Infertility – How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

[vc_row] [vc_column] [vc_column_texBirth Control

I want to begin this article by first examining our relationship with birth control, especially those containing hormones. While I feel that it is important to have the freedom to choose whether or not we want to be pregnant during certain times in our lives, the more I hear from women whose cycles have been disrupted by the use of birth control containing synthetic hormones, the more I wonder if there might be a better way. How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

If we could educate ourselves, delve deeper into understanding what they do in our bodies, as well as learn alternative methods of preventing pregnancy that may be more beneficial to long-term health, we might be able to prepare for conception in a healthier way.

Birth Control and Fertility

Many doctors will advise oral contraceptive (pill) birth control if you have fertility issues such PCOS, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, or irregular monthly periods. Birth control does not address the root reason of your fertility problem, even though it may momentarily alleviate some of these symptoms.

When you stop using birth control, your symptoms may return. It may temporarily relieve discomfort, reduce the risk of ovarian cysts, or regulate your period.

Despite having these fertility challenges, many of you still desire to start a family, but using birth control makes it impossible. You must keep the lines of communication open with your doctor if you still wish to become pregnant while your body is being treated for its reproductive problems.

I have actually had women write in and say that their doctors did not make it clear to them that the pills they were prescribed for their fertility issues were actually birth control, which prevents pregnancy.

We receive questions on a daily basis from women who are attempting to regulate their menstrual cycles after discontinuing birth control.When I speak of birth control, I am speaking of the kinds that contain hormones or IUDs (which may affect the uterus and menstrual cycle).

The common consensus is that it can take your body up to a year after you stop using it to naturally regulate your hormones and start a regular menstrual cycle.

Since your periods may not have been regular to begin with, this average may not apply if you were on birth control to help manage your cycles or for other fertility issues. Birth control is not a guarantee that it will keep them in check like it did when you were.

Some women who receive treatments like the Implant or Depo-Provera do not menstruate at all, and it seems that these women have more difficulty getting pregnant.

and it seems that these women have a harder time getting their menstrual cycles to come back.

Types of Birth Control

Method How it works
Pill for birth control Most birth control pills are combination pills; they contain estrogen and progesterone. Some contain only progestin, but the majority of women use combination pills. These work by preventing the ovary from releasing eggs. They also thicken cervical mucous, making it hard for sperm to reach the uterus. This method also thins the uterine lining, which may prevent implantation.
Implanon A thin, flexible, plastic implant that is the size of a cardboard matchstick. It contains progesterone. The progesterone keeps the ovaries from releasing eggs (ovulation). This hormone also thins the lining of the uterus, which may prevent implantation.
Ortho Evra This patch contains estrogen and progesterone. These work by preventing the ovary from releasing eggs. They also thicken cervical mucous, making it hard for sperm to reach the uterus. This method also thins the uterine lining, which may prevent implantation.
Depo-Provera This injectable shot contains progestin. Progesterone keeps the ovaries from releasing the eggs, thickening cervical mucous to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus and thinning the uterine lining, which may prevent implantation. Please keep in mind that continued use of Depo-Provera may cause the menstrual cycle to stop completely, and it may take longer than usual (9 months to a year for the menstrual cycle to return to normal).Once you have gotten a shot of Depo-provera, side effects will not dissipate for 12–14 weeks.
Nuva-Ring This ring contains the same hormones as combination birth control pills.
The progestin and estrogen prevent ovulation, thicken the cervical mucous, and thin the uterine lining which may prevent implantation.
IUD The IUD prevents the sperm from moving correctly, preventing the sperm from meeting and connecting with the egg. It may also affect the uterine lining, which may cause implantation problems, but there is no proof of this.
Mirena IUD This IUD contains progesterone, which prevents ovulation as well as thickens cervical mucous. It also prevents the sperm from moving correctly toward the egg, preventing conception.

In order for you to understand how different birth control options directly impact hormones and the entire menstrual cycle, I wanted to share this information with you. Birth control pills contain progestin and estrogen that are chemically synthesised in a lab to mimic our natural progesterone and estrogen.

