Many women turn to birth control to prevent pregnancy, reduce period frequency and symptoms, and occasionally reduce acne. While birth control may be helpful in these circumstances, it can have lasting effects you may not consider when you begin the medication. It isn't until you start trying for a baby that you realize your body may need a reset after years of being on the pill.
If you've come across a birth control cleanse while researching post-pill information, you may have wondered what these detoxes are all about. Our helpful guide will cover what a birth control cleanse is, whether or not it's safe, and if there are any benefits.
Birth Control Basics
Birth control or the pill is hormonal pregnancy prevention. There are various kinds of birth, including oral pills, a patch, a ring, and an injection. Some women may take birth control for other reasons, but its primary purpose is to stop ovulation to prevent fertilization. In order to interrupt ovulation, the medication contains hormones that inhibit your body's natural hormones. Birth control can also make the uterus uninhabitable to inhibit implantation and thicken cervical mucus, decreasing sperm's chance of swimming to an egg.
There are two forms of the pill. The mini pill only contains progestin. Combination pills, known as COCs, contain both progestin and estrogen. They both fool your brain into thinking your body is ovulating. At the same time, your ovary never receives the hormonal signal telling it to release an egg.
As you can imagine, if you take birth control for years that works against your body's natural hormones, there may be a few adverse side effects when coming off the medication. Doctors advise that most forms of birth control will be out of your system within a week, but it could be months before your periods return to normal. However, some women become pregnant immediately after stopping birth control.
Still, other women may desire to reset or cleanse their system after taking the pill. Even if they could become pregnant, they want their womb to be the most supportive and nourishing place possible for their growing baby, which can sometimes mean devoting time to pre-conception.
What Happens When You Stop Birth Control?
As the synthetic hormones leave your body, ovulation should eventually return. However, as your natural hormones begin to take over, signaling the return of your cycle, you can experience symptoms. Common post-birth control symptoms include:
Fluctuations in sex drive
The severity of these symptoms can vary from woman to woman. As your cycle returns to normal, the symptoms should ease up and eventually disappear. However, if you began taking birth control to reduce any of these issues, your symptoms may not dissipate. Tracking your cycle after you stop birth control can help you keep track of symptoms and determine when your cycle is returning to normal.
What is a Birth Control Cleanse?
One way in which some women might try to rejuvenate their womb post-birth control is through a birth control cleanse. A birth control cleanser usually involves eating and drinking certain things or taking supplements that can help flush out the synthetic hormones and rebalance your body's natural rhythm.
Many birth control cleanse products will contain a combination of herbs, vitamins, and minerals. The main goal of these cleanses is to remove synthetic hormones from the body and rebalance the reproductive system.
There is currently no evidence that birth control cleanses work or if they are necessary. However, every woman's body is different and can have different needs. Additionally, many of the ingredients in pre-conception or post-birth control cleanse products may be supportive of a woman's reproductive system in general, whether or not she was experiencing negative side effects from the pill.
How Do Birth Control Cleanses Work?
Most birth control cleanses work by suggesting you either take a supplement or products in drink form. One key ingredient you'll find in almost all birth control cleanses is chaste berry, also known as vitex. You may also find folic acid, vitamins, and iodine. These detoxes claim to help your body flush out synthetic hormones faster, regulating your cycle sooner and promoting uterine health.
You mix the supplement with plain water and take them daily. Usually, they suggest you take them for 2-3 cycles, with the first cycle beginning on the day your first period arrives post-medication.
Are Birth Control Cleanses Beneficial to Fertility?
There is currently no research to support birth control cleanses, and most medical experts don't deem detoxes necessary. This is because the human body naturally works to flush out unnatural substances, like synthetic hormones. In most cases, your liver can rid your body of birth control within a week.
However, many of the ingredients and herbs in birth control cleanses may still be quite beneficial to your reproductive system. Much of the vitamins, minerals, and herbs found in these supplements have traditionally been used to boost fertility. So, while your body may not need help ridding itself of birth control, it can certainly still benefit from some of these supplements.
For example, chaste tree berry (vitex) has been found to promote regular cycles and hormonal balance. It can also help stimulate ovulation, boosting fertility in women. Additionally, chaste tree berry has been found to ease premenstrual and menopause symptoms.
Nettles, another common ingredient, have been found to increase fertilization rates in those suffering from PCOS. Shatavari is believed to soothe the uterus, reducing contractions. Another herb, red clover, has been shown to help reduce menstrual symptoms, possess anti-oxidant qualities, and regulate blood sugar levels.
As you can see, many of the natural compounds found in post-birth control support supplements benefit women's reproductive systems. Furthermore, the best supplements don't necessarily have to be used only by women looking for support after birth control but anyone seeking womb rebalance.
Do Detoxes Help with Birth Control Side Effects?
As mentioned, many of the helpful ingredients in post-birth control supplements can reduce the negative effects of birth control. They can ease PMS symptoms, nourish the uterus, and promote healthy hormonal balance.
However, the severity of the side effects you experience often has to do with the reasons why you began birth control. If you decided to go on the pill to manage heavy periods, reduce hormonal acne, or decrease PCOS symptoms, many of these issues might return when you stop the medication.
As the medication leaves your system, you may notice a flare-up of symptoms. Thankfully, your body will work to re-regulate itself once again. Natural support from herbs, vitamins, and minerals can enhance your body's efforts. Many supplements can benefit women by balancing their hormones, regulating their cycles, increasing fertility, and decreasing menstrual symptoms.
Are Birth Control Cleanses Safe?
As with any supplement, there may be certain risks. It's important to discuss any new supplement with your doctor before you begin taking it.
Side effects with Freshly Moms Womb Rebalance are infrequent and generally mild. They may include:
Taking the capsules with a meal may help alleviate these side effects. Additionally, symptoms generally cease after stopping the supplement.
How Can I Maintain Hormone Balance?
Along with natural supplements that are conducive to hormone and womb health, you can do a few other things to promote hormonal balance. Such as:
Eat a well-rounded nutritious diet
Get regular exercise
Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
It's also important to give your body time and grace to reset itself. It can be very challenging to wait when coming off birth control, especially if you are trying to conceive. However, devoting time to nourishing and regulating your system before pregnancy is essential. This helps to ensure your body is set up to support both you and your baby through pregnancy and postpartum.
If you are trying to conceive, you may also want to consider a fertility supplement. These supplements can help boost your fertility in a variety of ways. Freshly Moms Fertility Support Capsules contain ingredients like Moringa that nourish the womb with vital nutrients. It also includes adaptogens to reduce stress and decrease its damaging effects on the body. Female reproductive system herbs, used for centuries in Ayurveda, encourage healthy egg development, adequate cervical mucus, and healthy libido.
The Bottom Line on Birth Control Cleanses
While their efficacy hasn't been proven by research, every woman is different. Your body will naturally flush out the synthetic hormones. However, natural supplements may be able to promote a return to normal sooner. Additionally, their ingredients can have many other positive benefits for women looking to promote the health of their reproductive system.
Posted by Shruti Mishra
Shruti is the founder of Freshly Moms. She is a professional plant-based chef from Natural Gourmet Institute, NY, and a certified IIN health coach. She has been working with Ayurveda, food & nutrition since over 10 years and is also a fresh mom herself.
This article is not medical advice and is not meant for every situation. Every woman's body is different and may respond differently to supplements.