This is a long-overdue blog post.
Not a week goes by that I don’t have a DM asking me what supplements should be used to help transition off hormonal birth control.
And it doesn’t surprise me.
Hormonal birth control is a steroid drug that is used to override our natural hormone function. If you don’t ovulate, you don’t get pregnant. Cool, right?
Well, sure. Baby’s are a pain in the ass and if you don’t want one right now, trust me, YOU DON’T WANT ONE.
But there are some serious repercussions to doing the dance around pregnancy. If we don’t ovulate each month…we don’t produce progesterone.
And here’s the thing. We need ALL of our sex hormones (including progesterone) to be well. I don’t think I need to sit here and explain to you that hormonal imbalances are bad news for our metabolism, mood, mental health, skin…you name it.
Luckily, if you live in the US, you (in general, let’s not turn this into a political discussion) get to decide if you want to take birth control to prevent pregnancy or to control certain period-related symptoms. But hormonal birth control will never address the root cause of annoying symptoms.
If you have extremely painful periods or terrible acne around your periods, there is a reason.
Some even argue that our menstrual cycle is one of the best indicators of our health. And periods actually shouldn’t be super painful or debilitating and they definitely shouldn’t make your mood go nuts every month.
(I know – are you shocked to hear that? I was too when I first started researching this topic. But it’s true).
Now, this isn’t a blog post about HOW to find the root cause of your period symptoms and it’s also not a post about how to prevent pregnancy (lol please do not take my advice here because I clearly am not the expert), but I’ll give you those resources at the end so keep reading.
1. NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES.
Taking the pill increases the risk for a number of nutrient deficiencies, and those nutrients are needed for you to make your own hormones in healthy amounts.
It is ESSENTIAL to start supplementing before coming off birth control so that you can minimize symptoms associated with coming off. I did this when I came off the pill last year, and I truly believe it’s the reason I had virtually no symptoms and got a period 28 days later.
ESSENTIALS: magnesium, selenium, b vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
2. REGULAR POOPS.
Yep. That’s right. Pooping is power when it comes to going off BC. This is because your bowels must be moving to help detoxify hormone metabolites. Otherwise, we can re-absorb these things which impact our hormone ratios and can contribute to symptoms like ovarian cysts, acne, and PMS pain.
ESSENTIALS: at least 25 g fiber every day, a good probiotic like Just Thrive to stay regular, lots of water!
3. LIVER DETOX.
Synthetic hormones are *much* harder on the liver than the natural hormones we produce so when transitioning off, so your body is a) getting rid of the fake stuff and b) learning to make the real stuff. The liver plays a huge role in ridding the fake stuff, but for the liver to do its job well, it needs to have the raw material to do so.
ESSENTIALS: lots of detoxifying leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, sprouts, and eating organic whenever possible to reduce exposure to pesticides and toxins.
These tips are a GREAT starting point, but if you’re serious about either optimizing your nutrition while on hormonal birth control or you’re terrified about coming off, I HIGHLY recommend you look into Her Hormones Academy’s Bye Bye Birth Control coaching with Robyn and Kelly – my 2 favorite functional medicine dietitians.
Here’s what the 8-week program looks like:
What post-birth control syndrome is and how to prevent it
How to hormone detox (the step-by-step guide to supporting your liver)
What to eat and what supplements to take – which ones are most necessary and how much to take PLUS a hormone support meal plan
Non-hormonal birth control options
Lots of live q&a’s for all your questions and to give you full support as you decide to come off birth control
All the details are here, but here’s the thing, this is a LIVE online course because Robyn and Kelly really like to give personal support. They know how scary it can be to come off the pill after what may be YEARS.
The doors close on Sunday, February 9, so don’t wait.
OH. And one more thing. You can use nutritionaddiction at checkout to $200 off. Yes, $200.
Seriously you guys, going off birth control was the best thing I ever did. I remember that first month saying that for the first time in 15 years I felt….normal. I don’t really know how else to describe it, but it was SO worth it.
Lmk if you have any questions – you can leave a comment or shoot me a message IG!