The Birth Control Pill

Mar 5, 2012 by

 

Being a woman, the question of Birth Control becomes one of the most controversial topics that is all pervasive in dealing with not only our sexual health but also our physical and emotional health. Having been prescribed birth control at the age of 15 years old, I had struggled with the side effects for 9 years before I made the BIG decision to go off of it. As I have come off the pill, the consequences of taking the pill have really come to light, not only for me personally, but for countless women that I have seen in my practice as well.

Unfortunately the following information is not clearly been conveyed and discussed upon the introduction of taking the pill, and therefore, many of us are left in the dark about such an important health decision. Fortunately, the media has blown open the discussion with regards to many lawsuits against birth control pills, leading us to question whether they are worth their benefits. While this post is going to be the first of many, I just want to take the time to make a quick overview about the positives and negatives of the Birth Control Pill.

While this post is not here to convince you to also take the same path that I have, it is here to educate and empower you to make the best decision for you and your health.

 

Birth Control Pill Container

 

What is the Birth Control Pill?

Birth control pills are a kind of medication that women can take daily to prevent pregnancy. They are also sometimes called “the pill” or oral contraception. The hormones in the pill work by keeping a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs — ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormones in the pill also prevent pregnancy by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.

The hormones also thin the lining of the uterus. In theory, this could prevent pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus.

Birth Control Pills are currently used by more than 100 million women worldwide and by almost 12 million women in the United States. 

Type of Contraception

1. The combined oral contraceptive pill contains estrogen and a progestogen

2. The progestogen-only pill contains only progestogen.

Yaz Combined Birth Control

 

The Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill 

The combined oral contraceptive pill contains estrogen and a progestogen, and is taken once per day.

How it works

a) Reduces period blood flow

b) Reduces bleeding by thinning the endometrial lining.

c) Reduces period pain by inhibiting the hormone prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are the hormones that cause the uterine muscles spasm.

d) Reduce the bleeding of cysts and pelvic cavity because the Pill creates the pregnant-like state.

e) Suppress the hormone estrogen that is needed to start a menstrual cycle.

 

Symptoms and Risks Reported by Manufacturers 

 

1. Blood clots

All hormonal methods of birth control pose a threat to normal blood flow.The oral contraceptive combination pill is no exception, it increases the risk of of blood clots in your legs or inn the lung due to the estrogen in the pill that makes your blood thicker in the veins.

2. Stroke

Women who take the oral contraceptive combination pill increase their risk of stroke caused by blockage of blood flow to the brain. This is a result of high levels of estrogen in the pill that reduce the oxygen transportation as the blood thickens.

3. Heart Disease

Similar to a stroke, as our blood gets thicker, our heart has to pump harder to provide oxygen for our cells. This process can cause damage in the long-term, that may lead to heart disease.

4. Skin Pigment

Some woman may experience increasing of pigmentation of skin that shows up in patchy and light brown area caused by estrogen in the pill.

5. Mood Swing

Some women may experience mood swings while taking the pill. This is caused by significant changes in your hormone levels affecting the chemicals that regulate mood ( estrogen and progesterone).

6. Bleeding and Spotting

Bleeding and spotting when you are not scheduled to bleed and spotting, are very common in the first 6 months of continuous birth control pill use, because your body has to take time to adjust to the change of hormone levels caused by intake of the Pill.

7. Infertility

Some women after coming off the birth control pill may experience trouble with getting pregnant. This is due to the natural suppression of hormones that Birth Control causes, leading the body to have to readjust to normalized production. In some cases, the body does not recover its normal hormone production well enough to induce pregnancy.

8. Increase the Size of Fibroids

Oral contraceptive combination pill contains estrogen that promote the growth of fibroids. If you have fibroids and you want take the oral contraceptive pill, you should talk to your doctor first.

 

The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Pill

Image by everesort

 

1. The GOOD

 

a) Control Unwanted Pregnancy

The pill prevents impregnation.

b) Control Menstrual Cramps

It helps to inhibit the over production of prostaglandins which causes muscles spam,  resulting in reduced period pain and period flow.

c) Reducing the Rate of Reproductive Organ Diseases

Study shows that intake of oral contraceptive combination pill helps reduce the rate of ovarian and endometrial cancer, benign breast disease, benign ovarian cysts, and pelvic inflammatory disease.

d) Shrinking Endometriosis

Endometrial implants, adhesion or cysts are often reduced or eliminated when on the Pill.

e) Anemia

Birth Control Pills help to reduce over-bleeding, which can lead to anemia in many women. By reducing the period blood flow, Birth Control Pills can help in anemic cases.

The Bad

 

2.  The BAD

 

a) Growth of Fibroids

Fibroid starts from a single cell that grows abnormally. Fibroid occurs mostly in women after puberty and shrink after menopause. Growth of a fibroid is caused high level of estrogen and progesterone. The intake of the pill increase the level of both hormones resulting in increase the risk of growth of fibroid.

b) Recurrent of Menstrual Symptoms

Some women who stop taking the pill may see all their menstrual symptoms return.

Image by pistoletty

c) Blood Clots

The intake of estrogen through the pill can cause the blood getting thicker. This may result in blood clots in the small vessels in the leg and the lung.

d) Stroke and Heart Diseases

Studies show that women who have higher natural estrogen levels may have a higher risk of stroke and heart diseases.

e) Hormonal Imbalance

The pill influences the body’s natural production of  estrogen and progesterone, leading one to have trouble rebalancing after coming off the pill. It can take up to 2 years to normalize hormones after coming off the pill.

f) Depression and Mood Swing

The intake of the pill at the beginning may cause abnormal fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone. This can lead to both depression and mood swings.

g) Infertility

Prolong used of the oral contraceptive combination pill may cause loss of period in some women. Some women may take months or years to get their period back which results in temporary or sometimes permanent infertility.

h) Contraceptive Pills Alter your Natural Choice in a Mate

Human and animal studies show that a group of genes called the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) can influence odor. In general, females prefer the odor of mates with a dissimilar MHC — but this effect is reversed in women on oral contraceptive pills. Ninety-seven women completed this study, wherein they had to select favorable odors from men with either similar MHC or dissimilar MHC genes. It was found that single women preferred the odor of MHC-similar men, while women in relationships preferred the opposite. This shows that the use of contraceptive pills could influence mate preferences.

* This is significant, because humans are hardwired to choose mates with different genes than theirs, therefore providing a dynamic and healthy gene pool for reproduction. The more dynamic the gene pool, the less chances there are for birth defects. Furthermore, studies show that once a woman comes off the Pill, often she is no longer attracted to her partner.

Couple Incompatibility

 

3. The UGLY

 

a) Bleeding and Spotting

Bleeding and spotting is normal for the first six months for women starting any oral contraceptive combination pill because our body needs time to adjust to the new medication.

b) Lost Interest in Sex

Women who take the contraceptive pill are in danger of  loosing their interest in sex, because the oral contraceptive pill inhibits testosterone, the hormone that drives sexual desire.

c) Chloasma or Melasma (Dark Skin Spotting)

In some cases, chloasma or melasma may occur due to the change in estrogen levels. This is the occurrence of brown spotting on the face and arms. It may or may not be permanent.

d) Nutritional Deficiency

Oral contraceptive pill causes vitamin and mineral imbalances or deficiencies. It depletes magnesium for a healthy heart, coenzyme Q10 for healthy heart muscles, folic acid for preventing cervical abnormalities, and vitamin B6, B2, B3, and Zinc. In some cases, birth control can even cause high levels of potassium which cause severe mineral imbalances in the body.

e) Lawsuits

Many lawsuits have been made over the harmful side effects of birth control pills, especially YAZ (which I took). You can learn more about them here.  

 

My Notes:

 

1. B6 Deficiency

This is one of the greatest problems with taking Birth Control Pills because it greatly decreases B6 in the body, more specifically in the Gallbladder. While all birth control pills originally stated that they must be taken with a B6 supplement, this is no longer the case. As a result, decades of women are now dealing with mild to severe B6 deficiencies, that most always manifest as a gallbladder issue. B6 is an integral part of bile formation and precipitation, and without adequate B6, bile functioning is greatly impaired. As a result, the following symptoms manifest: stomach ache, inability to fall asleep, dry skin, bumps on the back of the forearm, burping, nausea, inability to digest fatty or fried foods, irritable bowel syndrome (diarrhea/constipation), fatigue and morning brain fog. I personally experienced almost all of these symptoms, and have worked with countless woman dealing with them as well due to birth control use. It was not until I started addressing the Birth Control/Gallbladder connection that I was able to get these symptoms under controlled and completely healed.

Finding your Path

Lawsuit Note: One of the main side effects that has been filed against Bayer for their Yaz and Yasmin Birth Control Pills is Gallbladder Disease. This is a serious issue, not to be taken lightly. 

If you are currently taking birth control pills I highly urge you to supplement with a live-source B6. This does not include synthetic B6, which is not effective enough. Furthermore, you must take B6 with a Vitamin B complex, because all B vitamins must be taken together in order to prevent deficiency of other vitamins and optimal utilization in the body.

* When on birth control I suggest taking 10 mg of B6/daily. I personally use 1 tsp of Max B ND (live-source B vitamin complex) with 1/2 tsp B6 ND (live-source B6). This is imperative to maintaining gallbladder health while on birth control.

** If you have taken Birth Control and are now off, then you might want to consider getting on a Gallbladder restoration program with Gallbladder ND and Gallbladder Complex. After a couple months on these products, then you can supplement with B vitamins for recovery.

2. Hair Loss (dry, thinning hair)

From years of birth control pills, my natural hormone production essentially turned off and I began to experience thinning of hair. I use Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs which has made all the difference for hair regrowth.

3. Fatigue and Morning Fog

I personally experienced an unexplained fatigue that was not able to be remedied until I came off of birth control pills.

4. Cellulite

Birth Control caused a build up of cellulite on my thighs despite exercise, a clean diet, and toxin-free living.

Image by richmondsquarephotos

 

Coming off of Birth Control Pills

As my awareness and desire of optimal health grew, I personally knew that it was in my best interest to come off birth control pills. I can say that the journey was not easy, as I experienced many ups and downs as my hormones normalized, but now after 2 years, I am almost completely back to my healthy normal self.

Because I have just presented such a controversial topic, I will let you digest the information, and then I would suggest that you read my journey of revitalizing my natural hormone cycle in “Getting Off Birth Control Pills, Now What?”

I hope that you can glean some information here that will empower you to make the best decision for your health, whatever that may be.

To learn more about Birth Control, its health effects and better contraceptive choices, go HERE and HERE

 

 For more healthy living tipsrecipes and inspiration please subscribe to this blog on the top left of the homepage, follow me on Twitter, and  Join the THK health conversation on Facebook!

♥ Your Health Inspector,

L

 

Reference: http://medicaladvisorjournals.blogspot.com/2012/01/oral-contraception-pill-combined-oral.html

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238 Comments

  1. It is so great that you shed some light on this OH SO IMPORTANT topic, Lauren!
    I too have had a real bad relationship from which I´m still healing (4.5 years ago I quit it)

    So thanks once again for spreading the word!

    • lauren

      Yes! So important. While not always what everyone wants to read, I feel as though the information must be put out there. If I would have been able to know this 10 years ago, I feel like I could have saved myself from a lot of work. But then again, maybe I wouldn’t be here writing this blog either ;)

  2. Ted

    Thank you for sharing this information in such a straight forward, non-judgemental way. My wife and I agonized over our decision to not use the pill, but it the end, it has brought us closer together as a couple. We are much more aware and informed of the natural cycles occurring in each other’s bodies, and thus in better control of our overall health. Looking forward to future posts!

  3. So, I’ve been on the BCP (currently Yasmin) for ~7yrs. I’d like to stop taking it, but what would you recommend as contraceptive instead? A non-hormonal IUD?

    • lauren

      I personally think that condoms are always a great and safe option when used correctly. Studies have shown them to be 98% effective, the 2% ineffectiveness is due to misuse and storage. I would highly caution not to use spermicides though, because they are highly toxic and can contribute to urinary and hormonal disorders and cancer.

      • There is a natural BC method. You can order on AMAZON, its like 400.00, but very accurate. You take your temp every morning and it gives you a read or green light!! Its Lady-Comp Fertility Monitor – Fahrenheit by VE Valley-Electronics GmbH Germany. I personally have no experience with this, but wish I would have!

        • lauren

          Thanks for the suggestion Leslie. That would be a great tool to have.

    • Amanda

      Taye,
      I had to reply to your question, I came across this site because of problems Ive been having ever since Ive had Mirena put in. It was painful, and ever since the day I had it put in I can feel my right Overy! Literally, it feels like it might burst some times. My moods have been very extreme. I have never in my life had an anxiety attack, but last Sunday I ended up in the ER with a severe anxiety attack. I also have basically had my period all but maybe 3 weeks of the last 3 months since I had it inserted. It has completely messed with my sex life with my boyfriend. As if all these things were not enough, I am now developing Acne! Huge pimples all over my face and in my hairline. And now all over my back! Tons of them! Ive always had almost perfect skin. Only a pimple now and then and certainly NEVER had acne on my back! This has been the worst experience of my life! Im going to have this thing removed asap! I am praying that everything goes back to normal once its out. So for anyone thinking about the Mirena, I HIGHLY caution you to think again!!

      • lauren

        Thank you so much for sharing your story Amanda! I think that everyone should watch out for this as I am sure you are not the only one to experience this, despite what the doctors may say. Luckily you have the change to make a change and the pain and acne should subside. Please feel free to share with us how your progress goes. Good Luck!!!

      • Julia

        Not to diminish your experiences at all, but Mirena is an IUD that still HAS HORMONES in it and should NOT be compared in the same way to non-hormonal (copper) ones. Although there are some side effects from the copper ones, usually supplementing with zinc is enough to negate them.

    • paul

      my girlfriend got a non-hormonal IUD a few months back and it’s great. we’ve both had experience with hormonal birth control and condoms, and by far we like this the best. condoms are effective when used properly, but why settle for the diminished sensation and sexual interruption when you don’t have to?

      • lauren

        Thank Paul! Great suggestion. One should always make sure that they are working with a doctor that is very experienced in putting in IUDs though because there are many woman who have issues once it has been put in, regarding pain, feeling the device etc.

        • Rosy

          Just wanted to reiterate about the IUD. I have personally had 2 experiences.

          My first experience, I was on the non-hormonal IUD which was very painful after having it put in and my periods (which were already kind of heavy) became incredibly heavy and uncomfortable while on that IUD! And then I got pregnant! Apparently, I was in the 1% where it sometimes slips out of place and I couldn’t feel that it had slipped out, so I had no clue this had happened.

          The second time around, I went with the hormonal one for what I thought would be more protection. This time it was really uncomfortable. And the worst part, my boyfriend was being jabbed by it every time we had sex. Needless to say, we did not have sex very often, until I removed it.

          My boyfriend also noticed that my mood swings were horrendous every time I was on birth control. I had tried the depo-shot (he thought that was the worst) and I also tried the Nuva Ring.

          I am now off of birth control (only a few months), but have had intense feelings of anxiety, depression, and irritability. So much so that I have been ridiculous with screaming, fighting, overreacting and being completely over-sensitive the past few weeks (I am on my period right now). That’s what led me to search for the side effects of coming off birth control which led me to your posts.

          • lauren

            Hi Rosy, thank you for sharing your story with us. Hopefully the recommendations I offer can help you to get back into control of your mood and balance out your hormones. Fortunately the one thing to take away from this community is that you are not alone and there is hope to get back to your old self. Good Luck!

  4. 'ay

    Hi :) Thank you for your article. I am curious if you advocate for the use of non-hormonal birth control, like the IUD? I think that’s what its called…the copper one that has no hormones and lasts for 5 or 10 years.

    • lauren

      That is a great question. From the research that I have done, an IUD can be effective and safe, but ONLY when put in properly. When delving into the issue, I found that most doctors are not putting them in properly, therefore making them not a great option. Therefore, I suggest using condoms (without spermicides – which are HIGHLY toxic not only to the man but also to the woman) and Ovu-Tech to determine when you are ovulating. By using a condom correctly and knowing when you are ovulating, you should have no issue with getting pregnant.

    • Sasha

      I was on the IUD for three years. I was excited to find a worry free method. I got it thinking I would have no worries, I was wrong. For me personally I dont recomend it to anyone.

