4 Ways to Repair the Hormone Imbalance from The Pill

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how to repair the hormonal damage from The Pill. A MUST READ for any woman who has taken hormonal birth control!

The Pill, a.k.a Hormone Imbalance Tablets

4 ways to repair the hormonal damage from The Pill. A must-read for any woman who has taken hormonal birth control!Before my research frenzy that turned into Quit PMS, I struggled for years with really horrific menstrual cycles. In 9th grade, my mom, wholly sympathetic because she experienced the same symptoms when she was younger, took me to the doctor and inquired about putting me on The Pill. Why? Because this was the solution that provided her relief in the past.

This was years before I plowed into the world of alternative medicine, so it was my habit to take any medications the doctors doled out to me – even though the pharmacy-worth of meds for my ulcerative colitis were doing zip-zero-nada for my health. Fortunately, something inside me deeply and violently opposed this suggestion and I staunchly refused the prescription. 

It breaks my heart to see hormonal birth control handed out like candy to young women who are in my past shoes – who don’t require birth control but only need to balance their cycles. The Pill is even given to women as a way to control acne, a skin disorder properly treated by diet and a holistic skin care regimen. Due to the permanent health-robbing effects of The Pill, which is passed on through generations, women must thoroughly educate themselves before using birth control pills as a contraceptive method. 

Use the following steps to help recover your health after using any type of hormonal birth control. 

The Devastating Damages of The Pill

Birth control pills (BCPs) literally rob the body of nutrients required for vitality:

  • BCPs deplete folic acid and this can cause serious health problems because lack of folic acid disrupts DNA metabolism
  • BCPs deplete vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12, which may lead to irritability, depression, insomnia and fatigue.
  • BCPs deplete zinc and this in turn lowers the immune system and encourages insulin resistance
  • BCPs deplete magnesium, leading to a chain reaction of mineral imbalances in the body (Source)
  • BCPs permanently disrupts the balance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. This means reduced nutrient assimilation, lowered immunity, and the overgrowth of pathogens like Candida. Since gut flora is passed on from mother to baby, the mother’s imbalanced gut health is passed on to her children, and likely even her grandchildren (Source – Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride).

Those serious deficiencies and imbalances that result from taking birth control pills translate into these more visible symptoms:

  • Weight gain
  • Water retention
  • Hair loss
  • Reduced libido
  • Depression

How to fix Hormone Imbalance from The Pill

The following steps are a priority for any woman who has taken birth control pills (or any other form of hormonal birth control). Whether you took The Pill years ago or if you have just decided to transition off it, these steps will support healing and balance after the severe hormonal disruption resulting hormonal birth control. 

1. Support your hormonal negative-feedback loop

Most of the hormones in the body are governed by negative feedback, which works like your household thermostat. Say you set your thermostat to 72 degrees and the room temperature is 69 degrees. The heater kicks in to warm the room up.  When the temperature reaches 72 degrees, the heat shuts off until the temperature drops again.

Hormonal birth control wreaks havoc on this system and actually shut off our body’s hormonal negative-feedback loop. It’s like adding a space heater and the furnace shuts off because it isn’t needed. Supporting the negative-feedback loop through supplementation provides support during a period of hormonal catastrophe. Going back to the heating example, the right supplement can help wake the furnace up again so things function as normal.

cytozyme pt/hptBiotics Cytozyme PT/HPT is a unique supplement containing lamb pituitary and hypothalamus tissue. Glandular treatment – the ingestion of small amounts of animal glands – is a traditional treatment practiced by ancient healers from across the globe. The pituitary and hypothalamus tissue (from lamb) in this supplement directly affects the performance of your own pituitary and hypothalamus, the key players in the negative feedback loop. Most women benefit by taking 2-5 tablets per day, taken in divided doses with breakfast and lunch, for the duration of 1 – 2 bottles.

2. Use the moon to support your cycles

Women’s menstrual cycles are wired to be in sync with the moon. In all early societies, before industrialism and processed foods disrupted traditional cultures, all women ovulated at the full moon and menstruated at the new moon. This is our default setting, but The Pill (as well as poor diet and stress) disrupt this pattern. 

Fortunately, because the female reproductive hormones are so sensitive to light, we can naturally re-train and regulate our menstrual cycle simple night lighting technique that mimics the pattern of the moon. I avidly practice this simple routine, called Lunaception, and I explain how to do it here.

