September 28th, 2017 | Posted By: Magdalena Wszelaki | Posted in Articles, PCOS

How The Pill Can Seriously Affect A Woman’s Health

My functional MD and ND friends always say that the pill is the worse thing medicine invented for women. I could relate, to some degree, to this strong statement based on my own experience of being on the pill for a short period until I realized how sick it made me feel. But, writing this article and investing several hours to further research on this topic, I’ve realized that this statement is far from exaggerated. When you finish reading this article, you will know that the pill is simply a robber of women’s health.

Since the 60s, the contraceptive pill has promised us greater control over our bodies and fertility, but this “freedom” may come at an enormous cost to a woman’s health. Unfortunately, several generations of women have been used as guinea pigs, and many of the dangers of birth control pills are only just coming to light.

These birth control pill dangers are particularly concerning, given that an estimated 100 million+ women worldwide are currently using oral contraceptives yet are largely unaware that it can pose many health risks because it upsets natural hormone balance.

And the harmful effects of birth control pills go beyond whether birth control pills and strokes or cancer. Also concerning is the pill’s increasing use to treat issues like acne or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, without addressing the cause of these problems (such as food intolerances, high sugar levels, lack of sleep and stress).

The Normal Menstrual Cycle

Each month your levels of progesterone and estrogen fluctuate at different times of your cycle. In a nutshell, your estrogen peaks right before ovulation and after that your estrogen drops while your progesterone peaks to ready the lining of the uterus for pregnancy.

How The Pill Works

– Birth Control Pills disrupt your body’s normal hormone production with synthetic versions of estrogen and progesterone (called progestin) which suppresses ovulation, tricking your body into thinking it is pregnant all month.

– Is taken in a cycle of 21 – 24 active days of hormones, followed by 4 to 7 days of no hormones, when a withdrawal bleed occurs – but this is not like a regular period.

The combined pill (which comes in pills and patches) contains synthetic versions of both estrogen and progesterone (progestin). Some birth control hormones like Depo-Provera and mini-pills contain progestin only (and one form of this called drodrospirenone, appears to cause more problematic side effects than the others).

Why Do Birth Control Pills Contain Estrogen?

As I’ve mentioned, combined birth control pills with estrogen and progestin, trick your pituitary gland into thinking you are pregnant. The constant doses of estrogen each day are pivotal to this trickery because of the estrogen:

– Prevents your pituitary gland from producing the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone so that ovulation doesn’t take place.

– Thickens the lining of your uterus, making the environment more hostile to conception.

Progesterone Only Birth Control Pills

There are some birth control pills without estrogen. These are called “mini-pills” and contain synthetic progesterone called progestin. Some women use these because they are breastfeeding or they can’t take estrogen in the combined pill because they suffer migraine headaches or have a high risk of blood clots or heart disease.

Taken daily, the synthetic progestin:

– Suppresses ovulation by stopping the production of the Luteinizing Hormone (LH) in your pituitary gland.

– Triggers changes in the lining of the uterus, so that it is harder for an egg to implant there.

– Causes a thickening in cervical mucus, which then makes it difficult for sperm to travel far enough to fertilize an egg.

Unlike the combined pill, the progestin-only mini-pill gives shorter birth control protection. If you miss a dose or even take it later than usual, you may not be covered for contraception, and you may also experience breakthrough bleeding.

Your Body On Birth Control Pills

Doctors rarely discuss side effects with women when they prescribe them the contraceptive pill, adding to the myth that the birth control pill is completely safe and barely impacts on your mind and body. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Unfortunately, many women first start taking the pill as teenagers and don’t realize that as they get older that their health could be impacted by these hormonal imbalances over time.

What are the effects? I drilled down into the research on the pill and what it shows about health fallout is staggering.

#1 Lowers Thyroid Hormones

Women taking birth control pills release more of a substance called Thyroid Hormone Binding Globulin (THBG), which binds to your thyroid hormones so that less for your body to function well (such as have energy, healthy hair, skin and the ability to lose weight). As a result, combination oral contraceptives have been shown to cause an increase in total T4 but a decrease in the percentage of free T4. Free T4 is the version of the thyroid hormone that is bioavailable for the body to utilize.

BCPs also cause depletion of nutrients needed for healthy thyroid function and thyroid hormone production.

#2  Lowers Testosterone

Women on the pill experience an increase in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), a glycoprotein mostly made in your liver. SHBG binds to testosterone, so when levels go up, testosterone levels go down.  In fact, free available levels of testosterone can drop by as much s 61% in women taking BCPs.

As testosterone is necessary for energy, mental clarity, healthy bones, confidence as well as strength and muscle building – this can be bad news for your body. Lower testosterone may also explain why many studies confirm that women who are taking a contraceptive pill may experience diminished sexual interest and arousal, reduced frequency of sexual intercourse and reduced sexual enjoyment.

Stopping the pill doesn’t magically fix the hormonal imbalances. In women who report a decreased libido from the pill, elevated SHBG in “Oral Contraceptive Discontinued-Users” did not decrease to the levels of “Never-Users of Oral Contraceptive” after they went off the pill.

After coming off the pill some women can still experience an elevation in sex-hormone binding globulin levels, shows research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Often leaving them with long-standing hormonal problems from low values of “unbound” testosterone (which can impart ongoing sexual, metabolic, and mental health consequences).

#3  Shutdown Natural Hormone Production

 Your body has inbuilt mechanisms to try to maintain homeostasis (a natural body balance). It also has many feedback systems letting you know when levels of chemicals in the body are getting out of balance. For this reason, you will become insulin resistant if you eat a diet high in carbs and sugars, which can often trigger elevated blood sugar and insulin.

The same thing happens when you are taking antidepressants that affect serotonin. Registering your body’s serotonin levels that have suddenly shot up, your brain will start shutting down your serotonin receptors, (thereby producing less serotonin naturally) to ensure that you don’t have issues from excess serotonin.

This protective mechanism also applies to your reproductive hormones. When you are taking daily doses of synthetic hormones, your body registers that you are getting unusually high levels of estrogen and progesterone throughout your cycle. As your brain perceives an upset in your hormone balance, it will try to correct any excess by shutting down production of your natural estrogen and progesterone. This shut-off may be why some women complain that their menstrual cycle takes years to return to normal after they come off the contraceptive pill.

#4  Compromise Fertility

Danish research shows that the birth control pill significantly affects ovarian reserve –  the number of immature eggs in a woman’s ovaries – which can be a predictor of future fertility. Also, the pill can cause the shrinkage of the ovaries, which becomes between 29 and 52% smaller, with the biggest reductions seen in women aged 19- 29.9 years.

In younger ovaries levels of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and antral follicle count (AFC) tend to be high, but in women taking the pill, they can be 16-19% lower – also indicating that synthetic hormones have an aging effect on the ovaries.

According to research from the University of Liverpool, the pill may also disrupt a woman’s ability to choose a partner genetically dissimilar to herself, potentially increasing the risk of having a child with genetic abnormalities.

#5   Reduce Serotonin and Melatonin

The pill can interfere with your body’s methylation process by reducing methyl donors, thereby, leaving women deficient in hormones like serotonin (which can improve mood) and melatonin (for better sleep). An estimated 20% of people are slow methylators anyway so adding the pill to that mix can be disastrous for their well-being, leaving them edgy and anxious all day long, then unable to get a good night’s sleep.

#6   Help Trigger PCOS

Some integrative practitioners believe that the hormone disorder, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can be triggered by the use of birth control pills. This is because excess insulin and inflammation are known triggers of PCOS, and both of these states can be caused by being on the contraceptive pill.

Estrogen Dominance and Birth Control Pills

Natural hormone balance is the foundation of a woman’s emotional and physical health. During a woman’s natural menstrual cycle her estrogen levels rise and fall at different times of the month. The pill disrupts this cycle altogether – keeping estrogen levels high all month.

