I have shared my personal experience with birth control pills, and my journey to finding natural alternatives. I am pleased to say I have been off synthetic birth control for over six years, using the Fertility Awareness Method to track my fertility and prevent unwanted pregnancy, as well as gaining better balance in my natural hormones.
There are some incredible supplements out there that can help support your body to better balance your hormones. If you have recently gone off birth control pills, suffer from PMS symptoms, or get cystic acne prior to your period (those large pimples under your skin that really hurt), there is likely an imbalance in your hormones.
Hormones are very complex and work together in ratios. We can simplify the most common hormonal-imbalances in women to two primary issues: Low Progesterone or High Androgens.
Progesterone is one of the female hormones. It has several important jobs. It produces the ovaries, normalizes blood sugar levels, and allows for a healthy pregnancy. It is also naturally prevents anxiety and depression. This is the hormone that naturally increases to induce ovulation, and can be detected by tracking your Basil Body Temperature.
Common symptoms of low progesterone:
- PMS symptoms (moodiness, bloating, cravings)
- Painful breasts
- Low libido
- Cystic acne prior to menstruation
- Mental and physical fatigue
- Weight gain around your waist
- Feelings of depression and anxiety
- Difficulty sleeping
How to Treat Low Progesterone:
There is a strong link between chronic stress and low progesterone. When your body is under a lot of stress, it uses the resources normally used to produce progesterone to produce cortisol instead.
- Lower your stress
- Practice self-love,
- Get plenty of sleep
- Don’t workout too hard too frequently
- Quit caffeine
- Reduce the amount of sugar you eat
- Make sure you are eating enough calories
- Try taking the herb Vitex (Agnus Cactus or Chastetree Berry) to help support progesterone production
- Magnesium, B6, and Zinc, and Vitamin C are all needed to support your body in producing progesterone.
Take Fertility Blend for Women by Daily Wellness. This supplement contains Vitex, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin B, and green tea. I took it for one month, and right away noticed I had no cystic acne prior to my period. I’ve been taking it ever since!
Androgens (such as testosterone) are male hormones that are found in both men and women. Androgens are produced in women through the adrenal glands and the ovaries. Androgens are often converted to estrogen, another female hormone. Androgens aid in the functioning of organs such as kidneys, liver, and bone-density.
Common symptoms of high androgen:
- Excess hair growth on chin or upper lip
- Hair thinning or balding on scalp
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Irregular periods
- Blood sugar disorders (such as diabetes or insulin resistance)
- High blood-pressure
- High cholesterol
How to Treat High Androgen Levels:
Androgens are linked to sebum production in the skin. If the level of androgens are too high in our body, our skin produces too much sebum, which will clog pores and cause a breeding ground for bacteria – leading to acne. Eating foods high in sugar and carbohydrates will cause an increase in levels of androgens. Having high levels of “good” estrogens will combat the negative effects of androgens. We also have “bad” estrogen (xenoestrogens) in our body from living in a toxic environment (pollution, eating and drinking from plastic containers, taking synthetic birth control pills, etc).
- Reduce “bad” estrogen in the body
- Reducing environmental toxins by using natural makeup, personal hygiene products, and household cleaning products. Avoid synthetic fragrance and perfume.
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption
- Eat a low-sugar and low-carbohydrate diet (low GI)
- Use facial oil to unclog sebum in your pores.
- Try taking a DIM (diindolylmethane) supplement
Estroblock is a supplement containing DIM (diindolylmethane). This is a substance found in leafy green vegetables. DIM works to reduce excess androgens as well as support your liver in removing “bad” estrogens. There has been a lot of hype on the internet over Estroblock, and it has helped many people get rid of their acne. I have used it for about two years, and have found it to be tremendously helpful in keeping my acne at bay.
Balancing your hormones often times requires you to make some lifestyle changes in order to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Simply taking supplements will likely not help much if you are eating a poor diet, not getting enough sleep, and not exercising. Take care of yourself, and start by giving your body the nutrition it needs.