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Reproductive Drugs 101 – How do they work? | Natural Womanhood

Reproductive Drugs 101 – How do they work?

Yaz, contraceptive drugs, Natural Womanhood

Nowadays, medicine is pretty much synonymous with drug use so it is no surprise that any woman who goes to her doctor with a reproductive concern will likely leave with a prescription.

In the interest of informed consumption, let’s take a closer look at what the most common reproductive drugs do.

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Photo courtesy of Shelbe Lynn http://bit.ly/29fAmSG

Drugs that prevent pregnancy

Birth control pills are artificial steroids that mimic the effects of estrogen and progesterone, the two hormones that govern ovulation. They contain about 7,000 times the estrogen (35,000 nanograms) that a conventionally raised beef steak contains.

The Pill overrides a woman’s natural hormonal cycling, giving an appearance of regular periods. In actuality, “periods” only happen in the form of “withdrawal bleeding” when the woman gets an engineered break from the synthetic hormones.

To minimize the possibility of human conception and implantation, the Pill also works by making cervical fluid inhospitable to sperm. Sperm needs good cervical fluid to survive in the acidic vagina and to last long enough to fertilize the egg.

Should any sperm make it past the cervical opening, the Pill’s chemicals will retard the functioning of cilia, whip-like cells that line the Fallopian tubes. Normally, these cilia marshal a fertilized egg towards the uterus for implantation into the rich uterine lining where the baby will grow.

Lastly, the Pill thwarts buildup of the uterine lining, another means of discouraging implantation of the newly formed human embryo. If the embryo is able to implant in the uterine lining, the new life will continue to grow. If it is unable to implant, the embryo will die and be discarded.

Despite these multiple barriers, pregnancies DO occur while on the Pill. Life has an amazing way of finding a way…

Drugs to get pregnant

On the opposite side of the family planning spectrum, the medical industry has clomiphene citrate (Clomid, a trademark of Aventisub LLC) to offer to women who decide they want a child and need help in the process. Clomid works by binding to estrogen receptors in the brain so that naturally-occurring estrogen cannot be detected. In this way, this pro-ovulatory drug tricks the body into producing more of the hormone that causes more unripe eggs (follicles) to grow – ripening more than the body would do on its own[1].

Katie Singer, author of Honoring Our Cycles, writes that “essentially, Clomid hyperstimulates one aspect of the reproductive system – which then requires the rest of the system (which perhaps was out of sync before the drug was administered) to grasp for health and wholeness in response to being overstimulated.” Known gynecological side effects of Clomid include hot flashes, ovarian cyst formation and thinning of the uterine lining.

There is also evidence suggesting that Clomid, like its pharmaceutical opposite, can dry up the cervical fluid needed for conception.[2]

These drugs are an attempt to answer a large demand from women and couples. Yet, such technology comes at a price to the human body, and possibly to the children born from such regimen. It is critical that women have a better understanding of how they can affect them, and are properly informed of natural alternatives.


[1] http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-11204/clomid-oral/details

[2] Singer, Katie.”Rethinking Reproductive Health.” Wise Traditions, Healthy Baby Issue. Pg 42-48.

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