      I had side effects that I was unaware were side effects at all. Immediately after insert which was quick and painless I had extreme fatigue and dizzy spells….but I thought this was normal. I didnt have a menstral cycle at all after like the first month. Mood swings, for me, I became slightly paranoid and had a hard time drinking alcohol. I could not drink without getting sick or feeling wierd, but thought it was something else. I also went through extreme fatigue and dizzy spells off and on. I went to the Dr. numerous times but the option was “Do you want me to take it out? Its up to you”…..no information on it or why I might have been feeling this way. (they didnt have any information on it) So I think I just kept it in because I thought it was in my head. I did end up going to the ER 1 time because of bleeding and pain. (the only time I did that) Thought it was dislodged, but no it was perfect and they found a cyst. Which Im wondering if it wasnt caused by the IUD…..that was my breaking point. I felt like I had to many unexplained issues I didnt have before.

      I had it removed about four months ago and I feel better already. I felt an almost an immediate change in my body and mental state. I have been feeling like my self again. Dizzy spells, and extreme fatigue are gone! I have been able to have a drink and enjoy it with no sick/weird feeling. I have recently heard of other stories that were similar or worse than mine.

      Im not a Dr. but that is my story and I thought this would be a good time to share, everyone is different. I dont encourage or recommend the IUD for anyone. But if you do keep track of changes and listrn to your body, just because the Dr. says its okay it doesnt mean it always is….Listen to your body!

      On another note, I appreciate this article and there should be more information out there for people. Thank You!

      • lauren

        Oh thank you so much Sasha for sharing! We have so many women who are considering an IUD in replacement for birth control and just like you said… not many people have much information about them. This is a fabulous insight into what they can do to you and I think this is going to be so invaluable to all those women considering this method.

  5. Y.S.

    Hi Lauren, Thank you for this informative post. Just curious, what contraceptive method did you find useful/effective in place of birth control pills? I myself have gotten off BC pills but still haven’t found a great replacement. Please feel free to email me. Thank you!

  6. Betty

    Lauren, this would be a great time to introduce more info on fertility awareness or natural family planning. It’s much more than just the rhythm method. Yes, it requires behavioral changes if a woman wants to prevent pregnancy, it requires mindfulness, you have to think about it daily. But it teaches a woman to know her body and work with nature, instead of chemically supressing the body’s natural workings. At the very least, a woman is more aware of her body and cycle, and information is never a bad thing.

  7. Nicole

    Hi Lauren,

    I am almost 6 mnths off the pill now. Would this be a good time to start with Gallbladder ND and Complex? Just wondering why you suggesting waiting on the B6 and complex also?
    Thanks so much!

    • lauren

      Yes, now would be a great time. I would start with 1 tsp Gallbladder ND and 6 Gallbladder Complex Daily. The Gallbladder ND has B6 in it, so that is why you can wait to take the B Vitamins because you will already be getting some on the program. If you need further guidance, please email me: lauren@theholykale.com

  8. Rhonda Colwell

    My daughter is on yaz for polycystic ovarian disease. She was first placed on another drug, but it made her hair fall out. Before she started the yaz, she hadn’t had a period in 8 months. What are your thoughts on this use?
    Also, if I may ask, what medical training do you have?

    • lauren

      I am not medically trained in the Western model, only trained in holistic and alternative therapies, but have trained with some of the leading hormone doctors in the US. I will email you a response, as it is too involved for this comment space.

      • Vanessa

        I am 31 and have been on the pill for over 2 years. I was on it from 15-25 and remember the first time I went off I had many issues. One being my skin break outs. That is something I can’t handle are breakouts but I also can’t stand how I feel on the pill. I’m always feel swollen and I couldn’t eat healthier if I tried!! I have illuminated gluten from my diet years ago and I still feel swollen. I am so torn because I am not ready for children just yet, although I do want kids in the next few years and the possibility of becoming infertile from birth control terrifies me. What do you suggest? I am a hormonal basket case on it so going off sounds good but all the side effects scare me. Please help! Could you email me more info and suggestions? My doctor is a male and he has no idea what I’m going through and that is even harder!! Every time I ask him about the pill he says it’s fine to stay on it. And I’m on the generic of Yasmine so hearing all this other news on Yasmine has me wanting to stop today. Do you recommend any subpliments to take for hormonal balance while transitioning off?? Please help!! Thank you

        • lauren

          Hi Vanessa, there are other methods to prevent pregnancy that can be both safe and effective if used properly, one of which is using non-spermicidal condoms. As for transitioning off of birth control, you will have swings in hormones and it can take up to a year + to get back to normal, depending on your biochemistry and diligence with using natural supplements. Once off the pill, I like using DIM (diindolylmethane) for xeno estrogen metabolism (I suggest DIM Detox), taking 2-3 tbs of raw honey and wild pollen mixed (see directions HERE) to provide the building blocks for hormone production, and 1-2 tsp Gallbladder ND, which provides nutritive support to the gallbladder, which is imperative for those who have been on birth control. Good Luck!

        • Rhonda

          I was on birth control pills for 10 years before I met my husband. He’d had a vasectomy so I felt there was no reason for me to continue taking BCPs. But when I stopped taking them, I had the worst acne outbreaks. I got quite a bit of acne on my back and less on my face, but those zits were very large and very painful. I also experienced funky discharge, so I decided to go back on the pill. My gynecologist was in favor, he felt if the pill worked for me, the benefits outweighed the risks. I tried going off again years later and had the same issues, so I stayed on the pill.

          I was treated by an acupuncturist for back pain and discussed my desire to go off BCPs once and for all. She said acupuncture was very effective in helping women cope with the side effects of getting off the pill, so I gave it a try. After about 5 treatments, coupled with 3 or 4 weeks of Chinese herbs that I brewed into a tea and drank twice daily (she was a Chinese herbalist and made the mix herself) the acne issues went away. I have been off the pill now for 7 years.

          I think another side effect I experienced being on the pill, which I didn’t realize until I was able to go off, was a loss of sex drive. I think it was a gradual process, but by the time I was in my mid thirties, I wasn’t having sex and could have cared less (how sad!). I didn’t realize until recently that the pill could have this affect and I feel somewhat bitter that my doctor never mentioned this to me. I’m glad there is a forum such as this so we may share information!

          • lauren

            Hi Rhonda, what a great success story! Acne is definitely a side effect of getting off birth control, but fortunately it does go away and can be corrected, especially with the use of supplements and holistic treatments. As for the sex drive, this is a HUGE side effect of being on birth control, that most women are completely oblivious to. I have heard this story so many times, and it is not until after you get off that you realize the magnitude of the problem. I am so happy you have been able to get to this part of your journey. Good Luck Rhonda!

      • Sherry

        Hi Lauren,
        I started Yasmin because of PCOS as well. I would love to hear from you about your thoughts on this.

        • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

          Hi Sherry, the conventional treatment for PCOS is BC or other hormones. There are alternative methods for treating PCOS that do not include pharmaceuticals. Ultimately this is your decision and what you think is right for you. If you are looking to get pregnant in the future, it may be a good idea to balance the hormones naturally so that you can have a better chance of conception when the time arises.

  9. This is a very informative piece of reference for birth control pills I have read for a while! I recommend this to all women out there who want to know and understand more about the pros and cons of pills.

  10. What a GREAT article, Lauren! I stopped taking the pill about 13 years ago for health reasons and I’ve been off it ever since. I have many girlfriends who say the pill made them “feel crazy” and some have also stopped taking it. I think this is such an important topic – thanks for shedding light on it!

  11. Nathalie

    Hello Lauren,

    A very interesting article. I was on and off the pill in my early/mid 20s but mainly off, now in my 30s I have been off the pill for 10 years, and all the better for it.

    What I was interested in was the impact of using birth control pills on the environment? Do you have any information on that?

    • lauren

      Thanks Nathalie! They have found that the synthetic estrogens from the birth control have been infiltrating our waterways and greatly reducing the fertility of male fish. They have also found that it has caused fish to become hermaphrodites which is quite disturbing. Finally, there are many studies underway determining the effects of the estrogen on newborns, babies and even fetuses. The synthetic estrogens cause thyroid and adrenaline imbalance, which has shown to lead to mental retardation. Here is an article about it from Colombia University:

  12. Lauren,
    Thank you so much for the information in this post! I’d love to hear more about your experience coming off the pill as well. Also had no idea about the link to gallbladder issues, which are already hereditary in my family. I take a daily B complex with 50mg B6- do you think this is sufficient?

    • lauren

      Yes it would be so important for you to get on a B6 supplement although I must say that they are not all created equal. In my experience, I do not feel that the synthetic B vitamins are effective in the long run, especially in this particular case. B vitamins that are not live-source, meaning that they are derived from whole foods, herbs and roots, are actually derived from coal-tar. Furthermore, they are often processed with synthetic fillers, additives and flowing agents that actually can cause harm to the body. Therefore, I would only suggest using live sourced B vitamins, my favorite are those that come from nutritional yeast. I personally use this one:PRL B6 ND, because it has also been fed to live probiotics so it has the ability to bypass the digestion and go directly into the cell. This is VERY important because most people cannot properly absorb the vitamins they are taking, therefore rendering them ineffective in many cases. Through this delivery we know they are being used by the cell instantly. Feel free to email me directly at lauren@theholykale.com if you have further questions :)

      • Wow- so interesting and informative. Thank you Lauren! I’ve never seen a product like B6-ND but I’ve recently been questioning the unnecessary burden that some supplements put on the body and this is further proof that I need to be better informed! Thrilled to have your expert recommendation and to hear your thoughts on the topic of the pill, which affects so many of us ladies. Thanks for sharing your time and expertise!

  13. zedd

    After a long time deliberating and experimenting with different methods of birth control, I’ve settled on a diaphragm and can honestly say it’s been the best thing – but was quite hard to get, as my doctor told me “this isn’t the 90′s anymore”… I think it’s also worth noting that doctors are quick to prescribe birth control for a myriad of issues that can often be taken care of with diet and taking care of yourself!

    • lauren

      A diaphragm! Great suggestion, I am sure we have all forgotten about that method but does seem like a really good option. Taking control of your own safety :) But does it prevent STDs?

  14. amelia

    Thank you for posting this.

  15. Denise SG

    Lauren, Thank you so much for this post. I recently found out that my gallbladder is not functioning. I have been told that I need surgery and have been looking for other methods to try before opting for surgery. I am trying to research all that I can to try to find what is best for me. I wanted to ask how you came about the gallbladder restoration program…Is there anywhere where you could direct me to that talks about the effects of this system? Thank you.

    • lauren

      Hello Denise, the gallbladder protocol has been developed through the CEO of Premier Research Labs who is a biochemist, naturopath. I studied with him personally and then worked with a few hundred practitioners that implemented the program in their practice with much success. I have personally used it for myself and my clients and have seen it to be extremely effective. As for further direction, that would be best done through a consultation or visiting a trained practitioner in your area. Feel free to email me directly for more information, lauren@theholykale.com

  16. Tess

    Hi Lauren, thanks for this post… it’s amazing how little has been written about the pill, and coming off it. All the information I have gleaned has been from people discussing it on forums, which is kind of helpful but also somewhat unreliable. I was wondering if you knew how long it takes for your body to normalize after coming off the pill? I stopped taking Marvelon about 6 months ago now, and thought that I had got away with it until the last few weeks when my skin has become inexplicably congested and problematic. From previous experience, I think this must be hormonal as I live very cleanly and am struggling to control it with topical solutions. Do you think this has something to do with coming off the pill or should I be back to normal by now? Confused! Also… can you recommend any supplements to help from the inside? I’ve heard Evening Primrose Oil is good for skin and regulating hormones… right or wrong?

    • lauren

      Hi Tess, this is very normal and it can take a long time to fully get rid of symptoms, and often if you had symptoms that were taken care of by the pill, will now return if not dealt with properly. In my own experience, after 8 years of birth control use, it took me about 1 year to normalize, and I did a lot of work with supplementation and cleansing. Typically I find it best to start with DIM – which is an extract from curciferous vegetables that converts xeno estrogens in the body. I use a product called DIM pro by Pure Encapsulations. I believe it is very important to detox after birth control use, even if it has been 6 months since you have been off of it. Secondly, I actually use a combination of raw honey, wild pollen and a flower pollen blend. This has been my saving grace for not only myself but for a lot of women I work with. You mix 1/3 wild pollen with 2/3 raw honey until completely mixed together. You then taken 2 tbs daily (can be off the spoon, on toast, in a smoothie, or in tea). You then take 6 of the flower pollen extract daily. I personally use Premier Research Labs UltraPollen. The bioflavonoids and the nutrient blends in this combination provides the building blocks for hormone production (we need to jump start the hormones after they have not had to work on their own), and it acts as a liver cleanser. To cleanse the liver is HUGE in balancing hormones because the liver is in charge of hormone conjugation. You can learn more about how to make the mix HERE.

  17. Hi Lauren, I was one who didn’t stay long on the pill due to side effects and wanting something more natural. But most of the alternatives are not as good at their primary objective of preventing pregnancy. Now of course the IUD is prescribed more than it once was, and can be very effective. For condoms, you cite a 98% effectiveness rate, but that’s for perfect use. Typical use: i.e. real world effectiveness– is 85%, meaning 15% of users will become pregnant during each year of use. Continue that out over a couple’s reproductive life and pregnancy is going to happen eventually. Typical use failure rate for cervical cap is even worse (80% effective, i.e. 20% failure rate per year). And all of those are much more effective than real-world NFP. I’m not saying don’t use these methods, but weigh how important preventing pregnancy is to you. Wanting to space children is really different from not wanting to get pregnant at all.

  18. Thank you for this great article. I have documented my own experience being on and coming off the pill after ten years.

    http://www.sweeteningthepill.blogspot.com (currently turning this into a book for publication in Spring 2013)

    I’m also working on a documentary and we’re looking to hear from women like yourself:

    http://www.takingcontrol.us

  19. Tanya

    I am on day 2 of quitting the birth control pill after many years of use. I wanted to know how long I would take the DIM Detox for and would I start this immediately? There were also two different DIM’s mentioned in the questions above (DIM Detox and DIM Pro)which one would you recommend I take? Thank you!

    • lauren

      Hi Tanya, taking the DIM detox also targets the liver since it contains powerful liver cleansing and rebuilding herbs, which is always a good idea to include in a program since the liver is in charge of conjugating hormones. I would suggest taking it for about 3 months.

  20. Stacey

    Hi Lauren, Just came across this article. Thanks for sharing. I, too, have been having so many problems due to my BC. Have been on it for 7+ years now and during the last few years I have noticed my hair has gotten so thin and damaged looking. I’ve always had fine hair but its been plentiful and healthy but now it is awful. It has started shedding terribly and over the past few months its getting really bad and falling out in clumps. I tried switching to a different brand but haven’t seen much change. I went to a derm. and she has prescribed a topical solution for my scalp and did some blood work just to make sure everything is ok. I am debating just getting off BC completely, but am worried I will lose MORE hair from doing that. Several people I have spoken to said they lost a ton of hair when they got off of the hormones…is this true? Do you think it would be better to stay on BC and try to fix the shedding with topical solutions or just take the jump and get off completely??? I’ve been thinking about getting off \ since all of these negative side effects have been going on. I eat healthily, exercise, and take good care of my body…I truly think the hair issues are stemming from the BC! Your advice would help! Thanks!

    • lauren

      Hi Stacy, in your case as well as in many other cases similar to yours, you are going to have to make a decision; either stay on the pill and continue doing damage to the body (which you can try to modulate with other medications etc.) or get off the pill and deal with the short term side effects, but start healing. It is just a fact that when you get off the pill you will have side effects but really those range from person to person. BUT the good news is that you will get better and you will heal. By going off, you can use natural supplements to help support the balancing of your hormones, and you will get back to a place of normalization. If you stay on the pill, you will continue to see the issues you have been currently dealing with. In my opinion, if the pill is causing so much stress to your body that your hair is falling out in clumps, maybe your body is telling you that choice is not right for you…. ultimately it is your decision. I would in the meantime get on 9 capsules of Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs. This will help target the hair directly.

  21. Kate

    Just stumbled across this article looking for some information about the pill. I stopped taking the pill 3 months ago and in the last couple of weeks my hair has started shedding in huge amounts. When I have a shower there are handfuls of my hair in the plughole. I am 23 years old and have been on the pill since I was 16- so about 6 and a half years. I am so glad I decided to stop taking it and I can’t wait until my body is free of artificial hormones, but at the moment I am feeling very down and distressed. I can see bald patches starting to show at the front of my scalp and I feel unattractive and depressed because I have no idea when this shedding will stop.

    After over 6 years taking the pill, do you have any idea when my body might start to recover and my hair might stop falling? And in the meantime what can I do to minimise the affects? Another question I dread the answer to is whether my hair will ever grow back, or if it is gone for good.

