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Does Birth Control Help Hormonal Imbalance

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One nice benefit of the Pill is predictability: periods that run like clockwork and are usually much lighter. For some, periods may even disappear a feature enjoyed by some but anxiety-producing for others. What most women recognize as their menses while on the Pill is not a real period but a withdrawal bleed thats orchestrated by the Pill hormones, not your own. Back when the Pill was new and contained much higher amounts of hormones, its creators and the women who took it were reassured by the message a withdrawal bleed seemed to imply: they werent pregnant now but could become so later, when and if desired.

While you are actively taking the Pill, the synthetic estrogen component stimulates the lining of your uterus somewhat, as your own hormones would normally do on their own, while at the same time the synthetic progestin agent counteracts, or opposes that proliferation to control the linings thickness. Meanwhile, the hormones in the Pill curtail ovarian function and the release of an egg. At the end of the pack, when you stop taking the active pills for several days or use placebo pills, the drop-off in both hormones stimulates a withdrawal bleed, resembling what you would experience at the end of a natural cycle. Use of a continuous-cycle or extended-cycle Pill simply suppresses this process of creating a pseudo period.

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

Treating Pcos With Hormonal Birth Control

My freshman year of college I missed two weeks of school consecutively due to an unending period. I thank God for my roommate who brought me food because I could not even get out of bed. I finally was able to see a doctor who had some experience with these symptoms and was diagnosed with PCOS. It took until 2015 to find something that worked for me, which ended up being the pillKiersten, La Plata, MD

I love my birth control because it keeps my PCOS in check so that Im not immobilized in bed 7 days out of the month.JeNeen, Los Angeles, California

I was diagnosed with PCOS about 4 years ago and prescribed birth control to control my hormone levels so that I can have a higher chance of fertility later in life if I ever wanted to have a child.Sophia, Washington, DC

Even for those with manageable periods, its often the worst time of the month with annoying cramping, bloating, nausea, or diarrhea. For those with polycystic ovary syndrome , a period is worse than annoying, its severely painful. In honor of PCOS Awareness Month this September, we look into how taking birth control can help control the symptoms of PCOS.

For those who do not want to become pregnant, treating PCOS often involves taking hormonal birth control to manage the symptoms of PCOS, like painful periods, acne, and excess body hair. The pill, the patch, and the ring work by preventing ovulation which reduces the number of cysts on the ovary.

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Birth Control And Gut Health

Using hormonal birth control has an obvious impact on our hormones and menstrual cycle.

But, like any other prescription medication, it has wide-reaching effects on other body systems.

The use of hormonal birth control has been linked to problems with everything from our thyroid to our mood.

But, perhaps most concerning is the effects that hormonal birth control can have on our gut health.

Were now learning that the health of our gut is so important to the health of our entire body.

So, when it comes to the gut health side effects of using hormonal birth control, knowledge is power.

In this article, Ill dive into the top four ways that hormonal birth control can impact the health of your gut.

And if you do need to be on hormonal birth control, you arent doomed to have poor gut health. Ill also give you ways you can support the health of your gut, even while on hormonal birth control.

Estrogen Metabolism In The Gut

Migraines From Hormonal Imbalance Pills Cause Loss Weight ...

Hormonal birth controls effects on our microbiome can also alter our bodys ability to optimally metabolize estrogen.

Meaning that there are actually certain species of bacteria in our gut, known as the estrobolome, that helps to clear excess and used estrogen out of our system.

These specific, estrogen-metabolizing, bacteria produce an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase. This enzyme is specific for breaking down estrogens.

And when those beta-glucuronidase producing gut bugs are not as prevalent, as can happen with hormonal birth control use, estrogen wont get metabolized as effeciently in your gut.

So, its possible that the bacteria shifts in our gut as a result of hormonal birth control use can actually affect how well were able to get rid of excess estrogens.

And when our bodies cant get rid of those excess estrogens, they often get reabsorbed into our system. Resulting in what is known as Estrogen Dominance.

Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance can include:

  • Bloating

  • Weight gain

  • Hair loss

If youre experiencing any of these symptoms, and have a history of hormonal birth control use, checking for any imbalances in your gut bacteria could be the key youve been missing.

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Does Birth Control Help With Cramps And Other Period Symptoms

When Aunt Flo arrives each month, she often brings with her a host of other unwanted guests including painful cramps. You could ride it out with a heating pad, a couple Midol or another common way to stop period pain, or you could say goodbye to severely painful cramps with the help from a little pill.

Because birth control pills help regulate your period by balancing your hormones, the pill can also reduce period pain when cramps are caused by a hormone imbalance. During your menstrual cycle, your uterine lining produces hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins help your uterus contract in order to shed the lining.

