Here’s How To Get Your Period Back After Going Off Birth Control
Oral birth control prescriptions are handed out to teenagagers and young adults for a variety of reasons, from hormonal acne and painful periods to preventing pregnancy. Years pass and these same individuals start thinking about having kids, or maybe just want to know how their bodies will feel without the constant influx of synthetic hormones. They stop taking the pill and are surprised to find that their period doesnt come back right away, sometimes for months.
This isnt everyones story, of course. Some bounce right back and begin ovulating again immediately, or within a few months. But as more and more individuals who have been on the pill for upwards of 10 years start to come off of it, theyre caught off guard by what is technically called secondary amenorrhea, or not getting a period for three months or more after having had one previously.
Because secondary amenorrhea is such a common problem, theres quite a bit of advice floating around social media on getting your period back, particularly among wellness influencers. Supplements seem to work for some, while others end up seeking the help of doctors to trigger a period for them.
If this is something youre struggling with, a conversation with your doctor is always a good first step. Below, find some other actionable things you can do.
Tips To Help Menstrual Management
Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, before the start of each period can reduce the amount of blood by 30 to 40 percent and may also help with cramps and diarrhea.
Period underwear, absorbent underwear designed specifically for menstrual blood, is a useful way to be prepared for an irregular cycle or to provide back-up for tampons or menstrual cups. Some may find the price limiting and period underwear may not be convenient if it needs to be changed outside of the home.
The combination oral contraceptive pill the birth control pill with estrogen commonly referred to as the pill is a common way to manage menstruation-related concerns. Periods will be predictable, generally are lighter, and cramps and diarrhea often improve.
The pill can also be taken continuously, meaning a person can skip the placebo week of pills in that package so periods are less frequent for example every 8 or 12 weeks. When the pill is taken this way every month, by one year, 72 percent of women will have no periods. Unpredictable spotting is a common side effect, especially in the first few months.
The birth control pill without estrogen is an option for teens who cannot take estrogen for medical reasons, although typically it is less effective at menstrual period manipulation.
Tip #4 Get Good Sleep
This is crucial for good health. Our bodies need to recover from the day while we sleep. If the quality and/or quantity of sleep is lacking, it can have a profound effect on wellbeing.
- Make sure your bedroom is dark. Cover any lights that stay on continuously, like those on power strips. Cover LED clocks. Put up room darkening window treatments.
- No screens in the bedroom. The screens from televisions, tablets, laptops and phones emit light that closely mimics daylight. Your brain cant tell the difference.
- Its best to stop watching TV and looking at screens 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Utilize the night shift setting on your mobile phone.
- Add a blue light dimming app to computers. I use f.lux
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Another Switch I Made Which I Believe Has Made A Huge Difference
Switching to Organic tampons and pads. Synthetic pads and tampons are made out of rayon, soaked in dioxin , and they completely throw off your PH balance. A few of these companies have made an organic version though so look out for those! Some pads and tampons have added fragrance which throws off the PH balance even more. The ingredients in fragrance are undisclosed, so Lord only knows what other toxic chemicals youre exposing yourself to.
Also, because rayon is so drying, it increases your risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. Rayon is doused in pesticides and dioxin bleaches the rayon and youre sticking that up extremely absorbent tissue! No wonder so many women struggle with PCOS, endometriosis, fertility issues, reproductive cancers, and overall really difficult periods!
Organic pads and tampons are made out of Organic cotton and are free from dyes, fragrance, pesticides, and hormone disrupting chemicals. Organic cotton isnt nearly as drying as rayon, so switching to Organic feminine products lowers the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. Youre also not putting cancerous chemicals in your body.
When One Size Doesnt Fit All
If acne is largely due to a hormonal imbalance, wouldnt it be best to get to the root cause of that imbalance, rather than continuing to throw your hormones out of whack?
Because bad acne can often be a sign of larger underlying health issues like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome , getting your reproductive health in order can often help treat acne, too. Doctors trained in Natural Procreative Technology are specially trained to root out many of the underlying hormonal issues that often lead to acne and treat them without using the Pill.
If your acne isnt extremely severe, there are some changes you can make at home to improve things. Consider trying some of these tips to get your acne under control naturally:
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What Are The Most Common Symptoms Of Pcos
PCOS can be a difficult condition to pin down because it often presents a wide variety of symptoms and there is no typical person with PCOS for example, some people with PCOS may be overweight, while others are slim. This means that there are instances where it is not correctly diagnosed.
Specialists have broadly defined PCOS as being characterised by the presence of at least two out of the following three main symptoms:
- Menstrual cycle disturbances , which also indicates irregular or absent ovulation
- Higher testosterone levels, which cause symptoms such as hirsutism , male pattern hair loss and acne
- Small multiple follicles arranged around the outside of the ovary, visible on an ultrasound scan
How To Balance Hormones Naturally Faq
The truth is, your body is always trying to communicate with you. When you experience hormonal symptoms like mood changes, tender breasts, irregular periods or acne, your body is sending you a clear sign that something is out of balance.
It can be tempting to take a pill or another quick-fix solution to mask these symptoms. These band-aid solutions can work short term, but ultimately dont address the root cause of the imbalance. By exploring the triggers for your symptoms and identifying hormonal imbalances, you can get rid of your period symptoms for good and experience blissful, drama-free cycles.
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Skip Your Placebo Week Of Oral Contraceptives
Some types of birth control pills come with three weeks of active pills and one week of placebo pills. If you skip the week of placebo pills and start a new pack of active pills, instead, then the hormones in the active pills will prevent you from bleeding that week.
However, its important to note that if this is your first time skipping a placebo week you may experience some irregular bleeding or light spotting, says Ross.