3. Replenish your nutrient deficiencies

Unless you want to read a whole book here, I can’t discuss entire dietary protocol for repairing the nutritional deficiencies caused by hormonal birth control. Replenishing nutrient deficiencies are key to regaining hormone balance. Besides focusing on a real food diet and reading the details in Quit PMS, these three time-honored foods provide potent nutrient-building properties:

  • Homemade bone broth, rich in minerals Drink 12-16 oz. per day.
  • Himalayan salt helps your body balance hormone production and use the vitamins and minerals from your food. Take as much as is pleasant – salt all your food to taste and add a pinch to your drinking water.
  • Liver from pastured animals – although viewed as gross or old-fashioned, properly sourced liver is perhaps the most powerful food for rebuilding nutrient deficiencies. Chicken liver boasts the mildest flavor. Sauté in butter or enjoy in homemade paté and enjoy a 2-3 oz. serving twice per week.

4. Support your gut flora

If you’ve taken The Pill, some permanent damage to healthy gut bacteria has taken place. Fortunately, numerous resources allow you to repair and rebuild some of the flora disruption. A healthy balance of gut flora provides a foundation for hormonal equilibrium.

First, ensure a steady income of probiotics by consuming naturally-fermented foods or beverages daily. Yogurt, pickles, sour cream, and sauerkraut are traditionally made through fermentation, which preserves the food and increases its nutritive value. Now, almost all commercial versions of the foods are quickly processed or processed with heat, so they don’t provide significant probiotics. Instead, learn how to make your own fermented vegetables and fermented beverages (like kombucha and kefir) at home. Here’s my favorite guide for getting started.

You’ll also want to take a clinical-strength probiotic supplement to help repair the damage. Good probiotics are few and far between, however! After much research and after talking to my mentors, I recommend this one and this one. Take one capsule, of each or both, in the morning and evening.

Have you used birth control pills or other forms of hormonal birth control? Did you notice the hormone imbalances and are you working to address the problems?












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Comments

  1. Mariah says

    Great article again, Lauren! I’m convinced that my leaky gut and colitis stems from the birth control pill, which I was on for 9 months a couple of years ago. I’m still working on healing my gut with GAPS and other measures, like you!

    • says

      I recently spoke with someone else who developed colitis after staring The Pill. I absolutely believe it can contribute to – or cause – colitis and other serious gut disorders. I’m glad to hear that you are working on healing your gut with diet!

      • Paige says

        My diet has always been relatively clean throughout my life. It was about 2-3 years ago that I really started learning about organic food, proper nutrition, etc.. You could say I have gotten increasingly healthier. BUT I SOMEHOW GOT COLITIS! Although I am opposed to pharmaceuticals, I decided to go on the pill because I have a serious boyfriend and I didn’t want to risk pregnancy in college.
        Anyway, I am on the Paleo diet, but nothing has helped my colitis (I’ve had it for about 8 months). IT HAS TO BE THE PILL. I’m going off of it starting NOW! I’m mad at myself for taking that crap for so long… I hope it is not too late.. “Permanent damage” to my gut.. :(
        Time to heal and go with the natural family planning method!

      • Mary says

        Hi Lauren,
        I really hope you answer. I quit the pill 6 months ago and now my hormones are going crazy and im gaining weight and losing hair like mad despite strict diet and regular exercise.
        Im so worried about the weight gain especially as its difficult for me to lose it. Is there any advice you can give me?
        Warmest Regards

  2. says

    I made the switch to the NuvaRing a few years ago after trying the pill. I just couldn’t keep up with taking it at the same time on a day to day basis. For a while I stopped using the NuvaRing because it caused horrible craps, I would even get then when I wasn’t on my cycle, craps that were worse than the ones that I already get. But after visiting the doctor and telling her that I was no longer using the NuvaRing her question to me was “Are you trying to get pregnant?”. I didn’t like that asked me that because it made me feel like I had to be on birth control. I am now using the NuvaRing again but I am consisdering not using it anymore because of the horrific cramps that I get.

    I appreciate you doing this post because it gives me some insight to help make decision easier.

    • says

      I don’t think that any type of hormonal birth control is safe or healthy. Even non-hormonal IUDs, such as copper IUDs, are supposed to be “natural” but they throw off mineral balances and cause other health issues. When I need to use birth control (I’m waiting), I have decided that the only healthy birth control is the Natural Fertility Method (also called Natural Family Planning) and condoms. This book explains how to avoid pregnancy by charting your cycles so you know when you are infertile and when you need to use condoms/not have intercourse: http://amzn.to/1942iEU. I thought I should just mention this somewhere in the comments. I am also glad to hear that this post is helpful to you!

