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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, the more it 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 IUDs (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 its 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 mucus making it harder 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 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 mucus 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 mucus 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 as this is how long the shot’s hormone exists in the body.

Nuva-Ring This ring contains the same hormones as combination birth control pills.
The progestin and estrogen prevent ovulation, thicken the cervical mucus, 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 mucus. 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 are 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 mucus, and uterine health.

Step 1: Nourish and Cleanse

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 mucus.

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.

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 (vitamin.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.

While this is but one study, a 2010 pilot study in Fertility and Sterility including 61 females with thin endometrial lining (<8mm) concluded that 52% of the 25 women given Vitamin E (600mg/day), saw these results:“improved the glandular epithelial growth, development of blood vessels, and vascular endothelial growth factor protein expression in the endometrium.”

Women using birth control consistently for 6 months or longer have been shown to have significantly lower levels of tryptophan; vitamin 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. Probiotic vaginal suppositories have been found to be more effective than oral pills and these are available, too.

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, and cottage cheese.

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 prevents 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. OIn her text Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health, physician, midwife, and herbalist Dr. Aviva Romm shares of one study performed on 36 women who were not ovulating, showed that 67% realized normal ovulation after only 2-3 months of consistent use of Tribulus; 300-400mg a day, from day 5-14 of their menstrual cycle. 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 toward 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 female 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 deficiency anemia. One of the best uses is to help women who are not menstruating get 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. In one 2006 study, rats with their ovaries removed (and as a result low estrogen) were administered standardized Dong Quai Extract and researchers measures significant positive stimulation of uterine tissues. Improvements were not more than hormone replacement therapy with estrogen, but enough to show the estrogenic nature of Dong Quai. (Phytotherapy Research)

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 Mucus

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

Cervical mucus production may be altered for some time as well since the hormones in birth control thicken cervical mucus 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 mucus 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 it 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 practitioner who specializes in fertility or abdominal massage or you can learn how to do this massage for yourself with the Self Fertility Massage method.

Circulatory massage is the most common healing method used for enhancing the proper flow of blood through the entire body and providing relaxation to the various muscles. ~ Pacific College of Oriental Medicine

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, spermicides 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 and 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 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 mucus production with natural supplements like evening primrose oil or L-Arginine.
5. Increase circulation to the reproductive system with fertility massage.

Too learn more about related subjects covered in this article, please visit the following links:

5 Steps to Reversing Endometriosis Infertility

Fertility Tip: How to Enhance Fertility After IUD Removal

References

Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN
Dr. Christine Traxler M.D., OB/GYN

Dr. Traxler is a University-trained obstetrician/gynecologist, working with patients in Minnesota for over 20 years. She is a professional medical writer; having authored multiple books on pregnancy and childbirth; textbooks and coursework for medical students and other healthcare providers; and has written over 1000 articles on medical, health, and wellness topics.  Dr. Traxler attended the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences and University of Minnesota Medical School,  earning a degree in biochemistry with summa cum laude honors in 1981,  and receiving her Medical Doctorate degree (MD) in 1986.

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[-] 260 Comments
  1. Avatar

    Hello.
    In January 2011 I discontinued using the ring after being on it for two years. Things were fine for three months, then I stopped getting periods. About six months after stopping my skin freaked out, well my whole body freaked out. Hair loss on scalp, hair growth on face, cystic acne on face and back, emotional extremes, loss of libido, worsened eczema on scalp, and I lost 20 pounds. I can really relate to user Dee. So in dec 2011 I got a period from taking oral progesterone to bring it on and it worked. Since then I’ve had a period each month on my own, which I know is a good sign. I’ve also gained some weight back and my libido and emotional balance. But my skin is still a mess. I’ve been so patient but this has all led me into a state of depression and I don’t know what to do. I’m now taking a whole foods supplement to combat the nutrients I was depleted on while on bc, and I did a liver flush. But I’m trying to find hope. You see a lot of people talk about the problems they experience after, but you don’t hear from people who have gone through it and have come out the other side. This has all changed my life. I’m vegan now, I only eat organic and I only use natural products so there has been a lesson. But I’m only 22. And I’m sick from this. I don’t really have a specific question I guess. But any advice would be appreciated.

  2. Avatar

    I am 50 years old and five months ago stopped taking the bcp after 20 years because I learned about what they really do to your body and it was just simply time to do so. I have the expected no period, minor hot flashes, and vaginal dryness and can deal with these discomforts. However, about three months ago, my body started hurting all over. At first it was more joint-related, so I was tested for everything, even rheumatoid arthritis and vitamin D, fibromyalgia, etc. All tests were negative. Recently, the pain is just shooting wherever all day and everyday. I am taking black cohosh and soy supplements as prescribed by my doctor for six weeks. I also take a whole-food multivitamin, fish oil, and biotin. I eat well and am trying to exercise more. Weight is good, no other issues. Have you ever heard of anyone experiencing such pain after long-term use of the pill? How long may it last? Any suggestions for a type of doctor to seek out? I wish I knew more about the effects of the pill and wonder how my previous gyn could have kept prescribing it year after year.

    • Avatar

      can be nerve or fascia related
      i have this after a trauma to the head/neck and CT scans
      hormone reduction perhaps may also trigger .. as fascia contracts in to protect or something
      dunno… but I have this… i have been using a light massage device for some relief.. someone recommended low dose hypericum … think sudden change and shock effects us in way we didn’t even know possibe

  3. Avatar

    Hi,
    I am 26 and have been on depo for about 7 yrs. My last injection was Jan/2011. So i was suppose to go back Apr/2011 but didnt and havent been on any BC since. Mar/2011 I had a whole month of heavy bleeding. Nov/2011 I had my first normal period since quitting depo. And that is the only normal period i have had since being off of it. Dec/2011 one day of spotting, Jan/2012 nothing, Feb/2012 couple days of spotting at the end of Feb and Mar/2012 nothing. I want to get pregnant this summer. I dont know if im ovulating because my cycle isnt regular. I am currently taking Pre-natals and a high dosage of folic acid that my obgyn put me on because i have spina bifida..(4000mcgs of it). There are so many supplements for different things its a bit overwhelming. I just bought Fertilitea and am going to start drinking it this week, and a basal thermometer. My question is what else do i need to be taking to regulate my cycle and to get me ovulating?
    Thanks,
    Crystal

  4. Avatar

    Hi, i finally found an article that actually give me hope!!!! im 25 years old, 3 kids, i had always had irregular periods never used any type of birth control between pregnancies, i decided to get the depo provera shot a year after my third son was born and OMG!!!! worst thing ever my hormones went all crazy on me to the point that i gained in a period of 6 months over 35 lbs, i went from being 147 lbs to 200 lbs it is quite scary because i was retaining liquid, i eat very healthy excersise twice a day not to mention my 2 year old is a very good trainer when it comes to running… i dont wanna take diet pills because i know is a hormonal unbalance and i want to do it all the natural way, my next shot will b on may and im not taking it because my husband is getting the vasectomy in april but i was wondering if i take the fem rebalance does that means that it can restore my hormones meaning instead of gaining weight actually stop it? other thing is why cant i take it right now?

