Cyborg Ovaries: The Pill, The Patch, The IUD, The Shot and all the things

Alright y’all, this next post is a controversial one. Prepare to feel slightly unsettled, and also feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns, or points of clarification.  I believe that we are all experts of our own bodies, and so I humbly share this blog post about synthetic hormones that is rooted in my own story and stories shared with me from all over the world.


Many people with vaginas have been prescribed synthetic hormones by doctors. These include the birth control pill, the shot, the patch, the ring, the hormonal IUD, testosterone-like pills, & estrogen-like pills. Apparently up to 1 in 3 menstruators in the borders of Canada will use synthetic hormones in our lifetime. 

Image from: https://www.womanlog.com/sex/hormonal-birth-control

Image from: https://www.womanlog.com/sex/hormonal-birth-control

Feminist driven research shows that the pill and other synthetic hormones shut down the natural endocrine (hormonal) system. Instead, the synthetic hormones turn our ovaries into cyborgs - using robot hormones in replacement of the ones our bodies can make. For people who menstruate, that means that our bodies go into a state of menopause in our teens, 20s, or 30s!


For a small number of us, cyborg ovaries are necessary to prevent lots of pain, bleeding, unwanted pregnancy, and/or work in gender affirming ways.  But if used for extended periods of time, research shows that they can negatively impact our bone density, ability to absorb nutrients, and even mental health because synthetic hormones prevent ovulation from happening.  I personally decided to come off the birth control pill after 7 years due to the culmination of intense nausea, bouts of depression, mood swings, and more that I was experiencing.  However, I know that it’s not so easy or simple for everyone. I also don’t want make you afraid or feel shitty about the decisions you make about your own body. 

Photographer:  Tamra Ratieta

Photographer: Tamra Ratieta

Overall, I think it’s important for everyone to make informed choices about what exactly we are putting into our bodies.  The consensual relationship we have with ourselves, sets the tone for how we relate to others.  Below I offer some questions for reflection that can spark this conversation of consent when it comes to synthetic hormones. 


Menstrual health promo tip: If you feel comfortable you can find yourself a piece of paper or journal, and a quiet place to write.  Some questions for consideration include: Are you taking synthetic hormones like the birth control pill, IUD, the ring, patch, or shot? If you are, what made you decide to go on them? Are there other ways of addressing these concerns? If not, that’s cool. If so, do you want to explore them? How does your mood, sex drive, and energy change with natural and/or cyborg hormone flows? Finally, in what ways can you affirm the choices you are making about your own body?


And with that, I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post for IM With Periods! Let me know if you found the tips helpful for planning your own self-care routines during your period.  You can DM me on Instagram or send me an email to bhandalt@outlook.com

To learn more about your own cycle or the cycles of partners, sisters, siblings, and friends you can:

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Happy cycling!

Love, Taq