Turns Out This Daily Habit Might Seriously Mess With Your Hormones

Let's get a few things straight: Birth control is extremely important, and every woman has the right to choose what's best for her body and health. There's no single solution that's going to be right for every person, but could one of the most commonly used forms of contraception, the pill, actually be negatively messing with your hormones?

The CDC's last comprehensive study found that 28% of women take oral contraception—yes, 10.6 million people take a tiny pill every day containing hormones to stop ovulation. If you're one of them, when was the last time you paused to ask yourself, Is this the right birth control for me?

"As a gynecologist practicing functional medicine, I have a skewed perspective when it comes to BCPs," admits Sara Gottfried, MD, author of The Hormone Cure and Younger. A Harvard-trained doctor, Gottfried draws on holistic methods to help other women. "I've seen many women over the years suffering from side effects from these pills. From vaginal dryness to lost libido in about 20%, from micronutrient deficiency to premature menopause, and from infertility and early menopause to worsening mood problems—I've seen it all."

Don't toss out your pill packet just yet, though—here's everything you need to know to make a smart, informed decision about contraception so you can find the best option for you.

Have you switched to a nonhormonal form of birth control? Tell us if you've noticed a difference.