How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

How to Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control

I want to begin this article by first examining our relationship with Birth Control, especially those containing hormones. While I feel that it is important to have the freedom to choose whether or not we want to be pregnant during certain times in our lives, the more I hear from women whose cycles have been disrupted from the use of birth control containing synthetic hormones makes me wonder if there might be a better way. If we could educate ourselves, delve deeper into understanding what they do in our bodies, as well as learn alternative methods of preventing pregnancy that may be more beneficial to long-term health, we might be able to prepare for conception in a healthier way.

Birth Control and Fertility

Coming off of birth control? Natural therapies can help you to bring your body back to balance...

Many doctors will prescribe oral contraceptive (pill) birth control if you have fertility issues such as PCOS, Endometriosis, Ovarian Cysts or irregular menstrual cycles. While birth control may work for some time for those conditions the birth control does not address the key issue of why you have that fertility issue to begin with. Birth control may reduce pain, reduce the incidence of ovarian cyst or regulate your cycle for some time and then when you stop taking it your symptoms may come back. Many of you with these fertility issues still want to have children and taking birth control prevents that from happening. It is important to have clear communication with your doctor if you are still wanting to get pregnant while healing your body of your fertility issues at the same time. I have actually had women write in and say that their doctors did not make it clear to them that the pills they were prescribed for their fertility issues were actually birth control, which prevents pregnancy.

Daily we receive questions from women trying to get their menstrual cycles to regulate after coming off of birth control. When I speak of birth control I am speaking of the kinds that contain hormones or IUD (which may affect the uterus and menstrual cycle). Birth Control Pills, Intrauterine Device also known as IUD (Copper T, Mirena, Progestasert), Implant (Implanon), The Ring (NuvaRing), The Patch (Ortho Evra) and Injectable Progestin (Depo-Provera) all contain synthetic hormones except for the Copper T IUD.

Anytime between the time you stop using it and up to a year afterward is considered a normal time frame in which it will take for your body, on it’s own to regulate your hormones and start a regular menstrual cycle. If you were taking birth control to help regulate your cycles or for other fertility issues this average may not apply because your cycles may have not been regular to begin with. There are no guarantees that the birth control use is going to keep them regulated like when you were using it.

For some methods like the Implant or Depo-Provera some women do not get their menstrual cycle at all and it seems that these women have a harder time getting their menstrual cycles to come back.

To understand contraception that affects our natural menstrual cycle I have made a chart to help you learn what hormones are in each of the above birth control methods.

Types of Birth Control

Method How it Works

Birth control Pill

Most birth control pills are combination pills, they contain estrogen and progestin. Some contain only progestin, but the majority of women use combination pills. These work by preventing the ovary from releasing eggs. They also thicken cervical mucous making it hard for sperm to reach the uterus. This method also thins the uterine lining which may prevent implantation.

Implanon A thin flexible, plastic implant that is the size of a cardboard matchstick. It contains Progestin. The Progestin keeps the the ovaries from releasing eggs (ovulation). This hormone also thins the lining of the uterus which may prevent implantation.

Ortho Evra This patch contains estrogen and progestin. These work by preventing the ovary from releasing eggs. They also thicken cervical mucous making it hard for sperm to reach the uterus. This method also thins the uterine lining which may prevent implantation.

Depo-Provera This injectable shot contains progestin. Progestin keeps the ovaries from releasing the eggs, thickening cervical mucous to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus and thinning the uterine lining which may prevent implantation. Note: continued use of Depo-Provera may stop the menstrual cycle completely and it may take longer than average (9 months-1 year for the menstrual cycle to regulate after stopping it). Once you have gotten a shot of Depo-provera, side effects will not dissipate for 12-14 weeks.

Nuva-Ring This ring contains the same hormones as combination birth control pills.
The progestin and estrogen prevent ovulation, thicken the cervical mucous, and thin the uterine lining which may prevent implantation.

IUD The IUD prevents the sperm from moving correctly, preventing the sperm from meeting and connecting with the egg. It may also affect the uterine lining which may cause implantation problems, but there is no proof of this.

Mirena IUD This IUD contains progestin which prevents ovulation as well as thickens cervical mucous. It also prevents the sperm from moving correctly toward the egg, preventing conception.

I wanted to share this information with you so that you can see how these birth control methods directly affect hormones and the entire natural menstrual cycle. Progestin and estrogen contained in birth control is chemically created in a lab to imitate our natural progesterone and estrogen. When we use these birth control methods they are releasing hormones in our bodies at times they naturally would not, disrupting the menstrual cycle and preventing pregnancy.

Some estrogens are made from pregnant mare’s urine, but is more often used for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in older women. Continued use of progestin has been linked to thinning of the bones when it is being used, it is important to talk to you doctor about this serious risk.

Natural Remedies To Bring Back A Healthy Menstrual Cycle

The overall goal when coming off of birth control and wanting to try and conceive would be to nourish and support the entire hormonal feedback loop, egg health, cervical mucous and uterine health.

Step 1: Nourish and Cleanse

Natural Fertility Diet
Eating a whole food, nutrient dense fertility diet has been shown to increase the chances of pregnancy. Because hormones in birth control may affect our metabolism, digestion, and nutritional levels; eating properly is going to be very important when on birth control as well as afterward to replenish depleted nutritional levels.

