Getting Off Birth Control Pills? Now What?

Mar 6, 2013 by

Getting off the Birth Control Pill

First off, I want to tell you that I have received and overwhelming response from all you readers in regards to my birth control pill post (if you haven’t read it go HERE). It is amazing how many of you out there are searching for explanations and answers. I commend you all for sharing your story with us, and for having the guts to come out and express what your experience has been like. I have received on average 10 emails weekly from women all over the world, inquiring about what to do once they have made the big decision, so I think it is time for me to share with all of you the advice I have been sharing with them.

Now, to make this very clear, this advice is based on MY personal experience, and my experience working with others. I am not a doctor specializing in the endocrine system, and I am not saying that this is a full proof plan. This is simply what I found has worked best. Secondly, getting off the birth control pill is a choice, and it was my personal choice. I am not here to tell you what is right for you and your body.

If you have read my previous post about the Birth Control Pill, then you may have been waiting for this follow up for quite a long time. And the reason it has taken be so long to write it is because frankly it has taken me awhile to figure what in the world to do, because this most certainly has been a journey. Coming off the pill puts your body into a swing where you can experience a host of symptoms, some of which seem as though you are going backwards, but a ton that solidify that you are in fact making process. But I can say that after 3 years of being off the pill, I have never felt better. Yay!!

Birth Control Pills

In a nut shell, here is are the negative, yet TEMPORARY things I experienced:

  • Rapid weight gain, and then weight loss
  • Acne, especially on the upper back
  • Dry skin

And here are the positive things I experienced:

  • Full hair regrowth – I literally have 50% more hair then before
  • A return of a sex drive
  • Clearance of foggy brain
  • ENERGY!
  • Sound sleep – goodbye insomnia
  • Regular periods – only after the absence of for a few months
  • NO PMS – especially cramps *this was a tough one to figure out
  • HAPPY mood :)

Amazing Yasmin Ad

The reason I am giving you this list is because so many women will get off the pill, experience some negative side effects, get scared, and go back on. You have to realize, that after years of natural hormone production sedation, your body has to re-learn how to make and balance your hormones. This is not an easy task, and it does take time for your body to adjust. Therefore, MANAGE your expectations. EXPECT that things are not going to be perfect, and IT IS going to take TIME. I cannot tell you how long it is going to take, because every body is different, and the duration of your time on the pill is different. But I can tell you, that you CAN normalize your hormones, you can make them yourself, but you have to plan, be diligent and invest in the process. This does not happen over night, but the benefits are so great it is worth the challenge.

Now, I am going to give you a run-down of the strategy that I took to balance my hormones. Each person may have to adjust this program to her body type, weight, and hormone issues. Therefore, use this as a guide, but do realize that in some cases, this may not be the end-all be-all for you. You may have to get your hormones tested (I like the salivary hormone test), and you may have to work with an alternative practitioner. People who are dealing with more complicated cases such as PCOS, endometriosis, etc. may find that this program helps greatly, but may need extra assistance. Finally, if you have or are dealing with any diseases, conditions or cancers, make sure to check with your practitioner before taking any supplements.

Getting Off the Pill

The Foundation:

Diet – diet is going to be really important in getting the hormones back on track because you need to provide the body with the necessary tools, or nutrients, to make hormones. Secondly, you cannot consume foods that are going to interfere with hormone production and balance. Diet is essential, and you cannot expect changes without a change in diet. Check out my Hormone Balancing Food & Herb Diet for more details.

Xenoestrogens – these guys are a big player in getting your hormones back into balance. Xenoestrogens are estrogen mimickers that act as or imitate estrogen in the body. They can either be synthetic or natural chemical compounds and they interrupt your normal hormone balance. It is necessary to eliminate these guys from your diet because they will BLOCK your natural production. Not good.

Main culprits of xenoestrogen exposure:

  • Conventional meat: red meat, chicken, pork, turkey
  • Conventional dairy: cheese, milk, butter, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese
  • Conventional produce
  • Soy
  • Beer and conventional wine
  • Plastics: water bottles, Tupperware
  • Conventional personal care products
  • Aluminum canned goods: Look for BPA-free

Soy – phytoestrogen exposure

 

Saturated Fats – saturated fat is what the body uses to actually make hormones by the liver. Consuming healthy saturated fats daily is going to be very important for getting your hormones back on track. I always suggest consuming coconut oil or butter, because it is also very stimulating to they thyroid, a key player in hormone balance. 1-2 tbs daily of coconut oil/butter is a great way to begin.

Coconuts contain healthy Saturated Fats

 

Bioflavonoids – these guys are going to act as little building blocks for hormone production. My favorite way to get these in the body is through the use of pollens. Bee pollen and flower pollen. My personal favorite product for flower pollens is  Ultra Pollen by Premier Research Labs -Taking 6 daily is a great start. I then make a separate product using raw bee pollen using raw honey. I eat this mixture daily. The benefit of bioflavonoids is that they help normalize your period, and may even help you to get your period back if you are not getting it regularly. Secondly, the honey and pollen mixture is an excellent LIVER tonic. The liver performs hormone synthesis, and without proper liver function, your hormones cannot balance. Therefore, this honey and pollen mixture has a two-fold benefit. You can try using both the Ultra Pollen with the honey mixture for a stronger effect, or you can take one or the other. The honey mixture is a great one to start with to see if it is therapeutic enough.

* To make the honey pollen mixture: get a large glass jar and mix 2/3 RAW, unheated honey and 1/3 raw bee pollen . Both must be truly raw otherwise the benefits are not going to be there. Take 2 tbs daily. **Start with 1/2 tsp and work you way up because this can cause detoxification of the liver. Secondly, if you are allergic to pollens, consult your doctor first. If you are not sure you have a good local option of the pollen and honey, go to the previous links to see my favorites.

Bee Pollen and Honey contain vital Bioflavonoids

Vitamin Replacement

If you had read my first post on birth control pills, then you probably remember me mentioning that birth control pills cause a vitamin B6 deficiency. B6 deficiency leads to poor gallbladder function. As a result you may experience symptoms such as poor sleep, inability to digest fatty foods, bumps on the back of your arms, dry skin and overall toxicity since the gallbladder’s job is to be an exit route, via the bile, for toxins coming from the liver. Therefore it is imperative that you supplement with LIVE-SOURCE B6 and the complex of B vitamins. I personally use 1 tsp of Gallbladder ND by Premier Research Labs daily. I also like to pair it with a general B vitamin product called Max B ND by Premier Research Labs, so that my B vitamins stay in balance. In some cases, depending on how long you have been on the pill, you may need to take B6 indefinitely.

* Note, not all B6 and B vitamins are crated equally, and this specific product is what I have found to work the best. Do not be surprised if you do not get results from other products.

Gallbladder ND – Essential B6 source

 

Xenoestrogen Detoxification

One of the key things that needs to be done is to detoxify xenoestrogens from the body. We will be detoxifying and converting xenoestrogens from both the birth control pill and from other exposures. This will be imperative to hormone balance. I personally like DIM Detox by Pure Encapsulations since it not only contains DIM, which promotes healthy estrogen conversion in the body, but it also contains other ingredients such as milk thistle that promote liver detoxification. I personally used 2 capsules daily.

DIM Detox

 

Symptom Specific

The birth control pill influences the body in such a way that you most likely have experienced some sort of side effect. Therefore, the following are a few supplements that I used to offset those side effects and to support the normalization of my hormones.

Hair Loss – this was a big one for me personally and the ONLY thing that I found to work was Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs. I swear by this supplement and take 4-6 daily without fail.

Energy, Mood and PMS Elimination – these took me awhile to figure out, as I had terrible period cramps before going on the pill. The combination that really helped me to eliminate completely all my problems with cramps and PMS was Eternal Jing and Adaptogen Energizer by Dragon Herbs. A LIFE SAFER. I take 2-4 Eternal Jing and 6 Adaptogen Energizer daily.

*Note: Tonic herbs like Eternal Jing, Adaptogen Energizer and Hair and Nails have a cumulative effect. This means that they can take up to 2- 3 months to show results since they work on the root issues of the body. Therefore, do not stop taking them if you do not see results right away. This does not mean that they are not working. This is the same with all tonic herbs. The good news is that they work on the body as a whole, mentally, spiritually and physically, so there is a good chance you will notice a benefit beyond just hormone balance. 

Acne – I actually never had to take anything in addition to the previous suggestions to get rid of my acne. The thing about acne is that it is influenced by hormones, especially high testosterone, but it is also influenced greatly by the digestive tract. Therefore, making sure that you are properly digesting your food and having at least 1 bowel movement daily is going to be imperative. This is also where the CLEAN diet comes into play. You cannot eat white flour, white sugar, processed foods and foods loaded with xenoestrogens (especially dairy) and expect to have great skin. Period. Check out my Hormone Balancing Food & Herb Diet for more details about what to eat and not eat.

Another aspect of acne is high testosterone levels. This typically manifests as acne on the chin, chest and upper back. This is common when you are dealing with PCOS. If you have issues with high testosterone (can be verified by getting your hormone levels tested), it is imperative to keep your intake of sugar and carbohydrates low. This will help to keep your insulin levels balanced. If you need extra help with balancing blood sugar, I would suggest taking GlucoFunction by Pure Encapsulations. To lower testosterone, try taking Saw Palmetto by Pure Encapsulations. Although this is commonly taken for the prostate, saw palmetto has been shown in research to lower testosterone and therefore can be taken by women.

Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs

Final Word

Now not all of these supplements are just for normalizing hormones but are also amazing for the body in many other ways. The eternal jing, hair and nails, and adaptogen energizer are adaptogens, meaning they help the body overcome stress and physical weakness, and they also build the strength of the body. For me personally I have decided to stay on them because I have never felt so great. As for the DIM detox, this is great as a preventative since our xenoestrogen exposure is so inevitable. As for the foundation of bioflavonoids and coconut oil, these are overall essential to good health.

Keeping your hormones balanced, and the liver open are two keys elements for true anti-aging, so just keep that in mind when you start down this path. As for finding out the dosages that are right for you, I suggest contacting the companies directly.

If you find that you are seeming to do everything right, and you are still having trouble with hormone balance, then you may have to look into liver/gallbladder cleansing. A congested liver/gallbladder is often an underlying cause of stubborn hormone imbalance, and it may take deep cleansing to get back online. Check my Liver Gallbladder Cleansing post for more details.

Feel free to share with us your experiences and any other therapies that you have tried to help with getting off birth control pills and good luck!!

THK

 

343 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this information! I went off the pill just over a year ago, which wasn’t easy after being on it 24/7 for several years to help control my endometriosis. It can still be a challenge, but I don’t miss the side effects of the pill. A great book to read is The Way of the Happy Woman: http://www.amazon.com/The-Way-Happy-Woman-Living/dp/1577319826/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362758082&sr=8-1&keywords=the+way+of+the+happy+woman+living+the+best+year+of+your+life
    It’s a great guide to living without birth control. In addition to a vegan diet, I’ve found that yoga and acupuncture are a huge help. Thanks again for the info!

    • lauren

      I will definitely check that out! I have not read that before :)

      • hi Lauren,
        Dim detox i was considering taking on your website. my sister told me her dr. told her to take herbs, is the dim detox enough or should i get the herbs as well?
        thanks!

        • lauren

          Hi Lauren, it depends. The DIM is great for converting the estrogens from the BC, but if you have been on it for longer than a year, I would highly suggest the Gallbladder ND as well to replace loss B6. If you are having symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, low sex drive, then you will want to add in additional herbs such as the eternal jing and adaptogen energizer.

    • Pamela

      Hi Lauren

      I went off the pill about a month and a half ago and am experiencing hair loss…A lot! i just went to the doctor because I didn’t know what it was and its not normal…it’s like overall thinning…i get stressed from the hair loss and I don’t want to loose more. I am thinking it might be related to the birth control pill ….is it because your body is trying to detox???
      Also – my scalp is a bit itchy

      Also – what are the supplements you recommend? Thank you for this article…..

      • lauren

        Hi Pamela. I would 100% try Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs. This is a very effective product that is vital for hair regrowth. I would also start taking a B vitamin supplement as well. You can also eliminate all sugar because the itchy scalp could be due to sugar consumption.

    • Kristle B

      I was diagnosed with endometriosis when I went in for surgery last Sept to have a golf ball sized cyst removed from my right ovary. The surgeon removed A LOT of endometriosis and told me that I had very little options to deal with it: go on the birth control pill 24/7 to stop menstrating or get a hysterectomy, well that was and still isnt an option since I want babies.
      I am 30 years old and have been on and off the pill since I was 16. Before descovering I had a cyst on my ovary I was off the pill from the age of 27-29 trying to cleanse my system of it, but was devastated to hear I had to stay on it for the rest of my life 24/7 or until I decided to have children to prevent the endometriosis from coming back. I HATE taking pills or anything that doesn’t stem from natural/organic products. I eat organic foods and take a lot of herbal organic supplements but since being told I had to take the pill 24/7 Ive struggled to loose some weight, Im constantly tired and have been spotting/bleeding for over a year. Three months ago I went to the gyno and complained and they put me on a stronger birth control pill, I was taking Alesse and then they put me on Marvelone. For the first couple months I felt great and zero spotting but in the last going on 4 weeks Im back to spotting and feeling gross again. I had another gyno appt today and they recommended I try a pill that was successful in Europe; Visanne….but this is only supposed to be for short term use until you want to get pregnant and to curb the pelvic pains and bleeding and is NOT a birth control. Im feeling super frustrated and just thinking I need to get the heck off the pill 100% and hopefully get back to feeling healthy. You indicated that you have endometriosis….how have you handled things since going off the pill? Have your pains come back? Are your periods tolerable? I’ve been researching options all day and I know what I want to do, but its nice to chat with other people that are in the same boat as I am.
      I do want to have children in the future (next couple years) but want to be as healthy as possible before trying to conceive :)

      • Lela Martinez

        Did you ever get a response on this?
        I’ve been on birth control for years from the recommendation of my gynecologist to keep the endometriosis at bay.
        I stopped my birth control last month and am doing the FAM method.
        I am worried about the endometriosis. I still may want children in the future, but no longer want to pollute my body with birth control.
        Any advice is appreciated!
        Thanks!

        • lauren

          Hi Lela, what is the response you are looking for? Sorry, if you asked previously, sorry I cannot see it anymore.

  2. Lizzy

    HI Lauren!

    Thank you again for all of your incredible information. You have truly been a life saver and an inspiration to me. I have a question regarding maca powder. What are your thoughts about taking it or taking Macafem? And also, how long did you take the DIM Detox for? Or are you still taking it?

    Thank you again for this post and all of your help!!

    ~Lizzy

  3. I believe every one should come here and read this because thousands of people are taking pills and they don’t have any kind of clue what the side effects will be once again thank you for all the information

  4. L

    Thank you for your article. What would your suggestion be on anxiety, extreme fatigue and insomnia? Been off the pill 1y and 11mons although I’m better now then a year ago I still am not 100 percent better or myself. Easily over whelmed, barely functioning and depressed….the worst part is the anxiety..OY! I’m taking whole food pre natal vitamin, I’m also trying to conceive, so far 4 months have passed and nothing =\

    • lauren

      I would definitely suggest taking the Gallbladder ND. The gallbladder lies on the deep sleep meridian and is a HUGE factor in insomnia. I would also use the Eternal Jing and Adaptogen Energizer. These are excellent for improving energy and balancing the hormones which will be necessary to get pregnant. As for the anxiety, a lot of times this has a link to adrenal/kidney fatigue, both of which can be improved by the eternal jing and adaptogen energizer. *Remember to always consult with a doctor.

    • Missy

      The pill depletes you of many essential nutrients like B- vitamins, Magnesium, Zinc, and Selenium. For anxiety, stress, and fatigue I like http://www.radiantlifecatalog.com/product/premier-max-stress-b-nd/superfoods-supplements (1/2 – 1 tsp/day in a shot of water in the morning) For insomnia (aside from balancing blood sugar) and also for stress I am loving http://www.amazon.com/Magnesium-Glycinate-tabs-Douglas-Labs/dp/B0006SVZY6 (up to 6 pills/day)

  5. Chloe

    Hi Lauren,

    thank you for sharing. I am glad I found your post at the right. I am in a dilemma that a guy I am seeing asked me to go on the pill and he doesn’t like to wear rubber.

    do you know any other alternative apart from taking pills?

    I am passionate about raw and organic food and I am against any chemical tablets that goes into my body if uncessary, I have very strong resistance of going back on the pills again. I feel this relationship either breaks or works depending on my decision of taking the pills or not.

    it sounds terrible..

    hope to hear some feedback from you. thank you

    • lauren

      Hi Chloe. Thanks for writing in. The only other option I have explored is an IUD, but it has its downsides as well. Check out my post on the IUD. The truth is that most men do not like wearing a condom, but in the end you have to protect yourself in a way that YOU feel is best for you. You will have to talk to him about your choice and hopefully that will be something that he respects. If not, then that will be a bridge you will have to cross at that time. I wish there were better options, but hopefully in the future we will have more choices.

      • Angela

        A great option for birth control is the Fertility Awareness Method! There is a book called Taking Charge of your Fertility and it has been a huge help as a natural birth control! It explains so much about our bodies and cycles. And once you have established how to track your time of ovulation, there is a time frame when you are safe against pregnancy. However if this a new guy on your life, protecting yourself from diseases comes first. There is also a product called a Lady Comp that is also great to go along with the fertility book. I thought about an IUD after discontinuing birth control, but I read many scary experiences. I hope this helps! And thank you Lauren for posting this additional birth control pill article! :-)

        • lauren

          Hi Angela, Thank you so much for sharing with us! A great book to check into. But yes, we need to make sure disease is not on the table, and I am sure this is not as effective as other forms, but its great to have more knowledge and other choices. Thank you again!!

          • Fay

            Hi Angela and Lauren and Chloe, Just have to say I’m reading that book about FAM now and also just went off the pill a couple weeks ago. Aside from feeling great, I also have been enjoying latex-free condoms. Chloe, not sure if your guy dislikes rubber/latex or just condoms in general… There’s also a female condom that comes in non-latex, so less irritating. FAM is so great because you learn so much about your own cycle and all the amazing things happening. Also it’s just great to know for general health.

          • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

            Great suggestion Fay!

    • Charles

      Encourage him to have the snip. It is close to painless, permanent and his partners will never have to worry.

    • Mel

      Get a diaphragm, maybe? That’s what I’m doing. Then your guy doesn’t have to put on a condom.

      … I’m going off generic Yasmin after 7 years (32 years old)… don’t want kids, just don’t want to mess with my body anymore. I have potassium retention (among other things, weight gain, I think I am hypothyroid but want to balance all this stuff out first). I didn’t want the hormonal IUD, and I didn’t want the copper IUD because it can cause too much copper absorption.

      good luck. :)

    • Alyssa

      VCF Film. My boyfriend and I started using it since I went off of the pill from being on it many years minus 11 months from having my daughter in 2008. VCF film is a non horomonal birth control film thats placed in the vagina and after 15 minutes turns into a gel. It is a sprrmacide. Birth control has causes me so many problems in my life and I’ve lost a few relationships because of it. I have a horrific hormone problem as well as pmdd. The film is the most comfortable for him and I both because it dissolves with your own body fluids apposed to the sponge or foam. He and I both have a daughter from previous relationships and both sat down talked about it and came that coming.off birth control was the best option we were on the edge of loosing our relationship because of my mood swings. Also he and I would like to have a child and so for now we use the film. Consider it. Its called VCF film if your Googling it. I hope this helps

      • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

        Hi Alyssa, Thank you for your comment, but I would not recommend the use of VCF. Spermicides can be quite harmful to both the woman and the man using them. The active ingredient, a chemical called Nonoxynol-9, has been shown to disrupt the delicate balance of bacteria in the vaginal tissue and can even increase changes of E. Coli colonization. This ingredient has also shown in studies to cause vaginal and rectal irritation that can heighten the chance of becoming infected with HIV. Regular use of N-9 also seemed to increase the risk of infection with sexually transmitted human papillomaviruses (HPVs), which are the ones that can cause cervical cancer. Another thing is that it’s produced through ethoxylation of alkylphenols. Other ingredients that are manufactured by ethoxylation have an increased risk of being contaminated with toxins like 1,4-dioxane, which is a carcinogen. In fact, the Environmental Working Group specifically lists contamination with 1,4-dioxane as a concern with this ingredient. Studies have found that nonoxynols like N-9 have a mild to medium estrogenic function, which could indicate a potential hormone-disruptive activity. It can also last long enough to potentially disrupt fragile environmental systems.

  6. Pam

    I just read your first article and then this one and they explain A LOT! I tried getting of the pill about 9 years ago after being on it for 15 years. I experienced debilitating depression and after 6 months got back on it. It took another 6 months to feel normal. I researched my experience and couldn’t find anything. Then a year later, after about a year of minor symptoms, I had my gallbladder removed. No stones, just crystalization within the organ preventing the free flow of bile. I wonder if it is related. Plus I am hypothyroid. Related? Plus other symptoms you listed. Hmm.