  5. Avatar

    Im 23 years old. Started my first period when I was 14. I haven’t had a regular period since I was 17. Im thinking because of weight gain. Got married last summer. I had a PAP screening done 5 months ago. Came back normal. Been on Ortho Tri Cyclen for 3 month to help my periods. Me and my husband are ready to start a family. (sooner then we planned originally) I’m not sure if I should just stop taking my pills and wait a couple months before trying for a baby. Will I even start my periods regular after getting off the pill? Should I be worried if I don’t have a period after getting off?
    Thanks!
    Jessica

  6. Avatar

    Dear Dalene,

    Thank you so much withe the information you gave us. I’ve been trying to conceive for the past four years without success. I’m having irregular periods, to the point that was diagonised with PCOS. Last year in November I decided to start taking Chasteberry Plus trying to regulate my cycles. Whereas I’m having periods but they still not consistant. They don’t come every month. Can you advise what can I take together with Chasteberry in order to improve my hormones? It seems that I don’t ovulate every month. Please assist.

  7. Avatar

    I just stopped taking birth control after being on for 6 years straight. In two weeks I have gained 8 pounds- my weight never fluctuated before. I have very healthy eating and exercise habits which have not adjusted during the transition. What should I expect in terms of my weight and is there anything I can do to help my body stabilize? Thank you!

  8. Avatar

    Hi Dalene,
    I have a few questions for you. I recently have had several tests done that show that my liver number is a little high and my progesterone is low around a 4..so I started taking estrosense and vitex. i was wondering do you think its possible to raise my progesterone levels naturally with vitex or do you think ill need some cream? how long do you think ill have to work to see it raise to healthier more balanced levels?
    thanks!

    • HI Dee,

      Using vitex to aid the body in raising progesterone levels takes time, plus it will take time to see if it is working for you or not. You may want to seriously consider directly supplementing with natural progesterone cream. Maca may be another herb to help support healthy progesterone levels, learn more about it here: http://natural-fertility-info.com/maca

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  9. Avatar

    I have 6 months baby and i am using Copper T for birth control. After delivery of my baby (sigerian) i am experiencing heavy bleeding after every 5 or 6 days it is still continue after installing Copper T. Now what i have to do to stop this unusual bleeding and why it is happening. I am 30 year old.

    • Hi Bellary,

      It is very common for women who have a copper IUD to have heavier bleeding during menstruation. If you are worried at all about your IUD, contact your doctor right away and have them check it to see if it is placed correctly. Bleeding throughout the month heavily is not normal and could be dangerous to your health, especially if you are breastfeeding. Please contact your doctor.

      All the best,

      Dalene

  10. Avatar

    Hi Dalene,
    Great article! I was on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo for 4 years and have now been off of it for a year. 3 months after getting off the pill, I noticed my hair starting to thin in front. I knew it was from going off the pill, so I started to take RidgeCrest Hair Revive, thinking it would help the thinning. Since being on the hair supplement, I notice new growth, but then right before my period (about 1 week), a lot of the new growth falls out. I knew this was hormonal related, since it happened every month right before my period. Just this past January I learned about Vitex and have been taking 500mg a day. I just read your previous post about upping the dosage to 1000mg a day, which I will try. I hope this helps balance my hormones and eventually stop the hair shedding every month. Also just this past January (before I started Vitex), I got a yeast infection a week before my period (same time my hair starts to shed and I also breakout in acne). I treated it with Monistat and it went away, but I also got another yeast infection right before my period in February, and I just got another one today (right before my period is starting). I’m guessing this is also hormone related, but am wondering why it took a year after being off the pill to start occurring. Is there anything else I should be doing to get my body back on track, and would you recommend seeing a naturopath? My OB-GYN hasn’t been a help at all. Thank you in advance for you reply.

  11. Avatar

    I’m 27 and stopped taking the bcp 5 years ago after being on it for 8 years. I decided using the FAM for birth control. A couple months after coming off the pill I noticed dark spotting usually after ovulation. I never contributed it to anything. 3 years after dealing with it, I spoke with my doctor about it and she did an ultra sound of my uterus finding my uterus to be very thin which is why I’m experiencing spotting. I’m 5’2″ 108#s and she suggested I gain 10 pounds to increase nutrition to my uterus. She also mentioned if I don’t gain the weight for me to come back in and she’ll start me on a low dose bcp. To say the least, I didn’t go back. I will never go back on the libido killer! After a year of unsuccessful weight gain, I started taking whole food prenatal vitamins which still didn’t address the spotting but I continued anyway since hubby and I were going to start trying to conceive. Its been almost 7 months since we started trying and have been unsuccessful. My cycles were approximately 40-60 days long with 2-3 day medium flow periods but normal in color. Back in September/October 2011 I started taking Vitex twice/day for 3 months then once/day. My cycles are now 30-40 days in length and periods are the same. I have noticed any increase in CM quality and ovulation pain (which makes me think I may not have been ovulating before…). Did I mention, I also started working night shift 3 years ago which makes taking temps regularly difficult…After scoping your site, I saw the info about Dong Quai Root and thought of considering it for uterine toning.

    I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions after hearing my extensive story. =)

    Thank you for your time!

    Amy B.

  12. Avatar

    Thanks for this site which has served as an eye opener to me. I am 36yrs old. I took the shot for almost two yrs.When I stopped it I decided to wait for my body to recover and after ten months my period came back on jan 5,2012,I had it again same jan 27.Each bleeding lasted for btw 10-12 days.I started another one on 29th feb which hasnt stop till today march 9.I am highly uncomfortable since it is usually accompanied with severe waist pain and abdominal cramps.what can I do or use?and where can I get whatever you suggest in Nigeria.Secondly the injection made me gained weight which I havent been able to shed especially on my tummy,will all these normalise itself when it finally wares off from my system?THANKS

    • Hi Gael,

      Thank you for sharing your story. There is no way for me to know how long it will take the medications you took to be out of your system, nor how long it will take for your body to recover. The typical time for the Depo Provera shot is 1-2 years, but it may take longer. I cannot suggest supplements or herbs for you, as I am not sure what is available in your country. Unfortunately we do not ship to Nigeria. It may be best to find a natural health care practitioner in your area, if there is one.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  13. Avatar

    Hi Dalene!

    What a great website and chat thread. How kind of you to pay such diligent attention to everyone’s questions!

    I was on birth control for 10 years, and went over a year ago. I didn’t get my menstrual cycle back until 4 months ago (8 months after going off), and around that time I started experiencing breast growth/tenderness and weight gain. Over the past 4 months my breasts have grown significantly- 2 cup sizes, and I’ve gained 15 lbs with no change to diet and exercise (I exercise 6 days/week and eat very healthy).

    Could it be that I am producing too much estrogen now, or having difficulty eliminating it? Or progestrone levels are low? It seems the culprit of the weight gain and breast growth is a hormone imbalance- I got tested for hypothyroidism and everything came back normal. Could you recommend any herbal products to help get my hormones rebalanced?

    Thank you so much for your time!

    • Hi Madison,

      Thank you for your kind words of support!