Use of birth control containing hormones affects the levels of folic acid, riboflavin (vit.B2), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc. It would be wise to take a good whole food multivitamin during and after birth control use to prevent nutritional deficiency and restore already depleted levels.

Women using birth control consistently for 6 months or longer have been shown to have significantly lower levels of tryptophan, vit. B6 supplements can help normalize tryptophan metabolism.

Prolonged use of hormone containing birth control may also lead to anemia so you may also want to consider taking a wholefood iron supplement.

Birth control also changes the pH levels in the vagina, this may lead to yeast infection. Taking a good probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus may support the body in maintaining healthy vaginal flora.

Prolonged use of progestin has been shown to thin the bones, be sure that you are eating adequate amounts of calcium rich foods like dark leafy greens, sesame seeds, seaweed, almonds, quinoa, chia, as well as limited amounts of organic dairy, yogurt, cottage cheese.

Fertility Cleansing for Liver, Hormonal and Uterine Support
The body may greatly benefit from some gentle cleansing of the liver and uterus when coming off birth control. The liver has to metabolize synthetic hormones and becomes overloaded and taxed during birth control use. The liver cleanse portion of the Fertility Cleanse helps to remove those excess hormones. The uterine cleansing phase may help to tone and cleanse the uterus. When a woman has not had a regular menstrual cycle for some time because of birth control use it may need some herbal support, the herbs in this phase are nourishing, supportive, toning and cleansing for the uterus. Because progestin has been linked to thinning of the uterine lining, the uterus may really benefit from uterine tonic herbs. These herbs also support hormonal balance and healthy cervical mucous.

Fertility cleansing may be a great way for anyone who is experiencing challenges when coming off hormonal birth control to create a foundation for hormonal balance and a healthy uterus for implantation. Fertility cleansing helps to create a “clean slate” within the body that helps the body to respond and utilize other natural remedies better.

Step 2: Herbal Support for Restoring Hormonal Balance and Promoting Ovulation

If you have tried to change your diet, are taking a whole food multivitamin and you still do not have a menstrual cycle yet you may want to learn how herbs for fertility can help promote hormonal balance, restore ovulation and bring back a normal menstrual cycle. Restoring a natural menstrual cycle is also important for egg health. Hormonal birth controls prevent ovulation which can decrease egg health. Our follicles require a normalized release of our natural hormones and adequate nutritional levels, synthetic hormones disrupt these which may impact egg health.

Fem Rebalance
Once you have stopped using hormonal birth control your body may be confused and in shock. One day your body was receiving hormones and then suddenly it was not. On top of that your liver may still contain some of those synthetic hormones which may confuse the body further.

Fem Rebalance is an herbal blend designed with great consideration to women whose bodies may need support to restore hormonal balance when coming off of birth control containing hormones, HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or great times of stress including rapid weight loss or gain. This blend may help to restore proper hormonal function.

Suggested usage for this blend would be for 2-3 months after coming off of hormonal birth control. This blend is not recommended for use during fertility cleansing.

Tribulus Terrestris
If you know you are not ovulating and you are struggling to get your cycle back you may want to learn more about this South Asian herb. One study showed that 67% of women who were not ovulating began ovulating after using Tribulus. This herb has been found to stimulate ovulation. Tribulus has been used traditionally for hundreds of years to promote healthy fertility in both women and men.

Vitex
Vitex supports the hormonal feedback loop. This herb also promotes and has been shown to regulate ovulation. It has the ability to adapt to the individual hormonal needs of each woman. Because Vitex has proven effective for a variety of menstrual issues it may be a great choice to start off on the right foot to restoring a healthy natural menstrual cycle.

It has been shown to be most effective when used for 6-12 months consistently. Vitex is a remedy that has been shown to be very effective, but requires patience. It can take some time to achieve desired results, especially when coming off of birth control, but this herb is specific for regulating menstruation.

Dong Quai
Dong Quai (angelica sinensis) is one of the most powerful females tonic and fertility herbs. Dong Quai tonifies and strengthens the uterus by regulating hormonal control, improving uterine tone, and improving the timing of the menstrual cycle.

Dong Quai works by promoting blood flow to the pelvis where it will stimulate an absent or scanty period. It also nourishes the blood (it is in nearly all Chinese herbal blood-building formulas). Dong quai, being iron rich is useful in treating iron deficient anemia. One of the best uses is it helps women who are not menstruating to invite their menstruation back. The increased circulation also helps to strengthen and balance the uterus. In rat studies it has been shown to help build the uterine lining.

We have learned that some types of birth control contain progestin, which may cause the uterine lining to become thin over time. Prolonged birth control use in some women has also been linked to anemia. Because Dong Quai is a wonderful uterine and blood tonic it may help the body to restore a healthy uterine lining and help prevent anemia.

Maca
Maca is one of the best supportive tonics for our endocrine system; which controls and produces many of our hormones. This root is very nourishing. Maca root supports overall hormonal balance and may greatly support our bodies through times of stress. An important aspect when dealing with discontinuing synthetic hormones is the stress factor. It is extremely stressful on our bodies to take synthetic hormones and then abruptly stop them. Maca may help to restore hormonal harmony once again.

