My practice is nearly 100% women’s health and hormones, so I am privileged to work with this group for all sorts of issues ranging from unexplained infertility to hot flashes.
Lately I have seen an uptick in cases for irregular cycles, anovulation, and uncomfortable symptoms arising after coming off the birth control pill (BCP). For most of these women they have taken the pill for a prolonged period of time, in some cases 10+ years, though this is not always the case. A lot times the cycle will return after 3- 6 months but what can we do if they don’t.
Treatment for PPS varies and a detailed history is needed to truly comprehend how well the functioning of her pituitary, hypothalamus, and ovarian (HPO) axis were prior to beginning. Knowing this will help determine how to approach her treatment.
Did you know…?
It is estimated that at least 50% of women who begin the birth control pill actually begin it for non-contraceptive reasons. I suspect these numbers may be higher from my clinical experience.
Many of these women who start the BCP are seeking relief from their painful periods, PMDD, or are trying to find regulation for an irregular cycle. It irks me when I hear that they have been told by their medical provider that the pill will “regulate” their cycle. Often times not being educated on the potential side effects of the BCP, much less receiving more thorough testing to try to determine why these young women are experiencing issues in the first place. Make no mistake, the BCP does not “regulate” our cycles, it actually SUPRESSES them and can often mask symptoms for years. When these women decide they want to start a family and get off the pill, they often find out their symptoms have returned, sometimes worsened from long term use of synthetic hormones and the lasting issues that come along with it.
What are some symptoms that may arise from “post-pill syndrome”?
· Irregular cycles
· Heavy menstruation
· Painful cramps
· Mood swings
All of the above symptoms can be further exacerbated by the nutritional deficiencies that can follow prolonged BCP use like the depletion of B vitamins, minerals, and even vitamin D.
Consider acupuncture and Chinese herbs as a natural and effective way to get help rebalance your hormones.
You don’t have to deal with this alone. There are many natural, safe, and healthy ways to help your body bounce back to a healthy rhythm. Addresses the original imbalance is key, addressing any new issues that may have arisen along the way, and supporting you at every turn is what we do as women’s health and infertility experts.