Continuously elevated levels of estrogen can overload the liver, which can’t perform its essential function of detoxification. As a result, these unhealthy estrogen metabolites go back into your bloodstream and get circulated in your body — quickly leading to Estrogen Dominance (ED)

ED from the pill also leads to too much estradiol (E2), also known as an “aggressive estrogen,” compared to estriol (E3), which is the “protective estrogen.” This imbalance can be behind tender breasts, mood swings, hair loss, weight gain, fibroids, endometriosis, breast, and ovarian cysts, and even breast and ovarian cancer.

High estrogen levels can also cause a rise thyroid binding globulin, which binds up thyroid hormones making less available to do its work in your body. ED has also been linked to the development of thyroid nodules and cancer.

To learn more about estrogen dominance and what you can do to reduce it, read my other blog post on the topic.

Synthetic Hormones and Emotional Wellbeing

For a small and seemingly innocuous tablet, the contraceptive pill may have huge negative health impacts, causing:

#1   Depression

The University of Copenhagen in Denmark has studied more than one million girls and women aged between 15 and 34 over a 13 year period. They found a very clear link between using the bill control pill and suffering depression. Adolescent girls using combined oral contraceptives had an 80% increased risk of antidepressant use and those using progesterone-only pills had a 120% higher risk of being in antidepressants.

#2   Anxiety

 When scientists at UCLA  compared brain scans of women using the oral contraceptive pill to scans of women who were experiencing their natural menstrual cycle. These researchers then found shrinkage in two key regions of the brain, called the orbitofrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex:  The researchers believe that these changes may explain reports from some women who complain of feeling greater anxiety after they start using the birth control pill.

Do Birth Control Pills Cause Cancer?

The link between birth control pills and breast cancer risk cannot be ignored. BCPs can increase breast cancer risk, particularly in women who take the pill before they have had children.

The figures are startling. Research from the Women’s Lifestyle and Health Study in Sweden and Norway has shown that the risk of breast cancer in women taking the contraceptive pill rose by:

  • 26% in women who had used the pill but had ceased to take it.
  • 58% in women still using the pill compared with never-users.
  • 144% in women aged 45 or over who were still using the Pill.

According to the National Cancer Institute, BCP’s may also increase the risk of benign liver lumps which have the potential to turn into cancer.

Plus women on BCPs are also at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer. The good news? The risk lessens after 10 years of no longer taking the pill.

What about ovarian cancer and birth control pills? In this case, studies suggest that BCPs have a protective effect.

But when you consider the many other negative impacts of these tiny pills, you would do better to reduce cancer risks naturally and avoid the other dangers of birth control pills.

There are plenty of steps you can take to reduce the risk of estrogenic cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer. I discuss them here in my post about 15 Ways to Prevent and Manage Breast Cancer Naturally.

Other Health Problems Caused By The Pill

BCPs cause many other hormones imbalance symptoms and health problems including:

#1  Weight gain

For years women who have complained that being on the birth control pill made them gain weight were told this issue was all in their heads. Now it is well established that BCPs compromise insulin sensitivity and increase inflammation. Both of these factors are known triggers for weight gain.

Research of hormone patches and implants has also shown they cause up to 50% weight gain in some women.

#2  Nutrient Deficiencies

 Women on the pill use up more of their nutrients when their liver is forced to metabolize these synthetic hormones while trying to filter excess estrogen from your body. This could cause a chronic drop in vitamins levels C and E as well as B complex vitamins including B1, B2, B5, B6, B9 (folate), B12.

A drop in essential minerals including selenium, zinc, and magnesium can also occur. Meanwhile, copper levels may become elevated, potentially increasing catecholamines (hormones produced by the adrenal glands), which can cause edginess and a feeling of being over-stimulated (wired).

To help boost levels of deficient nutrients try eating for hormone balance and get off the pill when you are ready.

#3   Gut Issues

According to the results of the Harvard Nurses Health study, women who take the birth control pill for more than five years have a 3x chance of developing the autoimmune inflammatory bowel condition, Crohn’s disease.

Excess hormones from the birth control pill can adversely affect healthy gut bacteria. For tips on how to improve your gut bacteria and health, read my post on How Your Digestion Impacts Your Hormone Imbalance and Weight Gain.

#4   Candida (yeast infection) overgrowth

 Estrogen can be candida fertilizer, helping the yeast population to grow.

In a lab, if certain types of estradiol are added to candida cells, this estrogen has been shown to increase the number of germ tube and length – developments that support candida overgrowth.

After starting the birth control pill, many women complain of developing chronic thrush and bloating and flatulence due to the candida overgrowth in their belly.

Because many hormones and their balances originate from the gut, this can then affect the levels of other hormones such as serotonin. For advice on how to deal with this problem, check out my blog on the Top 10 Ways to Conquer Candida.

#5  Liver overload

Like all drugs, birth control pills are processed using enzymes in your liver. This process, known as “first-pass metabolism” can overtax your liver if it is dealing with drugs and is then also tasked with filtering out sugars, alcohol, and excess estrogen metabolites.

#6  Lowered muscle gain from exercise

When the pill causes a drop in testosterone, many women find that their strength and ability to build muscle is compromised – even if they are exercising regularly.

Some scientists think this is because progestin binds to androgen receptors, inhibiting their muscle-building function.

#7  Higher risk of stroke and heart disease

Taking the birth control pill almost doubles a woman’s risk of experiencing a stroke.

It also increases the buildup of arterial plaques in the veins, which can rupture, causing a heart attack, according to research at Ghent University.

This research found that women taking BCPs have 20 – 30% more arterial plaque in some parts of their body. Meanwhile, an English study has found that the pill that causes the least amount of heart risks is one that has 20 micrograms (mcgs) of estrogen combined with older synthetic progesterone called levonorgestrel.

#8  Increased blood clots

The link between estrogen use and an increase in the risk of developing blood clots (thrombosis) has been known for around 20 years. Additional research continues to show that the risk of thrombosis is higher in women taking the birth control pill.

#9  Reduced bone density

 Birth control pills may reduce a woman’s bone density, but the impact will not show up in lab results until about two years of use.

#10  Changes to immunity

 The pill’s synthetic hormones can cause you to develop an imbalance between the Th1 branch and Th2 branch of your immune system. Th1 cells can release inflammatory chemicals in response to viruses and some bacteria while Th2 cells kickstart the production of antibodies. If your immune system is functioning well both types of cells work hand in hand to protect you.

But when either Th1 or Th2 cells become dominant due to use of BCPs, one branch of immune cells are overactive and the other branch can be underactive. This can stimulate autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s and Graves’ disease in some women.

Or it may trigger other autoimmune conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, or psoriasis. To check if you have these immune issues you can organize blood panel checks via integrative doctors.

#11  Epilepsy Seizures

Research from Texas A&M University Health Science Center suggests that ethinyl estradiol, the primary component of oral contraceptives, could ramp up electrical brain activity in women who have epilepsy and potentially trigger epilepsy in women who are susceptible.

#12  Gum Disease

Pregnant women often experience issues with inflammation of their gums and bleeding. As BCPs mimic the pregnant state, they can trigger periodontal disease.

This can increase inflammation in your bloodstream, which can interfere with efforts to naturally balance your hormones.

Low Estrogen Pills

When contraceptive pills were first released in the 1960s, they were high estrogen birth control pills containing doses of 150g of estrogen. Most modern pills contain far less. Birth control pills with more estrogen – of between 20 to 50mg – include:

– Yasmin: Drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol

– Levora: Levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol

– Estrostep or Ortho-Novum: Norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol

– Ortho-Tri-Cyclen Lo: Norgestimate and ethinyl estradiol

– Lo/Ovral-28: Norgestrel and ethinyl estradiol

In my late 20s, I remember taking Yasmin and even though I was assured by my doctor that it was the lowest dose, I developed unbearable side effects in the form of depression and mood swings. I also gained a few pounds which felt odd as I used to be a highly athletic and active.

Birth control pills with low estrogen contain only 20 mg of synthetic estradiol or less and include:

– Mircette: Desogestrel/ethinyl estradiol and ethinyl estradiol

– Yaz: Drospirenone and ethinyl estradiol

– Alesse: Levonorgestrel and ethinyl estradiol

– Lo Loestrin Fe: Norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol

Though a lower dose estrogen pill is clearly better, the daily doses of estrogen in both the higher and lower combined pills can still trigger the barrage of side-effects I discussed in this article.