      It would be best to get some hormone testing done first. This can be done from home! Learn more about that here: http://www.bodybalance.com/female/index.asp

      Knowing where your hormone levels are will help you to choose natural herbal remedies or supplements to bring your body back into balance. Any of the suggestions in this article may be helpful as well. A good whole food multivitamin, Fertility Cleansing and Fem Rebalance may be the best way to start. In general the Fertility Cleansing is best done first, then the Fem Rebalance after that.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  14. Avatar

    Hi,
    I’m 34 just found out I have a 45mm right ovarian cyst and a left tubal 11mm cyst on the left ovary. I wanted to try and get pregnant but my obgyn put me on birth control pills for 2 weeks to try and see if they will go away first. I’m not happy about going bcp but I’m not sure if this is the right thing to do. Can having an ovarian cyst prevent preg or cause a miscarriage? I am following the diet and have taken the conceptions tea, I also do the massage DVD. Will being on BCP for 2 weeks cause me harm?

    • Hi Liz,

      Most ovarian cysts are normal and harmless but many women experience fertility issues if the cysts get too large, or are the symptom of a bigger issue such as PCOS. The BCP is suggested to suppress ovulation so the cysts will shrink and go away. There are more natural options if you are worried about birth control use, but the way that the progesterone cream would be used would also suppress ovulation. If you are interested in learning about natural healing options for ovarian cysts please go to this link: http://natural-fertility-info.com/ovarian-cyst-remedy

      Your 45mm cyst (1.7 inches) may be concerning and if it gets larger there is a risk of rupture. It may be worth trying to suppress ovulation to get rid of the ovarian cysts, it is up to you to decide how you are going to do that. It is important to realize that ovarian cysts can come back at any time, our ovarian cyst remedy guide will help you to learn about long-term prevention as well.

      All the best,

      Dalene

  15. Avatar

    Hi Dalene
    My name is Angie. I was on Depo-Provera for 5 years. Within this time i did not get my period once. Ive been off depro for 7 months in total now. First 3 months i was on the pill to try and get my period back ( which didnt work). Then i decided to stop contraception all together. After 4 more months I have just started bleeding. 2 weeks ago it was for 2 days and yesterday it has come back again. I understand it wont be normal for some time. Would you suggest i use Dong quai from now on, to help regulate my periods ? My husband and I would like to try and get pregnant in the next couple of months. Many thanks
    Angie 🙂

    • HI Angie,
      There are many reasons your cycle may still be absent. Nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, etc. can all contribute. It is hard for me to make suggestions without knowing your personal health history. You may want to book an Email Fertility Consultation so we can take the time to look into your health history, diet, cycle, etc. and then we can make suggestions that are specific for your personal situation. Here is the link if you would like to book one: http://natural-fertility-info.com/natural-fertility-email-consultations
      They will be available again March 5th.

  16. Avatar

    Wow Loving your site, you may be able to help me solve my dilemma! I was on depo from 8/10-7/11, then I went on LoLoestrin FE in 9/1111. I decided to stop all forms of BC because I did not like the side effects (mood swings, hair falling out etc). When I stopped BC Dec 1 (last pill), a couple weeks later I had all preg symptoms, very sore breasts, dizziness, nausea, tired, (i have NEVER had sore breasts in my life) went to the doctor, they told me its just side effects of coming off BC, I did not have a period until dec 25 so no bleeding at all for almost 50 days (from nov-dec), Jan the same thing happened, they symptoms remained through out the month and went away briefly during my period (Feb 2 2012 which was very short 2.5 days and very clotty), a week later my nipples and breast began to hurt VERY badly again and have been sore since again with all preg symptoms. At the end of Jan I went to the Dr and had blood draw, thyroid and estrogen came back with normal levels. I am not preg, could be, sexually active, but blood and urine are neg. I really think my hormones are out of balance. Would love to be able to naturally balance them out..Going on 4th month w/o BC I feel empowered! Thanks, T

  17. Avatar

    Hi,
    I am 20 years old and just went off birth control yesterday. I was also on birth control when I was 18. I noticed about 6 months after going off of birth control my first time my skin broke out really bad like it never did before. Most of it was clogged pores all over nose, forehead, and chin. This has never happened before and doesn’t run in my family so I blamed it on the birth control haha. When I was 18, I was on birth control for about a year. This time I was only on it for a month and a half. I was on it twice between those times but for a very short time. I took it the first time for a contraceptive method and the second hoping to clear up my skin again. I feel like my body is producing excess sebum because of a hormonal imbalance. After going off of birth control, my period have been pretty regular which is good. But I still feel like my hormones are way off. What would you recommend for me to take? I was thinking the Fem Rebalance or a Liver cleanser. what do you think?

    Thanks!

  18. Avatar

    Hi Dalene,
    I found your website when I was looking for a solution to my problem. I stopped my birth control in March 2011 and I only had 2 cycles after that. I got my cycle this month because my doctor prescribed me some hormones so I could go and get HSG done. I found out that my tubes aren’t block and my blood work all came back normal. I still haven’t gotten back my period. Therefore, my question is, should I use Dong Quai, Fem Rebalance or Fertility Cleanse? There is no way I can get pregnant without ovulating 🙁
    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Lydia,

      In general it is best to begin with a Fertility Cleanse alone. Fem Rebalance is best taken alone for a couple months after that. If the cycle is still not back or regulated after that, Donq Quai may be another option for continued support. I would suggest learning how to chart your cycle as well, that way you will know if you are ovulating or not.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  19. Avatar

    So glad I found this site! I was on birth control for 4 years. Before I started the pill, I had a really high estrogen level and was always well lubricated. When I went off the pill, I didn’t have a period for 9 months and I had this constand vaginal dryness. My doctor put me back on the pill, but the dryness never went away and I started feeling depressed. For the last 3 years I’ve been to 4 doctors. We’ve been trying different pills, taking time off from the pill, and nothing seems to help. I’ve also tried maca, dong quai, and gentian root. I keep getting these tears from the dryness and my husband is terrified he’s hurting me every time we have sex. He’s very understanding, but it’s been so long since I’ve felt normal. It’s frustrating! He keeps saying it’s ok, but I actually feel less like a woman. Any suggestions?

  20. Hi Dalene,

    Thank you for an incredibly informative article!

    I’m 23 and I’ve been on birth control for 10 years. I’ve always had side effects from the medicine so I’ve finally decided to go off and take charge by using the Fertility Awareness Method. I’m extremely healthy, vegan diet, lots of vegetables, green tea, exercise, always hydrated, etc. I had Cervical Dysplasia a few years ago but reversed it in just a couple months by making lifestyle changes that will be with me forever. One of the changes I made was an increase in supplements (which I’m still taking) – folic acid, beta carotene, multi-vitamin, c, e, DIM, zinc, fish oil, you get the idea.

    I was off of the pill for 2 weeks with no issues at all, feeling great. A few days ago, however, that all changed. Now I’m depressed, low energy, insecure about my appearance, angry, panicked, etc. I feel downright OLD. It’s no fun! I realize that I’m going to have side effects due to the transition of going off birth control but I really believe that this is a result of having much lower levels of estrogen and progesterone in my body. It’s as if I’m in shock. Therefore, I’m wondering if there is a supplement or vitamin you can recommend that will provide my body with natural sources of these vital hormones while it is adjusting to creating more of them on it’s own?

    I have a wonderful Naturopathic Doctor who has already suggested Vitex and I’m going to the health food store to pick it up tomorrow. For my specific case, do you think this is where I should begin, or perhaps somewhere else? I read about all the supplements you mentioned and they all sound great so it’s hard to know which one(s) are right. Which do you believe would benefit my case specifically?