        • Lisa Moon says

          Just to jump in here (as someone who believes strongly in educating other women about their options for their bodies) on your query in case it was missed…

          While a diaphragm isn’t hormonal birth control (it is a barrier method alone, but more on that below), it is intended to be paired with a spermicidal foam or gel product to kill any sperm which can fit easily between tiny gaps between the diaphragm and your vaginal walls.

          Such spermicides are harsh chemicals known for causing many allergic reactions amongst users. I had this unfortunate reaction myself and the pain… Whoa, it was intense and miserable!! :(

          Such methods are usually recommended for people in monogamous relationships due to things like it not being preventative for STIs. In fact, a common spermicidal ingredient (nonoxynol-9) has been shown by the WHO (World Health Organization) to cause micro-tears in mucus membranes (such as the vagina and labia) which increases the chances of contracting STIs… Even AIDS.

          Now, I wouldn’t tell someone there’s no cases where such methods should be used. Always find a “sex -positive”, medically up-to-date practitioner to help you find the right choice for you (check for local clinics, Planned Parenthood, etc, in your area) as many women now wish to and/or MUST avoid hormonal birth control, so there should be other options presented to suit your needs.

          Oh – and while I can’t vouch for it myself, a while ago I was researching this very topic and looked for natural spermicides, curious about possible traditional methods, etc. I stumbled across something called ContraGel Green; it’s a natural spermicidal product and shockingly had very safe ingredients. It has Health Canada certification (I’m Canadian, so I recall that specifically. Health Canada is like our FDA, basically.)

          It is non-prescription, too, but I’m unsure of its availability. If interested, I’m sure a simple search could give you more info. (It would be ideal to improve effectiveness of condoms, so seems to have great potential).

          I hope that helps a bit!

      • Marcy K. says

        I can attest that Natural Family Planning is great. I’ve been doing it for 10 years with no “surprises.” You might be interested in a Facebook group for it: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NFPfans/ Also, Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a fantastic book for one type of NFP. There are several types of NFP depending on your needs and instructors out there that can teach you in any of the methods.

        NFP uses natural body signs to detect when you are fertile and when you are not. It is NOT the old Rhythm Method which relied on a calendar basis. This is highly scientific and as efficacious as the pill but working with your body signs. http://www.iusenfp.com/ has lots of good info about it. I have found it incredibly empowering to learn about how wonderfully my body works. The great thing about NFP is that it can help you conceive too and there are NFP doctors out there that can use your info to detect cycle problems and infertility and CURE them, instead of pushing you to use IVF to get pregnant. Working with your body and not poisoning it with chemicals is definitely the way to go!

    • Emily says

      My doctor acted the same way when I stopped using birth control pills nearly two months ago. We switched to latex-free condoms and Natural Family Planning, which I successfully used years ago when my husband and I wanted to conceive our daughter during a specific month. When I stopped using birth control pills I stopped having the daily cramps.

    • Shelley says

      I was also put on NuvaRing as well. I didn’t do well with the pill (after being on and off of it for decades) and the opening to my uterus was too tiny to get an IUD (thank God because that would have been permanent and caused horrible problems). After trying the NuvaRing two months, I had to stop. I was in bed, unable to eat, vomiting, migraines, and just didn’t do well at all. After I stopped using it, I got better.

  3. Kiersten says

    I was literally just talking to a friend about this very subject yesterday. I’ve been off the pill for about three months now and still feel totally out of whack. I was telling her that I wish there was something I could do to help myself get normal again, both with my menstrual cycle and my skin issues that have been acting up since then despite eating a pretty darn clean paleo diet. So happy to hear there is something I can do! Thank you for this!

    • says

      It sounds like you are on the right track with diet, but, like you’ve discovered, sometimes that isn’t enough. The Pill really messes things up! I’m really glad to hear that this post is helpful to you!

    • Laura says

      You posted your comment a while ago, so I hope you’re better by now.
      I stopped taking the pill last may and it took my body and especially my skin a while to stop freaking out about it.
      But there’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel :)
      My skin is just now returning to the “pill” state and I still have backne (hooray to that).

      Lauren, I don’t eat meat (and never liked liver even before) and I was wondering if there are any vegetables that might help with the hormonal imbalance? My hormones are all over the place and it’s driving me nuts. I read the article about the carrots (def. starting that tomorrow!) and am kinda hoping there are some more veggies like that out there?

