In this episode, Stacy and Sarah weigh the pros and cons of birth control and sex, particularly as they relate to autoimmune disease..
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The Paleo View (TPV), Episode 233: Birth Control, Autoimmune, and “Business Meetings”
- Intro (0:00)
- News and Views (0:40)
- Now it’s Sarah’s turn to be whiny sick! Oh well! We soldier on.
- This is a podcast about birth control and sex. As they say on This American Life, this episode acknowledges the existence of sex.
- We’re asked this quite frequently and it’s important for women to discuss these topics and get as much information as possible.
- Stacy had a tubal ligation after a difficult birth experience with Wesley, so this will be a refresher for her after 7 years of not worrying about it!
- We do recommend The Mick, starring Kaitlin Olson from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but only for mature audiences.
- The show was in fact a debate in comedy form about the pros and cons of birth control and sex. Pretty fascinating!
- The debate has evolved and now we talk more about the drawbacks of hormonal birth control, and we have many more options.
- Question from Kayla (8:55): “Hi Ladies! First off, let me tell you that you both are amazing. I am not exaggerating when I say The Paleo View saved my life by introducing me to AIP. Thank you thank you thank you for all of the incredibly important work you do. With that said, I’d like to warn Stacy: This question acknowledges the existence of the – uhh – “horizontal hula”. I am wondering if you can shed some light on IUDs for those of us with autoimmune disease. Here’s the backstory: I went on the pill for purely birth-control reasons when I was 18 (my skin has always been great and I am the only woman in my family not to have endometriosis – woo woo!). Nothing but my bra size was impacted by the pill, but I went off of it after my duel Celiac/Hashimoto’s diagnosis as part of my huge diet and lifestyle overhaul. While condoms were fine during the awful years surrounding my diagnoses (nothing like bone-on-bone hip pain, fatigue, and a giant bloated stomach to get you in the mood, right??), we were still stressed about an unplanned pregnancy every month because my period took about 9 months to come back after the pill (thanks for the ironic timing, lady-parts). Flash forward to now: My current AIP diet, paired with stress management, sleep, thyroid supplementation, and surgery/physical therapy for my gnarly hip arthritis, and let’s just say my – errrrr – “sense of well-being” came roaring back to the appropriate 25-years-old-and-madly-in-love-with-my-handsome-boyfriend-of-8-years level. My G-rated question is this – do the benefits of having lots of awesome “business meetings” with multiple “satisfactions” and tons of snuggling (okay that one’s not a euphemism) outweigh the negative effects of some localized inflammation and synthetic hormones?”
- We believe in self-experimentation here and that includes your IUD. Check to see how it works for you and make and educated decision.
- Remember that we are not doctors and going on and going off of medications should be done under the supervision of a doctor.
- Hormonal birth control uses hormones to trick your body into thinking it is pregnant and this will affect your autoimmune condition similarly. See Episode 232.
- Pregnancy doesn’t surpress the immune system. It shifts from more antibody production and less inflammation. Th1 is surpressed and Th2 is driven. This is why some people see their autoimmune flare or go into remission during pregnancy or going on birth control.
- Th1 and Th2 balancing diets are pretty well debunked and will not help you.
- There have been studies on birth control and some autoimmune disease. You may be 1.5 to 2 times more likely to develop an autoimmune disease if you use birth control (including IUDs) and have genetic risk factors.
- If you have an autoimmune disease, you do have to do a cost/benefit analysis against how awesome good sex is.
- Sex releases Oxytocin which regulates the immune system and Prolactin, but not necessarily the release of endorphins.
- Prolactin stimulates inflammation in low doses, and suppresses in high doses. Orgasms releases high doses.
- Be vigilant of any changes and don’t fool yourself if something isn’t working for you.
- There are non hormonal birth control options. Like the copper IUD, though that increases the risk of tubal pregnancies.
- There are, of course, condoms, diaphragms, foams, and the sponge
- What do you use couples who use the rhythm method? Parents.
- And of course part of the decision has to be how disruptive would a pregnancy be at this time and what is your life situation?
- Let us know if you want us to do live videos on Facebook! We want to hear from you!
- Outro (41:09)