how to smoothly transition off birth control and avoid post-pill syndrome
Choosing to transition off birth control is a big decision, and it’s important to make sure you’re doing it in the best possible way for your body. In this article, we’ll go over the details of the post-pill syndrome and what steps you can take to avoid it during your transition off birth control.
things you should know before you transition
If you’ve been thinking about going off birth control, whether it’s because you want to get pregnant or you’re just ready to stop taking hormones, there are a few things you should know first. Going off birth control can be a bit of a process, and depending on the type of birth control you’re using, you may experience some side effects. This is especially true if you’re stopping hormonal birth control, like the pill, patch, or ring.
These side effects are often called “post-pill syndrome” and can include everything from mood swings and weight gain to acne and irregular periods. If you originally went on the pill to relieve acne, painful periods, or any other hormonal imbalance you may be a bit terrified to stop. I’m here to assure you that you will be just fine if you follow these next steps!
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be as these are solely based on my experiences. Please consult your family doctor before considering any recommendations listed in this post. Thanks!
Choose the right time to stop taking birth control
It’s important to pick the right time to go off birth control. If you’re trying to get pregnant, it’s best to stop taking hormonal contraceptives a few months before you start trying. This will give your body time to adjust and increase your chances of getting pregnant more quickly. Many women’s bodies take longer than a few months to adjust so the sooner the better!
If you want to transition off due to side effects you face it is best to try and balance your natural hormones as best as possible to avoid post-pill syndrome. However, it is safe to stop taking it cold turkey.
Why quit the pill?
If not for the obvious reason of the side effects you face being on the combination bill or any type of hormonal contraceptive, let it be this.
1. The pill depletes your body of nutrients
Many studies have shown that birth control pills deplete vital nutrients in the body, those key nutrients are:
- folic acid
- vitamins B2, B6, B12
- vitamin C and E
- minerals magnesium, selenium, and zinc.
most of the population is deficient in this nutrient WITHOUT being on the pill. I am a huge advocate for getting vitamins and minerals through food but if you are on the pill I highly suggest supplementing these.
2. The pill messes with your brain…literally
Birth control pill, when taken for a prolonged period of time is shown to cause HPA dysfunction in the brain. Your HPA axis is the Hypothamic-pituitary-axis.
Due to HPA axis dysfunction, women taking the pill are shown to have higher cortisol levels (stress hormones). Therefore, are at higher risk of chronic stress and the mood disorders that come along with it.
Did you know – Women taking the pill are more likely to be prescribed anti-depressants and be diagnosed with mood disorders Coincidence? I think not.
3. thyroid function
Another side effect of birth control pills is compromised thyroid function.
As a domino effect from nutrient depletion from the pill, your body can have a hard time converting thyroid hormone T4 into T3. T4 is inactive and T3 is active. This can cause symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Additionally, the pill increases Thyroid binding goblin (TBG) which binds to thyroid hormones. Once TBGs are bonded, those thyroid hormones are no longer available to the cell for use. You can try to correct nutrient deficiencies that are causing this, however, there is no guarantee that will solve the problem.
Dropping Off the Pill
Now that I have convinced you that transitioning off the pill is a good idea for your health and well-being. Here is how you can do it as smoothly as possible to avoid post-pill syndrome.
- Get your nutrition in check
Especially if you went on the pill due to hormonal imbalances such as acne, painful periods, or hypothalamic amenorrhea (absence of period) this is crucial! Make sure you are:
- eating enough whole foods
- balancing blood sugar levels
- eating breakfast
- and limiting inflammatory foods (caffeine, sugar, processed foods, alcohol)
2. Cycle sync your workout routine
Syncing with your menstrual cycle can put you on the right track to balancing your hormones when transitioning off birth control. Not sure what cycle syncing is and how to sync with your workouts? Check this post out!
It is important to note: too much exercise can impose a lot of stress on the body and backfire when trying to recover your period post-pill. Move your body in ways that feel good and avoid over-exercising!
3. MANAGE YOUR STRESS
This can be easier said than done, I know. However, implementing things like journalling, meditation, and a night routine to get 8 hours of sleep can do wonders for your nervous system.
Don’t forget about other forms of contraception
As a woman, it is your responsibility to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancies. I know it’s a bit unfair but luckily there are completely hormone-free ways to be safe in the bedroom so you are not sacrificing your sanity! And no it’s not pull-out…
Chart your cycle using the fertility awareness method
Fertility awareness is not commonly known because many doctors don’t discuss this method due to the fact you need to be very self-aware. I did a WHOLE post on this along with rules to follow when practicing the fertility awareness method that you can check out here.
In a nutshell – FAM is charting your BBT (basal body temperature) in the morning along with tracking your cervical mucus patterns to see when you ovulate. If you know when you ovulate, you can avoid intercourse on those days, and VUALA, baby make avoided.
Natural cycles make it a lot easier to track ovulation so if you are a newbie – I suggest downloading their app! It’s what I personally use along with my Oura ring because it’s super simple and low maintenance!
Wrapping it all up
When you decide to transition off birth control It’s important to know that you can have an easy and pain-free period. You just need to implement a solid nutrition plan and exercise regimen that works WITH your body!
If you need help to get your period back faster post-birth control send me a message on Instagram! I would love to help you work with your body xx
Such an informative article on how to smoothly transition off birth control. It’s so important women know this info! Thanks for sharing. 🖤
Such good information! I have recently gone off birth control and all this information is super helpful to my transition off of it. Birth control is so harmful and so important for us women to let our bodies work naturally
This was super informative! As someone who will be transitioning off the pill in about a year from now, I have definitely had worries about what it will be like. Thanks for this post 🙂