RejuvaFlow
Many women do not have a menstrual period for many months to even years after discontinuing birth control. If you have not had a menstrual period after coming off of birth control, you may want to consider RejuvaFlow. This is an activating herbal blend designed to encourage and promote healthy menstruation. It is a specialized herbal formula designed to help encourage or “re-start” the monthly menses that is missing due to hormonal irregularities. RejuvaFlow supports menstrual health by increasing circulation to the reproductive system, helping to “build the blood” and promote a normal, regular menstrual cycle once again.

Step 3: Restore Healthy Cervical Mucous

Once the menstrual cycle is restored, healthy cervical mucous production should be restored as well. If you find you are still struggling with lack of cervical mucous you may want to consider supplements that have been shown to help promote healthy CM production.

Cervical mucous production may be altered for some time as well since the hormones in birth control thicken cervical mucous for some time. Supplements that have proven results for restoring healthy CM are Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Oil, L-Arginine and Fertile CM. Be sure to drink plenty of water daily. At first you may also want to consider using a sperm friendly lubricant until your natural healthy cervical mucous is restored.

Step 4: Abdominal or Fertility Massage

Across the board massage therapy is one of the most supportive ways you can support the body in healing. More specifically fertility or abdominal massage focuses specifically on the reproductive system, helping to promote ovulation, support communication with the endocrine system, improve circulation to the uterus and ovaries (which strengthens the uterus and promotes healthy eggs); it also supports the body in ridding of those excess toxins and hormones. This type of massage is a great way to be directly connected to healing your fertility. You can find a practioner who specializes in fertility or abdominal massage or you can learn how to do this massage for yourself with the Self Fertility Massage method.

Additional Thoughts on Birth Control

The Love and Hate Relationship with Birth Control
We must give a lot of respect to birth control and the variety of options for birth control we have today. We now have more control than ever to choose when and if we want to have children. But regardless, I feel many women and men have lost their true relationship with their body, which also means they may have lost respect for birth control. Many continue to use it without thinking of the consequences of long-term use. It is important to remember that we are still creatures of the Earth, our bodies are made-up of the same materials as the Earth and we are filling them with foreign man-made substances that may greatly impact our health.

Choosing Birth Control Wisely
I am asking each person to be responsible for their choices and actions, research the facts on long-term side effects of birth control use so that when you choose to use birth control you are understanding that it may affect your fertility and health later in life. Weigh the risks; getting pregnant or not getting pregnant? How will getting pregnant impact my life? How will preventing pregnancy impact my health? How can you balance those choices to serve your highest good? Ask yourself, is this something I am willing to use long-term or is this a short-term goal? How will taking this impact my fertility? Are there better or safer options for me? There are options out there that may be just as effective as hormonal birth control, but may take more diligence when using them. Condoms, diaphragm, spermicide and charting your cycle (fertility awareness method, natural family planning, BBT, cycle beads and OPK) are some alternatives to hormonal birth control.

Be Patient, Be Gentle With Yourself

The body goes through a lot of confusion and stress when coming off of birth control. Be patient with your body, give it time to adjust to the intense hormonal shifts that have to take place. Expect that you may feel sad, angry, depressed and simply “off”. This is normal when any hormonal adjusting is taking place. Be gentle with yourself and how you are feeling. Know that you can work toward restoring your natural hormonal state and can move on to working toward trying to conceive through proper nutritional, herbal and natural therapy support.

Summary

If you have chosen to come off birth control to prepare for conception there are are many natural therapies we have covered to help you along the way. Many women are able to get pregnant regardless of using birth control for years, but some may have some lingering imbalances. Here are some of the natural options covered in this article:

1. Support hormonal balance with a healthy fertility diet.
2. Fertility cleansing helps to support the body’s natural ability to cleanse excess hormones from the system.
3. Herbs such as vitex, tribulus, maca and dong quai can help to restore hormone balance.
4. Promote cervical mucous production with natural supplements like evening primrose oil or L-Arginine.
5. Increase circulation to the reproductive system with fertility massage.

References:
– Birth control guide at: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control (2015)
– Tori Hudson, ND. (2008). Women’s Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, pp 55-62. McGraw Hill
– Christiane Northrup, MD. (2010). Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, pp 394-412. New York: Bantam Books
– Romm, Aviva, MD. (2010). Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health. St. Louis, Missouri: Churchill Livingstone.

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[-] 199 Comments
  1. I was getting the Depo shot for two years and then I decided that I did not want to be on birth control anymore. It has almost been a year since I received my last shot and since Feb of this year, I have been experiencing continuous spotting. I did not have a regular period prior to starting birth control, so could that be the reason for the non-stop spotting? How long can I expect it to last? Is there any way to end it? It has become really annoying and expensive since I have had to purchase feminine products more often than usual.

    • Dear Leah,

      I’m sorry you are having to deal with this!

      Have you considered hormone testing or talked to your doctor about what you are experiencing? Continual spotting can be caused by hormonal imbalance, thyroid health issues, a short luteal phase, or fertility health issues and failing to ovulate.

      What are your cycles like now… how long, do you ovulate and on what cycle day?

      The tips in the guide may be worth considering if you determine that a hormone imbalance is the cause. You can learn more about natural ways to support hormonal balance here... as well. It may however be best to first rule out any fertility health issue as a natural fertility program may differ some if there was a specific issue.

      I hope this is helpful!

