Birth Control Cleansing FAQs
One evening after work, you open your social media handles for some idle scrolling and are immediately confronted with a barrage of advertisements for birth control cleansing and detoxes. Are those advertisements recommending goods you genuinely need to purchase if you believe you might quit using birth control? And are these products essential for "resetting" hormone levels and maintaining uterine health following birth control?
We explain everything in detail below in this blog, but here's the gist: hormonal birth control does not require a "cleanse" or "detox." Continue reading to learn more about this myth and what occurs after you discontinue birth control, whether you're doing so now or in the future.
What do we mean when we talk about birth control cleansing or detox?
Both words relate to medications or home treatments that "cleanse" your system of hormones following the cessation of hormonal contraceptives such as tablets or the intrauterine hormonal device (IUD). These terms are frequently used in conjunction with references to "post-birth control syndrome" and suggestions for "how to reset your hormones after the pill" — frequently from doctors who offer medications intended to address these ostensibly related issues.
The term "post-birth control syndrome," is not a medical word but is instead used to describe "symptoms" that occur after birth control is discontinued — but, as we will discuss in greater detail later, what you experience after birth control is not "symptoms" or "side effects" in the conventional sense. Rather than that, your reproductive system and body are simply reverting to their pre-birth control state.
So, the big question: Do you require a birth control cleanse?
The short answer is no.
After hormonal birth control, there is no need to "cleanse" or "detox." "There is a perception that since you are taking a drug that packs in production of the hormones is inherently harmful," "but the reality is that hormonal birth control is very safe."
Suggestions that discontinuing hormonal birth control may necessitate cleansing or detoxification are frequently made to promote goods — not because research supports them.
How long does hormonal birth control remain active in the body?
As previously said, synthetic hormones naturally exit your body. The following table summarises the typical duration of various birth control methods:
Combination of birth control pills (which contain estrogen and progestin) and mini pills are eliminated from the body 48 hours after ingestion (which are progestin-only).
Long-acting reversible contraceptives:
This type of birth control (including hormonal IUDs and the implant) is promptly eliminated from your system after your doctor removes it. (While the copper IUD is also a type of LARC, we will avoid discussing it here because of its non-hormonal nature.)
If the vaginal ring (NuvaRing) is not reinserted after 48 hours of removal, it no longer protects against pregnancy, and so we can presume it is expelled from the system after 48 hours.
Depo-Provera remains in your system longer than any other hormonal birth control method. This injection protects you from pregnancy for three months, ensuring that it remains in your system for that duration (though it can impact ovulation for as many as 18-22 months).
What can you expect in a world post-hormonal birth control?
To begin, let's dissect what happens when you take chemical birth control. Synthetic estrogens and progestins function by interfering with the ovulatory cycle. They also thicken the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to pass through and inhibit the uterine lining from thickening, rendering it uninhabitable for a fertilized embryo.
What happens after you discontinue birth control?
While how someone feels after discontinuing hormonal birth control is mainly subjective, what occurs or does not occur after discontinuing birth control can reveal a great deal about overall health:
- Hormonal birth control addresses (and hence masks) various symptoms associated with reproductive health problems such as endometriosis, heavy and irregular periods, or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and once discontinued, it ceases to do so.
- If you are diagnosed with PCOS after discontinuing birth control (or if you already know you have it but were treated with hormonal birth control and now want to try to conceive), you can speak with your healthcare provider about a non-contraceptive medication called metformin, which has the added benefit of assisting in ovulation induction.
Consult a doctor with Assurance if you do not experience periods after 90 days.
Side effects of hormonal contraception:
Birth control cleansing or stopping use of hormonal contraceptives, anticipate that some of the experiences and adverse effects you had previously will recur "Doctors with Assurance Disclaimer The following are some of the "side effects" you can anticipate after discontinuing birth control - and what you can do to alleviate them:
Some women may develop menstrual headaches around day 14 of their cycle if their bodies react negatively to decreased estrogen levels in the absence of hormonal birth control.
Because birth control reduces testosterone levels, it can help prevent breakouts. If starting the pill or another form of birth control that contains synthetic hormones helps manage your acne, you may have a recurrence of outbreaks once you stop. If this occurs, consult your healthcare physician or dermatologist to determine whether topical or oral drugs are available to treat breakouts.
3. Mood swings:
The effects of birth control on mood and sadness vary by individual:
Synthetic hormones alter their brain chemistry for some people, resulting in increased anxiety and despair that may subside upon cessation.
Others may feel increased mood swings and sadness due to shifting hormone levels or external anxiety associated with no longer being safeguarded from pregnancy.
Maintaining a good sleep schedule and incorporating 30-60 minutes of exercise into your daily routine will help with mood fluctuations. If you continue to experience depression and anxiety, you may wish to speak with your provider about selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
4. Weight changes:
Typically, weight gain or loss occurs after discontinuing a hormonal method of birth control — unless you're discontinuing Depo-Provera, which affects your appetite. You can also undertake a screening test to analyze other concerns that could contribute to weight gain.
5. Changes in sex drive:
If you are experiencing decreased sex drive due to oral contraceptives, it should rebound after birth control is discontinued.
6. Menstrual cramps:
If you had heavy or unpleasant periods while on birth control, anticipate those symptoms to return. Heating pads and exercise can help, as can taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as Motrin, Advil, or Aleve one day before your period begins, on the first day of your period, or when you first experience cramps. "Some women require continuous NSAIDs in the days preceding and including their menstruation,"
Will you need to undergo blood tests/diagnostics?
How can you tell if something is wrong after discontinuing chemical birth control? Will you need diagnostics like lab tests or even a simple blood test to find out? Well, maybe to check the levels of hormones, you might need to undergo testing.
If you're discontinuing a method of birth control other than Depo-Provera and your period hasn't returned after two to three months (a condition called amenorrhea), it's time to consult your doctor. If you are over 35 and trying to conceive, it is critical to consult your provider immediately.