    You mentioned the use of a supplement for the gallbladder, but would I still need to take it? Plus, later when I talked to my ob/gyn about it, she recommended a taper from the pill. Any comment on that? Please keep the info coming. This is the only information I have seen on the problems of getting off the pill. Thank you.

    • lauren

      Hi Pam! Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is amazing how we are not informed about the potential side effects of birth control before getting on it. As for the gallbladder, surprisingly you still need to take gallbladder nutrients although the gallbladder is no longer there. You will see that the Gallbladder ND will be extremely beneficial to you. In addition, I would consider looking into working towards liver and gallbladder cleanses. Check out my Master Liver/Gallbladder Flush article. As for tapering off the pill, I have not really heard that. I have always been told to just stop after your period. A great product for Hypothyroid is Thyroven by Premier Research Labs. Although often times the thyroid will go hypo if there is low progesterone. Once the progesterone levels are normalized, the thyroid often normalizes as well. Therefore, I would suggest getting a salivary hormone panel done to see where you are.

  7. Hi again,

    Thanks so much for this wonderful post. I detailed my transition in a blog:

    http://www.sweeteningthepill.blogspot.com

    which I turned into a book which will be out soon:

    http://www.facebook.com/sweeteningthepill

    I will drop you an email as I’d love to chat further.

    • lauren

      How amazing Holly!! So great to see you really getting the word out :)

  8. Larisa Blakely

    Thank you for sharing. You just made my next step much more easier.

  9. Angela Hamilton

    Lauren, thank you so much for writing this article and the article you wrote previously about your experiences coming off the pill. This has been something I have been contemplating for the past year or so and your articles have given me that last final push I needed to dive in and be open to whatever comes next. I hope my transition will be smooth but I do have a couple of major concerns. I notice your detox/journey included taking multiple supplements daily. In the past I have taken multiple vitamin pills each day and haven’t reaped much benefit from them (actually, the omega 3 pills that I took to combat dry eye syndrome was making me nauseated). I noticed that you mention that most people do not find effectiveness from many vitamin supplements, but conversely your belief in the particular supplements you have taken and suggested, so I am not doubting their effectiveness. But the combined cost of each supplement is a little overwhelming, not to mention the idea of taking something manufactured/processed in large quantities, every day, for an unknown amount of time is daunting. I really believe in food as medicine and was hoping to find some information about eating more live-source vitamins targeted towards coming off and detoxing from hormonal birth control. My partner and I have drastically changed the way we eat since last November and have noticed the benefits now for months. We are passionate about eating for optimal health, and are discovering something new, organic, nutritious, and yummy all the time! So, its not that I’m doubting your suggestions about which supplements to use. I would just prefer if there was a way to eat for the same health benefits (and an option that wasn’t quite as expensive) instead of taking so many capsules.

    My second major concern is the theory that the artificial hormones in birth control pills have affected my choice in a partner (due to reversing my preference in pheromones, I am to understand?). I have been with my boyfriend for almost a year now, and have been on birth control pills for about 6 years straight (so I have been on the pill the entire duration of our relationship). I have never felt so strongly about anyone, we have been, and continue to be, so very much in love and we both feel that we are THE one for each other. I do believe he is the one I am going to marry as he is so good to me and so good FOR me and is such an intelligent, honest and respectful man. Not to mention we have a very strong and intense ‘chemistry’ and attraction that goes beyond just the physical. It is quite simply, the best, most loving and caring and healthy relationship I have ever experienced and had the pleasure to be in. So I am not exaggerating when I say that this documented potential side-effect of the pill has me absolutely TERRIFIED, and almost makes me want to forget about going off the pill completely and just give up. If coming off the pill makes it so that I’m not as in love with/attracted to the man I want to be with forever, due to some alteration in chemical pheromone scent-based attractiveness or whatever, then I would be tempted to hop right back on it. Has anyone you know experienced this? It is such a horrible thought! But of course I do not want to revert to being back on the pill (I realise in most aspects, such as acne or mood swings, it gets worse before it gets better, but in terms of endangering/affecting my relationship, I do not know if I am ready for that). I am the kind of person who will stick with something once started. And I do believe that there are so many benefits to coming off it (decreased risk for certain cancers and blood clots and emotional re-stability being but a few). I haven’t felt myself emotionally for the past 6 years. In the same year that I started on the pill, I gained 20 pounds that no amount of exercise seems to affect (I have pretty much accepted that it’s a permanent 20-pound addition), often I feel like I’m on an emotional roller-coaster, I have experienced intense rage like never before, and very moody to the point where I cry for no legitimate reason whatsoever. And I have found that these side-effects have become more intense since I was switched a couple of months ago (without consultation) to a generic brand of my birth control pill, which does have different ingredients (though I was assured it was the exact same pill). The hormonal dosages are the same but most of the inactive additives are different (I have yet to research exactly what povidone K 30 is, but I do not appreciate it being in my pills when my last brand, Aviane, did not have it, and this generic Alysena brand does and I was not asked if I would be open to switching).

    I haven’t started my journey yet technically (just finishing up my period, but once it is finished I will NOT be opening that next blister pack of pills), but it seems like it is quite the ride. Again, thank you for sharing your story. I can see that you have inspired and supported SO many women out there seeking answers.

    Hoping you are well (and thanks for reading!),
    Angela Hamilton

    • lauren

      Good Morning Angela.
      For one, I 100% believe in nutritional supplements and find that they are very necessary in order to rebalance the body, especially in conditions where the body becomes out of balance and is exhibiting conditions such as disease, toxicity and symptoms. With that being said, the majority of supplements on the market are toxic, and ineffective. Therefore, I ONLY promote live-source, whole foods supplements that are manufactured without any added excipients, binders, fillers, or glues and that are made in vegetable capsules. You can read my whole article series on supplements HERE. BUT I am not saying that you can only use supplements and not change your diet. DIET is imperative as well.

      As for your partner, those are just studies and it does not mean that you are not going to be no longer attracted to your partner if you come of birth control. I would not worry so much about this. There are many people who have gone off birth control and it has not effected their relationship. In fact, for the most people it improves their relationship. Women tend to gain back their sex drive once off BC. Good Luck!

      • Katie

        I am actually on here reading this because I, too, I am 100% utterly, completely terrified of this happening with my partner. This is absolutely, by far and away, no questions asked, the best relationship I have EVER in and I am so scared that going off BC will ruin it. I have been on the pill for about 5 years, in this relationship for about 7 months, and I’m mortified. I mean, I’m having to excuse myself from work because it’s all I can think about and I can’t keep from crying. I know that it’s just a small-scale study that says it can happen, but there are horror stories all over the internet. And of course, I realize that the MILLIONS of women who went off the pill and had no problem with their relationship don’t go on the internet and talk about it. But I wish they would! I’ve talked to my mother numerous times and she insists that everything will be fine. She was on the pill when she met my Dad and (obviously) isn’t on it anymore and they’ve been married for 23 years! She also pointed out that all of her friends and sisters were on it and none of them had any kind of issue in their relationships.

        I’m just so scared and can’t shake it.

        • lauren

          Hi Katie, what was mentioned is something that can happen, but like all things in the world, you can never make choices based on fear, or what MAY happen. You have to do what is right for you and your body, and it seems as though the anxiety you are dealing with now maybe already influencing your relationship. If it is right for you to come off, then everything will work out. There is no place for fear here, and you will work through everything accordingly as it comes up. And like you already mentioned, there are so many examples of relationships that were not negatively influenced by this decision.

  10. nikki

    Why is it that we gain weight? I just went off of it yesterday, meaning yesterday I should have started, and have been trying really hard to find ways to regulate my hormones to not gain weight. Is there a way not to that you would suggest?

    • lauren

      Your weight is intimately tied to your hormones. Hence, when they become imbalanced, you can gain weight. Now not everyone does, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Plus, sometimes it comes on for a couple weeks, and then comes right back off. To avoid it, just make sure to keep exercising, eating right and utilizing the supplements to balance the hormones.

      • nikki

        Thanks so much for responding, I really appreciate it!

        • nikki

          One more question, and this goes out to all of you women as well! If we aren’t going on birth control pills, what the best, most effective way you ladies, and Lauren, think is? My mom is so scarred that I’m off the pill and is telling me to investigate other options. What is the best option then if your really not ready for a baby and are married/in a committed relationship?

          • charlotte

            Hello,

            I went of the pill about a month ago.
            I stopped it for about 6 months ago (Jamsin) after 15 yrs on it; Except so acne problems, I was really happy and felt relieved (mood, no more foggy mind).
            Havin a kyst on one of my ovary I cannot put a IUD before I have it taken out, so my ob gyb put me on a only progesterone pill about 2 months ago. I started feeling really bad, stressed and low so I stopped it mid-cycle.
            It has been a month and I gained 6kg while actually having a healthier diet and exercise 3 times a week. I am devastated. I am pretty sure it is my hormones, but I don’t know how to regulate them.
            What herbs/treatment would you recommend, from your experience?

            Thank you so much,

          • lauren

            Hi Charlotte, I would just follow the recommendations in the post, those are what have worked for me and my clients.

  11. Sinéad

    Hi

    I’ll be finished my 6th cycle of BC pills next week and I’m strongly considering stopping altogether due to a few unwanted side effects. However, I started the pill for hormonal acne – manageable on a day to day basis but flared up badly with stress. You mention acne as a temporary side effect – I was wondering if you had skin problems before you started taking it? I know everyone’s different but how long did it take for it to clear up?

    Wonderful article, I’ll be following it religiously!

    • lauren

      This is a hard one because problems that people have before they go on the pill have a tendency to return once you come off. This is because the root of the problem was never solved and the birth control serves to manage the symptoms only. Therefore, it may be that your acne will come back, but it will give you the chance to actually tackle it head on. Diet is going to be imperative for you as well as most likely doing some cleansing. I would suggest finding a alternative practitioner in your area to help you. If you need a reference, you can email me personally at lauren@theholykale.com and I will see if I know anyone in your area.

  12. Noelani

    Hi Lauren,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and this information. I just went off the pill about 3 weeks ago, because I have been suffering with hair loss/thinning hair for about 4 1/2 years. I started noticing it when I was 18, about 3-4 months after I started taking birth control, and no one (including doctors) could tell me what was going on and they played down my concerns that it could be related to the pill. After doing some research on my own, I finally became convinced that it was the pill causing my hair problems so now I am on a mission to get myself naturally healthy and do what I can to restore my hair. I have already made some of these important changes in my diet, and I am considering buying the dragon herbs supplement. But I have some questions for you…

    1). By “Conventional,” do you mean meat/dairy/produce that isn’t organic, hormone free, etc.? I’m on the fence about going vegan so I want to incorporate good meat/dairy into my diet. 2). About how long would you recommend taking these supplements (detox, B-6, bee pollen)? — I am a poor graduate student and I know that these good foods and vitamins can get expensive :/ Also, 3) If I feel I need to go to a doctor about hormone problems, what kind of doctor should I try to find?

    • lauren

      Hello Noelani! Thank you for writing in. To answer your question, yes conventional meaning not organic, free-range, grass-fed, antibiotic and hormone free. I would suggest finding a local farmers market where you can talk to the farmers about the quality of their meat/chicken/fish/eggs/dairy. If you have a whole foods or organic market close by, that would be the second best option. I would recommend taking the products for about 6 weeks to start. Depending on how you are doing, then you can make a decision from there. If necessary, I would suggest looking for a naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist or chiropractor. If you need a suggestion, email me personally for a reference.
      One more thing – about the hair loss, you may have to take the supplement ongoing for months before you have full hair growth return.

    • Allison

      Hello Ladies!
      I have had this feeling in me that I really need to get off birth control for the past 6 months or so. I have slowly started my transition into eating cleaner – trying to stick to a paleo diet as much as possible. However, even after I have eliminated grains, breads, dairy and all processed foods, I still haven’t had this surge of energy that everyone claims to have when they start eating healthy, seems like I have less energy! It is very frustrating! Especially when I have a craving for something not so healthy and I think “well eating healthy hasn’t paid off anyways, why not?!” Besides some fat loss, I really haven’t had any great side effects from eating clean. So I started looking into why this could be… Especially because I have become increasingly aware of my thinning hair and how much is falling out.
      So birth control seems like the only logical explanation, as that is the only pill I take besides a multivitamin and biotin. Everyone says it is probably stress – which right now could be because I’m getting ready to start a doctorate program and move out of state. But this has been an ongoing problem, not just the past few months.
      I do have some concerns though… I just started my new pack after my cycle ended, so I have about 3 weeks to go until I can get off it I guess. This means I’ll be just starting grad school. Do you think this will be detrimental to my need to be concentrating on school if I go off the pill then?
      Noelani – have you had any problems as I see you are also a grad student! I just don’t want to lose focus and not perform optimally when I need to be very active and engaged in class and during my fieldwork training.
      Do you suggest that I take the supplements in order to help smooth the transition while I am in grad school Lauren? I’m nervous because I had debilitating cramps before I started the pill (sometimes still do) and I don’t want to have to deal with that… I can’t miss school now! lol
      The hair and nails is something I’ll definitely need to try – I have taken Biotin for over a year now and things have just gotten worse! Now my nails break and crack all the time and they never grow… I use to have to clip them every few days because they grew so fast! Same with my hair!! Now it is just thin and it never seems to grow.

      What do you suggest about going to the chiropractor? Just to get structurally balanced? I have one now, so I was hoping you could give me some pointers on what to tell him in order to help me ease into this new transition I’ll be going through!

      Thank you so much for posting all this information!! I’m excited for the journey of getting off the pill. Hope to hear from you!!

      Also, just so some people are aware. I did learn that when you first get off the pill you are super fertile for a short spurt of time and then when your body figures out what is going on is when people find difficulty trying to become pregnant. So if you are coming off the pill in order to get pregnant, that is what I have been taught from my mentors in biological psychology. Or if not, just make sure you use some other form of protection!! :)

      • lauren

        Hi Allison, If you decide to get off the pill, you do not have to wait until the end of the pack, you can just come off. I would suggest that you start taking the supplements as soon as you get off the pill to ease the transition and to begin getting back in balance. Another addition to your clean eating would be to eliminate all sugar. That would also include sugars from fruit, starchy vegetables (beets, carrots, sweet potatoes) and natural sugars such as raw honey. Sugar can lead to hormone imbalance due its role in blood sugar and insulin. While this is not easy, and it will not have to be forever, its a good addition that really can make a huge difference. Plus it also may give you relief from cravings. There is no way to be certain about how your journey is going to unfold after coming off, but if you are making the decision, then in the long run you will feel so much better. I would not be worried about your ability to concentrate and be focused, because once the hormones balance, that will fall into place. As for the cramps, this depends on what the underlying issue is, and the supplements and diet change may alleviate them. If not, you can think about seeing a holistic practitioner. Some chiropractors can help with this as well, but I doubt it is a structural issue. Good Luck!

      • Noelani

        Hi Allison,

        So, I have been off the pill since the end of April and WOW what a difference!

        As I stated in my post, for me the biggest problem was hair thinning/hair loss. I decided to go off the pill in March (but had to wait a month until my pill pack ended) in the hopes that naturally my hair would start growing back. But a week later, after I went off the pill, I had a break-down. It was the end of the semester, I had sooo much work to do, I was super stressed, and my hair was so thin I just started crying and hyper-ventilating all alone in the middle of the night, and I just felt utterly hopeless.

        That’s when I realized I needed to see a specialist — NOT a dermatologist, NOT a gynecologist, an actual hair loss expert. I found that there was a trichology (hair loss expertise) place less than 5 minutes away from my apartment! I saw the specialist and he confirmed to me that my type of birth control is a big culprit in hair loss because it pumps you with androgens (male hormones) AND depletes you of vitamins, especially iron. Now, if you are a woman and you have low iron, your body may produce more testosterone to compensate, then the byproduct of that extra testosterone (DHT) can attack the hair follicles and shrink them. Additionally, if your body is low on iron, it can take it from a non-essential part of the body, like hair and nails, leaving them thinner and more prone to breakage. When I found this out, I was mortified, as you can imagine. But, my trichologist put me on a program (it’s been over 3 months now) of daily topical agents, laser therapy, and all kinds of vitamins, and it is now growing in like 3 times as thick!! It is truly unbelievable!

        I still have a problem with increased facial and body hair, however, so I am still waiting to see if my hormones will get back to normal within the next year, but one thing’s for sure: I am NEVER going on the pill again!

        Now, as for stress, the first thing I did was buy a “Nutribullet,” and I have followed an almost perfect diet since (mostly raw produce and whole grains, organic meat, little to no dairy). The combination of eating healthy, doing low-stress exercise (such as walking, yoga/pilates) AND getting off the pill not only helped with my stress in school but my skin looks amazing, my eyes are brighter, and of course I lost a lot of weight. I fully believe in diet being a major factor in stress management and improving your outlook on life in general. It is hard to discipline yourself at first, but it really is the best thing you can do.

        I hope that helps, Allison! Good luck with your doctoral program!

        • Crys

          Congratulations on getting your hair back!!!

          Would you mind sharing what topical treatments (Rogaine?) and vitamins you are taking? Also, when did you first start noticing regrowth? Did you have any temporary increased shedding after getting off the pill (the dread shed)? Will you have to do the laser treatments forever?

          I am devastated at the state of my hair… lost 50-60% of it, so I finally got off the pill last week and want to know what to expect. I would truly appreciate any tips, thank you so much!

  13. Elizabeth

    I can’t thank you enough for this post! I contacted you a few months ago about your decision to go off birth control and found your reply very encouraging. After speaking to more women and doing more research I began to feel more confident in quitting and I have finally done it. I have a feeling I will be referencing this information quite a few times (I’ve already been back at least 3 times hahah!) Again, thank you so much for putting this information out there. There are not enough women talking about it in such an open and honest way.

  14. Jen V

    So HAPPY I found this! I have been on Mircette/ Kariva (a low progestrin & estrogen BC pill) for 13 years and got off the pill in Feb 2013. my skin has been breaking out really bad, two dermatologist later and I am using a $192.00 sulfer face wash to help (it’s not). my weight has also gone up with increase in my yoga practice and eating the same amount of food. I was about to go back on the pill the day I read this post, so THANK YOU! I will be looking into taking these steps to leveling out my unbalanced hormones. :)

    • lauren

      You are so very welcome!!! Great timing. Yes, what you are going through is normal, it just takes time to get the body back on track. Just stick with it and know that it will eventually even out. Good luck!

      • Jen V

        Lauren, When making your Honey and Pollen blend, are you using the capsules and breaking them open or is there a loose pollen you can recommend?Thanks!

        • Jen V

          Also, how long would you say one whose been on the pill for 13 years would need to take the Gallbladder ND & DIM Detox.

          I could see using the Ultra Pollen and Honey daily, as well as the multi and change in diet and exercise a lifetime modification, just not sure about those two supplements.

          THANKS!

  15. Melanie

    Hi Lauren
    Thank you for sharing this post! I have been on the pill since age 16 and I’m 34. Only stopped when I was pregnant. I am also a smoker and know i am high risk for several risk factors. I just woke up one day and decided I was not going to refill my script. It has been 4 days now but I never realized how serious it was to get off the pill . This’ post gave me some hope! I am a single mother in nursing school so my budget is pretty tight. What supplements would you recommend to start off with? I could probably only afford 2 of them to start. I am honestly quite scared of this journey but its time and I know it will be better in the long run. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
    Melanie

    • lauren

      Hi Melanie! Congratulations on your new adventure!!! I would suggest that you start with the raw honey and bee pollen blend (as long as you do not have allergies), along with the Gallbladder ND product. Those are really great foundational products to start with. If you can find local raw honey and bee pollen, I would go for that, if not, you can always purchase online. In addition, I would make sure to stay away from the xeno estrogens to minimize the impact on your hormone balance (conventional meat, dairy, poultry, soy, plastics, aluminum cans, water bottles, conventional personal care products). Good Luck!

  16. Miranda

    Hi Lauren,
    I can’t tell you how relieved I am to read this! I thought I was going crazy. I got off birth control about a couple months ago and I’ve been rapidly gaining weight, despite hard core working out and eating very little calories. So I got back on my birth control because I just wanted to get “back to normal.” I’m on nuvaring though, not the pill. How can I get off of it and regulate my hormones so that I won’t gain weight? Also, do you know how long in can take to get regulated or does it just depend on the person? Why don’t OBGYNs talk about this with their patients?

    • lauren

      Hi Miranda, Yes it is such a frustrating process but if you believe in it, then I think it is worth the undertaking. I personally used the program I outlined in this post, so you can look at starting that. It is really difficult to give a general time period for the balancing of the hormones, but typically the waves of weight gain only last a few months for most people. Calorie restriction is not always the best way to loose weight, because severe calorie restriction can lead to hormone imbalance – which will further exacerbate your issue. Sticking to whole grains, vegetables, fruits and free range eggs (healthy cholesterol needed for hormone production) is a better idea. You will just have to stick with it unfortunately.