In a normal woman’s cycle, the levels of estrogen rise and fall – your body is not designed to have constantly high levels of estrogen. So when you take birth control pills they can quickly lead to Estrogen Dominance.

Natural Alternatives To Birth Control Pills

So what’s a girl to do? After all, we grew up accustomed to the pill being The Solution to our sexual freedom and family planning.

To good news is: Hormone-free birth control methods do exist. They use these to determine their fertile windows during their menstrual cycle and then use condoms for contraception during those days.

If you want to learn more about this, it is well worth reading a book like Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

Once you are familiar with the menstrual cycle and signs of fertility, you can consider different methods of fertility tracking, which include:

#1  Basal Temperature Method

 Three days before you start ovulating, your body temperature rises slightly, so taking your basal temperature over many cycles can help you work out you are most likely to conceive in your cycle (plus a few days to create a safety net).  A number of devices are available to help you track this temperature (and many of them can be used with fertility apps like Glow and Ovia and Clue). The devices include:

– Digital oral thermometers such as wink, ONDO and Daysy

– Digital ear thermometers, such as Yono, which can be worn overnight

– Wearable bracelets and sensors such as Ava and tempdrop

– The Lady-Comp range ( This offers features like an ovulation calendar and a super sensitive temperature sensor that you place under your tongue every morning and it feeds your temperature data to the cycle calculator.

The Daysy device is the most recent version and it comes with an app so that you can view all your cycle statistics.

#2  The Standard Days Method

 In research by Georgetown University, this has been shown to be as effective as a natural contraceptive method and equal to the diaphragm and condom.

When you use this approach you identify the 12-day “fertile window” in your menstrual cycle, taking into account other fertility factors such as the variation of ovulation timing from one cycle to another, the lifespan of an egg (about 24 hours) and the lifespan of sperm (about 5 days).

#3  The Sympto-Thermal (STM) Fertility Method

This natural method of fertility awareness identifies the fertile period and patterns of fertility in a woman’s cycle using the double tracking method of recording both body temperature measurements and cervical secretions.

According to research – the pregnancy rate for women who use the STM method correctly is 0.4%, or one pregnancy occurring per 250 women per year – so it is as effective as the contraceptive pill for avoiding unplanned pregnancies.

#4  Ovulation test kits

 These may use:

– Urine: Samples: With this method, you collect mid-stream urine samples and use strips to detect luteinizing hormone (LH) that occurs one to two days before ovulation, when you are at your most fertile.

– Saliva Samples: These test for the rise in estrogen that occurs near ovulation. When estrogen levels increase, the salt level in your saliva also rises too and this indicates that you are in your more fertile high estrogen time of the month. This can be detected via the saliva sample when it dries to reveal the fern-like crystalized salt pattern.


birth control pill, oral contraceptive, side effects birth control pill, weight gain, hormone balance, hormonal imbalance, basal temperature method, ovulation calendar


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131 Comments to How The Pill Can Seriously Affect A Woman’s Health

  1. Regarding “Progesterone Only Birth Control Pills”… If one tolerates these… are these the safer form of birth control pill in comparison to the one’s using estrogen or does the long list of hormonal effects apply to both types of pills… I ask because the article kind of makes it seem like the long list of hormonal effects apply mainly to the BC pills that contain estrogen. Thank you sooo much for your help and for writing this amazing article. I ordered the book you suggested on natural birth control… except I got the 20th addition which is the most recent version.

    • Hi Betsy,
      We cannot legally comment on medications. Magdalena’s programs focus on natural protocols using food, herbs and supplements. I’m glad you got the book she recommended.
      Kindly, Angela HB Team

    • No!!!progestin only pill caused my melasma which I will now have for life!! If is horrible and disfiguring. I was never told this could happen. Now I can’t be in the sun without getting brown patches all over my face and they DON’T ever fade. Stay away!

      • Hi there. Got my first period @ 9. Started having irregular periods at 17, I used BCP for some months and later stopped. I’m 20 now and when I have my period I bleed for more than 7 days. Any suggestions?

    • I recently quit LoLoestrin Fe (3 weeks ago) due to health concerns. I had been on it for 10 years. I get the flu quite often (5 to 6 times per year) despite a very healthy lifestyle. I never experienced side effects from the birth control, besides not having a period. I never thought to consider my compromised immune system to be the culprit. I am just getting over being extremely I’ll and am thinking it is due to birth control withdrawals. This sickness has lasted much longer than usual. Hoping there’s a light at the end of the tunnel… thank you for this resource.


  2. If i suffer from the mood swings and anxiety while on the nexplanon implant, how long will it take for my body to bounce back to normal after getting it taken out?

  3. All of these unfortunate things are happening to me and now my sugar is out of whack and thyroid, gaining weight rapidly, etc.. because of being on the pill for 25 years and now estrogen dominant which I am surprised I am still alive after what all I have been through, but I am supposed to trust my Dr. same person who gave me the pill to inform me it is okay to take bioidentical progesterone as she said I was pre menopausal however how do I know that the pill just didn’t mess me up and I am 44 now I am still not losing weight, I initially noticed a relaxing feeling from the progesterone but she said my numbers were too high and being on the pill wouldn’t cause it, so I don’t want any more kids but I still want to enjoy my sex life, she said no to getting tubes tied and now I am reading that progesterone is just another hormone that can cause me issues, how long do I stay on it and she never retested me.

    • Why don’t you just get your husband to get the snip? It is much safer for a man to get a vasectomy than for a woman to have her tubes tied, plus no more hormonal birth control! (It is a permanent solution though obviously).

  4. I have been suffering with hormonal symptoms since discontinuing Ortho Tri Lo a little over 2 years ago. Within 6 weeks of quitting, I was losing hair and had developed acne and a disgustingly greasy scalp for the first time in my life. Emotional turbulence, nonexistent libido, depression and anxiety, fatigue and brain fog on top of all that. I have completely changed my diet, exercise regularly and practice yoga, prioritize sleep, and have gone through various supplement regimens. It has been over two years and I am desperate for things to get better. I feel like the pill genetically mutated me on some fundamental, permanent level – it’s a terrible feeling to wake up with every day. Could I have permanently damaged my internal chemistry? What else can I do to improve my situation? 2 years feels like an eternity, and there’s no sign of improvement. I’ve tested everything hormones thyroid nutrients etc. and am not getting sufficient information from my naturopath doctors or regular docs (gyno, endocrinologist, internist)

    • Me too you’re not alone! Before I figured out what was happening I had no idea it was from stopping the pill after 10 years, and I’m only 26 and feel like it has permanently ruined my life… I am desperate for solid solutions its been almost 3 years of this unbearable change

      • omg this is so eye opening and scary. I had the SAME thing happen after switching from ortho tri lo to another pill due to cost. This was almost 3 yrs ago. I have taken BCPs for 15 yrs. I have never had an issue with weight or had to watch what I eat but now I have gained weight that won’t budge. I have changed to clean eating & have exercised more than ever & still am not back to my normal body composition. I am working with a functional medicine Dr. for bacteria imbalances in my gut, candida overgrowth, hypothyroidism, anemia, & autoimmunity all of which I am now finding out can be related to BCPs. I have been desperate for answers. Thank you all for posting. I’m going to stop my current pill & see what happens. Hopefully my body can bounce back. Blessings to you.