    Thank you so much for your guidance! I look forward to hearing from you.
    Lively

    • Hi Lively,

      Fertility Cleansing may be a great place to begin and then consider moving toward the Vitex after that. I think patience is real important here, give your body some time to adjust.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  21. Avatar

    Hi Dalene! I have a few questions. I came off birth control and have a huge hormonal imbalance so my naturopath gave me vitex 500mg capsules. I started taking it in November and have been waiting patiently for it to work. Also Ive been given pascofemin wich is an oral elixir, a combination of herbs like pulsatilla and donq quai and they all have about 15mg of each and i take a teaspoon a day before each meal. ( three times) My question to you is, can I up my vitex dose to two pills a day? the pills I have are 500 mg each and so that would mean 1000mg ( one morning and one at night) plus the tincture. so a total of under 1100 mg a day of vitex. So far its been alomost 4months and i havent seen a change. ( i know the dose i was taking is low , i wasnt told to take more) but does that mean all these months I ve been doing nothing? do I have to wait another 6 months for it work once I up the dose? Any help would be much appreciated. I thought i was doing the right thing all these months, waiting patiently, but I would hate to think that 500mg was not enough and now i have to start from scratch! thanks so much for reading this and for your help!!.

    • Hi Dee,

      You may want to talk to your naturopath about why he/she suggested only 500mg of vitex and would it be okay based on their plan for you to up your dosage. We find that 1000mg in general works best, but your ND may have a different opinion based on their overall plan for you. You could just say, “Hey, I don’t think this is working for me, I would like to up the dosage, what do you think?”

      Best wishes,

      Dalene

  22. Avatar

    Hi, this article is great. I was on birth control pills for 12 years. I have have been off birth control for 3 weeks now and I am experiencing all kinds of weird things. After coming off the pill, I got my period a week and a half early. I have been experiencing anxiety attacks and all sorts of other weird side effects. Could this all be related to unbalanced hormones? What can I do?

    • Hi Amy,

      Yes, what you are experiencing may be due to your hormones changing and adjusting. Any of the suggestions on in this article may be helpful in getting your body back into balance.

      All the best,

      Dalene

  23. Avatar

    Hello Darlene,
    I am 24 years old and I have been on birth control since I was 16. Starting in May of 2011, I began experiencing a rapid loss of hair (college graduation time); mainly on my temples and the front of my hairline. I noticed this change when I switched from Ortho Tri-Cyclen lo to a newer pill called Beyaz. The doctor put me on Beyaz because I was mildly depressed while taking OTC lo. After being on Beyaz for about two months, I noticed my hair was thinning. After noticing the sudden change, I quickly sought help from my gynecologist and dermatologist. Many tests were done and nothing was found. My gynecologist even checked for PCOS. During the months of summer and early fall, I was flipping back and forth between different birth control pills. Nothing seemed to help. Finally, I decided to go back to Ortho Tri-Cyclen lo in late September because it never gave me a serious problem. Now it has been almost a year and the hair loss is not getting any better. Parts of my scalp are showing more than ever and it’s making me depressed. I am highly considering getting off the pill so my body can be free of these horrible synthetic hormones, but I am afraid. I have read that you lose more hair after stopping the pill and you won’t see signs of regrowth. Is getting off the pill the wrong move for me? or can I begin to see improvement? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hi Ashley,

      I think you really need to consider what is best for your health. If you think the birth control has anything to do with your hair loss I would highly suggest considering alternative birth control methods that do not contain synthetic hormones….condoms, diaphragm, ect. I am sorry to hear of your hair loss. If you do choose to get off of the birth control, Saw Palmetto has been found to help women with hair loss. If you would like to find a natural route to healing, please consider seeing a naturopathic doctor. Many women who have come off of birth control have some hair loss, but most go on to grow it back. This happens when there is a sudden shifting of hormones. The same happens after pregnancy. Consider seeking a second opinion.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  24. Avatar

    I was on birth control for over 6 years. I started on the ortho patch, then went to the pill, I tried the nuva ring for almost two years, then went back to the pill at the end. I have been off birth control since September. I have had my period fairly regularly every month. However, no sign of pregnancy. I bought a ovulation kit last month, and it told me the two days that were best to get pregnant, but then I started my period again today.
    I’ve been told it will take a while, but I have two sisters with fertility issues, and I’m nervous that might run in the family. Also I’ve had a lot of acne, more than when I was a teenager. Plus, every time I switched birth controls I gained weight, and ever since I’ve gone off I’ve gained even more weight. I’m eating healthy, I take a prenatal vitamin every day, but I’m getting worried. Any advice?

    • Hi Dana,

      Begin with changing your diet and exercise habits. Supporting your body through good nutrition and movement are the best place to begin. Fertility Cleansing is a great way to support proper hormonal balance in the body, in addition to diet and exercise changes. Next, are you considering herbs that help to regulate the cycle? That would be something to research after that. If in another six months you are still struggling to get pregnant, it may be time to get some fertility testing done. If you feel lost, we do offer consultations. Keep up the charting! Consider the steps listed in this article, they are put there to serve as a guide.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  25. Avatar

    I am so happy to of found this article! It’s been a trying battle to figure out what’s been happening to my body lately! I was on birth control for 9 months. And when i started it i did notice a few things.. i developed bacterial vaginosis, and it was so hard to keep in check i ate 3 portion sized yogurts a day and if i didnt, i definitely didnt feel right! This is the main reason that coaxed me to stop it. And once i did, more things started to happen. within the week of stopping i had a yeast infection. That soon went away though and so did the gross fish-like smell of bv. I was so happy to be myself again!
    Ive had so many other symptoms since then though that have my mind scrambling to figure out what is wrong with me?? All 3 months after i stopped BC pills, right before my period i would get canker sores. Havent had any for 2 months though.
    I got really sickly nausous due to the cramps during my period after quitting. they were worse than ever! I quit in Sept ’11, it is now Feb ’12 and up until now my cycles stayed regular like they were on the pill, until this one! its been a month and a half still with no period!
    I’ve been getting shortness of breath, bloating, headaches, and my neck, where i suspect my thyroid is, is sore! Ive been reading all about hyperthyroidism and it sounds spot on to what im going through! I recenlty started taking a multivitamin that is been making me feel slightly better, but i really cannot wait for my body and health to go back to normal. Never will i trust nor reccoment birth control pills to anyone 🙁

  26. Avatar

    Hello,
    Really enjoyed your article, it has encouraged me to try new things. I guess i should start with a little background. Im 25 years old and I have had an irregular period since i can remember. It wasnt much of a problem until 4 years ago when i started to have a menstrual cycle bi-monthly and the doctor diagnosed me with ovaryan cysts. I was on the combined pill for a while until i had to stop because my body was producing too much estrogen and I had a lump on my breast due to that. A year and a half ago i got married but my husband and i weren’t really looking to get preganant right away until last year around mid August. Unfortunately my irregularities came back but this time my period stopped for two months. The doctor put me on the progestin only pill and have been taking it for 4 months but it is driving me crazy! My period is more irregular than ever, I get it twice amonth for 6-8 days sometimes and spotting in between. My mood has been changing and i feel like I’ve been gaining weight. I really want to stop taking them but am affraid of the consequences since I am not taking them for birth control purposes. What would you suggest?
    Thanks

  27. Avatar

    Dear Dalane,

    After giving birth to my daughter in 2008, I started getting the depo prova shots until 2011. While on depo I was not having periods at all. I stopped taking the shot last year in April 2011 that is after taking it for over two years. My periods started 2 months after I stopped and from then own I’ve had regular periods. We have been trying to get pregnant since my periods started over 7 months but we haven’t managed yet. Kindly advise what the problem could be and what shoud we do. My periods are very regular and I have a 24 day cycle.

