver Qi Stagnation, and Liver and Kidney Yin Deficiency. These can be remedied by using herbs, acupuncture, or moxibustion.” 

Herbal Remedies That Support Womb Health

Supporting your fertility while taking birth control as a teen can help ensure you have a healthy pregnancy later in life.

TCM emphasizes nourishing the Liver and Kidney, as well as regulating Chong and Ren meridians, including Qi and Blood. Here are some Chinese herbs that may promote fertility: 

  • Shu Di Huang: Improves Blood supply to reproductive tissue  
  • Dang Gui: Enhances Blood supply to reproductive tissue and organs; improves Ovarian function 
  • Tu Si Zi: May improve the quality of ovary cells 
  • Sang Shen Zi: Acts as an antioxidant and improves the quality of ovary cells; contains anti-aging properties 
  • Ba Ji Tian: Stimulates the Pituitary Gland to improve ovulation 
  • Goji berries: Increases DNA synthesis in reproductive tissue; acts as an antioxidant 

Many TCM physicians recommend Bak Foong pills to help with fertility in young women. However, it’s a good idea to consult with a TCM physician first before taking any herbal medication.

Kidney Deficiency

In addition to regulating Chong and Ren meridians, the following classical formula is often used to address Kidney Deficiency: 

  1. Yu Lin Zhu: Invigorates the Kidney and Qi; warms and nourishes Chong and Ren meridians
  2. You Gui Pills: Helps to warm the Kidney and womb; Regulates Chong and Ren meridians
  3. Yang Jing Zhong Yu soup: Nourishes the Kidney and Blood 

Qi Liver Stagnation

To address Liver Qi Stagnation, Physician Lim recommends Kai Yu Zhong Yu soup to ease the Liver and regulate menstruation.

Blood Stasis

Shao Fu Zhu Yu soup may help remove Blood Stasis and regulate menstruation to promote fertility.

Phlegm and Dampness

For the accumulation of Phlegm and Dampness, Physician Lim recommends Cang Fu Dao Tan pills. This helps to dry dampness and remove Phlegm, promote circulation and regulate menstruation.

According to one study, Cang Fu Dao Tan soup could significantly improve pregnancy rate, ovulation rate, and estradiol level.

Final Thoughts On Birth Control

If you have concerns about taking birth control, be sure to talk to your doctor. Many times, the benefits outweigh the risks. This may be true if you have an underlying medical condition that causes heavy periods.

Always consult with a registered TCM physician before taking any herbal medication. A TCM physician will recommend specific treatment only after a proper examination. Never stop taking birth control before consulting with your doctor first.

References

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