  2. Hi,I’m from Philippines and I’m trying to conceive. I was on the Lyndavel for a year and 3 months and I stopped last September 9. My menstruation came back a month after I stop, I had my period on October 13-18 and November 11-15, it was normal, period comes on the expected date. I wonder why I’am not getting pregnant. Will it took so long to conceive even if I had my period back?

    • Dear Tetz,

      How great that your period has returned so quickly! Do you know when you ovulate each menstrual cycle. This will be important to know, so that you have be trying to conceive during your fertile window (the 2-3 days before ovulation and day of ovulation).

  3. I was on the Ortho-tricyclen 777 for about 15 years. I stopped taking in the beginning of May. I noticed major break outs on face neck back shoulders chest and also my hair falling out and thinning out majorly. I had all my hormone levels checked and I am fine. when does this get back to normal or should I start the pill again as I am not ok with what is happening to my body. I work out drink a gallon of water a day and eat a very clean diet 98% of the time. My hair is my biggest concern. Help!

    • Dear Key,

      So sorry for all you’ve gone through!

      There is no one length of time … each woman reacts to stopping birth control differently. Have you discussed with your doctor testing your thyroid health and evaluating adrenal health? Were testosterone levels check in your hormone testing?

      It is not up to me whether you begin birth control again, but if you wish to conceive, it may not be best. Consider the information I share in my hormonal hair loss series as you decided what’s best for your needs.

      Female Hair Loss – Why It May Be Your Hormones!
      Natural Ways to Address Female Hormonal Hair Loss

      I hope this is helpful!

    • Hi, not trying to conceive at all. All my levels and thyroid came back perfect. So not sure what to do she told me to take prenatal and see if those help for 90 days. I just wondered if getting back on the pill would make it go back how it was before I stopped.

    • Dear Key,

      It may. I can not be sure. It may also be important to think about the overall health implications of continuing birth control long term. Consider talking to your doctor about this.

      Maybe it would be most helpful to have guidance and a hormonal-balance program created just for you. If you think so, consider a Fertility Consultation.

  4. I have been on BCP for 14yrs. Im 36 and hate the way they make me feel. I stopped using the BCP almost 3wks ago. I have been experiencing some crazy stuff since. I had horrible cramps for a day they went away. Now my breast are both tender on my nipples but mainly my left breast. Im experiencing sharp pains in it off and on, it feels heavy at times to. My face is getting hot to touch and my cheeks are slightly red. Im eating candy like crazy to lately which is not like me. I feel at times dizzy and very tired but not all the time. This has all just started since I stopped BCP. Its only been 3wks but Im tempted to just get back on the pill lol. My 1st period should be here around 10/23/16.

    • Dear Brandi,

      Oh darn, I’m sorry you have to be going through all of this! So, consider some detox tips to help the body move through some of what you are dealing with I hope. I share these 10 Detox Tips for Women Trying to Get Pregnant. Now more than ever its time to eat as healthy as you can, exercise daily and try to sweat (sit in a hot bath or sauna for a few days even), be sure to drinking lots of water (add lemon as you will read in the guide) and sleep. Detoxing after stopping birth control can be harsh and take a bit of time. The tips in this very guide can be considered as well!

      You are strong and can do it!

  5. Will this help me to stop bleeding. I had a depo shot in April and it’s now September and I am still bleeding from April. I have not too men any more shots only had one shot. Trying to get my cycle back to normal and stop bleeding everyday. Please help me, and please respond to my email. I might not be able to find this sight again to read your response.

    • Dear Shanda,

      I am sorry to hear this has happened. The tips here may be worth considering. It would also be a good idea to let your doctor know what you have and are experiencing. They should know this too!

    • hi there i was wondering if anything helped you as im experiencing this the same as you and idk what to do.

    • Dear Saffron,

      I wanted to let you know Shanda may not see your message unless she happens to frequently visit this guide.

      If it might be helpful to you, we offer one-on-one Fertility Consultations with a fertility herbalist who can guide you in the right direction, on the right program, for your specific fertility health needs.

      Best wishes!

  6. Hello,
    I came off the pill in January and for the last 3 months I have been covered in spots. My menstruation is heavy but regular, I have some intense mood swings.
    Because of my very unclear skin I feel that my hormones need balancing again. I’m not sure which supplements would be good for me. Please help me out! Thank you 🙂

    • Dear Jolien,

      Each of the tips in this very guide could be considered. We know supplements and herbs to be able to be more effective when diet and lifestyle are optimal. Revisit the tips under the heading Natural Remedies To Bring Back A Healthy Menstrual Cycle and if you are still unsure of where to begin, or how to proceed, please consider working one on one with our fertility herbalist who can lay out an entire natural fertility program for you based on your specific fertility health needs through a Fertility Consultation.

  7. Hello, I been on bc for 13 years, I stopped cold turkey 5 years ago.My body went through hell! Especially my face, I had to get back on. Now I want to wean myself off, this month’s pack I been taking one pill every other day (ortho tri cyclen lo), now I am going into the 2nd pack of weaning off idk what to do! Im so stressed and worried, I dont know rather to take one pill every 2 days or to just cut pills in half. My mind is everywhere and I need help bad.

    • Dear Shaneika,

      I’m sorry this is so stressful!

      It will be best to work with your doctor (a phone call to his nurse may be just enough), or a pharmacist to learn the best way to wean off of the birth control you are using. They know this best!

