Dealing with depression? Non-existent sex drive? Recently diagnosed hypothyroidism? Could be your hormonal birth control.
I took the pill for over 10 years. My hair would fall out by the handfuls, I was chronically dealing with food intolerances and digestive woes, I had absolutely no sex drive, dark hairs creeping up in unwanted places, and never ONCE pulled optimal thyroid values while taking OCP’s (despite thyroid meds and “doing all the right things”).
Many women go on HBC in efforts to find better skin, relief from heavy/painful cycles, to prevent pregnancy, or to not have a cycle at all – But it hasn’t been until the past few years that we’ve really seen a rise in discussion about potential side effects of hormonal birth control during use, or the symptoms we may be left with after we transition off.
It’s important to note that the drugs found in hormonal birth control are not the same as our naturally occurring hormones. Some even produce completely opposite effects! Progestins, for example, are more chemically similar to testosterone than our body’s own progesterone. Which is why progesterone is great for hair health, while progestins in birth control can cause hair loss. Or why progesterone typically improves mood and sleep, while progestins in birth control may cause anxiety or depression.
Great resources on women’s health and hormone include @drstacysims Roar, @drjolenebrighten’s Beyond the Pill, @larabriden’s Period Repair Manual, and @fertilityfriday’s The Fifth Vital Sign. Struggling with thyroid woes? Check out @drbeckycampbell’s 30 Day Thyroid Reset, @avivvaromm’s Adrenal Thyroid Revolution, Hashimoto’s Protocol, and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.The Hormone Cure by @saragottfriedmd is another great read, especially as we age.