After two to three months of skipping your placebo week, you should see little to no spotting. Therefore, Ross recommends planning several months ahead if you know your period will coincide with a big upcoming occasion.
Moreover, you can get birth control pills in packs that last 28 days, 90 days, and even 365 days. Thats right, you can go a year without your period while on the pill.
Being able to stop your period completely is one of the most beneficial side effects associated with the pill and its completely safe, says Ross.
Removal Of Fibroids Or Polyps
Surgery may be necessary if benign growths in or on the wall of the womb are causing heavy periods. Doctors can remove fibroids through the vagina or abdominal cavity. This operation is called fibroidectomy or myomectomy. The uterus is not removed during this procedure, so the woman can usually still get pregnant afterwards.
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How To Change Your Period Cycle On Birth Control
How to skip or delay a period using birth control. To skip a period using a traditional combined pill, a person must take active pills every day without interruption. If a pack contains active pills and placebo pills, they are usually clearly labeled. Or, the placebo pills may be a different color from the active pills.
Cause #: Thyroid Disorders
Although this may be an indiscernible problem, your thyroid can cause many issues related to hormonal imbalances. Studies have shown that thyroid disorders may actually be one of the leading causes of missed periods, affecting nearly 15% of amenorrhea patients. The thyroid gland largely controls your metabolism and impacts many sex hormones, therefore, thyroid disorders like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can cause widespread symptoms like changes in estrogen and therefore missed periods.
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How Can I Stop Prolonged Periods Naturally
Heavy periods may be a sign of some underlying health condition. You must consult your doctor if you get prolonged or heavy periods or if there is a sudden increase in blood loss during your periods. Quite often, heavy and prolonged periods may be a result of nutritional deficiencies. There are a few home remedies for a heavy period. However, you should consult with your doctor before trying any of these remedies. Most of these remedies lack medical or scientific evidence. Some home remedies for managing prolonged periods include
Tip #1 Clean Up Your Diet
Eating a healthy diet is important, not just for managing blood sugar, but for reducing inflammation, as well. Elevated blood sugar is a common symptom of PCOS, and it can be highly inflammatory to the body. In addition, for those who are carrying excess pounds, studies have shown that losing as little as 10% of your body weight can be enough to normalize ovulation. To be honest, this is a diet we can all benefit from.
*Cut out added sugars and processed foods.
*Eat the rainbow. Enjoy lots of leafy greens and colorful vegetables and fruits, and try to keep it to a 2:1 ratio
*Eat plenty of healthy fats, like olives and olive oil, avocado and avocado oil, real organic butter, wild-caught fish like salmon, sardines, mahi-mahi, mackerel and trout.
*Do not use corn oil or Canola oil.
*Minimize carbohydrate intake. This does NOT mean I recommend a ketogenic diet, which will ultimately work against you. For blood sugar management, I recommend limiting your net carbohydrate consumption to about 60 grams per day, not including green veggies, carrots and beets. Calculate your net carbs like this:
TOTAL CARBS TOTAL FIBER = NET CARBS
There are several handy smartphone apps that help track your food. Im not suggesting you count calories or track anything other than your carbohydrates, so if you have an aversion to tracking your food, that should take some of the pressure off.
*Cut out caffeine and alcohol. You can have green tea, even though it has a little caffeine.
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Cause #: Extreme Weight Loss And Low Bmi
When your body mass index falls below 18 or 19, you may miss your period because of the lack of body fat, which is essential in the creation of estrogen. A diet thats low in calories and fat can result in nutritional deficiencies that contribute to irregular periods and bone loss. This is not to say that every woman that experiences missed or irregular periods will be underweight or nutritionally deficient. Many are at a normal weight and some are even what is considered overweight on the BMI scale.
How Well Does The Pill Regimen Mimic The Normal Menstrual Cycle
The standard combined oral contraceptive consists of both hormones P and E, taken daily for three weeks, followed by a week of no pills that trigger whats known as breakthrough bleeding, induced by the drop in hormones. Although the outward appearance is the same the constant high levels of P and E for a woman taking the Pill actually abolish the normal hormonal cycling that underlies ovulation. The Pill therefore replaces the normal menstrual cycle with an artificial cycle . Historically, women have been pregnant or nursing much of their adult lives and thereby suppressing ovulation naturally, suggesting that halting menstruation is not inherently harmful. Yet, many women still wonder if it is safe to eliminate menstruation using oral contraceptives.
Amanda Nottke, Harvard Medical School
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Irregular Is Different For Everyone
The most important thing for patients to understand is your period and your regularity is different from other peoples, says Dr. Ying Zhang, a family medicine doctor who sees patients at the UW Neighborhood Northgate Clinic and the Family Medicine Clinic at Harborview Medical Center.
Maybe youve heard that a normal cycle is between 28 and 30 days. Or that your period should last four or five days max.
This may be true for some people, but in reality periods can vary a lot more and still be considered normal.
Cycles that last as few as 21 days or as long as 40 days are possible, Zhang says.
In terms of length, a normal period usually lasts between two and seven days.
So if you occasionally skip a period or your period comes late some months, theres probably nothing to be worried about. Still, if youre thrown off by your periods irregularity and want to get a better sense for any patterns well, theres an app for that.
A lot of people use period tracking apps, which is helpful to understand what is happening with their cycle and the duration, Zhang says.
When To Call A Doctor
Call your doctor if you have had regular, monthly periods and the pattern changes. Your doctor may give you a physical exam and other tests to rule out pregnancy or a health problem.
- You miss three or more periods a year.
- You get your period more often than every 21 days.
- You get your period less often than every 35 days.
- You are bleeding more heavily than usual during your period.
- You bleed for more than 7 days.
- You have more pain than usual during a period.
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