    • Hi Marjorie Chimasa,

      Even though you have a very regular cycle, you cycle length is short. 24 days is not very long and there may not be enough time to build an adequate uterine lining. If you do not chart your cycle I urge you to learn how. Figure out when you ovulate, then count the days from after ovulation up to the first day you see any sign of bleeding. If that amount of time is less than 12 days, this may be a sign of Luteal Phase Defect. Most experts agree that a luteal phase less than 12 days does not give the uterus sufficient time to establish a nourishing lining for a growing fetus and therefore will cause a miscarriage if fertilization has occurred. The first step is to learn to chart, this will help you to determine if and when you are ovulating, then determine how long your luteal phase is.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  28. Avatar

    Hi Darlene,
    I have not taken birth control on a regular basis. I did recently take Next Choice the morning after pill which has sent my hormones into a whirlwind. I have digestion problems, insomnia, cramping, irregular menstrual cycle. Do you recommend cleansing in this situation? My cycles were normal 28 day cycles prior to using the Morning After Pill.

    Thank you,
    Kristie

    • Hi Kris,

      Even with the 1 time use of the “morning after pill” many women experience irregular periods for months to a year. Fertility Cleansing may be helpful for getting your cycle back on track.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  29. Avatar

    I am 32 years old and went off birth control about a year and a half ago. Was not aware of the side effects of going off of birth control. My period is very heavy for the first two days which even before going on the pill was never this bad. I began the pill when i was 18 and was on it for about 13 years. Now that I have gone off of it my hormones are still not regular. I am also getting my period more often every 2.5 to 3 weeks. My skin has also been awful and coincides with when i get my period. The day before i am going to get it i have a breakout. By the time it clears, it breaksout again and i have my period again. I have also gained weight since going off the pill. My question is what in birth control am i missing that is causing this imbalance? Also i do not wish to go back on birth control, i am recently engaged and getting married and we do not want to prevent a possible pregnancy, but is there something i can take to give me what i am missing?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Stacy,

      The goal for a natural fertility plan would be to balance hormones using diet, exercise, supportive herbs and supplements. Because you did not say why you were taking birth control (some women are prescribed it for some fertility issues), I am going to assume it was to protect you from unwanted pregnancy. In this case, the synthetic hormones are “telling” your body what to do, adding hormones in the body at times they would not naturally be produced and released on their own. This may cause your body to become confused, not knowing how or when to produce or release its own natural hormones on its own. If you are worried that you have hormonal imbalance now, due to the birth control, ask your doctor to test your hormone levels. It is very typical for your body to need some time to remember how to function on its own. Be patient. If you choose to use more birth control to have a regular menstrual cycle, you are just confusing the body more. Women who have used hormonal birth control long-term for many years have a lot of issues with hormonal balance. If you desire to balance your hormones naturally and go on to conceive a child, the suggestions in this article may be very helpful!

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  30. Avatar

    Hi Dalene,
    Thank you so much for your encouraging words. It has been a very traumatizing experience for sure but I am determined to heal. My question to you is regarding Vitex and Saw Palmetto. Some of my awful symptoms after birth control are similar to PCOS symptoms but I dont want to assume I have it and scare myself unecessarily when what I probably have is a terrible hormonal imbalance and a toxic system. I had an ultrasound done and blood tests and everything was normal. I know you cant see my old post but i have acne, hair loss and some extra facial hair growth all of which are totally new to me and obviously haunt me since stopping the pill. I am very thin and generally ‘healthy’ aside from this mess. I have had two periods since stopping the pill late august 40 days apart and very light. I have taken vitex for about two months now and was thinking maybe saw palmetto will help ease the yucky symptoms but i dont want to experiment too much with stuff since im still so fragile. What do you think? Is is safe to use both, and to add it to my already long list of new things to take? Ive changed my diet drastically since this started and started taking supplements too but no changes yet.
    Thanks again for this site it helps so many women for so many reasons!!

  31. Avatar

    I’m am a 24 year old mother of three, currently ttc #4. I had the mirena in place for 5months shy of the whole 5 years it lasts. During the last 2-3years I didn’t not menstruate (maybe once every 8 months), my iud was removed nov 5th of this past year, I had withdrawal bleeding two days later, 2 weeks after removal I experienced brown discharge that I thought to be implantations bleeding, I have had countless negative hpt’s and have yet to have received my period. I am actively trying to concieve but I dont even know if I’m ovulating, come this Jan 20th I will test again, if it is still negative I will be starting vitex, or redraspberry leaf tea, dong quai, and what ever I think I need to ovulate and then menstruate if I can’t get a fertilized egg implanted that first ovulation. Please help. What should I take and how? I have always had irregular periods, super hevy starting at age 10, going through super tampons within hours in 4th grade, they did seem to become somewhat regular as I hit teen years… About every 35 days lasting 6-9 days. Now I don’t bleed, I just want to ovulate and achieve pregnancy. Does vitex sound like it would work? Should I take vitex to start my period then stop while I’m bleeding then start back up only to stop to take soy iso days 5-9. There is so much info that I can’t seem to get it straight, I’m still young and very healthy, I am in shock I’m having such issues when my first three kids came with such ease and no ounce of try. Please help.

    • Hi Brittany H,

      It is not abnormal to experience irregular cycles after using the Mirena IUD. It can take the body some time to regulate on its own once again. It can be difficult for your body to “remember” how to have a cycle. Your uterus may be very weak, since it has not shed or built a lining regularly over the past 5 years. Consider a supportive diet, multivitamin and regular exercise. Next consider ways to support uterine health by reading our article at this link: http://natural-fertility-info.com/uterine-health-for-fertility.html

      We do not support the use of soy isoflavones. Using soy isoflavones, especially when self prescribed are not very effective or the best option. I feel that supporting and nourishing the systems that produce and control hormones is best. You can do this through good nutrition, herbs, supplements and natural therapies rather than manipulate the hormones.

      Many people think that soy isoflavones are natures Clomid and will stimulate ovulation. Clomid binds to estrogen receptor cells and blocks them in the hypothalamus. Once these are blocked your brain no longer receives signals from estrogen. This tricks you body into thinking you have low levels of estrogen (which is released from your follicles as they are maturing). This confuses your body and then Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GNRH) signals release of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which signals the follicle to release estrogen. The hope is that the Clomid will increase FSH production which will stimulate the follicles to release estrogen and then ovulation will occur.

      The problem with using soy isoflavones in the same way is that they bind weakly to estrogen receptor sites. So while some of the soy isoflavones are binding others are just creating excess estrogen. There is also insufficient data supporting the use of soy isoflavones in this way. The research goes back and forth, some say it will work for some people and other studies show that soy isoflavones have potential risk of damaging the Thyroid as well as decreasing fertility.

