Making the decision to stop taking the pill, for some is done easily, especially if they are at the family planning point of their lives. These recent posts on the pill (here, here and here) have sparked discussion and countless emails, of women's individual health struggles pre, during and post pill. I get it. It's really tough. Many are confused, angry and left wishing they had never taken the pill. But for those who came off the pill, excited, ready and all fired up for the baby makin,' it might not be all baby lambs and bunnies. You see, many, many women come off the pill only to find a whole range of hiccups. Some discover reproductive challenges, others PCO or endometrosis, and then there are those who get nothing. No period. Nothing happens at all.
Myth #1. Whilst on the pill you menstruate.
Menstruation is something that follows on from ovulation. The pill stops ovulation. Bleeding whilst on the pill isn't a period. It is a withdrawal from hormones. So if you're thinking your period was 'regular' whilst on the pill – it doesn't count.
I've had many of you ask how long it should take to get a period back post pill. Ideally – it shouldn't take more than 4 weeks. Now, I'm talking about a true period – not the withdrawal bleed you will get shortly after stopping the pill. What does a true period look like? It definitely must have a 'flow' to it and you would be needing to change your pad or tampon throughout the day to confirm this. It would also need to be more than 1 day long (so 2 full days). Typically – if you go to your GP in the first few months after being on the pill and you don't have your period back, there are generally no bells ringing because on average, it takes 6 months for it to return. But there are those who find themselves sometimes years down the track, without a period – possibly after many medical appointments, still without answers. It's a very common occurrence post pill.
Myth #2. I'm most fertile when I come off the pill.
Impossible. You are at your lowest point fertility wise when you come off the pill because your body has been sapped of essential vitamins and minerals. I've shared many times why it is vital for there to be at least 6 months off the pill before conception. You can also listen to learn more here.
Whatever your situation of post pill amenorrhea, there is one thing that will remain true to all women who experience this. It reflects major hormone imbalance and the key to fixing this lies within somebodies ability to look hard enough. For this very reason, what we offer in the clinic works so very well because we can use the information of test results and combine this with basic chinese medicine principles based on each individuals presentation. Why can't western medicine fix this? There isn't much on offer on that side of the camp. I feel that in some instances, when it comes to general health, we've gone past looking at simple. We dive straight into testing and poking and prodding, we fall to realise that if we can simply get the body working properly as a unit again (and not try to separate everything into systems) the body learns to find it's groove again. Once it finds its rhythm, everything begins to return to normal and we see the return of the period with this too. The body has done this on it's own. The medicines and treatments I use in the clinic simply facilitate this to happen.
Myth #3. I haven't ovulated this month, but I've got my period.
A period always follows ovulation. If you bleed for more than one day, and it is a 'flow,' you have absolutely ovulated. If you've done a blood test from your GP and it has come back a 'no' to ovulating… chances are you ovulated after the blood test.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have come off the pill but there is still no period, it is time you started looking at why.
Straight up invest in a quality multi-vitamin and fish oil to start to restore that of which the pill has taken from you. Get yourself into a trusted health professional that knows their stuff about hormones and set to work on getting healthy. This might mean for some reintroducing meats, even in small amounts whilst for others it might mean less or more exercise depending on the situation.
Having no period post pill is simply your body's way of talking to you. Once you appreciate this, you can see it for what it is and implement ways to get your fertility and health back on track. The key to this is about understanding exactly what your body is saying and devising a great plan of the best way in getting your hormones back into the swing of things.