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Hormonal Birth Control Awareness: Everything You Need To Know

by | March 29, 2019

Author Anna Redmayne Porter discusses effects of hormonal birth control and shares insight on why they cannot serve as a root solution to complex problems.

Hormonal Birth Control Awareness: Everything You Need To Know
Credits: Africa Studio/ Shutterstock

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Hormonal Birth Control Awareness: Everything You Need To Know

So many women use birth control — sometimes not for its intended use but things such as skin problems or heavy periods. However, hormonal birth controlling methods cannot serve as a root solution to these very complex problems and when birth control is stopped these symptoms will come back — sometimes worse than before.

Effects of hormonal birth control

Synthetic forms of birth control such as the pill contain artificial hormones progesterone or oestrogen and progesterone. This manipulation of hormones temporarily shuts down our reproductive systems by preventing ovulation consequently preventing you from becoming pregnant. It does a good job at this, but it is also causing damage to our bodies short and long term. Controlling our bodies in this way can have negative effects — research shows that synthetic birth control can cause inflammation, disrupt hormonal and gut health and mess with your mood — it’s hard to believe that a tiny pill or patch can cause this much harm.

Many of you will be familiar with the short-term effects of birth control which include headaches, nausea, weight gain and mood swings. If you are using synthetic birth control or have used it in the past, you might have experienced these side effects therefore trying many forms of birth control until you found one that agreed with your body. Those side effects are our bodies way of rejecting these artificial hormones. Other documented side effects include low libido, anxiety, inflammation and autoimmune disease.

Post birth control syndrome

These hormonal contraceptive methods can take a serious toll on our bodies and women need support to completely undo the damage they can cause. Post birth control syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that can occur after coming off hormonal contraceptive methods — normally occurring within the first 6 months after coming off hormonal birth control. Symptoms range from hair loss, acne and vaginal infections to depression or total loss of your period. Some people can have all of these symptoms with some women only exhibiting a couple. If you took the pill to treat any symptoms such as headaches or acne, they will come roaring back after you stop taking the pill, this is your body trying to communicate that your body wants you to deal with the root cause of these issues.

What to do after coming off birth control

Research shows that there is a need to restore your body after coming off birth control. These suggested steps include replenishing your nutrients store which has been depleted. Hormonal birth control especially depletes folate which is vital for foetal development — very important if you planning to conceive or are already pregnant! Vitamin C and E are also depleted, these powerful antioxidants protect your brain, ovaries and fight against inflammation, so it is essential their levels are restored! It is advised to take supplements containing these nutrients to replenish your bodies stores. If you think you are suffering from post birth control syndrome you should read ‘Beyond the pill’ by Dr Jolene Brighten

Synthetic hormones impact your natural hormone levels including insulin, thyroid hormones and cortisol which are all key in our daily functioning. Signs of a hormone imbalance after stopping birth control include acne, headaches, painful periods and inability to ovulate. It can be beneficial to work with a doctor or Nutritionist to identify your hormone balances, so they can find out where you need to start to feel better!

Healing the gut is an important step after stopping birth control. Research suggests that birth control pills may disrupt normal gut flora which creates an environment that allows for the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast. Healing your gut is extra important as your gut plays a role in removing excess hormones. Eating a diet rich in gut healthy foods such as fermented foods will help! Supplements to consider; L-Glutamine and Zinc.

Continuing to take birth control

If birth control is something you need in your life — that is totally OK just try to take vitamin C and E supplements as these vitamins help keep hormones balanced — making it important to take them if you plan on coming off the pill also. Alternatively, you can take a multivitamin which includes iron — lost during menstruation.

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Anna Redmayne - Porter

Nutritionist who is passionate about all things health and wellness! Being a long-term plant-based foodie, I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen and sharing what wonders a plant-based diet can bring to others!



One Response to “Hormonal Birth Control Awareness: Everything You Need To Know”

  1. Emma
    March 31st, 2019 @ 3:39 am

    I wish I had known these things early on in life. My mother never really was fond of synthetic birth control, but what to tell a teenager?
    When I finally stopped taking the pill I didn’t have my period for 8 months! And it only came back because I took the “day after pill” to be safe. When I think back now I laugh; I would never do it again.
    Only now, almost 6 years later, I have a natural cycle and can predict ovulation and menstruation very well by temperature, mucus and cervical observations. Very recommended! I “trained” my partner too 😉

    Thanks for the article!

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