Balancing Hormones Naturally After Birth Control
How I Balanced my Hormones After Going off Hormonal Birth Control Pills!
After being on birth control pills for about 8 consecutive years, I started noticing hormonal issues. The biggest issue I experienced was heavy spotting lasting from ovulation to menstruation caused by thinning endometrial lining (a common side effect of long term birth control use). After discussions with my doctor, we decided it was best for me personally to take a break from hormonal birth control pills. These are the tips I used to help support my body during the transition off of hormonal birth control pills.
Before I go any further, I just want to make it clear that birth control is a personal decision that should be made with a medical physician. I am not advocating for or against birth control pills. I’m sharing some tips that may work well for balancing hormones and minimizing the effects of hormonal birth control for anyone currently using hormonal birth control or anyone who is transitioning to natural birth control.
Replenish Depleted Nutrients
Prolonged hormonal birth control pill use commonly depletes the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, folic acid, and magnesium. If you’re on birth control or recently stopped taking birth control pills, it can be beneficial to focus on increasing foods rich in these vitamins.
One easy way to get some extra vitamins and minerals into your diet is to focus on eating whole foods that are primarily plant-based. Packaged and processed foods are void of nutrients, so switching to eating more whole foods including fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds is an easy way to up your vitamin and mineral intake. Every once in a while I input my daily food intake into cronometer to track my vitamin and mineral intake. This is an awesome tool that shows if you if you’ve met your daily needs for each vitamin and mineral, and also shows you your highest food sources for each nutrient so you can focus on ensuring you’re meeting each nutrient requirement. If you’ve been on hormonal birth control I suggest paying extra attention to the nutrients mentioned above to ensure you are meeting those requirements and replenishing your stores.
Get moving! There is no excuse not to exercise because there literally is something for everyone. Not everybody loves pounding the treadmill or pumping iron in the gym but anything that gets your heart rate up is a good cardiovascular activity. How about playing tennis, meeting a friend for a swimming session or taking up self-defense or a martial art? If you can't think of anything better, run up and down the stairs a few times. Feeling better now? Exercise releases endorphins, which cheer you up.
Herbal SupportHerbs can be used to support your body naturally. I have been loving the Women’s Mena & Meno Balance Formula by Nova Scotia Organics. This USDA certified organic herbal blend is made with dong quai extract, shatavari, siberian ginseng, red clover flower, black cohosh and chaste tree powder. All of these herbs have been known to help balance women’s hormones. I have been taking this supplement for a few months now and I have been noticing a huge difference! I got my first period post birth control pills right on schedule and I believe it is partly due to taking this herbal support. I have also been noticing a reduction in cramps each month with taking this supplement.
This supplement is great to support hormones whether you’re taking birth control pills or not. It’s also great for the transition into menopause. Check out Nova Scotia Organics for more information or shop online at Well.ca!
Supporting your liver can be super beneficial to ensure you are detoxifying excess hormones effectively. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage are great for assisting with detoxification. Lemon water in the morning, dandelion tea, and milk thistle are also very supportive of the liver.
Since making the choice to stop hormonal birth control pills, I have been focusing on adding cruciferous vegetables into my diet each day. Every morning in my breakfast smoothie I add a handful of kale or swiss chard. Sometimes I also add in some frozen cauliflower. This ensures I always start my day with some form of cruciferous vegetables. Throughout the day I also try to add in an extra form of cruciferous vegetables with shredded cabbage in my salads or broccoli with dinner.
Cut down on smoking and drinking. Have you ever met a smoker who is glad they started smoking? Neither have I. It is the single most destructive thing you can do to your body. Drinking can be harmful if you consume alcohol in excess or binge drink but, like most things, moderation is the key. A glass of red wine has even been proven to be good for the heart. But too much can be devastating to your health.
I started seed cycling a few months before switching off of birth control pills. Seed cycling is said to help balance hormones and increases your consumption of necessary vitamins and minerals that support your hormonal system. From day 1 to day 14 you consume 1 tablespoon each of ground flax seeds and ground pumpkin seeds. From day 15 to day 28, you consume 1 tablespoon each of ground sesame seeds and ground sunflower seeds.
I have been having a smoothie each morning for breakfast, so it’s a great time for me to easily add in my ground seeds. You could also sprinkle your seeds over granola or oatmeal bowls, or over salads. For more information on seed cycling, check out this great resource.
I hope you find these tips helpful for balancing hormones naturally after birth control. Whether you’re transitioning to natural birth control, or still taking hormonal birth control pills, these tips can help support your body and hormones naturally. Check out my recipe page for tons of great recipes that are all made with nourishing, nutrient dense whole foods.
Please make sure to consult a health care provider with any questions about your personal health.