If you’ve been using hormonal birth control to prevent pregnancy, and are now ready to start your family, it’s important to have a plan in place.
How the birth control works is by turning down your body’s natural hormone production. We want this up and fully functional before you want to get pregnant to give you the best possible chances.
We recommend coming off the pill 3 months before you plan to start trying. This will give your body some time to detox the synthetic hormones, start to regulate your natural hormone production, and for your natural cycle to return. While you are on the pill you are having “pill bleeds”, not true periods. You also aren’t ovulating. Learning the signs of ovulation are an important step for when you are trying to conceive.
Coming off the pill can be different for everyone. Some women maintain a regular, 28 day cycle with no complaints. Some women may not get a period for 1-3 months. This can be frustrating if you’re itching to get pregnant, which is why we recommend transitioning off the pill sooner than your TTC plans indicate.
Preconception care should always include a good quality prenatal vitamin. We recommend starting preconception care 4-6 months prior to you wanting to get pregnant. If you’ve been on the pill, however, the prenatal is even more crucial for fertility. The hormonal birth control pill depletes essential nutrients, such as zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins – all of which are crucial for hormone production. You want to make sure you’re getting a prenatal with low amounts of Vitamin A, as this can be damaging to a developing fetus, methylated B vitamins, and no extra fillers or preservatives that aren’t necessary.
Your liver is responsible for your detox pathways. In order for your natural hormones to start to regulate you need to get the synthetic hormones out ASAP. You’ll want to make sure you’re getting lots of green leafy veggies, lemon water, and a couple hours of moderate exercise per week to help promote healthy detoxification. Liver supporting herbs like dandelion or milk thistle may also be a good add in if needed.
Your liver may be the first step in detoxification, but after it’s done it’s job the waste needs to get out. This is why we poop. You should be having a regular, formed, soft, and easy to pass bowel movement everyday. If not, then you likely need to spend some time focusing on your gut health. If you tend towards constipation, and perhaps only go every 2-3 days, the metabolites your liver has worked so hard to try and remove from your system have a chance to be reabsorbed into your body. Chronic constipation can often lead to estrogen dominance because of this – if you’re not pooping there’s nowhere for that synthetic estrogen to go. Making sure you’re getting 30-35g of fibre daily through foods like hemp hearts, chia seeds, avocado, and leafy veggies can be a quick fix. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting 2-3L of water per day so your bowels can actually function properly. If fibre and water are good, it may be time to look into your thyroid function as hypothyroidism can cause constipation.
All three of these steps are going to land your body in a healthier place fertility-wise. The healthier you are when you’re trying to conceive the healthier and happier pregnancy you will have.
If you’ve been on the birth control for 10+ years, you may want to give yourself more than 3 months to really detox and prep for baby. The longer your natural hormone production has been turned off the longer it may take them to really bounce back.
To get started, we have a handy resource for you. Cleaning up your diet is the first step to a good detox. Download our 5-day fertility boosting meal plan that will have your body detoxing in no time.
If you’re interested in booking a free 20-minute discovery call with one of our fertility practitioners to see how HHA can help via virtual appointments, click here.