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Natural Options For Support While Taking Birth Control

Natural Options For Support While Taking Birth Control

birth control pillAre you on birth control and looking for natural ways to support your fertility health? There are times where women we work with choose to use birth control. Some specifically want to prevent pregnancy. In other cases, their medical doctors recommend birth control to address an extremely heavy or irregular cycle, etc. Birth control is also widely used to control the cycle before IVF treatment.

While it’s important to remember that a cycle on birth control is not the same as a natural cycle (See: How A Menstrual Period on Birth Control Differs From a Natural Period), there may be times when hormonal birth control is the right option for your situation. We’re here to support you wherever you are on your journey. In addition, there are great ways to support your fertility health while taking hormonal birth control or while waiting for its effects to wear off.

How To Support Your Body While on Birth Control

Important: Always talk to your doctor about the herbs and supplements you’re taking when using prescription medications. If you’re using the Pill or if waiting for hormonal birth control to wear off, consider the following:

Support gut health

Hormonal birth control is known to disrupt our normal gut microbiome, which could lead to digestive symptoms, problems with nutrient absorption or increased yeast or bacterial infections. A 2013 study published in the journal Gut found taking birth control triples the risk of Crohn’s disease in women who have a family history of it. I recommend reviewing this Fertility Health Tip: Prebiotics and Probiotics. If you have gut lining concerns, the amino acid L-glutamine is an option to explore as well.

Boost your B vitamins

2013 research published in Nutrients shows women who use hormonal birth control have lower levels of B-complex, including B12, B6 and folate. B vitamins are critical for the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. For women wanting to conceive down the road, a lack of folate can increase the risk of neural tube defects. For general health and future fertility, many health practitioners suggest supplementing with a B complex 100mg as soon as the effects of birth control wear off, although it can be started as soon as the Pill is stopped.

Consume estrogen balancing foods

Eating foods high in fiber relieves body congestion and helps eliminate excess estrogen related to hormonal birth control. Enjoy organic apples and pears (skins too!), whole grains, along with beans and legumes regularly. Most women feel much better by making this one change alone!

Employ gentle therapies to enhance mood

Natural therapies that can be considered while on birth control are: flower essences, diluted essential oils, mild teas and homeopathic remedies. These can be good choices to ease stress and improve your mood. A few options: Star of Bethlehem flower essence for grief or loss, Chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita) for PMS or stress, or Frankincense essential oil (just a few drops added to a diffuser) for mild depression or anxiety.

Tip: If your birth control uses placebo pills (ask your doctor if you’re unsure), you can consider a liver support tea like Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) or Liver Cleanse tea the week you’re not on hormones. This gives the body a gentle cleansing boost before you return to the hormonal Pills.

Finding Balance While on the Pill

Finding balance while you’re on the Pill or other hormonal contraceptives can be challenging, but there are safe choices you can explore. You can always use food to nourish, heal and balance your body. Further, specific supplements like a B complex, prebiotics and probiotics are especially beneficial for women taking hormonal birth control.

Taking birth control for any purpose is highly personal, but it’s clear it’s a choice many women pursue. I feel it’s important to keep your options open when dealing with any reproductive health concerns. Do your homework, learn as much as you can, and create a plan that will work best for you and your long-term fertility health needs.

Products mentioned in this post:
Star of Bethlehem – Flower Essence
Liver Cleanse Tea

Resources To Learn More:
How To Balance Your Hormones After Birth Control
Fertility Tip: How To Enhance Fertility After IUD Removal
Gut Health & the Microbiome Connection to Optimal Fertility

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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