      Thanks for all the info you share on this site, btw :)

  4. Kendra Rios says

    This is an excellent post, I have been through so many of the things you spoke of here and recently. I have been dealing with horrible experiences that have led to these hormone imbalances. I was given a book called My Hormones by Douglas Ginter, myhormones.com is the site. I recommend it, it’s really a great resource for me as it discusses ways to alter your lifestyle to better balance your health! Something to look at!

    • says

      I’m glad this post is helpful to you! I’ve actually written even more about lifestyle and dietary changes to address hormone imbalances in my digital book Quit PMS. I’m familiar with My Hormones and it has some great points although I don’t agree with everything. But it’s wonderful that it helped you so much!

  5. Drew says

    Hi! I love your blog and normally I agree with most of it, but I don’t agree with this. I’m 16 and without the pill, I get terrible acne NO MATTER HOW CLEAN I eat and NO MATTER HOW WELL I TAKE CARE OF MY SKIN. Plus, I get cramps so bad I literally cannot go to school without the pill. My mom’s also an OBGYN and she wouldn’t prescribe it to any of her patients if she wouldn’t allow my doctor to give it to me.

    • says

      I’m sorry to hear about your struggle with severe acne but I still strongly believe that The Pill is never the right choice to address skin issues. Sometimes, it isn’t a matter of just clean eating but of eating to heal hormones and to balance gut issues. A tailored supplemental protocol is usually necessary, too. I would recommend working with a nutritional therapist as well as getting weekly acupuncture sessions with an experienced acupuncturist.

      • says

        I second your feedback, Lauren! Drew, your body is not naturally set to such a miserable state. And what would you have done before the pill was invented? Just expect to suffer all your life? It sometimes sucks to realize that your solution requires even MORE strict and specific dietary needs, but it pays off once you find out what those exact needs are and experience the healthy state of your body. Lauren has TONS of resources (and research!) about this exact topic. I wish you the best of health and I am sending encouraging thoughts your way!

    • Corina A. says

      I agree with Lauren about this. And I was right where you are now except that I am now 28 with a loving husband and two kids. But in High School I missed enough days that I was finally homeschooled! Horrible acne and cramps and heavy periods alternating to almost no period. When I graduated I finally began a healthier eating journey of clean eating and I got off birth control, I went through 3 years of what I now look at as a detox where my skin and cramps were still terrible, but I kept on going. I found out about melaleuca honey from New Zealand and I started putting a thin layer of that on my face for a few minutes then rinse followed by coconut oil once every day. Overnight success!! Eventually my body got back to normal and I was able to finally conceive twins in my first pregnancy. As a result of healing my hormones naturally I had NO ISSUES whatsoever during my pregnancy. I was perfect and my doc was surprised. Afterwards my body did everything it needed to do and about 2 years later I was back to normal period wise with no cramps, no acne, healed skin from suffering from acne for years, and two very healthy and holistically raised kids. It may take time and you may have to suffer through but trust the process and trust that your pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong! At least give this process a try before you deem it untrue and unworthy.

    • says

      Try giving up all dairy for awhile. This was the thing that finally worked for me in my late 30′s. It also worked for my daughter, who was 17 when we went off dairy. We avoided dairy almost completely for almost a year. Now we do eat dairy occasionally, and still have clear skin.

  6. says

    Brilliant! Thanks for this post! I was put on birth control as a band aid. After 3 years, I decided it just made me feel too awful and went off it. It took me 6 months just to get my period back. I wish I had never gone on the pill. I wish my ob/gyn had bothered to actually look into what was causing my symptoms.

    I will never use hormonal birth control again and I am so glad that my fiance and new doctor are supportive of Natural Family Planning.

  7. Rachel says

    I went off the pill in May 2012. I got my period shortly after, and have not gotten it since then! I started working with a natural doctor last January, cleaned up my diet (mostly paleo and 100% gluten-free), and have been taking tons of supplements that my doctor suggested. Still no period! I had an MRI done to rule out a pituitary tumor. I’m at a loss….

  8. belle says

    I love your blog but sadly i take pills because i have a fibroid problem, recently the doctor told me that i have fibroids in my uterus so there’s nothing i can do to eliminate them and that the pill it’s a very good control damage option, what you recommend?
    thanks!

    • Emily says

      I started developing fibroids in my breasts and the doctors had no idea what was causing them. I later found out from a friend that her doctor took her off BCP because they were causing her to grow fibroids. I went off BCP and haven’t had more issues of nodules and fibroids.

