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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth King

The Pill & Fertility

It’s estimated that 90% of females between the ages of 18-64 have used at least one method of contraception while in their reproductive years. These methods include condoms, withdrawal, IUDs, the Rhythm method, and the Pill along with several others.

The Pill is the second most common form of contraception in the US after the condom. If you have symptoms like irregular or absent periods, PCOS, endometriosis, cramping, or acne, you’ve likely been prescribed the Pill to help “manage” them. But is it really a helpful tool? Let’s dive deeper….

How does the Pill work?

The birth control pill works in three ways:

  • Preventing ovulation

  • Thickening cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching an egg that might have ovulated

  • Thinning the uterine lining to prevent implantation

Long term impacts of the Pill

Although the Pill is readily prescribed, many women are unaware of the side effects it may have, both while they are taking the Pill and after they have stopped. Long term impacts include:

  • Changing the nature of the mucus-producing cells in the cervix and impacting sperm migration

  • Depleting the woman’s body of essential B vitamins, Vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc, among others - all of which are necessary for supporting fertility

  • Damaging gut flora

I talk more about the impacts of the Pill in this podcast episode with naturopath and endocrinologist, Dr. Aumatma.

Coming off the Pill

If you or a client are currently on the Pill and are looking to discontinue its use, I recommend implementing extra measures of support for your body.

Here are some of my top tips for safely coming off the Pill:

  • First and foremost, speak to your medical provider and ensure you’re on the same page.

  • Incorporate more leafy greens and seed cycling into the diet to help the body detox from excess estrogen, a common side effect when women come off the Pill.

  • Take a B vitamin complex right away - before even discontinuing the Pill - to begin replenishing the depleted vitamin stores.

  • Invest in a good probiotic to support the gut flora. This is one of my favorites!

  • Begin tracking the cycle to ensure it returns on a monthly basis without debilitating symptoms.

As a fertility coach, I support a lot of women who have been on the PIll for years and are now trying to get pregnant. I also have a whole module dedicated to the Pill and other environmental barriers to fertility in Fertility Coach Academy®. The Pill is a common “answer” to many of the underlying health issues related to fertility, but it only masks the symptoms and leaves most women in a worse condition than when they started. However, with the proper guidance and support, women can restore their body and hormones to a balanced state.

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