Does Birth Control Make You Tired
Blaming your mid-day sleepiness entirely on your hormonal contraceptive isn’t so simple. Fatigue has been reported to be a side effect of birth control, but it’s not exactly typical, says Amy Roskin, J.D., M.D., the chief medical officer of The Pill Club. Indeed, the U.S. National Library of Medicine lists extreme tiredness and lack of energy as potential, yet uncommon, side effects of combined oral contraceptives .
In theory, however, hormonal contraceptives should actually reduce the odds of you feeling tired, says Sophia Yen, M.D., M.P.H., the co-founder and CEO of Pandia Health, a birth control delivery company. These birth control methods generally lessen the amount of blood you lose during your period, which, in turn, may decrease your risk of anemia a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues, she explains. If you have a heavy period, for example, you may lose red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced, which can lead to anemia and symptoms such as fatigue and weakness, according to the Mayo Clinic. “If you have heavy periods, then you’re at risk for being tired, but hormonal birth control should make all of that better,” says Dr. Yen.
Your Circadian Rhythm Is Off
The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland that is located in the brain. It produces melatonin, which affects circadian rhythm and the levels of other hormones in the body. A pineal cyst is a disorder of the pineal gland that may not produce any symptoms. If the cyst is large, it may produce symptoms including water on the brain , headache, eye problems, and vision problems. Large pineal cysts that cause problems usually affect women who are in their second decade of life.
The Devastating Damages Of The Pill
Birth control pills literally rob the body of nutrients required for vitality:
- BCPs deplete folate and this can cause serious health problems because lack of folate disrupts DNA metabolism
- BCPs deplete vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12, which may lead to irritability, depression, insomnia and fatigue.
- BCPs deplete zinc and this in turn lowers the immune system and encourages insulin resistance
- BCPs deplete magnesium, leading to a chain reaction of mineral imbalances in the body
- BCPs permanently disrupts the balance of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. This means reduced nutrient assimilation, lowered immunity, and the overgrowth of pathogens like Candida. Since gut flora is passed on from mother to baby, the mothers imbalanced gut health is passed on to her children, and likely even her grandchildren .
Those serious deficiencies and imbalances that result from taking birth control pills translate into these more visible symptoms:
- Weight gain
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Should Women Who Have A History Of Depression Or Anxiety Steer Clear Of Hormonal Birth Control
TLDR: No. Most women benefit from having a stable level of hormone on hormonal birth control vs. the ups and downs of NOT being on hormonal birth control. When you are not on hormonal birth control, then your hormones cycle up and down. When you are on monophasic birth control, then your hormones are maintained at a steady, smooth level. And if you skip the optional bleeding week, even smoother.
The research is still not clear as to whether hormonal birth control pills make symptoms worse in women who are prone to anxiety and depression.
The 2017 Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that depression is not a contraindication to hormonal contraception for women with depression, citing a lack of evidence supporting a causal relationship.
One study indicated that women who take combination oral contraceptives or progesterone-only minipills were more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant than women who did not take these types of contraceptives. However, this could be due to other factors such as women on birth control are more likely to be in a relationship and at risk of pregnancy, both of which can cause depression and anxiety.
What Is Biote Hormone Pellet Therapy
BioTE Hormone Pellet Therapy is a bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. It replaces the hormones that have been depleted in your body and helps reverse many of the symptoms of hormone imbalance.
Bioidentical hormones are natural hormones derived from plants that act like the natural hormones your body produces. Many women prefer this type of HRT to other synthetic types because its natural and is delivered in the form of a pellet injected into the top layer of your skin. There are no pills to remember to swallow every day. One rice-sized pellet lasts four to six months, and studies have shown that bioidentical hormones have fewer side effects than synthetic hormones.
Another benefit of BioTE therapy is that the pellets release a steady, consistent stream of hormones throughout the day. You dont experience surges or drops in hormone levels as with other types of HRT.
For more information about how we can help you balance your hormones and get your life back in balance too, call the Center for Womens Health or make an appointment online through this website.
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How Can Pcos Affect My Life
At WestMed Family Medicine, we treat women and girls of all ages and understand the impact PCOS can have on your daily life. More than a mere nuisance, PCOS can put you at risk for other health problems, such as diabetes, a disease in which the body has elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine, causing abnormal metabolism.
PCOS also puts you at risk for high blood pressure, where the heart is overworked and begins to damage the delicate tissue inside the walls of the arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
PCOS can also lead to:
- Missed or irregular periods
- Weight gain
- Trouble losing weight
Patches of dark, thick skin may occur with PCOS as well as other associated health risks.
