Are Birth Control Pills Hormones
So, lets get to the nitty gritty of what the heck are birth control pills, what are their real impact on a womans body, and why you might want to avoid them, if possible? I know youve heard them referred to as hormonal contraception, but the reality is that theres not a drop of natural hormones found in any brand of birth control pill. Not even one drop!
Rather than containing natural hormones, theyre synthetic versions of endogenous estradiol and progesterone, and Mother Nature has never seen these at any time in human evolution. In a sense, these synthetic hormones are endocrine disruptors -chemicals that can be thought of as pseudo-hormones. They can do a few of the same things that hormones do, attaching to their receptors, like a key fitting into a lock. But they dont necessarily open the door or open it fully. The end result is a different outcome! Its like substituting diesel fuel for gasoline in a car. It may pour into the tank but its clearly going to deliver a different outcome when the gas pedal is pressed.
Recognizing The Onset Of Menopause
Its not always easy to know if youâre in menopause, especially if youâre taking birth control. In fact, theres a chance that youâre in menopause and still having a period because of the birth control since it contains hormones. Most women enter menopause at about the age of 51, which is why many doctors suggest ceasing the use of birth control after this age. This is especially the case if your goal is to determine whether or not youre in menopause.
If you stop taking birth control pills tofind out if youre in menopause, its often recommended that some other form ofcontraception be used until you know for sure. When you are in menopause, yourperiod will cease and you may experience symptoms like hot flashes, vaginaldryness, mood swings, depression, insomnia, tiredness, anxiety and changes inyour skin. While birth control probably wont delay menopause, it can delaythese symptoms.
Different Hormones Different Symptoms
The human body produces many kinds of hormones from different organs, such as the pituitary gland, testicles, ovaries, heart, pancreas, kidneys, thalamus, and hypothalamus. Some hormones are considered proteins, others are called steroids, and yet others are called polypeptides.
But no matter their name or the gland that secretes them, theyre essential for the healthy functioning of your body throughout your lifespan. Heres what happens to a womans body when there is an imbalance:
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Causes Of A Hormonal Imbalance
There are lots of different possible causes of a hormonal imbalance. It depends on which hormones or glands are affected in the body. Some common causes of a hormonal imbalance include medications, cancer treatments, eating disorders, stress, injury or trauma, hormone therapy, and more. Additionally, conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, Cushing syndrome, Addisons disease, thyroiditis, and others can lead to hormonal imbalances.
Unique to women, hormonal imbalances may be related to reproductive hormones, including common causes of menopause, premature menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, PCOS, and hormone drugs.
To determine if you have a hormonal imbalance, meet with an obgyn in Lake Success to answer questions and take one or more diagnostics tests. Blood tests, pelvic exams, ultrasounds, and more may be used to diagnose you with a hormonal imbalance.
Swap Carbs For Healthy Fats
Foods that balance hormones include a variety of fat-containing foods that provide short-, medium- and long-chain fatty acids. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol.
Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
Healthy fats have the opposite effect of refined carbohydrates, which lead to inflammation and can mess with the balance of your hormones.
My four favorite sources of anti-inflammatory, healthy fats include coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild-caught salmon.
- Coconut oil uses are plentiful. For example, coconut oil has natural antibacterial and fat-burning effects.
- Avocado benefits include improving heart health, lowering inflammation, controlling your appetite, and contributing to your daily intake of fiber and nutrients, such as potassium.
- Salmon nutrition is also impressive. Its one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower inflammation and help with cognitive functions. Omega-3 fatty acids are a large component of brain-cell membranes and are important for cell-to-cell communication in the brain. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help protect against hippocampal neuronal loss and reduce pro-inflammatory responses.
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How To Balance Hormones
Hormones are the chemical messengers that affect your mental, physical, and emotional health. They are your bodys chemical messengers, traveling to tissues or organs in your bloodstream. Hormones work overtime and affect several different processes throughout the body, including growth and development, metabolism, sexual function, mood, and more. Typically, the body produces a precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes to stay healthy. Contact our obgyn in Lake Success for help with hormone balancing.
The Reason For This Is Because Hormonal Contraceptives Stop You Ovulating Thats Why They Are Contraceptives They Suppress Ovulation
So while ever you are taking the OCP or have an implant in the hormone levels from them over-rides your own natural levels and stops your follicles from maturing and releasing eggs. Which is great for contraception. But
It screws up the natural signalling between your brain and your ovaries. Your brain gets used to not signalling your ovaries to make hormones. So when you stop the OCP or have the Implanont or Mirena removed you dont have a normal hormonal rhythm.
And this is why your period might not come back or it is irregular.