      The tips that we share in this guide can be considered. Do start to begin cleaning up your diet and eating a whole food diet now as you wean. You’ll have begun setting the foundation for hormonal balance and a healthy cycle, hopefully helping to prevent symptoms from coming back too. Know that you will need to allow time for the body to detoxify and learn a new “normal” post stopping birth control.

      Fertility Cleansing and starting herbs can be considered when the pill has been stopped entirely.

      We can also offer help in creating the best natural fertility program for your needs post pill through our Fertility Consultation program. To learn more about a Fertility Consultation, click here…

    • I am 6 Months off having been on for 21 years without a break – I was on Cyclen (full does, not Tri). I’m not going to lie, getting off was horrible.
      I will be the first to admit, I love the Pill and so does my body, I miss my BC so much. You dont realize till your off, all the good things it does for you besides preventing pregnancy. Now, Its like going through puberty again, only at 36 years old. The acne, mood swings and cramps are ridiculous (I haven’t had a cramp in 20 years! I actually though I was Ill the first time till I realized it was menstrual cramps after so many years with nothing.) that said, after 4-6 irrational months, the hormones balance out some. Pro: Sex drive returns.GL

    • Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts and experience Ann!

      While I completely understand why you felt the BC you were on was doing “good things” because unpleasant menstrual cycle symptoms stopped, birth control does this by tricking the body into thinking it’s pregnant and stopping ovulation. There are many reasons why this may not be healthy if wishing to conceive or battling infertility. I share more about this in our guide about the Top 5 Ways the Birth Control Pill Negatively Impacts Long-Term Fertility. Then, we also realize each woman comes off of long-term birth control use differently.

      None-the-less we are glad that you shared your story and replied. I know there are others out there who will benefit. All my best!

  8. Hi,
    I just had the Mirena IUD removed on 04/4/2016 it was put in to irregular heavy bleeding and I will like to know if I can still get pregnant I am over 40. Thank you I had it in for 4 years.

    • Dear Lynda,

      I do want you to have hope! Achieving fertility health is different for every woman dependent on diet, health history, stress levels, existing health conditions or imbalances, how well they stick to the program, and how severe the fertility issue is. If you are on one of our health programs, you should begin to see changes within 1-3 months. These changes could be increased energy, improved cervical mucous, ovulation, correction in cycle length, etc…

      Along with the suggestions in this guide, it may also be helpful to consider what is shared in our guide to Preparing for Conception Over 40.

  9. I just had the Nexplanon implant removed yesterday because of the irregular bleeding it caused for the 6 months it was in. My doctor prescribed me Prometrium and said that it would stop the irregular bleeding, but I realized after I filled the prescription that it was a progesterone treatment. Is that not the same thing as what was in my implant? It seems pretty counter productive to me and I’m pretty reluctant about taking it. Will this actually help or should I just let myself regulate naturally?

    • Hi Caitlyn,

      It could be that the amount of progestin in Prometrium is much more than in the Nexplanon which is time released. I hope that makes sense. Your line of thinking is correct, though the Prometrium may stop your bleeding, it isn’t going to correct the underlying issue. There are natural ways to help the body stop menstrual bleeding, such as a product Slow Flow. After that, consider the tips in this guide to help get your body back on track!

  10. I stopped my BC in September of 2015 after taking it for 6 years. By November, I was pregnant but miscarried in January. Since my miscarriage I have not had a menstrual cycle on my own or ovualted. Took Provera to get my cycle back after I went without a period for 60+ days. It worked, but my next period was very light and consisted of 8 days of spotting old blood and then a VERY light flow. I believe I have low progesterone, which is causing my anovulatory/irregular cycles. After asking my Dr. about Vitex, he said he has never heard of it and suggested Clomid. I want to avoid chemicals to induce ovulation so I can conceive naturally again. Could Vitex along with Maca be a solution for me?

    • Hi Jessica,

      I am sorry to hear of your loss! I do wonder what your menstrual cycle was like prior to beginning birth control? Did you choose to take birth control to prevent conception or was it suggested to you for irregular or absent menstrual cycles in the past? The answer to these questions will help me to determine the best way to help you move forward. The best way to find out if you have low progesterone is to get a hormonal profile run at your doctor’s office. While vitex may be helpful to get a menstrual cycle regulated, it may not be the best option, depending on your fertility history… Also, Clomid, while it may help you get pregnant, it can come with side effects and doesn’t resolve the issue of why you are not having regular cycles. I have two articles you may find helpful…
      Natural Alternatives to Clomid
      How to Get Your Period Back

      I look forward to hearing back from you!

    • I started BC when I was about 17 years old. I had regular cycles before starting the BC. I continued to take BC until age 23 when my husband and I decided to have a baby. Since my first post, I was able to see my doctor. He thinks I am oligo-ovulatory, causing my irregular cycles. He checked my thyroid, prolactin, FSH etc., and I will see him again for my blood work results in 2 weeks. I am currently on my my period, however I was anovulatory this cycle. My Dr. said if my results are normal he would like to start Clomid, but I would like to know what is causing me not to ovulate normally. I eat a clean, organic diet and recently started maca and cod liver oil suppl. Thanks for your reply!