How Can Birth Control Treat Pcos
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have a hormonal imbalance that causes symptoms affecting their overall health. The elevated levels of male hormones that accompanies PCOS can lead to missed menstrual periods, excess facial and body hair, trouble getting pregnant, and metabolic problems, such as insulin-resistance.
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, a comprehensive treatment approach can help manage the condition. At WestMed Family Medicine, we use birth control to help treat PCOS. Heres what you need to know.
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How Does Birth Control Affect Your Hormones
The primary purpose of oral contraceptives is to impede a very natural and powerful hormonal function in women in order to prevent pregnancy.
It does this by lowering levels of natural sex hormones, especially testosterone and supplying the body with a synthetic form of estrogen that keeps your body from producing its own.
This prevention of natural hormone production stops ovulation , thins the lining of your uterus , and alters your cervical mucus .
The problem is these reproductive hormones are tied to numerous other important functions of the female body, from your metabolism and immune system to mood and cognitive performance. Reproduction is not a stand-alone function, its one of the main functions of the whole body, so when you interfere with it, you interfere with many other bodily processes as well.
Going Off Birth Control = Acne
We got to work doing everything we could to reduce symptoms and build Emily up before coming off the pill. Including, and heres the real talkskin almost always gets worse before it gets better.
Did you cringe a bit with that last sentence? I know, I hate that I have to say it, but it is true.
And think about it, your skin is not your most vital organ. So, your body being wise, takes to healing the most important organs first.
The pill creates gut inflammation, suppresses healthy hormones, and burdens the liver so that it cant clear out unnecessary hormones. This is why so many women experience Post-Birth Control Syndrome and can have a horrendous acne flare when they finally stop birth control pills altogether.
But it doesnt have to be this way. In fact, in my practice, we create individualized protocols and plans for each woman who decides to come off the pill.
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Something To Be Aware Of
Balancing your hormones increases your chance of pregnancy, compared to the pill.
Womens bodies are made to function a certain way when it comes to reproduction.
- Start our period
- The menstrual cycle starts over.
Estrogen increases after our period stops, falls, and progesterone rises as we ovulate, drops and then our period starts again.
This is the normal cycle, and promoteshealthy hormone levels and fertility.
When our hormones are out of balance , this cycle falls apart. We miss cycles altogether, gain/lose weight, emotions fluctuate, and we have labeled it PMS.
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What Are Irregular Periods
Most women have menstrual cycles that last between 21 and 35 days. Up to one quarter of women experience irregular periods. This includes having periods that are shorter or longer than usual or periods that are lighter or heavier than usual. Some women who have irregular periods may experience abdominal cramping or a lack of ovulation. Amenorrhea is a medical term that refers to an absence of periods for at least 3 months even though a woman is not pregnant. Menorrhagia is the term that means excessive menstrual bleeding. Dysmenorrhea refers to pain and cramping during periods. Prolonged menstrual bleeding involves periods in which bleeding routinely lasts for 8 days or longer. Oligomenorrhea is a condition in which periods occur infrequently or more than every 35 days. See your doctor if you believe hormonal imbalance is affecting your menstrual cycle.
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Probiotics For Gut Support
Is birth control bad for my gut? Can I take probiotics with birth control? If these are some of your top questions know that youre not alone. These questions are sent to me regularly from readers.
Yes, birth control is bad for your gut, as I explained. And yes, you can take probiotics while using birth control. In fact, you should take probiotics because birth control disrupts the microbiome.
In my clinical practice I recommend MegaSporeBiotic because it is a spore based organism that promotes microbial diversity in the gut. It also helps with creating healthy antioxidant status in the body. And it doesnt cause the same kind of issues a Lactobacillus species can if you have SIBO.
Balance, Prenatal Plus, and MegaSporeBiotic are all part of the post-birth control basic supplement kit that you can check out here.
Hormone Imbalance And Menstrual Cycle:
Occurrence of the irregular menstrual cycle can be attributed to extreme stress or a new physical activity. The menstrual cycle occurs at a span of every 21-35 days for about four to seven days. Due to a hormonal imbalance, the bleeding pattern and the reasons differ. A proper balance of hormones is quintessential in order to get pregnant and any alterations yield to menstrual obstacles thus preventing pregnancy as well. The menstrual cycle is dependent on an adequate amount of estrogen, FSH and LH, progesterone etc.
Hormone Balance And Tummy Trouble
Cells lining the gastrointestinal tract have receptors for both estrogen and progesterone. Levels of these hormones change throughout the course of a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle. When they do, they impact the function of the gastrointestinal system. Women often experience abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, and nausea before or during their periods. These symptoms can also occur with many other conditions. If a woman experiences them along with mood changes and fatigue before or during her period, it may be more likely that the GI disturbances are occurring due to monthly hormonal fluctuations.
