Last Update: December 11, 2023
Women have been asking experts how to balance hormones while on birth control, and for years there have been varying answers.
Popping those tiny birth control pills every day usually goes one way or another for women— it either clicks and makes you feel like you’re on hormonal cruise control, or (let’s be real) it turns you into an emotional and physical wreck. Choosing the right birth control method is a personal choice for everyone, and there are pros and cons to consider before committing to a method.
Some imbalances may be unavoidable, and then the question becomes how long for hormones to balance after stopping birth control. Ultimately, many want to know how to fix hormonal imbalance while on birth control.
First, let’s look at the benefits of the pill.
Any gynecologist will tell you—hormones are powerful stuff, and the hundreds of formulations on the market prove it’s not one-size-fits-all science . The benefits are great, of course: Pregnancy prevention, acne reduction, menstrual cycle regulation, not to mention the convenience.
While there are numerous benefits to birth control pills, some women experience side effects that are hard to swallow. Common combination formulations like Ortho-Tricyclen, Yasmin, Yaz, the Nuva Ring (the ring), and Ortho Evra (the patch) administer synthetic estrogen and progestin into your body to inhibit the natural hormones that make you ovulate, which fools your body into thinking it’s already pregnant . Pretty clever, hormones.
Aside from weight gain, bloating, migraines, tender and even enlarged breasts, and a lowered libido, perhaps the worst potential side effect is that insidious feeling of anxiety or depression that makes some women feel like they’re riding an emotional roller coaster .
At that point, you’d do about anything to fix the hormonal imbalance and feel a little steady again. But playing tricks on your body can really throw things off kilter.
If you’re not ready to give up on your birth control method just yet, it might be time to experiment with your diet to naturally re-balance these chemical messengers . There are supplements and vitamins that may help balance hormones. Whether you’re getting these nutrients through food or supplements, you may be surprised what a difference they can make.
1. Folic acid, riboflavin (B2), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc may be depleted when using hormonal birth control or experiencing hormonal imbalance. Supplement these nutrients if you’re not getting enough in your daily diet.
2. A DHEA supplement can also help balance testosterone and estrogen levels .
4. The liver needs to metabolize synthetic hormones from birth control, and that can be taxing. Drink dandelion tea or ingest dandelion herbs for a liver detox.
Illustration by Karley Koenig
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