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Why You Should Quit the Pill and How To Do It

Thinking about stopping hormonal birth control, or have you recently made the switch? That’s incredible! And you’re not alone. Many women are opting out of taking birth control and for good reason.

 

There are several BIG reasons to come off the pill:

 

  1. Address the Root Cause: Many doctors prescribe the pill to “solve” symptoms, but it doesn’t address the underlying issues. It merely covers them up. Whatever symptoms that caused you to go on the pill will be right there waiting for you when you come off of it if you are not preparing your body. When you stop taking the pill, you have the opportunity to tackle the root causes of your symptoms directly.

 

  1. Protect Your Microbiome and Estrobolome: The pill can damage your gut microbiome, including the estrobolome, a collection of gut bacteria that metabolize and modulate your body’s circulating estrogen. A healthy estrobolome helps regulate estrogen levels, which can impact weight, libido, and mood. Restoring gut health is essential for maintaining a balanced and healthy body.

 

  1. Reduce Inflammation: Hormonal birth control can increase inflammation in the body. You may be prescribed birth control for a wide array of common period problems such as PMS and cramping, but those are a result of hormonal imbalance and inflammation in the body. This goes back to not addressing the root cause. Coming off birth control can help reduce inflammation in the body and decrease the risk of various chronic diseases.

 

  1. Support Natural Ovulation: The pill suppresses ovulation, a natural and vital part of your reproductive health. Regular ovulation also protects women’s long term health. Suppressing ovulation for months, years or more can have significant long-term consequences. Coming off the pill allows your body to resume its natural hormonal cycles and regular ovulation.

 

Coming off hormonal birth control is a significant step in your hormonal healing journey. However, stopping cold turkey can lead to nasty symptoms as your body struggles to balance its own hormones for the first time in months or years. Here are some simple tips to help you transition smoothly and avoid unwanted side effects.

 

  1. Talk to Your Doctor

Before you stop taking birth control, have a chat with your doctor. They can give you personalized advice and keep an eye on your health during the transition.

 

  1. Try Seed Cycling

Start seed cycling a few months before you stop birth control. It’s a natural way to balance your hormones by eating specific seeds during different times of your cycle. Here’s how it works:

 

Days 1-14 (Menstruation to Ovulation):

  • Flax Seeds: 1-2 tablespoons, ground, daily
  • Pumpkin Seeds: 1-2 tablespoons, whole or ground, daily

 

Days 15-28 (Ovulation to Menstruation):

  • Sunflower Seeds: 1-2 tablespoons, whole or ground, daily
  • Sesame Seeds: 1-2 tablespoons, ground, daily

 

These seeds provide important nutrients like omega-3s, zinc, vitamin E, and selenium, which help regulate your hormones.

 

  1. Start Syncing With Your Cycle

Syncing your food, exercise & activities with your cycle even while you’re still on birth control is a powerful way to encourage the natural ebb and flow of your primary sex hormones. This can help your body adjust more easily when you stop. It can also reduce post-pill problems like acne, insomnia, mood swings, and irregular cycles. Here are some tips for each phase of your cycle to get you started:

 

Menstruation (Days 1-5):

  • Rest and Recharge: Your energy levels are lower, so prioritize rest and gentle activities like yoga or light stretching.
  • Nourish with Warm Foods: Eat warming and nutrient-dense foods like soups, stews, and cooked vegetables to support your body.

 

Late Follicular Phase (Days 6-10):

  • Boost Energy and Creativity: This is a time of rising energy and creativity. Engage in new projects or social activities.
  • Eat Fresh and Light Foods: Incorporate fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and light grains to support your increasing energy levels.

 

Ovulation Window (Days 11-15):

  • Maximize Social and Physical Activities: Your energy and mood are at their peak. It’s a great time for socializing and intense workouts.
  • Consume Nutrient-Rich Foods: Focus on foods rich in vitamins and minerals, like leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

 

Luteal Phase (Days 16-29):

  • Wind Down and Reflect: Your energy begins to wane, so start winding down and engaging in more introspective activities.
  • Focus on Comforting Foods: Eat comforting and grounding foods like root vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats to support your body as it prepares for menstruation.

 

  1. Eat REAL Food

Cutting out processed foods, sugar, and bad oils (like trans fats and highly processed vegetable oils) is crucial. Focus on eating real, whole foods as much as possible. This means plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods provide the nutrients your body needs to maintain hormonal balance and overall health.

 

  1. Track Your Entire Cycle

Keeping track of your menstrual cycle is essential, but it’s not just about tracking your actual period. In addition to tracking your actual period, also monitor these key aspects to start seeing the patterns in your hormonal fluctuations so you know how to change up your lifestyle accordingly: 

 

  • Energy Fluctuations: Note when you feel more energetic and when you feel tired. This can help you understand and sync with your natural energy cycles.
  • Mood and Emotions: Keep track of your mood and emotional changes throughout your cycle. This can help identify patterns and manage any emotional ups and downs.
  • Libido: Pay attention to changes in your libido. Tracking this can give you insights into your hormonal health.
  • Physical Symptoms: Record any physical symptoms like bloating, cramps, headaches, or breast tenderness. This information can be valuable in understanding your cycle and overall health.

 

Using a journal or a period-tracking app can make this process easier and help you spot patterns over time.

 

Transitioning off birth control is a big change, but with the right steps, you can help your body restore hormonal balance. Seed cycling, syncing with your cycle, eating real food and tracking your entire cycle are all great ways to make the transition smoother and improve your overall health.