    • Hi Jessica,

      While doctors aren’t going to offer this information up because birth control pills and other BC methods are prescribed by them, it is common sense to view the body as something that has a natural rhythm in all of its functions, including the menstrual cycle. Anytime that is altered by hormonal medications for many years, it only makes sense that the body would become confused on how to function normally once again. For some women, it takes several years for the body to “remember” and sometimes it needs a little nudge in the right direction. Have you thought of doing a liver cleanse or a full Fertility Cleanse?

      Helping the body to remove excess hormones and enhancing liver function through the use of specific herbs can help reset the hormonal system. Uterine cleansing herbs can help to reawaken the reproductive organs, thus enhancing the entire hormonal communication cycle once again. Remember, the liver must metabolize all the hormones in the BC and these medications often suppress or alter the actions of the ovaries and sometimes even the uterus. When the body is told to do something different for so long, it can be confusing and we can’t expect it to just know what to do after so many years.

      The supplements you started sound good, but you have to be patient and consistent, it takes time for the body to respond to them. I hope this helps you.

  11. Your website is very informative. However, I had used Nur Isterate twice, one shot September 2014 and again in September 2015. I didn’t get my monthly since then as normally but rather in small pinkish amounts and often very foul smelling for 2 days or so. What could have caused that? I tried conceiving this year but nothing is happening. Is it similar Depo-Provera? Any further advise? I really want to start a family!

    • Hi Sandy,

      I am glad you are finding the website helpful! Nur Isterate is similar to Depo Provera. It is common to experience an absence of menstruation and any time there is a hormonal shift in the body (in this case caused by the hormonal contraceptive medication) there can be changes to the natural vaginal environment, which may leave a woman susceptible to yeast infections, odor changes or even bacterial vaginosis, all of which make her natural scent different. It can take a year or more after coming off of this type of birth control, to regain a healthy menstrual cycle and conceive. The tips in the above article may be of great use to you, if you choose to try them 🙂

  12. Your website is very informative and very helpful, I find the best way for me to be able to get pregnant is if I can understand on my own what my problem is and fix it. I know my issue right now is that my uterine lining does not thicken properly. I feel it’s because of my use of bc for about 5 years but the doctor insists there’s no connection and just wants me on mega does of estrace to thicken my lining which so far has proved not to work. My lining will get to 4.3 mm (??) at most and will shed no matter where I’m in my cycle, so I’m bleeding every 16-18 days without ovulating (I am ovulating on time though). Is there anything I can do to thicken my lining naturally?

  13. I am 30 yrs old. Been off Depo since I was 26 and still no pregnancy yet. I took Depo for a very long time. From 18 yrs to 26 yrs of age. My doctor never once told me how bad Depo can damage your health. Since being off of it my periods get more regular every yr. The first yr it was only like 2 periods that yr. Now I only miss maybe 2 or 3 periods a yr so I am pretty regular I think. Before ever getting on birth control my periods were never that regular. They last about 4-5 days, start off with a little bit of brown blood though, is that bad? I have had blood work done and my doctor told me Im vitamin D deficient. I am taking vitamin D, multi vitamin, and folic acid. What else can I do?

    • Dear Crystal,

      How great that your body is showing you it can achieve balance again! Blood that looks brown is often old blood left over from the previous cycle (old blood). Possible causes of this are sluggish menstrual flow (makes sense if a period is missed here or there), lack of uterine tone or low uterine circulation. Herbs and therapies used traditionally for this imbalance are: Self Fertility Massage, Fertility Cleansing, Systemic Enzyme Therapy, simple hydration – drinking at least eight, 8 ounce glasses of water a day (squeeze in a little fresh lemon to boost healthy liver function) and biphasic herbal formulas like FertiliCare Phase 1 & 2. These of course in addition to moderate daily exercise (a 30 minute walk each day or Fertility Yoga are great!) and eating a fertility diet.

      Keep up the great work!

  14. I have not had my period after using Depo. Please help. How long do I have to wait? I was only on it for three months. Now I am ready to get pregnant, but nothing is happening. I am 21 years old. I started using folic acid and iron tablets (worried) 🙁

    • Greetings!

      I am sorry you are so worried. The rate at which each woman’s menstruation returns to “normal” after stopping birth control is different. Consider revisiting the section in this very article titled Natural Remedies To Bring Back A Healthy Menstrual Cycle to learn how to support the body in re-learning balance. The great part about herbs, supplements and natural therapies is that they often work wonders in doing this given commitment to dietary and lifestyle change is made as well.

      All my best!

  15. Hi,
    I am 28 years old and have been on and off birth control for about 8 years sometimes on for years at a time. I decided I now longer wanted to put the hormones in my body and wanted to get to know myself and my cycle more. I went off last July and for the first 5 months got a period pretty regularly every 32 days than in January my cycle turned very long and I have been experiencing very long cycles around 47 days. I have started a new job and have been more stressed than usual but wondering about the sudden change. I just had a PAP in April and everything was A ok. Could this still be my body adjusting? Thanks for your advice in advance.

    • Dear Vanessa,

      Stress can have quite an impact on menstrual cycle timing and hormonal balance. The article Stress and Your Fertility will explain why and how, as well as offer tips for managing stress. Changes in wight, diet, exercise and even travel can also impact menstrual cycle timing.

      As shared in this article, it can take a year or more to balance hormone after stopping hormonal birth control. This differs for each woman however.

      All my best!