But too much of these prostaglandins can cause painful cramps, which is often called dysmenorrhea. The combination pill can help balance your hormone levels by reducing the amount of prostaglandins produced.

Frequently Asked Questions Expand All

  • How do I start using the pills?

    You can start using this method for the first time at any point during your menstrual cycle. But you and your obstetriciangynecologist or other health care professional should be reasonably sure you are not pregnant. Follow these directions:

  • If you start taking the pills within the first 5 days after the start of your menstrual period, no additional birth control method is needed.

  • If you start taking the pills more than 5 days after the start of your period, you need to use an additional birth control method or avoid sexual intercourse for the next 2 days.

  • If you are switching from another form of birth control, simply stop using the other method at the same time you start the progestin-only pills. If it has been more than 5 days since your period started, use an additional birth control method or avoid sex for the next 2 days.

  • If you are switching from an intrauterine device , you have a few options. You can wait until you have been taking the pills for at least 2 days to have the IUD removed. You can use another form of birth control or avoid sex for the 2 days before removing the IUD and starting the pills. Or you can use emergency contraception at the time of IUD removal.

  • What should I know if I take other medications?

    Certain medications may interfere with the effectiveness of the progestin-only pill. These medications include

  • rifampin, a drug used to treat certain infections

  • some drugs used to prevent seizures

  • It stops ovulation.

  • Also Check: Which Iud Has Less Hormones

    Natural Remedies And Supplements

    There are many nutritional supplements on the market that claim to treat menopause and hormone imbalance. However, few of them are backed up by scientific evidence.

    Many of these supplements contain plant-derived hormones. These are sometimes called bioidentical hormones because they chemically resemble the bodys natural hormones. Theres no evidence to suggest that they work better than regular hormone therapy, though.

    Some people find that yoga helps treat symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Yoga is excellent for your strength, flexibility, and balance. It may also aid in weight loss, which can help regulate your hormones.

    You can also make the following lifestyle changes:

    • Lose weight. A

    The primary cause of acne is excess oil production, which leads to clogged pores. Acne is most common in areas with many oil glands, including the:

    Acne is often associated with pubescent hormonal changes, but theres actually a lifelong relationship between acne and hormones.

    S To Balance Hormones Naturally

    How To Come Off Birth Control and Prevent Hormone Imbalances

    Reviewed by

    Hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline and insulin are extremely important chemical messengers that affect many aspects of your overall health.

    Conventional treatments for hormonal imbalances typically include synthetic hormone replacement therapies, birth control pills, insulin injections, thyroid medications and more. Unfortunately, for the majority of people;suffering from hormonal disorders,;relying on these types of synthetic treatments often does three things:

  • It makes people dependent on taking prescription drugs for the rest of their lives in order to keep symptoms under control.
  • It simply masks;the patients symptoms, but doesnt solve them, which means that the patient can continue to develop abnormalities in other areas of the body while the disorder progresses.
  • It potentially causes a higher risk for serious side effects, such as stroke, osteoporosis, anxiety, reproductive problems, cancer and more.
  • Is it possible to balance hormones naturally? The good news is: yes, in many cases it is. Below youll learn about some root causes of hormonal problems, as well as about treatment options to help you balance your hormones naturally.

    Also Check: How Much Are Estrogen Patches

    What Does It Mean For Women

    Its painful to have to reject what has come to be seen as the ticket to female freedom and independence from unwanted pregnancies. Birth control pills were a hard-fought female victory at the time, needed;to achieve parity with males.

    But the truth must be told, no matter how painful it is at first to hear. To be vibrant,;healthy women we can no longer be chained to the technology;and drugs designed decades ago;at a time when the hormonal functions of women were not understood. Women are amazing rhythmic creatures and require the beautiful dance of their hormones to be healthy. No woman should have a baby she doesnt want. But knowingly putting synthetic hormones that disrupt the endocrine system into her body, destroying that rhythm and destroying fertility by removing hormones and replacing them with toxins, is simply not a reasonable option. Sadly, fertility and the health of females ;are one and the same thing. We must accept reality and then work to design effective contraceptives, or more natural ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies, which do not slowly destroy the female body by replacing vital hormones and rhythms with chemical endocrine disruptors. Effective contraceptives are surely needed, but sacrificing;female health is not an option – not now AND not ever!

    Is There A Way To Balance Hormones Without Birth Control

    There are several medications besides birth control that can help balance hormones and effectively treat acne. One of the most effective is called Spironolactone , an oral medication used to treat high blood pressure does not contain hormones or synthetic hormones. It’s actually a diuretic that works as an androgen blocker, which means it blocks the effects of male hormones in the body like testosterone, contributing to oil production and, ultimately, acne.