These birth control methods interfere with the menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancy by releasing hormones into our bodies when they ordinarily wouldn’t.

Although some estrogens are produced from the urine of pregnant mares, older women typically use them as part of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The usage of progestin over an extended period of time has been associated with bone weakening. It is crucial to discuss this critical issue with your doctor.

Side effects

Common side effects of oral contraceptives include:

  • intermenstrual spotting
  • nausea
  • breast tenderness
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Weight gain
  • mood changes.
  • missed periods
  • decreased libido
  • Vaginal discharge
  • changes to eyesight for those using contact lenses.

We will look at each of these side effects in detail below.

1. Premenstrual syndrome

Breakthrough vaginal bleeding is common between expected periods. This usually resolves within 3 months of starting to take the pill.

During spotting, the pill is still effective as long as it has been taken correctly and no doses are missed. Anyone who experiences 5 or more days of bleeding while on active pills, or heavy bleeding for 3 or more days, should contact a health care professional for advice.

This bleeding may happen because the uterus is adjusting to having a thinner endometrial lining or because the body is adjusting to having different levels of hormones.

2. Nausea

Some people experience mild nausea when first taking the pill, but symptoms usually subside after a while. Taking the pill with food or at bedtime may help. If nausea is severe or persists for longer than 3 months, you should seek medical guidance.

3. Breast sensitivity

Birth control pills may cause breast enlargement or tenderness. This normally resolves a few weeks after starting the pill. Anyone who finds a lump in the breast or who has persistent pain or tenderness or severe breast pain should seek medical help.

Tips for relieving breast tenderness include reducing caffeine and salt intake and wearing a supportive bra.

4. Migraines and headaches

The “pill” can have negative effects for some people, including weight gain, nausea, migraines, and irregular periods.
The likelihood of headaches and migraines may rise due to the hormones in birth control tablets.

Different hormone types and dosages in pills may cause various symptoms.

A low-dose medication may lessen headache occurrence.

The majority of the time, symptoms get better with time, but you should visit a doctor if you suddenly start having really bad headaches.

5. Gain in weight

Birth control pill use and weight changes have not been consistently linked in clinical trials. But it is possible to experience fluid retention, particularly in the breasts and hips.

One review indicated that using progestin-only birth control resulted in an average weight gain of under 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) at 6 or 12 months. Studies on alternative birth control techniques revealed the same benefit. How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

Lean body mass loss has been connected to some hormonal contraception methods.

Mood changes

Studies suggest that oral contraceptives may affect the user’s mood and increase the risk of depression or other emotional changes. Anyone experiencing mood changes during pill use should contact their medical provider.

Missed periods

Even with proper pill use, a period may sometimes be missed. Factors that can influence this include stress, illness, travel, and hormonal or thyroid abnormalities.

If a period is missed or is very light while using the pill, a pregnancy test is recommended before starting the next pack. It is not unusual for a flow to be very light or missed altogether on occasion. If concerned, seek medical advice.

8. Reduced libido

The hormone or hormones in the contraceptive pill may have some effects on a person’s libido or sex drive. If your libido is consistently low and bothering you, talk to your doctor about it.

In some instances, the birth control pill can boost libido by allaying worries about getting pregnant and easing the uncomfortable symptoms of endometriosis, premenstrual syndrome, uterine fibroids, and unpleasant menstrual cramps.

Vaginal discharge

When taking the pill, changes in vaginal discharge could happen. This could be a change in the discharge’s composition or an increase or reduction in vaginal lubrication. If vaginal dryness occurs, lubrication might help to improve the comfort of intercourse.

While most of the time these changes are harmless, changes in color or odor may point to an illness. Anyone who is worried about these changes should consult their doctor.

10. Eye Changes

Hormonal changes caused by birth control pills have been linked to corneal thickening in the eyes.Oral contraceptive use has not been associated with a higher risk of eye disease, but it may mean that contact lenses no longer fit comfortably.

Contact lens wearers should consult their ophthalmologist if they experience any changes in vision or lens tolerance during pill use.

