Post Birth Control Syndrome
> HORMONAL HEALTH
Birth control is an important and life-changing drug for many women. It is 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies and is also used for many female reproductive health issues, like PCOS, as the treatment goal is to regulate hormones. Birth control works by providing synthetic hormones and taking over the body’s natural hormonal cycle. This prevents the ovaries from actually releasing an egg into the uterus and other changes, like the thickening of the cervical mucus, which prevents a pregnancy from happening. However, some women may experience unwanted symptoms after coming off of birth control, as it can take some time for the ovaries and natural hormone cycle to kick in.
Common symptoms of Post-birth control syndrome include:
- Irregular periods
- Increased acne
- Weight gain
- Heavy and/or painful menses
- Hair loss
- Digestive dysfunction (changes in bowel movements, bloating, gas etc)
The cause of post-birth control syndrome is the suppression of the body’s natural hormonal activity. When the synthetic hormones are removed, the body has to work just like it did during puberty, to recreate the hormonal pathways and signals. This explains the irregular periods, heavy and or painful menses. Coming off of the pill and other forms of birth control can lead to hormonal imbalances. Birth control not only supplies synthetic hormones, it also shuts down the action of androgens, a group naturally occurring sex hormones. Excessive androgens are implicated in polycystic ovarian syndrome, acne and hair loss, that’s why birth control is the most common conventional treatment. However, acne, hair loss, and irregular menses can return after the treatment is stopped, and sometimes even worse than before.
How can a Naturopath help:
Dr. Swalah, ND is aware of the importance of proper hormonal function and uses additional diagnostic testing to understand what hormones are imbalanced, by how much and which other hormonal pathways are being implicated. By testing, we are removing the guesswork and creating the best treatment protocol. By testing, we are diving deep into understanding what the root cause is and addressing it, rather than just alleviating the signs and symptoms.
After Dr. Swalah has thoroughly assessed and investigated the degree of hormonal imbalances and does a full patient assessment she curates a custom treatment plan of evidence-based natural remedies including:
Dr. Swalah, ND works with her patients to establish a diet plan that is sustainable and proven to be effective with not only managing the symptoms of post-birth control syndrome and enabling the body’s natural hormonal cycle. The goal of therapy is to regulate insulin and blood sugar levels and increase healthy fats and protein.
Dr. Swalah supports the bodies natural healing mechanism and physiological function with the use of nutreucitcals that have been proven to be effective for women. Certain liver supporting nutrients, like B complex, N-acetyl cysteine, magnesium, and DIM are good at clearing the excess androgens implicated in post-birth control syndrome. Also, certain micronutrients that are often depleted with birth control pills are used to ensure adequacy.
Herbs and botanical medicine are another important treatment option for individuals with PCOS. Plants and herbs have strong medicinal properties, for instance, vitex is a hormone regulating herb known to increase progesterone levels. Gymnema sylvestre is a well-known and potent blood sugar regulating substance and research has shown that it can help regulate insulin. Dr. Swalah, ND utilizes customized, individualized herbal support for her patients with undergoing post birth control syndrome.