        • Hi Angela,
          We are so happy to hear that you have a trusted practitioner that is helping you support your body. There is also this program preview for Estrogen Reset There is so much that can be done for hormonal health such as gut healing, liver support and sugar balancing. Wishing you well 🙂 ~HB Team

    • Hi S and Rebekah,
      It is difficult to know differently when a trusted practitioner offers what sounds like a workable solution. It would be best for you to see this workshop at There are foods that you can use to heal the body naturally. ~Deanna HB Team

    • Thank you all for posting this really helps. Didn’t realize more women then I thought were going through a much similar experience. These stories sound a lot like what I went through about ten years ago. My story: I was on the patch after giving birth to my second child which I should’ve waited to stop “post labor bleeding”(bleeding which lasted heavy one entire month little did I know I had been theoretically “hemorrhaging my eggs”per my Dr at that time) before starting patch. I was 19 yrs old so I had no idea of what was normal. Anyhow, I began with “ the patch” kept it on for two years. The sides effects (that were “in my head”) were very much the same as everyone else has described on here including migraines stomach sensitivity and candida issues (throat and yeast infections that seemed to never cease) depression irritability and major anxiety. I stopped patch by age 21, suffered two years with continued symptoms and No trace of a period for those same two years until doctors finally gave me diagnoses of Pre mature ovarian failure (or aka pre menopause.) This took a reasearch study I got accepted into by my Dr. request. A fertility specialist (writing an article) did all tests in-house no cost to me. That Same day I had no real answer on the cause but knew after four to five hours of being there it was definitely premature ovarian failure. My then primary doctor told me I had to go back on the pills for my bone health etc etc. I did for one month quickly regretted it and stopped. I was getting lightheaded and couldn’t drive in addition to everything else. That was all about 10 years ago my body still out of sorts but not nearly as bad. I was recently told one month ago I am now in full Menopause at 34 years old, not as much symptoms as before; however, those Menopause hot flashes in mid thirties suck like you wouldn’t believe. My personal opinion is that by clean eating I have been able to maintain my bone health and semi level my hormones however I am not doctor.
      Others issues that also have had ( unclear if related or not ) multiple cyst issues in different areas on my pituitary gland, various cysts that bursts on my ovaries , was even told my liver was enlarged, just to name a few more of the main things I was told over the years by my doctor. I feel like I have never really gotten treatment for the underlying issues because they just don’t know how to treat us! That being said, at my most recent visit to Gyno I was given more birth control. I thought about going back on for sake of hot flashes but after my diagnosis of Menopause. They found a lump in my breast and after Breast MRI, breast sonogram , Mammogram. All good, thank the lord! After all this, I was told I maybe at higher risk for breast cancer once I begin taking the pill ( due to family history) but is a necessary risk. Apparently, I needed to start because though my bones were ok not 100 % healthy. I wouldn’t want to worry about bone loss primarily in my spine and hips. Ughh, exhausting but on a positive note I am smiling through the nonsense, well smirking! Ladies my biggest improvement happened when I cut out starches and refined sugars it’s a start but I strongly believe no sugar or very little can help improve Some symptoms based on my personal experience through the years, but again I am not a doctor. Best of luck ladies thanks for your courage to share your story🙏🏼

    • Unfortunately I am also in the same boat. Everything you said was spot on. I feel permanently damaged, like something altered in my brain/body. I was on a lower dose pill called Lo Loestrin Fe, or the generic version at least and I’m going on 2-1/2 years of being off with little improvement. I am now stuck with anxiety/food intolerance/sleep paralysis/sinus allergy issues/inability to handle stress/hyper sensitivity to stimulants and medications. My hair is just now getting fuller and feeling like it used to. I shed hair for months and had a greasy scalp after the pill. It got to the point where I hated to wash it because the I dreaded all the hair that would fall out. Honestly there are probably some symptoms that I’ve forgotten about and left out, but i was a hot mess coming off of the pill.

      I had panic disorder and a plugged ear for 7 months after getting off of the pill. The panic attacks have stopped, and I do have some relief from when this all first happened, especially since that first year being off, but I still don’t feel the same, and since so much time has passed I am finally coming to terms that this just may be me now. Doctors do not believe you, they run tests and then try to stick you on anti-depressants.

      The brain fog is a little better now, at first I couldn’t even read a paragraph, now it’s easier to focus, but there are still so many lingering symptoms that I’ve just accepted my fate. All I can do is adapt to my new life. I feel your pain.

      • I only took the pill for 3 months. I was on a generic version of Yazmin, most people believe three months isn’t long enough to cause issues but I definitely have a lot of issues with my body.. my weight went from 128-175 just from being and coming off of the pills. I have severe anxiety and I have intolerable mood swings, and brain fog.. it’s gotten better but I still have difficulty remembering certain things as they were and I’m more forgetful.. I’ll think of something and 2 second later it has poofed.. my period came back in March… 6 months after being off birth control but they now skip months and are sometimes the most painful experience in my life.. it altered a lot of things in my life.. my eating habits, my mental health, my weight/ BMI, and my relationship due to my mood swings being completely horrifying.

      • I feel ya I have many issues keeping me from being able to plan a day not knowing if I can even get up ; I hope they find some to bring back a normal happy healthy enjoyable life ; the doctors suck on believing the pill caused my life to come to a hault

      • Seeing some comments here that resonate with me so much. I came off the pill almost a year ago and my health has completely collapsed. I think I am low in oestrogen and I am low in progesterone. I have really irregular cycles, dry skin, light periods with spotting and a really thin womb lining and worst of all I have terrible eye inflammation and histamine intolerance. I feel like I can’t live anymore, I just do not want to wake up. I think I will have to try bio identical hormones as I am scared of going blind with eye inflammation. Hoping progesterone alone will help although sounds like my oestrogen is very low too. Thanks so much for the article

        • Hello Emily, If you are feeling thoughts of no longer wanting to live, we urge you to reach out to 911 to support you further immediately. Additionally, if you need a practitioner to support you with the host of issues you are dealing with, here is a link to find a functional practitioner to support you. Please take care. HB Support

    • S, We hope you do not lose hope. The body is designed to heal itself. Magdalena has fully taken this mission to heart and created a program that addresses estrogen imbalance issues. You will want to look at the program preview to see if the material speaks to you It focuses on nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods. ~HB Team

  5. Very well written and researched article. This information should be more widely publicized. The pharmaceutical industry, in league with health-care professionals, do us a grave disservice when they blithely hand out these life-altering products, claiming they are harmless. I had heard about this, but this is the best article I have found so far. Thank you for doing the work and putting this all together in one place!

  6. Hi, great article thanks. What are your thoughts on a copper iud as an alternative contraception to hormone based pills and injections? I think the problem with the temperature based options is that they’re very expensive and time consuming.

  7. What are some safe birth control options then for my husband and I?

    How safe or effective is the Coooer IUD, I’ve heard mixed opinions.

  8. As I read this article I have more and more regrets about using bcps since I was a teenager; on and off of course because I have 3 kids. I always experienced weight gain from the pill after 23 years of age but the doctors treated me like it was all in my head until I decided to tell them that’s what they do to me. I am 34 now and had my tubes tied and burned. I had fibroids I was told but went away. As of today I have a period twice a month that last 12 days. The other 5 days of it is spotting. I keep yeast infections and deal with BV often with new sex partners. I had Novasure done in 2016 and it lessen my period to 9 days and the bleeding but in less than a year it went back to normal 12 days and stuff. I refuse to have a hysterectomy and tried herbal supplements and detox but nothing helped. I basically ruined my body. I took bcps continuously too to stop my periods at a high estrogen dose. I gained a lot of weight that’s hard to lose and keep off. My sex drive was affected and the doctors refused to believe it was from the pills, still not back to normal. I’ve been off bcps since 2014 and I’m still not back to normal. It’s gonna take a miracle. Thanks for the article. I wish I knew sooner.

    • Hi Katrina,
      Thank you for sharing part of your story. Other women can benefit by hearing what you have learned. Try not to throw in the towel yet. The body is capable of healing many issues. Here is a link to her workshop to learn more ~Deanna HB Team

  9. I wanted to get birth control pills for my daughter to regulate her period.
    She is 19, and so tired of the irregularities that we were willing to risk the side effects of pills.. Fortunately for her then pill she was prescribed was $175, so we declined the prescription. I was going to ask for another, but I would really like to regulate her naturally.

    Should I go to an endocrinologist, or try herbs again? Maybe she me kind of blood test could reveal why she has had this issue. Menstration start around 10.

    She never kept up with the teas or nasty tasting tinctures. I wish it would just regulate on its own.