So hormonal birth control is definitely not hormone balancing.
The only way you can truly rebalance your hormones is with the right foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs. Natural things that restore health and proper ovarian function. Pharmaceutical drugs cant do this.
But the real secret to rebalancing your hormones is not just willy-nilly trying different diets, herbs and nutritional supplements. You need to identify which of your hormones are out of balance.
Because there are different herbal and supplement protocols for different hormone imbalances.
For example in a condition like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome there can be imbalances not just with testosterone but also with oestrogen and progesterone.
If youre not getting a period or you get one very infrequently then it could be because oestrogen is low. Or testosterone is high. Or as is commonly the case stress hormones have shut down your menstrual cycle.
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Restore Healthy Cervical Mucus
Once the menstrual cycle is restored, healthy cervical mucus production should be restored as well. If you find you are still struggling with lack of cervical mucus you may want to consider supplements that have been shown to help promote healthy CM production.
Cervical mucus production may be altered for some time as well since the hormones in birth control thicken cervical mucus for some time. Supplements that have proven results for restoring healthy CM are Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Oil, L-Arginine and Fertile CM. Be sure to drink plenty of water daily. At first you may also want to consider using a sperm friendly lubricant until your natural healthy cervical mucus is restored.
When Is It Time To Bring In The Pros
How do you know if somethings wrong once youve transitioned off of hormonal birth control? If youre coming off of a type of birth control other than Depo-Provera and your period still hasnt returned after two to three months , this is the time to check in with your doctor. If youre older than 35 and trying to conceive, then its especially important to see your provider right away.
Here are two situations that might lead to a longer return to ovulation:
- Underlying reproductive health issues: Remember what we said about hormonal birth control potentially masking undiagnosed issues? If your period hasnt returned after three months, your hormonal birth control isnt to blame but its possible you were unknowingly managing PCOS, endometriosis, or thyroid conditions with BC.
- Other health conditions: If the other side effects that come with stopping birth control pills dont stop, thats an indication that something could be up. You should also seek medical attention if you develop any new symptoms, like numbness and shortness of breath. When in doubt, listen to your body and rely on your instincts if you feel like somethings not right, take action.
Hormone Balance Supplements And A Balanced Diet Vs Hrt: Whats Right For You
As you can see, addressing the hormonal changes that come with menopause can sometimes mean walking a tightrope between finding relief and staying healthy over the long haul.
Managing Your Hormones With Our Obgyn In Lake Success
Its important to regularly visit your obgyn in Lake Success to ensure you have healthy hormone production and good lifestyle habits. Your hormones are involved in almost all aspects of your health. They need to be in good standing for your body to optimally function and feel good. Contact Women for Women today to schedule your appointment and get your hormones balanced and feeling right.
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How Many Women Start The Pill
Maybe you started taking birth control for its intended use to prevent pregnancy. And maybe your doctor told you that your mild acne would resolve as an added benefit. Or maybe your periods were so heavy and so painful, your doctor felt this was the only choice. In truth, sometimes birth control is the best choice for endometriosis, seriously heavy periods, or PMDD.
Or maybe, and this is the one that really displeases me, your periods were irregular, you had acne, difficulty losing weight, hair loss or growing hair in unusual places and your doctor started you on birth control and told you that you could figure out what was going on when you wanted to become pregnant.
Women are passed the pill at such a high frequency that things like PCOS, endometriosis and autoimmune disease are often left undiscovered, undiagnosed and untreated. And sadly, sometimes they find out only when they are ready to have children that they have a condition that makes it so much harder.
Your symptoms have a root cause. And while hormone symptoms suck, understand that birth control wonât fix them.
Sure, maybe your periods and skin get better, but the cause of your period problems isnât addressed by birth control.
Birth control was designed to deliver you enough hormones to shut down your reproductive function. Yes, hormones that suppress your body and therefore, canât fix the true issue.
Got heavy periods? Could it be thyroid disease or anemia?
Women deserve better. You deserve better.
What Are The Signs Of A Hormonal Imbalance
Sometimes, pregnancy and childbirth can cause our hormones to become a bit out of whack. In these cases, we might need some help getting back on track. According to Dr. Loeb-Zeitlin, below are some symptoms you might experience if youre dealing with a postpartum hormone imbalance:
- Anxiety and depression
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Eat Enough Protein At Every Meal
Consuming adequate amounts of protein is extremely important.
Not only does protein provide essential amino acids that your body cant make on its own, but your body also needs it to produce protein-derived hormones also known as peptide hormones .
Your endocrine glands make these hormones from amino acids. Peptide hormones play a crucial role in regulating many physiological processes, such as growth, energy metabolism, appetite, stress, and reproduction .