      I also recommend learning how to chart your cycle. This will help you to know if you are in fact ovulating, which may help you to narrow down which herbs are best for your needs.

      All the best,

      Dalene

  32. Avatar

    thanks so much for the article, I really enjoyed it. I came off the the pill (depo) about three months again. On November 22nd 2011 I have my period but since then, I have not had another but some times I experience cramps. But I also want to conceive and want to try either fem rebalance or dong Quai. Please how long can I use that? help me because am desperate to have my second child. thanks for your advice.

    • Hi Abee,

      Fem Rebalance is best used for 2-3 months. Dong Quai is best used for 3-6 months. A plan could look like this…

      Month 1: Fertility Cleanse Kit, Multivitamin, Fertility Diet
      Month 2-3: Fem Rebalance, Multivitamin, Fertility Diet
      Month 4-10: Dong Quai, Multivitamin, Fertility Diet

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  33. Thanks i am realy grateful for this comprehenasive info. Guess i have got to be patient with my body.

  34. Avatar

    Hello,

    I am 30 years old and have never really been on any kind of birth control. My periods have always been normal. About a year ago I had taken the morning after pill a few times then in May I had an IUD inserted. I started to notice my hair was thinning so I had the IUD removed in July and have not taken anything since. I have never had acne in my life and now, about 3 months off of everything, I am breaking out every month right around ovulation. The acne is around my mouth, it kind of hurts and weeps but never actually comes to a head. I can’t decide if I think my hair is getting thinner or if I’m just paranoid about it now. It hasn’t grown back I know that. I have read a lot about excess androgen and I’m concerned that this may be my problem. So here I am almost 6 months later and things aren’t getting better. I mentioned these things to my Dr and they just blow me off. I need help, I’ve always had great skin and hair and now both are a mess. Thank you!

    • Amy,
      I have seed the morning after pill cause many hormonal issues for women continuing months after using that medication. The acne suggests to me that focusing on supporting your liver would be of benefit. The liver helps the body to get rid of excess hormones. You may want to look into the Fertility Cleanse as half of it focuses on the liver and the other, hormonal balance. The diet also should include lots of leafy greens, water, and avoid soy, pesticides, herbacides and animal products must be organic/without hormones. If we knew more about your health history we could make further specific suggestions. You may want to look into an email fertility consultation with us.

  35. Avatar

    Hi Dalene. I just want to thank you for all of your compassionate responses to everyones question. Im just starting to learn alot about naturopathic medicine and why its my route of choice. I have been traumatized by my experience with long term use of the birth control pill. I was given a high dose pill when i was 16 for birth control reasons, not for any other reason. i was as healthy as can be at that age. Anyhow I developed melasma on face this year and realized it was the pill giving it to me ( along with other no so obvious side effects) so i had to stop it cold turkey in august and my entire body has freaked out. No part of me feels familiar to me now. I have developed horrendous acne, facial hair growth, hair loss on my scalp, weight loss, loss of libido, blurred vision…anyways dont want to overwhelm the site but you get the point. My point is i would love to able to regain my sanity and my health and become a happy mother one day. I dream of the day. Does it sound like im detoxing or withdrawing and do you think my body still has time to recover from all this trauma? I just look at pics of myself PRE birth control and just want to be there again. Any recommendations would be highly appreciated. I trust this site and am greatful for it.
    thank you for reading!

    • Hi Dee,

      I am really deeply astounded by your experience. I am sorry that you are experiencing this. I hope that this horrible experience can be a stepping stone (learning experience) that will transform your life in positive ways, that you cannot yet see. One of the bodies miracles is that every cell in our body renews over time and is replaced by healthy new cells. This gives us the opportunity to work toward changing our fertility issues by nourishing and taking care of our bodies now, so that those new cells have the best chance possible to be vibrant and healthy! There is always time to heal your body! It may take time, commitment, lifestyle change and persistence, but you deserve to be healthy and happy! You may want to start with this 5 steps in this article. It does sound like your body is going through a lot of confusion, which may cause all of the symptoms you are describing. #1 would be to support your body nutritionally and then #2 Fertility Cleansing!

      Believe in your capacity to change your life and health!

      Dalene

  36. Avatar

    Hello,

    I was on Ocella (Yaz) for 6 years and within the past year or so have been getting cramping and migranes that I never use to get so my doctor switched me to Sprintec. Within the second pack of the Sprintec I became out of control anxious and could not control my panic attacks. I decided to get off birth control altogether after the horrible scare. I am now 8 weeks off of birth control pills and have servere depression and still am dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. I am not as bad as I was while on Sprintec but I am still not myself. I am debating whether or not to go on an antidepressent or if I should just ride it out. Like I said, it has been 8 weeks. I am having more good days here and there… but almost every day is tough to get through. I can do it, but it is unbelieveably unconfortable. Any suggestions? I have starts taking Vitamin B6 100mg, Vitamin E 400UI, Fish Oil 1000mg, St. John’s Wort, and a multivitamin 8 days ago.

    • Have you talked with your doctor about this? It may be hormonal related, but it would be best to rule out other possibilities first. If it is hormonal you may want to look into vitex and motherwort as possible herbal remedies. But talking with your doctor is going to be very important. Also note that if you do decide to use some medications to help with this St. John’s Wort may interfere with both antidepressants and birth control.

  37. Avatar

    Hi, I was on the depo shot of and on for 5 years, and i took to long to take my shot. my period came down an i took the shot while it was on. i tried stoppin it by takin a birth control pill while on the shot, but that only made it worse an now my period was on for about 6 weeks now. Is there anything i can do to stop my period and get my regular cycle back ?

    • Hi Gidgett,

      In addition to the suggestions in this article, you may want to consider learning about Vitanica Slow Flow, a supplement to reduce heavy or long-term menstrual bleeding.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  38. Avatar

    been off the depo for 2 months now and trying for a baby but since i got my period back 6weeks ago ive been bleeding every 2 weeks or 7 days .
    This is getting me moody and week and my breast are so sore .
    i just want to get my body back to normal any suggestions xx

    • Hi victoria,

      I am sorry to hear you are bleeding on and off so much! If you are feeling weak you may have low iron levels known as anemia. You can learn ways to boost iron levels naturally, with tips on curbing abnormal menstrual bleeding at this link: http://natural-fertility-info.com/heavy-menstrual-bleeding.html
      Once you get the bleeding under control, you may then be able to follow the guidelines in this article. If you are worried about how much you are bleeding, please talk to your doctor!