    Thank you for such a well written and informative article. Kate

    • lauren

      Your hair will in fact grow back. I have been able to practically double my hair growth, but it has taken about 1 year. If you get off the birth control and actively work to balance your hormones naturally, you may see a return of hair growth within a few months. I would definitely purchase Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs. This will help even if you stay on it.

      • Cece

        I too have been having the same issue with hairloss. I decided to come off the pill at the begining of July following being told i had Poly Cystic Ovaries Syndrome which was a result of test to determine the cause of anemia which i had been told i had. I had been prescribed the microgynon pill (the combined pill in the UK)due to heavy and painful periods not for birth control reasons just under two years ago. I came off the pill as i wanted to check my natural cycle was ok as i had not had a problem with irregular periods before i went on the pill. Luckily my periods have been regular every month since July which i am greatful for as i would like children one day and i know irregular periods and infertility can be caused my PCOS. I have always been a bit hairy since a child so never thought anything of it and had no other symptoms of PCOS. I was told it was very mild and didn’t need any medication for my PCOS. However, since the last two weeks in August i have been experiencing hairloss which is a lot more than anything i have expereience before. I have lost a lot of the thickness and feel very self conscious. i have always had nice thick hair which was the only thing i liked about my appearence. I cry most days and i am very stressed about when it will stop shedding and if it will grow back. I have been to the doctor and i am awaiting blood test results to see if my hormones levels, iron levels and thyroid is ok. I am stressed as to what could be causing my hair loss as my doctor said that coming off the pill doesn’t cause hair loss but looking on-line i am seeing lots of women say they have experiennce it when coming off the pill. I am not a doctor but I strongly believe that going on to the pill has had involvement in causing my PCOS and coming off the pill has involvement in my hairloss. I know everyone has different experiences but my advice to anyone thinking of going on to the pill. DO NOT DO IT!!

        Lauren you mention by actively working to balance my hormone levels naturally you may see see a return in hair growth. Can you please give some suggestions of how to do this? Thank you

        • lauren

          Hi Cece, thank you so much for sharing your story. Like I mentioned before to other woman, your hair can and will grow back, but you must be determined to healing the body and getting it back on track. This process can take a long time, and you must always have faith and determination. If your doctor does not seem to understand what you are going through or support your choice in using natural solutions, you might consider finding another practitioner to work with. There are many people out there that can help you, it is just about finding the right person. As for supplements, everyone is different but the basic program I begin with is the following:

          DIM (2 daily)
          Honey and Wild Pollen Blend (2 tbs daily) – Buy 1 Honey and 2 Pollens for the blend
          Ultra Pollen (6 daily)
          Hair and Nails (6 daily)
          Gallbladder ND (1 tsp daily) Take right before bedtime
          Coconut Oil/Butter (1 tbs at least daily)

          * follow the links above to find more information about the products. The honey pollen recipe can be found at the product page.

          • Lizzy

            Hi Lauren,

            I just came across your blog and I am so fascinated and thankful. I went off of birth control in January and have been experiencing months of hair loss. I am very intrigued by the regime you suggested above. I recently started taking Macafem to help regulate my hormones and hopefully “jump start” my system. I basically haven’t gotten a period since stopping the pill with the exception of a very light 3 day long period about a month ago. Do you mind explaining a little bit more about the Wild Pollen and Ultra Pollen and your experience with them. I am really considering ordering them but they are a bit pricey so I wanted to be sure it would be worth it.

            Thank you so much, I am really looking forward to your reply.

            ~Lizzy

          • lauren

            The wild pollen and raw honey blend are used not only as a source of nutrition, but more specifically as a liver tonic. The liver is in charge of conjugating hormones in the body, and is often congested due to use of birth control, but also general toxicity. Therefore, using this blend to strengthen the liver is very important for balance the hormones. In my experience with clients, this has been extremely useful and effective. As for the UltraPollen, it contains a high level of bioflavonoids, which are used therapeutically as the building blocks for hormone production as well as the baseline nutrition for the reproductive organs. It is a great product to use that is very gentle and natural, essentially allowing the body to utilize this nutrition to rebuild.

      • I too have experienced hair loss as a result of coming off the pill. I was on the Microgynon pill (combined pill in the UK)for just under two years. I was put on it due to heavy and painful periods, not as contraceptive for sexual activity. i came off it in July this year and since the last two weeks of August i have expressed a lot of hair loss from all over my head. I was told i have PCOS this year which was the reason i came off the pill to check my menstrual cycle was ok. Thankfully i have been regular every month since July. My PCOS was identified during an unltrasound to see if my heavy periods were the cause of my anemia which i had at the time. I know that PCOS and anemia can cause hair loss but i was put on iron tablets in June and told i was no longer anemic in July and have not had any other symptoms of PCOS and my blood test came back as ‘normal’ in July. I am awaiting a fresh set of blood result to check my thyroid, iron and hormone levels are normal. I am not a doctor but i strongly believe that going onto the pill has had an imput in causing my PCOS and coming off the pill has had an imput in my hair loss. My advice to anyone thinking about going onto the pill i would say DO NOT DO IT!!

        Hopefully my hair will stop shedding and the hair will grow back soon as i am very stressed about it as i have lost a lot and can not carry on like this. I always had nice thick hair which was the only thing i liked about my apperance and now i just cry on a daily basis about how my hair has changed in such a short amount of time.

        Lauren in the post above you say to try and balance my hormones naturally and i may see an improvement. Could you please give some advice/ suggestions as how to do this. Thank you.

        • lauren

          Hi Lottie! I am so grateful that you have shared your experience with us. Every woman has such a unique, yet important story to tell that only further creates a community of support that we can all benefit from. As for the suggestions, you almost have the same situation at Cece, who wrote in right before you, so please refer to my response to her for details. Good Luck!

          • Jenna Abrams

            It was so nice to find this article. I am 36 yo and done having children. I have been taking ortho Tri cyclin for as long as I can remember. Last summer after we had our second child I started losing my hair in clumps. 1 year later still losing the hair. I also started having dry itchy skin and scalp, felt like bugs were crawling on me. Oh and the melasma on my face is so bad! used skin lightening treatments and now im uneven and blotchy looking….anyhow, went to so many different doctors and derms and was sent home with prescriptions of rogaine (which I refuse to use) all of my blood work came back negative, I suggested the relation to my bc pills because when I was on them my hair grew and when I would come off of them to get pregnant it would shed and every doc looked at me like I was crazy. Well the vanity took over and I ended up going back on a low dose bc this past July, and guess what my hair started growing again! . My gyno said I can safely stay on it until I’m 50 since I’m healthy and don’t smoke. Well last month a good friend of mine threw a blood clot and almost died, they contribute it to the bc pill. I’m a RN and I should know better! So I’m off again, and guess what? More hair loss and itchy scalp, it’s so horrifying to see my bald spot coming back. But I must stay strong. Thanks for the article and its sad that there aren’t more discussions about the side effects of going on the pill. Clearly my body can not make its own natural hormones because I have had the fake ones for so many years. Losing your hair is emotionally tolling and these docs don’t get it, they brush you off and send you home with rogaine. I’m hoping in time I can get back on track naturally, however win my age and menopause coming up I honestly don’t have much hope. I took 5,000 mcg of biotin in the past and it helped with my nails but not my hair. I am going to give your regimen a shot, makes perfect sense to me :) anyhow thanks again for sharing this article and story. And for all of the brave women who shared their story as well. I would have never went on the pill had I known how toxic they were…and ps. Lets hope I still like the smell of my husband once I get back on track! Ha ha ;) take care, Jenna, 36 from Cleveland OH

          • lauren

            Hi Jenna, thank you so much for writing in! Your story is very familiar, as hair loss is something that I experienced as well. It is extremely traumatic, but the good news is that it does grow back. I would focus on using Hair and Nails by dragon herbs, Gallbladder ND by Premier Research Labs and then DIM Detox by Pure Encapsulations. As for balancing the hormones, you should make a blend of raw honey and wild pollen. Add 1/3 pollen to 2/3 honey and then mix. Take 2 tbs daily. This is an excellent liver tonic, and it also supplies the nutrients needed to make hormones. Healthy saturated fats such as coconut oil is a good addition as well.

  22. nina

    As a side…it does not ALWAYS prevent pregnancy…I have a friend who is currently pregnant…She conceived WHILE on the pill…

    I have more to add to the discussion, but thought I would throw this in…

  23. Erica

    I can completely agree with this article in favor of discontinuing use of birth control pills. I stopped taking my birth control pills after having gallbladder surgery at the beginning of the year and I feel so much better. While I am still experiencing some of side effects of discontinuing the pill…I do not regret my decision at all. My hormones are still getting back on track and I have had some wacky feelings, but I am a firm believer that birth control can cause you to have some wicked issues with your body over time. I had horrible migraines and once I discontinued the pill they went away. I also believe my gallbladder issues were due to long term use of birth control pills. I had taken the pill on and off since I was 16 due to various GYN issues. Over time, my body and hormones have started to return to normal and I am glad this journey will soon end. I will tell anyone else out there who is experiencing some of the same issues it will be okay. The doctor doesn’t always know what your body will do, but we at times know our bodies best and you have to use your best judgement when deciding what will work for you.

    • lauren

      Thank you so much for your personal experience. This is so important for us all to share because making the decision to not go with the conventional route is always difficult. You should look into taking Gallbladder ND by premier research labs in addition to their Biliven – should help your gallbladder to heal.

    • ally

      Hey erica! Stopped taking the pill after i got my gallbladder out too. Took it for ten years. I too belive my GB problems were related to taking the pill :( i wish i would have done more research about what i was putting into my body everyday….i try to stay away from the internet and health issues, i end up searching for hours and crying because of the horror stories i read. Im glad i found this, would have been so helpful years ago. One day i got so sick- lasted forever, went to the ER and they tell me its my gallbladder, no stones. Me not wanting to EVERfeel like that again tells them to take it out impulsivly. Sometimes i think about how i should have kept it, and get paranoid about how im missing an important organ, what will this do to my body in the long run? Did i really need to get it out??! But im thankful everyday i wake up and am not in pain and i feel so much better. The woman who performed my surgery had her GB out, and was highly recommended as she did the surgerys almost daily, but was convinced my removal had to do with processed food intake. She is not my GP but i dont have one anyway but i disagree with her, i took the pill since i was 13! Not to mention was always the girl picking grilled chicken and going to the gym while my friends ate burgers and fries…..i had all the symtoms listed above linking the gallbladder to the BC. Every single dam symtom. Ugh. Anyways im so sorry to target you with my vent, just saw we had somthing in common, coming off bc at the same time as surgery. i wont even go there as far as feeling symtoms from quitting birth control lol had some pretty weird feelings…and 50 new little zits on my face but im almost glad in a way, this was a wake up call and i cant wait to try and be as healthy as possible and it is so comforting to see someone who had the same issues tell me everything will be ok ;) thank you

  24. Michelle

    Great article!
    I have had so many issues with the pill- been on it for 10 yrs – it completely altered my brain chemistry- felt like a zombie , no sex drive, lost my ability to concentrate, forgetful- but when IBS and severe hairloss joined in- that was it! It’s very difficult and scary to realize all of the damage these little pills can cause. And unless I Google about this- u would never realize it could all be from takung the oill-u honestly start thinking “I’m falling apart”. I honestly feel both media and doctors should provide more info about this- having seen 7 different drs about the above symptoms – and being told its not related to the pill. It’s stress… mental and psychological stress- I am convinced this should be another course in medical school-clearly there is something lacking here. I’m just very appreciative of women like Lauren who take the time and write about their personal experiences. I don’t think I can express how good it feels to read something that only until recently – occupied my mind and very much dictated my life.

    • lauren

      Hi Michelle, I think that the western world is catching on slowly but surely, but in the meantime, sharing our experiences are so important. Thank you for sharing your story, as each woman has a unique one that only helps to further the education of our community.

  25. Amanda

    Great post. I stopped the pill about 10 months ago but had taken it for about 11 years. Looking at your info of the side effects and how I have been over the years. Problems with diarrhea/constipation, terrible fatigue .The doctors gave me a thyroid test but results says T4 was slightly low but they said my thyroid was functioning normal and left it at that.I started a herbal supplement thyrosine for iodine source 2 years ago which helped a bit. . To think all this time its been the pill. Since stopping taking the pill my hair has been falling out in clusters! Always have had sore tender lumpy feeling breasts at certain times but now its constant.

    • lauren

      Hi Amanda, its excellent that you are on the right path, but it is always beneficial to work with someone to rebalance and rebuild. You might consider finding a naturopathic doctor or a holistic practitioner to work with you on getting back on track.

  26. Erica

    Hello, Very nice and interesting information, very useful for me to know and make a decision. I was on Yaz for 3 months, got off and was on “Orthotricyclin” birth control pills for 2 years. Last November i decided to get off all birth control since i was not sexually active. So i was off the birth control for about 10 months. I recently got back on birth control this month “october 2012″ due to irregular long periods. I am still on the pill but after reading this information, makes me want to get back off once i finish this pack. I have also NEVER been pregnate, i am 27 years old and my “boyfriend” now has kids, but i want to try and get pregnate i dont know if i should get back off the pill and let my body get back to normal again? Or what should i do? Any advice anyone?

    • lauren

      If you are looking to get pregnant, it is always best to get off of birth control. It can take up to a year or longer to normalize your hormones, and get them at a place where you can get pregnant, so at this point, that most likely is your best bet.

  27. Lauren

    I just wanted to drop in and thank you so much for this article. I’m 21 and recently married, only been on the pill for about 10 months but already feeling tons of negative side-effects. Within the first couple of months I realized I could no longer digest foods that I had never had any problems with, and severe nausea. (I couldn’t even look down at my feet without getting horribly nauseated.) Then, my PMS started getting emotionally horrible and I felt like a complete basket case. In the months I’ve been on the pill, I’ve had at least four yeast infections, which I have never had so frequently. Finally, my sex drive went dead and I began experiencing dryness and sexual pain. This was the last straw, and I began doing research on what had happened to my body. I had no idea that all these things were related to my birth control.

    Unfortunately, a lot of my research online turned up empty. There is a saddening shortage of answers for women going through this, and it’s very easy to give up. Your article was the first I found with any answers, and it encouraged me to continue. I have now decided to stop taking these pills and am already beginning to replenish my B6, as well as taking other supplements to help restore my hormonal balance.

    Thank you once again. I will never go on these pills again.

    - Lauren

    • lauren

      Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for writing in. I am so happy that you were able to find this post as it really has created a nice community of women going through similar issues. Please let us know how you progress :)

  28. Erica

    Thank you lauren for your feedback. I guess i am going to have to get back off the birth control pill so that my body can regulate itself. I did not know that it took almost a year or two to get out of my system. i was off the pill for about a year but i started to get longer periods and spotting in between and i hated that so i got back on the pill this month to get regulated again. i just dont like the fact that i cant get pregnate, i am 28 and not getting any younger…so will see….. any advice? Thank you! =)

  29. Amina

    It’s great to read these posts and know I’m not alone. I have been using the oral contraceptive pill (ethinyl estradol and levonogestrel) for period pain for over 7 years. The last year or so I have had headaches every day, my period pain has been getting worse, I’ve had sharp pain where my ovary is, joint pain, increased tiredness. There has not been much increased stress in my life, in fact, things have been going well for me. I had been feeling anxious and emotional a day after taking my first non-active tablet (right before my period). The last three months of using the pill I skipped the non-active tablets so I wouldn’t get my period. I took my first non-active pill for the first time in the last months. The day after taking the first non-active pill I got extremely emotional (for no particular reason) and had a panic attack. The next day was the same. I got my period and I was fine the next three or so days – I felt very energetic and excited about life. The next day I started having panic attacks which wouldn’t stop. Went to Emergency twice! Test results came back normal. I should also mention that I coughed up fresh blood (after a light cough) one week before all of this. The heart palpitations and nausea, and feelings of anxiousness and doom did not stop for about a month. The doctor prescribed me Lexapro and a benzo to make me relaxed. The lexapro made me feel worse for a few weeks and then seemed to work but then stopped. I had a gut feeling that my anxiousness had something to do with the pill. I stopped taking the pill just over 3 weeks ago. I am taking B vitamins, zinc, magnesium and folate. I am feeling better but still not ready to be back at work. My GP wants me to continue with the Lexapro for 12 months however I don’t want to be taking it – she’s extremely sceptical that the oral contraceptive pill is related to my hormones.

    I heard it takes about 2 to 3 months for the body to produce it’s own hormones and function regularly. I hope I will be back to my old self (or even better) soon! I am normally very confident and upset that all of this has happened to me.

