The Importance of Getting Educated On the Birth Control Pill
I treat many women who are trying to get pregnant after being on the birth control pill for many years. It always amazes me that there is not enough information that is given to women in regards to the pill. Many females are prescribed the birth control pill for a variety of reasons-birth control, PMS, reduction of painful menstruation, hormonal acne, as well as to help regulate their cycle. In many cases, women start the pill at an early age and continue it throughout their 20’s. While many women may experience the return of the menstrual cycle without any issues after stopping the pill, others have issues with irregular menstruation as well as amenorrhea (absence of their menstrual cycle). I often see these types of cases in my office, my patients who are trying to get pregnant after being on the pill for some time. In certain cases, there are underlying issues such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome that can cause irregular menstruation. In other cases, there was no cause to amenorrhea or the absence of their period. Let’s take a look first in how the pill works.
The pill is a blend of estrogen and progestin and in some pills only progestin. The combination of hormones work to inhibit ovulation, as well as increase cervical mucus, which makes it harder for sperm to pass through. That is how it works to inhibit pregnancy. A period takes place after stopping progestin. It signals to the body to shed the uterine lining. Therefore, although you are getting a period, it is not your natural period taking place. There are many benefits to taking the pill because of that–the natural hormonal activity is not taking place and many symptoms related to menstruation can cease. However, the issue lies in just that–exogenous hormones are being put in one’s system–the natural hormonal activity of the menstrual cycle is not taking place. Therefore, it does not really act to regulate menstruation. Furthermore, if there are issues that occur, it can go undetected for years until a woman finally goes off the pill. That is normally the time when I see these cases. It is important to be educated on the birth control pill particularly if you would like to get pregnant.
On The BCP and Thinking of Getting Pregnant
If you are trying to get pregnant or have been on the birth control pill for many years, going off the pill for a year before wanting to actually try to get pregnant will allow one to address any issues that may be present. It also allows one cycle to return. It can take time for a female’s period to resume after being on the pill for many years so it is important to have time on one’s side and seek treatment if there are issues after stopping the pill.
I often recommend to my patients who have been on the birth control pill for many years to stop it and let their period resume. They can go on the pill at a later point but it is good to let the body’s natural hormones and cycle take place. It also can give one indication if there are underlying reproductive issues going on. Of course, if you decide to stop the pill, you must have other types of contraception.
Resolution of Symptoms
If you are on the pill for painful menstruation, acne, irregular menstruation as well as other types of health issues, there are other options that you can seek out. Many of my patients have told me that they wish they knew of other options to treat their health issues. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine are successful natural treatments for many women’s menstrual disorders such as hormonal acne, PCOS, painful menstruation, irregular menstruation and PMS.
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