Deciding to stop taking hormonal birth control can feel really scary for women, particularly if they went onto hormonal birth control to eliminate symptoms.
Many of us decide to take hormonal birth control like the oral contraceptive pill (OCP), have an IUD inserted or even have depot injections for reasons other than contraception. These reasons include though are not limited to:
- Irregular cycles
- Painful periods
- Heavy bleeding
- Headaches and migraines
- Cystic acne
The problem is hormonal birth control and non-hormonal methods like the IUD don’t actually correct these issues or fix the underlying hormonal imbalance, and so women feel scared that when they stop taking the hormonal birth control or remove the IUD their symptoms will return.
Why do women want to stop taking hormonal birth control or have their IUD removed?
What I am hearing in clinic from women:
- “My moods never used to be this bad”
- “I am snapping at my husband and kids all the time”
- “My husband or partner has notice I’m different”
- “I feel down and tired”
- “I am getting my period for weeks at a time”
- “I have no libido”
- “I’ve read about how many side effects are associated with this method of birth control and I don’t want it in my body anymore”
Side effects of stopping the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) and balancing your hormones:
- Better moods
- Increased libido
- Weight loss
- Increased energy levels
- Better hair, skin, nails
- Reduced anxiety and depression
At Solaine Douglas Nutrition I help women to come up with a step by step approach, should they choose to cease hormonal birth control.
We work through a four part framework to reduce any unwanted symptoms and restore hormonal balance as quickly as possible.
Here is an overview of the framework:
- Restore nutrient status using blood tests: hormonal birth control particularly the OCP depletes key nutrients like B-vitamins, zinc, selenium, iodine and vitamin E and C. These nutrients are key for hormonal production and elimination and are pivotal to restoring hormonal balance.
- Address underlying hormonal imbalances ASAP: synthetic hormones change your oestrogen, progesterone, insulin, thyroid and testosterone production. Depending on your individual symptom picture we may introduce specialised nutrients or supplements to correct underlying hormonal imbalances.
- Work on gut health: research shows that the OCP disrupts the microbiome (gut health) and may contribute to intestinal permeability (leakage through the gut wall).
- Support detoxification pathways: Your liver and gut regulate the breakdown and excretion of oestrogen — it’s absolutely key that these channels of elimination are working well.
What is the expected timeline for transitioning off of hormonal birth control or IUDs?
I recommend allowing 3-6 months because ovarian follicles take 90 days to mature which directly affects a women’s symptoms around the menstrual cycle.
If you would like 1:1 support, I would love to help you — Please book a complimentary consultation here.
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