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.

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  • Lisa October 17, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Hi Nat,

    I experienced post-pill amenorrheafor 7 months when I stopped taking the pill and only ovulated following treatment by an acupuncturist. Fortunately, I had stopped taking the pill 8 months before we planned to start trying to conceive in order to get my body in the best possible state. Following one healthy period induced by acupuncture, we were very lucky to conceive on our first try!

    Now, my little one is 16 months old and I haven’t had a period yet. I am still breastfeeding though. We have no immediate plans to try for a second child, but I am wondering if/when I should start doing anything about my lack of period? Do I wait until we are ready to start trying to conceive again or shoudl I do something to address it in the meantime? And could my current lack of period still be attributed to breastfeeding?

    I am enormously angry about what my long term pill use seems to have done to my reproductive system! But I am a good example of what you discuss in this post – revitalising your body post pill and TCM treatment can bring about ovulation and, ultimately, a healthy pregnancy. And my little one – a perfect picture of health … she is so “a million miles a minute” that sometimes I wonder if I over did the superfoods/fish oil/vitamins during pre-conception care! :)

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Kris October 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Dear Nat,
    Thank you for posting this! I love reading your posts as they are always so informative and reassuring (and they seem to come at the perfect time for me!)
    Today is my 32nd Birthday and I have had mixed feelings about my birthday this year. Not only had my “Grand Plan” seen me having a baby by now, but October marks one year since I came off the pill, and my system is still all over the place.
    I have put so much pressure on myself to be back to “normal” within the year and even with seeing a Naturopath for the last 9 months, it seems to have a mind of its own. (Super frustrating when you are a control freak by nature!)
    Since coming off the pill, I have had a few periods but nothing I could call a regualr cycle. Some have been 9 weeks apart, some 5 weeks apart and at present it has been 17 weeks without a period. Very frustrating when you desperately want a baby.
    Thank you Lisa for posting your experience as I am now looking at Accupuncture combined with my herbs & supplements to assist my body ease back into a natural rythm.
    I can totally relate to wishing I had never taken the pill and if I knew then what I do now I wouldn’t have.
    Thankyou for educating and helping women with your knowledge, at least moving forward we have more awareness to make the right choices for our bodies and to educate our friends, sisters, daughters etc.
    I know my time will come and right now I just have to focus on getting my body healthy.
    xx

    Reply
  • Lisa October 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Kris – Lisa again – it is my 32 birthday today too! Happy birthday! And best wishes x

    Reply
  • admin October 19, 2012 at 12:58 am

    P.S. best week to be born in ;)

    Reply
  • Kris October 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Happy Birthday to you Lisa! I hope you had a wonderful day!

    Reply
  • Nadia October 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Hi Nat,

    I’m following your site from Athens, Greece:)

    I don’t have a period for over a year now, after going through lots of stress followed by weight loss to 45kg (from 50kg). Obviously my body “shut-down” and gaining weight was the only solution my GP could have recommended at first place. I increased my daily calories intake, adding lots of proteins and good fats to my diet. After gaining some kilos, results of blood test on hormones showed I should have had menstruation(!). But apparently I haven’t. Now my GP wants me to start with pills to bring it back.

    We are thinking of having a baby, but me not ovulating..it’s a long way to go. Pills is the only treatment remains just to get my body back to normal :( or perhaps I should still try an alternative cure? (f.e. acupuncture)? Although it would be difficult to find a reliable specialist here in Greece, I would go for it, just to avoid those pills .. Thank you!!

    Reply
  • Elle October 18, 2012 at 2:35 am

    I absolutely love all the information you’ve been posting about fertility lately. Where did you train? And also, do you train other wellness coaches? I would LOVE to learn more about women’s health!

    Reply
  • admin October 19, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Thank you! I trained at la tribe university, victoria university, southern school of natural therapies & spent time with fertility specialists as well as countless hours in my own clinic. It’s been a 16 year journey this far!

    Reply
  • Elle October 19, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Thats amazing! Thanks for the info and the amazing resources!

    Reply
  • Katharina October 19, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Hi Nat,

    just wanna say THANKS for all the inspiring, reassuring and motivating posts I have been reading here over the past year. Same as Kris, my grand masterplan included having a baby by now, and well – obviously I don’t. ;-) It’s not that this fact shatteres my world, nor are all my thoughts spinning around being pregnant, but after one miscarriage and almost a year of complete “radio silence” ever since I started wondering what could be wrong with me. So it does help to read from a professional point of view what could be the reasons of not falling pregnant. And it does help to see that I’m not the only one having problems conceiving.
    Regarding myth #2 – being most fertile when coming off the pill – this is interesting because both my sister and I and my best mate fell pregnant not even 3 months after coming off. However though, I lost the baby after 8 weeks of pregnancy and my best friend’s kid has some kidney desease that required to induce childbirth 4 weeks before its due date. I had never connected my miscarriage or the kid’s illness to our decade-long pill taking and actually I think there might be more than just that one reason to it but after that series of pill posts you’ve written over the past few weeks I begin to see a deeper connection. That much is clear to me: I am SO not going on the pill again. Ever. (And I keep my fingers crossed for my sister’s baby to be all healthy and strong!)

