Post Hormonal Birth Control Syndrome
Never heard of it? You probably have.
Post Hormonal Birth Control Syndrome (PHBCS) involves any symptoms or conditions that develop after coming off hormonal contraception and doesn’t go away after four months.
PHBCS is sometimes called post-pill syndrome, but it includes symptoms that develop from any kind of hormonal contraception, including the oral contraceptive pill, IUDs, Merina, or Implanon.
Symptoms can include:
- Irregular periods
- Changes to body composition- weight gain, weight loss
- Mood disruptions- heightened anxiety, panic attacks, low mood, depression
- Hair loss
- Skin changes- usually acne but can also be super dry skin
- Lowered immune function
- Digestive issues- constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, gas
- Complete loss of periods (post-pill amenorrhea)
- Thyroid imbalances
Lots of women start using hormonal contraceptives to help them manage painful or heavy periods, acne, or other symptoms associated with their menstrual cycle. However, when they stop using hormonal contraception, these symptoms can come back with a vengeance.
Luckily, help is available
Sufferers often feel overwhelmed as they feel like their only solution is to go back on the pill. However, hormonal contraceptives suppress your normal menstrual cycle and replace it with a substitute. This might work for a while at treating your symptoms but will not address the underlying hormonal imbalances.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways we can restore hormonal balance and resolve these conditions using natural medicine, even if it's been months or years since the symptoms started.
I look at five main areas when repairing the body after hormonal contraceptives:
- Gut Health
- Liver detoxification
- Nutrient deficiencies depleted by the pill.
- Hormonal imbalances
- Mental Health
During our initial consult, we will do a deep dive into your symptoms and your history so that I can fully understand what is going on for you. I will ask you all about all your body systems, energy, stress, sleep, and diet. We will look at your periods before, during and after hormonal contraceptives and any other health conditions you may have.
I will then put together a plan for us based on a mix of your goals for treatment and my priorities for your health going forward. We then chip away that this treatment plan until you're feeling better.
Most hormonal work will take a minimum of 3 months to see complete resolution of symptoms, but most women start to notice differences from their first period after they have started their treatment plan.
I believe that periods are a great way to check in on how your hormonal health is going, and usually aim to line up your appointments with your periods each month to get the most value out of each session.
PHBCS is SO common! Once you start talking about it most people can think of at least one person they know who is struggling with some form of PHBCS.
I hope we can spread the word to as many women as possible, who often feel helpless, to let them know that there are other safe and effective solutions to their symptoms. There is no need to suffer in silence with painful, irregular, or heavy periods.