Getting off of Birth Control
Breaking up with birth control can be hard to do. You’re probably well versed in all the changes that can happen when you go on the Pill (lighter periods, fewer cramps, hopefully no pregnancy scares, etc.). But what about when you go off of it? Whether you’re ditching birth control to get pregnant or just because you don’t need it right now, you’re probably curious about how to do it easily without any harsh withdrawl symptoms.
Coming off the pill or IUD, you may experience a host of symptoms before finding equilibrium again and it could take anywhere from 2 months to 1 year or longer, depending on how long you were on it and how your body reacts as you’re getting off of it. A few months into quitting, it may feel like you are taking steps backwards, but trust your body that the symptoms and irregularity are temporary, and so worth it. I say this because your initial thoughts from unwanted symptoms may bring you to consider going right back on the pill but remember, your body is powerful and working hard to get things back in balance. Let it do the work!
Quitting cold turkey without any body preparation may make this much more difficult. The goal is to make this as smooth a process as possible so you can feel your best while your body rebalances. This means there are steps to take before and after, in order to support and wake up your natural endocrine function. After all, your hormones have been asleep for however long you’ve been on the pill or hormonal IUD! They need time to wake up, and they may be very groggy or lazy at first, which is totally normal. You may not even notice any symptoms until 3-6 months after stopping the pill when your hormones really come back to life. All of this is quite normal.
So I want to share with you my step by step approach to help your body transition off the pill!
Step 1 Replenish
Diet plays a HUGE part in this process. It sets the groundwork and foundation for healthy detoxification, digestion and well-being during this transition. Clean up your diet, by eating foods your DNA wants, because none of these steps will work without a clean foundation. This means 2-3 months before stopping the pill, feed and nourish your cells with real, whole foods (and continue after quitting the pill too, obviously).
Step 2 Supplement
We can only eat so much veggies in a day. Sometimes our stores are so depleted that we need extra nutrition in concentrated forms, in way of supplementation, for a while. Sure our genetic makeup, lifestyle and stress levels can affect the re-balancing process, but no one can’t benefit from some sort of supplementation. Sometimes getting vitamins and minerals from food alone is not enough. Plus, the minerals in our food supply are so depleted (unfortunately), so supplementation is imperative. Especially after stopping birth control because it depletes your nutrient stores.Start by loading up on zinc, B-complex, magnesium glycinate, selenium, vitamin D3, gut support, and an essential fatty acid. All of these are essential and will make a world of difference in your post-pill life.
Step 3 Love your Liver
Because the liver is responsible for getting hormones ready to be moved out by way of elimination, the liver has extra work to do, to rid of the synthetic estrogen. It’s no secret the pill and other synthetic forms of birth control take a toll on the liver, and this vital organ must be functioning at its best for happy hormones. Start with glutathione IVs to really give your liver a detox boost, or take my favorite oral form.
Step 4 Prepare your Gut
In order to properly eliminate estrogen, you must be having daily bowel movements. If you’re not going everyday then you need to dig deeper and figure out why. Are you drinking enough water? Are you eating enough leafy greens and cruciferous veggies? Are you eating foods that are best for what your genetics are wanting? Only you know the areas in which you can improve. Making sure your gut is working properly is a key step in making sure you’re eliminating toxins, excess hormones and helping your body create it’s own.
Step 5 Test your Hormones
I recommend charting symptoms as soon as you stop taking the pill. Take notes and keep track of any and all symptoms in an app or in a journal, as well as when bleeding starts and stops. Do you feel cramping mid-cycle? That could mean you are ovulating which is a great sign that your body is working to get back into balance. Then about three months after quitting the pill, it may be worth it to get your hormones tested so we can determine if there’s still a hormonal balance or that your body has reset itself without any glitches. Knowing where your baseline values are after the hormones are out of your system for a few months is a great starting point!