  10. I’m 27, I took alesse birth control for a year and developed a lot of itchiness, a couple yeast infections, bv, dry skin, pain during sex, and sensitive vaginal skin (would get cut easily from sex). I was diagnosed with lichens sclerosis….I had never struggled with vaginal issues before so this felt odd to me. I took myself off birth control and have been off for almost 2 years. The itchiness continues, but pain during sex is decreasing as well as cuts. I’ve also noticed my vaginal skin has atrophied a bit. I’m so upset and anxious over this, I feel like birth control triggered this because it stopped my estrogen production and threw me so off balance. Could this have been the case? Can I be hopeful that I will go back to being balanced soon? Thanks

    • Hi Michelle,
      The pill could have caused an imbalance but we cannot say definitively if it was the cause of lichens sclerosis. The good news is it sounds like you are making real progress in healing! The body is so incredible! To learn more please check out Magdalena’s new protocol cook book here ~Deanna HB Team

  11. Hi there! Great article! I wanted to know if all of these issues still apply to Women with low estrogen? I am a 29 year old and I’ve always suffered with irregular and painful periods, cysts, irrational and unstable moods and lethargy and inability to focus/concentrate. If someone was born (it is genetic or the result of issues with development in the womb) with unbalanced hormones or hormonal homeostasis then what can be done to remedy that? It truly impacts my life negative and always has from the time that I first got my period. These BC pills would somehow make my unbalanced hormones more unbalanced? Any insights would be appreciated! Thanks!

  12. Hi Violet, maybe don’t look at it so much as fear mongering as trying to help educate where it’s needed. We don’t often hear about the downsides of the pill and it’s important to have as much information as you can so that you can make an informed decision. – Lori HB team

  13. Amazing article, very clear and easy to understand on such a complex issue. It’s something I’m looking into..I took Dianette for 15 years and developed severe endometriosis. I honestly believe that the cause of endo is being hidden due to it’s link to the pill and the effects this might have on women opting to take it..unwanted pregnancies..and so on. Although it might not be solely to blame for my endo it might have been good to have been informed about the possible link. Also have underactive thyroid and probably adenomyosis and many other things on your list like anxiety, depression.

    • Hi Kathryn, I’m so glad you enjoyed the article and that it’s led you to exploring further.

  14. Thanks for posting this awesome article. I was on birth control from the ages of ~18-27 because of severe PMDD-like symptoms during my cycle, which never regulated by the age of 18. I stopped the BCPs about 4 years ago and recently started experiencing severe pain and nausea on my cycles. They have become so painful I have nearly gone to the hospital several times. My OBGYN suspected endometriosis. We haven’t confirmed this, but she recommended I get back on BPCs to manage the symptoms and the pain, and if it is endo, she said the hormones would help keep it at bay. So I started the pills and one month later, I’ve had only marginal relief from my symptoms and am feeling sickly all the time, already had a yeast infection, I’m not sleeping well, and overall am experiencing as many or more health issues as when I was NOT on the BCPs. Starting to feel like I am NOT crazy for wanting to get off of hormonal BC all together. Too many of my female friends support and stand behind hormonal BC methods and don’t seem to agree when I tell them that it’s no longer for me. Wish this would be more thoroughly researched and that findings would be widely publicized. Thanks again for this article, it’s really helped me decide to get off of the BCPs for good this time.

  15. I have a feeling i’m having at least some of those side effects after 9 years of taking bcp, but prior to when i started taking them at 15 years old, i used to get debilitating lower back pains during my period, sometimes so bad i couldn’t get out of bed. while i wanna stop using bcp, i really don’t want the back pains to come back especially now since i’m working.

    • Hi Katy,

      We do not want you to have back pain either. We want the body to resolve the imbalances. Magdalena has created a new program to help women balance estrogen naturally with food. She teaches gut healing, liver support and sugar balancing to help the body heal. Here is the program preview link to learn more ~HB Team

  16. What is the best way to get your SBGH down once you have stopped birthcontrol?

    • Hi Victoria, To help the body re-balance, Magdalena teaches gut healing, liver support and sugar balancing. When the body is supported with nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods, many symptoms can resolve. Here is Magdalena’s newest program preview ~HB Team

  17. I was on the pill for only seven months and started to slowly realise something was terribly wrong. I started regularly suffering from migraines, of which I hadn’t had one from since I was in highschool (im now 29). I seemed to be getting cold sores regularly also. I also found I was gaining weight very fast and constantly suffered from indigestion. It wasn’t until after one migraine attack I started to feel something was really wrong, my vision seemed to be very sensitive to light and it was as though my eyes would “zone out” and after three months of waking up everyday with these vision problems I decided to seek professional medical advise. Blood tests came back normal, eye tests all came back normal. I was lost, not knowing what to do next and as a result of this I found myself becoming depressed and anxious and simply, just not myself. The doctor had no answers for me, telling me to just wait it out and see if it gets better. It didn’t get better. It wasn’t until during moving overseas that in a conversation with my sister that she mentioned maybe it had to do with the pill. After doing some research and grasping at what could possibly be a solution I decided to go off the pill. Its now been 2 months since stopping, I havent suffered from migraines or had a cold sore since. But I still don’t feel like myself and the vision issues come and go, day to day. Im hoping that because I was only on the pill for a short period of time that my recovery will be quick. I am thankful that I found this article as it has educated me on more of what exactly had been effected within my body and I hope now with this knowledge it can also assist in my recovery. I think more people particularly young women need to be more educated on what effects can come from being on the pill.

    • Hi Teagan,

      Yes, we agree with you. Thank you for sharing your story. We hope it will raise the awareness of others who may come across all of this information. We hope you are continuing to recover. ~HB Team

  18. Hi, my obgyn subscribed a low dose birth control pill to try and help reduce my heavy bleeding which were due to fibroids. I have taken the 21 pills so far and now bleeding incessantly heavy heavy flow for the last 2 weeks. I stopped the pill and still bleeding heavily. How long will this go on or will i bleed to death?

  19. I was given high dose birth control for a month for massive bleeding and it drove me certifiably crazy. I kept telling doc I wasnt feeling right mentally. I went to acupuncture to stop bleeding. That was a month ago and my anxiety/fear is increasing. How do I get this estrogen out of my body. i am taking half a bcomplex and will start lymphatic massages Tomorrow. Will this help? Will saunas help? Would I need high doses of bcomplex to replenish what it depleted??

    RUBY try traditional acupuncture!!! It stopped my bleeding in 9 days.

  20. Hi, I feel quitting birth control pill after 6 years was the best thing i ever done. I used it since i was 18 to 24. In these years I had headaches, depression and chest pain very often during the last 3 years when the doctor switched the brand of the pills. I went to the doctor and complained about the headaches to which I always got an answer to just take pain killers. As a child i had very low blood pressure, which went to normal when starting the pill and as it was normal my doctor thought that the chest pain is only a muscle cramps from exercising which I did a lot at the time. but the pain kept reappearing and since on the pill my hemoglobin was always below normal which I found out only when tried to give blood twice. The pill did help with very heavy periods i had but otherwise I felt pretty bad .Now since stopping the pill the headaches and chest pains are gone completely, I have so much more energy, I am not so hungry and tired/sleepy all the time and I just feel happy most of the time even though my breasts shrank after quitting.

    • Thanks for sharing your positive changes after stopping Maria! ~ Jennifer HB Support

  21. The non hormonal copper IUD is the best invention for women….ever.

    It is so effective and so reversible and uses NO HORMONES.

    I tried family planning by method as you suggested but got pregnant because another medication delayed my cycle as a side effect. Doctors will not remember or even know to tell you this when they perscribe.

    Cycle tracking has a high failure rate (9 in 100 failure while Paragard, the non-hormonal IUD option has a 1 in thousands failure rate.)

    Your article, while not mentioning failure rates and the MOST EFFECTIVE non hormonal option is doing a misjustice.