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    Treating Pcos Using Birth Control

    Although birth control doesnt cure polycystic ovary syndrome, certain forms of hormonal birth control can help to manage and provide relief from PCOS symptoms.

    Several different forms of birth control are used to treat PCOS. The most common is the birth control pill. If you have PCOS, using a birth control pill can help to relieve your symptoms and make living with PCOS significantly easier.

    Most women with PCOS use a combination birth control pill that contains synthetic versions of the hormones progestin and estrogen. Some combination pills offer additional benefits, such as preventing acne breakouts.

    In certain cases, using a combination pill may not be appropriate for you. For example, if youre older than 35, a smoker or are just sensitive to the effects of estrogen, your healthcare provider may instead recommend using a progestin-only birth control pill, or mini-pill.

    Other hormonal forms of birth control can also be used to treat PCOS. For example, options like the patch, ring , injection and hormonal IUD can all be used to treat the symptoms of PCOS.

    Although many most women opt to use the combination birth control pill, theres no best form of birth control for treating PCOS in everyone.

    Each form of birth control offers specific advantages and disadvantages, from convenience and ease of use to effectiveness. You can learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of each form of hormonal birth control in our detailed guide to birth control options.;

    Period Problems And Period

    4 Ways to Repair the Hormone Imbalance from The Pill

    A common complaint of women who visit Madison Womens Health is irregular periods or unexpected changes to their periods. A period is considered irregular when it occurs more often than before or less often than before, or if the amount and duration of bleeding has changed significantly for repeated months. Is your period suddenly much heavier than it has been? Or are you not having a period at all?

    Keep track of your cycles, when you begin to bleed, and for how long. A popular app among our patients for tracking cycles is Period Tracker Period Calendar , although there are many options. Let your doctor know how many days there are between your periods and what your typical flow is like. Discuss what is different and why you are concerned. Let them know if youre under more stress than before, if youve changed your diet or exercise recently, or if you have a family history of irregular periods.

    These changes could have a structural cause having to do with your cervix or uterus or a hormonal cause. Your doctor will likely want to perform a physical exam and may also check specific hormones on a specific day of your menstrual cycle.

    Recommended Reading: How To Lower Estrogen Levels In Men

    Supplements For Improved Digestion

    When it comes to supplements to help improve digestion, there are a few heavy hitters that Ill recommend.

    Dandelion root has traditionally been used to help improve bile flow and quality. Tea is a popular and simple way to benefit from dandelions digestive healing properties. I drink dandelion root tea almost every night to help support my liver and gallbladder health.

    Milk thistle is another great supplement that has been shown to help support healthy bile and good digestion overall. Taking this supplement before meals can help stimulate digestive juices that aid in the breakdown of your food.

    Birth Control Option #: Intrauterine Devices

    Intrauterine devices are small devices that are T-shaped made from either copper or plastic inserted into the uterus by a doctor or nurse. Some IUDs release progesterone into the uterus which can make the lining thinner, thus effective against endometriosis and menstrual cramps.

    Another type of IUDs release copper into the uterus. The effect of the copper is that it affects the mucus in the cervix, causing a difficult path for sperm to meet the egg. As copper IUDs do not release hormones, they are not used in the treatment of other conditions.

    Also Check: How Do You Balance Hormones Naturally

    The Zrt Laboratory Blog

    I watch a bit of television now and again, and repeatedly see a commercial for a birth control pill. It looks quite glamorous to be taking it. Granted, at the tail end of the commercial it states many of the bad things contraceptive pills are widely recognized to cause. But the real impact of what birth control pills do to female bodies is never discussed and what is discussed is completely glossed over.;

    The true nature and impact of birth control pills is very concerning and prevents me from prescribing them in good conscience.;All women should come to grips with;the sad reality that this rampantly prescribed group of drugs can be harmful, and therefore unacceptable.

    How Hormones Work In The Brain And Body

    Are Your Hormones Out of Whack? Try This Hormone Test at Home

    In order to feel happy and healthy, you need to have balanced hormones. Here is some important information to note about the differences between natural and synthetic hormones.

    Natural hormones bind to specific receptors and keep your body in balance:

    • Estrogen binds to the estrogen receptor.
    • Progesterone binds to the progesterone receptor.
    • Testosterone binds to the testosterone receptor .
    • There is no cross-reactivity.

    Synthetic progesterone acts differently on the body:

    • Progestins do not limit binding with just the progesterone receptor, but many other receptors as well.
    • When a synthetic hormone binds to the wrong receptor, that receptor may convey inaccurate signals, which throws the body off balance.

    Because synthetic hormones may bind to the wrong receptors, birth control pills may cause hormone imbalances and detrimental side effects. Not all women experience these problems, but for those that do side effects can be quite miserable.

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