What Is A Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalances occur when there is not enough or too much of a certain hormone being produced by the body. And because a hormone imbalance often presents as tiny inconveniences or mimic other conditions such as constipation or diarrhea, losing or gaining too much weight, hot flashes, sweating, exhaustion, and infertility, many people brush off the symptoms and do not seek medical treatment.
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What If I Forget To Take One Or More Birth Control Pills
- If you miss 1 active Pill:
- Take the pill as soon as you remember and then continue taking your pills at the usual time each day.
- You may take 2 pills on the same day or even 2 at the same time.
- If you miss 2 or more active pills in a row:
- Take the most recently missed Pill as soon as possible.
- Throw away the other missed pills.
- Continue taking the rest of your pills at the usual time each day.
- You may take 2 pills on the same day .
- If you missed the active pills in the third week or row , throw the inactive pills away and finish taking the active hormone pills.
- Then start a new pack right away.
- If you are sexually active and missed 2 pills, dont have sex or if you do have sex use condoms every time until youve taken active pills for 7 days in a row.
- Talk to your health care provider about whether you should use emergency contraception , especially if you missed pills the first week of your pill pack, or had unprotected sex the past 5 days.
Is It Ok Not To Take Hrt
All types of HRT except vaginal oestrogen are linked to the risk of stopping HRT. After stopping HRT, the increased risk of breast cancer decreases, but some women still face a greater risk than those who never used it for more than 10 years. It is up to you to decide whether to stop suddenly or gradually.
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One: Hormonal Birth Control Makes Imbalances Worse
A lot of women take birth control because their hormones are imbalanced, but truth be toldit can make them worse.
Hormonal Birth Control suppresses hormone communication.
This means that your brain cannot communicate with the ovaries.
Because your brain stops communicating with the ovaries, it has the potential to alleviate symptoms like acne, cramps, heavy bleeding, etc.
It also prevents ovulation.
We cant have areal period without ovulation.
We can have something called an anovulatory cycle, which leads to some bleeding that appears to be a period.
Basically, it is the ultimate band-aid solution to hormonal imbalance symptoms.
I absolutely do not think taking it for acne, heavy periods, bad PMS anything other the pregnancy prevention is okay, because it doesnt truly fix anything.
Breast Changes Might Be An Estrogen Imbalance
Estrogen that is too high or too low may lead to changes in breast tissues. High estrogen may cause lumpy or dense breast tissue, even cysts. Estrogen levels that are too low may cause decreased breast tissue density. In one study, postmenopausal women who took estrogen plus progesterone hormone replacement therapy experienced an increase in breast density compared to women who took a placebo. Xenoestrogens are compounds that mimic estrogen function in the body. They are naturally occurring in some plants and fungi but they are also found in some drugs, industrial by-products, and pesticides. Non-naturally occurring xenoestrogens may produce a number of harmful effects in the body, including effects on breast density and the risk of breast cancer. They may also disrupt the endocrine system. If you notice any breast changes or are concerned about your estrogen levels, see your doctor for an evaluation.
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Can The Birth Control Pill Cause Vaginal Discharge
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Used by over 10 million women in the US and over 150 million women ages 15 to 49 worldwide, the birth control pill is one of the most common forms of hormonal contraception available.
Like the patch, the IUD and other forms of hormonal contraception, the pill is a generally safe, effective way to stop yourself from becoming pregnant. Despite this, it still has several common side effects that can appear after you start using it.
One of the potential side effects of the pill is an increase in vaginal discharge. If you have just started using the pill, you might notice an increase in white, mucus-like discharge from your vagina, especially during the first few months.
Most of the time, an increase in vaginal discharge from the pill isnt something for you to worry about. Below, weve explained why vaginal discharge can occur after you start taking the pill, as well as what you can do to reduce it.
Potential Causes Of Birth Control
Remember, tiredness can be a side effect albeit a rare one of using birth control, but researchers haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact cause of fatigue related to contraceptives, says Dr. Roskin. Given the side effects listed on combination oral contraceptives, though, “the estrogen and progestin hormones in birth control may cause this in some people,” she says. Research shows progesterone and estrogen may be hypnogenic hormones, meaning they can help bring on sleep. As a result, using hormonal birth control, such as the pill, in the morning could potentially make you feel sleepy during the day, according to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research.“While it’s unlikely, some studies have shown that taking birth control can lead to daytime tiredness,” adds Dr. Roskin.
Menstruators who use a hormone-free copper IUD may also be more likely to deal with fatigue, says Dr. Yen. Unlike hormonal IUDs, this copper contraceptive often makes periods longer and causes heavier bleeding, especially in the first three to six months after insertion, according to Planned Parenthood. Due to that extra blood loss, you may be at greater risk of anemia and, consequently, fatigue, says Dr. Yen.
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