  17. Carmen

    Hi Lauren,
    Love your article, I have just finished the Pill and so angry no one told me about some of the side effects sooner.
    I was wondering, since taking the pill I keep getting ill such as colds and infections, could this be due to lack of vitamins?
    Carmen

    • lauren

      Hi Carmen, while it is not a direct side effect of coming off the pill, if your hormones are out of whack, then this can effect your adrenal glands which if exhausted can lead to a more suppressed immune system. Definitely look into including vitamin D, colostrum powder and vitamin C into your supplement regime.

  18. Christina

    Hi Lauren! Love this post and so glad I stumbled upon your site. 8 months ago, I chose to take back my womanhood by no longer taking birth control after being on it for 15 years! Lord knows my body is in shock and my goodness an array of symptoms have occured. The first major system was a 30lb weight gain in less than 4 weeks. I’m athletic, eat a very healthy diet so for this to occur was mindboggling. It has taken me 8 months to finally accept that my body is adjusting and will balance out in due time. In the meantime, I have taken the necessary steps by eating a well balanced meal plan, juicing everyday, and taking certain herbal supplements. Thinking of taking the hormonal balance saliva test so that will confirm the hormonal imbalance but not sure how much more confirmation I need after experiencing a lot of systems.

    In any case, thanks for posting and spreading the knowledge. Had I known how bad birth control was for your systems, I would’ve stopped a long time ago…!
    Blessings on a full recovery~

    Christina

    • lauren

      I am right there with you :) The best thing that we can learn from this is to accept our bodies and the process and to have faith that it will all even out in time. We all want everything to happen so quickly, so its a good lesson in patience and a great insight into the inner workings of the body. Thank you for sharing!

      • Erin

        Hi Christina, Lauren,

        First of all Lauren thanks so much for your article – I stumbled upon it when I was googling the topic out of desperation looking for help or insight of some kind.

        Christina, the same exact thing happened to me. I came off the pill in February of this year and it feels like I have totally blown up. I have gained about 30ish pounds and it is mind boggling.

        Lauren, I too was on the pill for a long time – about 10 years – when they abruptly stopped supplying my normal low dose brand to my region. After about 8 months of trying 2 new brands, I finally gave up because my body didn’t feel right. I was very emotional, my hair was thinning and I generally just didn’t feel right. Initially for the first few weeks when I came off I felt better, detoxed, relieved. Then over the next few months, I suddenly gained a lot lf weight, my skin became crazy dry and I now (more recently) am experiencing ‘bachne’ mainly across my shoulders (same as you which is why I am so moved by this article). Initially I made no changes in diet or exercise; but around April I modified my eating and more recently (last 8wks or so) have extremely upped my exercise regimen any am eating totally clean, however the weight won’t budge and I am getting extremely depressed about it. Would focusing on leveling out my hormones and metabolism help in the process? I know it’s not going to happen over night, and I’m not asking it too – I’m just looking for some hope or a little bit of a sign that I’m moving in the right direction – even if I just lost 2 lbs that would be an achievement and encouragement at this stage as usually it doesn’t take this long for me to achieve progress. I’ve never been this heavy so it’s extremely frustrating. Any additional advice?

        Thanks again!
        Erin.x

        • lauren

          HI Erin, yes you will have to focus on balancing the hormones in order to get rid of the symptoms. Unfortunately it is a complicated process and no one thing will do it, that is why the supplements are so effective. One other thing you could look into is your blood sugar balance. If you suspect that you are hypoglycemic, it could be that your blood sugar imbalance is influencing your hormones as well. In that case, a diet solely focused on the eliminated of grains and sugar is key. This would include any fruit or natural sugar, or even sugars from root vegetables. Primarily you would be eating TONS of green vegetables, healthy fats, and lean ORGANIC protein (bison, wild salmon, eggs, lamb etc.). Good Luck!

          • Erin

            Thanks so much for your advice and sharing your experience – it really helps to simply know sometimes you’re not alone !! I will give it a try and I am also seeing a natural medicine doctor this week to get my levels tested to get more insight thanks to your inspiration. I’ll keep you posted.

  19. Shawn

    Just wanted to share that I just ordered a Lady Comp. It is along the lines of a natural family planning method, but it is 99.3% accurate. It sounds like it will be a great option for me and I hope that others will check it out.

  20. B

    Hi,thanks so much for all the helpful info. I live in Aus and I was wondering if you knew of an equivalent of hair and nails by dragon herbs that is available here. I haven’t had much luck with my search and would love a similar product.

  21. Kayla

    Hi Lauren
    I was wondering how long should you take the DIM Detox for? Also what are your thoughts on CoQ10 ?

    Kayla

    • lauren

      I personally take one Dim Detox daily because of our constant exposure to xeno estrogens. They are in everything from cosmetics, personal care products to meat, dairy and plastics. Xeno estrogens are known to increase your risk of cancer so I just take it everyday. Therapeutically I would say anywhere between 6 weeks to 3 months would be ideal.

  22. Louise

    Thank you so so much for this amazing read! So helpful.
    I’m in the UK, can you recommend equivalent supliments I can get here? I can’t find gallbladder ND.
    Thank you.x

    • lauren

      Hi Louise, I believe that those supplements are sold in Amsterdam so I imagine that there is a way to get it over to you. If you cannot, look for a live source b6 and gold coin.

  23. Ali

    Hi,

    Thank you SO much for this post. I have been on birth control for about a year and a 1/2 now, and since being on it, my world has turned upside down. I was first on Ortho tri-cyclen and am now recently on Generess Fe. I am trying to make the big decision whether to stop. Before getting on the pill, I was known as the girl who was always happy and has a positive outlook on life. I had had pms other than some cramps and strictly decided to get on the pill when i bwcame sexually active.
    Things have changed . On Tri cyclen I was a roller coaster of emotions- happy one second , crying the next, becoming so anxious I drove to urgent care multiple times, the list goes on. I gained nearly 7 pounds and can’t lose it (I’m vegetarian , eat extremely healthy and exercise every day and can’t loose weight now.)IOddly enough, my periods are longer and more painful on the pill. tri cyclen got so bad my boyfriend and family became concerned and I decided to switch.
    I’m on my fourth pill pack of Generess Fe, and even though my periods are still painful and I have a lot of stomach problems, my rollercoaster moods seem better.. But now I am faced with feeling constantly ‘down.’ Since being on bc, I feel like I’m stuck in this fog- and my positive outlook on life is no longer the norm for me. It’s frightening , and to me the only option left is to make the choice to say NO to the pill and stop taking it. ( my doc recommended pills to lift my mood in addition to bc, but I told her the LAST thing I want is another pill in my system .. So she agreed to get off(
    My only concern- part of the reason I want to get off is I’m about to go through big changes in my life. Quitting my job in San Diego to go to Grad school in London for a year- leaving my boyfriend and friends behind. Of course, ill be emotional. I feel like of I get off of it, I could take awhile to adjust and experience problems. However being on it , the side effects of feeling so ‘down’ etc aren’t helping me have the positive attitude about this exciting experience ahead of me that ill need to get through.
    Thoughts?! I feel helpless and birth control has made me feel like I’m no longer in control of my own body. Any advice can help!
    Thank you,
    Ali

    • lauren

      Hi Ali, as you can see your experience is extremely similar to so many other women and so there is truth to what you are experiencing. If you are deciding to get off the pill I would just make sure that you are doing everything else you can to take charge of your life. Maybe for you that would mean also looking for natural ways to improve your mood and lower your stress/anxiety. That can be anything from the use of supplements like B vitamins, St. Johns Wort and NADH. It could also mean working with a therapist for the time being or even joining a yoga studio. The body is very interconnected and so it is very important to look at the body physically, mentally and spiritually. When you start working on the spiritual and mental, the physical can strengthen, especially during this transition time period. Good Luck!!

  24. Thank you Lauren so much for this informative post! I have been contemplating getting off the pill for a few years now but something in me is telling me that as I am approaching my 16th year on them, enough is enough. I have Crohn’s, so I have a lot of digestive issues, plus in the past I would always flare-up a bit as I drew near to my period. That is why I haven’t allowed myself a period in years (skipped my off week and continued onto next pack), which I know isn’t healthy. I am ready to take on the challenge though. My diet is close to impeccable – I now follow an anti-inflammatory, high raw vegan diet which has helped my Crohn’s pain/inflammation tremendously. Still have lurking issues and do not have the prime digestion I am looking for. Maybe the pill has something to do with it? Either way – I’m going to go for it and would love to know which supplements you recommend for my situation (digestive problems and hormonal balance) Thanks in advance!!!

    • lauren

      You are so very welcome Lauren! I think the more that we can clean up everything the better chance we have to determine the real root of our health issues. Birth control sounds like a good next step for you. Good Luck!

  25. Adriana

    Lauren, Your website is beautifully written, and I thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge! I am a scientist, which has made the path to a more holistic approach to my health quite interesting, as often what I learn on the holistic journey negates what is taught by the more Westernized approaches to medicine. In any case, I am now a full-believer in being able to change your health (even your genes) with diet and lifestyle. Yoga has been a huge eye-opener too!
    Currently, I am debating stopping the pill (which has been a part of my life for 15 years). I’m definitely scared of acne and just the overall mood swings that will occur when stopping, along with hair-loss. I was just diagnosed with Androgenic Alopecia, so I actually fear that stopping the pill will make it much worse, but I also can’t continue taking the pill simply to benefit my hair. Something is telling me to stop, and I have to listen to my body. Initially, I was put on the pill for painful periods and cystic ovaries.
    I’m wondering, should I start your regime before stopping the pill? Will that have any benefit in making the transition easier?
    If you have any other insight, I would be grateful.
    Best wishes, and OM shanti, Adriana

    • lauren

      Hello Adriana, Thank you so much for writing in. Like so many women the thought of stopping the pill is daunting, but I think we all have a really good sense of the right thing to do in our gut. Although our problems may arise back after stopping the pill, I think that this is the real opportunity to take care of the root once and for all. While the BC helps, it only masks, which means that there is still dysfunction in the body. Therefore, if you are up to the challenge, looking to other modes of medicine and therapies can be the answer. You can start on the regime before going off which will definitely help although I would wait to take the DIM detox until after you go off the pill. There is inconclusive evidence to whether that will interact with the efficacy of the BC. I would also start looking for a holistic practitioner in your area including naturopathic doctors. Good Luck!

  26. Rebecca

    Thank you so much for your post. I had a myomectomy in 2011 and was put on the pill shortly after to manage my fibroids. I must say that ever since then, I have had the worse experience. I have been on three different types of pills and have experienced horrible hormone changes. I have made the decision to get off of birth control because I don’t like how it makes my body feel and react. It’s like I don’t know it anymore. I’m glad that I cam accross your site. It had tons of information that I needed to hear. Thank You Again!

    • lauren

      Hi Rebecca, Thank you for writing in! It is always nice to hear that people are listening to their intuition and taking charge when they know something is not right. Hopefully you were able to get it all figured out after coming off. As for fibroids, I have heard of success cases in tackling them with alternative therapies and a nutraceutical approach. Hopefully you can find someone in your area to work with. Good Luck!

  27. Louise

    Hi Lauren,
    I was on the pill for 18 years, if only I knew! It’s ruined my life. I had endometriosis so was put on the pill back to back. After nearly a year of back to back I started getting pains in my liver area so my GP sent me for an ultrasound. They found lesions on my liver so referred me for an MRI. This showed more than 25 tumours throughout the left and right lobes of my liver, almost certainly caused by the pill. I’ve since had a laprosocopic liver biopsy and am awaiting results to find out if they are adenomas and if they are benign or malignant.
    I have stopped the pill obviously and have radically changed my diet to anti oestrogen and I have never felt better! I’ve lost nearly a stone as well, just wish I’d have found your advice sooner! I am taking the DIM Detox and I also got Natures Way Super Thisilyn but this quote from webmed has made me doubt if I should take milk thysil? “Since milk thistle may mimic the effects of estrogen, some women should avoid this herb. This includes women who have fibroid tumors or endometriosis. Additionally, women with breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers should not take milk thistle.”
    Any advice if milk thysil is not advised for oestrogen dominance?
    Thanks so much!x

    • Louise

      Thistle! My phone kept changing it!

      • Louise

        Ooh- one last question (I’ve searched and can’t find the answer) is Rye a phytoestrogen that is good and will go to the alpha eostrogen receptor or a bad one and go to the beta?
        Can’t thank you enough for this website!
        A very grateful Louise.x

  28. Kelly

    Hello, For the diet aspect, you mention no conventional meats, dairy, wine, etc. Does that mean organic versions of these foods are o.k.?

    • lauren

      Hi Kelly, in terms of the exposure to xeno estrogens, organic meat with minimize this risk. As for dairy and wine, wine actually contains natural compounds that increase estrogen, as does beer. Organic dairy is similar to meat, but I still would not recommend eating dairy. It is very difficult to digest and can be a main culprit in an unhealthy weight. Not to mention it can lead to other issues such as acne.

  29. Sarah Noelle

    THANK YOU for sharing good information and for helping women with this transition! How do you recommend transitioning off of the pill and onto the supplements you recommended? I would like to start this process soon. :)

    • lauren

      You can always start taking the supplements, except the DIM (since it may interact with the efficacy of the BC). Then to just stay on them until you feel as though you have transitioned back. For some people that is 1 month, others it could be a few months, so you just have to listen to your body. Good Luck!

  30. Hey!

    I am 2 months out from my last day on nuvaring. I have gained 7 pounds and cant get it off. I feel bloated, anxious and tired all the time. No matter what I eat I cant get it off. Also, I have been working out for a week, and I’ve gained another 2-3 pounds. I am also having a hard time getting to sleep and have a terrible time waking up each day (exhausted) – taking melatonin to get to bed. I have to have a cup of coffee to wake up. I also have a lot more desire to eat constantly – trying to refrain / eat more small snacks (veggies/fruit/etc) but nothing seems to help. I am tense all the time and emotionally up and down a lot.

    How long did it take before you noticed a decrease in weight after discontinuing birth control?

    • lauren

      Hi Kara, for me personally I was using the supplement regime and changed my diet, so it came back off after 2 months. If you want to help speed up the process, I would eliminate all sugar, including fruit and natural sugars, dairy and carbohydrates (including healthy sources such as quinoa, farro, etc.) and eat only ORGANIC lean proteins (bison, lamb, poultry, fish, eggs), Lots of vegetables, mostly green (but no starchy ones: potatoes, root vegetables), and healthy fats (avocado, olives, raw nuts/seeds, coconut, coconut/olive oil) – similar to the paleo diet. While I completely think grains and fruit are healthy, they increase your insulin and can inhibit the fat burning process and the balance of hormones, especially in those with hormone imbalance. If you stick to this diet you will loose weight much faster.

  31. I have been off of birth control for about a year and a half and still feel like I am experiencing hair loss. I do all the right things (take hair and nails, eternal jing, eat a clean, healthy and organic diet, go to accupuncture etc). Most recently I’ve noticed hair loss around my hairline and temples. Did you or any you know or have talked to experience this? If so, did your/their hair come back?

    • lauren

      I would look into insulin resistance, for some who have hair loss that can be an underlying cause that is often undetected. I would try going on a strict diet that focuses only on organic lean meat (bison, buffalo, lamb, poultry, eggs, fish, beef, no pork), lots of vegetables (no starch: potatoes, root veges), and healthy fats (olives, avocado, raw nuts/seeds, coconut, olive oil, coconut oil), and no dairy or sugar (including healthy sugars like raw honey and fruit). This is a low glycemic diet that will help to balance the insulin levels, which could be an underlying cause of the hair loss.

      • Elizabeth

        Thanks for your reply Lauren! I am not sure I am insulin resistant. I looked into the signs and symptoms and don’t really have any. I am a very fit and slim 25 year old. I just had my yearly physical and everything came back normal. :/ Maybe I just have to let my body run it’s course and focus on keeping my stress levels down.

  32. Diana

    Hi Lauren i started taking birth control pills 3 months ago, in little over a month i started shedding hairs and i thought it was just normal. but as days goes by im shedding hairs i dont normaly do. i did a little research and found out it was the birth control pills. im off the pill for a week now, and my hair is still shedding i even started taking biotin 5000mcg and coconut oil supplement. im 18 and really scared to loose all of my hair. will i see regrowth in my hair? how long does it take to have my hormones levels back? even for taking it only for 3 months did it already made a big damage on my body? i was really happy to find post and you gave me hope! pls reply, thank you!

    • lauren

      Hi Diana, this is common with birth control and unfortunately I cannot tell you how long it will take before it grows back or your hormones will normalize since everyone is very different. I would suggest taking Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs, a supplement that has been incredibly effective in stopping hair loss and promoting growth. I would give that a try!

  33. Kelly

    Thank you so much for sharing! I had been on ortho-tri cyclen lo when I was younger and when I stopped taking it I had a huge weight gain, but attributed it to many other life factors. I recently went back on nuvaring and experienced frequent debilitating migraines so I decided to take it out. The migraines have stopped (or are at least a lot less frequent), but again I am experiencing a rapid weight gain that I can’t seem to stop. I’ve searched the internet for solutions and haven’t been able to find much. I really appreciate you figuring it out and sharing your success so that the rest of us have some hope!

  34. Becky

    Hi Lauren! Please Help!

    I also noticed quite a bit of weight gain after getting off the pill. Not only that but my butt and hips immediately got cellulite. That is something I’ve never had before and it seems to get worse and worse. Seems like there is no end in site, don’t know if i should cave and just restart birth control?

    Does it take a few cycles to get back to normal? It seems anytime I ask a doctor about this their only statement is “Most people gain weight when getting on”. I’m not sure what is a normal amount of time to wait– I feel terrible.

    Thanks for your help!!

    • lauren

      Hi Becky, the issue is that if you get back on it will only be a short term solution, therefore, I always recommend just working on rebalancing your hormones. For each person it is different. Some people it only takes a month or so to get back to normal, and for others multiple months. If you are taking supplements to support the hormones and eliminating the foods that act as xeno estrogens then you are on the right tract. I would also be very strict about your intake of sugars (all forms), carbohydrates and alcohol. Dairy is another big one that can interrupt with hormone balance. This is all normal, and I would just keep moving forward. You can also add in dry brushing and infrared saunas to keep the lymph moving to help with cellulite.

  35. Jennifer

    Well, your site has encouraged me to finally attempt to get off the pill. I was only using it to regulate my hormones and to keep my face clear but I just can’t do it anymore;)
    I have ordered the supplements you suggested and I was just wondering if I should start taking them before I get off (I’m planning on getting off at the end of this pack I’m on) or wait until I’m actually off them? Also, when do you take all of these supplements? In the morning? With food? or in the evening?

    Thank you for being so open and being so helpful by having this site. You are blessing females everywhere and I really appreciate you doing all of this work and then sharing it with us so that I don’t have to:)

    Best!
    Jennifer

    • lauren

      Morning Jennifer, Congrats!!! I would suggest getting on them right when you get off the pill, especially if that is within the next month. All the supplements can be taken while on the pill other than the DIM detox, they are not sure what the interactions are there. These supplements can actually be taken with or without meals and at any time of the day so I would suggest planning on taking them when it is easiest for you to remember. Good Luck!!!!

  36. Kelly

    I have been on birthcontorl since I was 16, I am 33 now. I found having a low dose birth control without two types of hormones much better. I have been on migesteron(sp) for a year. I have made the decision to stop birth control. It seems the GYN like to put me on anti depressents to manage my moodiness. I have been on and off of them for years finding no real benefits. I have an extremely hard time loosing weight and lots and lots of fluid retention. Nothing noticable by others just by me. I can feel it. In fact the only time I feel good is the couple of days before and after my period. Not to mention I have horrible clots during. My muscle tone has become very low and I have suffered from CFS for many years. I attribute it to having MONO…However, the more and more I become familiar with my body and can predect how I am going to feel when i wake up. Any recommendations for women who have been on BC since they were young teenagers?

    • lauren

      Hi Kelly, I would suggest following the protocol I have lined out. While everyone is a bit different, it is the best place to begin and then modify from there as you go along. Good Luck!

  37. Gina

    Hi! Thanks for your articles! They make so much sense to me… I just stopped taking the pill after about 15 years on them! I am recently gluten and lactose free due to celiac so I’ve been eating all the foods you recommend :) However, I have been feeling quite terrible, specifically in the morning. I’ve take a pregnancy test and ruled that out (although my hubby wishes it was the opposite haha). I have terrible aches and pains and a stiff neck and feel almost like I have the flu! It’s been like this for about 2 weeks now :( I usually workout every morning and have not been going because I have been feeling so terrible, which makes me feel even more terrible!!! I don’t want to take too many supplements, so what do you think would be best from your list above for me to invest in? Thank you!!!

    • lauren

      HI Gina, it sounds like something else is going on that may not be hormone related. I would suggest visiting with a practitioner to rule out any type of infection, viral or bacterial, because it sounds more like an infection. Once you get that taken care of then you can start looking to supplements to balance the hormones.

