The 3 Step Process To Resetting Your Hormones Post Birth Control
The 3 Step Process To Resetting Your Hormones
Post Birth Control
Are you recently off the pill (oral contraceptive) and now suffering from uncontrollable acne, mood swings, low energy, an absentee period, sleep disturbances and weight gain? These are all signs that your hormones are out of whack! Hormones control how you think, how you feel, and how you look - all very important things to us, women. When hormones are balanced you feel energetic, upbeat, have glowing skin and weight is stable. However, when hormones are not balanced, you feel stressed, emotional, fatigued and so much more!
Most people will start birth control at a younger age to “fix” their acne and decide to come off the pill later in life. However, coming off the pill can be a challenge for a lot of women. Whether you are coming off the pill to start a family or you are just tired of all the side effects, it requires work to re-balance your hormones.
Let’s first learn a few basics about the pill…...
How does the pill work?
The pill stops your natural menstrual cycle. It is a combination of synthetic estrogen and progestin. It stops the production of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in the brain which prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg every month. The lack of LH causes the cervical mucus to thicken and changes the lining of the uterus, which keeps the sperm from joining the egg. The hormones in the pill (estrogen and progestin) suppress androgens, like testosterone and ultimately sebum, which reduces acne (main reason why women chose to go on the pill in the first place).
How does your body respond after coming off the pill?
Years of oral contraception depletes the body of key nutrients. Research shows that the pill depletes vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium and zinc! As you can imagine, these are pretty important nutrients. They play a large role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, hormone balance (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, thyroid hormones) and also support liver detoxification.
Many women will experience unwanted side effects after coming off the pill like delayed fertility, worsened acne, heavy periods, absence of periods, stronger cramping, breakouts, bloating, nutrient deficiencies and much more. As well, not everyone will get their period right away after stopping the pill. It’s very common for women to have about a 3-month delay before actually getting their period. Generally, the cycles will be longer and lighter. This is because while on the pill, the ovaries are not functioning well, so work needs to be done to help the ovaries.
How to naturally rebalance your hormones?
The good news is, you CAN rebalance your hormones after coming off the pill, NATURALLY. Statistically speaking, roughly 80% of women will regain hormonal balance within three months of stopping the pill. For some women, it could longer, up to 6 months after stopping the pill to attain hormone balance.
So, if you are newly off the pill and you are having trouble with your cycle and many of the side effects mentioned earlier, you may just need to rebalance your hormones. First and foremost, the sex hormones (Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone) need to be tested for. This helps to get a baseline of where your hormones are at the present moment, and takes out the guesswork. Hormone testing can be done through a simple blood test. Once you have this, there are 3 steps to follow in order to get those hormones back where they should be.
Step 1: Dietary Strategies
It is possible to restore hormonal balance by eating the right foods at the right times and limiting the unwanted ones. In fact, the foundation of hormone balance is digestion!
Step 2: Replace nutrients that are depleted from the pill
Supplements can be a great way to start the healing process, especially because the pill depletes some very important nutrients. So work to replace the missing nutrients.
Step 3: Clear out excess estrogen
As mentioned earlier the pill can really cause an imbalance in hormones produced by the body, mainly increased estrogen and low progesterone levels. It is very important to regain the natural balance of both estrogen and progesterone once discontinuing the pill through helping the body clear out all that excess estrogen!
As great as the pill is for preventing unwanted pregnancies, it can have significant and long-term consequences on women’s health. The pill can impose hormonal changes in the body, leading to mood swings, low energy, insomnia and an absentee period once off the pill. These symptoms are caused by an imbalance in hormones and can take time to reset once coming off the pill.
After coming off the pill it is so important to help your body and replace what was lost from the birth control pill through proper diet and nutritional supplementation. Remember, be patient with yourselves as the body finds its hormonal equilibrium, again!
The advice in this article is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the care of a Naturopathic physician.