  16. Hello!
    I am 21 years old and have been off birth control pill for about a year now. I had taken it before for 5 years.. I took it mainly for acne but also as a birth control protection. I am desperately trying to balance my hormones again. Last summer, before I decided to get off of the pill. My face started to break out REALLY bad. So I got off the pill immediately. I have been seeing a natural doctor since then and we have been cleansing my liver with supplements and also I am taking supplements to support my adrenal gland. I have changed my diet and eat very healthy for the most part. I eat clean and organic foods. I am also a vegetarian now. I’m feeling very helpless with my acne 🙁

    • Dear Sam,

      In general because you are working with a natural healthcare practitioner who has you on a program, it is best to follow this program for the specified amount of time. As you continue on your program and to learn how best to naturally support the body, take time to read the article 6 Ways to Promote Hormonal Balance to Prevent Cyclic Acne and share it with your natural doctor to talk about anything that interests you. Consider learning about the herb Saw Palmetto as well.

      I hope it helps some!

  17. Hello,
    I am almost 30 and newly married. We are hoping to start a family in a couple of years. A year ago, I stopped the pill and got a large ovarian cyst. No signs of endometriosis. It was what my MD called a “harmless” cyst and very common. I decided with my doctor that I should go back on the pill to shrink the cyst, which worked. Now I’ve been on the pill for a year. I want to start regulating my hormones, but I’m afraid that if I stop the pill again, the cyst will return. I think the cyst was due to lack of progestin. Is there something I can do to prevent a cyst from forming? If the cyst returns, what can I do to shrink it besides going back on the pill? Thank you

    • Hi Emily,

      Great questions. It is likely an ovarian cyst developed due to your body adjusting to no longer receiving regulated doses of hormones. The type of ovarian cyst you describe is common and a sign of ovulatory dysfunction, which is very common when coming off of any type of hormonal medication. I think you will find our article How to Help Ovarian Cysts Naturally and Safely with Herbs and Supplements very helpful. While treating ovarian cysts with more hormones may be effective, it isn’t helpful overall, as it doesn’t solve why you are getting them in the first place – plus it is pretty hard to get pregnant while on birth control 😉

      All the best!

  18. Hey!
    I recently started thinking about getting off me birth control again. I was on it for 7 years, stopped it briefly for 4 to 5 months. I was feeling great around the 2-3 month and then all of a sudden started cramping CONSTANTLY. My doctor ran loads of tests, blood tests, tests for infection, ultrasounds, scans… nothing was coming back. So they put me on BC again. I have been on it since Dec. of last year. When I went off of it I had stinging pains, swelling, bloating, pain. I have other issues that I believe are due to my long-term use of BC, like digestive issues and RUQ pain. I have completely cut out gluten in my diet as well. I am scared of going off of it again and being in pain, not to mention possibly having endometriosis. I have not been diagnosed with Endo, but I went to a natural medicine person who said I had it…
    I have really bad allergies and take my pill + 2 allergy shots a week. I have had the RUQ pain since the first time I went off my BC and an antidepressant. I also have a lot of internal inflammation inside my vagina, especially when stressed that also causes bladder issues (which was another symptom when I went off BC). I am scared to go off of it and have the endometroisis grow to where I will be infertile. I am only 22 and want to have kids someday, but not now in my life! What are your thoughts?

    • Dear Autumn,

      What a horrible sounding experience! I am sorry!

      While the suggestions made in this article may be helpful, given all that you have been through and your fear of discontinuing birth control, it may be in your best interest to work with a qualified natural healthcare practitioner, like our fertility herbalist, to guide you in the right direction on the right natural fertility program to address your individual needs. We offer this through a Fertility Consultation. This allows our fertility herbalist to evaluate your overall and fertility health and guide you in the best herbs, nutritional supplements and natural therapies, as well as dietary and lifestyle changes to support your in stopping birth control with ease.

      I hope you will consider this invaluable experience!

  19. Hi! I was having irregular periods & scary low progesterone so my wellness doctor put me on bioidentical progesterone pills. To my nightmare, it gave me breakouts & stress. I went off, and didn’t get my period for 5 months. I got scared & they put me on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo to try to “regulate” my cycle. I was just so scared at the time I didn’t know what to do. I’ve been on birth control for a year & a half now, and I’m 19. I hate what it’s doing to my body – other than regulating my menses. I feel even more emotional than I already did & don’t like what I know I’m doing to my body.
    I want to get off, but I also am scared of the side effects. I’m also not trying to get pregnant! 😛 Advice??

    • Hi Hanna,

      I am sorry to hear of your experiences. Remember, you are the master of your own body and going with your gut instinct is usually best! It is always scary to think of “what could happen” when considering a huge life change, which this will be. I think you need to take a bit more time to sit and think about what you truly want for your health and body. It is entirely possible to go off of birth control and work to regulate your menstrual cycle and hormones naturally, but you will need to have a plan in place first. You already know you have irregular cycles and low progesterone, so those will need to be addressed should you go off the birth control. I think it is realistic to expect some ‘side effects’ when going off of any medication, as your body has to adjust to withdrawal of those hormones you are taking. Be patient, be gentle with yourself and know that what you fear is temporary. If you think you would like more personalized guidance, I would urge you to learn more about our Fertility Consultations. They are there to offer personalized guidance on improving your reproductive health, not just for getting pregnant.