  38. Jamie W

    Thank you for your blog…it helped me to make the decision to get off the pill. I stopped taking it about 3 weeks ago. So far, I’ve experienced a good amount of cramping and some stomach pain. I’m guessing it’s from all the changes going on. On a good note, it seems like I am sleeping more soundly and not waking up as easily to sound which I am REALLY happy about and hope it lasts! My question for you, and I know everyone is different, but you said you first rapidly gained weight, and then lost…about how long after stopping the pill did you notice that you started to lose the weight that you gained after stopping? I feel like I am bloating and gaining since getting off but I’m trying not to get discouraged since you said it happened to you but then leveled off. Like I said, I know every body is different, but I’m just curious as to how long the weight gain lasted for you until it started coming back off. Thanks so much!!

    • lauren

      Hi Jamie! Congrats on the big move!! As long as you are following a good diet and eliminating foods that interrupt hormone balance (conventional meat/dairy/produce and soy), and taking supplements as well as working out, I think about 2 months would be a good general marker for weight loss. Eliminating all dairy, sugar (even from fruit) and all refined carbs is a good way to start getting the weight off. Good Luck!

  39. Cari

    Thank you for your blog, it has been very helpful in providing the support I needed to get off of birth control pills. I have purchased the supplements you mention above. I really want to make my transition as smooth and “painless” as possible. I already take a multi vitamin, fish oils, evening primrose, magnesium zinc calcium and biotin. Should I stop taking any of these before I start taking the supplements you listed above? I just want to make sure none of my supplements mess with the new supplements or the cleansing process. Thanks!

    • lauren

      Hi Cari, you can continue to take your supplements, although I would switch from Fish oil to a plant-based essential fatty acid. Most often fish oils are rancid and contain heavy metals, both of which are not going to improve your health. I would suggest looking at Pure Encapsulations, they have some good options.

  40. Hi Lauren,

    Just wanted to thank you for this very informative article. You were the one who inspired me to get rid of the pill I’d taken for almost 5 years. I am still struggling with the aftereffects, but your posts on the matter helped me tremendously! Once I reach a point where I feel my body is in balance again, I plan on sharing my journey on my blog like you did, hoping I can encourage more women to reconsider birth control options. The Holy Kale is a unique source of information all women should be aware of.

    • lauren

      Fabulous! I am so happy you are making progress and I look forward to hearing more about it!

  41. Syn Kat

    It must have been fate that I discovered your article last night. I had been on and off diane-35, a high dose hormone pill I used for acne, horrible periods and mild hirsutism for years. I’d always try weaning off when side effects like depression, spider veins, decreased libido, yeast infections, shedding hair and leg numbness got too much to bare. But as soon as my face went haywire I went scrambling back to old faithful.

    For the last year and a half I have had horrible digestive issues and calcium deficiency (oh my poor cracky knees and I am only 27!). I never thought the pills could cause vitamin deficiency, and had attributed my new calcium needs to recent years of intensified exercise regimes. I knew late in the game that birth control pills could harm gut flora but I thought that was easily fixable with a clean diet and probiotics while on it–wrong! I recently went through one month of a new low dose bcp called femiane and that month was pure and utter digestive hell. I am supposed to start again Sunday but have decided finally after reading your two articles that birth control pills just aren’t for me. I had no idea they could contribute to my calcium issues or other vitamin issues. I am now prepared to just say sayoonara and deal with the realistic expectation that my body will need some time to readjust. It won’t be easy, especially since I have high testosterone, but the side effects (not to mention the inflamed lymph node under my arm pit that appears on pill) are just so not worth what they offer.

  42. Huda

    Hello,
    I love this page, you have definitely made it easier for women to cope up with hormonal imbalance. I’m 25 years old and have recently noticed chin pimples which I never ever had before, also my facial hair keeps growing, especially the chin area, it got even worse after threading and left ingrown hair.
    I am currently going to see a OBGYN, in fact I also called one up and she suggested Diance-35 (bcp) for 6 months only. I’m also about to get laser done on my chin to remove the hair.
    My reports showed a high testosterone level, however I don’t have PCOS.
    I am religious about exercise and I’m not overweight, also I am careful about whatever I eat (and try to reduce foods that boost testosterone levels).
    Would you suggest that I go on bcp for a few months as the doctor suggested to normalize hormone levels? Does hormonal imbalance ever actually go away? It is only recently that I noticed all this. :(
    I’m super worried and am hoping for the best.

    • lauren

      Hello Huda, the problem is that BCPs are not the solution to your problem but merely a band-aid. Once you go back off of them, they problems will return. Therefore, I would suggest finding a holistic practitioner in your area such as a naturopathic doctor to start investigating your hormones. I would also look at using ORGANIC paleo-type diet as a therapeutic way to balance blood sugars which also can play a role in hormone imbalance. This would include only lean organic meats (bison, buffalo, lamb), organic eggs, and wild fish, in addition to whole healthy fats (coconut, avocado, raw nuts/seeds,olives), tons of green vegetables and no sugar, even from fruits and natural sugars, or carbohydrates (grains, gluten). It is always going to be best to get to the root of your issue, especially in these cases if you want full resolution.

  43. Garam

    Hi Lauren !

    I’ve been having the weight issue for about a year now after coming off Yasmin last summer. Before coming off of it last year, I have gone off of it for about 4 months and experienced bad acne. So i went back on it until last summer when i decided to permanently get it out of my life. Since then, I’ve been gaining weight around the stomach area. Everytime i eat even a little bit my stomach gets really bloated and big, and sometimes its always like that and its so embarrassing cause my stomach will always be sticking out.

    I’ve never been the one to complain about my weight, I’ve always been 5’5″ around 115 in , now i weigh 125 or sometimes more.. even though that sounds normal, when looking at myself i always feel down when i see my stomach so protruding :/ Also is very frustrating because i used to have very very fast metabolism – used to eat whatever i want and still be skinny , my friends tell me my metabolism is getting slower cause im getting older but im only 22!!!! and it started after getting off Yasmin, so im pretty sure it has to do with it.

    After being off the pill i didn’t get my period for 4 months and finally went to the gyno and got a shot to get me to have my period and since then ive been getting it regularly. Sorry this is such a long message of me just complaining! I been eating WAY better than my previous ways and doing cardio whenever i can.. also tried taking the Maca powder, but didn’t see any improvement … I’m just hoping that after trying your method I’ll be able to get back to my normal self. When did you start seeing improvements? Did it take you 3 years of trying all these supplements to see effects? It has already been a year for me and I keep hoping that my body will adjust to it and its still not happening and its very discouraging !

    Thank you for your post , I’m definitely going to try these supplements !

    Garam

    • lauren

      Hello Garam, once taking the supplements it took me about 3 months. In addition, I actually moved to a very strict paleo diet, eliminating all sugars and carbohydrates. This included fruits, natural sugars, starchy vegetables, alcohol and grains. I focused on lean ORGANIC meat (bison, buffalo, lamb), wild fish and free range eggs, superfood green smoothies, tons of vegetables and healthy fats (coconut, avocado, raw nuts/seeds, olives etc.). While this diet was not permanent, it helps to balance blood sugar which is often a underlying factor in hormone imbalance. This diet helped me to get back on track, and then I have been able to move back to a vegan diet. You may want to look into that as well.

  44. Sarah

    Dear Lauren,
    Thank you do much for his site and the information yo’ve provided for us. I went off my bcp 5 months ago and I’m finally feeling less anxiety and my migraines have disappeared. My energy returned and I lost 5 lbs I didn’t know I had.So far my periods are regular and no breakouts. Here lies my problem however… Two months ago I began to shed hair at an alarming rate. Up to 100 strands per day. Showering has become a stressful thing now! I don’t blow dry or use hot irons. I never ever have colored. How long do you think this will last? I’m on biotin and eat organic. We raise our own chickens(free range) and I eat meat sparingly. I run 3 miles 5 days a week. I’m going to try your supplements too. My doctor says to go back on ortho tri cyclen! That’s what has caused my misery in the first place! How long do hormones take to level out? I was on bcp for 5 years.

    • lauren

      Hi Sarah – Please check out Hair and Nails by Dragon herbs. I cannot explain how much this supplement has been a lifesaver. I have had so many great successes with this supplement, its definitely worth trying. I have noticed that once on it the hair can stop falling out within a week or so. Give that a try and let me know.

  45. Alyssa

    Hi Lauren! I sent you an email about my story with birth control. Your articles really gave me hope. I have been anxious and I’ve been thinking it was just me and I’d have to live with it but I’m looking to stop my birth control in hopes that my anxiety will calm down. I left you a more detailed email and hope to hear back from you soon! Thanks again!

  46. Stephanie R

    Hi!

    I am new to birth control pills as I started taking them mid-June of this year but made the decision to stop taking them two days ago. At first I felt fine, like nothing had changed and it made me happy but soon enough I had bouts with really frustrating anxiety that I had only ever dealt with once in my life. It was several years ago & purely circumstantial because I was going through a tough family time.
    For a while I thought that this newfound, terrible anxiety was also circumstantial (there were events that occurred that would have been normal to be nervous about i.e. college orientation, but def not to the degree that I experienced it) even if I was aware that this was not normal for me. Just at the beginning of this week I was fed up that my anxiousness would come and go without real cause and decided it was most likely the Ortho Cyclen BC especially because I learned it can worsen the moods of people with a history of anxiety/depression like me.
    I’m so happy to know that there are plenty of other women who went through similar experiences, I was so afraid that I’d lost control of myself and couldn’t find ways to be fully happy again. I also didn’t want to stay on BC to see if the anxiety would just “go away on it’s own” in a couple months because I have college coming up (first time freshman!!) And I want to be 100% for when that starts.
    My questions are, from a scientific standpoint how long will it take my body to get completely rid of the birth control in my system, where can I get those supplements you’ve been using and are they costly?

    I’m going to try to be patient and easy on myself (spiritually) through my new journey and hope to get “back to normal” soon!! (PS I’m leaning to wards the iud copper for next birth control method- more synthetic hormones for me!!)

    Also, thank you so much for making this post and for being there for us ladies. :’)
    & Much love and luck to everyone else!

    • lauren

      Hi Stephanie – unfortunately I cannot give you a time period for when your hormones will normalize. Every woman is different, ranging from a couple weeks to 6 months. Plus, if you utilize the herbs and focus on a clean diet, it can expedite your results. You can use the links to the supplements to purchase them. For most women some of their symptoms go away within a couple weeks though, so that is positive. I would also read my post about the IUD before moving in that direction. Good Luck!

  47. Michelle

    Hi Lauren,

    You cannot begin to understand how much your blog helped my outlook! I was on BC for
    14 years, and just came off it around a month and a half ago, not by choice, but because I was waiting for an appointment with my GYN to get a refill. I initially went on it because of horrible periods and cramps (I would be doubled over in pain every month crying from the pain) and my doctor suggested I go on it because there is a long history of issues in my family. I have been going through terrible mood swings, cramps, stomach pains and depressio/anxiety since coming off, and was ready to go back on until
    I read your blog. You have given me hope that thr symptoms will subside with the help of changes on my part, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for that! I may have issues finding the specific supplements that you recommended, but I will do my best :)

    • lauren

      You are so welcome Michelle!!! I know it is not easy and we all want to take the easy way out, but there is a reason for everything and if I can do it so can you! It does get better, especially if you apply the tools I discussed. Good Luck!

  48. Louise

    Hi Lauren,
    Where do we stand with corn baised foods such as organic polenta? Good or bad?x

  49. Tina

    Hello,

    I went to the doctor about 5-6 weeks ago to get a refill for Yasmin and my doctor said that he did not want any of his patients on it, so he prescribed me Marvelon. I was on BC for about 8 years prior. When switching to the Marvelon I got sudden anxiety, panic attacks and extremely irrational thoughts. I had a friend suggest it was due to me switching my birth control. I stopped taking it immediately. So now it has been about 4 weeks since I have been off all birth control. I do have to say it has been quite difficult for me. First 2 weeks having extreme anxiety and panicky. I have this dissociative feeling, like very dreamlike. It has gotten a bit better, however, there is still a pretty constant worry feeling that things are wrong, or “something” is going to happen. I am really hoping that this is temporary, because it is easy for my mind to tell myself that this is only the beginning… it will not get better. I am going to a naturopath, who has given me Relora (I think it is called) and I doing massage therapy and will be getting acupuncture and hydrotherapy in the future.

    I am really glad to hear that other people have similar issues, makes me feel less nuts! There are still hopeless feelings, but I am looking forward to getting through this!

    I would like to hear any survival stories through anxiety/panic issues if you could point me in the right direction. There are lots of things about the beginnings of these issues (like what I have written), but not many about long term being off of the pill and how things transition into getting better.

    Thanks for making this place accessible to all… helps to hear other stories, which is why I posted mine and intend to update.

    • lauren

      Hello Tina,
      Thank you for writing in and sharing your story. Yes, most people have not written back in to share their progress, but for me personally I was able to clear my symptoms after about 6 months. Hopefully people can start sharing their success stories as well!

  50. Sarah

    Hi Lauren

    I just went off birth control about a month ago. I am a very anxious person to begin with and have just started experiencing heart palpitations at night. I have previously had my heart checked out and the doctor said I was extremely healthy so I am wondering if it could be related to coming off birth control after about 12 years. I also feel like I am able to cry at a drop of a hat. Will this get better or will I forever feel these symptoms?

    Thank you

    Sarah

    • lauren

      Hi Sarah, I would suggest taking a magnesium supplement along with B vitamins. I personally would use Magnesium Glycinate, and then Max B ND by Premier Research Labs. Sometimes heart palpitations can be from magnesium deficiency which is common in those who have taken birth control. B vitamins are also key for stabilizing the mood. Good Luck!

  51. Caterina

    Hello! I am very grateful for finding your blog. I feel like I am going crazy with these symptoms and no one, including my doctor, is taking it seriously. In the last 2 months I have gained 2.5-3 kilos for no apparent reason. It is especially around my waistline/stomach. I feel bloated, I have really bad gas. I am starting to lose hair and the skin on my hands are extremely dry. My mood is all over the place.
    I am 25 and freaking out about this weight gain and generally feeling crap. By all means I am not overweight.. but if it keeps creeping up what am I supposed to do!!
    My periods have also been non existent. I decided to come off of the pill 2 months ago after being on it for 8 years. I already eat quite clean- organic chicken/turkey, free range eggs, no soy, lots of veggies, nuts, coconuts, no red meat, no sugar (as in fructose) and have only recently introduced small amount of fruit to my diet (blueberries, raspberries and strawberries).
    Will this weight gain stop and shift? Should I start using your recommended vitamin supplements? I am feeling miserable. All this for the silly pill and I was on the lowest dose too :(
    Many thanks!

    • lauren

      Hi Caterina, I would get on the supplements to start getting the hormones back in balance. I would also try eliminating all sugar, including fruit sugars for now. In addition, no dairy. The supplements and diet will be key to getting back on track but what you are experiencing is normal. Good Luck!

  52. Courtney

    Hi Lauren!

    I found this blog on Google after searching for “coming off birth control pill.” This really sparked my interest because of your clean eating diet, which I just started about 35 days ago and have lost almost 7 lbs in the past month. It has also helped my body feel much better in general. I do not eat any gluten or bread, minimal dairy, no coffee, nothing processed or artificial. I have been eating lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, quinoa, and oats. Complex carbs and lean proteins. After reading your posts, I’m going to start taking bee pollen and unfiltered raw honey every day, along with a complex B vitamin. I still want to get the live source B6 vitamin you have been talking about.

    I was on the pill for about 5-6 years. I loved one of the pills I took a few years back (Microgestin Fe), until it started causing me to have lots of breakthrough bleeding, breast pain, and cramps. It also caused me to be very bloated. My doctor had me try Kariva for a little while, until that caused breakthrough bleeding as well. Then finally for the past year I had been on Apri, which wasn’t much better. I had anxiety, horrible mood swings towards the end of the active pills, digestive problems, and acne. It was guaranteed I would be crying about something towards the end of the pack, and even my fiance noticed! He could always guess my period was on the way because of my awful mood swings. I’m pretty sure it caused weight gain and water retention. I have also had “frozen shoulder,” where my right shoulder and bicep have been inflamed. Sometimes it is very painful and other times it just goes away. I’m wondering if the pill caused this as well? My fiance thinks I could have an under-active thyroid problem too.

    So finally I just gave up and quit taking the pill. Luckily I still have been losing weight and have not gained any from quitting the pill. I’m going to start charting my cycles now using the fertility awareness method and an iPhone app called Kindara. The only problem I have so far is getting my hormones back to normal. One thing I notice is my basal body temp. is pretty high for me not ovulating (I just had a period too). Do you know how long it could take for my temperatures to get back to normal? My BBT when I first wake up is usually 98.1, and it should be below 98 and in the 97s before ovulation.

    • lauren

      Hi! The digestive issues, mood swings and acne are all related and will balance out once the hormones get back online. I would use the supplements to help you get there. Frozen shoulder could be from a lack of magnesium which can be a side effect of BC so I would try supplementing with magnesium glycinate, in addition to the Gallbladder ND I suggested. Making sure you are getting B6, which is in the Gallbladder ND, will also be important here. I am not sure about the basal body temp, but I am sure that once the cycle normalizes and the hormones balance that will change as well.

  53. Hi!
    I loved your post on this topic as I have decided to go off birth control as well and I found your blog posts every helpful. As I start this journey, which off the things that you mentioned above would you say are “must haves” going through this process, at least in the very beginning?? I would love to follow the regimen exactly, but financially speaking I definitely cannot get them all at once.
    Thanks!
    Breanna

    • lauren

      I would definitely start with the DIM and the gallbladder ND. After a couple months, you can then move to the other supplements if your body is still not in balance.

  54. Amanda

    I went off BC in Oct’12 and gained about 15lbs in 3 months, had no period, severe mood swings, was very depressed, my hair and skin was oily and I had horrible acne on my neck and face. I saw my doctor and she just told me to go back on the pill, which is what I ended up doing in Feb’13 and have been on it ever since. I do not like the feeling of having my hormones and body controlled by this little pill. I have horrible cellulite on the front of my thighs and stomach, which wasn’t there before I stopped taking it. I am very uncomfortable with my weight gain and everything that has happened to my body, I am working out and trying to eat good and nothing seems to be working. I really would like to stop taking these pills but am afraid all of those symptoms will return. I recently started a new career and don’t want to have mood swings and be depressed, which is really detouring me from stopping my birth control. I know I will have to someday go through these changes when I finally decide to stop, but I would like to do it now and get my body back on track rather than continue this. I am not sure what to do… Do you think if I try these supplements while discontinuing my pills will help? I would hate to go through this transition at work and have everyone think I am a wreck. lol. Any advice would be much appreciated, Thank You :-)

    • lauren

      Hi Amanda, I am sorry to say that there really is no way to be certain but to just be determined. Every person is different. Some it takes a month, others a few months. I know that by taking the supplements, exercising and eating the right diet greatly reduces the time, so it is up to you to use an integrated approach. Unlike BC, it does not offer a quick fix, since we have to undo what was done. Either way, if it is right for you and you want to see it through, go for it!

  55. Rachel

    Hi Lauren,
    This post is so helpful. I stopped my pills a couple of days ago. I’ve been having symptoms of very mild gallbladder attacks for a couple of year (they haven’t removed my gallbladder yet, and they thought I had a stone lodged in my bile duct last year). I’m interested in taking the Gallbladder ND to help with those problems, and too keep everything balanced as I come off of the pill.

    Do I need to take a b-complex along with it, or is that all included in the Gallbladder ND?

    Thanks!

    -Rachel

    • lauren

      Hi Rachel, I would suggest taking the Gallbladder ND without the Max B. But I would also suggest a product called Gallbladder Complex (see link). Since you are having attacks, it is recommended to use both products, especially if they are looking to take the gallbladder out. I would also suggest starting on enemas, then working towards coffee enemas to cleanse the gallbladder. You can learn more here: http://www.theholykale.com/2012/01/the-covert-coffee-enema/

      Finally, after 2 months of taking the product, I would look into starting a liver/gallbladder cleansing protocol. You can learn more here. It is really important that you cleanse the gallbladder so that you do not face surgery.

      Good Luck!

  56. Michelle

    Hi Lauren,
    I have stumbled across this from researching hair loss, I’ve been glued to this and your previous,
    I actually came off the pill due to my doctor telling me it was not good for me as I was 37, and should’ve come off earlier and also being a smoker, I quit smoking last October which was a good move.
    I first started the pill when I was 17, I have 3 children and those were the only times I was off pill when having my children ,
    Since coming off in January my hair has gone so thin and my temples have receded,
    Also my skin tingles and itches on my scalp and body, and have so much dry skin in my ears, also my face, when I rub my fingers over feels so rough and dry, and no matter how much creams I apply its still there, but only by feel, to look at my skin looks fine,
    Nothing has changed for this to happen apart from coming off pill ,
    I’m definitely looking into what you have recommended getting for a detox,
    I hope this is the cause and I’m at my wits end now , my hair and skin are so important to me,
    Thank you so much for writing about your experience, it’s been truly inspiring :)
    Good luck to all of you.

