Increasingly I find that the people I see in my practice are wanting to come off the birth control pill after many years of taking it and they are finding that the experience is not as easy as they had hoped it would be. From wanting to manage hormonal health in more natural ways, to the desire to conceive, to reducing side effects or to just get more in tune with their bodies, the results of coming and being off of the birth control pill (BCP) often is discouraging, frustrating and possibly even seemingly impossible.
Taking the BCP initially may have started out innocent enough but the negative side effects of these medications often far outweigh the benefits. In fact, most women who initially started on birth control due to painful periods, acne, unusually heavy bleeding, menstrual irregularity find themselves in the same situation or with other (worse) hormonal health issues, while on or after stopping the BCP. Instead of getting at the root of these hormonal issues to begin with, the symptoms have been masked for years through the use of BCP and in some cases, further health issues have taken root.
The hormonal health issues faced by so many young women today is significant, not only because the number of women dealing with these issues is extremely high, but because hormone imbalances are challenging to live with and difficult to overcome.
Fortunately for you there is hope!
In fact, here are 5 things I recommend for supporting your body as you come off BCP!
- Supplement with a high quality multivitamin. Many young women are unaware that birth control pills depletes Vitamin B6 and therefore did not take any supplementation over the years they took BCP. In addition, low iron & zinc levels or deficiencies in other vitamins can contribute to lack of menstruation or ovulation. I’d recommend taking something like a women’s multi from Metagenics, Progressive, Wellness Essentials Women, Lorna Vanderhaeghe or some other high quality supplement that includes these vitamins and minerals.
- Eat like a vegan! Focus on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats such as avocados or coconut oil. Incorporate fermented foods such as kimchi, sourkraut, kombucha, and diary-free yogurts. Remove all dairy, meats, processed foods and avoid refined (if possible) sugars. Stay away from alcohol and coffee.
- Exercise daily. Unfortunately the birth control pill increases the body’s resistance to insulin which contributes to weight gain. However, just stopping taking the birth control pill doesn’t reverse insulin resistance. Your body needs to be helped along – which is why exercise is so great! Exercise increases your body’s ability to manage your blood sugar and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin. Aim to get your heart rate up for 20-30 minutes/day!
- Sync your cycle with the moon. For centuries women would often get their menstrual cycle in accordance with the moon. Unfortunately the prevalence of our exposure to artificial light has affected this – but syncing your cycle can be a great way to regulate your menses. To do this you take specific oils during certain phases of the moon. This site will give you the info on which oils/seeds to eat, how much you should take and during which phase you should take them.
- Support the health of your liver! Your liver has been your best friend the last couple of years as it broke down those fake hormones in the BCP. Support and cleanse your liver by drinking burdock root or dandelion tea, eating foods such as garlic, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and grapefruit.
If all else fails and your period doesn’t return, continues to be irregular, prolonged or heavy, you find yourself gaining weight, dealing with headaches, increasingly sluggish or tired, unable to conceive, dealing with anxiety or depression or your acne concerns spiral out of control you should consider visiting a natural health professional skilled in dealing with hormonal issues. Hormonal issues are nothing to laugh at. They can be life-altering – creating health issues from mood changes, depression, anemia, inability to conceive, fatigue, weight gain, facial hair and some health concerns much more serious including thyroid and adrenal issues as well as weakened immune system.
The journey to hormonal health is not a short journey for most. It can be overwhelming and discouraging. What you need to know is that it is possible!!
A homeopath can help you in the next step of your journey! Trained to get to the root cause of your hormonal imbalances, homeopathy can give your body the stimulus it needs to heal itself in a completely natural, gentle and effective way! To find out more about homeopathy or to schedule a free 15 minute consultation click here!