      All the best!

  20. Great article! I found it to be very informative, while I was only looking for a natural supplement to help my body heal from years of birth control, this article has thought me that it is a combination of things that will help my body best! Since I already eat a whole foods diet I can jump to step two and will listen to my body to determine what else it will take to bring my body back to “normal”. This article covers all… thank you – THANK YOU!

  21. Hi Ladies!

    I never ever share on forums, but I do read them when something happens – like not getting my period back when I got off birth control.

    I was always regular. I got my period at the age of 12, didn’t go on birth control until I was 15. I went off and on it over the last 13 years between relationships and to give my body a break (bad idea, unless it’s for a few months) and again, my period always went back to normal. Of course, now that I got off in order to get pregnant, nothing. A month went by, 2nd month… 3rd month. I was in panic mode. I was eating tofu for estrogen and parsley to get things going. I was going nuts. I saw a homeopath and started taking Vitex.

    • Dear Zofia!

      Thank you for sharing your story! We hope you experience positive menstrual cycle changes as you continue to support your body in achieving balance.

  22. This article was very helpful, thank you so much!
    I started taking depo-provera in September and decided not to go for a second shot because of the irregular bleeding. So now I’ve been off of it for a month, but I’ve been bleeding for two months straight. Is there a way to naturally fix that? The doctor who gave it to me said it could take up to a year for the “side-effects” to wear off, but if there’s a way that i don’t have to wait that long to stop bleeding then I’d like to find it. Thanks!

    • Dear Olivia,

      The diet, cleansing, herbs and natural therapies discussed in this article have all proven to be supportive of helping women coming off birth control support balance. Reconsider these suggestions. Consider also learning more about how to naturally support slowing menstrual flow.

      Each women detoxifies from hormone birth control differently. That you are being so proactive and considering the suggestions you read about here is great. I do hope that you don’t have to wait that long!

  23. Hi, I actually learned some new stuff here. Thanks a lot. I had an irregular period from March 2014 to June 2014. I went to the hospital in July 2014 when the doctor gave me Depo-Provera injection (I knew nothing about this injection until after taking it). This I learned wears off after 3 months, which was Oct 2014. Since then, I have not had my period. I was having serious cramps with spots, so I went to the hospital and was referred to a gynecologist. He did an ultrasound and prescribed Premarin (conjugated estrogens). I have finished that too and have still not had my menses. Now my husband and I need a child badly. Please what do I do? Any suggestion and help? I am so frustrated.

  24. Hello, I hope someone answers. I am a 22-year-old female who has always had irregular periods. I’ve been on BC since I was 16 and I am honestly tired of not having control of my body. If I take myself off the pill, I will have prolonged periods that last for a whole month, then I’ll skip 3 months, maybe 4. I went to my doctor and they ran tests on me, gave me an transvaginal ultra sound, and my uterus is healthy. No cyst, endometrosis, cancer, fibroids, NOTHING. My doctor won’t solve the problem, so he just threw BC back on me and I can’t take it anymore. If someone can help me please let me know. I want to have children in the future, but it will be hard being on BC.

    • Hello Ky!

      Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing a bit or your story! I am sorry you have not yet received the support you hoped to and have had to deal with this issue.

      The general guidance offered in this article may be helpful as you prepare to stop birth control. However we are best able to support you through Fertility Consultation! This will allow you to work one on one with our fertility herbalist who is happy to create a personalized plan for your needs and guide you in the best way to discontinue birth control and get started on your natural fertility program (the diet and lifestyle changes, and herbs, nutritional supplements and natural therapies she feels best suites your needs). Learn more about a Fertility Consultation here…

      As you consider a Fertility Consultation, I want to share a bit more information. Heavy menstrual bleeding is often a result of hormonal imbalance which happens when hormonal birth control is stopped. It may also help to learn how to address hormonal imbalance.

      I hope this finds you well and empowered to make the best choices for your health!
      Take Care!

  25. I was on birth control for 12 years, last year we decided that we wanted a baby, but we have now been trying for a year. Everything is normal I get periods and ovulate every month, but I am over weight and do not produce much cervical mucous. What can help me conceive?

  26. Hi! My depo injection wore off in June 2014, but as yet I haven’t had a period. I’m guessing therefore that I’m not ovulating. I do get cramps occasionally, but nothing seems to happen. If I take Vitex, would that help to balance my hormones, as I understand that Depo increases progesterone levels to trick the body into thinking it’s pregnant. I don’t think I want to increase my progesterone levels anymore, is that right? Any advice would be really appreciated as my doctors just tell me to wait, and if there is something active I can do, I will. Thank you for your advice!

    • Dear Rebecca,

      Fertilica Vitex works to support hormonal balance without containing hormones itself and is indicated for a number of menstrual cycle issues and irregularities. It is one herb discussed when recovering from birth control use.

      Here are some of the natural options covered in this article:
      1. Support hormonal balance with a healthy Fertility Diet.
      2. Fertility Cleansing helps to support the body’s natural ability to cleanse excess hormones from the system.
      3. Herbs such as Fertilica Vitex, Tribulus, Maca and Dong Quai can help to restore hormone balance.
      4. Promote cervical mucous production with natural supplements like Fertilica Evening Primrose Oil or L-Arginine.
      5. Increase circulation to the reproductive system with Fertility Massage