  9. Ashley says

    THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post!!! I was on so many different bcp’s in high school and college (which were recommended to me by my GP in order to help with my ANEMIA…still a little bitter about that call) and after trying 8 different ones, I decided to stop since, clearly my body was rejecting any sort of toxin to regulate my cycle. Here I am, a year and a half later and I’m still trying to repair my leaky gut and clear up my skin, which broke out a few days after stopping the pill. I also have Candida overgrowth. It seems like the list goes on but thankfully I have access to great naturopathic/holistic practitioners and this blog to help me!

      • Brittany says

        Take organic apple cider vinegar for candida. I had an overgrowth due to antibiotics a few months ago. I took one teaspoon orally and it went away in one day.

  10. Ali says

    Thanks for posting this! I went on birth control for 6 months after I got married. It made me feel so weird so I got off it and started using non-hormone methods of birth control (family planning/ condoms – so far so good :) ) And it took a while for my emotions to even out again. On top of that, I just realized, that about the time I started taking the birth control I started experiencing severely itchy legs all day every day. I have been trying to figure out the cause for the past year and a half – not mold, not detergent, not fabrics – and realized a few months ago that it is most likely Candida. However I never saw the link between the birth control and the Candida and now it all makes more sense! Thanks for the tips!

  11. says

    Wow, as in the postmenopausal geezer demographic have heard so many histories like these plus my own. Survey of a few of the problems. 1) The endocrine system is like a chord organ and you can’t punch a few keys without affecting the cathedral–maybe broken glass or roof totters (pituitary anybody?). 2) BCPs affect the alimentary canal from arse to teakettle. Plus residuals of pills are not necessarily fully digested or metabolized and will pile up for colitis, suppress certain things and blast others (as example, many women after long BCP course become “anovulatory” and can’t tell what’s up like Carrie in Homeland)

    In the “First Wave” of BCP’s all of us would do girltalk–we had straight hair, shampoo wouldn’t even foam. We all had chloasma, the mask of pregnancy. Some on the face, some on the decollete. You would go into the “Girl’s Room” and listen to sister BCP’ers straining to poop normally.. It turned out later that the initial dosages were 10 times the estrogen needed. Pills which also keep you hyper-estrogenated also enhance cervical erosion cells and you can get an alarming Pap test, no kiddin’,, I had one. Talk about the lab rats generation.

    Since I was associated with pioneer alternative folks, besides going off the pill I got a 2 ft long XFrench is the size, I think, catheter, soft rubber, fits on a aregular enema nozzle, both side and end opening for gentle purge. I lay in the bathtub and gave myself a couple of daily high but not too high old fashioned enemas. Which cleared my whole system in a couple of weeks and felt like me again. Have since had RN’s say you were smart, it took them months to clear their gut of effects of The Pill.

    Bless Lauren and respondents. From “menarche” to menopause is a long trip, can be a lot more amiable with sisterly “Attitude”. Everything we do now is creating a happy healthy body for the whole next decades so it’s ‘way ‘way worth the trouble!!! love to all (I’m 80–if you knew you were going to live that long, it’s worth the care and discipline to nix a lot and add better stuff plus your kids and grandkids will thank you for it!)

    • Lisa Moon says

      May I just say, Clare, I think you’re awesome! Thank you so much for sharing; I very much enjoyed your comment. :)
      <3

  12. Kristen says

    I too had major issues after being on the pill for 10 years to help regulate my period =/ Finally after 1.5 years after going off the pill, my period started again and I am working to get it balanced on its own. Lots of probiotics and fermented foods, gut healing, cleansing, bioidenticals, liquid ionic minerals, adrenal support, stress management, etc. etc. so not worth it! Thanks for sharing :) the pill should not be handed out like candy!

  13. says

    I definitely agree that we need to question the long and short term health effects of hormonal birth control (while hopefully not feeding an agenda that wants to limit access and make decisions FOR women based on moral/ religious principals). I am curious, however: what sources have led you to believe that all women in “early societies” menstruated at the new moon? It’s an interesting and beautiful idea, but it is a rather broad statement that I imagine is not easily verified.
    Thank you!

  14. jasmine says

    This is a great post and I would like to share it with a friend who is currently being put on progesterone because she has yet to receive her period (she’s 20yrs) but I need the scientific articles proving all of this. DO you happen to have them? their links?

  15. April says

    I would be careful with liver…I ordered liver pills from radiant life and the first night I took one it gave me horrible indigestion and I felt great the next day took another one that night and woke up the next day sick as a dog nausea and vomit like a pregnant person…I called them and they will not refund my money. Buyer beware I guess!