    • lauren

      Hi Michelle, ya, definitely give it a try – especially the Hair and Nails product as well as the Gallbladder ND. Dry skin, itching scalp etc. can often be from gallbladder issues, which is common with long-term BC use. The gallbladder is in charge of digesting fats, and if it is not doing its job properly, the body is fat deficient, which leads to the dry skin etc. Good Luck!

    • BHB

      Michelle,

      I might be repeating the obvious, but sometimes the simple things make real difference. I have been suffering from dry skin for years and when on BC it got even worse. Recently I started to really focus on minimal intake of 2l of water daily and I am beginning to see the difference. I am not saying it is going to resolve your problem, but it could help as it did in my case.

      BHB

  57. Michelle

    Thanks Lauren for your reply,
    I’m taking B complex vitamins and biotin (just started yesterday)
    Do you think I can still take the hair and nails and also the gallbladder with them ,
    Can’t wait to get them , and see results (hopefully)
    Thanks Lauren,
    So glad I found your post.

  58. Rachael

    I’m happy to have found this blog! I’ve been taking the pill (Microgynon 30) without a break any longer than a week for nearly 20 years now. As I’m approaching 40 I know I need to stop, so I have 4 pills left and after that I’ll be starting the process. I tried to stop it cold turkey style a while back, but not surprising I felt so terrible I went back on it. I think if you’ve been taking something for 20 years it’s unwise to just stop, the body will go into total shock and the side effects will be HUGE. Look at the difficulty people have from stopping only after taking it for a few years. So I’ve done a lot of research and I’m going to wean myself off them slowly over 9 months. 3/4 of a pill for the first 3, 1/2 a pill for the next 3 and so on. This will give my body time to adjust to the change. I am 100% certain that if I just stop after such a long time of taking it the consequences will be dire. Has anyone had any experience of the weaning process? Once this is underway I’ll write an update…

  59. Kelly C

    Hi Lauren,

    I love this post and can see it has been so popular!

    I came off my pill over a year ago and had the Mirena Coil put in (I had a laparoscopy to treat minor endometriosis – 3rd time in 8 years). I developed severe depression, anxiety, panic attacks, hot sweats, fatigue, emotional instability, crying fits and no periods while coil was in.

    I hit rock bottom in Jan 2013 and after suspecting the Mirena for a long time my doctor finally agreed to take it out. I had a terrible ‘crash’ afterwards.

    That was 7-8 months ago now and I have been trying so hard to feel ‘normal’ again. My periods are irregular (late one month, early the next, heavy one month, light the next) I get panic attacks around ovulation and when estrogen levels are supposidly high. I feel at my best a week after ovulation, this episode of feeling normal only lasts about 7-10 days. The worst time of the month for me is after my period and up to ovulation, during this time I feel out of control, panicky for no reason, very high anxiety which leads to feeling depressed, I feel very disconnected from the world and fatigued.

    I have had a blood test on day 21 of my cycle which showed my hormones as being ‘within range’ but something is definitely wrong. I am starting a teaching course in a few days and I am moving house soon, which I was so excited about a week ago, but now that i have finished my period I am so scared of everything and worried I am not going to be able to cope – which is completely irrational, I have done a degree already, I have moved house loads, I just want to feel excited!

    I am going to start taking DIM tomorrow, I take evening primrose oil and milk thistle also.

    Is there anything you can suggest? I have thrown so much money at acupuncture, counselling (doctors told me to) and eating very very healthily (no red meat, organic veg, lots of green veg, rice, no unhealthy foods, no dairy).

    I don’t understand why it is taking so long, I just want to feel like me again, I have never had anxiety in my life and I have never been depressed. I have also met the most amazing guy and we are ready to commit to each other properly, but my emotional ups and downs make our relationship so difficult because I feel so unwell all the time!

    The doctors solution was to put my on Diazepam in order for me to take an SSRI in order to suppress the panic attacks when I start taking the pill again. I really don’t want to do this!

    Any advice would be great :)

    • lauren

      Unfortunately these things take time, but in the meantime I would 100% get on the Gallbladder ND by Premier Research Labs that I suggested, this should help with the anxiety, energy and depression since it will replace the B6. If after a bottle this does not work well enough, I would then try Max B ND by the same company (for some people they need the full complex of B vitamins). I personally take 1 tsp daily. In addition, I would start taking the wild bee pollen and raw honey blend daily as well that I mention in the bioflavonoid section. You could start slow at 1 tsp daily, and try to work up to 2 tbs. Good Luck!

      • Emily

        Hi Lauren,

        I’m considering getting the Dragon hair and nail product but the website iherb.com says taking it will expose a person to lead. Is this true? The other websites where I have found the product do not list lead as a concern.

        I’m also curious what you would recommend as minimal supplements for someone stopping the pill (I’m thinking about stopping when my pack ends in a couple of weeks, after being on it for 10 years). I’m asking because the Galbladder ND is pricey but I could afford the Dragon hair and nail, B vitamins, and the dietary suggestions.

        If I am concerned about acne flaring up when stopping, would you recommend I visit a local naturopathic doctor? The reason I first started taking the pill was to clear up acne, but I wonder if I have outgrown it by now.

        Thank you for your post! It has been very enlightening!

        Emily

        • lauren

          Lead is naturally occurring in every food. Lead is in your salad, in your grains, in everything. California passed a new law that all food supplements must have a warning for this, even if the lead amounts are no higher than what you would get in your food. Dragon Herbs continue to do assays of their product, and it is safe to take. They are very diligent about this process. As for supplements, I would go with the Hair and Nails, Max B ND, and do the honey/pollen mixture. As for the acne, I would suggest getting on a hormone balancing diet which would look very similar to a Ketogenic diet, but it HAS to be ALL ORGANIC. Majority of the diet is green vegetables, healthy fats (avocado, raw nuts/seeds, olives, coconut), and organic protein sources (buffalo, bison, lamb, beef, eggs and fish). It is imperative that the meat is all organic, because otherwise you are exposing yourself to hormones. Finally, it requires the elimination of sugar, including sugars from root vegetables and fruit. By sticking to this diet, it helps balance the blood sugar and therefore the hormones. This can be very effective for acne.

  60. BHB

    Hi Lauren,

    I just came across your article and I really liked it. There is one thing I wanted to ask you however. You are not mentioning the role or importance of physical exercise. How does that contribute to the overall hormonal balance?

    Thanks, BHB

    • lauren

      Exercise is imperative to all functions in the body because it is what moves the lymph, strengthens your heart, your bones, your muscles while it also promotes detoxification. Furthermore, fat cells actually have been shown to produce hormones, hormones that interrupt your normal balance and can lead to a host of health issues. Therefore, in order to have perfect hormone balance, you must be of a healthy fat, without excess toxic fat.

  61. Alissa

    Thank you so much for this information. I was on ortho tri cycle for 7 years and just came off two months ago. This is my second attempt to stop the pill. I have gained 10 pounds in a month with no change in my diet or exercise. I also have terrible bloating in my abdomen that just won’t go away. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this all goes away soon and my body will regulate itself. I think more health care providers need to explain birth control cessation symptoms with their patients so we know we are not alone.

  62. Dawn

    I got off the pill back in October 2012, and I did not start breaking out until February 2013. (I was on the pill for about 10 years)

    As time progressed it became increasingly bad!! Around early March I started loosing weight. I have lost abOut 25 pounds so far, and I must say it did not help my acne at all! Another negative side effect is I started losing a lot of hair. That started in late July 2013. I’m currently on minocycline, and taking primrose oil pills. My total supplement and medicine intake is3900mg of primrose oil and 75mg of minocycline, 50mg of zinc, and an iron pill, prenatal pills with fish oil.

    Am I taking too much? I just started the large amounts of PO 1 week ago, and it seems to be helping quickly.

    • lauren

      Hi Dawn, I do not think you are on too much (you should see what I take!), and if it is working for you, then go with it. I would just be mindful of the source of iron you are taking, it should be live-source, as iron in a synthetic form can be potentially harmful to the body. I would also have the goal of working off the minocycline as well. Good Luck!

  63. zahra

    Hi lauren
    Thank you for all the amazing information. Its sooooooo great to know I’m not on my own. I’ve been on the pill for 5 years and stopped two weeks ago. I feel like my body is being pulled apart. I keep getting hot flushes and feel exhausted all the time.as for my hair its falling out in clumps. I want to take the hair and nail supplements you recommend but heard they have a lead warning .is that true. Are they safe to take. What’s your opinion

    • lauren

      Lead is naturally occurring in every food. Lead is in your salad, in your grains, in everything. California passed a new law that all food supplements must have a warning for this, even if the lead amounts are no higher than what you would get in your food. It is safe.

  64. Ok my gitlrlfriend has recently gotten off birth control and we have been trying to start a family we have been trying for a month and her test comes back negative all the time idk if were doing something wrong or what but i would like to know if there is something i can do

    • lauren

      I would suggest that she start taking the Eternal Jing and the Adaptogen Energizer. It will also be important for her to eliminate any foods that contain xeno estrogens. Finally, royal jelly (a bee product), has been extremely helpful in aiding in pregnancy, for both men and women.

  65. Morgan

    Lauren, I read both of your posts on Birth Control, and I wanted to say thank you. I have been debating with the decision on whether or not to get off of birth control for quite some time now, but it was really when I switched over to a vegan lifestyle about 4 weeks ago that totally changed my outlook on everything, especially the foods and chemicals I have been ingesting. I have been on Yaz since I was 18 and I had my gallbladder removed back in May 2012, and I thought it was because of my diet alone. Reading your post has really brought a lot of things to light for me, and it makes so much more sense. I finished my last pill yesterday night, and I am only on placebos now, which I won’t be finishing. So with that said, thanks for helping me with my decision. I appreciate your shared knowledge. Please keep the informative posts coming!

    • lauren

      Thank you Morgan! I am sorry to hear how it has affected you, but hopefully the experience has changed your view on how to care for your body :)

  66. Theresa

    I have found this website extremely helpful. I went off a high androgen birth control in
    Feb and went thru a major hair shed. I took the advice of my ob/gym to try a hair friendly birth control – orthotricyclene. This birth control was a nightmare…my hair shed again because of the flucuations in hormones in that birth control. I quit the pill for good in June and am shedding hair like crazy. I ordered the dragon herbs hair and nail vitamin and the Gallbladder B-6. My question is do I continue to take my complex B vitamin or is that already in the gallbladder B-6 vitamin?

    Thanks!

    • lauren

      I would continue taking both for the time being because often the deficiency is so great you will need both. Secondly, most always we are deficient in the entire spectrum of B vitamins, and if you only take one form of the Bs, you could cause further deficiency in the others.

  67. cbetsyw

    HI Lauren,

    Thank you for all of this valuable info! I am planning to get off of the pill in the near future (have been on it consistently for 12 years). Can I start your regiment now while still on the pill and do you think it will have a preemptive effect on side effects?

    thanks!

    • cbetsyw

      HI Lauren,

      Also, for the bee pollen mixture, I noticed that the bee pollen is available in capsules. Do you have a ratio of capsules to tablespoons as a reference?

      thanks!

      • lauren

        The bee pollen in capsules is actually a different product, it is flower pollen. This can also be helpful, but I have not has as many successes. If necessary though (if you cannot eat the pollen or honey), then the Ultra Pollen capsules can be a substitute. It would be about 6 capsules.

    • lauren

      While you are still on the pill, I would only suggest supplementing with the B vitamins and Gallbladder ND. You could start incorporating the honey/pollen mix as well, but it wouldn’t be necessary until you get off the pill.

  68. Daisy

    Hello,
    I got off birth control 2 months ago and I still have no period. Should I be concerned? Should I go back on my birth control?
    Thanks

    • lauren

      Hi Daisy, that is very common once getting off the pill. For me personally, I think it took about 4-6 mo to get my period. I would suggest using the supplements I recommended, especially the honey and pollen, to get you back on track.

  69. Tara Erickson

    Do you just take a spoonful of the coconut oil? I’ve found it slightly hard to do … Wondering if you took it any other way

    • lauren

      Hi Tara, I actually put it in a morning smoothie, but you can use it in grain dishes, on toast, or anything you would use olive oil or butter for.

  70. Theresa

    Hi!
    I have started to try and balance my hormones after coming off the pill. I would like to do the honey/pollen detox. My question is do I have to do both or just one of them? If I choose the pollen, do I just take the capsule by premier research?

    • lauren

      It is best used in combination as I have written out. 1/3 honey, then add 1/3 pollen, then add 1/3 honey. You mix it up and then take it from there. I have had the most success with it this way and I cannot say I have utilized them separately for this specific issue.

      • Theresa

        Thanks for the reply.

        Do you know of any dragon herb vitamins that increase estrogen levels? I am suffering from a major hair shed after coming off a high androgen birth control and just recently was diagnosed with PCOS. I am taking what you have recommended and am following a low glycemic diet.

  71. Ileana

    Hi Lauren, I had a question. I stopped taking birth control about 8 months ago, but while I was taking it I only took it for 2 months or less. I stopped because I gained probably 15 lbs and I was hoping I’d lose it. Even worse, I GAINED more so I went from 115-118lbs to over 140 lbs. I have NOT lost any of this weight and honestly I’m so depressed. I want to go to tbe doctor, but I don’t have insurance yet. I just wanted some aid or assurance if this is normal or not. Thanks in advance.

    • lauren

      Hmmm well the question would be what is the rest of your hormones like? Are you exhibiting other signs of hormone imbalance such as fatigue, hair loss, trouble focusing, irregular period? If yes, then I would start with the DIM Detox, Adaptogen Energizer and Eternal Jing to help you get in balance. I would also be very careful about the diet, making sure to avoid all xeno estrogens. In addition, if you do have issues with blood sugar, that could be interfering with your hormone balance as well so you would have to address that as well. Often eliminating all sugar (including fruit and root vegetables) and grains helps in addition to taking chromium and magnesium supplements.

  72. Katie

    Hi Lauren,

    I recently got off birth control about 5-6 weeks ago and I was told by my doctor that both my estrogen and progesterone levels were low. My doctor also told me that I needed to gain weight in order to help balance the hormones (im a little under 100 pounds now). I was wondering if you had any recommendations on foods or supplements I could take that would help balance my hormones and allow me to gain some weight?

    Thanks!

    Katie

    • lauren

      Hi Katie, I would suggest using the program I laid out in this post, and I would make sure to increase your intake of healthy fats such as avocado, grass-fed butter (organic only), coconut oil, coconut butter, olives, hemp and chia seeds, raw nuts/seeds and cold-pressed olive oil. In particular the healthy saturated fats (coconut, grass-fed butter) provides the cholesterol needed by the body to make hormones. Good Luck!

  73. Cathy

    This was amazing to read!!
    I had issues with my hair falling out and a rash on my scalp that the Derm could NOT figure out after many pills and creams and sprays and shampoo’s…my hair was still irritated and falling out, I used to have HUGE hair, slightly curly and just everywhere, and although I always wanted thinner hair….my hair was now so thin that I was almost look bald, I had to get a haircut and try and hide it. Finally I put two and two together and went off Birth Control, it hasn’t even been a full week and my head is already clearing up and the rash is clearing up. I had only been on the Pill for almost two years, and it Generess FE. I do not plan on ever getting birth control again and I cannot wait until my body reverts to “normal” once this chemical gets out of me! I went and bought some of those dragon Herb’s for hair regrowth, thank you thank you for posting this! Makes me feel less crazy 

  74. Lisa

    Hi Lauren!

    Thank you for all this great information. I have not been able to find any other information which actually discusses solutions to the negative side effects instead of just the side effects.

    I am considering ordering all these supplements today because I decided to come off the pill and have been off it for a few days now and want to make sure I am taking the correct steps. However, I don’t have a huge income and many of these supplements are expensive. Are there a few supplements that you would definitely recommend that will do the job or are they all necessary. If taking all of them is really the best then I will do that, but I wanted to check.

    Thanks!

    • lauren

      Hi Lisa, it all depends on your symptoms or what you have been going through. The basics are the Gallbladder ND and DIM Detox. You can see how you do on those, and then if necessary, add the other ones.

  75. Danica

    I would like to thank you for posting about your experience coming off the birth control pill. I have recently been thinking of doing this myself as I have been experiencing numerous negative side effects and feel getting clean of the pill is the first step in the right direction. Your post has helped me a lot, thank you!

  76. Cathy

    Hi Lauren,

    I just bought all the supplements in this post since I just came off birth control pills after being on them for 10 years. This is my third month without the pill and the first real month I started seeing all the negative side effects of the pills, MAJOR PMS, acne, back pains, etc etc. I want to do the cleanses in your blog, would it be okay if I took the supplements in this post and do the cleanse at the same time? Or would it be better if I did the cleanses first and then start taking the supplements?

    Thanks!

  77. Melissa

    Thanks so much for sharing your suggestions. I cannot find the Ultra Pollen in anything beside capsules (on amazon). I read in the other comments that these capsules are not the same as the bee pollen. Can you please provide a link to the non-capsule bee forumla you are talking about?

    • lauren

      Hi Melissa, you can find the Ultra Pollen here. Good Luck!

      • Melissa

        That is the same link you provided above, but it is for the 180 capsule bottle of FLOWER pollen. I thought you said to look for the powder formula of BEE ONLY pollen?

        If this link is in fact the pollen you recommend going with, do I break open the capsule to put into the raw honey? How many capsules do I break open?

  78. Amber

    Hello Lauren,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was on the pill for about 15 yrs and experienced debilitating migraines whenever I was on the placebos monthly. This past June , I decided to switch to the progesterone only pill to see if it would help with my migraines. It did help but I stopped getting a period and did not like that so I decided to stop that and have been OC free since August. The problem is, I’m still not menstruating. No spotting or anything, and I’m not pregnant. I don’t know what I should do..is this normal?

    • lauren

      Hi Amber, it can take awhile to get your period back. I would suggest taking the supplements to help balance your hormones which will help bring your period back. Good Luck!

  79. Laura

    Hey Lauren! Thank you SO much for writing this. It’s so encouraging to hear people who have also shared the struggle of getting off BC pills. I have a question or two for you!

    1) I went off bc all together the first week of April about 6 months ago. I’ve been working hard to balance my hormones by eating a clean vegan diet (no refined sugar, eating raw nut butters as Good fats, etc), taking probiotics, femmenessence maca supplements, pH supplements to help my liver detox, and also magnesium oxide to help my digestive system stay in good working order!

    SO, I’m doing wonderful except…I haven’t had a cycle yet. Not one!
    Slowly I’ve felt my energy increase (to incredible levels without caffeine or any help), clear headed thinking, increased libido (finally!), my skin isn’t even that bad (mainly 1 or 2 on my forehead now & then) I just feel like the only puzzle piece missing is my cycle!

    I went to the endocrinologist & got my hormone levels checked last month & everything is perfect! My T4 was even above average a little.

    My Obgyn said that if you don’t have a cycle often enough you are at risk for cervical cancer.

    My question is, is it normal to go this long without a cycle?! I do experience cramping from time to time and get excited but nothing ever happens. I’m not stressed out or anything that would cause it to be absent.

    The only thing that showed up funny on my blood work was that my liver enzymes were a little high, which is strange because I feel fine & have no history of liver disease.

    Please let me know if you have any suggestions! I’m kinda at my wits end :/

    Thanks!!

    • lauren

      Hi Laura, you definitely will want to get your period back, and what I would suggest is the honey/pollen mix. That for a lot of women has been really effective, and hopefully it will be for you as well. If that doesn’t work, try the eternal jing. Maca is good, but for most people is not strong enough in cases like these. Good Luck!

  80. Molly

    Do you take the Adapton and Eternal Jing every day or just when you are experiencing PMS symptoms? I have horrible cramps but I can definitely not afford to go through two bottles of those pills each month. Any advice?

    • lauren

      Hi Molly, I was taking both for cramps, and it took a month to 6 weeks to have full relief. Since then I do not have to rely on them as they helped to balance my hormones. Therefore, I would give it a try short-term, and if it works, then tamper off and see how you do.

      • Molly

        Thanks! Did you take them every day for 6 weeks or just on the days around your period?

  81. Excellent article Lauren! great job touching on all areas… I love the brands of supplements that you recommend also.

    Michele
    http://thenaturaldoctorclinic.com/

    http://healthyfashionista.com/

  82. Samantha Victoria

    Did your cellulite improve using your methods when getting off birth control?

  83. Luckystar

    Hi Lauren,

    Loving this website.

    So informative.

    I came off the pill 2 months ago and I’ve notice a big increase in my body odor.

    I am very hygienic and shower daily and use an anti perspirant.

    Even straight after I’ve showered I’ll be sitting down and i will start to smell a strong odor.

    I don’t notice any excessive sweating just the smell.

    Does this have something to do with my ostregeon and hormone level?