Risks

The combined pill can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems, such as blood clots, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a clot on the lung, a stroke or heart attack.

Birth control pills have also been associated with an increase in blood pressure, benign liver tumors, and some types of cancer.

The pill should not be taken by:

  • women who are expecting
  • smokers over the age of 35 years, or anyone who has stopped smoking within the last year and is over 35 years old.
  • Anyone with obesity?
  • Those who are taking certain medications
  • anyone suffering from thrombosis, a stroke, or a heart condition
  • Does anyone have a close relative who had a blood clot before the age of 45?
  • People who have severe migraines, especially with an aura as the warning sign,
  • anyone who has or has had breast cancer, liver or gallbladder disease
  • Anyone who has had diabetes for at least 20 years or diabetes with complications should

If any of the following occurs, the user should see a doctor.

  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain, or both
  • severe headaches
  • vision issues such as blurred vision or loss of vision
  • Swelling or aching in the legs and thighs
  • redness, swelling or pain in the calf or thighs.

They may indicate a more serious condition.

How long it will take to get pregnant after birth control depends partially on what kind of birth control you were using.

For those that take birth control pills, 1 in 5 conceive in the first cycle after discontinuing the pill, and a little more than half conceive after six months. By the one-year mark, about 8 in 10 are pregnant. 1 However, your choice of contraception does matter. If you have had implants or a hormonal IUD, your fertility may take longer to return. If you were on the birth control shot, it may take anywhere from six months to two years for your fertility to return.

In an ideal world, your choice of contraception should prevent pregnancy when you want it to and, when you decide you’re ready to have a baby, have no impact on your ability to conceive once you stop. It’s kind of like an on-off switch. Switch your birth control to “on,” and pregnancy should be a long way off.Switch to “off” and pregnancy, here we come!. How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

Things are slightly more complicated than that. Here’s how it really works.

What If You Can’t Get Pregnant After Birth Control?

There is a very small risk that your body will need help jump-starting its fertility after birth control, especially if your cycles were irregular before you started. 14

It’s also possible you won’t be able to get pregnant due to reasons completely unrelated to birth control use. Infertility affects up to 12% of couples and can be caused by a variety of factors.

You should see your doctor if:

  • You don’t get your period back within three months.
  • Your cycles are irregular or you have other worrisome symptoms.
  • You’re over 35 and have been trying to conceive for six months.
  • You’re younger than 35 and have been trying to conceive for 12 months unsuccessfully.

Natural Remedies To Bring Back A Healthy Menstrual Cycle

The overall goal when coming off of birth control and wanting to try and conceive would be to nourish and support the entire hormonal feedback loop; egg health, cervical mucus, and uterine health.

Step 1: Nourish and Cleanse

Diet for Natural Fertility
Eating a whole-food, nutrient-dense fertility diet has been shown to increase the chances of pregnancy. Because hormones in birth control may affect our metabolism, digestion, and nutritional levels, eating properly is going to be very important when on birth control as well as afterward to replenish depleted nutritional levels.

Use of birth control containing hormones affects the levels of folic acid, riboflavin (vit.B2), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. It would be wise to take a good whole food multivitamin during and after birth control use to prevent nutritional deficiency and restore already depleted levels. Birth Control

Women using birth control consistently for 6 months or longer have been shown to have significantly lower levels of tryptophan. Vit. B6 supplements can help normalize tryptophan metabolism.

Prolonged use of hormone-containing birth control may also lead to anemia, so you may also want to consider taking a whole food iron supplement. How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

Birth control also alters the pH of the vagina, which can lead to yeast infection.Taking a good probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus may support the body in maintaining healthy vaginal flora.

Prolonged use of progestin has been shown to thin the bones. Be sure that you are eating adequate amounts of calcium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, sesame seeds, seaweed, almonds, quinoa, chia, as well as limited amounts of organic dairy, yogurt, and cottage cheese.