    I should also mention that after stopping the oral contraceptive pill my period was very late, irregular and short, and my moods since have included depressed feelings, anxiety. I feel as if everyday I have been feeling a bit better – I am hoping this is because of my hormones and not the lexapro.

  30. HEENA

    Hi , my age is 25 and i am a virgin.
    I got my regualr periods on 8th august but were not stopped but they were not heavy. they were light and after 15 days went to my doctor. she sugesseted me ultrasound which was perfectly OK. then she sugesseted me to take ESTROGEN tablet for 1 or 2 months. When I finished the pack, i got the periods after 2 or 3 days of leaving the tablets and it remained for 7 days. mean while I felt that my face had swelled alot!!! then i didnt start the next pack! beause i am worried alot for my face!! is this is hte side effects of ESTROGEN tablet?? I checked up to another doctor, she asked me for kidney function test and UC test. Their results were also OK. now the swelling is very very low as compared to previous but when will i get rid off completely from this swelling of my face ? also I got drops of blood on 8th of september for 2 to 3 days( the date of my last periods, i.e 8 august) …. Kindly tell me, m worried!! some times there is a clotting like discharge!!! when i will get the proper regular periods as i have took just 1 pack of these tablets.
    Regards,

    • lauren

      Hi Heena, it seems as though the timing of the estrogen pill and your symptoms line up. If you have no reason to be on the estrogen, then it might be a good idea to consider getting off of it. At your age and the duration in which you have been taking it, you should be able to balance out pretty quickly. You can also consider seeing another doctor that is more aligned with natural practices.

  31. sheryl

    I have been on and off of the bcp for yrs now due to heavy periods. Recently I hace ben bleeding after sex with my husband. We have been together for 20yrs he is the only one I have been with in 20 yrs. I go yrly for my pap and blood always ok. I had a ultra sound inside and out said it was fine. My Dr. told me I have ectropion and needed a biopsy of my cervix and a dnc. They may freeze my cervix or leep it? I read up that the pill can cause this problem, but Dr.s are saying no it is not. I am 43 and never ever bleed after sex or was told I had something wrong with my cervix. Do I stop the pill? could the pill have done this now in my life? They are telling me to stay on the pill, but im worried my cervix will always bleed and even if they fix it would it come back if I stay on the pill? I do not have infections or ever std so what woild this be from? I have been racking my brains over this. I am so confussed and I went to 3 Dr.s. Please help with any info if u can…..

    • lauren

      Hi Sheryl, from research that I have done, ectropion can be caused by increased levels of estrogens, which is a direct reflection of being on birth control pills. In addition, higher levels of estrogens are also from eating non-organic meat, poultry, dairy, soy, as well as drinking and eating out of plastics and cans which contain BPA, so you will want to work on eliminating those factors as well. You can learn more about estrogen exposures in my post about Breast Cancer. At the age of 43, you are not going to be as fertile as you were at your younger years, so you might consider getting off birth control and using contraceptives instead. I would highly recommend finding a naturopath in your area or an alternative practitioner to help you with balancing your hormones and detoxing once you are off. As for the procedure with the Doctors, it sounds like in this case it is severe enough that you will have to move forward. Good Luck!

      • Sheryl

        Thank You, Lauren. I just went today to have my hormones cked. I have been off the pill for a wk and is bleeding red everyday. My dr. cked me for a blood disorder, but I am ok. I want to stop the pill for good, but concerened about having heavy periods again. I can not function. I have to stay near a bathroom I bleed so much. That is why I have been taking the pill for all these yrs. She was talking about doing a balloon procedure to help my periods? I see her on wed to figure out what o do. I also heard that the ectropion could get better if I stop the pill. I thank u fr your input at least u see what I have been hearing about the pill too.

  32. Holly

    I really appreciate everything that is written here and just want to say Thank You Lauren for talking about something that nobody else does! I do have a question though….I have been on birth control pills since I was 16..I am now 32. So that is 16 years of every day popping a pill..yikes! I really want to quit taking it for the pure fact that putting a birth control pill into my body every day cannot be a good thing, but on the flip side to that I am nervous about what will/can happen once I do quit taking them. Is it something that I can just stop taking one day and deal with what may come of it? Pros…cons? Open to any and all suggestions. Thanks again!

    • lauren

      Hi Holly, the thing is that everyone is different, meaning everyone has a slightly different experience when coming off the pill. For me, it is always better to start preventing as soon as possible, because if a real issue comes up, like it has for so many women who have written into this post, then you have the issue of reversing the damage, which is much more difficult, time consuming, costly and emotionally stressful. After 16 years of use, you will most likely have to work to get back into balance, but if you are conscious of that then it will not be more than you can handle. You are lucky that you are still feeling good, so take this opportunity to see how good you can feel without it.

      • Thank you Lauren! Do you have any ideas that would help to get my body back into balance however not using medicine?

        • Can you please take my last name off that comment? :)

          Thank you!

        • lauren

          Hi Holly, I would suggest getting started with DIM Detox by Pure Encapsulations, Gallbladder ND and Ultra Pollen by Premier Research Labs. In addition, I would highly recommend that you make this tonic mixture of wild pollen and raw honey which can be found here.

  33. Heema

    Hi Lauren, you had mentioned in an earlier post that using spermacides can affect hormone levels. I was wondering how that would be because to my knowledge spermacidal gels are used as a barrier method.

    • lauren

      Nonoxynol-9, or N-9 as it’s also called, is an organic compound that belongs to the nonoxynol family, and is the main ingredient in spermicides. It is also used as detergents, wetting agents, and defoaming agents. N-9 has been shown to have estrogen-like effects in the body, which disrupts hormone balance. Not to mention, it also has been shown to potentially damage cells and increase your risk of infection. Because of its estrogenic effects, it may contribute to infertility in the long-run.

  34. Shan

    Can someone please help! Any advice appreciated. I stupidly took the morning after pill 4 months ago not realizing it was such a large dose of progesterone. I have always been against the pill and haven’t taken it. A friend made me panic when I really has no need to and as it is available over the counter I didn’t think it was bad. It has messed up my cycle, I have breakputs and lumps over my face and back and now my hair is thinning. I have been really stressed since I took it. I have been taking supplements under the guidance of a naturopath for three months. I never had breakouts before do u think my skin wil clear up ? It’s always oily now and my hair dry and thin. Could this be from the 1 pill I took or stress? Apparently it’s equivalent of 1 month of normal bcpills.

    • lauren

      Hi Shan, I haven’t heard many stories about the morning after pill other than it causes short term pain, and may mess with your period that month. It would be surprising for it to cause that many issues long term, so it could be possible that it is related to something else. With that being said, if it is from the pill, your body should be able to bounce back relatively quickly, but symptoms like hair loss and acne are surprising.

      • Anna

        Incredible post, Lauren! I read this last week, and was inspired by it to finally get off my pill (yasmin) for good. (I’m now 24, and started taking it when i was 16!) I already eat a clean, paleo diet, however, I understand that the pill depletes your body of numerous vitamins, and getting off the pill can be quite a shock to your hormones, thus I’d love to know what sort of supplements and vitamins I could take to ease this journey.. I’m a little worried about what’s to come in the next few months, finally being synthetic hormone-free.

        • lauren

          Congratulations Anna!! I think the best products to start with are Ultra Pollen and Gallbladder ND by Premier Research Labs, in addition to DIM Pro by Pure Encapsulations. Another great thing to do is increase your B vitamin intake (nutritional yeast is my favorite way), in addition to incorporating raw honey and wild pollen as well. If you make a mixture of 2/3 honey and 1/2 pollen, mix it up and take 2 tbs daily, that will help with liver detox and hormone stimulation.

  35. Katie

    Hi Lauren iv always had normal regular periods.. Over the years of growing up I was lucky because my periods would just come and go, without any symptoms. It all started from last year at the age of just turning 26.. I noticed I started 2 break out in acne, at the time I did not know why this was happening as iv always had a amazing diet super fit happy person. So after 5 months of trying 2 get rid of them myself I went 2 the doctors.. She prescribed me acne cream which worked. But I think after months & months of stressing about my face.. One month back in may this year i started feeling really faint shaky in work and I had a flown blown panick attack.. Which I was really annoyed with coz I suffered with panic attacks when I was younger and got over them.. So I was so confused is to how they come back.. That week I had 2 take a week off work as my anxiety was so bad.. Then the following few days I had my period.. So I read up and found something of a hormonal imbalance.. So I thought right I see how I am next month and again it happened but even worst.. So I went to the doctors and she put me on the bill not knowing anything about the pill I just thought il take anything to not feel like that again.. She offered me antidepressants but I would not take them as I was not depressed. I thought iv got over panic attacks onces I can do it agin.. But from the start of using the pill oh my god the 1st 3 months was he’ll I was so depressed anxiety spasm symptoms at night in bed fear I never wanted 2 be on my own.. I was so scared of even being alone in the house with my niece I was that worried.. It was horrible like a horrible nightmare. I pushed myself everyday to get on with normal life it was such a struggle.. The only time i was happy was when I was sleeping.. I went back 2 the doctors and told her the way I felt she just made out that I was struggling with stress and depression.. I knew i wasn’t depressed I knew the pill was making me feel like this.. I was worst off than before.. I told her I want 2 stop taking it as I am a lesbian and there no nee for me to be on it anyway I do not have sex.. I just wanted to be me again :( this pill made me feel worst.. She then told me if I stop taking it my skin will come back worst again.. This really made me angry because my acne had gone before I went on the pill :( so this scared me so much I stayed on it and thought il give it a few more months this has to get better everyone on the pill so it should be fine.. But now 6 months down the line after being on the bill.. Iv just seen such a difference in me I struggle 2 socialise and be myself.. The only good thing I don’t shake or feel light headed and sick before my periods anymore.. Plus my anxiety is not as bad.. But the pill makes me feel bloated and give me really bad stomach pains.. My legs ache so much that iv had to give up my exercise :( I want my life back but I’m scared of turning into that crazy person again so anxious nervous and scared of everything.. I really want 2 stop but I’m so so scared and being this scared I think going to make all my symptoms worst and my spots are going 2 return worst.. Please Help I just want 2 be my normal happy self again.. So out going loved my friends iv changed much.. If you could give me some advice I’d be so grateful because none of my family understand they just think I’m being silly as they are on the pill and nothing happened 2 them.. They just think I’m suffering with anxiety but I know I’m not I know my own body.. I know it’s hormonal symptoms.. I feel so alone.. I don’t want to be on the pill but I’m scared it’s my only hope xx

    • lauren

      Hi Katie, as you can see you are not crazy, and you are certainly not alone. Anxiety can stem from many imbalances in the body, but many times can be from weak kidneys and adrenal glands. In addition, it can relate to poor levels of healthy fatty acids, and toxicity (bacterial, heavy metals etc.). In your case, I would recommend finding a holistic practitioner that you can work with one on one. You most likely will have to go through a series of detoxification programs, and utilize supplements to get back on track, but you will be able to get off the pill. A few good products to start taking in the interim, are Max B ND and NADH by Premier Research Labs. I would then also take Eternal Jing and Adaptogen Energizer by Dragon Herbs. You can find these products online. Both companies have call centers in which you can speak to someone about the right dose for you. Good Luck!

  36. Linda

    My 18 year old daughter has been taking Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo since February 2012. She has been complaining for about 4 months now about her hair thinning and not growing as it normally did. I just contributed it to abuse from heat and coloring although she has been doing those things to her hair for several years that’s what I “assumed” she was referring to. I thought maybe her hair was just damaged from mistreatment. Then I saw her during Thanksgiving when she was home from college and her hair is noticeably thinner. She has always had long beautiful blonde hair and she almost didn’t look like the same person. She has been very concerned about this. I just realized yesterday that BC pills can cause thinning of the hair. I have a call in to her OB/GYN about this, but I am concerned about what other options that she may recommend. I understand from my daughter that her cycle is just beginning to get regular. It has taken 9 months for that to happen. Will the hair loss subside if her body has started to become accustomed to the BC pill?

    • lauren

      Hi Linda, to be honest, your daughter’s situation is very common (you can read the comments here), and it does not seem to get better until going off the pill. This will be something that you both will have to decide together, but if you both do decide to make the change, it should not take that long to grow the hair back since it has been a short period of time. Typically the longer one is on the pill, the longer it takes to balance the hormones. A product she can begin taking is Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs. This may help to some degree in the meantime, but will be essential afterwards. Good Luck!

  37. Emily

    Any more on revitalizing your natural hormone cycle?

    I’ve been off the pill for a year, and although I don’t get the dark panic attacks I was getting, I still deal with a fair amount of anxiety and dizziness 3 weeks out of the month. I’ve been to every type of doctor imaginable and have had countless blood panels performed– all of which come back normal. Most recently, the endocrinologist, and came back with nothing. What was it like for you over the 2 years? 1 year has been enough! I’m tired of feeling like something is always wrong with me.

    • lauren

      Hi Emily, I have never experienced that personally from hormone imbalance, but your symptoms seem as though they could relate to other organ gland systems such as the adrenal glands. A great basic program to do is Vitamin C complex, Max B ND and AdrenaVen from Premier Research Labs. I would also make sure that you are eating a plant based, whole foods diet focusing on whole grains, bean, raw nuts and seeds, vegetables, fruits, fermented foods and healthy fats. No stimulants, white flour, white sugar or artificial sugar (diet products). Starting the day with 2 cups of filtered water with 1/2 lemon and 1/4 tsp unheated sea salt would be beneficial as well. As for practitioners, I would suggest seeking one out that aligns with your thought process – naturopath etc.

  38. Holly

    This article just opened my eyes to the biggest epiphany of my life!!!! I have currently a spastic gallbladder chock full of stones and am terrified to have it removed because I am a risk for surgery because of my weight and here it’s saying that my bc probably isn’t helping matters! Very enlightening to say the least. I do still need to take it because of my pains with my cycle but I will def be looking into the b6 supplements :) thank you!!! Part of me is just peeved about the amt of docs I’ve gone to see about this and none of them made the connecting or suggestion.

    • lauren

      Hi Holly, So glad you found us here! I would definitely suggest that get started on the Gallbladder ND and Biliven by Premier Research Labs. The gallbladder ND contains B6 but also has other nutrients that are essential to gallbladder health, especially in your case. Good Luck!

  39. Liz

    I do not see any mention of liver adenomas. Do a search. I learned the hard way.

  40. Zoe

    Hi Lauren,

    I’d been experiencing some hair loss problems which worsened and then improved when I was on Desogen (Apri, Marvelon, Reclipsen…). For no real reason I shrugged off the pill in April this year, but felt happy about it really: I just ran out of them. However, my hair loss really got aggressive for 8 months. I had endocrine blood testing a couple of weeks ago, and my endo thinks I might have late-onset CAH, an adrenal disorder with similar symptoms to PCOS (but with highish 17-oh-progesterone, highish testosterone…) which means in very short that instead of cortisol your adrenal glands produce androgens. He put me on Yasmin (because of its anti-androgenic properties) and told me to come back for tests in a couple of months to see if it was my ovaries or my adrenal glands producing the excess androgens.

    There are all kinds of reasons that I don’t want to take the pill, most of which you outline above, and the pros, clearly are minimal in comparison. But if it’s CAH, do you think I’m stuck with it for now? (The worse problem of course is that my adrenal glands aren’t producing enough cortisol, but I’m even more scared of steroids than the pill.) Also, normally Yasmin is contraindicated in adrenal disease because of the potassium.

    Sorry if this is too extensive a question, but it seemed worth a shot. :) Do you know about the pill and CAH?

    Z

    • lauren

      Hi Zoe, I think in your case, as in every case, there can always be an alternative. But it is up to you to find a holistic practitioner to work with you on this. While I have not personally worked with someone with CAH, oftentimes when you supply the body with the therapeutic nutrients it needs, and you go through specialized detoxification programs, you can see dramatic improvements. Even in conditions that Western medicine says is irreversible. Therefore, my suggestion to you would be to look for a practitioner in your area to work with directly. If you email me at lauren@theholykale.com with your location, I would be happy to see if I have a suggestion for you.

  41. My brother suggested I may like this site. He was totally right.
    This post actually made my day. You can not consider just how
    so much time I had spent for this information!

    Many thanks!

    • lauren

      Hi Provillus, thank you so much for writing in! Hope you can find what you are looking for?

  42. amina

    Hi, you never replied to the post i made a couple of months ago. A saliva sample (28 day) was undertaken showed i had very low levels of progesterone and slightly abnormal estrogen. I am takimg a progesterone cream but my gp does not know how much i should take or when. I’m taking 200mg per day but just stlpped due to my period. Do you have any advice on this?

