What is your goal after coming off hormonal birth control? Is it a healthy menstrual cycle or wanting to try to conceive? Either way, nourishing and supporting the entire hormonal feedback loop, egg health, cervical mucous and uterine health is the goal.
How can we do that?
Step 1: Nourish and Cleanse
Natural Fertility Diet
Eating a whole food, nutrient dense fertility diet has been shown to increase the chances of pregnancy and helping to bring hormonal balance to your cycle. Because hormones in birth control may affect our metabolism, digestion and nutritional levels, eating properly is going to be very important when on birth control as well afterward to replenish depleted nutritional levels.
Use of birth control containing hormones effects the levels of folic acid, riboflavin (vitaming B2), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc. It would be wise to take a good whole food multivitamin during and after birth control use to prevent nutritional deficiency and restore already depleted levels. Women using birth control consistently for 6 months or longer have been shown to have significant lower levels of tryptophan. Vitamin B6 supplements can help normalize tryptophan metabolism.
Prolonged use of hormone containing birth control may also lead to anemia so you may also want to consider taking a whole food iron supplement. Birth control also changes the pH levels in the vagina which may lead to yeast infection. Taking a good probiotic supplement Lactobacillus may support the body in maintaining healthy vaginal flora.
Prolonged use of progestin has been shown to thin the bones so be sure you are eating adequate amounts of calcium rich foods like dark leafy greens, sesame seeds, seaweed, almonds, quinoa, and chia.
Fertility cleansing for liver, hormonal and uterine support
The body may greatly benefit from some gentle cleansing of the liver and uterus when coming off birth control. The liver has to metabolize synthetic hormones and becomes overloaded and taxed during birth control use. When a woman has not had a regular menstrual cycle for some time because of birth control use, it may need some herbal support. Because progestin has been linked to thinning of the uterine lining, the uterus may really benefit from uterine tonic herbs. These herbs also support hormonal balance and healthy cervical mucous. For help with cleansing after hormonal birth control use – contact us below. We can guide you on what herbs to use and how to start with a clean slate within the body that will help your body to respond and utilize other natural remedies better.
Step 2: Herbal Support for Restoring Hormonal Balance and Promoting Ovulation
If you have tried to change your diet, are taking a whole food multivitamin and you still do not have a menstrual cycle yet, you may want to learn how herbs for fertility can help to promote hormonal balance, restore ovulation and bring back a normal menstrual cycle. Restoring a natural menstrual cycle is also important for egg health. Hormonal birth control prevents ovulation which can decrease egg health. Our follicles require a normalized release of our natural hormones and adequate nutritional levels. Synthetic hormones disrupt these which may impact egg health.
Once you have stopped using hormonal birth control, your body may be confused and in shock. One day your body was receiving hormones and then suddenly it was not. On top of that, your liver may still contain some of those synthetic hormones which may confuse the body further.
The following may help:
If you know you are not ovulating and you are struggling to get your cycle back, learning about this South Asian herb may help. One study showed that 67% of women who were not ovulating began ovulating after using Tribulus. This herb has been found to stimulate ovulation. Tribulus has been used traditionally for hundreds of years to promote healthy fertility in both women and men.
Vitex supports the hormonal feedback loop. This herb also promotes and has been shown to regulate ovulation. It has the ability to adapt to the individual hormonal needs of each woman. Because Vitex has proven effective for a variety of menstrual issues, it may be a great choice to start off on the right foot to restoring a healthy natural menstrual cycle. It has been shown most effective when used for 6 – 12 months consistently. Vitex is a remedy that has been shown to be very effective, but requires patience. It can take some time to achieve desired results, especially when coming off birth control. This herb is specific to regulating menstruation.
Dong Quai (angelica sinensis) is one of the most powerful female tonic and fertility herb. Dong Quai tonifies and strengthes the uterus by regulating hormonal control, improving uterine tone, and improving the timing of the menstrual cycle.
Dong Quai works by promoting blood flow to the pelvis where it will stimulate an absent or scanty period. It also nourishes the blood, treats iron deficiency and anemia. One of the best uses is it helps women who are not menstruating to invite their menstruation back. The increased circulation also helps to strengthen and balance the uterus.
Maca is one of the best supportive tonics for our endocrine system; which controls and produces many of our hormones. This root is very nourishing. Maca root supports overall hormonal balance and may greatly support our bodies through times of stress. An important factor when dealing with stopping synthetic hormones is the stress factor. It is extremely stressful on our bodies to take synthetic hormones and then abruptly stop them. Maca may help to restore hormonal harmony once again.
Step 3: Restore Healthy Cervical Mucous
Once the menstrual cycle is restored, healthy cervical mucous production should be restored as well. If you find you are still struggling with lack of cervical mucous, you may want to consider supplements that have been shown to help promote healthy Cervical Mucous production.
Cervical mucous production may be altered for some time as well since the hormones in birth control thicken cervical mucous for some time. Supplements that have proven results for restoring healthy Cervical Mucous are Evening of Primrose Oil, Borage Oil, and L-Arginine. Be sure to drink plenty of water daily. Using a sperm friendly lubricant until your natural healthy cervical mucous is restored may be helpful.
Step 4: Self Fertility Massage
This at home natural therapy is one of the most supportive ways you can heal a wide variety of fertility issues, while promoting healthy function of the entire reproductive system. Self Fertility Massage promotes ovulation, supports communication with the endocrine system, improves circulation to the uterus and ovaries which strengthens the uterus and promotes healthy eggs. It also supports the body in ridding of those excess toxins and hormones. This type of massage is a great way to be directly connected to healing your fertility and menstrual cycle.
Be patient; be gentle with yourself!
The body goes through a lot of confusion and stress when coming off of hormonal birth control. Be patient with your body and give it time to adjust to the intense hormonal shifts that have to take place. Expect that you may feel sad, angry, depressed and simply “off”. This is normal when any hormonal adjusting is taking place. Be gentle with yourself and how you are feeling. Know that you can work toward restoring your natural hormonal state and can move on to working toward a balanced menstrual cycle and/or toward trying to conceive through proper nutritional, herbal and natural therapy support.
If you would like help coming off hormonal birth control and with balancing your menstrual cycle, contact us below. We can help with dietary, herbal and fertility massage as well as other techniques and protocols to regain a a healthy cycle.