Millions of women use birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies and regulate their menstrual cycles. Many women use birth control pills without a problem, but a lot of women opt to stop birth control for different reasons.
Birth control is linked to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms and health issues. But stopping birth control often comes with its own list of side effects.
It’s difficult to know how your body will respond after getting off birth control. So today, I’m writing this post about how to balance hormones after getting off birth control.
How To Balance Hormones After Birth Control
Not all women react the same to stopping birth control, but it can cause a variety of different symptoms. The most common side effects of stopping hormonal birth control include menstruation and menstrual symptoms, acne breakouts, weight changes, mood swings, and hair pattern changes.
The good news is that there are natural ways to balance your hormones and reduce uncomfortable symptoms after birth control.
How Does Birth Control Affect Hormones?
Birth control pills and patches work by adjusting your hormones to help prevent pregnancies, regulate menstrual cycles, and more.
To understand how birth control affects your hormones, let’s first look at how hormonal contraceptives work. Hormonal birth control (pills, patches, and rings) contains small amounts of the synthetic hormones progestin and estrogen.
These hormones prevent ovulation and change the cervical mucus so that it’s harder for sperm to get through and reach an egg. They can also change the lining of the uterus by thinning the endometrium, making implantation improbable.
This is good news if you’re trying to prevent pregnancy and menstruation. However, for many women, these hormonal changes cause numerous side effects and unwanted symptoms.
Regardless of your reason for stopping birth control, it’s a good idea to focus on your hormone health so that you can properly balance your hormones after birth control. Here’s how to do it.
How To Balance Hormones After Stopping Birth Control
Eat A Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich foods is crucial to balancing hormones after stopping birth control. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein, healthy fat, fiber, and whole-grain carbohydrates helps promote hormone production.
Foods like flaxseed, cashews, and broccoli are especially helpful for balancing hormones after birth control. Flaxseed provides estrogenic and antiestrogenic properties that promote regular ovulation.
Be sure to munch on fresh fruits like plums, berries, pears, apples, and grapes, as well as fresh vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and onion, as they contain phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are antioxidants that support natural estrogen function.
Sometimes the hardest part of eating healthy is knowing what to cook. Check out my recipe page for a roundup of delicious and healthy meals perfect for busy moms like you!
Restore Good Gut Bacteria
Gut health is another crucial component of balanced hormones. Healthy gut bacteria have genes that break down and get rid of estrogen.
Take Natural Supplements
Many women don’t consider how much of an impact nutrient deficiencies can have on hormones.
A 2003 study found that women who regularly took oral contraceptives had noticeably lower levels of vitamins B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and zinc. This research suggests that taking a supplement containing these nutrients can help prevent deficiencies and therefore reduce symptoms.
If you’re experiencing painful periods after stopping birth control, you might also want to consider an omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Omega-3 fatty acids help fight inflammation and potentially relieve some of the painful symptoms of PMS.
Use Natural Herbs
Several natural herbs have the potential to help balance hormones after birth control.
Vitex Agnus, also called Chaste tree berry, has been shown to adjust hormones by decreasing prolactin and increasing progesterone. Researchers found that it effectively reduced symptoms of PMS. If you began taking birth control to balance your hormone levels, Vitex Agnus might be worth considering if you’re worried about hormone imbalance after birth control.
Dong Quai, also called angelica sinensis, is another powerful herb that has been shown to regulate hormones. It can also improve the tone and strength of the uterus and promote regular menstrual cycles.
Dong Quai encourages blood flow to the pelvis to stimulate uterine tissues, which is why it’s often used to help women get their period back when they’re not menstruating.
Types of birth control that contain progestin can cause the lining of the uterus to thin out. Plus, using birth control for a long time can cause anemia in some women. For some women, Dong Quai is a natural solution that can help prevent anemia and restore the uterine lining.
Another herb that is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for PMS is Jia-Wei-Xiao-Yao-San. If you’re experiencing mood swings, increased stress, anxiety, or depression after stopping birth control, talk to your doctor about whether this herb can help.
Proper stress management is also important for balancing hormones after birth control. The stress hormone cortisol impacts sex hormones, which means that if you have too much cortisol, you can experience more hormone imbalances and uncomfortable symptoms.
If you’re not sure where to start, try my Sunday Reset Routine. It helps me start my week off on the right foot and reduces the stress of planning and coordinating throughout each day. You can also check out my post on coping skills for stressed parents. Trust me, mama, I’ve been right where you are–these strategies are tried and true!
Get Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep is just one of the many reasons why being a mom is hard. But whether you’re a seasoned mom or a mom-to-be, sleep is important. It’s especially important for hormonal balance.
Your body naturally follows a circadian rhythm that affects all bodily processes. After you get off birth control, getting enough sleep helps ensure healthy hormone production. Most women should aim for 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night.
For great tips on how to improve your sleep, check out my post on how to prioritize sleep.
Exercising regularly is another effective way to regulate hormones after birth control.
Research on the connection between physical activity and sex hormones showed that regular exercise reduces testosterone levels and effectively regulates hormones.
Easier said than done, right? To get you inspired, here are some simple ways to stay fit as a busy mom!
Keeping your hormones balanced makes it easier to stop birth control.
No matter your reason for stopping birth control, keeping your hormones in balance is the best way to ease some of the uncomfortable side effects that arise as a result.
Regardless of whether you’re struggling or not, it’s always a good idea to talk to a functional medicine doctor or your health care provider to make sure you’re doing what’s right for you and your body. And always remember, you’re not alone!
To learn more about the ins and outs of motherhood, head over to the blog.