    • lauren

      Hi Amina, sorry for the late response. In your case, I would suggest finding a local holistic practitioner. Once you start on hormone replacements, it is best to be monitored more frequently. You can also always start taking the supplement DIM. This helps to convert harmful estrogen.

  43. Diane

    Hello, I am 21 and have had meibomian gland dysfunction for almost 3 years now which results in dry eyes. I used to just take one prescription eye drop every day and I felt fine with just that. Then I went on birth control pills for about two months earlier this year, and my eyes felt simply terrible ever since I went on it and even after quitting, even though it’s been almost 9 months since I’ve stopped it! None of the medications I have been prescribed by my ophthalmologist have helped (mostly anti-inflammatory drops) My doctors don’t find the hormone correlation to be significant, although I have found a lot of research showing the correlation between sufficient testosterone and optimal meibomian gland function (studies show that birth control pills inhibit testosterone production). I am 100% sure the worsening of my condition is due to going on birth control pills. What do you think I should do, since my ophthalmologist doesn’t seem to be acknowledging the real source of my deteriorated eye health?

    • lauren

      Hi Diane! While I have not worked with someone with your exact case, it does sound like low progesterone levels. This is very common with women who are in menopause and they often respond well to progesterone in regards to dry eyes. I would suggest finding a local holistic practitioner that specializes in hormones to help you more directly. Good Luck!

  44. elizabeth

    I have questions about what to do after i have stopped taking the pill. My husband had a vasectomy so I stopped taking the pill, after 11 years of being on it. I am 32 years old, and at first everything was great, my libido increased and I felt fine. It has been 3 months since I stopped taking it and I am having problems with nausea/indigestion/general stomach issues and I suspect that it could be because of the pill. I have had blood taken by my doctor and am waiting on results, have also booked an apt with a naturopath (but its not for a few months-they are a busy practice) so I want to know what to do in the mean time…..I am currently not taking any vitamins or supplements at all.

    • lauren

      Hi Elizabeth, in your case I would suspect gallbladder issues. Birth Control reduces B6 in the body which effects the gallbladder. As a result, most women experience symptoms of gallbladder dysfunction, one of which is nausea. I would suggest taking Gallbladder ND and Biliven by Premier Research Labs. I would also make sure to eliminate foods that aggravate the gallbladder such as fried foods, coffee, and high-fat foods.

  45. Angela

    I am so glad I found this website! I started taking Ortho Tricyclen Lo February 2012, and got married April 2012. I’ve noticed as each month has passed by, I’ve been having more negative symptoms. It started out with me being just a little tired, and next I had a lower sex drive. I thought I was just tired and not in the mood from working a lot and getting settled post wedding. But I have felt worse each month. Then in May, I got a yeast infection, which I have never had and I am 27 years old. And this was at the same time I had my Pap smear/blood work done. I told my dr and she said it was a yeast infection and prescribed me meds. I asked if it was from birth control and she said no, that yeast infections happen and it’s nothing to be concerned about. But I kept getting yeast infections every month after that. I researched and spent over $100 on natural supplements. The main one that worked was the garlic and ginger capsules. If I didn’t take these regularly, I would start getting yeast infections symptoms, which started out as itchy legs (especially right after shaving). Then I noticed my hair breaking and looking very unhealthy. I researched how to treat that and purchased biotin pills. During this time, I also purchased low libido supplements bc I had no physical energy or desire for sex, and it was putting a strain on my marriage. I thank God for my loving and patient husband. About two months ago, I even had a dream about it being extremely important to my health to quit the bc. I told my husband and he said he had been praying that God would guide us as far as the birth control was concerned. So I googled more about birth control and this is when I realized that the bc has been the reason for ALL of the problems I’ve had! Then I googled about alternatives, and nothing appealed to me. Then I came across a book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility, and ordered it immediately and read it. I stopped taking the birth control the end of December 2012, and I’m charting my cycle. My basal body temp is low right now 96.4-97.2) and I’m waiting for the ovulating temp (if it happens this month). I’ve read that pre ovulatory temp that are lower like mine are a sign of hypothyroidism, but hopefully it is just bc of the bc still being in my system. Some days I have so much energy and other days like today, I feel tired like when I was on the bc..good to know that it’s just the lingering hormones and that there are supplements to help with it. So glad I found this site! And other than being tired,the other negative symptoms have stopped. Btw, where can I purchase the supplements? Thanks again for this site!

    • lauren

      Hi Angela, what an inspired story! It is wonderful that both you and your husband had such strong gut intuition about your birth control choice. Hormones will come back into balance, and to help you along the way, you can try using DIM Detox by Pure Encapsulations, Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs, and Ultra Pollen by Premier Research Labs. You can purchase them at healthbeyondhype.com or other online retailers. Good Luck!!

  46. Ina

    Hello Lauren, First of all, I wanted to congratulate you on the wonderful info you have shared with us.
    I’ve been on Yaz for about 7 years straight and before that I’ve pretty much been on & off bc my whole life since my menstruation started at 12yrs old. At 12yrs I was diagnosed with ovarian cysts. For the last 3yrs ive been going through so many side effects while on the pill and the most disturbing was the hair thinning, also vitamin b12 deficiency and iron. 4 months ago I decided to stop the pill for good. Since i stopped the pill I’ve been experiencing severe hair thinning on top of my head and some mild acne… At the moment I’m taking DIM, evening primrose oil, Dong Quai, B complex, and also been doing the gallbladder &liver clenase by Andrea Morritz. (thanks to your website:)My question to you is: did your hair ever thickened as it used to be and for after how long you started to see the difference. I have also developed my ovarian cysts back after stopping the pill, so I’m looking forward to start a natural way to get rid of them. If you have any suggestions on that as well it would be appreciated.
    Thanks so much!

    • lauren

      Hi Ina, thank you so much for sharing your story! You are definitely on the right track, and since you have been on bc for so long, it might be a longer journey for you. Every body is different so its difficult to put a time frame on it. It could be 6 months, it could be a year and a half. As for me, I have been off for 2 1/2 years and I continue to get better and better, even now! In regards to the hair, I would suggest starting Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs. I have had great results with that product, especially at 9 capsules a day. In regards to the ovarian cysts, you just will have to work on balancing the hormones, and making sure that you are cutting out all exposures to xeno estrogens. This would include non-organic dairy and meat, soy, non-organic produce and the use of chemical-laden personal care products and cleaning products in addition to plastic bottle use. A clean diet and toxin-free lifestyle is very important. Good Luck!

      • Ina

        Hi Lauren,
        I thought to give you an update on how I’m doing. I’m still waiting for my har vitamins & eternal jing to arrive. in the mean time I went to do some blood work since I haven’t checked them after stoping the pill and my doctor told me that I have Iron deficiency and also low testosterone levels. Is there anything you can recommend about this? I obviously I didn’t want to put testosterone hormones in my body since hormones caused all this trouble in the first place… Any natural way of restoring iron & testosterone levels would be appreciated.
        Thank you for all you do & God bless you!!!!

  47. Hannah

    Hi Lauren! I recently found The Holy Kale and am LOVING it!! Thank you so much for this post; you have inspired me to FINALLY, after 6 years, end my use of birth control.

    Like many other women, I shed a good amount (50% or more) of my hair starting about 2 months after first beginning taking the pill (yasmin)… I remember my parents complaining about my extra long showers during that time; most of my time in the shower I spent trying to pull/wash off the clumps of hair I was losing.

    My hair shed for about 6 months and then slowed… But the quality of my hair has never been the same. Before, it was so thick I could barely wrap a ponytail holder around it twice; After, I had to wrap it around my hair 4 TIMES. As vain as it probably sounds to most people, that was the most depressing experience of my life.

    I went to numerous physicians at Kaiser to discuss my experience and to ask for suggestions. Not a SINGLE one of them agreed that birth control was the root of my hair loss. How frustrating is that?!

    So I carried on for a couple years, blaming stress and other things for my hair loss… Until I tried getting OFF the pill… About 2 months after I stopped taking it, my hair loss started back up again… Almost as bad as the first time! I got back on the pill shortly after that and have been on it ever since.

    My hair hasn’t shed an abnormal amount since those first two times, but the quantity and texture are still much different than before; my strands were once very THICK, and I would never have described my hair as “fine”… Now my hair is baby fine and there seems to be much less of it. I can REALLY see the difference when I look at my sisters’ hair is. Neither of them have ever taken the pill and they both have incredibly thick hair, like mine was.

    So now that I am off the pill FOR GOOD, I am anticipating more hair loss soon :( Is there anything you can recommend to stop or slow my hair loss? And to get it back to its original state? I started taking Biotin, Zinc, and Vitamin A daily. I also have heard apple cider vinegar is good to take. What would you recommend? Are there any shampoos you’ve found that help stimulate growth?

    Thank you, Lauren!

    Hannah

    • lauren

      Hi Hannah, much like you I went through a period of hair loss, especially hair thinning from the pill. The good thing is that it can and will grow back. While mine has been a process, I continue to see new hair growth even after 2 plus years of getting off the pill. My favorite supplement for hair loss is Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs. I have been taking 6-9 ever since getting off the pill and have found it to be a life saver. Another great product that helps the hormones balance out is DIM Detox by Pure Encapsulations and Eternal Jing by Dragon Herbs. You also should make sure that the biotin and vitamin A that you are taking are from a natural source, not synthetic. These three products will be more productive than synthetic biotin and vitamin A. Good Luck!!!

  48. Lee

    Hi Lauren, I am deciding whether to come off birth control after 12 years of taking it. Is there a post where you describe your journey? I read all through this one and do not see it – maybe it is not posted yet but I would be facinated to read it, thanks, Lee

    • lauren

      Hi Lee – I have mentioned briefly the side effects that I experienced on the pill, but have not yet written about the side effects once off the pill. I can say that while it has taken time to normalize, it was the best decision I have ever made for my health. I will be posting a follow up article on getting off the pill, but I urge you to read through the many comments as well.

  49. Rina

    Hi Lauren,
    I started taking BC in February 2012 at the age of 27 for the first time in my life. In May 2012, exactly in the 3rd month of birth control, I noticed some thinning hair at my front hairline, by my bangs. I right away attributed this to birth control pills and stopped taking it immediately. It has now been 8 months since I have been off the pill and I am still losing chunks of hair when I shampoo. It has had a very negative effect on me. I am depressed and constantly anxious, I am scared that my hair will get so thin that I will be able to see my scalp. I am currently taking a vitamin called Alpharegul and I find that it is helping a little, but I desperately want my hair back and I want to feel like myself again. I feel there is some regrowth, but those regrowths fall out very easily. Please please please let me know what you think I should do. I have seen my dermatologist and family doctor, one said it was stress related hair loss and the other said it is AGA…I obviously don’t want to believe the AGA diagnosis.
    Thank you!

    • lauren

      Hi Rina, thank you for sharing your story. Much like you, I too started to loose hair from taking birth control and it has been quite a road to get back to where I started. With that being said, I would highly suggest taking two products, Hair and Nails (6 daily) and Eternal Jing (4 daily) by Dragon Herbs. These have been a tremendous help to me and are of the highest quality nutrients, and herbs. In addition, it is always vital to make sure you are eating a clean diet, one that does not contain non-organic meat, dairy or soy – all estrogenic foods. Eliminating processed foods, white flour, white sugar and focusing on whole grains, raw nuts and seeds, organic fruits and vegetables and fermented foods is going to be imperative to your overall hormone balance. Good Luck!

      • Rina

        Thank you for your response Lauren! I will try to find these 2 products. How long after you started those did you start to see a difference in your hair?

        • Rina

          Lauren, I forgot to mention that for the past 2.5 months I have been taking an anti depressant called Celexa. I started taking this because as I mentioned, I became extremely depressed due to the hairloss. I do not want to stop taking this at the moment because I find that it is the only reason I can do anything during the day. My pharmacist told me that there is no studies that show evidence of hairloss with this medication. What do you think?

          • lauren

            I think that you can stay on it for the time being and see how you do. If the depression does not subside within 1 month to 6 weeks, I would consider taking NADH by premier research labs, in addition to Max B ND – live source B vitamins.

        • lauren

          I would say about 6 weeks. This was also along with a CLEAN diet.

  50. Lily

    Hi Lauren,
    Thank you for sharing your story and all of the comments from the other readers. I have been having a terrible time since coming off the pill. I started the pill when I was 11yrs ago and had tried to come off a few times but gone back on within 3-4months because my skin would go crazy! Sept 2011 I decided to go off once and for all. The first few months were ok but my period started getting further and further apart and then stopped completely in April. I haven’t had a period since. At the same time that my period stopped my skin has become worse and worse! I now have acne over my face chest and back. I have tried many things over the past 12months – herbal cleansing supplements, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, evening primrose oil, tried cutting out dairy from my diet. I feel I have spent a lot of time and money and nothing has helped. Is there anything else that you can suggest? I know that it will be the best thing being off the pill in the long run but right now I’m feeling very depressed and frustrated.

    • lauren

      Hi Lily, I can completely sympathize with what you are going through and my best suggestion for you now is to start with the following. Like I am sure you realize, every body is different and it will take time for you to normalize since you have been on the pill for so long, but you will get back to normal. I would suggest purchasing RAW, unheated honey and bee pollen. Mix 2/3 honey with 1/3 pollen (I use a smaller mason jar). Then mix it up well and you will take 1 tbs 3x/day. This provides the nutrients needed for hormone production, and it is also a great liver tonic. In addition, I would suggest taking DIM Detox by pure encapsulations, and Gallbladder ND by Premier Research Labs. After 1 month if you do not get your period, add in Eternal Jing by Dragon Herbs. Good Luck and feel free to email me personally at lauren@theholykale.com to update me. Feel free to call the companies for a dosage recommendation.

  51. Sara

    Hi Lauren,
    Thank you for your post on birth control pill use. I was previously on birth control pills for 5 years and 5 months ago I came off and am now using Natural Family Planning. My husband and I both have made a decision to not get pregnant for another year when we are more financial sound among other reasons. Which brings me to my reason for my post. This past month I have been having the strongest urges to conceive. To the point where I am looking up baby names, clothing, nursery decor every day for the past 3-4 weeks.It’s becoming time consuming. I am wondering that if in your research you have found any hormonal explanation for wanting a pregnancy after discontinuing the birth control pill, possibly with a few months delay after discontinuing? If so I would love to read up on any articles or books you could suggest.
    Thank you for your time.

    • lauren

      Hi Sara, thank you for writing in. I actually have not come across research indicating that, but you are experiencing a change in hormones that may influence your desire. For example, when your testosterone levels rise, which they most likely have, that causes an increase in your libido. As for the desire for a baby, read this article, it may help shed some light on your situation.

  52. Candice Grant

    Hi! I was on the Pill for 20 years. I stopped back in Sept and since then my normal organized self is gone! I cant remember anything and I’m no longer the queen of organization. My hair was thinning out because the Pill had dropped my hormone function to menopause level. Now that I am off my hormones have kicked in but hair isn’t back – still thin and losing more daily. I get acne like crazy now which I never had as a teen. Only good side effect is the awesome sex drive I haven’t had in many, long years! Just curious if you think I will be back to myself as far as organized/memory or if that is going to be some lasting effect of stopping the Pill. I hate feeling foggy and fuzzy all the time and miss the old me :-(

    • lauren

      You should get everything back, and memory is definitely linked to hormone balance – especially progesterone. I would suggest taking Hair and Nails by dragon herbs, along with DIM Detox by pure encapsulations along with Ultra Pollen by Premier Research Labs. In addition, I would cut out any foods/ products that contribute to hormone imbalance. This would include non-organic dairy, meat, soy, any produce/food with pesticides as well as plastics and cans that contain BPA. What also may help is eliminate any caffeine you are consuming, and consider increasing your healthy saturated fat intake since this is the base for hormones. Coconut oil is a great choice. Make sure you are getting plenty of B vitamins as well, I think nutritional yeast is a great vegan choice. If your memory does not seem to get better within 6 weeks, you might try RenaVen by premier research labs as well. Good Luck!

  53. Cosi

    Thank you so much for this great article! Like many of the commenters here, looking back I’ve been experiencing subtle, yet life-altering side effects from being on birth control pills for the last 5 years.

    As far as alternatives go, this youtube video offers some great advice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Tqz6aQ2Qz4
    I will definitely be looking into the LadyComp as soon as possible.