    Thank you

    • lauren

      It is possible. While bad odor has to do with the bacteria on the skin reacting to the sweat, it can be the result of detoxification. This can happen from coming off the pill, as the body tries to balance itself out.

  84. erica

    Hi, I need your help! I recently got on the pill Crystelle to help w/heavy menstruation and have been on this about 2 1/2 weeks now noticing side affects of stomach problems like bloating,burping,rumbling noises,and pain on my left side of my stomach also brain fog and some nausea. In addition, I noticed an increase of strong body odor like skunk twice alrdy and also sweet body odor at times. I’m taking probiotics and b12,I am stressing over this, I don’t know what to eat anymore and having trouble sleeping over this.I need your help desperately.

    Thank you

    • lauren

      Hi Erica, I would suggest taking the Gallbladder ND – this will help with the digestive issues and sleep. As for the brain fog, that typically subsides after coming off the pill, so if you feel its best for you, then that might be what you should do. Oftentimes the eternal jing can help as well.

  85. Holly

    Thanks for the information here. I have only been on the pill starting this month. I have decided to go off it after only one cycle (which ends in a week). Believe it or not, I went on it for hair loss as it is supposed to be a so-called hair friendly pill. I got extremely scared after a year of severe thinning from a horrendously bad emotional year. That is why I did it. Now that I am thinking a little more clearly, I want to go off it. Does anyone have any thoughts on the degree of hair loss I might have being on it for only one cycle? Would my side effects be limited from being on it such a short time? I am scared to go off it because additional hair loss will devastate me, but I have become scared to stay on it too. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    • lauren

      Hi Holly, everyone is different, but it is not out of the realm of possibilities for it to take affect so quickly. Many women experience something similar to you. Therefore, I would listen to your body. I would say that its much better to get off now than later, if that is what you think is best for you. It will prevent you from really having to deal with imbalance hormones.

  86. tiffany

    Great article. Decided I wanted to try and conceive, so after 13 years on the pill, stopped. Just finished my second cycle and my goodness. My first cycle was no biggie, minor cramping during my cycle but that was it. A couple days before the second cycle, burning sensation, nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, and fatigue. Now that my cycle has ended, the symptoms have eased some. I went in and did a urine test, which all came back negative. I never dreamed coming off the pill would have such an adverse reaction. I have been taking a prenatal vitamin but wonder if I should add something else.

    • lauren

      Hi Tiffany, I would look to the other supplements, especially if you are trying to get pregnant. They should really help your body prepare for pregnancy, plus they should make you feel better as well.

  87. Tiane

    Hi,
    I hope that you’re not tired of talking about this because I am a little late to the party it seems. I went off birth control in April of this year after having been on it for about a year. I had been on and off twice before that. The symptoms hit me like a ton of bricks. I got that gnarly flu at the beginning of the year and thought that that was the culprit. I experienced a marked increase in anxiety symptoms as well as OCD symptoms. I still struggle with brain fog and fatigue. I’ve also had a pretty steep drop in my appetite. I have to force myself to eat a lot of days. Strangely, I seem to have developed a slew of food intolerance issues that weren’t there before. Generally, I feel best when I eat just veggies. Wheat seems to be giving me chest pains. I also have a very low tolerance for alcohol these days. On top of all this, my sex drive is just about non-existent and I haven’t gotten a period since early September. Just a couple of days ago, I went in for a full hormone panel blood test. I expect the results in a week or so and I’m very anxious to see what turns up there. Regarding what you said about hormones taking up to 2 years to regulate, do you have any studies that I can read about that? I’m very curious because a lot of places say that things should be back to normal in 7 months or so, but I have seen 2 years as well. I’m very nervous about supplements. I take vitamin d-3 because I am very deficient in that (I live in an area with an inversion). Otherwise, I am very fearful of supplements because I have heard that they can cause a build up of heavy metals in the system. Do you have any strictly diet-based advice for getting back to health? Sorry that this is so lengthy and frenetic, but that’s been the nature of my struggle with these symptoms.

    • lauren

      Hi Tiane, my comment on 2 years is a personal observation I have made through my own journey and working with others as well. As for the fear of supplements, Chinese herbs can have heavy metals, but everything I recommend on this site are completely SAFE and free of toxins/heavy metals. You can follow a diet of no sugar, and no carbs including fruit and root vegetables. It would be a blend of paleo and the ketogenic diet, but only eating organic meat, wild fish, eggs, tons of green vegetables, herbs and heavy fats. This can help balance the hormones. But with that being said, for the majority of people supplements are needed since the diet is just not therapeutic enough. Good Luck!

  88. Christine

    Hi Lauren! Thanks so much for sharing your story! I got off the pill a little over 2 months ago after almost 20 years on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. (I only took 1 break in the middle to get pregnant and gave birth to my little man 10 years ago.) With bad PMS in my 20′s – the pill helped me get “control” of PMS. Now in my mid-40′s and taking really good care of my health compared to my 20′s, I felt a little off and my intuition told me years of being on the pill was taking its toll somehow. I live naturally in so many ways except using the pill. I’ve always wanted to stop the pill but feared the PMS. However, I did a lot of research this past year and realized how bad the synthetic hormones are for my body, especially heading towards peri-menopause within the next 5 years. So, I decided to take the leap and go off the pill and try to balance hormones naturally. I’ve already had 2 regular cycles starting between D29 and D32 – it feels liberating to have a REAL cycle, not fake ones on the pill. My sex drive dramatically jumps mid cycle – yay! The bad… I’ve gained 5 lbs with no change to lifestyle, I get moody and stressed ALOT, I am very “dry” during the first week of my cycle (likely low estrogen), and I have really bad PMS the last week of my cycle (likely low progesterone). I will never go back on synthetic birth control and am committed to do whatever it takes to balance my hormones naturally. My quest continues, and I love to hear how other women are doing on this same journey to rebalance hormones after birth control pills!

    • lauren

      Thank you Christine for joining the conversation! It is so important for us all to share our stories. Good Luck on your change!

  89. jillian

    Hi Lauren!

    I just stumbled across your site while trying to find some answers about going off birth control and i am SO GLAD i found this post. Everything makes so much sense now- I’ve only been on birth control for about 6 months but I have been feeling side effects including the burping you described from b6 deficiency. I was wondering if the side effects of going off birth control are (moodiness etc) are as severe when I haven’t been on birth control for years and years? I also was wondering if you talked with a doctor before you went off your birth control? I don’t have insurance at the moment (though I will soon) and am planning on going off the pill next week when my pack is done. I’ve heard you’re supposed to consult a medical professional before going off but I don’t have a set physican as I haven’t had insurance for a while. Is it completely necessary to talk to a doctor? Advice?

    • lauren

      Hi Jillian, unless you have a diagnosed condition to why you were on the BC in the first place, I would not think that you need to see a physician beforehand. Most women I know just go off. If you do have a condition that you were on it for, then I would recommend seeing a doctor beforehand. As for coming off, most people have relief from their symptoms, but some of them may drag on for a bit. I would recommend getting on the Gallbladder ND for the B6 deficiency. That should help with the burping. Good Luck!

  90. kate

    Hi Lauren – thanks so much for posting this. I have decided to quit birth control this week. The biggest reason is that I have gained 10 lbs in 6 months without doing anything differently except starting Vestura ( a generic of Yaz/Gianni). I have been the same weight to the lb for the past 10-15 years even after having 2 children. Anyway – I’m done with the pill as of yesterday. My question is – do you know if I can take these supplements while nursing? My son is 2 and still hanging on (at bed time only) so I’m not sure if I’m really producing milk – It’s more of a comfort thing but thought I’d check anyway. Even on the pill I deal with hormonal acne and night sweats. Do you think the DIM will help with this? THANK YOU!

    • lauren

      Hi Kate, The supplements would be okay to take while breastfeeding, they actually should help with the quality of the breast milk, but I would wait on the DIM Detox. I do not know for sure about its effects on the milk, so just to be safe, I would wait. On the other hand, you can always call Pure Encapsulation directly to ask them. They would be able to direct you. Good Luck kate!

  91. Kini

    Hi Lauren! Thank you for the post! I’ve been on BC pills for almost 15yrs….started on Orthodox-TriCyclen with no known side effects, then about 10yrs ago was switched to Ortho-TriCyclen Lo also with no known side effects…last year I had a myomectomy and wanted to get completely off the pills but was instructed not to…I continued usage and noticed a change in hair texture. I have long medium thick spirally curly hair…when I would straighten it, I only needed a comb because it was much straighter and thinner. 3mos ago my gyno switched me back to Ortho-TriCyclen (because Lo didn’t come in generic and insurance didn’t save much on brand prescriptions and I had been complaining of the coat of $118mo…now this was going to cost $18)…By the 3rd month my hair was thinning greatly! Worst decision ever! An area on both sides are so thin it’s see thru and visible to the scalp, my nape is bone straight. I stopped taking them the last 2wks if the pack. I had my labs done and I’m not deficient in any vitamins, hormone levels were normal etc. I did notice my hair by the nape became wavy during those 2wksa me now can see a curl or two. I was put back on Ortho-Lo, but I want to get completely off and want my beautiful curly hair back! Do you think stopping and taking the dragon herbs will help? (I’m 37yrs old, been a vegetarian/borderline vegan my entire life, don’t drink or smoke, I’m active/exercise 6-7 days a week, and take great care of myself. I’m in a panic because I would do a lot of hIr modeling and now with the shape of my hair I’m freaked out.

    • lauren

      Hi! I am so sorry to hear that! I would definitely give it a try. Start with as many as 6 a day, 2 per meal. Try it for about 6 weeks and see how it helps. I am crossing my fingers for you!

  92. Tori

    Hi Lauren,

    I just have to say – THANK YOU for this. I, like many others, have been considering this for some time. When I first brought it up with my doctor last year, they immediately shot it down and said it was unsafe and unnecessary. I beg to differ, and with confidence after reading your articles.

    My boyfriend and I recently took charge of revamping our health. He is an advocate and supportive of my transition off of birth control. Your two articles have given me that last stab of confidence to dive into this transition, and I look forward to the changes to come. I will certainly be referencing this article frequently throughout my journey, and also look forward to sharing my experiences with everyone else who is considering the same endeavor.

    :) Thank you,
    Tori

    • lauren

      Morning Tori, I am so happy to hear this! Yes, there is a large community of us that are looking for alternatives. Fortunately there are options, and we are more than in control of this decision. Good Luck!

  93. zanna howard

    My boyfriend/fiancé and I decided to start a family. Ive been on birth control for about a year and a half. I finally stopped last month around the same time. And I haven’t had my period. Is this normal? Am I pregnant (we had unprotected sex), I need answers.

    • lauren

      Hi Zanna, of course there is the possibility of being pregnant, so I would definitely suggest going to your doctor to be tested. Otherwise, it is not abnormal to miss periods after coming off the pill as the body normalizes itself. I would suggest using the honey/pollen suggestion to support the body in balancing hormones.

  94. Adriana Z-F

    Hi Lauren, I have been off of the pill now for about 6 months. I am seeing a TCM doc and am on herbs to help my body transition (I also had an autoimmune thyroid flare prior to getting off BC). I have recently considered taking the DIM detox while on the herbs and acupuncture because I am still having issues with acne and hair loss. First, would it be OK to take DIM detox while on chinese herbs given that I would take the DIM at least an hour after drinking my herbs? Two, I noticed that the DIM contains soy. Isn’t that counterintuitive to this protocol? Thanks, as always, for your help!

  95. Camelia

    Hey Lauren,

    First of all, thank you so much for this article :) ! I’ve been on the pill for 8 years now and I wish I could just go back and not take it at all. I’ve been thinking for a year now to give it up. My liver is starting to act up, the veins on my legs are popping and I’m only 26. I am very scared of getting off the pill, since I was diagnosed with depression at 15 and have weird mood swings even with the pill. I did a rough depression treatment prescribed by my psychiatrist of Rivotril, Sertralin (Zoloft) and Depakin about two years ago and started feeling better since this summer. My biggest fear is my depression acting out, my hair that has been thining lately and also some weight gain that has happened in the last two months. So I’m just scared that by giving up the pill, these sympoms might worsen. I pray that they don’t! I live in Romania and don’t have acces to the vitamins that you recomended unfortunately,but will try to find something similar here. I can tell you though that every time I go to the farmacy lately, the farmacist gives me this shocked face when I tell them I’ve been taking this pill non stop for 8 years. It gets me thinking. I’m supposed to start the new batch of pills right now, and thinking of going to sleep and just seeing how I feel tomorrow about it. I really don’t want to take it anymore but might have a big move in my life in a month or so, in a new country and it adds a lot of extra stress. Your article has given me hope, knowing that I’m not alone in this struggle. I really hope to feel even more powerfull tomorrow and just give it up. Thank you for doing this, it means a lot to us!

    • lauren

      Hi Camelia, Thank you so much for writing in. Fortunately depression is very responsive to alternative methods including light therapy, acupuncture, B vitamins, St. Johns Wort and even NADH. I would consider finding an alternative practitioner in your area that you could work with to help you ease through the transition. Possibly a Naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist or chiropractor would be a good start. Good Luck!!

  96. Chloe

    Hi, how do you know the herbal supplement you recommended – Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs – is safe and without negative side effects? I tried to do some web researching and I couldn’t find any information on the safety of he shou wu or any of the other ingredients.

    • lauren

      Hi Chloe, I have worked with Dragon Herbs for many years but all people have different needs and have different health concerns. Therefore I would suggest talking to a representative at Dragon Herbs as well as your doctor about your concerns prior to starting.

  97. Corrie

    Hi Lauren, is the bee pollen safe to take if you have allergies to flower/plant pollen? I am not allergic to bees. If it is not, can you recommend other alternatives to take? I have ordered the Dragon Herbs for my hair, DIM detox and Gallbladder ND as well, and was wondering about adding the honey/bee pollen mixture. I have been off BC for about 7 months so hoping this helps with getting me back to feeling normal :)

    • lauren

      Hi Corrie, I would definitely NOT take the bee pollen if you are allergic to pollen. I would try the Adaptogen Energizer and Eternal Jing instead. I typically recommend for people to start with 3 AE, and 1 EJ. Hopefully this will get you on your way :) They are two of my favorite products.

  98. Britt

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences Lauren! Eager to try your method. Quick question – I’m currently taking saccharomyces boulardii as a probiotic supplement which has really helped my digestive issues. Is it fine to continue this with your recommended supplementation?

    Also, is there a supplements substitute for the pollen for those who may be allergic?

    Thanks!

    • lauren

      Hi Britt – yes, it is fine to take the probiotic while on the BC plan. As for a bee pollen substitute, I would try the Adaptogen Energizer and Eternal Jing instead. I typically recommend for people to start with 3 AE, and 1 EJ. I hope that helps!

  99. Ann

    I have been on birth control for over 10 years and I feel ugly when I get off birth control. I just think I look healthier and prettier on birth control. It could just be my mood changing as I get off them but even in pictures I look a lot worse. Does anyone else experience this? Or know why this would be? , I’m assuming less estrogen and progesterone may contribute to these feelings.

    • lauren

      Absolutely – I have felt the same way before. I actually believe that it has a lot to do with low testosterone levels because testosterone is the hormone that gives you confidence, and drive. I would suggest getting on my recommendations and getting your hormone levels checked after a few months to see where you are at. With that being said, just knowing that it is due to the birth control and not your own “craziness” is helpful in staying more mentally stable.

  100. Abbie

    Hi Lauren , reading your article has felt like a comfort blanket. I am in a similar position. I had been on the pill for 9 years I came off in march . I suffered awful side effects most if which I just thought we’re part of normal life. My biggest problem which I’m still trying o overcome is I experienced melasma on my upper lip towards the end . I came off the pill straight away. It still hasn’t gone . Do you have any help and advice for this? I’m trying to do everything to balance my hormones . Its very embarasing as you can imagine any help grealty appreciated.Abbie xx

    • lauren

      Hi Abbie – that is due to high estrogen. I would start on the supplements and then get your hormones checked after a couple months to see where you are at. As for the melasma, I would make an appointment with a dermatologist to see what your options are for non-tonic whitening creams. While that is not the ideal, it will be the most effective if you need to see a change asap while you work on balancing your hormones internally. Good luck Abbie! PS – stay out of the SUN! That alone can help with the discoloration a great deal.

  101. Kasey

    Hi Lauren,

    I’m not sure where to start exactly. So, here goes…I’ve been on Depo for about 12 years now and have been considering getting off of it for a while now. I’m 27 and not with my boyfriend as of recently due a good bit to my mood swings from the horrid medicine. However, I read about the horrible side effects, and it scares me a little. But as I read the symptoms of coming off of it, it hit me all of a sudden that I’ve been experiencing these symptoms already over the past few months and had no clue why. Then I thought about that ALSO, in the past few months I started taking more vitamins and supplements like Milk Thistle among many others. Do you think it’s possible that the “detox” vitamins I’ve been introducing have actually been getting rid of the Depo so I’m ALREADY experiencing the withdrawals? I’d love your feedback on this. I’ve also been dealing with candida for almost two years now when I never had it before that. On top of all of the other reasons to stop taking a BC, I’m hoping this gets better as well? I’ve tried everything…garlic, coconut oil, pau d’arco, caprylic acid. I just can’t seem to kick it completely. Figured I just need to get rid of the shot and keep sticking to natural remedies and a better diet. Planning to see a holistic doctor ASAP! Any info or insight you could give into this, especially, the first part of my post, would be greatly appreciated! Praying for strength through this. I know it will be worth it in the end. Just a little anxious about it.

    • lauren

      Hi Kasey – your intuition is right to start working with a holistic doctor. With so many factors on the plate, such as Candida, and hormone imbalance it is difficult to say what is contributing to what. What is clear is that you need to start cleaning up the body. I do not think that the milk thistle is leading to your symptoms, it is more plausible that it is your hormones. Detox symptoms from milk thistle is not common, and detox symptoms are more short term and are more often fatigue and headaches. Working with someone directly will be your best bet. Good luck!

  102. Katie

    Hi Lauren,
    I was on the depo provera shot for 9 months and decided not to get any more injections (I was due for one mid december) due to hair loss I believe this shot was causing. Since I have missed my last dose I have noticed a rapid increase in my hair shedding. I have begun taking the DIM detox as well as the dragon hair and nails vitamins. I noticed that you mentioned you took two capsules of the DIM detox and 4-6 capsules of the dragon hair and nail vitamins daily. Is it more effective to take these vitamins all together at the same time? Or is it better to take some in the morning and some at night?

    • lauren

      Hi Katie – it is best to take the DIM Detox with food. You can take the Hair and Nails with the DIM or on its own. Whatever is easier, as compliance is the key here. Good Luck !!

  103. Elizabeth

    Hi Lauren, I was just wondering how long you took the dragon hair and nails for before you noticed a change, I’m starting it once my order arrives :) also, you know anything about aloe gel and resveritrol for acne?

    Thanks!

    • lauren

      Personally I noticed in a week. My hair stopped shedding as much, but depending on your state of health it could be longer, up to a month or so. You can play with the dose as well depending on how you are doing. Resveratrol would not be my first, or second choice for that matter, for acne. Aloe can work, but I would try a more therapeutic aloe since its main mode for action is healing the gut. If the gut is compromised and if you are not digesting your food, acne is an end result since it is a reflection of clearing toxins from the gut. Check out my intestinal cleanse as a basis for clearing acne by targeting the gut.

      • Elizabeth

        Thanks Lauren! I think I’ll try the salt cleanse, it sounds a bit easier. I’m apprehensive about cleanses that might require constant bathroom trips because I work on my feet in my hospital..

  104. Barbora

    Hi Lauren! I would like your advice about my current situation. One year ago i stopped birth control pills and afterwards i had terrible shedding hair i guess telogen effluvium so i panicked and i jumped back on the same bcp which i was taking for about 7 months, i had lot of new regrow in hair but the hair denstity was not the same as before, but when i stopped taking the bcp once again i do have lot of shedding again. So i currently take bcp which i was taking at first and never had problem going off and on. I am young and i dont want to be bald. Why iam shedding so much when i stop bcp? Is this hormonal imbalance? I am really scared to get off bcp again. Please advice thank you very much Barbora

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hello! Yes, shedding is related to your hormone levels. I would suggest getting on Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs, while on the pill. You can then transition off and see how you do. Typically the product can take anywhere between a week to a couple months to take effect. Once off the pill, I would also suggest working with a ND. You can get your hormone levels tested to see exactly where you are at bc if you testosterone is high, that is a main issue leading to hair loss. Good Luck!

  105. Adriana

    Hi Lauren, I’ve started on the DIM detox, while also being treated by a TCM doc with Chinese herbs and acupuncture. I’m wondering … the DIM that you recommend, which I’m taking, has soy in it. Isn’t that counterproductive to this protocol? Sorry for asking this again. I posted a while back and never got a response, but I’m very curious as to your answer. I know that there are other brands of DIM on the market, so I’m wondering if I should switch to one without soy, especially since I have a history of autoimmune thyroiditis. Thanks for your help!