For example, protein intake influences hormones that control appetite and food intake, communicating information about energy status to your brain .
Research has shown that eating protein decreases the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates the production of hormones that help you feel full, including peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide-1 .
One 3-month study in 156 teenagers with obesity associated a high protein breakfast with increased PYY and GLP-1 levels, which resulted in weight loss due to increased feelings of fullness .
Experts recommend eating a minimum of 2030 grams of protein per meal. You can do this by including high protein foods such as eggs, chicken breast, lentils, or fish at each meal .
Eating sufficient protein triggers the production of peptide hormones, some of which suppress appetite and help you feel full. Aim for a minimum of 2030 grams of protein per meal.
Hormone & Fertility Articles
I have so many hormone, period, and fertility resources that it would be impossible to pack it all into this one article!
There is so much noise and confusion around nutrition and lifestyle shifts to healing your hormones with clarity and ease, which is why Im so passionate about getting this info into your hands!
Here are 3 things that can determine how long for hormones to balance after stopping birth control:
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What Causes Irregular Menstrual Cycles
Every womans menstrual cycle is different. Some women get their period at the same time each month. Others are more irregular. Some women bleed more heavily or for a longer number of days than others. Your menstrual cycle can also change during certain times of your life. That said, its really helpful to track your periods. Eventually, the goal is to sync your cycle with your life. Spoiler alertthats part of how to balance your hormones naturally. Any of these things can alter your menstrual cycle, causing hormonal imbalance:
This is not an exhaustive list of reasons why a menstrual cycle can be irregular. If you sense your period is irregular .
Image by Michelle Nash
How To Stop Taking Birth Control Pills Without Getting Pregnant
If you dont want to get pregnant straight away, you should consider other birth control options you can use when you stop taking the birth control pill or other hormonal methods. There are a few non-hormonal birth control options available, including Natural Cycles, the copper IUD and condoms. Its important to remember that no method of birth control is 100% effective so with any method there will always be a risk of unintended pregnancy.
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How Long Does It Take To Balance Your Hormones
Hormones are incredible chemical messengers in our body that affect our brain, heart, bones, muscles, and reproductive organs and are an essential part of the workings of every cell in the human body.Hormones help with reactive situations, and send signals to allow the body to.Hormones work best when balanced.Hot flashes can occur for a few months to several years.
How long does it take for bioidentical hormones to work patients say that they feel relief from plenty of symptoms within 1 to 2 days after treatment.How long does it take for hormones to balance after quitting alcohol?How long does it take for hormones to balance after starting birth control?How long does it take for my hormones to balance?
How low is too low?However, hormones can become imbalanced.However, other underlying conditions and external factors may also affect recovery time.I would advise giving your body two full menstrual cycles to see if it normalizes, says nayak.
If symptoms persist, your doctor can advise on next steps to take, whether its prescribing a medical intervention or another lifestyle change.In a few rare cases, some people had hot flashes for 10 years.In fact, many women report feeling less anxious and depressed once they begin taking the pill.In many ways, how long does hrt take to work? can be a difficult question to answer.
What Are Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are a type of hormone replacement therapy. They contain synthetic hormones that disrupt the natural hormonal cycle to stop ovulation. In a womans natural hormonal cycle, estrogen and progesterone fluctuate. Estrogen peaks right before ovulation, and progesterone right after.
Birth control pills work by providing the body with synthetic hormones to keep them consistently high, fooling the body into thinking its pregnant to prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg.
The original purpose of birth control pills, of course, was to stop pregnancy, however conventional medicine doctors are quick to prescribe the pill for other reasons, such as hormone balance, acne, PMS, painful periods, ovarian cysts, fibroids, mood swings, and perimenopause, just to name a few.
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You Had Easy Breezy Periods And Little To No Hormonal Concerns Pre
The envy of many, you may experience some breakouts or mild anxiety as your body weans off its daily dose of synthetic oestrogen, but youll likely be fine to stop taking the pill and see how you go.
Supporting your body to start ovulating and producing its own natural progesterone again will help to soothe any low moods or anxiety, and promote regular, symptom-free cycles.
To help your body ovulate ASAP, make sure to:
- Get plenty of sleep and manage your stress levels. Easier said than done, we know. Try cutting back on additional stressors such as over exercising, caffeine and alcohol.
- Make sure to eat plenty of nutrient-dense wholefoods, and include a good balance of healthy fats, quality proteins and the right kind of carbs in your diet.
- Keep your nutrient stores tip-top, particularly zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. These key nutrients nourish the ovaries and support ovulation â find these all in our beloved Take Me With The Pill