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Does the Birth Control Pill Affect Fertility?

Has your fertility been damaged by the contraceptive pill?

Are you concerned that the years of taking birth control has affected your Fertility? then you are not alone.  In my initial Fertility consultation with a woman I always ask her if she has taken the contraceptive pill / used birth control or had the marina coil, injection, nuvaring or implant and the answer is almost always yes, I’d say 98% of the time, which is HUGE!

Despite what doctors say about how you mustn’t take birth control continuously, the number of women who tell me that they took it for 5,10,15, 20 and sometime even 25 years pretty much continuously is still completely shocking to me.   It’s a drug, like any other that comes with a whole host of side effects and yet for some reason we just don’t see it like that.  I’m sure the media and society as a whole have played a major role in this common misconception.   Some women have said to me that they questioned its safety with their doctor, but they were always told that it’s perfectly safe to take and won’t have any long-term effects on their health and fertility.

Is the birth control pill actually perfectly safe?

Sadly, my clinical experience of working with so many women trying to get pregnant, tells me otherwise.  The sheer volume of women that say to me that their cycle has never been the same since they came off birth control or that they have had migraines or depression or IBS or thrush as well as a host of other issues since taking the pill is massive.  You only have to ask women how they felt when they stopped taking it to know how much it’s impacting them because they always say, I feel like myself again.

Birth control is a drug like any other

I’ve come to the conclusion that when it comes to toxins, synthetic hormones found in contraceptives tend to cause the biggest disturbances to our health.  This is because everything that happens in the body is regulated by hormones of one kind or another and when one set it out of balance it affects them all.

Balancing your hormones after birth control

These women’s bodies have been denied the chance of balancing their hormones through the natural cyclical process of ovulation and menstruation because they were on the pill and the pill just switches the whole reproductive system off.

The Female system gets stuck between on and off

I often say to my clients if you had a brand new Mercedes and you parked it up and didn’t drive it for 1 year, I am sure that when you went to start the ignition, it wouldn’t start.  Sadly, the female reproductive system is no different.  What I see is that following stopping the pill, it’s almost like the female system gets stuck halfway between off and on, so the bleed comes every month but ovulation isn’t actually happening properly.

The pill flatlines the hormones

In a way, these contraceptive drugs mimic a state of menopause by suppressing the menstrual cycle.  To do this in a woman’s fertile phase of life has dire consequences for their long-term health and I am wondering if this is one of the reasons that infertility is massively on the rise.

Luckily there are things we can do to cleanse the residue of the pill from your body, reset the endocrine system and restore hormonal balance.  Firstly, I would recommend some individualised homeopathic treatment to help cleanse the pill out of your system and reset/balance your hormones and endocrine system. Contact me to find out more about that.

7 day cleanse to boost fertility after the birth control pill

A great starting point however before that would be a simple 7 day cleanse that you can do at home, which simply involves adjusting your diet slightly to take the pressure off the liver so it can cleanse all unwanted toxins from the system.

Here are some basic guidelines for the week prior to doing the cleanse:

  • Stop drinking beverages containing caffeine and sugar and reduce coffee to 1 cup per day to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
  • Reduce your refined carbohydrate intake (white bread, sugar, white pasta, crackers, biscuits, and all junk food).
  • Stop eating processed and fatty foods.
  • Stop drinking alcohol.
  • Stop eating salt.
  • Stop eating sugar and other sweeteners.
  • Reduce intake of animal products like milk, cheese, dairy, shellfish, beef, pork and all processed meats like ham and bacon. Fish, chicken, and turkey from healthy sources are fine.

It is possible to go straight into the cleanse if you already eat a fairly healthy diet that doesn’t contain many of the above products. If your diet does contain lots of caffeine, sugar and processed food then you need to decrease these gradually or you could actually feel quite unwell for a few days.

The Cleanse:

Day 1-5: Start with hot water with the juice of ½ lemon. To protect Vitamin C in the lemon juice, make sure you don’t pour boiling water over the juice. Instead, pour boiling filtered water into a cup, add some room temperature water and then put the juice on top. I use ½ a lemon but you can use more or less to suit your taste. This is a practice that you can continue forever to help you start the day in a healthy way as it flushes the liver out. Have a good stretch, go for a walk in the fresh air.