  106. Kristi

    I have been off the pill for 3 months now and couldn’t be happier! Originally I knew I wanted to get off of it because I kept hearing info from friends and tv, etc about bad things that had happened to people because of taking the pill. I was nervous to get off of it because I had once before with terrible side effects – cystic acne, very mean and depressed mood swings and very heavy periods with bad cramping. So, I started searching the internet for some sort of guidance and that’s when I found Lauren’s article!

    I ordered the DIM Detox, Adaptogen Energizer and Hair and Nails supplements and got started. The most important thing I’ve found, especially for my skin, is eating as much fresh food as possible – lots of veggies and some fruits and plenty of filtered water. I also add apple cider vinegar to my water 2-3 times per day which I’ve found helps digestion and my therefore my skin.

    When I quit the pill before I was not paying attention to my diet and I know that’s why I had such bad symptoms. As long as I avoid processed foods (including beer) and take these supplements I have incredible energy and am so happy! Also, my skin is more clear now than when I was taking the pill. Thank you, Lauren, for all you do!

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Fantastic!! This made my day! I am so happy to hear you are doing well, and thank you for sharing with us. Next on my list is a hormone balancing diet. Should be great!

  107. Anna

    Hi ladies,
    I have been off the pill for months now and still have not gotten my period. I just found this blog and am going to get these supplements. Recently mynsymptoms have been getting worse I’m always fatigued and my skin has gotten worse. This article is a life saver and I hope these products helps. Also in regards to diet does anyone know of a good site that can give me a diet plan of what I should be eating ?
    Anna

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Anna. Congratulations! In regards to your diet, I would stick to a low-glycemic, plant-centric diet. I would focus on gluten-free grains (buckwheat, rice, quinoa), tons of green vegetables, other vegetables, low-sugar fruit, healthy fats (coconut, olive, sesame oils, olives), raw nuts/seeds, fermented foods, and if you eat meat, only ORGANIC, grass-fed, free range meat, and wild fish. No conventional meat, no dairy, and no soy. Occasional organic tempeh and miso is okay. This diet is pretty much paleo, but you can modify it depending on your needs of animal protein. The goal is to eliminate inflammatory foods, and those that lead to blood sugar imbalance and therefore hormone imbalance. This has given me inspiration for a new post :)

  108. Sophia

    Hi Lauren!
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience and wisdom. Im 25 and i have been on the pill for 6 years on and off. My mom has been trying to get me off of it because she too shared with me all the negative things that birth control can do that no one tells you about. I would consult with my doctor and he would assure me that everything I hear is false and encouraged me to stay on it. With that being said the last couple months of taking it I really started to think about health and what exactly I’m putting in my body. I’m also in a serious committed relationship and I noticed my sex drive became almost non existent, I’m tired all the time and I get so emotional before my periods which I know to a degree is normal for woman but I feel like since I’ve been on the pill it’s gotten progressively worse. Anyways needless to say I came across your post one day and it was exactly what I needed to take that extra step and free myself from the pill. I’ve been off of it for two weeks now!!! I honestly feel free and that I’m on my way to just being my natural healthy self! So thank you! I’ve noticed I have been having a lot of breast tenderness, been pretty tired and keep having cramps but like you said it’s normal and I’m so excited to get myself back on track :) I purchased all your supplements on amazon and I was just wondering what’s your daily routine? It’s a lot of supplements do you take them all at once? Also I got the ultra pollen capsuls and the raw honey how would I mix those together?
    Thanks again!
    Look forward to hearing from you!
    -sophia

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Sophia! Congratulations on your big change! It can be scary but if you know what you are doing is the right thing, you can harness enough courage to move forward. As for the supplements, you can separate them out throughout the day. I would suggest taking them with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The raw honey is to be mixed with the bee pollen. Ultrapollen is to be taken as a capsule, with food. I hope that makes it more clear :)

      • Sophia

        Thank you for getting back to me! That is helpful! I started taking them this week. Is there anyway you can give me an example of your day taking the supplements along with your diet? I just kinda need a guideline so I know I’m taking them correctly? Also you say wine and beer is bad is there an alternative drink that would be better on occasional nights I go out for a drink with friends? Is a glass of red wine ok?
        Thank you
        -Sophia

  109. Crys

    Hi Lauren! Can you take the honey-pollen mixture in tea or added to food (say gluten free oats or frozen banana ice cream)? Or would the heat/cold destroy the healing properties of the honey?

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      You can add it to tea, or warm beverages, I would just make sure it is not boiling. As for ice cream… never really thought about that, but I don’t see why not!

  110. Sarah

    Hi Lauren,

    What are some good birth control options? Would you recommend the mini pill?

    Thanks!

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Sarah, I suggest condoms (no spermicide), along with family planning. It is not what most men want to hear, but it does not involve hormones.

  111. Elizabeth

    Hi there,

    I appreciate your article. I got off the pill in December 2013 (so not quite 3 months) after being on it for 10 years. I am 24 years old and I started taking the pill at 14 years to control acne and regulate my periods. I started experiencing symptoms immediately after I stopped taking the pill. I have not yet had a period, I am extremely emotional and irritable (everything makes me cry), I have absolutely NO sex drive which is really disturbing me (and my partner)…my acne has also flared up again on my back and face, I feel bloated and have gained a bit of weight…I just feel out of wack in general. But most concerning to me is the lack of sex drive – articles that I’ve read have said that there should be an increase in sex drive after stopping the pill – when I was on the pill I actually found it to benefit my sex drive and I would notice a drop in my sex drive only during the days that I was taking the placebos.

    Before I started taking the pill I had very irregular periods I would only ovulate once every 4-6 months – which is one of the reasons I went on the pill.

    Could it be that I actually have a hormone deficiency and the hormones in the pills were actually helping my body?? I have an appointment with a doctor but it not for another month (I could not get one sooner) and I am becoming more and more distressed about the symptoms I am feeling.

    HELP!

    • Elizabeth

      I also should add that I have had really, really sore nipples and breast tenderness – so bad that I could hardly shower.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Elizabeth, based on how long you were on the pill, it most likely will take you longer to get back on track. I think the Eternal Jing and Adaptogen Energizer products will be a great way for you to get your sex drive back. I would start on those and after 3 mo, check back in. If you are still having the same issues, then get your hormone levels tested to see what is going on exactly. Good Luck!

  112. Ashley

    I am so glad I found this site! I have been on birth control pills for 15 years now and I really want to get off of them. I am so tired of taking something that is so unnatural. My husband and I will have to use another form of birth control but we will work through that. I originally went on the pill because I had dysmenorrhea. I could not function when I had my period and the fear of that returning has been what has kept me on the pill for so long. Do you have any advice in case that comes back? Also, do you suggest I visit my OBGYN before going off?

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Ashley, I would meet with your gyno just to keep them on the same page, and then I would start on the supplement regime right away. There is a possibility that your symptoms will come back, because the pill masks them, but there are other ways to handle it that does not involve BC. Therefore, I would get off the pill, take the supplements for up to 3 mo and allow your system to rebalance. After that time period, if you are getting your symptoms again, get your blood work done. Find an ND and work with them to normalize your hormones with alternative methods. The supplements may be all that is needed, so you will have to wait to see how your body responds.

  113. Jessica

    Hi,

    I’m not sure I have the guts to go off the pill just yet (I have been on it for almost 3 years) But I am 29 and thin have gained cellulite only. It cleared up my acne and cramps but I am very afraid of all the health concerns especially Breast Cancer. My question is can I take these supplements you recommend (gallbladder ND, Dim Detox and ultra Pollon) To help support my body even while i’m still Birth control?

    I am also on Spironolactone

    Help, Scared and indecisive

  114. Jessica

    Also, Will the Cellulite possibly go away? I work out three times a week and am very lean but its still there!

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Jessica, you can take all but the DIM. They are not sure at this point how the DIM interacts with BC in terms of preventing pregnancy. Cellulite does come on from BC, and the supplements MAY help. It is worth a try, but to be honest, I do not have much experience with seeing the loss of cellulite while still on BC. Let me know though!

  115. Kristin

    Hi Lauren~ I am at a desperate point right now and came across your article. I was on the Pill for almost 10 years and decided to go off of it for health reasons in October. Since that time I have gained weight rapidly, despite no real change in exercise and diet. I have put on over 15lbs. I am beyond disheartened and feeling extremely low. I really do not want to go back on the Pill, but feel that if I keep going at this rate I will lose my sanity. None of my clothes fit and I am getting more depressed every week. I have upped my fitness regimen and concentrated on my diet yet continue to gain weight. I see that you said you experienced rapid weight gain and then weight loss. Can you explain the timing of that? How long were you gaining, and at what point did you begin to lose? I feel so helpless and it is really interfering with my ability to live my life and be happy.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Kristin, You should know that the change in hormones affects your mood as well. Therefore, you are feeling depressed and low, not only because of the weight gain, but the actually physiology of your hormones. I would recommend getting on the supplements I recommend to help balance the body, to not only support your weight loss but also your neurotransmitters, and therefore mood. Because you were on the pill for so long it is most likely going to take more than just diet and exercise to get you back on track. Right now your hormones are not finding balance and that is a main driver of your weight gain, not the diet and exercise. If you focus on hormone balance, then the weight loss will follow, and the mood will improve. Do not feel crazy, this is your body trying to find its rhythm again. I would give you a time frame but everyone is different. Once on the right supplement plan weight loss could start happening within a few weeks. Hopefully this helps!

      • Lynn

        I started birth control pills when I was about 16, due to having extremely irregular periods and cramping. I am now 42 and have decided to go off due to having chronic headaches and intense migraines by whole adult life. No matter what treatment, medication, etc I try, the headaches continue. Do you recommend I start the Gallbladder ND, the DIM detox and the eternal jing and adaptogen energizer all at one time?? If so, how long do you recommend taking these supplements? In addition, you listed examples of xenoestrogens as chicken, dairy and produce. This is most of what I eat. Do you have a guideline as to what healthy alternatives would be or can these foods be eaten if I take the DIM detox? Thank you for your article, I have been researching and your information has proven to be the most helpful to me.

        • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

          Hi Lynn, yes you start them all at the same time. I would also make sure to take a B Complex and Magnesium. That should help with the headaches. As for the food, you can have chicken as long as it is organic. Hormones given to conventionally-raised chicken, turkey, and cows are the source of xeno estrogens, not the meat itself. Pesticides on produce is the source of xeno estrogens so shop organic and from farmers markets. Finally, dairy is the same as the meat – organic is okay although most people do best without dairy in their diet, so I would try to limit your dairy consumption. Switch to coconut and nut milk dairy products instead. Good Luck!

  116. Deepthi

    Hi Lauren

    Wish I had come across your blog few months back! when I was 22 when I was diagnosed with PCOS and my doc put me on BCP .. was on it for close to 7 years and last year I quit since then my breakouts and hairfall is like crazy …trying to over come through diet and lifestyle change …Can you please suggest another brand for Gallbladder ND since amazon doesn’t ship to where I stay. So would you suggest DIM and Gallbladder ND for me?

    Thanks !

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      I would try getting a B6 supplement in replacement of the gallbladder, and for the PCOS, you may need other support. The Hair and Nails by Dragon Herbs will help with the hair loss. Have you gotten your hormone levels tested? I would start there. If your testosterone is high, you will need to get on a supplement to lower it because high testosterone causes hair loss and acne. Saw Palmetto is helpful for lowering testosterone. But get your levels tested first.

  117. Kini

    Hi Lauren!

    I’m on my first month of being off of the pill. I had labs taken to test hormone and vitamin levels and everything came back in the good range except my estrogen was slightly low. I ordered and received my Dragon Herbs Hair & Nails vitamins and will start them ASAP. With my labs coming back good should I still order and take the DIM Detox & Gallbladder? I am also going to do the intestinal cleanse (as well as make my husband do it lol).

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Kini, I would definitely still use both products. The Gallbladder is related to B6 levels and the function of your gallbladder (on a therapeutic level), and so this would not come up in your blood work. As for the DIM, it works to convert the bad estrogens, and unless you got a test to measure 4 and 16 hydroxyestrone, you would not have this information. Therefore, I would still suggest using DIM. Thanks Kini!

      • Kini

        Thanks! I didn’t have them test that specifically that I know of, I only requested hormone levels, vitamin B, D, iron. But I will order the DIM. I received the hair & nails order and after taking my first two pills (started at night) I woke up in the middle of the night so sick I thought I was going to throw up. I now have been taking 1 a day for a week with no side effects. Next week I’ll go to two and slowly increase to allow my body to get used to it.
        Thank you

        • Kini

          Hi Lauren! I have ordered the Gallbladder, DIM Detox and the Hair & Nails supplements for getting off of the pill after being on them almost 14yrs…I am an active, ‘healthy’ vegetarian but had a myomectomy for 3 large fibroid tumors almost 2yrs ago. Unfortunately 8mos after surgery I was told I had several marble sized fibroid tumors… After being off the pill for now 2mos, I feel they have grown, significantly enough to where I can feel them. Do you recommend doing the Easy Intestinal Cleanse first and while taking the Gallbladder, DIM Detox and the Hair & Nails supplements? Also have you heard of Ann Whigmore’s 3-day wheatgrass detox (wheatgrass, chlorella tablets, green juice)..if so, do you think I should try that while waiting on the supplements to arrive? And/or do you recommend anything in order to rid/shrink fibroid tumors?

          Thank you!

          • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

            Hi Kini, you can do the intestinal cleanse while taking the supplements. They will work well together. As for the 3-day wheatgrass detox, I would wait until you do the intestinal cleanse. That way anything you are moving from the cells (esp. heavy metals) will be able to pass through the body safely. As for the tumors, there is some research that suggests that folic acid deficiency leads to fibroids. Try adding a B complex into the diet along with a specific folic acid as well. Good Luck!

  118. Kini

    Sorry, I forgot to add. That I’ve been a vegetarian (borderline vegan becauE I’ll eat cheese every now and then), eat clean, drink green juice/smoothies (with a shot of wheatgrass 3-4 days a week), I rarely drink anything besides alkaline water, organic cranberry juice/apple juice, green or ginger tea).

  119. Rachel

    Why oh why did it take me so long to look up this information?? I have gone off BC several times in the last 12 years, But I’ve been on it far more than off. Each time I went off BC it was because I was tired of putting it in my body. But after being off the pill for only a few weeks, all the symptoms came flooding back. So I decided I couldn’t handle them and went back on BC. As of today, I have been off BC for nearly a month, and yes, the symptoms are back, of course. But I am determined to push through and get past them. The biggest issue I’m dealing with right now is weight gain. None of my pants fit and all of my tops are tight. I recall reading that you also experienced weight gain, but then eventually weight loss. In your experience, how long did you deal with weight gain before your body switched to weight loss? I know everyone is different but I am really struggling for some sort of light at the end of this tunnel here.

    Thanks for posting this. Just wish I would’ve seen this/ read about it years ago. :)

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Rachel, yes this is very common because as your hormones seek to find balance, your weight often fluctuates with it. I personally gained a lot of weight for a couple months and then bounced back. There is hope not far ahead! Just keep up with a supplement regime, exercise and a proper diet.

  120. Leah Thompson

    Hi Lauren,

    Thanks for this information. It is very helpful as I was starting to get frustrated with the weight gain, anxiety, mood swings etc. that happened after I came off of NuvaRing. I will start to use the things you have mentioned in this article including the diet to help regulate my hormones. But I was wondering if you had the name of the bee pollen you suggested? The link you provided in the post takes you to amazon and is for the flower pollen capsules not the bee pollen. I would really like to get the bee pollen so I can do the bee pollen/honey mix. Thanks!

  121. Kelsey Wokasch

    Hi Lauren,

    Thank you SO much for this post. I stumbled across it the other day and I’m incredibly glad I did. It’s very motivational – much different than most of the other bcp posts on the internet which are mostly depressing. I’m planning on going off the pill at the end of this month and I really want to avoid the horrible side effects I had last time I quit (MAJOR hair loss and acne). I’m already starting to lose hair now so I’m very worried that it’s just going to get worse when I stop taking birth control. I’m planning on getting all of the supplements you list in this post, but I’ve also read a lot of your other blogs about cleansing and how important it is. The thing is, I’m a college student and can’t afford to buy all the cleansing supplements along with these. Do you think that by not doing any cleanses I’m going to hurt my chances of gaining hormonal balance? I do try to eat fairly healthy now, although that’s a very relative term. Thank you again for this website, it is AMAZING.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Kelsey, start with the hormone balancing supplements and work really hard on keeping your diet clean – no soy, no inorganic meat/dairy, sticking to fresh fruits/vegetables, raw nuts/seeds, wild fish, organic meat (if you choose), and fermented foods. After a few months, check back in to see where you are at. At that time, it could be a good time to do a cleanse.

  122. Tammy

    Hi Lauren,

    I came off the pills 2 months ago after more then eight years of taking them. My main issue is my skin is dry and Itch really bad. Is there something I could do for that.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Tammy – that would be related to the gallbladder. The gallbladder is in charge of digesting fats. Fats are what compose the skin structure, and therefore keep our skin moist and soft. Try the Gallbladder ND. 2 tsp daily. I would also use coconut oil as a lotion at bedtime. Let me know how that works out.

  123. Erica

    Hi Lauren!

    Thanks for all the advice, such a huge help to use as a guide through this process! I started my DIM and Pollen pills last week and already feel great. I started the Gallbladder ND (1 tsp) today and I’m feeling a little wacky (upper tummy mostly) and wondering how long it took your body to adjust to this formula!

    Thanks!
    Erica

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Erica – that is great to hear! Did you take the GB ND straight or did you drink it over a period of time. If you took it straight in water, try putting it in a large bottle of water and sipping on it over the course of a few hours. That should help. Feel free to add juice concentrate or a squeeze of lemon to help with the taste.

  124. Ashley

    Hi Lauren, such great information! One concern though, I am about to order the DIM DETOX but have noticed that it does contain soy which makes me wonder if I should take I because of what you mentioned about how soy is a xenoestrogen?

    Thanks!!

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Ashley, it contains the fatty part of the soybean, which is not the part that causes an estrogenic response in the body. It is good :)

  125. Jessica

    Hi Lauren! I’ve been off the pill now for six months, hooray! My main issue was acne after getting off it, but since cutting dairy(I still have butter though), taking activated charcoal and probiotics for a few months, it’s finally under control again. Phew. I’m also into my second bottle of dragon hair and nails, it’s hard for me to say with certainty if I’ve noticed a difference in my hair loss yet, at this point I don’t know what normal is, but I will continue to use it. I started dry brushing with hopes it will improve my cellulite, any tips you have regarding that would be helpful too. I’m slim, eat pretty clean, it’s just one of those things. Thanks again :) oh, coconut oil pulling totally worked in whitening my teeth, my boyfriend who thought I was ridiculous for swishing 15 mins every morning is now doing it too :)

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Great to hear Jessica. Typically any herb takes about 3 months to start kicking in so I would suggest sticking too it. As for the cellulite, I would suggest amping up your muscle building exercise, TONS and TONS of squats. Also leaning towards a pale diet (organic only), no dairy, is helpful in reducing cellulite. Sticking to healthy fats, organic meat/wild fish, and tons and tons of vegetables. Cut back on sugar, including fruit.

  126. Erica

    Hi Lauren!

    Do you have a Raw Bee Pollen that you suggest to mix with the Raw Honey? Everything you’ve suggested has been SPOT ON! :)

    Thanks!
    Erica

  127. Jaime

    Hi Lauren, I’d like to start off by thanking you for all your hard work in researching; posting everything on your website…I’ve become addicted! :) I have been contemplating going off of birth control for a couple years now. I will be 28 and I’d like to regulate my hormones to get ready to have a baby in a couple years. I’m mainly concerned with how it will affect my acne, which is the reason I went on birth control about 10yrs ago. I tried going off of it when I was 20, but my acne was out of control and I went back on it after about a year. I have noticed significant hair loss as well, which could be a combination of stress (also battling alopecia), genetics, and being on birth control for so long. I ended my last pack of birth control and I started taking all of the supplements you recommend in your post; I started a bowel cleanse (Dr. Schulze…theherbdoc.com). If you have a chance, will you check out his website and tell me if you approve of his supplements? I also was wondering if you mix the ultra pollen capsules with the wee bee honey for the mixture you eat every day or if it’s a different pollen? I am trying to make a healthy lifestyle change, I’m just a bit overwhelmed with everything I’m taking…then I see more that you recommend and I want to try everything…I just need a good place to start!! Thank you for your time!!

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Jaime – congratulations on your new life! This is a great idea especially since you will be looking to prepare your body for pregnancy. The pollen that you mix with the honey is bee pollen granules. You can find them at your local health food store in the refrigerated section. Can you send me a direct link to the products you are using? That site is just a homepage and I couldnt find it. As for feeling overwhelmed, any new changes do that. Just take everything one step at a time. Doing an intestinal cleanse is key for targeting the acne. Although, you may want to look at using digestive enzymes and HCL if you are still getting acne after the cleanse. Just remember that acne is either tied to the gut or hormones. Hormonal acne is more often around the chin. This can often be due to high testosterone levels. Keep your diet clean – free of dairy, gluten, unfermented soy and sugar. Check in with me to let me know how you are doing a a couple months in. It takes time for the body to balance, so even if the acne comes back right away, stick with the program.

