How Hormonal Birth Control is
Doctor-Prescribed Hormonal Imbalance
Estrogen/progesterone are vital to a woman’s health and wellbeing. But a lot of women are missing out on one of those key players.
In order to produce progesterone, we have to release an egg and ovulate. This is detectable by feedback such as a rise in body temperature, change in cervical mucus, and a change in cervix position. If utilizing hormonal birth control, we do not ovulate and thus do not produce progesterone.
That’s the point, as it’s one of the primary ways hormonal birth control prevents pregnancy (*hormonal IUD being the slight exception, as we may sometimes ovulate).
Also worth mentioning that the progestins in hormonal birth control that are meant to mimic progesterone are actually more chemically similar to testosterone, thus they often do not elicit the same effect at a cellular level.
Our menstrual cycle is our best indicator of health. But when utilizing hormonal birth control, we’re shutting down communication between the brain/ovaries and flipping the “off” switch on our hormones.
Hormonal birth control can inhibit strength/performance in the gym. As well as inhibit thyroid function and alter gut health.
Over the past 12+ years of coaching hundreds upon hundreds of women, I’ve also seen it’s super common for women to struggle to successfully manipulate their body weight and body composition while utilizing hormonal birth control (I would also extend this statement to the non-hormonal/copper IUD).
I personally took the pill for 10 years and struggled terribly with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, gut issues, and never once saw optimal thyroid levels until I stopped taking the pill. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered the thyroid-oral contraceptive connection. I no longer struggle with mood or gut issues.
Hormonal birth control isn’t “bad” by any means — it’s up to every woman to decide what’s right for them, their life, and their body. And many women use contraceptives without issue.
But it certainly seems women aren’t being properly educated on the potential side effects of hormonal birth control, nor what may happen if they transition off (coined “post-birth control syndrome”).
As always, talk to your doctor before making any changes to your prescription routine. Great resources for more information include Dr Jolene Brighten’s Beyond the Pill and Lara Briden’s Period Repair Manual.