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  39. Avatar

    Hi,
    I want to get off of the mini pill(which my midiwfe put me on because I was breast feeding) and start charting naturally, and get an ovulation tester kit but I need some advice on how to switch safely because I’m not quite ready to get pregnant yet……
    And I have a few questions for…..well anyone that has insight on my situation.
    Here’s a little of my history to help any answer my questions .
    Growing up my cycles were VERY regular,not painful and not at all heavy, just normal.
    I started taking the combo pill(Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo) when my husband and I got married 3 1/2yrs ago specifically as birth control and we used it for almost 2 years,got off of it and within 6 weeks I was pregnant! About 6 weeks after giving birth my nurse midwife put me on a progestin only pill)mini pill) because I wanted to breast feed only. Now my daughter is 11 months old I am still on the mini pill because I am still breast feeding her,but I would like to get off of it.
    I still haven’t gotten my period even though she’s 11 months old and most people are getting theirs by the time their baby is 6 months. Also I run and take an exercise class 3-5 times a week and I’ve been told by a doctor that runners and athletes(which I’m not claiming to be…..but we do have a pretty intense exercise)don’t usually ovulate regularly. But I don’t know if that would have anything to do with me not starting my cycle yet.
    I have looked into natural methods and want to get an Ovulation Predictor kit but I read that coming off of birth control will sometimes not give you an accurate reading. My husband and I don’t feel ready yet for another baby so…..my questions are:

    1. What are the chances of being able to use an ovulation predictor and getting an accurate reading when just getting off the mini pill, and again I still haven’t gotten my period post partum so I don’t even know if I am ovulating yet.
    2. Assuming my body does start ovulating right when I get off the pill,how soon should I get my period.
    3. Does anyone have any recommendations about what to use as a non hormonal back up birth control until I figure out if I’m actually ovulating and able to get pregnant….
    Any advice would be very much appreciated!
    Thanks Bethany

    • Hi Bethany,

      You may not be getting your cycle because you are still breastfeeding. This is not uncommon. When I was breastfeeding I lived in a community where most women exclusively breastfed their babies. Many of us never got a period until we night weaned (cut nursing time in half), or weaned. This is the body’s natural way of preventing pregnancy, though it is unreliable. Because you are also using birth control your ovulation my be suppressed due to a combination of all these reasons: exercise (though not likely), birth control and breastfeeding.

      1. I would say the first month may be very inaccurate, and it would be best to not assume any of the readings as correct.
      2. There is no way for anyone to know this or answer this.
      3. Condoms, diaphragm, spermicide are some options.

      When coming off of the birth control consider starting to chart your cycle right away. Even though you may not be able to predict ovulation right away, you will be able to begin to see what your cycles are doing and if there is a pattern of any kind. You can learn all about charting here: http://natural-fertility-info.com/guide-to-fertility-charting.html

      I commend you for breastfeeding your baby! We need more women to breastfeed their babies!

      All the best,

      Dalene

  40. Avatar

    Hello Darlene,
    I am 30 years old and have been on birth control on and off about 3 or 4 times and for short periods of time. The last time I tried it was 3 months ago and I switched to ortho tricyclen lo and was only on it for 3 weeks because my hair got so thin and my skin was bad. I went on it mainly to gain weight because I got so thin due to stress. I feel like I have one problem after another. I feel I am too skinny and then suddenly I get thicker and feel and look healthy then the next day I lose weight. I eat alot of food and workout as I always have. I feel that My hormones are totally screwed up because my skin, hair, and weight are always randomly changing. I have started taking maca,iodine, and all the other vitamins I normally take and feel like it was working until my body changes again within what seems to be a matter of days….I don’t know what to do all my blood work comes up fine at the doctors and gyno tests are normal. Im always tired, stressed out and depressed. What type of doctor do you suggest I go to…Im willing to try anything to be normal again!

    • Hi Jennifer,

      If your doctor has not tested your thyroid, I suggest you discuss this with them. I see that you are supplementing with iodine, but some thyroid problems like hyperthyroidism can get worse if there is too much iodine in the body. It sounds like you may have some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. You may want to research that condition more. Below are some links to articles you may find helpful, as well as supplements that may support your body through this stressful time. Stress has a huge impact on the adrenal glands, and the thyroid. Lowered immune function and infertility can result due to adrenal fatigue and thyroid problems.

      Tips-

      Learn to make smart meal plans for underweight women trying to conceive: http://natural-fertility-info.com/infertility-due-to-being-underweight.html
      Support the adrenal glands through extreme stress: http://natural-fertility-info.com/is-my-adrenal-health-affecting-my-fertility.html
      Learn the impacts of thyroid problems on fertility: http://natural-fertility-info.com/solve-thyroid-problems-before-conceiving-a-baby.html
      Learn to make a stress reduction plan: http://natural-fertility-info.com/stress-and-your-fertility.html

      Maca supports healthy stress response in the body, so it sounds like that supplement may be a good one to continue. If you are wanting to go a more natural route for healing, looking at the body from a holistic perspective, you may want to find a good naturopathic doctor. You can always ask your current doctor to run a panel of hormone testing, including your thyroid hormones. Demand these tests. You know your body best, if you feel something is not right, you deserve answer!

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  41. Avatar

    Hi
    Thanks for this article it is very encouraging to me who is at a complete loss. I am 27 years old and was on the Birth Control Pill for 7 months after i first got married. My mother was on it when she was younger and had no issues so i innocently thought it will be ok.

    I stopped taking the pill over a year ago and i feel like i have had all the issues one could have. Ever since stopping my actual blood flow and timing is the same as if i was still on the pill, but the difference is i have excessive period pain starting for at least one week prior to my period. I have lost weight and gained acne. Im get moody and depressed during the week prior to my period.

    Also i have a strange symptom, its like a urinary tract infection without the infection. In the week before my period and occasionally over ovulation time i have burning urine pain. That comes and goes as it likes. I have been to the doctors twice and they have no advise as there is no infection.

    I have waited a year and hope and pray my body can restore itself soon. I will never return to the pill and i will try some of the remedies you have suggested, i am willing to try anything at the moment.

    I hope others can read this and know some of the possible issues
    Thanks
    Joanne

  42. Avatar

    Thanks for the article, it was quite helpful. I would be grateful if you could answer a few questions. I am 31 came of birth control pills in July, since then I got a period that should have when i came off the pills, then 2 other periods one in August and the other in Sept. , seem to be on a 24 days cycle now. my mucus appears creamy lotion like,just start taking evening primose oil. I am trying to ttc, just want to know if i have ovulated or not. Can you get 2 periods and not ovulate after stopping the pill.
    Please help.

  43. Avatar

    Hi!

    Thank you for the article. It has been very informative and reassuring for me. I am 30 and discontinued use of birth control after 13 years. I have been off birth control for 5 months. For the first 2 months off, I had horrible cramps. They are better now. I am still getting a little bit of acne. I have also started shedding more of my hair over the last month. I have scoured the internet and read that about 10% of women coming off birth control experience hair loss 2-4 months after discontinuing birth control. It is due to a drastic change in hormones. I am hoping this will stop for me soon. I am interested in trying your program to naturally regulate my hormones. My cycles have been anywhere from 33 – 40 days and my periods have been light.

    Please help!

    Thank you!

  44. Avatar

    Hello!

    I recently went off bc, feeling it was more damaging than beneficial. I have always used other methods of protection in combination with it, anyway, so I would like to help my body recover.

    However, I am hesitant to start any herbal regimes without more guidance and observation. I would also like to address my weight. I have heard that homeopathy uses natural remedies. Do you feel going to a homeopathic practioner would address my hormonal imbalance and weight, or would you suggest simply taking the steps listed above?