Support for the Liver, Hormones, and Uterus
The body may greatly benefit from some gentle cleansing of the liver and uterus when coming off birth control. The liver has to metabolize synthetic hormones and becomes overloaded and taxed during birth control use. The liver cleanse portion of the fertility cleanse helps to remove those excess hormones. Birth Control

The uterine cleansing phase may help to tone and cleanse the uterus. When a woman has not had a regular menstrual cycle for some time because of birth control use, it may need some herbal support. The herbs in this phase are nourishing, supportive, toning, and cleansing for the uterus.

Because progesterone has been linked to thinning of the uterine lining, the uterus may really benefit from uterine tonic herbs. These herbs also support hormonal balance and healthy cervical mucus.

Fertility cleansing may be a great way for anyone who is experiencing challenges when coming off hormonal birth control to create a foundation for hormonal balance and a healthy uterus for implantation. Fertility cleansing helps to create a “clean slate” within the body that helps the body to respond and utilize other natural remedies better. Click here to 

Step 2: Herbal Support for Restoring Hormonal Balance and Promoting Ovulation.

If you have tried to change your diet, are taking a whole food multivitamin and you still do not have a menstrual cycle yet, you may want to learn how herbs for fertility can help promote hormonal balance, restore ovulation and bring back a normal menstrual cycle. Birth Control

Restoring a natural menstrual cycle is also important for egg health. Hormonal birth control prevents ovulation, which can decrease egg health. Our follicles require a normalized release of our natural hormones and adequate nutritional levels. Synthetic hormones disrupt these, which may impact egg health.

Fem Rebalance 
Once you have stopped using hormonal birth control, your body may be confused and in shock. One day, your body was receiving hormones and then suddenly it was not. On top of that, your liver may still contain some of those synthetic hormones, which may confuse the body further.

Fem Rebalance is an herbal blend designed with great consideration for women whose bodies may need support to restore hormonal balance when coming off of birth control containing hormones, HRT (hormone replacement therapy), or great times of stress, including rapid weight loss or gain. This blend may help to restore proper hormonal function. Birth Control. How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

Suggested usage for this blend would be for 2-3 months after coming off of hormonal birth control. This blend is not recommended for use during fertility cleansing. Birth Control

Tribulus terrestris 
If you know you are not ovulating and you are struggling to get your cycle back, you may want to learn more about this South Asian herb. One study showed that 67% of women who were not ovulating began ovulating after using Tribulus. This herb has been found to stimulate ovulation. Tribulus has been traditionally used for hundreds of years to promote healthy fertility in both women and men.

Vitex
Vitex supports the hormonal feedback loop. This herb also promotes and has been shown to regulate ovulation. It has the ability to adapt to the individual hormonal needs of each woman. Birth Control

Because Vitex has proven effective for a variety of menstrual issues, it may be a great choice to start off on the right foot to restore a healthy natural menstrual cycle.

It has been shown to be most effective when used for 6–12 months consistently. Vitex is a remedy that has been shown to be very effective but requires patience. It can take some time to achieve the desired results, especially when coming off of birth control, but this herb is specifically for regulating menstruation.

Dong Quai 
Dong Quai (angelica sinensis) is one of the most powerful female tonics and fertility herbs. Dong Quai tonifier and strengthens the uterus by regulating hormonal control, improving uterine tone, and improving the timing of the menstrual cycle. How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

Dong Quai works by promoting blood flow to the pelvis, where it will stimulate an absent or scanty period. It also nourishes the blood (it is in nearly all Chinese herbal blood-building formulas). Dong quai, being iron-rich, is useful in treating iron deficiency anemia. Birth Control

One of the best uses is that it helps women who are not menstruating to invite their menstruation back. The increased circulation also helps to strengthen and balance the uterus. In rat studies, it has been shown to help build the uterine lining.

We have learned that some types of birth control contain progesterone, which may cause the uterine lining to become thin over time. Prolonged birth control use in some women has also been linked to anemia. Because Dong Quai is a wonderful uterine and blood tonic, it may help the body to restore a healthy uterine lining and help prevent anemia. Birth Control. How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

Maca
Maca is one of the best supportive tonics for our endocrine system, which controls and produces many of our hormones. This root is very nourishing. Maca root supports overall hormonal balance and may greatly support our bodies through times of stress.

