Ditch All Sources Of Excess Estrogen
To achieve hormone balance, we must identify and eliminate sources of excess estrogen. The Pill contributes to a condition called Estrogen Dominance, where too much circulating estrogen throws all hormones out of whack and creates a hot mess of symptoms. Even women who have not taken the pill can suffer from estrogen dominance, due to the high levels of estrogen in our diet and body care products.
Xenoestrogens are chemicals that look like estrogen. They attached to estrogen receptors, overburdening the body with estrogenic effects. Yes, its scary but true: the products we use on our body can significantly disrupt our hormones. Common sources of xenoestrogens include:
- Plastics that leach chemicals into food
- Conventional body care products
- Conventional cosmetics
Phytoestrogens, found in plant sources, also attach to estrogen receptors. Again, they do not act exactly like our own estrogen. Research is highly variable on the health detriments and benefits of phytoestrogen intake. I do not recommend consuming foods high in phytoestrogens, particularly when struggling with acne. Men, boys, and young girls should use more care to avoid phytoestrogens. Common sources of phytoestrogens include:
- Sesame seeds
Do Birth Control Pills Help With Acne
Breakouts happen to everyone. Most women notice a couple of pimples popping up near their periods. When facials, face masks and cleansers dont help, you might be surprised to find out that birth control pills can.
The ovaries produce a hormone called androgen. Androgen helps produce oils on the skin. If you produce higher than average levels of androgen or are more sensitive to androgens in the blood, this can cause frequent breakouts.
Combination birth control pills can help lower the amount of androgen you produce, which can help reduce hormonal acne.
Were Often Told That The Pill Contains Oestrogen And Progesterone But No Pill Contains Either Hormone
Were often told that the pill contains oestrogen and progesterone. But no pill contains either hormone.
That is because, when taken orally, oestrogen and progesterone break down too quickly to be practical. Instead, the pill contains synthetic versions, which are built from more stable hormones that have been altered to mimic the hormones.
Every brand of combined pill on the market contains the same type of synthetic oestrogen, ethinyl estradiol, and one of eight synthetic progesterones, called progestins. Ethinyl estradiol prevents the body from releasing an egg every month, while progestins thicken the mucus at the entrance to the cervix and conspire to make the womb inhospitable. Even if an egg slips out and becomes fertilised, it wont be able to settle down and start growing.
So far, so good. But though the hormones are effective at preventing pregnancy, they arent perfect matches for our natural hormones. The end result is that these synthetic versions also have effects that you would never get from raw progesterone.
Because the contraceptive pill uses synthetic versions of female hormones, it can have side effects you might not expect such as facial hair
Find out more: eight women open up about the side effects they struggled with from the pill in our recent video, below.
The male hormone that these pills use is a close relative of testosterone called nandrolone. A potent androgen , it can lead to the development of typically male characteristics.
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Pro: You Can Control When You Have A Period
When you are taking hormonal birth control pills like the combination pill, it can actually be very convenient. Usually, there are three weeks of active pills and then one week off of the active pills. You may take sugar pills or no pills at all this fourth week, which is where bleeding occurs like a period.
However, if you decide that you want to go to the lake that weekend, plan an international trip, or a romantic getaway with your partner, you can simply skip your break week and continue taking a new pack of active pills. This essentially allows you to skip your period and leaves you in total control.
Support Your Hormonal Negative
Most of the hormones in the body are governed by negative feedback, which works like your household thermostat. Say you set your thermostat to 72 degrees and the room temperature is 69 degrees. The heater kicks in to warm the room up. When the temperature reaches 72 degrees, the heat shuts off until the temperature drops again.
Hormonal birth control wreaks havoc on this system and actually shut off our bodys hormonal negative-feedback loop. Its like adding a space heater and the furnace shuts off because it isnt needed. Supporting the negative-feedback loop through supplementation provides support during a period of hormonal catastrophe. Going back to the heating example, the right supplement can help wake the furnace up again so things function as normal.
Biotics Cytozyme PT/HPT is a unique supplement containing lamb pituitary and hypothalamus tissue. Glandular treatment the ingestion of small amounts of animal glands is a traditional treatment practiced by ancient healers from across the globe. The pituitary and hypothalamus tissue in this supplement directly affects the performance of your own pituitary and hypothalamus, the key players in the negative feedback loop. Most women benefit by taking 2-5 tablets per day, taken in divided doses with breakfast and lunch, for the duration of 1 2 bottles.
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+ Birth Control Withdrawal Detox Protocol
While I firmly believe in the philosophy of focusing on what you can add into your diet and lifestyle to help yourself feel better it should be noted eliminating the following can really help offset symptoms and rebalance your hormones.