  22. I’m 19 years old and I have been on the pill since I was 14 because I have PCOS and wasn’t getting my periods at all and had a range of the common symptoms associated with the syndrome that I wanted to get rid of (acne, hairiness). Ever since I began taking Yaz, a low dose pill, I have been severely depressed, overweight despite eating and exercising similarly to other people my age who are of a normal weight, and have a majorly decreased sex drive.

    For an experiment and to retest my hormones, I went off the pill for 8 months. Within the first three months, I instantly lost 6 kgs (which was 10% of my bodyweight) despite changing absolutely nothing in my diet, my sex drive increased and I was feeling much happier. However, at the same time all my PCOS symptoms rose to the surface and I was experiencing really bad acne, hairy chin and lip and hair loss from my head. I also didn’t get a period for that entire eight months which isn’t exactly safe.

    Once I began to take the pill again at the end of the eight months, my moods were instantly affected – and I’ve been noticing it literally is instant, as on some days where I forget to take the pill until later on in the day, I happen to be happier than on days where I take the pill first thing in the morning. My sex drive also disappeared pretty quickly. I also gained all the weight back effortlessly within the first two months almost.

    I really want to learn how to manage my PCOS naturally, possibly through diet, without being on the Pill, as I have really only realised in the past 18 months or so how terrible it is for my overall health and I am quite worried about any ramifications it could have on my future health.

    Quite honestly, I don’t think I have really experienced happiness at all in the five years I have been on the pill.

    • Hi Meg,

      Yes, Magdalena’s program Estrogen Reset connects the dots with estrogen and PCOS. Here is the preview to the program She goes into how gut healing, liver support and sugar balancing can make the difference in supporting the body to heal on its own. 🙂 ~HB Team

    • II started the pill st age 16 went off at age 27 within 2 months ph in July had full term healthily girl the following April 1994 .I went straight bk on them for 17 years and in 2013 I decided to go off of them because I started going months without a period one time it was a 11 months and I thought I was done but had it one more time then a year went by and it’s now almost the end of 2019 and I have experienced what hell could be like excuse my phrase but my legs are heavy and the swell real bad my belly sometimes I look like I’m 9 and a half months pg , I gained right at 50 lbs , I have I B D skin rashes joint and muscle pain , thinking of the hair aniexty, depression ; I want to kill myself at times I have high blood pressure ; high cholesterol and panic attacks. I’ve tried explaining to the doctors what the cause they don’t care . I lost my job b/c of medication they took my gallbladder out I have inflammation throughout my intestines and in stool I can literal see my intestines on the out side of my body with like hard labor spam pain and disability is likely to turn me down .I have prayed for help but until reading this maybe just maybe someone will believe me ; ty , kathy

      • I have seen chiropractors I have back neck knee pain and swelling and I can’t sleep inflammation in my eyes someone plz anyone can you HELP

  23. I just got off of the pill and have been on it for years. So does this mean that my body will not return to normal eventually? The statements about the sex drive worried me. Well how it was saying that if people have ever taken the pill that they never returned to the same sex drive compared to those that had never taken it at all but I’m sure this changes with age too so I’m not sure. I just hope things get better and my body will balance out since I have stopped taking the pill.

  24. Hi,
    Does all this only apply to the combined pill, or also the mini pill. The article is not really clear on that as it mainly talkes about the oestrogen factor.
    I have been taking Cerazette for many years and am considering to come off due to various health issues.

    Thank you for clarifying!

    • HI Catharina,

      This article mainly applies to “Birth Control Pills disrupt your body’s normal hormone production with synthetic versions of estrogen and progesterone (called progestin) which suppresses ovulation, tricking your body into thinking it is pregnant all month”. If you want to discuss your “various health issues” further. please send an email to [email protected]. The team would be happy to discuss resources for you 🙂 ~HB Team

      • Hi there! This article is such an interesting finding I have found today. After scrolling through your writing and put some check marks on a couple of symptoms on the list that I myself have been suffering over the past year, my jaws dropped. Almost, every single article I found about birth control from health websites claimed that the birth control effects should only last maximum of three months after the last pill. However, I ‘ve been developing and suffering from PCOS after only two months being on BC for the first time (which I started to have heavy cramps that I had never had before. Didnt find out that I had PCOS until I went to the doctor) I could not figure what happened to my body which my blood pressure dropped significantly. I constantly getting BV after having my period, and my immune system is pretty vulnerable at the moment. I got back to bc in September last year and ’ve been using it until now, not knowing that it is the cause for further troubles. I would love to see more articles from you related to how can we recover from the birth control side effects after stopping to use it. Many thanks

  25. For some people, like myself, birth control has been a life saver. I have endometriosis and didn’t realize I had it until 10 years later when I finally got diagnosed. I was on birth control as a teenager to help manage the extreme symptoms. I stopped taking it when my insurance ran out and I swore against ever taking it again because I thought it affected my emotions. I suffered through my endometriosis symptoms for almost 4 years and I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I got back on birth control and I have felt SO much better all around. For individuals who have a hormonal imbalance or reproductive issue, birth control can be helpful to give your body that balance it lacks. I can understand why a healthy woman may not want to take it, but I don’t think this article necessarily takes in to account those individuals who have issues with hormones to begin with. I’m on month 3 of birth control pills after being off of them for almost 4 years and this is the best I’ve felt in years and years and years. It feels really great to not have a constant battle every day in one way or another due to my hormonal imbalance and endometriosis.

    • TC, thank you for posting the above. I have been diagnosed with endometriosis and have recently had surgery to remove uterine fibroids which were causing issues and also my endo. My Dr is recommending BCPs to manage this. I am wary after this article, but if hormones are already out of balance, where does one turn? Both birth control and bio-hormines are synthetic with their own risks. My symptoms are not unbearable but preventing further stress sounds wonderful.

      • Hi MF,

        Magdalena recommends supporting the body naturally with foods, herbs and supplements. She has designed a program especially for women with endometriosis, fibroids and estrogen imbalance issues. Please look into her program preview of Estrogen Reset ~HB Team

    • Hi TC,

      Magdalena’s offers this information to women as she and her team feel it is extremely important to have this conversation. Thank you for sharing your experience. ~HB Team

  26. Thank you for this very informative article that describes the risks in detail. I stopped taking the pill 6 years ago and but took a day after pill about a week ago and I feel like a complete mess, my PMS is much more than usual (mood swings), my period is more then a week late and I feel extremly anxious. Can I assume that the day after pill has similar affects to the pill?

  27. I am SO happy that I discontinued my birth control pill! The reason I initially stopped taking it was because I was getting really bad melasma (dark spots on the face) caused by the pill. The melasma stopped progressing, but it has been challenging to fade. I found that when I stopped taking it I rarely got sick or hard a cold sore outbreak. Previously, I was getting sick everything other month, and getting cold sores frequently. I work in an elementary school, and haven’t caught even a cold within the last year and a half!
    Instead of the pill, I use a diaphragm. I HIGHLY recommend them! I use Caya brand, and it is the best thing ever. Super easy! 🙂

    • Hi Kelly,

      We are very happy to hear that you have discontinued the pill and are feeling an improvement in your health. Thank you for sharing your experience with melasma and your immune system healing. Wishing you well 🙂

      ~HB Team

  28. I have a question. I just started my BC, Sprintec, about 3 weeks ago. The reason I started was because I have horrible pain during and before my menstruales periods. Over the years it has just gotten worse and I found out that BC can stop my period and I can reduce my periods to only 4 times a year. I don’t have another solution. I have low iron and I have tried taking supplements and increasing the iron in my food and it hasn’t fully helped my problem. The pain is for 2 weeks so I have only about 2 weeks without pain or feeling like I’m going to pass out. Do you have any advice? Because I can’t keep having my period and taking so many over-the-counter pain relievers. I have tried Valerian, it works but can also make my cramps worse. I also use other herb teas in addition to my painkillers because just the painkillers are not enough. Any help would be great!!!!