    So, thanks, Nat! Good to have you. :)

    Sending y’all greetings from cold, autumnal Europe!
    Katharina

    Reply
  • Marie-Helene October 19, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Hello Nat,

    I’m not quite sure I understand. I was on the pill for many years, and I definitely had a “flow” for at least 6 days every month during that time. What does it mean? Was it still just discharge?
    Thank you for your help!

    Marie-Helene

    Reply
  • admin October 19, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Whilst on the pill you do not ovulate. The bleed you experience whilst take the pill is a withdrawal bleed – not a true period. We are more so referring to what your period is like when not taking the pill.

    Reply
  • Nicole February 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Hello Nat,

    I went off the pill about 4 months ago and have still not had a period!! I am very concerned…I originally was perscribed the Pill when I found out I had PCO when I was 16…I am now 23. I do not have PCOS…just PCO. I also found out I had endometriosis and had that removed when I was 21. I recently went off the Pill because I was sick and wanted to investigate what the underlying problem was with no interferences. After reading and hearing about problems with the Pill and conceiving, I have decided to stay off the Pill and seek some guidance for how to further progress…I.e. is the Pill the answer to PCO? And if I start taking the Pill again, will I not be able to have a baby later in life??

    I was wondering if anyone in Melbourne knows of a specialist to speak to regarding my issues? E.g. a gyno that specialises is PCO?

    Thanks,
    Nicole

    Reply
  • Nat Kringoudis February 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Nicole,
    A specialist will most likely prescribe the pill again unfortunately there aren’t any other solutions that western medicine can offer.
    This is my specialist area in the clinic – there is a reason why this is happening in your body and I encourage you to look at why. We could certainly help you – we have great success with this at The Pagoda Tree.

    Reply
  • Ally May 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Nat,

    I have been off the pill for around 4 weeks now with no period, and no withdrawal bleeding. I took a HPT a week ago which was negative, however had sex the day before that unprotected. Could I be pregnant or because I haven’t got a period yet is this very unlikely?

    I have had very very slight period like cramps, more of a slight tightness rather than “period pain” how long should I wait for my period! I’m only 20, so am I more likely not to have post-pill amennorhea?

    Alice

    Reply
  • Jodi January 14, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Hey Alice, I am in the same boat as you. I am 26 years old and came off the pill a month and a half ago with no withdrawal bleed and still no period…but experiencing some strange cramping.

    Did you end up getting your period? What ended up happening?

    Reply
  • melissa May 24, 2013 at 12:22 am

    After I gave birth to my son I was on the three month injection for abt six months I think then I went off it was off the injection for almost three months then I went on the birth control pill for abt four months and I got my periods but now that I’m off it the last time I got my period was in february and I never got my period ever again..what could be coursing this and at the moment I haven’t been sexually active for about almost a year now so I know I’m not pregnant..

    Reply
  • mnfadmin May 24, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Hormone imbalance by the sounds of it melissa – I’d recommend you get your natural health care practitioner to further investigate. x

    Reply
  • Mel July 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Hi
    I have been off the pill for a few months now after being on it for ten years. I do ovulate as i use ovulation kits. My problem is when i get my period its is very light and there is no flow. I have been told i have a thin lining. I just wanted to know will my periods get heavier again like they were before i started the pill?

    Reply
  • mnfadmin July 8, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Yes of course if your body has everything it needs – it is just communicating to you this area needs some fine tuning. Have you tried using maca?

    Reply
  • Lindy August 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Im 23 and was on the pill for 6 years. i stoped using it on December 2012 got my period normaly that month, Jan i got it twice, Feb 3 days but lightly then only 2 days spotting end of March, June and July nothing iets noe August 2013.
    Went to a doctor for pupsmeer he said im healthy and everything is fine. he said that my hormones is just unbalances and it wil return when ready! i bought MacaPlus today maybe this will help>

    Any Advice i feel stressed out is this healthy and how long should i wait for it to return. wat can i use to help the process we realy want to start a family>

    Reply
  • Lisa February 11, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Hi There,

    I stopped the pill Yaz just over a month ago. Wanted to give my body a break as ive been on the pill for 8 years.
    I haven’t started my period at all. should I be worried?

    Reply
  • mnfadmin February 15, 2014 at 9:01 am

    There is a lot of info on the site here about the pill – go for a search, you’ll find lots of information on here. It’s really hard for me to say exactly what is going on without seeing you but you’ll most likely find you’re oestrogen dominant or your hormones have forgotten how to work. There’s a chance your period may return on it’s own but its a good time to get really diligent with diet and lifestyle to support your body. x

    Reply
  • suzanne February 18, 2014 at 11:15 am

    I was on the pill for a while and then I stopped taking it a little while ago, not sure when but me and my boyfriend had unprotected sex about 2 weeks ago normally we use protection but we were drunk and couldn’t find any, I still haven’t had my period and I’m a little bit worried, can someone please please help me

    Reply