If possible I recommend trying to avoid
- + Estrogen Mimickers or Xenoestrogens Most commonly found in BPA , household cleaners, contaminated drinking water, medications and soy
- + Alcohol It impairs the livers ability to process estrogen effectively
- + Antibiotics These disrupt your gut flora and can cause estrogen to be recirculated in the body
As well as adding in
- + Cruciferous Vegetables See nutrition section above
- + Your Fave Sweat Method When we sweat we excrete toxins naturally and safely through our skin. Add in exercise or try out an infrared sauna
Hormone Levels During Your Period
You likely know bleeding associated with getting your period is actually the shedding of the lining of a womans uterus. As the bleeding ends, FSH and LH peak above their normal levels, leading to a thickening of the uterine lining and maturing of the egg-containing follicles in the ovary. Meanwhile, estrogen is steadily rising and peaks a few days before ovulation, after which FSH and LH peak once more.
For the next two weeks, levels of progesterone go on the rise to prepare the uterine lining for implantation of an embryo. If no implantation occurs , levels of both estrogen and progesterone drop sharply, triggering menstruation.
Your hormonal cycle is so delicate that simply altering one or two hormones can affect the entire cycle. Increasing your bodys levels of estrogen and progesterone suppresses the need to release FSH and LH, causing the entire sequence of events that lead to ovulation to come to a screeching halt.
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How Birth Control Pills Work Inside The Body
Most oral contraceptives are made with combinations of synthetic estrogen and progestin, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. After taking the pill, these synthetic hormones enter the brain and act as endocrine disruptors, interfering with the signaling process that is necessary for ovulation. In particular, they prevent the hypothalamus from signaling to the pituitary gland to secrete the hormones that cause an egg to be released. In the unlikely event ovulation does occur and an egg is fertilized, the synthetic progestin thins the uterine lining, making it more likely that the egg will be shed.
Many birth control pills include a week of placebo pills that induce monthly breakthrough bleeding, but this is not a real menstrual period. It is an artificial pattern that eliminates the natural ebb and flow of estrogen and progesterone throughout the cycle.
Birth Control Hormones Are Not Hormones They Are Endocrine Disruptors
If you went to the toxicology site at the US National Institutes of Health, you would find the ingredients of birth control pills listed as endocrine disruptors. You can look at environmental medicine research to see the impact of these birth control chemicals on wildlife. In the articles, these chemicals are always labelled as endocrine disruptors, not hormones. The fact that they are marketed widely around the world as contraceptives and are called hormones by most doesnt make them natural hormones. You can call a piece of glass a diamond but its still just glass and doesnt have the beneficial properties of diamonds.
Something like 6 decades ago, research was underway on the use of these synthetic hormones, at a time when natural female hormones were barely understood. The health implications were not comprehended. Only the fact that pregnancy could be averted was acknowledged, and heralded. Fast forward to today though we know so much more of the negatives of disrupting natural hormones and rhythms, its all brushed under the rug, and the anti-fertility impacts are applauded for good reason, but at what cost to a womans health?
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Other Studies And Contributions
Table 1 lists other research studies on hormonal contraception conducted solely at KP.4042 KP researchers and KP data made additional contributions to knowledge about hormonal contraception .4457 These contributions take many forms, including case reports, new methodology for contraceptive research, and reviews and summaries of the relevant medical literature.
Are There Any Risks With Birth Control Pills
Most young women who take birth control pills have few or no problems. However, birth control pills with estrogen may cause a slight increase in the risk of developing blood clots in the legs, eyes, and lungs. If you develop any of the following problems, go to the closest emergency room:
- Abdominal or stomach pain
- Chest pain , cough, shortness of breath
- Headache , dizziness, weakness, or numbness
- Eye problems , speech problems
- Severe leg pain
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What Are Hormone Pellets
Using pellets in hormone replacement therapy began in the late 1930s. Pellets are made up of primarily estradiol or testosterone, which are usually derive from plant sources like soybeans, beets, or yams. These hormones are pressed into very small cylinders that are a little larger than a grain of rice.
Dr. Darrin Cunningham at Creekside Center for Women has prescribed pellets for over ten years for women with hormone balance issues. According to Dr. Cunnigham,
Hormone pellets last three to six months before they dissolve. The benefit of pellets is that women avoid the fluctuations of hormone levels seen with other methods and dont have to take a pill every day or put cream on. Pellets offer a more continuous hormone level because the hormones are absorbed regularly.
How Is The Pill Taken
Most combination pills come in either a 21-day pack or a 28-day pack. One hormone pill is taken each day at about the same time for 21 days. Depending on your pack, you will either stop taking birth control pills for 7 days or you will take a pill that contains no hormones for 7 days . A woman has her period when she stops taking the pills that contain hormones. Some women prefer the 28-day pack because it helps them stay in the habit of taking a pill every day.
There is also a type of combination pill that decreases the frequency of a womanâs period by supplying a hormone pill for 12 weeks and then inactive pills for 7 days. This decreases the number of periods to one every 3 months instead of one every month.
