If you’re considering quitting the pill, congrats! You’re taking a huge step toward reclaiming your health, happiness, and hormones. And you’re not alone. Surveys suggest that 70% of millennials have ditched (or are thinking about ditching) hormonal birth control.
Seriously—the list of birth control’s harmful effects never ceases to amaze us, and yet it’s the most common Band-Aid solution doctors rely on to spot-treat deep-seated endocrine issues. Many doctors recommend the pill to “solve” symptoms, but the pill doesn’t solve anything. Symptoms disappear because the pill covers them up. Meanwhile, the root causes of your symptoms continue to simmer beneath the surface—and the longer they go unaddressed, the harder they are to treat. Not only that, the pill can damage the microbiome, increase inflammation, suppress ovulation, and lead to micronutrient deficiencies.
So yes—quitting the pill is one of the most significant things you can do in the process of hormonal healing. But saying goodbye to the pill without knowing how to protect yourself from rebound symptoms can cause them to return with a vengeance—especially if you give up the drugs cold turkey. That’s because your body suddenly has to manage and balance its own hormones for the first time in months or years, and it goes through a re-education process as your natural hormone cycle comes back online. Luckily, there are smart strategies for coming off the pill. We've developed a foolproof plan for quitting synthetic hormones once and for all, and sidestepping the unpleasant symptoms that can come with it.
The Surefire Plan to Transitioning Off the Pill Without Symptoms
- Discuss it with your doctor. Before you take the plunge, let your doctor know that you’ll be coming off the pill. A good doctor will help you find alternative, natural methods of contraception & support you through the change.
- Start the FLO protocol ASAP. A lot of women don’t realize that they need to lay the groundwork for hormonal health before they quit synthetic hormones. Cycle-Syncing® your diet and exercise while you’re still taking the pill can make this transition much gentler on your endocrine system and ease post-pill side effects like acne, insomnia, mood swings and irregular cycles. Moving into a FLO lifestyle will enable your body to begin the process of detoxification & recalibration, readying it for a pill-free lifestyle.
- Identify and address nutrient deficiencies. Synthetic hormones deplete your body of vitamins and minerals, especially B vitamins, vitamins C and E, and the minerals magnesium, selenium, and zinc. If you’re considering coming off the pill, consider taking a high-quality supplements now to make the transition easier. The FLO Living Balance Supplement Kit contains all of these key nutrients.
- Start tracking your period. If your periods return quickly and they become regular, great! If not, then it’s likely that there is an underlying health problem that we recommend you address naturally with food changes. Many women do find it takes months for their period to show up and even then it is sporadic. Tracking your cycle before you stop the pill, and using our eating plan during the transition, will help you avoid this. If your period still isn’t back in six months, investigate potential underlying causes with your doctor. You’ll want to rule out insulin resistance, PCOS, thyroid troubles, vitamin D deficiency (as well as the deficiencies mentioned above), and severe food sensitivities like celiac disease (though we recommend avoiding gluten no matter what).
- Re-establish a healthy gut. The pill ravages your internal microbial ecosystem. The longer you’ve been taking it, the worse the impact on your body. When you’re on the pill, eating good, clean, healthy food is the best way to start the healing process, but in order to fast track your healing, you’ll need a powerful probiotic to replenish the balance of good gut bacteria. The probiotic in the FLO Living Balance Supplement Kit is a highly-concentrated dose that helps balance flora, support mood, improve digestive function and nutrient absorption, and reduce the chances of getting yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
- Make more of your own hormones. Vitamin B6 is essential for making progesterone. Include whole foods that are rich in B6 in your diet, like bananas, spinach, sweet potato, garlic, chicken, grass-fed beef, and salmon. Supplements are also key here. The Energize formula in our Balance Supplements Kit is a powerful B vitamin combination that supplies most of the B vitamins in their coenzymated forms. Incorporating lots of good quality fats and amino acids in your diet is essential, too - they’re what hormones are made from and what your body needs to start making more of its own and fast. If you can and do eat animal protein, have fish and organic poultry as well as pasture-raised eggs (including their yolks), olive oil, and avocados. It’s particularly important to get enough high-quality omega-3 fats. Omega-3s are less abundant than other types of fats in our modern food supply, so supplementing is often necessary. The Harmonize formulation in our Balance Supplement Kit contains fish oil that’s ultra potent and delivered in the form found in nature, to support hormone production and healthy ovulation.
- Do an estrogen detox. A lot of women are hit with a condition called estrogen dominance after quitting the pill—the most common cause of all hormonal dysfunction. Leafy greens are the absolute best way to combat this problem. Tuck into kale, chard, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and more (at every meal if you can!). To speed up estrogen detox, supplement with the Detox formula in the Balance Supplement Kit. It offers liver support for overall detox function and supports healthy detox of excess estrogen, which is essential to regaining your hormonal health.