BREAKFAST

Have fruit – a bowl of fruit salad, mixing 2 or 3 different kinds. Frozen berries can be used, these are especially good during winter months (gently heat them in a bowl in the oven for 15 minutes until defrosted & warm). A tablespoon of good natural yoghurt, or a tablespoon of oat or rice bran may be added.

Alternatively, you can have a:

liquid breakfast:

A juice: a mixture of carrot, celery, beetroot, apple and a piece of ginger works well (Organic if possible) Any variety of fruits and vegetables is fine (but only use 1 piece of fruit and the rest vegetable)

A smoothie– blend together a cup of some Almond milk*, sugar free oat or coconut milk with 2 fruits (either a handful of berries, a banana, a kiwi, some melon, pineapple or pear), a heaped dessertspoon of a good quality protein powder (brown rice protein powder or pea protein is good) or 2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt, a dessertspoon of crushed linseeds or any crushed nuts or seeds. This smoothie is great as a post-workout boost if you do lots of training or if you have a very physical job use as a snack.

Alternatively, you may have a bowl of porridge made from either oats or millet (gluten-free) with coconut, almond or oat milk.

LUNCH

Have a large raw salad – mixed organic leaves, grated raw veggies (carrot, courgette, beetroot etc.), red, yellow or orange peppers, avocado, small florets of broccoli or cauliflower, thinly sliced cabbage etc. Also, try lightly steamed green beans or asparagus. Make a good dressing with olive oil, lemon juice & fresh herbs.

Alternatively, make up a batch of vegetable soup – lightly sauté onions & leeks in a little olive oil, then add plenty of chopped vegetables, such as carrot, peppers & pumpkin or celery, courgette & broccoli. Cover with vegetable (low salt) stock & simmer until cooked. You may have several bowls of this over the afternoon if needed. To make it more filling you can add a tin/cup of dried, washed & cooked organic lentils, chickpeas/black beans or other legumes.

EVENING MEAL

Have one of the choices from lunch. Alternatively, have a plate of steamed vegetables, drizzled with olive oil. If you are very hungry, have a baked sweet potato.

DRINKS

Lots & lots of water: clean and filtered. Herb teas are fine. If you usually drink lots of tea or coffee reduce your consumption prior to the cleanse. It is preferable to have only water and a variety of herbal teas.

DAYS 6 & 7

 Breakfast: as above or you can have some porridge with soy, rice or goats milk or almond milk. Or you can have some homemade muesli made with oats, seeds, nuts, oat or rice bran, dried fruit etc.

Lunch: as above and you can add some form of alternative bread or crackers,

such as rice cakes, spelt or rye bread or oatcakes.

Evening meal: as above & you can add a small portion of a protein-based food such as tofu, egg, chicken, fish or beef. It must be of good quality, grass fed, preferably organic.

NOTES

  • Most people lose 3 -4 pounds on the above cleansing diet. If you do not need to lose any weight or you need to gain some weight- you need to add in more calories to the program. Have an avocado with your lunch or 2 tablespoons of hummus or other healthy dips. Also, have a handful of unsalted nuts or seeds mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Or have some organic yoghurt. Cleansing diets don’t suit everyone so check in with me if you are unsure.
  • Drink plenty of good quality water. A small glass every hour that you are awake is ideal. A jug filter or an under-sink filter is recommended. Herbal teas are also recommended.
  • You will need to do some exercise each day, such as two 20 –30 minute walks. Or do yoga, dancing or swimming.
  • You may feel tired or have other symptoms during the first few days. You may need to go to bed earlier & drinking lots of water will help. The herb Milk Thistle will help the liver to get rid of toxins.
  • Take great care after completing the above program not to resume previous poor dietary choices. Reintroduce healthy foods slowly and note if you appear to react to any foods as they are being reintroduced.

*Almond Milk recipe:

Soak about 12-15 organic almonds in water overnight. Discard the water then add a litre of fresh filtered water. Put in blender and process on high for 2 minutes. You can add a few drops of natural vanilla essence. At this stage, you can either strain it through some muslin (nut bags are sold on Amazon) or just use it complete with a few bits.

If you are interested in working with me or finding out more about how I work then read about my fertility rejuvenation programme.