Another kind of pill that may change the number of monthly periods is the low-dose progesterone pill, sometimes called the mini-pill. This type of birth control pill differs from the other pills in that it only contains one type of hormone progesterone rather than a combination of estrogen and progesterone. It works by changing the cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus, and sometimes by affecting ovulation as well. The mini-pill may be slightly less effective at preventing pregnancy than combination pills.
The mini-pill is taken every day without a break. A girl who is taking it might have no period at all or she may have irregular periods. For the minipill to work, it must be taken at the same time every day, without missing any doses.
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Puberty & Menopause Problems Caused By Hormone Imbalances
Getting First Period too Young or too Old
Typically, a girl will begin her period at a similar age to when her mother began getting hers. Some girls have their first period as early as 10 or 11. Others dont get their first period until theyre 15 or even 16. If you or your daughter are outside those age ranges and are concerned about that first period, it is worth a visit to her Pediatrician, Family Doctor or OBYGN.
Common factors that affect when a girl begins her period are weight changes, environmental factors that stimulate the hormones, or adrenal gland problems.
Irregular Periods in Teens
Pre-teens and teenagers have very irregular periods as their bodies mature. Sometimes, teens have unusual bleeding because they arent ovulating regularly. In this case, they have some hormonal development that isnt complete so the uterus isnt getting a clear enough signal of what to do.
Issues During Menopause
When women approach their mid- to late-40s, their cycles may become irregular as they enter the perimenopausal stage. You can read more about what to expect in perimenopause in our recent article. Signs that you may be experiencing perimenopause include skipping periods and having lighter periods.
If your periods are becoming heavier, more frequent, prolonged, or with spotting between periods, you should mention this to your doctor. These changes could indicate menopause, but they could also be caused by abnormalities in your cervix or uterus.
+ Birth Control Withdrawal Fertility Tracking Protocol
I recognize many women are hesitant to get off the pill because they arent yet ready to get pregnant, but luckily there are a ton of other fertility awareness methods on the market that can help you effectively track your cycle in order to prevent pregnancy.
PS If youre thinking about eventually getting pregnant down the road, getting to know and track your cycle now can really help prepare you for when that time comes . Its also a key indicator into any other imbalances you may be experiencing hormonally.
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How Do Birth Control Pills Deplete Nutrients
Women go on the pill for many different reasons, beyond just preventing pregnancy. It breaks my heart to hear of teenage girls going on it just for acne and perimenopausal women going on it in their mid to late 40s for hot flashes and mood swingsbut synthetic hormones in menopause do much more harm than good.
The way hormonal birth control pills or injections work is by intentionally disrupting your bodys hormone levels. They typically contain both synthetic estrogen and progestin . These impact your ovulation, cervical mucus, and uterine lining to prevent pregnancybut these hormones have other repercussions.
This is because estrogen and progesterone are sex hormones, yes, but they also impact nutrient absorption and metabolism, as well as many other processes in your body.
Studies find that birth control continually causes side effects like headaches, mood swings, weight gain, breast tenderness, bloating, nausea, decreased sex drive, blood clots, and cervical cancerand clearly not all these things only have to do with your uterus and ovaries!
Birth control doesnt stay limited to this one area of your bodyit impacts every system, and it changes how the chemistry in your body works, especially when it comes to absorbing nutrients.
It Can Relieve Symptoms Of Pms And Pmdd
Many women experience some mix of physical or emotional symptoms in the weeks or days leading up to their period. This is known as premenstrual syndrome . Like most other menstrual issues, PMS is usually due to hormonal fluctuations.
Hormonal birth control is also a potential treatment for premenstrual dysphoric disorder . This is a type of severe PMS that tends to involve more emotional or psychological symptoms. Its often hard to treat. But a combination pill containing drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating PMDD. Its the only birth control pill to receive FDA approval for this purpose.
Just keep in mind that experts are still trying to fully uncover all the underlying causes of PMS and PMDD. Adding to this, different birth control methods have different doses and combinations of hormones. You may need to try a few options before you find the one that works for your symptoms.
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Why A Delayed Return To Fertility After Birth Control Matters
For a variety of reasons, women are waiting longer than ever to start their families than in the past. Case in point: in 1970, the average age at first child birth was 22 . Today, it has risen to 26.4 years old. In addition, more women are delaying their first pregnancy past age 30. The percentage of first birth to women over 30 went from just one in ten in 1970, to almost one in three in 2014 . This late start to childbearing is significant, because on average, a womans ability to get pregnant takes a sharp decline after age 35, and is practically nil by the time she reaches her mid-forties.
If a woman waits until her fertility is already in a natural state of age-related decline to try to get pregnantand especially if she has been on birth control for several years prior, possibly depleting her S crypts and chronically thinning her endometrial liningshe may face even more obstacles to conceiving. If a womans issues with fertility lie in a problem with proper cervical mucus production, and she is placed on Clomid, it could further thwart her chances of conception: a known side effect of this drug is to reduce the production of cervical fluid .
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