  16. Rachxl says

    Long-time reader, first time commenter! Thank you so much for posting this. I took the pill for 3 years. While I was on it I had relatively perfect skin and normal menstruation. At some point in the third year, I started experiencing breakthrough bleeding in the middle of the month, so I finally quite the pill altogether. That was 2 years ago. Unfortunately, I also received 2 Gardasil shots at around the same time, and my body has been going haywire trying to recover ever since. I’ve taken probiotics and improved my diet, but I still struggle with mild but persistent adult acne and odd menstrual cycles (more blood clots than ever before, and lots of “old blood” days). I often feel bizarrely irritable–I will wake up and feel angry at the world, for no reason. It has been so frustrating and sad at times trying to get my body back on track in a toxic world. Thank you so much for your website; it has become one of my favorites!

    • Marcie says

      Have you considered getting checked for uterine fibroids? Your comments on odd menstrual cycles, old blood and clots could be symptoms. Estrogen stimulates fibroid growth and most birth controll pills contain it. I’m very sensitive to estrogen and I took the pill for years. I just had fibroids removed a couple months ago and I had the same symptoms. I never felt right after being on the pill.

  17. Nicole says

    What a great article. I would love to get off BCP, but unfortunately I need to stay on it since i have no ovaries. Otherwise I go into menopause. I am only in my 30′s. It was either stay on BCP or start hormone replacement therapy. I chose the lesser of 2 evils. I have been on BCP since I was 18. And when I finally decided to get off it, I grew cysts on my ovaries which resulted into several surgeries which finally removed them and my Fallopian tubes (the cysts were twisted around them) I am looking forward to my 40′s when I have the choice to go into early menopause and no longer take BCP. (how many look forward to that?) They say if I go into early menopause now, I increase my risk to a million and one diseases. I can’t wait for my body to just be medication free.

  18. Connie says

    Thank you for this great article Lauren! I have been suffering from adult cystic acne for the past 5 months and your website has been a guiding light through this hellish experience of adult acne. I was on birth control pills for 10 years which provided consistent periods and somewhat good skin. Around year 7 I was tired of getting the occasional cysts on my nose wings so my dermatologist prescribed me spironolactone and I took that for 3 years along with the BCP. It’s been a year since getting off birth control since my sex drive was non-existent, and I stopped taking the spiroaldactone this past summer since I am trying to get pregnant. The cystic acne flare-ups have been non-stop on my jaw/chin, nose wings and hairline. I’ve gone gluten-free and dairy free and go for weekly acupuncture treatments. Lauren, please shed some insight or an additional article about the dangers of mixing BCP and spiroaldactone. I hope the probiotics will help my gut which will be another step in the right direction..

  19. Chrissy says

    I took them a long time ago for about a year. During that year I had many bladder infections. But most noticeably, I had all the “emotional” type symptoms mentioned in your post. When I asked friends if the pills could cause these things, no one thought that was possible. But when I asked the doctor the same thing, he admitted that “some people react that way to them.” After discontinuing them, some things got better, especially the “emotional” symptoms, but it did seem I was somewhat permanently changed. After about 7 years not using them, some circumstances caused me to try them again, against my better judgment. I lasted one month before I was such a mess I knew I couldn’t go on. As soon as I stopped taking them, again things cleared up greatly. It was fortunate that I discontinued this brand especially, as there are now lawsuits advertised on tv for those who took them. I am convinced they are terrible for health and thank you for your post as this is controversial and a somewhat rare opinion.

  20. Jennifer says

    What about Ovarian Cyst issues? I am probably going to have to go on the Pill to control this horrible mess and stop my period. Each month every time my period arrives I feel worse and worse and I only experience a break in relief for 1-2 weeks a month. Every other day around that is just terrible.

  21. Ange says

    thank you for the article. I take BeYaz. i have been on it for about 5 years. I only stay on it because I don’t want anymore children. I am 35 with a 15 year old. I am thinking that the BCP’s may be a contributor to my migraines. they come every month about 1-2 weeks before my period starts. sometimes i even get a bonus one! they are getting more severe. I was thinking of stopping the pills in hopes that the migraines become less severe or go away all together. I am not responsible enough to do the natural family planning & don’t like condoms. I was looking into getting my tubes tied. i have been reading about Essure. has anyone had that procedure? sounds almost too good to be true.