    • Hi Kay,
      If you have been following Magdalena, you know that she encourages to support the body naturally through food, herbs and supplements. I hear what your are saying about your pain. It sounds very challenging. What are your thoughts on 4 cycles a year? If you are up for it, we would love to have you preview Magdalena’s new program called Estrogen Reset. She teaches about gut healing, liver support, and sugar balancing with nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods. You can see if the material speaks to you ~HB Team

  29. My daughter has been put on Yasmin contraceptive pill for her skin since August 18. During mid November, mid December and now mid January she has up to 3 days of migraine type symptoms. She can’t take her head off the pillow, tired and sickness.It is in week 2 of her cycle, so day 7-8 of her pill. I am reading up having been to the GP yesterday and trying to tell him I thought it was the pill, now thinking it could be an estrogen imbalance or at least when it surges. Can you help, what should I do? Thank you
    Submitted the wrong email on last post.

    • Hi I’m definitely not an expert but have been dealing with bad acne in my teens and recently when I got off birth control. I think there are Natural ways to control acne. Healthy and nutritious diet being the main one. In my experience If the focus is on balancing the hormones beutiful skin comes right after that. No need for synthetic hormones with horrible side effects. Good luck and hopefully everything works out 💪

  30. Right after I came off the pill my body went through a horrible transition. My cycles got irregular, my hair started falling, my skin went insane. Took me more than a year to get to some kind of a normal. Its been 2 years since I’ve taken birth controls but my cycles are still off! I’m ovulating later then I used to and I’ve been told that my body doesnt produce enough progestrone. (This is something that I have tested for before going on the pill and it was never a problem). I had a miscarriage last month which now my doctor suspects is because of my short lutheal phase. Just don’t use synthetic hormones! It is kind of obvious that it can’t be good for you! There are natural ways for birth control. Charting your cycle and temping has never been so easy. You can use an app that does it for you. By charting you feel more conected to your body and the knowladge is really empowering. Give it a try. Apps like Natural Cycles are FDA approved and work really well when used correctly! Good luck 🍀

  31. I absolutely loved this article. I’ve experienced literally every symptom from birth control, and now 23 drs are just starting to listen. My issue is, I took and still take birth control ONLY to stop my periods and not as an actual birth control. There are all the negatives to birth control but nothing about it to help with health issues. I switched to an IUD a few days ago after being on nuvaring for years. If this doesn’t stop my periods, and increase my testosterone to where I actually have any sort of sex drive and any testosterone, I’m stuck with removing my endometrial lining. Anyway I love this article and it’s SPOT ON on the risks, OBGYN’s don’t even know about hormonal levels and it’s ridiculous. Anyway I hope everyone reads through this because everything posted can actually happen and most drs don’t educate you because they really don’t know how it’ll affect you. Anyway I’m coming off of anti depressants, stimulants, and sleeping pills because all my issues are caused by birth control and we’ve just managed side effects for years. I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s so we’ll see if my thyroid gets better, fingers crossed.

      • Hi,
        I have been experiencing excess body hair on my stomach mostly around my belly button. I was wondering if this is from taking the pill? I have been on Yaz for about a year. I previous had an iud. The mirena. I am so insecure about the hair!!

        • Hi Maggie,

          Typically I think of sugar imbalances when it comes to hair on the stomach. However, it could be caused by various reasons. It may be best to speak with your medical professional and perhaps consider one of the natural methods mentioned above.

          In the meantime, check out our Cooking For Balance book or program, for tips on how to work on sugar balance.

          Healthy Regards,
          HB Team

  32. I have been struggling with endometriosis for a while, without knowing that ANYTHING was wrong. I assumed that everyone had god-awful cramps like I did, and even cramps in between periods and so forth.

    It wasn’t until I recently went to a gynecologist for a pap and some blood work did she tell me the symptoms that I described sounded like endo. After an examination and some more questions, she confirmed that it was, indeed, endo.

    She prescribed the pill Diane-35 to ease up the pain. I am to take them constantly for 3 months and 3 weeks, so that I only have periods a year and wouldn’t have to deal with the pain as much.

    Now, I have spotting ALL THE TIME (It’s beginning to look like mini periods), I still have the little cramps (like they were in between my period), and I think I have hormonal imbalance.

    I get really fatigued all of a sudden, to the point where I can’t stand up long enough to take a shower. I feel like I can’t catch my breath, or that I’m not getting enough oxygen in my lungs. My legs feel like I’ve been walking for miles, but I haven’t been anywhere.

    I’m due to go back to my gynecologist in four days (the earliest appointment I could get), and it can’t come fast enough.

  33. Hi Felix, thank you for sharing your story with us. We wish you luck on your healing journey. ~ Jeanne HB Team

  34. I’m curious about how BC affects you years after stopping. I used it for 3 yrs, but stopped 22 yrs ago. What are the long, long-term side-effects? Does the body eventually return to normal, or will you always experience lasting effects?

    • Hi Margaret, have you been struggling with long-term side effects associated with hormonal birth control? Here is a little quiz to give you an idea of possible hormonal imbalances

      If you are interested in learning more about how to find hormonal balance with proper nutrition, here is our exclusive, free 5-day access to lectures from the full Estrogen Reset program:

      I hope this helps!

      ~ Jeanne HB Team

      • Hi there. Got my first period @ 9. Started having irregular periods at 17, I used BCP for some months and later stopped. I’m 20 now and when I have my period I bleed for more than 7 days. Any suggestions?

  35. Hello! I’m a 16 year old girl, but my hormones got really messed up. I kept missing my periods, and some months I have my period. Which it is strange. Do you think birth control can help me balance out my hormones, my mom is getting me the pill. I’m literally scared that something might happen to me.. Anyways thanks! 🙂

  36. Hi there

    I’m hoping you could please give me some advice.
    I was on the pill for about 10 years (age 14-24), for my acne. During that time I still have always struggled with acne (but with certain pills it has improved) and lots of excess androgen symptoms, like hair on chest, chin, stomach and nipples, which have all gotten much worse in the last few years. I also can get really angry and aggressive. I was on Yasmin the last 5 or so years which is meant to be a low androgen index pill, but still had these symptoms. Is this normal? I’m now off the pill, and I have regular periods so I don’t think it’s PCOS. I understand coming off the pill (at 5 month mark) will cause a surge in this, but what concerns me is that I have always had these symptoms?
    Is it likely that being on the pill has actually caused me to have these problems?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Emma,

      Based on the symptoms you mentioned, it sounds like you could perhaps have an excess of testosterone. Magdalena shares that “high testosterone is a metabolic disorder that is usually caused by high sugar levels. Have you tested your fasting glucose, HA1C or insulin? They may be elevated. Bringing them down will help and food is the safest and most natural and non-invasive way to do that. You may be interested in checking out our Cooking for Balance program to help balance sugar levels, heal digestion and support liver.

      Feel free to reach out to [email protected] for further support.

      Healthy Regards,
      HB Team

  37. Hello. I’m desperately trying to find answers as to why I have had a swollen armpit for almost a year now. I’m beginning to think it could hormone related. I have had an ultrasound which came back fine and no lymph node inflammation. It’s only on my right side, my right breast is larger than the left and the armpit hair seems to grow quicker on this side. I was on the mini-pill for 5 years and since coming off I feel as though my health has been the worst it’s ever been, lots of unexplained pains, finding polycystic ovaries ( not PCOS) also on the right side. I can’t help but think my body almost had a shock when I came off the pill and is now acting a bit crazy. The swelling is fairly consistent but it definitely has its worse days, when it flares up it’s very uncomfortable, I constantly have to wear loose clothing etc. My GP doesn’t have much idea of what is going on and the only option they are suggesting is going back on the pill which I definitely do not want to do! Articles like this are so important as there is much much we are not told or made aware of.

    • Hi Alexandra,

      Thank you for sharing with us where you are on your healing journey. We would be happy to assist you further. Please reach out to [email protected].

      Healthy Regards,
      HB Team

      • Hi there. Got my first period @ 9. Started having irregular periods at 17, I used BCP for some months and later stopped. I’m 20 now and when I have my period I bleed for more than 7 days. Any suggestions?

        • Hey Mandy,

          A couple things to look into:
          Seed Rotation Method, Progesterone levels (take our free hormonal quiz), castor oil packs and Estrogen Reset program. All of these topics can be found in our blog!

