I have always been a believer of providing women with all available information, so they can make the best choice for them, at this point in their lives. This includes knowing all the good and bad about any recommended or prescribed therapy. Staying in-the-know. When we educate oursleves and stay informed, we’re able to make informed discussions for what is best for own bodies.
The choice regarding your body, should always be yours to make.
Generally speaking, uncertainty remains regarding the birth control pill. Is it safe to take? Will it balance my hormones? How long do I have to be off of it, before trying to conceive? All of which are valid – and encouraged! – questions to be asking.
Promises of clearer skin, lighter and less painful periods are some of the top attractive reasons for starting the oral birth control pill, aside from the obvious – preventing an unwanted pregnancy.
Another big draw to the pill, is this idea of having your hormones regulated or balanced by being on the pill.
This is not the case.
The pill does not regulate your hormones. The pill suppresses ovulation, suppressing our own hormone production. Thus, if hormonal imbalances existed prior to starting the pill, they will likely be present following discontinuation – as they are being masked while being on the pill. For example, if you’ve had painful, irregular periods prior to starting the pill, you’ll likely still have those same hormonal imbalances when you go off. The same would apply for other hormonal imbalance symptoms such as acne, or changes in mood – these often reappear following the discontinuation of the pill, if the hormonal support work has yet to be done.
What is the homornal support work?
Generally speaking, it invloves supporting the liver detox pathways, and eating a whole-foods diet including adequate healthy fats, fibre and protein, while cutting out the processed sugar. I often recommend we test for female hormones if we think there is an underlying hormonal imbalance, as a starting point for our treatment. In the meantime, it is great to start with the basics listed above.
With all female hormonal cases, there are a few important questions I am asking – Do we know if you are ovulating? This will determine if and how much progesterone you are making. How is your liver functioning? We need your detox pathways to be functioning optimally, for hormonal metabolism, particularly with estrogen. Are we seeing appropriate levels of estrogen and progrestone, when we would expect to see those at their peaks? And last but not least, how is your overall health? Including both physical and mental, assessing both stress and anxiety levels.
If you’re on the oral birth control pill for the sake of regulating your hormones, please know that we can offer women much more than the oral birth control pill, for that purpose.
If you have any questions regarding any of this, I woud love to hear from you.
Yours in health,
Dr. Alison Gottschalk, ND