  22. Shannon Klein says

    I was raised on a good organic garden, lived in pristine wilderness in Maine and ate relatively healthy/clean when left to my own in college. My gut went absolutely haywire and I keep going over everything again and again in my head and where I went wrong and how this could have happened to me. I felt like such a failure and wondered why did I restrain myself and worry about taking such good care of my body if I’m so much worse off than all my friends who drink and smoke all the time? I think it all goes back to being on the BCP for 5 years at the time all the gut stuff begain. I stayed on it for 8 yeas total until the time I finally realized that the doctors weren’t going to save me and I had to change my diet. I started GAPS diet and got off the pill right away. Thank you for helping me feel better about how I didn’t necessarily do this to myself or that I’m not getting what I deserve for some mistake I have failed to remember. My husband and I have been doing NFP for over a year. We are successfully “avoiding” but also I am scared we won’t conceive when we do start trying so thank you for the healing pointers. I was such a child when my doctor prescribed it, (mainly because all my friends were starting it and we were just “that age”…) I didn’t even know myself enough to be able to see how it changed me. My entire adult life was spent believing that I was a horrible mess, totally unstable, boarder line bipolar, and that I had a terrible monster living in me. Within 6 mo of getting off the BCP I discovered that I’m actually a completely different person, that was just a really terrible costum I was stuck wearing! I’m so sad for all those lost years of not really being me, how would my life be different if I were calm, stable, and free from GI pain? The only thing to do is look ahead, thoug. I agree with a previous comment that we need to do more to spread the word of the complications of hormonal BC without taking away from women’s choices, education and access.

  23. lana says

    Hi,

    Great article, I just quit the Pill after quite a few years of usage and only realised all thenegatives now, while researching the bets ways for recovery/optimizing the body before TTC.

    I am wondering what is the difference between Biotics Research – Cytozyme-PT/HPT with Lamb Pituitary/Hypothalamus Complex Concentrate recommended in your article and Biotics Research – Cytozyme-THY with Neonatal Thymus Tissue Concentrate (meaning do they work differently? I have tried to order the one with lamb pituitary but only the calf one is available through UK amazon)

    Thanks a lot,

    Lana

  24. Eliza says

    This is such a great article! I had been struggling with hating my body while on the pill for years – and in August went off it completely and now use a diaphram and condoms (double barriers!). It has been the best choice I have ever made! My OB had to recommend me to get fitted for my diaphram since she wasn’t trained (apparently they aren’t doing that anymore…) but I’ve found it a wonderful alternative to prevent pregnancy and still be natural. Thanks for the awesome article!

  25. Katherine says

    Wow, this article is so awesome! I just got off of the pill and it being on it for a year was a terrible experience. I was depressed, irritable, moody, fatigued, I had no libido whatsoever, I was constantly getting sick etc. The day after I got off of it, I felt as though I was on cloud nine! This article makes me feel even better about my choice to get off of the pill.

  26. says

    I find this interesting but I’ curious how you manage your periods? I’ve been on the pill for 10 years, initially because I had an extremely heavy flow. I never noticed any problems, but recently I’m getting dry itchy patches on my eyelids and neck. Maybe that’s a side effect? I’d love your thoughts! :)

  27. Natalie says

    Hello! I’ve been using hormonal birth control for about 4 years. I’ve run out of my prescription now and see this as a good opportunity to explore the Natural Fertility Method. But the comments and research I’ve encountered in the past suggest that this is not always effective (even when done accurately?) and I do not want a pregnancy at this moment in my life. Mind-body health is very important to me, and so learning how to understand and follow my natural cycles is high up on my agenda, but I admit it feels like a giant leap to continue having sex with my partner without The Pill, even with the use of condoms. Perhaps I am indulging in a bit of paranoia, but I don’t have the resources to support a child, and I don’t want to take any unnecessary risks, all the while continuing to have an intimate and lovely relationship with my partner.
    I’d really appreciate hearing from someone who can relate to my feelings on this matter!

    • Natalie says

      I purchased the book Honoring Our Cycles: A Natural Family Planning Workbook, and I feel much more at ease about charting my cycles. Our culture here in America perpetuates sexual misinformation, and this book is something I would love to have had many years ago, when my menstrual cycle began. I do recommend it to anyone looking to begin charting her cycles. Thanks, Lauren, for sharing this book on your blog.
      (The women’s stories in this book tend to have a religious slant to them, where intercourse is only performed between a husband and a wife. But this book is clearly written, and all of the information helpful and concise. )

      • says

        I’m glad you like the book! I also noticed that the book is written in a certain tone, but it’s easy to ignore what you don’t like and the rest of it is wonderfully helpful information.