  54. Jeanette

    So happy I found this article. Thought I was going crazy. I was on birth control for almost 5 years (Loestrin 24) i am 26 and have no sexual intercourse. DR. said I should go on it because I had irregular periods, I would go months with no period. I didn’t have any effects while on the pill, but I decided to go off when the packet was done at the end of December, 2 weeks later I was in the ER with a fast heart rate that wouldn’t go down. 2 days later, an EKG, echocardiogram, abdominal ultrasound and catscan, they sent me home with blood pressure medicine and told me I had a little fatty liver. My follow up visit I was told all you have is anxiety, relax! Really? After reading this I realize the anxiety can be due to the bc pill, I was fine for about 2 weeks or less, at the end of January I got a period, and a couple days after it ended I got anxiety again, the worst days being these past 3 days. My sister tells me to just go back on the pill, she works at an OBGYN, but I will never! I’ve also lost a little over 10 lbs since the ER, don’t know if because of the pill, the couple changes I’ve done, or both.

    • lauren

      Hi Jeanette, so sorry to hear about your experience! It is amazing the range of side effects people have from being on the pill, sometimes quite scary like yourself! I would suggest using a live-source B vitamin such as Max B ND by premier research labs. This product typically helps with anxiety. I would also make sure that you are eating a clean plant-based diet as well. You also might consider taking Reishi to help with the liver. Finally, make sure that you are cutting out any bad oils as well – fried foods, hydrogenated oils, processed foods, pastries, artificial creamers, margarine, corn/soy/canola oil. Stick with the healthy oils such as olive oil, olives, coconut oil, avocado, raw nuts/seeds, hemp and chia seeds, and cold-water wild fish such as salmon. Good Luck!

  55. Amy

    Hi Lauren /

    Thanks for such a wonderful article. I feel at such a loss about moving forward without the pill. I first started taking the pill at 15 and began taking Yasmin when I was 20. I am thirty now. Fifteen years of solid abuse. When I first began on the pill I had such a terrible hormonal balance – mood swings, acne, bloating and very heavy periods. The pill was amazing and fixed all of these things for me. I never questioned it it or wondered how it worked – i just took it. The last five years I have become very aware I no longer wish to be pumping my body full of chemicals and am desperate to stop but I feel sick with fear of the road ahead. Last year I stopped the pill for five months – my first attempt. I felt so much more energetic, my ‘migraines’ disappeared and I felt much more ‘in the moment’ and in tune with myself – in a way I never had. But after three months I still had not got my period and I began to swell up like a balloon. By five months I looked pregnant and was feeling terrible. I have never experienced such bloating! The acne started full swing and I folded and went back on it/ during this time I was seeing a naturopath who had prescribed me hormeal (or a tincture of a similar name). She also said to me that I faced a harder road because my hormones had never been stable prior to going on the pill at fifteen. I can hardly face the idea of it again but must and am preparing to – I just wonder how I can reduce the bloating. From what I have read Yasmin is a diuretic which could be contributing. Is there anything you can suggest for me? Thankyou! I’m feeling a bit desperate to do this right this time before the damage done is too great/ at the moment I am travelling in third world countries but by April I will be back with the tools (& kitchen) I need to do this but I need to have a game plan that will get me through! Xx

    • lauren

      Hi Amy, since your bloating is hormone related, it is best to focus on re-balancing your hormones. My favorite products to work with are Eternal Jing and Adaptogen Energizer by Dragon Herbs, DIM Detox by pure encapsulations, and Gallbladder ND by Premier Research Labs. It will also be very important for you to clean up your diet and eliminate any foods that interfere with normal hormone balance. These include conventional meat/dairy, soy, conventional produce (due to the pesticides), and then canned foods NOT in a BPA-free can, and bottled water. As you move forward, you will also want to switch to non-toxic household and personal care products as well. This process does take time, and you will go through periods of symptoms, but they will clear so you will have to stick with it. At least at this point you know what to expect so you can move forward from there. Good Luck!

  56. Cheri

    Lauren,

    Thank you for the very informative article on the pill. I’ve been contemplating getting off of the pill for a while now and have e-mailed you with more details for your opinion on the best route I should take. Love your site and am looking forward to learning from you!

    • lauren

      Thank you Cheri! Check your in box… just sent it off to you :)

  57. Jessica

    Thanks for the article. Very informative. I had a pretty bad time with birth control myself, but didn’t connect two and two together until I had to take a break from it because I figured I didn’t need it while I was studying abroad and my hubby was staying home. I guess my hormones are back on track though because 6 months after I stopped taking it I got pregnant(sadly ended in miscarriage though, so we’re trying again). I was on the nuvaring, and ballooned 70 pounds, had no libido, and was overall mean and miserable all the time. I didn’t realize it was the birth control causing it though until I went abroad and decided to take a break. My weight dropped like a hot potato, I felt better, and my periods finally came back and normalized. Huh. Needless to say I threw the remainder of the birth control I had away upon coming back home. You are right that sometimes the bad outweighs the benifits, especially when you are messing with your body’s natural processes. No more hormones for me, and I plan on showing this article to my friends who are having a hard time with birth control as well.

    • lauren

      Thank you for sharing your experience Jessica. It is so important to get the information out there so we can all know what we are getting ourselves into. While for some people they do not notice anything, there are others like us that are left completely in the dark.

  58. Jennifer

    Thank you for the article. Some of it is just a hard reality. If you get a minute, check out all of us over here suffering from what the birth control pill has done to us;

    http://www.aphroditewomenshealth.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=398329&page=12

  59. Hanna

    Hi Lauren.

    Thank you very much for posting this article. I am living in Japan reading this blog. Since there’s not much info about pills here, this article is extremely helpful. :)
    I was on birth control pills for no more than a month and since then I have been having awful side effects coming off them (foggy brain, extreme fatigue, panic attacks, low libido etc). I was so devastated, felt hopeless and miserable, thinking I could never go back to my old self again. Then I found your blog. I didn’t know you could normalize after birth control pill use and it was a huge relief for me (whew!).I am starting liver cleansing with natural herbs like dandelion and burdocks. Also I am taking vitamins and minerals to help my body recover.

    I was wondering what your experiences with libido have been.. I had extremely high sex drive before, and now it’s gone. Did your sex drive go down as you took the pills? If so did it come back? I am drinking red raspberry leaf tea for uterus cleansing, hoping it will help with my sex drive. Any stories/advices are appreciated!

    Also, I went to Korean spa the other day, and I tried this ‘steam baths’ treatment. After the treatment, I felt extremely well and the side effects from the pill seemed to subside a great deal. This treatment is said to regulate menstrual cycles, recover hormone imbalance, improve blood circulation and so on. I am going there again this weekend. You can read more info here: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/20/health/la-he-v-steam-20101220. I wanted to let everyone know because this was very, very good. Hope this helps!

    • lauren

      Hello Hanna! Thanks for writing in from so very far away!! Great news here…. The libido should come back relatively quickly. Most women, including myself, who come off the pill have a restoration in sex drive relatively quickly. I would wait a few months and see. As for my experience coming off the pill, read my latest article “Getting Off Birth Control, Now What?” This should give you more information. In regards to steam baths, these have been shown to be helpful in increasing the detoxification process in the body. So if it is working, keep it up!

  60. Christine

    Hi All,

    I’m guessing many of you can relate to the incredible relief I felt after stumbling across this article!!!!
    I’ve read most of the previous posts and would like to share my own story.

    I’m 20 years old and have been dealing with minor depression/anxiety throughout most of my life.
    When I was younger, my anxiety would cause me to develop incredibly irrational fears that I would fixate on for weeks.
    Up until recently, I thought that I had finally “outgrown” my anxiety symptoms because I was feeling pretty darn good.

    Early in October 2012, I experienced a very uncomfortable panic attack when I smoked cannabis. Throughout the weeks following the episode, I noticed that I was feeling very “disconnected” from reality – as if I was living in a dream. I became very concerned that I was going crazy as a result from smoking. I think these thoughts induced the irrational fears that I used to develop when I was younger. I began feeling anxious and panic-y almost every day.

    These feelings continued on for a good three months before I decided to seek help. I went to the doctor and learned that I have low iron levels – so I am now taking supplements for that. I have been seeing a councillor every few weeks and we are currently working on “irrational” thinking and ways to cope with anxiety/panic. I have another doctor’s appointment in a few days for an overall checkup – just to make sure everything is running smoothly!

    Here comes the birth control part.

    Around the exact same time I smoked the cannabis – I took my last birth control pill. I was on Yaz for just over a year – and decided that I wasn’t comfortable with the synthetic hormones I was pumping into my body. I never once considered what would happen when I stopped taking the pill!

    I’ve been reading all sorts of forums on the internet and am totally shocked to see how many people are experiencing the same symptoms I am from being off of the pill. I did a little happy dance when I realized that this could be the answer to the oh-so-frustrating question of
    what’s wrong with me!

    It’s been just over 5 months and I am desperate to get back to normal. The dissociation is what gets me the most – I hate constantly feeling like I’m living in a dream. I’m so frustrated. I miss my old self!!
    I hate feeling like I’m going crazy. I hate how this has affected (effected?) my lifestyle. As a student, it seriously hinders by ability to concentrate in class and get my work done.

    This does get better, doesn’t it?

    Thank you for this article. Although it’s unfortunate that there are so many of us, it’s good to know that I’m not alone.

    I wish all of you the very best!

    C.

    • lauren

      Hello Christine! I cannot express my gratitude to you for sharing your story. I receive emails like yours almost on the daily, and it is so wonderful to see women finally taking charge of their health. I would say that you WILL get back to your “normal’ self, but it may take time and you have to be patient as hard as that might be. I would suggest reviewing my latest post on birth control for suggestions of what to do next. Although in your case, if you do not start seeing changes within a couple months, even though you start on supplements and clean up the diet, then you might want to consider working with a holistic practitioner. If you email me directly at lauren@theholykale.com, I would be happy to see if I have a suggestion for you in your area.

  61. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the
    same comment. Is there any way you can remove people
    from that service? Many thanks!

    • lauren

      I actually do not know how to edit this on my end. There must be a link in those emails. I would check there.

  62. Hi Lauren

    This information you have compiled here, definitely sounded the alarm for me, as there are so many side effects, we should be aware of. I am conscious at the moment of a little bit of hair loss. And, as you say above, this could be caused by the stinkin “Pill”.
    Thanks for the enlightening info

    Roberta

  63. Hello! First, Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have had mixed results I take birth control not for contraception but because my own hormones are either out of balance or my body is too sensitive to the change I have, and I end up feeling sick a lot of time it’s been called PMDD. Yaz helped a lot but I almost had to have my gallbladder taken out. So, I have tried two other types of birth control currently I’m trying NuvaRing because I’ve tried years off of it and my body has a hard time with it so I am very interested in the B6 information you mentioned because I do have a lot of the symptoms that you had mentioned with that deficiency so I think That maybe with the B6 supplement I will be able to find a happy medium!

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    • lauren

      Yes, as long as there is a link back to the original article and credit. Thanks!

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  66. Lauren

    Hi Lauren,

    I read your article a while back and found it incredibly informational and refreshing. I love this open dialogue and the sharing of stories.

    In my case, I have been off of birth control pills for about six months now– after an almost straight 12 years on them.

    I’m pretty convinced that taking the pill for that long (and not really knowing to take good B vitamins etc while on it), my gallbladder’s bile production was severely hampered. I have probably about 15 small lipomas (fatty benign tumors) on my lower back, which I’ve read form when your body is experiencing difficulty breaking down fats and toxins.

    I’m determined to find a solution…and want to start with gall bladder repair. Do you recommend I give it a go with PRL B6 ND to start?

    Thanks so much.

    Oh, and to anyone who is just recently off the pill– it definitely gets better. I had chest and back- acne, alternating greasy and then dry hair, hormonal fluctuations– all of which are getting MUCH better while I’m following a CLEAN diet.

    Lauren

    • lauren

      Morning Lauren! Thanks for writing in and sharing your encouraging words… it is true that sticking through the changes is the hardest part, but once you get over that hump everything is so much better :) I would suggest that you take Gallbladder ND (which contains the B6 as well as other important gallbladder nutrients). If you can afford it, I would also take BiliVen by Premier Research Labs as well. When you pair these two products together they help to get the gallbladder back online that much faster. I would try doing both for at least 6 weeks, and then you can just stay on the gallbladder nd for a few months. Good Luck!

      • Lauren

        Thanks so much for the product guidance. Do I need to be doing anything specific for my liver in conjunction with the gallbladder supplements?

  67. Marie

    Hi! What a great article! How I wish I had read it when I came off the pill (after 12 years) almost 2 years ago! I am guessing it is too late for me now to try a Gallbladder restoration program? Or is it never too late to give the old gallbladder a little TLC?
    Many thanks for all the information, I wish there were more people like you, and less doctors!

    • lauren

      Absolutely never too late! The Gallbladder ND will help move the bile and break down any residual waste. Definitely give it a try!

  68. Ericca

    I am so happy to have found your website!!!!! I have been wavering back & forth as to whether or not I should go off the pill. I have never felt “right” on the pill, have experienced hair loss, feelings of depression & fatigue, total lack of sex drive, gallbladder issues(which I never knew to even consider being caused by bc, but makes total sense!) & I am constantly worried about blood clots & stroke…even though I don’t smoke. I’m 41 years old, have been on the pill for approx 6 years. & I am so looking forward to feeling back to myself again. I’m going to get the supplements you recommend & am going to go off as soon as my pack of pills is finished. In case I need more help, how would I go about finding a reputable naturopath in my area?

    • lauren

      So happy you found us Ericca! We look forward to hearing about your journey off the pill and am here to support you. As for finding a naturopath, feel free to email me directly at lauren@theholykale.com and I can see if I have a great recommendation in your area. Best of luck and Congrats!

  69. Lauren

    Hii Lauren, what a great blog! I have been on microgynon for 3 years and my hair has thinned considerably during that time. I was considering making an appointment with my GP but I don’t know if that will help. I am terrified to stop taking the pill as it seems as though those experiencing hair loss actually triggered further thinning when coming off. I already have very thin hair so not sure how much more I could take!! How long after u stop taking the pill do the side effects start to occur? Is tere also another supplement you could recommend? The dragon one seems a bit expensive.

    I have been taking sea kelp for a while as I originally thought that my hair was not growing. I wish I had known more about this before I went on the pill. I feel like I am damned of I stay on the pill or if I come off. Do you think if I switched to a ‘lighter’ pill for a few months (such as Yasmin) this would help to weane my body off the hormones?

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • lauren

      Hi Lauren, first off I would say that the Hair and Nails product is 100% worth the price. I really never recommend hair and nail products because I have not found them to actually work, until this one. I really cannot say enough nice things about it. As for further hair loss, not everyone experiences this after the pill. If they do, it is not uncommon for it to last a short amount of time. Sea kelp is helpful for iodine and the thyroid as well as minerals, but I dont believe it is therapeutic enough to make a whole lot of difference. I would also NOT recommend Yasmin. Check out the lawsuits they are undergoing. I personally took that one as well as Yaz and had a lot of issues.

  70. Kristen

    Lauren,
    I was on the pill for 18 years and recently stopped as I am now 36 years old and wanted to start a family soon. I cannot begin to tell you about the severe anxiety and depression I started to experience within 4 weeks of quitting the pill!!! I attribute it all to stopping the pill, as I have never had depression or anxiety. I have been to several physicians, all of whom do not acknowledge that this could happen to anyone. I am in the medical field myself, and know it has to do with my hormones being severely altered after coming off the pill.
    I am currently taking multiple supplements, and unfortunately am on an antidepressant/anxiety medication while I figure all of this out.
    I would love to hear your thoughts on taking Vitex or something else to help me with this horrible transition. I want to detox myself asap!
    I cannot believe how ignorant the medical field is to the potential side effects of this poison!
    Thank you for your information!!!

    Kristen

    • lauren

      Hi Kristen, Thank you for writing in! Much like so many other women, depression and anxiety is quite common. I would read my newer post “Getting Off Birth Control, Now What?” for guidelines on how to start normalizing. I believe that ones you start supporting your system the anxiety and depression should subside. In the meantime if you want to try something else to directly target the anxiety/depression, I would use the Max B ND (live source B vitamins) along with NADH by Premier Research Labs. In my practice those have been really helpful, especially if you take higher doses of the NADH (4-5 daily). Good Luck and Let me know how things go!

  71. Kristen

    Hi Lauren… Thank you for the information. I have one additional question…I just got the results of my saliva hormone testing back and I have low estrogen and progesterone . What do you recommend for this? I have been looking into vitex and maca, but heard vitex Can in fact lower estrogen. Do you have any recommendations? Thank you so much for your help!!