An important aspect when dealing with discontinuing synthetic hormones is the stress factor. It is extremely stressful on our bodies to take synthetic hormones and then abruptly stop them. Maca may help to restore hormonal harmony once again.

RejuvaFlow 
Many women do not have a menstrual period for many months or even years after discontinuing birth control. If you have not had a menstrual period after coming off of birth control, you may want to consider RejuvaFlow. This is an activating herbal blend designed to encourage and promote healthy menstruation.

It is a specialized herbal formula designed to help encourage or “re-start” the monthly menstrual cycle that is missing due to hormonal irregularities. RejuvaFlow supports menstrual health by increasing circulation to the reproductive system, helping to “build the blood” and promote a normal, regular menstrual cycle once again.

Step 3: Restore Healthy Cervical Mucus

Once the menstrual cycle is restored, healthy cervical mucus production should be restored as well. If you find you are still struggling with a lack of cervical mucous, you may want to consider supplements that have been shown to help promote healthy CM production.

Cervical mucous production may be altered for some time as well, since the hormones in birth control thicken cervical mucous for some time. Supplements that have proven results for restoring healthy CM are Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Oil, L-Arginine, and Fertile CM.

Be sure to drink plenty of water daily. At first, you may also want to consider using a sperm-friendly lubricant until your natural healthy cervical mucus is restored.

Step 4: Abdominal or Fertility Massage

Across the board, massage therapy is one of the most supportive ways you can support the body in healing. More specifically, fertility or abdominal massage focuses specifically on the reproductive system, helping to promote ovulation, support communication with the endocrine system, improve circulation to the uterus and ovaries (which strengthens the uterus and promotes healthy eggs);

It also supports the body in ridding itself of those excess toxins and hormones. This type of massage is a great way to be directly connected to healing your fertility. You can find a practitioner who specializes in fertility or abdominal massage, or you can learn how to do this massage for yourself with the Self Fertility Massage method. How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

Additional Thoughts on Birth Control

The Love and Hate Relationship with Birth Control 
We must give a lot of respect to birth control and the variety of options for birth control we have today. We now have more control than ever over choosing when and if we want to have children.

But regardless, I feel many women and men have lost their true relationship with their bodies, which also means they may have lost respect for birth control. Many continue to use it without thinking of the consequences of long-term use.

It is important to remember that we are still creatures of the Earth. Our bodies are made-up of the same materials as the Earth and we are filling them with foreign man-made substances that may greatly impact our health. How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

Choosing Birth Control Wisely 
I am asking each person to be responsible for their choices and actions. Research the facts on long-term side effects of birth control use so that when you choose to use birth control, you understand that it may affect your fertility and health later in life.

  • Weigh the risks: getting pregnant or not getting pregnant?
  • How will getting pregnant impact my life?
  • How will preventing pregnancy impact my health?
  • How can you balance those choices to serve your highest good?
  • Ask yourself, “Is this something I am willing to use long-term or is this a short-term goal?
  • How will this impact my fertility?
  • Are there better or safer options for me?

There are options out there that may be just as effective as hormonal birth control, but may require more diligence when using them. Condoms, diaphragms, spermicide, and charting your cycle (fertility awareness method, natural family planning, BBT, cycle beads, and OPK) are some alternatives to hormonal birth control.

Be Patient, Be Gentle With Yourself

The body goes through a lot of confusion and stress when coming off of birth control. Be patient with your body; give it time to adjust to the intense hormonal shifts that have to take place. Expect that you may feel sad, angry, depressed, or simply “off”. This is normal when any hormonal adjustment is taking place. Be gentle with yourself and how you are feeling.

You can know that you can work toward restoring your natural hormonal state and can move on to working toward trying to conceive through proper nutritional, herbal, and natural therapy support. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1455099660912″] border-radius: 2px!important; background-color: #ddcdad!important;”][vc_column] [vc_column_text]

 

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