How to go off hormonal birth control - What you need to know
The message I most often receive from followers is - “Brandy, I’m going off hormonal birth control. Do you have any resources to help with the transition?”
What I’m hearing when women say this is…
I’ve decided to go off of hormonal birth control, but I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know when I should stop taking it or get it out. I don’t know when to expect my period to return or what it will be like. I don’t know how to start tracking my cycle. I know I want this change, but there’s so much that I don’t know.
And, that’s where I come in!
I love helping people transition off of hormonal birth control, revive their menstrual cycles, and start tracking for birth control or pregnancy. It might be my favorite part of this job.
I used to have a virtual training on this topic, but it was long and really who wants to sit down and watch a 90 minute class about anything when we’re all busy and at the end of the day we just want to watch the latest episode of the Great British Baking Show or New Girl for the 584 time. (Say it’s not just me, right?! haha!)
So today, I’m going to give you my 7 quick & easy steps for how to transition off of hormonal birth control.
> Set the date
Pick the day your going off hormonal birth control for good. Circle it on your calendar. Schedule your IUD or implant removal for that day. Schedule it as your last pill in your pill back. Chat with your doctor to schedule any appointments and/or inform them of your decision. Then STICK TO IT.
> Schedule a special self-care day
Let this moment be a day of celebration and self-care. You’re likely making the transition away from hormonal birth control for your wellness, health, and self-care so why not make it a whole day where you focus on taking care of yourself. Schedule a massage. Stay home and watch your favorite movies. Take an herbal bath. You get it.
> Start learning how to track your cycle BEFORE going off of hormonal birth control
Ideally you’ll learn how to track cervical fluid and basal body temperature before going off birth control so that you can start tracking as soon as you transition off. There’s no way to know how soon you will ovulate and get your period again after going off hormonal birth control and for some folks it’s only a few days to a few weeks. Being prepared ahead of time with tracking skills can be hugely beneficial. I teach you how to track your cycle here in my Cycle Wisdom Course.
> Forget the cycle tracking apps
They are not accurate when it comes to identifying our fertile windows. Cycle tracking apps almost always use past cycle data to attempt to determine when we are fertile in our current cycles. This isn’t very accurate because ovulation doesn’t always happen at the same time in every cycle. Simply things like travel, illness, and poor sleep can all impact the timing of ovulation and, therefore, the arrival of our periods. Ditch the apps and learn how to *actually* track your cycle the right way.
> Eat nutrient-dense foods
Your menstrual cycle needs lots of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to thrive. The best place to get these important nutrients is through the foods that we eat. Protein and fats are especially important for menstrual health, as well as key nutrients like zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin D, and more. Here’s a post I wrote all about how to eat for healthy menstrual cycles.
> Stock up on your nontoxic period products
Conventional pads and tampons are full of chemical garbage that can be harmful to our bodies. I, personally, love to use organic cotton cloth pads. If I’m using disposable I use organic cotton pads from NatraCare. I don’t like using tampons, but if I did I would use organic cotton ones. I also don’t like menstrual cups or discs, but for beach days I reach for the reusable Nixit disc.
> Get good condoms
Even if you’re planning to use cycle tracking as natural birth control, you will need to use condoms every time you get it on for the first few cycles as you learn how to accurately track your fertile windows and apply the rules of the method. And, even after learning the method you will still need condoms for any intercourse that takes place during the fertile window. I, personally, use the Lola condoms.
> Other things you might consider doing…
Taking a high-quality multi-vitamin
Taking magnesium glycinate
Focusing on getting good sleep
Vaginal steaming to support ovulation and/or to support easier bleeds
Castor oil packs to support ovulation and/or to support easier bleeds
Because I am not a doctor, naturopath, herbalist, ayurvedic practitioner, Traditional Chinese Medicine provider, or in any way a health care provider I do not advise on these measures. I have, however, seen them be effective both personally and professionally for supporting ovulation and better periods. If your interested in one of these additional steps I recommend meeting with my favorite naturopath Dr. Nicole Kearney for nutrition and supplement support and Adena Rose Ayurveda for vaginal steaming and castor oil pack practices.
Want to learn more about how hormonal birth control changes our brains & impacts our bodies? Sign-up for my Free 5 Day Cycle Tracking Mini Course to learn all about it and so much more! https://sauvagewellness.ck.page/freeminicourse
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Disclaimer: Brandy Oswald, Sauvage Wellness LLC, and her employees are not doctors, nurses, physicians, psychotherapists, or in anyway licensed medical practitioners and information presented here is to serve as an educational resource and not to be interpreted as: (1) medical advice; (2) a 100% effective birth control or pregnancy achievement options or (3) nutrition or health guidelines. By reading this you acknowledge that you understand that as a specialized form of consulting, fertility awareness education is not the same as professional or licensed therapy or medical advice and intervention; and recognize that it is your responsibility to seek such services from a licensed professional. Brandy Oswald is not a medical provider and cannot give medical advice. All information provided by Sauvage Wellness LLC and Brandy Oswald is of a general nature and is intended only for educational purposes to help with your personal health improvement goals and should not be relied on as medical advice. Always consult a physician with any health concerns and prior to changing your diet, lifestyle, supplements, birth control, fitness, or prescription medicine routine. Should you choose to use the information, yoga sequences, and meditations provided by Brandy Oswald it is of your own volition and you recognize that neither Brandy nor Sauvage Wellness LLC is not held liable for any intended or unintended outcomes. All viewers hereby WAIVE AND RELEASE Brandy Oswald and Sauvage Wellness LLC from any claim, demand, cause of action of any kind resulting from or related to my participation in classes, workshops, and all service offerings provided by Brandy and Sauvage Wellness. As a view you hereby acknowledge that you are fully responsible for any and all risks, injuries, or damages, known or unknown, which might occur as a result of your participation.