  28. Amy Bollana says

    I have been on the pill for about three years now to deal with severe endometriosis. I had emergency surgery four years ago for the endo which was growing inside my ovaries and all over inside my body cavity. I have never been the same since the surgery and I am terrified to go through it again. I spent so much time and money doing natural treatments for the first year after the surgery (under the supervision of a naturopath)… I really put a huge effort into it. I was taking all kinds of things at all hours of the day. But it wasn’t working and I simply could not afford it anymore. The pill costs me $25 a month and the pain is gone and ultrasounds show no endo growth in my ovaries (it was already coming back nine months after the surgery). It makes my very sad to take the pill and I wish I didn’t have to. I just don’t see another way.

  29. rachel says

    i was on the pill for most of my twenties until i went off to conceive my first daughter (who incidentally has major gluten, dairy and soy intolerances). after she was born i developed postpartum thyroiditis that has never resolved. i’ve developed the same intolerances too and just had bloodwork done. despite being on the paleo/auto-immune paleo diet and doing a lot to heal my gut, i am deficient in all the B vitamins, folate and magnesium. i can’t believe these results would linger 10 years post pill! thanks for your helpful research!

  30. Bobbie says

    Do you recommend taking both Prescript-Assist Broad Spectrum Probiotic Prebiotic Complex and Bio-Kult Probiotic? Or just one or the other? Also could I am not great at taking the time to make bone broth. Could I replace the bone broth with gelatin? Thanks so much for this article!

    • says

      I recommend the Prescript Assist over Biokult and there is no need to take both. I do recommend eating fermented food in addition to it. Gelatin from grassfed cows (Great Lakes Gelatin) has much of the benefits of bone broth, but it lacks the minerals, which is important for restoring the nutrient deficiencies.

  31. Jennifer says

    Could you possibly give me more information on the Biotics Research – Cytozyme-PT/HPT with Lamb Pituitary/Hypothalamus Complex Concentrate supplement? I’ve been off the pill for about 6 months and have regular periods, but my skin is definitely still suffering. Is the supplement good for anyone who has stopped the pill or is it more for those who have irregular cycles, I’m just not sure how the furnace metaphor works in relation to my body and would love to know more. Thank You.

  32. Ashley says

    I just finished reading your “Quit PMS” e-book and am going to start on this healing journey! I have probiotics, bones that I will use to make bone broth, I definitely want to try healing my hormones with the moon cycle…just yesterday I got raw milk and am LOVING it!! In your e-book you mention going on a raw milk diet if your stomach is having digestive issues (thank you 7 years of BCPs). Do you have any insight as to how I can go about it in a healthy way? I’m so looking forward to getting my hormones in check, FINALLY!!!

  33. says

    I would also recommend a nettle infusion — a big handful of dried nettles (I also add a small handful of spearmint, which is rich in B vitamins, as well as tasting nice) in a quart of boiling water, steeped for 20 – 30 minutes at least. I take this in the afternoons.

    I took the pill for a couple years in my very early 20s. I’ve been off it for 7 years now — so glad. We use NFP as well, with success. I hope to conceive again in a year or so, so we’re relying on that until then. Plus I’m nourishing myself as well as I can now! You can heal from it — I believe I have, and my later babies are so much healthier than my earlier babies (when I didn’t know anything about traditional diets).

  34. Jenny says

    Hi Lauren, thank you for this post. I took the pill for quite a few years, and then stopped as I wasn’t in a relationship. I realised I felt better and suspected it might be the absence of the pill (only having heard bits and pieces about the pill possibly causing depression/irritability). Recently, I tried the pill again and it only took me a few weeks to decide never to take it again! I almost immediately felt irritable, irrational, upset. I asked the advice of a doctor and pharmacist but generally my experience is that they do not like talking negatively about the pill. The pharmacist however at least recommended some B vitamins. I am also now eating a carrot a day after reading your post about that.
    Interesting what you mentioned about the moon. My cycle always seems to eventually return to a ‘default’, just like you say, no matter what the disruption (such as the pill).
    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and trying your recipes, it’s a really wonderful blog, clear and fun to read, and I have just made your banana ginger bar recipe too! Thank you for posting all these lovely recipes and advice. Jenny

  35. Sarah says

    Hello. I’m curious where you find most of your information? I find too much conflicting information when I’m researching. Do you have a favorite source? Thank you so much!

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