    • H Adriana,

      A homeopathic practitioner will be able to guide you to supportive homeopathic preparations specific to your needs. Homeopathy can also be a complimentary therapy to other natural therapies for fertility. Most homeopaths feel that it is best to not mix herbs for fertility with homeopathy. This is because homeopathy stimulates the body to heal itself, while herbs have actual medicinal actions that support the body’s natural processes, or have direct healing actions. The most important thing to research prior to using homeopathy, is the homeopath. Homeopathy takes skill to identify the exact correct remedy. Find a very skilled and educated homeopath. Remember that homeopathy cannot be a ‘cure all’, you must incorporate healthy diet and exercise; you must do your part to heal your body. I love homeopathy, but I do not rely on it alone for all of my health care needs.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  45. Avatar

    Hi

    Thank you for the wonderful article!

    I’ve been on birth control pills for almost 3yrs. I got my last period last October 2010 for 2 times in a month and unluckily that was my last period. But now I can feel hopeful I will get my period since I’m experiencing breast tenderness and etc. How can you help me about my situation now. I want to get pregnant next year. The pills that i used was Althea.

    Please help me….

    • Hi Marie,

      I am glad you like the article! Thanks.

      The best place to begin would be to sit down and write out a plan. Go through this article and write out each step as suggested.

      Step 1: Nourish and Cleanse
      Consider eating a Natural Fertility Diet, and the benefits of Fertility Cleansing. Also consider what nutritional supplements may be of benefit.

      Step 2: Herbal Support for Restoring Hormonal Balance and Promoting Ovulation
      Educate yourself about herbs that help to balance hormones, support proper hormonal function, help regulate ovulation.

      Step 3: Restore Healthy Cervical Mucous
      Learn more about the importance of healthy cervical mucous and what you can do to promote that.

      Step 4: Self Fertility Massage
      Self Fertility Massage promotes ovulation, supports communication with the endocrine system, improves 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.

      If you still feel completely lost, you may want to consider a Natural Fertility Consultation.

      Warm regards,

      Dalene

  46. Avatar

    thanks for this article! I am wondering, I have been on birth control pills for almost 15 years. I went on the pill for irregular periods and horrible cramps. I now want to get off the pill so my husband and I can start a family. I am very worried because I have been reading many posts and hearing from many women about how bad thier acne was after getting off the pill. I don’t want to go through this. What can I do to prevent this? It is terrifying to me, but I want to start trying for a baby. Thanks so much!

    Dallas

    • Hi Dallas,
      Many times adult acne is a sign that the liver is detoxifying or due to hormonal imbalance. Some suggestions would be to drink water, do a cleanse and focus on nourishing your endocrine system after you stop using the pill. Acne is a sign of underlying cleansing that the body is doing.

  47. Avatar

    Thank you so much Darlene for taking the time to answer all of my questions, this was very helpful!! Since I am tired of medication side effects from synthetic hormones, can I expect any side effects from the fertility cleanse and fem rebalance? And any insight on how long these might take to get my cycle started? And would I first do the cleanse and then start the rebalance? Thanks again so very much!!

    • Hi Jenna,

      Some women experience fatigue, headache, or emotional when doing the Fertility Cleanse. All of this is completely normal when you are doing any type of cleanse. The cleansing action of the liver dumps toxins and excess hormones into the blood stream to be removed from the body. Because of this you may experience a weird menstrual cycle at first. This may also happen when beginning Fem Rebalance as your hormones adjust to the changes taking place within your reproductive system. Every woman’s body is different and may experience differences in cycle, mood and side effect changes. Be sure to eat really well and drink plenty of filtered water!

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  48. Avatar

    Thanks for this article! I am looking for more natural ways to get my cycle started back up and so I have a couple of questions. I am 31 years old and I eat healthy and take a multivitamin. I have a healthy 12 year old son that I conceived and then I went on a combination birth control pill for 10 years. I went off of the pill almost 18 mos ago and still no cycle. My obgyn recently started me on a 10 day cycle of progesterone to try and jumpstart my cycle, but it didn’t work. She wanted to next either double the progesterone or have me start a one month cycle of the birth control pill because she said it was not healthy for me to go this long without menstruating. I have not chosen to do either option because I wanted to try and find more natural ways first, I did not want to start taking the pill again, even if only for one month, when this is what I believe has caused my problem in the first place. My doc has not ran any blood tests or further testing to see what is causing my lack of period, do you suggest that I may need this first or should I just start exploring some of your natural methods?
    Assuming I am ready to start some natural methods, do you still suggest the fertility cleanse and/or fem rebalance since it has been so long since I have stopped the pill? It sounded like these supplements were used more with women who are first coming off of the pill. What else would you suggest to try and get my cycle started? Also, are these suggestions that you make on here only for women who are trying to conceive or do you suggest that all women who have irregular cycles and/or ammenhorea try these methods regardless of whether ttc or not? The reason I ask is because my husband and I have talked about possibly ttc, but that is not the main reason I am trying to restore my cycle at this point. I just want to be healthy and balanced again so that if we do try to get pregnant, it will be possible, but mainly for the sake of being healthy. So, let’s just say that I decide that I don’t want to get pregnant, is this all something I should still pursue or could it be just fine not to have my period for this long? Thanks for your very helpful insight into all of this, I really hope I can get my body back on track!
    Jenna

    • Hi Jenna,

      Great questions! First this site is not only for women trying to conceive, but for those who are wanting to have healthy natural fertility and to heal their bodies from fertility issues.

      The Fertility Cleanse in general is a great way for anyone who is experiencing fertility challenges to create a foundation for hormonal balance and a healthy uterus. Fertility Cleansing creates a “clean slate” within the body that helps the body to respond and utilize other natural remedies better. It can be an especially important tool for someone who has not had a regular menstrual cycle in a long time. If you have not had a natural bleeding time in 18 months your uterus is not functioning properly, nor are your ovaries or hormonal feedback loop. This stagnant condition may actually cause the muscles of the uterus and the ovaries to atrophy (shrink and become very weak). Your uterus is designed to have a natural cleansing each month, if it does not have this something is not right within the hormonal feedback loop’s communication. You may also want to read over our Improve Uterine Health Guide to learn ways to support uterine health while you also work to get your cycle back.

      Fem Rebalance is also a useful tool for a woman who’s body is confused about how to function on its own. It may begun at any time after coming off of birth control if the woman is still experiencing hormonal imbalance. As to whether you should get testing done, it is up to you. If you think the long-term birth control use may have caused health issues testing may help you determine if there are any serious problems happening. It could just be your body has forgotten how to function on its own, 10 years is a long time to be controlled by a medication. It is always important to work toward maintaining healthy fertility, whether you want to have a baby or not; you want your body to function properly!

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  49. I am 33 and was told by my gyn that I was going through menopuase. While I am not going to except that I wanted to know if there is anything that I can do thats safe to restore my body back to the old Kendra. I did have cushing syndrome but I am 100% healed. There has not been any sign of it since my operation in 2007. What can I do natuarlly.

    • Hi Kendra,

      I think it would be helpful for you to read our article Understanding Premature Ovarian Failure. This will help you to understand your diagnosis more and what you may be able to do to help support your fertility naturally.

      You may also want to talk to your doctor in more detail about why they have diagnosed you with premature menopause. Having answers to the potential cause of this diagnosis will help to guide you to natural remedies and therapies that may help you.

      Best Wishes,

      Dalene

  50. Avatar

    Hi just wanna say thanks this information was very helpful indeed. I guess i will just have to wait. Much appreciated thanks.

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