    Kristen

    • lauren

      Hi Kristen, I personally have not used Vitex so I do not have any experience with that, but personally I always like to support the reproductive organs naturally. I personally like using a product called Ultra Pollen by Premier Research Labs in addition to Eternal Jing by Dragon Herbs. These are foods for the reproductive system so they are not going to act like bio identical hormones in the body. They will support the organ/glands systems so that they can produce hormones properly. With that being said, if you have a problem with conversion, then you will have to work with someone directly one on one. You will be able to determine this after about 2 months. In addition, make sure you are eating healthy fats daily such as coconut oil, and organic ghee. These provide saturated fats that are converted into cholesterol and used to make hormones in the body.

  72. Mindy

    Hi Lauren – A quick question about the honey/pollen mixture. You recommend taking 2 TBLSPN of this mixture daily, but on the Healthy Beyond Hype link, it says to take 1 tsp of the mixture. Which do you think is better?

    Thanks!
    Mindy

    • lauren

      I would start with 1 tsp 2x/day and then work up to 2 tbs/day. It can be very cleansing so by starting with a lower dose you can help prevent any possible detox effects.

  73. When I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me
    when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time
    a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment.
    Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service?
    Cheers!

    • lauren

      I believe that in the comment email that you receive you can unsubscribe. I would do it for you but I don’t believe its on my end.

  74. Angel

    Hi i need your help. I am 20 years old and i took emergency contraceptive pill on the last day of my periods. I got my periods again after 5 days. I am worried. Is my cycle disturbed?

    • lauren

      The emergency contraceptive pill always disrupts the period. Often it can disrupt it for up to a few months but it will normalize again. You just have to wait it out.

  75. Leah

    Thank you so much for this post. It’s the last stroke I needed to get off bc. I’ve been on it for over 5 years and at only 23 my health has taken a nose dive. I am more convinced than ever that bc is the underlying issue! Within a year of going on it I started experiencing unexplained severe panic attacks. At the time it was attributed to me going off to uni. It took a couple years to get a handle on this and I’ve just started treating myself according to the Mood Cure by Julia Ross protocol. I’m worried what going off the pill will do in terms of anxiety! I’ve also been experiencing on/off horrible nausea that’s been attributed to low stomach acid levels and an h pylori infection. After reading this and a couple other articles I am beginning to doubt that too – every female on my mum’s side has had their gallbladder taken out! It’s the first time I’m hearing about the bc/gallbladder link and frankly, it’s convincing enough that I am quite scared. My main issue with all this is, what do I do in terms of contraception? 99% of IUD (non-hormonal) stories I’ve read were awful, as were accounts of my mum’s friends that have had theirs removed for one reason or another.. so I think that’s out of the question. I still use condoms with my boyfriend despite having been together for years, simply because I’m so paranoid about getting pregnant! The only reason I went on the pill was to have that double backup, some sort of assurance that pregnancy is unlikely…I can’t imagine going back to only condoms and constantly worrying that one might break! Of course I value my health above all, so until I am old enough they’ll consider letting me get Essure I guess that’s the way to go. I fail to see how staying on synthetic hormones could do anyone any good at this point…

    • lauren

      Hello Leah, Thank you for writing in. Like so many other women, anxiety seems to be a common condition/ side effect from BC. If you make the decision to come off, I would consider working with a holistic practitioner to help you balance your body. Anxiety can come from a few different imbalances in the body, one of which is adrenal/kidney fatigue/dysfunction. So oftentimes when people are able to strengthen the adrenal and kidneys the anxiety dissipates. In addition, you can try working with a supplement called NADH which has shown to be effective along with higher dosages of Omega 3 and even live source B vitamins (premier research labs makes a good one). As for the condoms, if you use them properly they actually are a great form of BC. I think in the end your gut will lead you to the right decision. BTW – I would also look into taking HCL (hydrochloric acid) because your symptoms of acid reflux and h. pylori indicate low levels.

  76. Jill

    I am SO happy I just found this site. I’ve been contemplating going off the pill for about a year and I just went off it today. I’ve been on it for about 7 years and for the past year I’ve been so moody, I have no energy, and i cry constantly for no reason. All the other symptoms people are talking about I realize I have. I’m so nervous to go off the pill but excited to Have my freedom back. How long do you recommend taking supplements for after stopping the pill? Thanks again, this is exactly what I needed! :)

    • lauren

      Hi Jill! Congrats!! I wish I had a more concrete answer for you, but everyone is so very different. For some 6 weeks, for others 4 months. I also take 1 DIM Detox daily to proactively remove any xeno estrogens which we are exposed to daily from soy, meat, plastics, cosmetics etc. I also love the bee pollen and honey blend for its over all nutrition and its support of the liver. So I would suggest just continuing until you feel back into a healthy space.

  77. Rosie

    Hi Lauren. Thanks so much for this information. I’ve been off BC for 6 months next week and what a ride it has been. About a year and a half ago I had an ultrasound and they found hepatic hemangiomas, which are harmless, but could be from years of BC use. I finally made the decision 6 months ago to get off of them. 10 days after I took my last pill I have been experiencing excessive burping ever since. I had a barium swallow done and the doc said I had significant acid reflux. The burping has been so bad and embarrassing and also causes throat problems and a little difficulty in swallowing, all docs have said this is GERD. Have you or anyone else you know of experienced this insane amount of burping from stopping the pill? Does stopping the pill wreck havoc on your stomach? I have tried everything, mostly natural remedies. Probiotics seem to help the most but not completely. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again

    • lauren

      Hi Rosie, in my experience burping often links to a gallbladder issue which can develop from the use of birth control pills. I would highly suggest taking Gallbladder ND by Premier Research Labs. I personally would use 2 tsp daily. I would also eliminate foods that are hard on the gallbladder such as fried foods, caffeine, chocolate and high fat foods such as mayonnaise.

      • Rosie

        Thank you Lauren! I made an appt to see a gastroenterologist to have my gallbladder checked to make sure it’s working ok. I already know they will try and make me take some sort of meds, especially for the acid reflux, which I will refuse because I have always been all natural, except for the BC that I took. I did start taking ginger pills to help with the nausea and inflammation. I never eat fried foods and last night I did and I have been extra nauseous today. I will definitely give the Gallbladder ND a try. Thank you so much

  78. Desiree Cornell

    Thanks for such an informative article!
    I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and I have been on and off on birth control for years now (idk what it is, but after awhile it seems the side effects switch on me and I have to get off of them to stablize for awhile and then hop back on them again when everything gets imbalanced once more.. its a frustrating cycle.) ANYWAY, I recently lost my insurance coverage, and was going through that terrible cycle of having to discontinue use, so I decided to just quit once and for all and try to get back onto a healthier lifestyle (pill free, good diet and exercise)..but I’ve noticed some problems I’ve had lately..like severe constipation, and I don’t urinate as much as I nromally do, I seem bloated and I have constant cramps as if I’m on my menstral cycle but I’m not.. It’s only been two weeks, but it’s been getting worse, and well.. I no longer have a doctor to seek out and talk to about this… is any of this normal? I know I’m NOT pregnant (we use condoms AND the withdrawl method wayyy before he’s ready to finish, so I know we’re good.) I’m sorry if this is too personal, but I can’t seem to find any cases of this online? I’ve been looking into getting insurance just in case. (really can’t afford it right now though. :/)

    • lauren

      Hi Desiree – while not the most common symptom of birth control, any changes in your hormones can affect the body. I would try getting on the Gallbladder ND supplement, and changing your diet by eliminating all refined and processed foods and switching to a plant-based diet. The elimination of dairy, meat, sugar and soy would also be necessary. In addition, I would suggest taking a probiotic daily (ohhira is great) and HCl (hydrochloric acid) for proper digestion. You may even consider getting a colonic to get your bowels normalized. If this does not subside, you should consider meeting with an alternative practitioner in your area.

    • Nicole

      I feel your pain. And no, there really isn’t much info out there for birth control as it relates to the digestive system. Trust me, I’ve looked. And am continuing to do so. And coming from the point I’m at (I’m on a severely restricted diet and have had all the tests)- either I have an intolerance to every food out there OR.. yes, birth control, whether on or coming off, can indeed mess up your digestive system immensely. One thing I did read is that it can cause a food sensitivity/intolerance.. so you just may benefit from an elimination diet. My symptoms did indeed improve by cutting out dairy and gluten. But I’m still a mess. Either my body needs much more healing time or there is another food I need to cut out. But I also second probiotics. And I have also contemplated HCl for digestion. May have to revisit that one…

  79. Crys

    Hi Lauren, thank you so much for this information!

    I work as a model and have been experiencing hair loss over recent years– it has been a huge hit to my career and my confidence. I have long suspected that the pill might be related to some of my health issues. I have gotten off of it a few times for a month or two before my naturally heavy flow and cramps kick in and I give up and go back on it. Also, I stress a lot about pregnancy as I’m only 24 and am not ready for that. At the moment I am on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, and I want to minimize the effects of taking it until I’m ready to get off completely. Health issues (may or may not be related to the pill) include: hair loss (diffuse) and one bald patch that came after a diet that was too extreme for me (I’ve always been skinny, I think I was just starving myself, thinking I was doing some awesome juice cleanse), chronic constipation (now under control with probiotics), and in the past I had recurring urinary tract infections, and 2 kidney infections that landed me in the hospital. I also get the cold hands and feet, tired, foggy brain, dry skin, and sometimes headaches and ringing or almost like muffled ears.

    According to blood tests, I currently have an iron deficiency (ferritin level 19, and I believe it needs to be 70+ for hair growth?), and I’m borderline hypothyroid (despite how hard it is for me to GAIN weight). My regular MD doesn’t believe there’s anything wrong with me (I also don’t want to take thyroid meds that a Western doc would prescribe), and she just told me to take iron supplements and nothing is related to the pill.

    So now I am seeing a chiropractor/nutritionist, and he has me on metal detox liquids, Symplex F (bovine glandular supplements meant to help with overall function of adrenals, thyroid, etc.), a homeopathic iron liqud called “Dr. Recommends Hemo Liqitrophic,” and Gut Flora. I also go in for adjustments twice a week. I’m spending an arm and a leg… it’s really only about 6 weeks in, but I’m just not noticing much of an improvement- the hair is still shedding like crazy, and I feel the same. I have also gone gluten free and try to eat better and exercise more regularly. I guess I wondered if you had any experience with the supplements I’m taking? Also what are your thoughts regarding iron deficiency? What do you think about Rogaine for women? Can you recommend a holistic practitioner that you like in my area? I saw you recommended the Dragon hair and nails to others, I just don’t know what all I should be taking/combining (I also take Biotin, BioSil, and now Joici Clinicure supplements). Is there ANYthing I can do while still taking the birth control pill- and do you think my symptoms are related to it?

    Sorry this is so lengthy. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I hope you will continue to offer advice- there is so much material out there to sift through, I really enjoy reading about your experiences and the experiences of those you’ve helped.

    • lauren

      Hi! I would suggest taking Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs. That is by far the most effective product for hair loss, and I would never recommend Rogaine- very toxic and can damage the scalp. As for the supplements, I do not work with those brands, but I personally like using supplements that come from live sources, especially for iron.I like XenoStat by Premier Research Labs. I also do not use glandulars in my practice, but would rather use plant-based products. Iron deficiency can easily occur in women, especially if they have heavy menstrual flow, so you also may consider incorporating organic meat specifically bison and buffalo. Finally, yes, if your symptoms seem very related to the birth control, but that will be your decision on whether it is right for you to come off the pill. But with that being said, it is very difficult to have full resolution while still on it. Please email me at lauren@theholykale.com for a practitioner recommendation.

      Good Luck!

  80. Nicole

    I wish I knew all this years ago. I am now coming off birth control (no name pills for 11yrs and the depo shot for 9yrs) and it is hell. Multiple doctors and not ONE of them mentioned birth control killing my gallbladder (had it removed 7yrs ago). My health is such a mess and I have had test after test and the only common denominator is birth control. I’m done being angry that doctors can’t be bothered to tell you all this.. that the only warnings are blood clots, stroke and osteoporosis (depo)… no where does it say that it can mess up your life, your body and leave you just a shell of your former self. I pray to God my fiance can hold on as my body tries desperately to regulate itself. And I pray to God that it can.

  81. Boy am I so glad I found this site, thanks Lauren! I’m 39 (will be 40 in a few months) and have been on and off the pill since I was a teen. Well my current bc pill is being discontinued so I starting researching other pill options. Hence what has enlightened me to all the risks still associated with the pill.

    Since being on my current bc pill for the last 2 years I’ve suffered from acid reflux so badly that I went to see a gastro specialist about a 1-1/2 ago, have been on meds that are not working, and so recently made another appointment to go again – I’m miserable! Nevertheless, I didn’t connect the dots until last night after reading about the pill I’m taking that acid reflux is a long-term side effect for this brand!

    At this point, I think I’m ready (nervous though) to give up the pill altogether and try to find normalcy again. I’m scared because I’m not sure how my mood and skin will react, and having to find other alternatives with my hubby. But if not I’ll have to switch pills anyway because my current one is being discontinued – so better now that never I suppose.

    • lauren

      Hi Nikki, The good news is that there is a HUGE support group here, all of us who have dealt with similar issues and there is no need to be fearful. You have reached a crossroads in your life where it seems as though it is pointing you in a new direction. With the right care for you health, focusing on diet and supplements, you will be able to transition through. As for your hubby, there are other methods and I am sure he will want you feeling healthy (and the side effects of an increased libido I am sure he will not mind!). I would also suggest that you take a couple supplements to offset the acid reflux. Start with a product called Stomach Support by Quantum Nutrition Labs, and then after 6 weeks, try taking HCL (hydrochloric acid), 1 per meal and work your way up to 3 per meal. If you have burning from the HCL, go back to the stomach complex for a time longer. Your issue is that you are not making ENOUGH acid, not TOO much, that is what is the root of the acid reflux.

      • Thanks Lauren, I actually stopped the pill last night! I’m journaling my experience to which I hope is not too adventurous! Nevertheless, I want to keep track of my progress. I’ll definitely look for the Stomach Support you mentioned too – thanks so much! I have taken HCL but my problem’s been so bad, nothing has helped. I’m hoping this was because of the pill though and that I’ll start noticing some changes. Meanwhile, I’m juicing again too, so wish me luck on this new journey!

  82. jn

    You mentioned that when you are going off the bill that you should take the gallbladder nd and the gallbladder complex. Do I need both or just one?

    • lauren

      It depends, if you are exhibiting signs of a stressed gallbladder (dry skin, burping, trouble falling asleep, pain behind the right back shoulder blade, inability to digest fatty foods), then you will need both. If not, then I would use just the gallbladder ND.

  83. SJ

    Hello

    Wow….some questions or concerns have been answered….finally.

    I just want to touch base on my story. I started on Diane 35 almost 3 years ago. The Doctor recomended Diane because I had some light scarring on my back from my two pregnancies. I also told him that I would want to try to “better” my hair also. Even though, looking back now , I had no issues with my hair. But TODAY as we stand….I have MAJOR problems with my hair. Shedding , thinning….depressing. I just got off the pill 3 weeks ago , making it my own decision , and I wonder , did make the right decision ? I also wonder…..will my hair ever come back ? I pray that my hair comes back the same as the day I walked into his office. Looking back now….it wasn’t so bad afterall :(

    • lauren

      Yes, your hair will come back, but you have to get your hormones back into balance. For many people they need to support that process with the diet and supplements. Therefore, check out my post about getting back to normal here: http://www.theholykale.com/2013/03/getting-off-birth-control-pills-now-what/
      As for making the right decision, if the simple act of getting off the pill changes your body to this degree, imagine what it is doing to it while you are on it.

  84. Heaher

    Hi Lauren! Thanks for your down to earth and informative post! I went off the pill last week and since then I have experienced a wacky rollercoaster of moods and energy levels. In your experience, is it normal to have wild mood swings (even anger, which I usually never have), extreme tightness / anxiety in the chest, a mild headache, tiredness and noticeable spaciness/ fogginess? Twice in the last two days, I realized I had driven many miles in the wrong direction! I don’t know what is going on, it feels like my hormones / body is out of control. I’ve been on the pill (generic tri-ciclen-low) for 7 years. Went of not during mid cycle, but after the pack ran out. Had my normal menses cycle, but now I feel so completely not myself! I’ve always been sensitive to any chemicals / pills, but in your opinion, are these normal symptoms of going of the pill?, (if so, how long does it last??) and is there anything I can do to help ease the transition to normalcy? Thanks so much in advance for any advice.

