Alright ladies, there’s going to be two groups of you reading this blog post.
There are the ladies that are wanting to come off contraception because they want to make healthier choices and take a holistic approach to their body and cycle. And then there are those of you that don’t like their period AT ALL, and don’t want to come off contraception or fall pregnant.
You might even be worried that it’s too hard to come off, because it means your symptoms that you had before you went on contraception “could” come back. Many women go on contraception to reduce cycle signs of period pain, to clear up acne, balance their weight, or prevent heavy bleeding. So you might not want to go back because these symptoms were your worst enemy and you dreaded them when you were younger.
So the question is – how do we rebalance the body when we’re making the transition in coming off contraception?
Is being on contraception safe for my body?
The first thing to ask yourself is, ‘What could it doing to my body that’s against the body’s natural ways?’
As women in the menstruating stage of life, we are designed to build up hormones and ovulate in the hopes of making babies (because that’s what we’re here to do for the survival of our species, it’s nat-u-raaaalll). Then when that doesn’t happen, we shred the lining that would have held the baby, and we bleed to release that lining. That’s the natural cycle of a woman every month during menstruation / child bearing years.
If we don’t want that to happen, then what are we blocking to prevent it? It’s like blocking your nose – we breathe through our nose and our mouths naturally. But what if we blocked our noses all the time – how challenging would it be to breathe? Breathing is a natural process, as is ovulation and menstruation.
So ask yourself – what is this contraception doing to my natural cycle? Is it working with or against my natural cycle? (I ask you this with full love and support, having been on contraception for 12 years! For me it was definitely working against… more on that later)
The body’s natural cycle is to ovulate, menstruate, ovulate, menstruate. Anything that blocks it affects the body, and the body will respond to that “road block” like a diversion, or in our breathing example opt for mouth breathing. This diversion can mean that there can be so much more to detoxify, more potential challenges on your digestion, and more stress on the body’s systems.
FYI – when we’re talking about contraception that might cause challenges, we’re talking about contraception that blocks your body’s natural processes. Anything in high dose can be toxic for the body, even water! – this includes natural hormones like oestrogen and progesterone, and minerals like copper, which is what many forms of contraception are based on today.
You’d be surprised how many women have toxic metal levels in their body which they have no idea about.
On the other hand, physical contraception like condoms and diaphragms are less likely to cause health problems, unless you have an allergy to latex! And of course there are MANY women (and men) that don’t like using these contraceptions as fertility control (I don’t blame you either). So let’s get to the good stuff!
How to come off Contraception Safely
(and with minimal side-effects)
Coming off contraception can be absolute hell – especially if you don’t know how to do it safely or in a way that supports your body. After 12 years on the pill myself, then quitting cold turkey and losing my period for 6 months, I know it can totally suck!
But I also know how important it is to take a supportive approach, not a restrictive approach to removing contraception (especially if that’s your goal). These are the steps I wish I had known when I was ready to come off the pill.
1. Get to know your cycle before you remove contraception
Even if you’re using contraception, you’re still experiencing a hormonal cycle. By tracking your cycle before you come off contraception (Pill, IUD, Marina whatever it is) you can still identify the changes throughout your cycle that you might not be aware of. These support you now and in the process of removing/reducing contraception. (Never tracked your cycle before, here’s a Free Guide.)
Things like food preferences, moods and emotions, energy levels, libido and discharge all change throughout your monthly cycle. By tracking them beforehand, you can become aware of any changes that occur, and therefore can support your body in coming back into balance. It also makes you wayyyyyy more body-aware, making the transition back into a natural cycle smoother.
A MUST: You need to listen to your body and trust it. It’s trying to reset it’s natural patterns (always), so it’s our job to support through these shifts.
2. Check your hormone levels before removing contraception
It can be helpful to know where your hormones are at before you come off contraception. This gives you a baseline, so when you do come off/remove, you can follow up with a second test in a couple of weeks/months. The changes between the two can lead to giving you important clues about what your body is trying to communicate through its hormone levels.
3. Support your body with nourishment
Despite our inventions and love of technology, we humans are of nature. So the best way to support your body is to give it food that is as close to nature as possible.
Whole foods such as brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, beans, whole grains, herbs and spices support the rebalancing process. I talk all about this in my free ebook: 7 Steps to Simplified Daily Health (it’s over here the shop!).
4. Remove liver-loaders
As you transition off contraception, you’ll want to explore minimising the load your liver has to deal with on a daily basis. If you’re giving your liver a longer “to-do” list, it can mean that it can take longer for it to bring everything back into balance! You see your liver is a powerhouse in the body, I like to call it the mother ship. It has many big responsibilities and ofter if something is slow in the body (our out of the body… like skin) it’s a great sign that potentially your liver could be working slow (or on overtime).
That means reducing (I’d recommend removing) things like caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and refined sugars until your body is back to flowing in it’s natural rhythms and cycle.
5. Give your body time (it’s not a race!)
When you’re coming off contraception, you’re giving your body a complete 180 u-turn. The longer you’ve been on contraception, the more challenging it can be for the body to remember it’s natural ways of how to ovulate and menstruate on it’s own without interference.
The longer you’ve been using contraception, the more likely it may take longer for your body to get it’s sync back. For me it was 12 years straight on the pill – to 6+ months of no menstruation. But every woman is so uniquely different – you might come back to a normal cycle 28 days after stopping the pill. The focus here is to not add stress to the process and give your body the space and time it needs to rebalance.
Give your body the time. It’s not a hare race, it’s a tortoise race!
Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!
What contraception are you on, or where you on?
Until next time!