          For further assistance, please feel free to reach out to [email protected]

          Healthy Regards,
          HB Team

  38. My daughter has been on BC pills for 10yrs. She started them at age 11 due to SEVERE menses. Her cycles had excessive bleeding for as long as 3 weeks and only stop for a few days before starting again. We were desperate to help stop her cycles from being so bad. Now 10yrs later she still does the same thing if she stops the pills. The entire time she is off she just bleeds (excessively). We know that BC pills have so many side effects, but the doctors dont really seem to want to address how to get her off of them. They think the pill is fine.
    HELP>>> how do we help her get off of them? She is nervous about being on them for so long, but also doesn’t want to deal with the issue of bleeding for weeks on end.

    • Hi Cheryl,

      First and foremost, I recommend for your daughter to meet with a functional medicine doctor. Here is a good tool to find one in her area:

      I also recommend checking out our Estrogen Reset program which offers a Menorrhagia (Heavy Period) Protocol.

      For further support from the HB team, please feel free to reach out to [email protected]. =)

      Healthy Regards,
      HB Team

  39. Hi,
    Thanks so much for all this information, it was a informative read..
    I have been told from blood test results, that I am low in testosterone.. my doctor did not say much on what I need to do to fix it..
    I had no idea on what low testosterone meant. I did some googling and I have so many of the side affects of low testosterone in a woman, sluggish, mood, Mussel weekness, low sex drive, weight gain, trouble sleeping.. the list goes on..

    I have been on the pill since I was 18 and I am 37 now..

    Do you think the pill caused the low testosterone?
    And what do I do to fix it?

    Please help a desperate lady

    Thanks Kiera

    • Hi Kiera,

      Testosterone is indeed an important female hormone. We might primarily think of it as a male sex hormone, but it’s very important for female well-being as well. It’s made in the ovaries from cholesterol, but also in the adrenals from DHEA’s, so it’s important again as with progesterone that we have a good intake of healthy fats to provide the building blocks for these hormones (take a peek at our PFF breakfast recipes). We can lose testosterone due to synthetic hormones or birth control pills, post-menopause, and/or stress.
      Strength training is beneficial for testosterone production. I would also recommend talking to a doctor who’s skilled in both women’s health and functional medicine to have these discussions. =)

      Healthy regards,
      HB Team

  40. Hi great amount of detail here just what I needed but I’m also scared of coming off the pill and in the meantime making me more depressed and I feel like I’m stuck in a loop not knowing what to do I would love to hear your opinion on my situation

    • Hi Rosie!
      I just came off almost a year ago due to terrible stomach pains and lymph nodes swelling up to the point where I couldn’t eat all surrounding my period. I had been on the pill for about 8/9 years. When I came off the pill my body felt an instant relief. Of course I was afraid at first, I didn’t know what to do, my doctor was not helpful, but I had a gut feeling that this was my only option. Many woman experience anxiety and depression while on the pill and do not even realize that the pill is the underlying cause that could be making matters worse! I would suggest that you evaluate the reasons you are on the pill in the first place, if it is solely to limit chance of pregnancy, then maybe try a different form of contraception. When I read stories of women coming off of the pill, 99.9% of them were extremely positive because they felt that much better and a lot of their symptoms, some they didn’t even know they had, were gone. I would suggest continue doing your research and try to come off of it. See how you feel. It may take a few months for everything to get back on track, depending how long you were on the pill, but it may be SO worth it. Trust yourself and how you feel, doctors these days do not warn you about all of the invisible symptoms that aren’t in their standard side effects list.

    • Hi Rosie, you could try seed cycling. A daily dose of flaxseed before your period may alleviate some depression and anxiety. You can consult your doctor about coming off the pill and address the issues that you’re afraid of, we definitely don’t want your mental health to suffer.
      If we can help with any more of your questions, feel free to send us an email at [email protected]
      Healthy Regards,
      HB Team

    • This article couldn’t be more true. I’m 18 and my doctor prescribed birth control for my pms symptoms. All bcp did was give me horrible brain fog, memory loss, and mood swings. I came off bcp 8 months ago, and my symptoms got WAY worse. My estrogen dominance still hasn’t gone away. I feel awful every day. My doctor doesn’t know what to do. I’m trying Vitex supplements to balance my hormones, but I still don’t know how many milligrams I should take, so I’m trying 225-450. Pray for me 🙁

      • I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to reply to this comment. This is my first time on this website so I thought I was just posting a comment and not replying haha

      • Restoring hormonal balance after using hormonal birth control can definitely be a struggle. Have you looked into Magdalena’s book Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, or her program Estrogen Reset? Both of these provide an in-depth road map to reverse symptoms of Estrogen Dominance and take a food-first approach to hormonal balance.

        Overcoming Estrogen Dominance:

        Estrogen Reset:

        Our support team is always here to help if you have additional questions! Please email [email protected].

        – HB Team

  41. Thanks so much for this blog!b I have come off the pill 4 months ago…however still have not got my period back! (Despite taking flax seeds every day and chaste vitex berry). I did a huge estrogen flush for a couple of months before coming off pill. Starting to get some hot flashes 4 months in… any advice/resources you could point me to re: POST-PILL AMENORREAH would be amazing! Xx

  42. Hi. My 14 year old daughter started taking birth control about three months ago to help stabilize her mood before her period. She would get very depressed the week before her period. About a month after she started taking it, she developed pain in her shoulders making it difficult to sleep. The pain is now also in her lower back. Is this something you have heard of? I am not sure if it is related but she is going off birth control. Also wondering what you would recommend to help with her dark moods before her period.

  43. Very interesting article. I was on BC for about 8 ish years or so, then my pharmacy put me on a different brand (they didn’t have available of what I was currently taking). After a few months I was getting horrible migraines. I did t realize until almost a few months later it was around my period. I quit taking them. Now almost 5 years later I STILL get them! Thank God it’s not as bad, but last few months I get migraines around the time I ovulate. Could the BC mess my hormones up so bad? I’m also soon to be 43, could age be part of it as well? Someone please help!!

  44. I got off the pill after about being on it for 15 years. About 3 to 6 months later I got my period and it was the heaviest it ever had been. I had many huge blood clots and I soaked through tampons and pads in 15 minutes or less. This was only one night. Luckily after a few hours it stopped. I went to my doctor a couple of weeks later and started back up on the pill. I had an ultrasound done and everything was normal. The next month I got my period again and it was even worst than last time. I had huge blood clots (baseball size), soaked through tampons in 15 minutes, and it lasted at least 7 days… I became dizzy and sick. I’m pretty sure I became anemic from all of the blood I lost. After that month my periods went back to being extremely light since I went back on the pill. And now I can never get off the pill with the fear of having to deal with being scared that I am going to bleed to death. But I guess the possibility of getting cancer isn’t too bad..*sarcasm* I wish i would have known that all of this would possibly happen. I wanted to get off the pill because I started not liking the idea of having fake hormones in my system and I didn’t have much of a need for the pill anymore. I’m also assuming that getting pregnant is never possible for me now, although I didn’t plan on having kids but I hope other people are aware of what could happen if you do go on the pill and what happens when you try to get off.

  45. Hi Britney, thank you for sharing some your story with us. Our bodies can go through an intense adjustment when transitioning off birth control. It is important for women to be educated on this transition and to connect with an integrative or functional practitioner to support them through this process. Since hormonal birth control heavily influences our hormonal regulation, this can cause intense imbalances and symptoms once women discontinue use. If you’re interested, we have deeply appreciated the work of Dr. Jolene Brighton. Here is her link if you’re interested,

    ~HB Support

  46. My hormone levels are dropping for a period and it’s not time for a period I’m not supposed to have a period and still taking the hormone birth control to keep my hormone levels up for the right week of my period. What do I do.

    • Hi Anna, We can’t advise why this would be happening, but for context it may help to know that the birth control pill suppresses your natural hormones, and supplements them with the synthetics from the pill, So you may need to speak with your practitioner to find out why it is not working for you, In the mean time, we recommend reading this article thoroughly. Take care! HB Support

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