    • lauren

      Hi Heather, yes they are normal, but that doesnt mean that you cannot do something about them… no need to torture yourself. I cannot tell you how long they will last because everyone is different. Because you were on the pill for such a long time, it is likely that it will take you longer to get back into balance. Therefore, give the supplements I recommend a try to help your body get back on track. Check out this article for details: http://www.theholykale.com/2013/03/getting-off-birth-control-pills-now-what/

  85. Kylie

    Hi Lauren,
    Thank for your post, it’s really informative. I’ve recently stopped birth control for the first time in over ten years (was on the pill first and then on implanon for 9 years). My period actually returned right on time and the next one after that. I have found that I am always feeling bloated and the scales have gone up quite quickly in a short amount of time, despite me cutting carbs and eating healthily (which normally shows on the scales). Do you think taking DIM would be worthwhile for me or should I wait a bit longer?
    Thank you , Kylie

    • lauren

      Hi Kylie, I would suggest taking the DIM now… no point in waiting. I would also suggest taking the Gallbladder ND to help with bloating. If after 1 month that does not help, I would suggest getting a salivary hormone test done to see where your hormone levels are. You can target your supplements that way.

  86. Sarah

    Lauren,

    Could you shed some light on the types of side effects you experienced from coming off the pill?

    • lauren

      Hi Sarah, I had hair loss, weight gain, acne (back, face and chest), and emotional swings. Once I started on the supplements, I was able to balance out :)

  87. krystal

    Hi. I’ve been on levlen ed for 13 weeks and as of yesterday had to come off due to lower abdominal pain, horrible headaches, nausea and dizziness. It’s been 24 hours without it in my system but I am still experiencing these symptoms. My doctor has run tests but says all is okay. I just want to know if anyone else is going through this because I can’t take much more :’(

  88. krystal

    I also had THE worst anxiety to the point where I had panic attacks. This is horrible. I feel crazy..

  89. I took birth control pills (ortho-tricyclen) from age 16 to 30. I am now 34. I got a copper IUD at age 30. I have been steadily losing my hair since I got off bcp. I thought it would be a 6mo to 1 year process, but my hair has never grown back the way it used to be. I have considered getting the IUD out, but since it works beautifully in all other ways I’m really hoping it’s not the IUD, but rather my own hormones that need balancing. I’ve had thyroid tests and it comes out normal. I am planning on getting your list of basic supplements above and starting with that. I’m also taking Nu-Hair for the last month and it has maybe helped a little? It’s hard to tell. I have been taking it for about a month. I have never lost a large amount of hair or clumps or anything. It’s just that I haven’t gotten any new growth and the hair that is there has not grown very much. Every time I get a hair cut my hair gets shorter and shorter, and thinner and thinner, and more and more damaged. I don’t color my hair or use a blow dryer or anything. Any other words of wisdom besides start taking the basic supplements you listed above? Thanks!

    • lauren

      Hi Shiva, I would definitely try Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs. I have seen amazing results with this product. I would also suggest checking out the comments in the post I did about the IUD. There could be some great insight for you there. As for preparing for the flush, I would still do at least two weeks to 1 month on the product before beginning. It not only allows the body to push out more stones, but it can prevent you from having a bad experience during the cleanse. Good Luck!

  90. Hannah

    Hi Lauren,

    This was a great article! Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

    I stopped taking birth control pills about 6 months ago after being on them for about 6 years. Since that time, I have experienced three very heavy periods that last anywhere between 10-15 days beginning about two months after I stopped taking the pill. They are accompanied by some cramping when they first start. In addition, I have recently started feeling a very sharp pain in my right side around the area that I think my ovary is.

    I am 31 and would like to get pregnant soon. I am interested in knowing if you have any advice for me?

    Thanks again!

    • lauren

      Hi Hannah, since you are so new to coming off the pill, I would not be too concerned about the heavy periods, unless of course it is an overwhelming amount of blood. In that case, you may want to contact your doctor. If not, this often happens when people come off the pill. I would also suggest taking the DIM detox, and the honey/bee pollen blend to support the body. Secondly, in regards to the pain, I would try using castor oil packs. You can find instructions here: http://www.healthbeyondhype.com/info/castor-oil-pack-instructions – this is a great external therapy to nourish the ovaries. If the pain continues, or is worrisome, call your doctor to be sure. Good Luck!

  91. Amber

    Lauren,
    I am so glad I came across your website! I have been wanting to get of BC for some time now and I finally made the decision to go off on Monday night after an in-depth discussion with my boyfriend. I am extremely nervous about what’s to come. I’ve ready many blogs of the things women have experience going off BC, but I am also extremely happy to be able to have my own body back after 11 years! Although it may not sound like it will be fun, this is one of the best Christmas presents I can give myself! I am going to keep a journal and will report back with my experience!

    Thank you again for this helpful information! Hopefully more woman will choose to do the same!

    • lauren

      Hi Amber! Thank you so much for the share, and congratulations on the big change! It really is so wonderful and I hope that your story helps to inspire others as well.

  92. Do you know of any correlation between birth control and joint pain or rapid weight gain, say 40 pounds over two years? Or if having been on the pill for 11 years would cause me to develop those symptoms suddenly? I was put on microgestin a couple of years ago instead of the pill that I was on due to the terrible migraines I was getting, and I have slowly gotten worse and worse joint pain, including shin splint pain I can’t make go away, nor can I explain what’s causing it.

    • lauren

      Hi Beth, I am not familiar with any relationship between joint pain and BC directly, but a weight gain of 40 lbs most certainly correlates to joint pain. A hormone imbalance can lead to weight gain, as many of the older forms of BC lead to weight gain. I would first try to loose the weight, to offset the joint pain, and discuss with your doctor about other options of BC. I hope that helps!

  93. aimee

    Thank heaven for you and this blog! I was feeling so alone and crazy. I have been on birth control basically my whole life (mom put me on Ortho-Novum 777 at age 13, I stopped taking it at age 23 and got pregnant, gave birth at 24, then got back on birth control – Kariva – at age 25, which I took until age 35, then stopped so I could get pregnant with my daughter last year). Besides the moodiness, headaches and insomnia (hah – that sounds so terrible as I write it now), I actually liked being on Kariva. I had glowing skin and my hair was soooo thick and shiny. When I stopped to have a baby, exactly 90 days later I lost over half of my hair and had raging acne on my face and back. I was so depressed. I got pregnant and my hair started growing back and I had pretty, glowing pregnant skin. I had a baby in May and everything was fine until she was 5 months old. I had lost a bit of hair (regular shedding at about 3 months postpartum) but suddenly it was coming out in handfuls. I also had anxiety, weight loss, and my heart was racing. I went to the MD because I thought I had PPD, but turns out it is postpartum thyroiditis. After swearing off birth control pills because of what happened to me the year before, I found myself in a weak moment and I immediately asked for a Kariva prescription. Here is where it gets interesting. I started taking the Kariva and almost immediately my thyoid levels balanced. My hair stopped falling out my complexion cleared up. I was cursed with the awful headaches and insomnia and terrible anger/mood swings. I broke down after 6 weeks of Kariva and started researching synthetic-hormone-free living. I stopped the pills the day I read this blog. But guess what? My thyroid is all jacked up again! My neck is so swollen and I feel off. I suspect when I go for my labs next week my thyroid levels will again show hyperthyroid. Although the doctors won’t admit it, I strongly believe that Kariva did something to my thyroid. I don’t want to have to take synthroid my whole life! It’s hard enough getting off b/c pills because I am so scared of the hair loss and skin problems, but now I have to worry about my thyroid gland as well? I am feeling very hopeless….

    • lauren

      Hi Aimee,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us, the good news is that hyperthyroid is easily addressed with alternative methods than many other conditions. If you email me directly at lauren@theholykale.com, we can talk about some options for you to try.

  94. Lauren

    I am so glad you did this! I personally never stayed on BC for longer than a few months at a time because I was never comfortable with the idea of being on a drug indefinitely- and that was before I got into natural health! So no personal stories myself. But My heart still gets so sad when I see commercials for BC because I know how so not good it is for these girls out there :( not to mention the health of their babies they some day have. One thing- just in case you are ever interested in other information- I have a friend who is a Pharmacist and he actually works on the chemical make up of BC drugs. When he got engaged to his now wife- he specifically researched BC alternatives for her. He actually told her- it was kind of funny actually- that he expressly forbid her to ever get on BC pills because he knew what was in them. He is one of my heroes! Thanks again for your post.

    • lauren

      Wow Lauren! What a powerful share of information! If only we could have people like that speaking up to the consumer so that they can make a REAL educated decision. Fortunately I think the information is starting to spread, and it feels like more women are listening to their bodies, leading them to alternative methods. Good luck to you!

  95. Katarina

    I wonder if you switch from the combined pill to the progestin hormone pill if you’d get the same results

    • lauren

      All hormone pills are going to have some impact on the body, so the goal is to balance the body with natural remedies and then to use non-hormonal forms of birth control. But with that being said, if you need to stay on a hormone form, it would be a good idea to see how you can move to a lower dosage.

  96. Whitney

    I use the Nuva ring. Does it cause the same issues?

    • lauren

      The nuvaRing contains 2 types of hormones (estrogen and progestin), and therefore would have similar side effects.

  97. Soila

    I’m so glad I found this. I was diagnosed with PCOS ten years ago. I am currently taking birth control, and metformin for my PCOS. When I first went to my endocrinologist my testosterone was high which was causing my hairloss. My hairloss is my biggest concern. I do want to get off BC and metformin. I no longer have a gallbladder and I have had an ablation. I have not had a period for about two years now. I guess my question is how would I know if I am regular with my period when I don’t get my period. Prior to being on the pill my periods were very irregular. I would appreciate any feedback. I have my yearly appointment with my endocrinologist in Feb. thank you so Much

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Soila, The goal is to get your period back. I would try Marjoram complex by Weleda along with the adaptogen energizer and eternal jing. I have had a lot of success with the returning of the menstrual cycle with this combination. After a couple months, if it is not back on schedule and your testosterone levels are still too high, I would look to take a Saw Palmetto supplement. There are great clinical trials showing its affect on the reduction of testosterone. As always, consult your doctor before beginning anything though.

  98. Maria

    Hi Lauren
    You have a very interesting blog
    I was taking yaz for almost 2 years now and I have come off it.
    I have read many women on your blog experiencing hair loss, but not many have mentioned how long does the hair loss stay for
    Does this go on for years or does it stop and slow down after some time
    Could you please shed some light on it
    Nice to hear that you have regained nice thick hair now, hope I get it too

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Maria, I did not list times in the post because every women is different. It completely depends on where your hormone levels are, what hormone issues you were dealing with previous to BC (and now have to deal with), your diet, and how you are working with foods and supplements to support the transition. The good news is that no matter how badly the hair gets, it can always grow back.

      • maria

        Thanks for your comments to my earlier comment.
        Off late I am seeing my face and hair are getting extremely oily, will this get better, or do I have to deal with all throughout my life.
        I am into month 3 after stopping my pill. Is there anything I could do reduce the oil in the hair and face
        Thanks
        Maria.

  99. Katie

    Hi Lauren,
    I came across your article while searching for help. I have been off Seasonal bc for 1 month and am experiencing severe cramping for the past week. I decided to stop taking the pill after my second procedure to remove abnormal cells from me cervix, thankfully it was caught in time before they turned cancerous. In “the Ugly” above, reading that the pill decreases your ability to absorb folic acid which can increase abnormal cells, is just another comfort that I made the right choice for my body. I wonder why no doctor has ever explained this to me as a risk, even after my FIRST procedure? Can you please list some natural ways to get by bodies hormones back in line. Do you think I should be taking folic acid (for healthy cell growth) even though I am off the pill? Thank you for sharing.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Katie, I would suggest following the recommendations of my post HERE. It would not be a bad idea to get on a full B vitamin complex as well, because unless you know for sure what your folic acid levels are, it is always important to take the entire range (they get out of balance easily). Another option would be to take a B complex, and then to take extra folic acid in addition. Good Luck!

  100. maria

    Thanks for your comments to my earlier comment.
    Off late I am seeing my face and hair are getting extremely oily, will this get better, or do I have to deal with all throughout my life.
    I am into month 3 after stopping my pill. Is there anything I could do reduce the oil in the hair and face
    Thanks
    Maria.

  101. Kylie

    Hi Lauren,
    I came off the progesterone implant about 6 months ago, after being on it for about ten years. My periods returned without issue (I never really bled on the implant), although my cycle is pretty short and always has been. Initially I was quite fatigued and foggy and felt very bloated a lot of the time, sometimes so much so that I felt short of breath. That seems to be a bit better now but I gained maybe 6 or 7 kilos within two months of coming of the implant – without any dramatic change to my diet. In fact I was trying to eat less, and exercise more. The weight has remained and I cannot budge it. I have had my hormone saliva levels tested by a natropath and they are within reasonably normal range – except DHEA is high. I have also had a blood test for my hormones, and a cortisol test, which seem to also be normal. I’m at my wits end about the weight – but really don’t want to stuff my body around by going back onto the implant. Do you have any suggestions? I live in Oz so finding someone who will deliver the supplement you have suggested here is difficult.

  102. Shelly

    Hi Lauren,

    Thank you for sharing this post! I’ve been struggling on birth control for a while. I’ve tried different doses for the combined pill as well as the progestin only pill. I got off the combined pill because of constant moodiness. I’m still on the progestin only pill but I’m trying to make a decision to stay on it. I’ve only taken it for 2 weeks and I’ve been feeling moody every single day on the 2nd week not to mention insomnia! I’m just curious if I should stick and wait for my hormones to adjust or get off of it so I don’t push my body too much. It boggles my mind how my body still is moody from the progestin only pills compared to the combined! I thought that the progestin only pills would do the trick. I’m really glad you were able to shed some light on fertility after the pill because I’ve heard numerous people having that problem. Thank you!

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Shelly, it is interesting. I had a similar experience when I went from a higher dosage of hormones to a lower dosage of hormones. I actually felt way worse. So I ended up just coming off. In my opinion, it does not see better to “wean” yourself off. I think it is best just to stop all together if that is the choice you want to make. I hope that helps!

  103. joy

    hello good am, i just want to ask. i havent got my period since i have delivered my baby boy its about6mos already. is it ok if i start oral pills even if i have not got my period.and is it normal 6mos with no period. i last month i took a PT and its negative. now @6mos i decided to take oral pill.just now.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Joy – that is up to you but there are other options to try. I have found that mixing wild honey and bee pollen (like explained in by getting off birth control now what) post helps immensely. The Eternal Jing product by Dragon Herbs I recommend is also very helpful as well. Finally, Marjarom Compound by Weleda is a good choice too.

  104. Amanda

    Hi Lauren!

    My name is Amanda and I have been on the pill for about 6 years now. I am 22 years old and I started taking the pill when I was 16. I was put on it by my gyno for acne, cramps and irregular periods. The first pill I was put on was Yaz. I had no problem with it and loved being on the pill. After being on it for so long I wanted to get off and see what my body would do without the pill. So I stopped the pill October of ’12 and everything was fine until about 5 months off the pill (March ’13). I thought I was just getting my period but I was spotting for almost 3 weeks after, I got really scared and that’s when I decided to get back on. I was prescribed to Yaz but prices were too high for my insurance so I had to switch to Sprintec for the passed 4-5 months. I’ve been on them since and just today I got my period a week early from when I’m supposed to and I’m on the pill. I have been debating whether or not to stop taking them I am just worried I’m going to bleed for 3 weeks straight like last time I stopped. I am okay with an irregular period but I am just worried about always spotting or bleeding. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Amanda, I would suggest starting on the honey and pollen mixture, along with the DIM Detox. This should help right out of the gate. I would also suggest a product called Marjoram Compound by Weleda. Take that in your water am and pm – typically 15 drops am and pm is best used.

  105. Amanda

    Hi Lauren!

    My name is Amanda I am 22 years old and I’ve been on BC for almost 6 years. I began taking the pill (Yaz) when I was 16 because of cramps, acne, and an irregular period. I never had a problem with them they kept everything under control but as I got older I wanted to see how my body would react without them. So in October of ’12 I got off of them and I was doing fine until March ’13. I got my period and then I was lightly bleeding/spotting for 3 weeks straight. I got scared and went to see my gyno and she put me back on the pill (Yaz). The bleeding stopped and I was fine but just today I started spotting and I’m not supposed to get my period until next week. I switched from Yaz to Sprintec about 4-5 months ago and I don’t know if that has anything to do with it? But I honestly don’t mind the irregular periods I just want to get off of the pill. The only thing that I am worried about is bleeding and spotting for that long I am not sure if that is normal. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Amanda, it takes time for the body to adjust once getting off the pill so I would not be worried about abnormal periods, spotting etc. It can take a few months to get back on track, you just have to stick with it!

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