      • Jaime

        Hey Lauren the website is actually herbdoc.com. NO ‘THE’…sorry about that! It’s been two weeks since I went off of birth control and a week since starting the cleanse. I’m getting a little nervous about my breakouts, which are mainly on my forehead right now; I almost started another pack of birth control but I know I just need to keep trying to eat a clean diet and try not to stress about it! Thank you again for your website; it has truly been a GODSEND!

      • Jaime

        Hi Lauren I was just wondering if all of the supplements you recommend are safe to use while pregnant/trying to become pregnant. Also, do you have recommendations for a Pre-Natal Vitamin and a supplement for chronic headaches/Migraines.

  128. Pixie

    So glad I found this website! Such great advice and articles. Thank you Lauren :) xx

  129. Just wanted to say a quick thank you for an excellent blog on this important issue. It has REALLY helped me! I am not quite there yet, but I have seen improvements since following your advice regarding supplements. I am going to be sharing my story on my own blog, and as long as you don’t mind will link to this important article. Thanks again :)

  130. Pixie

    Hi. I’ve had a breakout of spots on my collarbone does anyone know which organ this represents? I’ve seen the face mapping but wasn’t sure if there was the same mapping of the body (I couldn’t find one in my brief google search :) ) xx

  131. Gina

    I just wanted to say this article was one of the big reasons that I decided to go off the pill. I was on the fence for a long time. I’m 29 and have been on it since I was 16! Recently (in the last year) I had to change pills because I moved to a new area and the pharmacy told me that Chryselle was “the same” as Lo Ogesterel, which they didn’t carry but I had taken up until then. I had side effects for the first time ever so I know that these two pills are not the same. Crying over nothing, horrible depression, thin hair, waking up in the middle of the night, racing heart, and anxiety. I also started to question everything in my life, particularly my relationship. I did some research and found other women with these symptoms. For some reason, I never thought these things could be from a little pill, but I was naive because for so long I was symptom-free. I’ve been off the pill for 2 weeks and already my hair seems stronger and fuller, the anxiety and depression are gone, and I am sleeping through the night. I also haven’t yet had any problems with my heart (thank God). Symptoms are person-specific, so I haven’t had acne, weight gain, or cramping, but I will say that I did pass what I think is a decidual cast. It was completely painless, so I’m not concerned, but it was the first time for me so I was a little freaked out at first. I don’t know if it’s related to my going off the pill, but it happened a few days ago and I know I am not pregnant. Anyway, just wanted to share in case anyone is reading the comments. Good luck!

  132. Lynn

    I cannot tell you how happy I am to read this article! After being on birth control for 8 years, then having a baby yeas while on the pill! And going back on the pill – I recently chose to go off… Give my body a break. Well I have been so confused as to have I gained 16 lbs in 4 months but it makes sense after reading this! I went off the pill in October 2013 and now that I think of it that is when my weight gain started! Now on he upside, my skin has been clear, my mood more balanced, sleep more regular but energy has swung … I’m a little depressed and working really hard to lose the weight even thinking I should go BACK on he pill but I know I am better off of it! Thank you for this article!

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Thanks Lynn! So glad to hear about your success!

  133. Belle

    Thank you for this post. I want to quit my BC pill (after three years), but my main concern is losing hair. I will look for the hair and nail vitamin that you recommend.

    My main reason for wanting to quit the pill is not only the side effects (mood swings, weight gain, and irregular periods), but I dislike being “controlled” by a gynecologist. I don’t want to rely on them for prescriptions. I prefer over-the-counter methods because my husband and I are free to get them whenever we want.

  134. Ronelle

    Hi Lauren
    Thank you for sharing this.
    I am curious. I am 32 anf I went off birth control about 6 months ago and have been experiencing serious breakouts on my chin/ jaw line. I’ve been reading good things about DIM clearing up adult acne so i purchased my first bottle 2 days ago and very excited to start seeing results. However, I now keep coming across articles that mention DIM being the cause of hairloss. As any woman can imagine, that is the last thing one wants to hear, especially since going off bith controll has already caused major hair loss for myself and I’m sure for others as well. What is your take on this?

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      I have never seen valid evidence about DIM causing hair loss… Diindolylmethane helps to convert bad estrogen in the body. So I would not be worried. Acne on the chin can also be from high testosterone, so you may want to get your hormone levels tested in a couple months to see where you are. If it is high, oftentimes saw palmetto helps.

  135. Renee Laws

    I have found your post very helpful, thanks so much for investing in this. I am coming off the pill after being on it for nearly 20 years. I have been off the pill for almost 2 months. I had one period (weird) but then missed my last one and so I am late by 4 weeks now. I have had a pregnancy test and am not pregnant. I want to do your suggested regime so I have ordered the Gallbladder ND, the DIM detox, I will do the bee pollen/honey mix, and I have some coconut butter but I also ordered the EFA liquid. My question is that since I am doing the Gallbladder ND for the B6, do I need to get a B complex as well? If so, which one do you recommend? And would you say I need the Premier DHA as well? The reason I am interested in the essential oils is that I am hoping it will help with stiffness in my joints which may or may not be related to the pill. Thanks for taking time to answer my questions I really appreciate it! Any other tips would be great : )

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Renee, the gallbladder ND should be enough without having to get the B complex. DHA is always a great addition to the diet since it is difficult to get from food in therapeutic amounts. If this doesnt help you to get your period back, try the raw honey and bee pollen mixture I suggested. Good Luck!

  136. Stormy

    Hello,

    I was wondering if you had any alternatives to the Gallbladder ND and the DIM detox? I tried to find them on sites that ship to Australia but could not. Unfortunately I don’t return till North America until beginning of June so I cannot get those specific products until then. Also, is there a supplement that it is possible to take besides bee pollen and honey?

    Thank you!
    Stormy

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      A replacement for Gallbladder ND would be something with B6 and Gold Coin. A replacement for DIM would be something with milk thistle and diindolylmethane. Flower pollen would be what would replace the honey and bee pollen.

  137. Camelia

    Hey Lauren, I posted back in January that I was going off the pill for the first time in 8 years and a half.
    Was very scared at first of my body’s reaction, afraid that my depression might come
    back. Well, let me tell you and the amazing women here, that it’s been absolutely great!! I am actually happier than before, feeling healthier, much more positive! I do have small pimples on my back, and a little bit ony chest, but that’s nothing compared to how good I feel! Haven’t been taking any suplements, steered clear from junk food, food that is precooked in supermarkets or “pour hot water over and eat”. I am eating as healthy as possible(i do have my occasional french fries/m&m/chocolate cravings and that’s ok), did not gain weight, no menstrual cramps, and I used to have horrible ones before starting the pill and some bad ones on the pill, so I was terrified of what was to come! But it all turned out great! Your body is smart, you have to trust it and help as much as possible with clean food and a little bit of excerise :) good luck on your journeys girls! And thank you Lauren for the help :)

  138. Holly

    I’ve also been on birth control since I was about 16 for heavy menstrual cycles and bleeding (I had pelvic pain, nausea and vomiting, leg and back pain… the works!). Last year, almost 9 years later, I had a laparoscopy done where my doctor found endometriosis and switched me to a new pill. Luckily enough for me I had been on the same b/c pill prior to this for almost 6 years with no mood swings, weight gain, hair loss, etc. The pill they put me on was only 1 month before my wedding (horrible, horrible timing considering I spotted and cramped for over a month), and in the past year I’ve had more side effects of this pill than I even realized until a few weeks ago. I’ve gained 10 pounds and I’ve attempted to talk to other women about it, wondering what in the world I’ve changed with my lifestyle, but I consistently get the “you look great it’s just aging” response. Well, we eat a mostly clean diet and I work out at least 4 times a week (and I have colitis so… it’s always been pretty darn near impossible for me to gain weight let alone over 10 pounds in 9 months). I’ve also lost at least half of my hair and didn’t even realize this until I saw a picture of myself from 2 years ago and couldn’t pinpoint what made me look so…. different from now. My hair was so much thicker and fuller! But, like I said that b/c pill randomly stopped working, which led to the laparoscopy, which led to a new pill. My doctor said the pill can prevent the endometriosis from growing back, since they scraped much of it out, or at least inhibit the growth. But after doing a ton of research about this pill in the last few days and then stumbling across this blog I know now my weight gain, hair loss, moodiness, other side effects… have all been from my pill. I really want to just go off but we’re not ready to get pregnant yet. Do I have other options? Is there something else I can do for the endometriosis and painful, horrible periods I had prior to the pill? It sounded like you may have had endometriosis so I’m hoping you can help!

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Holly, I have seen people recover from endometriosis naturally, without the use of BC. I would suggest that you find a naturopathic doctor to work with you directly though because it takes a lot to manage hormones and to balance them. It is also important to raise the pH of the body, and to maintain alkaline. If you email me directly I can see if I have a recommendation in your area.

  139. chris

    I’ve skimmed through a few of your posts. I am wondering what method you are using now? I got off the pill years ago when my last boyfriend had a vasectomy. I really didn’t have any major issues and just wanted to be as natural as possible. originally, I went on the pill because I had fairly severe cramps so I was worried they would come back. I was able to deal with what I had but I think my periods did end up getting heavier than they ever were. I ended up getting anemic and it is assumed that my bleeding is the cause. I am now dating someone else and I don’t ever want kids so I was set up to get the essure procedure last year. the doctor talked me out of it saying that with my anemia I should be on hormones, which is exactly what I didn’t want. I had to go on them to get the procedure and had gotten the shot. this was awful and caused terrible problems. that doctor and the next one I saw both highly pushed the mirena iud. I eventually gave in and got it in November. they all say the hormones are localized but in reality, this doesn’t make sense. if it’s in the body, it’s throughout the body. I had cramping almost consistently the first month and then off and on. my moods declined. I ended up having it taken out four months after getting it. I’m still not sure what to do about birth control. but I’m so happy to be hormone free.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Chris, thank you for sharing your story. I hope you find a way that works best for you :)

  140. Nilu

    Hi Lauren. Thank you for your website and for encouraging words! I was on birth control pills for only 5 months and it’s been over a year now since I stopped taking them. The side effects are not as bas as they were at the beginning but I am continuing to lose hair. I have had dairy free diet for 9 months and eat very little sugar (mostly from fruits or honey). I have also been taking liver supplements, including milk thistle. I have lost about 10 pounds which is not good for me as it puts me in underweight category. What would you recommend for my diet so I can gain the lost pounds back? Thanks in advance for your time and any advice you can provide.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      I would suggest increasing the fats in your diet. This would mean healthy fats such as avocado, raw nuts/seeds, olives, olive oil, coconut butter and meat. I would eat healthy fats at every meal and at snacks. You could also include a little protein shake as a snack in between meals. I would also make sure that you are eliminating (having proper bowel movements) daily and that your digestion is working well. If you feel like you are not digesting your food well, there is a good chance that you are not absorbing the nutrients from the food that you are eating, which is leading to weight loss. As for hair loss, try the Hair and Nails supplement I recommend.

  141. Ana

    Hi Lauren,
    Thanks very much for all this brilliant and educational information here on your site. I am just about to embark on my ‘pill-free’ life and am both apprehensive and excited! It has helped massively to read about your personal experience as well as those of the other women who have posted. Certainly had made me feel less clueless and prepared for what might happen and how to deal with it!
    As well as wanting to get back to my natural cycle (and generally live more naturally), a key reason I have finally decided to bite the bullet and come off has been the fast developing melasma I am experiencing on my upper cheeks. I have been on Microgynon 30 for around 10 years but over the last 2 years, the melasma has worsened significantly and is becoming a real issue that I am hugely self-conscious about. I know that melasma can be caused due to an excess of estrogen so is it possible that my own estrogen levels have increased naturally and so the two combined have produced this effect? I’d really appreciate any suggestions-I’m really hoping coming off the pill will help although I accept it won’t be a quick fix! Even if it stops the development and I can then work on natural ways to help fade the existing melasma, I’ll be relieved! It’s affecting me massively! Thank you in advance and again for your fab site x

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Ana, it is oftentimes caused by high estrogen levels, but it is magnified by the sun and can worsen with age. I have seen that it gets better when hormone levels balance out and when you stay out of the sun. Another suggestion is a supplement called Pearl Powder by Dragon Herbs. That may help to lighten the skin internally. Good Luck!

  142. Cathy

    Hi Lauren – i was on the pill (Marvelon) for 20 years – although off for at least a few with my 2 children. I came off about 3-4 months ago. I now find myself grappling with swollen ankles/calves, and sore right foot on top (probably due to swelling). Have you heard of others experiencing this in relation to coming off the pill? Thank you, Cathy

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Cathy, I am not that familiar with this side effect, but it sounds like your main issue is with the kidney. The kidney controls fluid balance and the balance of the electrolytes including salt. I would look into doing the kidney cleanse from my book. You will definitely want to work on reducing the swelling as it is an indication of a larger issue. Good Luck!

  143. Hannah

    Hi Lauren

    I’m 19 and have been taking Mercilon (a low dosis estrogen and gestagen pill) for almost 3 years now. I’ve been feeling tired and especially heavy in my legs for months now. It’s becoming difficult to exercise because i’m often tired. I want to go off it, I’ve tried going off it once before and my period came on time the month after as scheduled and also the month after that, but with a bad migraine and therefore i went back on the pill. Do you think since my pill is a low dose pill that i might not experience that many side effects? Perhaps only my usual pms like last time? Or should i expect weight gain and acne like other people have been experiencing. Thank you in advance :)

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Hannah, migraines and headaches are oftentimes the result of B vitamin deficiency and magnesium deficiency. Both can be depleted from taking BC or effected by hormone imbalance. I would suggest taking the Max B ND product and a Magnesium Glycinate supplement daily. You can start them while you are on the pill. Once you are off, then add in the raw honey and bee pollen mixture. This will support the transition. As for weight gain and acne, everyone is different. I wish I could have a more definitive answer but there just is not. In any event, it is not permanent and you can improve upon it.

  144. Amanda

    Hi! I just stopped my birth control mid pack because after five months I couldn’t stand to be on it anymore. When is a good time to start taking the dim detox and how long should I be on it for?

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Start right away. The length depends on how long you have been on BC for. I would say 6 months at least for most people. The good news is that this product also detoxes the xeno estrogens that we are in contact with from drinking and eating out of plastics and cans, eating non-organic produce, meat/dairy/soy, and from using non-organic personal care items. Its a product I use continuously for prevention (1/day).

  145. Sharla B.

    Hello, i just recently went off birth control. I was on the nuvaring and have
    been for many years. I have experienced many side effects. Horrible migraines, no sex drive, weight gain, and fatigue.

    I definitely feel better and know this is the right choice to make for my overall health, but I still need a backup BC.I know Mirena is a non-hormonal BC. What are your thoughts on this?

    Thank you:)

  146. Racheal

    Hi ladies,
    I have recently discovered your site and WOW! I’m so happy to have a variety of opinions and experiences to read about. I first began reading when I came across this post, and I wanted to share my thoughts. I also have a few questions – open for anyone to respond!

    I am 25 years old and I have been on birth control for 8 years. I know many women begin birth control in their teens for hormonal regulation and perhaps acne problems. I did not have these issues really, but I was becoming sexually active so I made the decision at 17 to go on the pill. I was on Yas for about four years, and the last four years I’ve been on three different dosages and brands. It’s been a nightmare! I never found the perfect fit for me, and while I did enjoy the predicatbility of my periods, I decided last week that I would go off the pill. I decided that I wanted to live more naturally and have a better lifestyle, and this seems like the right choice for me.

    My husband is very understanding, and we are going to use other forms of birth control for a while. We do not want to have children, but we want to wait a while before making a more permanent decision such as a vasectomy. Just in case!

    While I am excited about going off the pill, I have some concerns over certain products, especially if I’m leaning towards a more natural cycle and lifestyle. I have read about one particular product – the VITEX EXTRACT, or Chasteberry. I’m seeing some good things about it. Basically, it is used for irregularities in the period, clearing up acne, and PMS symptoms.
    Here is some info from webmd: Vitex agnus-castus is the fruit of the chaste tree. The fruit and seed are used to make medicine.
    Vitex agnus-castus is sometimes called “the women’s herb.” It is used for menstrual cycle irregularities, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), a more severe form of PMS called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and symptoms of menopause. It is also used for treating “lumpy” (fibrocystic) breasts, female infertility, preventing miscarriage in women with low levels of a hormone called progesterone, controlling bleeding and helping the body force out the placenta after childbirth, and increasing breast milk.
    Vitex agnus-castus is also used for acne, nervousness, dementia, joint conditions, colds, upset stomach, spleen disorders, headaches, migraine, eye pain, body inflammation, and swelling.

    I’m also reading about it being used to become more fertile – largely in part that it regulates your cycle. I suppose I’m concerned that this product, while natural, is still regulating your body in a way similar to hormonal treatment. Maybe I’m looking to much into it, but I was curious to know what you ladies were thinking. Perhaps I should hold off on products like this and give my body a few months and see what happens.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hello Rachael, I have heard of chasteberry and have had conflicting responses to its effectiveness. If you do give it a try, please follow back up with us and share your experience!

  147. This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me.
    Thanks a lot!

  148. Anabel

    Hi Lauren,
    Where can I get the raw bee pollen? Also, how does the pollen+honey mixture help with getting your period back?
    Thanks!
    Anabel

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Almost all health food stores have raw bee pollen or you can see if there is any at your local farmers market. If not, look online. The honey and pollen have unique bioflavonoids that are needed by the body in the normalization of the menstrual cycle and hormone production. It also acts as a tonic for the liver. The liver is in control of conjugating hormones so its vital to ensure the proper function of the liver as well when trying to normalize hormones.

  149. Sarah

    Hi! I’m 23, in great health, and was only on the pill for a year. I’m experiencing massive hairloss since about March, and just started taking the hair and nail pills. When did you notice a decrease in shedding and growth of hair

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Sarah, I would give it a good few months to start seeing a difference. You should also try to manage your stress, which is a HUGE component of hair loss, as well as clean up the diet as well. You have to implement all three things to see results. It will also be helpful to switch to a non-toxic shampoo and conditioner. Also make sure not to damage the hair with blow drying or straightening.

      • Sarah

        Where would I find non toxic shampoo? Whole foods, trader joes, online? Any brands you recommend? Thank you!!

        • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

          Yep – any of the three. You can get an app called cosmetic database that tells you the toxicity of any shampoo. I personally use Griffin Remedy. Love it!

  150. Pam

    Hi Lauren, the DIM detox has been a god send for my post pill acne. I have been so amazed by how much is controls my acne. Question, how long do i need to use this product, or is this hormonal detox something I’ll always be dealing with? I’m still trying to get my hair back to the fullness it had a few years ago, the dragon supplements did curtail shedding, but even four months later it’s not back to what it was not long ago. I guess these things take time.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Pam, it’s great to hear your progress! Yes, unfortunately they do take time, but you are on the right track. Sometimes hair growth can take up to a year to get back to how it was originally (yes, I know… a hard thing to hear), but it can get there. Remember that your hair is a direct reflection of your hormones and your nutrition over all so don’t forget about diet, and stress levels. As for DIM, usually 4 -6 months is a good marker. I would then take 1 cap a day for prevention (our exposure to xenoestrogens is unavoidable). You can always get your hormones levels checked at the doctor as well. They can check to see where your levels of “bad” estrogens are. Good Luck!

  151. Kaitlyn

    Hi Lauren,

    I’ve been taking the Dragon Herbs Hair and Nails for a couple of months now, plus 10,000 mgs of biotin daily, trying to “gear up” to stopping birth control in September. I am ordering the rest of the supplements to start then, but wanted to ask your opinion about continuing with the biotin after starting the other supplements? Will it hurt anything? My hair loss has been pretty steady since I started taking the BCP about 7 years ago (I know now…).

    My diet is organic and clean, I’m gluten free and almost paleo. So, it’s just cleaning up a few things here and there. Any thing else I’m missing?

    Thanks so much, your site has been a godsend. XOXO

    Kaitlyn

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale

      Hi Kaityln, In terms of preparing for getting off BC and hair loss, you are completely on the right track. And no, it is not a problem if you are taking Biotin as well. It will not hurt. The inclusion of protein is key, which you seem to have covered. If needed, you may need to take the eternal jing as well. But I would wait and see how it goes…. after 6 weeks off, then reassess. Good luck!!!!

      • Kaitlyn

        Thanks!! How long should the supplements be continued? And are there any that you recommend taking for an indefinite period? Just trying to think of how this will fit into my budget short and long term with the best possible results!

        Thanks again.

  152. Jaime

    Are the supplements you recommend safe while trying to conceive and can you continue to take them during pregnancy?

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