Written by Angela Ysseldyk CNP, BA
Contraception is important in the lives of women, their male partners, and society as a whole.
The birth control pill is popular and most of us have been on it, are on it now or plan to go on or off.
In the United States, 98% of sexually active women have used birth control at some point in their lives, and 62% of women of reproductive age currently use birth control. 1
Overwhelmingly, birth control is managed with oral contraceptives for the most part. According to the Canadian Contraception survey, 44 per cent of women use hormonal pills as their choice of birth control. 2,3
Heads up – nutrient depletion!
From a nutritional standpoint, it is important to note that users of oral contraceptives have been shown to have lower B6, B12, and folate compared to women who do not use these contraceptives. 4,5,6
Studies suggest that other nutrients can also be depleted in oral contraceptive users, including vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and coenzyme Q. 6,7One study found that women using hormonal contraception also had lower total antioxidant capacity.7
Keep this in mind ladies whether you are on the pill or coming off – be sure to continue your foundational program. Don’t skimp out on your multi!
The decision to come off "the pill"
This is a decision for you and you alone. At some point, for various reasons including family planning, lifestyle choices, various wellness choices and more, women decide to come off the hormonal birth control pill.
We hear from women that they want to get back onto a regular cycle, have healthy ovulation, and overcome nutrient deficiencies when coming off the pill. But also don’t want to experience some of the pains they were having (ie the reasons they went on the pill in the first place!)
Depending on your goals here are the top supplements we recommend when you stop taking the birth control pill Many women want regular cycles again with little to no effort. Period problems start with imbalanced hormones, so it may take about 3 months to get things back in gear again.
- Cyclesmart – Take 2-3 capsules per day or as directed by health care practitioner, consult with your health care practitioner after 12 weeks of use.
- Glucosmart – Helps manage Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and restore the number of high quality oocytes (egge or ovum). There are several other benefits from using Glucosmart as well!
- Multi-vitamin with minerals. Take your minerals, B vitamins and antioxidants that you may have been depleting. Be sure to take your Multi and consider adding on B vitamins, and magnesium.
- Hurt, J. et al (2012). The Johns Hopkins manual of gynecology and obstetrics. (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2012).
- Black A. et al (2009). Contraceptive use among Canadian women of reproductive age: results of a national survey. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 31: 627-640
- Canadian Contraception Consensus Chapter 1 Contraception in Canada (2016). Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada Volume 37, Issue 10, Supplement, Pages S5-S12 https://doi.org/10.1016/S1701-2163(16)39370-7
- McArthur JO, et al (2013). Biological variability and impact of oral contraceptives on vitamins B(6), B(12) and folate status in women of reproductive age. Nutrients. 2013;5(9):3634-3645. doi:10.3390/nu5093634
- Lussana F, et al (2003). Blood levels of homocysteine, folate, vitamin B6 and B12 in women using oral contraceptives compared to non-users. Thromb Res. 112(1-2):37-41. doi:10.1016/j.thromres.2003.11.007
- Palmery M et al, (2013). Oral contraceptives and changes in nutritional requirements. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013;17(13):1804-1813.
- Palan PR et al (2010) . Effects of oral, vaginal, and transdermal hormonal contraception on serum levels of coenzyme q(10), vitamin e, and total antioxidant activity. Obstet Gynecol Int. doi:10.1155/2010/925635