My goal with this blog has always been to provide genuine reflections and quality information in regards to health and wellness.
About two months ago, I wrote about my experience with getting an IUD inserted and why I decided to change my method of birth control.
How am I doing post-IUD insertion? Not awesome. Frankly, I’m extremely frustrated and very disheartened. For something I mulled over for about a year, I 100% believed that I made a smart decision. Now, I’m not so sure.
I’ve read relentlessly about it online and I’ve been told by my doctor, that the first six months after switching birth control can be troublesome for the the body. It takes time to adjust. Okay, cool, I can accept that. I took a hormonal birth control pill filled with estrogen, progesterone, and who knows what else, for the past five years, obviously my body is going to need some time. But most other people I talk to have not experienced any symptoms or issues past a couple of weeks after insertion. Not me. That, I am having a hard time accepting.
What are my symptoms? The worst, is my acne. I was expecting this. I experienced clearer skin on the pill. That was one of the reasons I decided to take birth control, which is kind of crazy when you think about it! A dermatologist recommended I take birth control for acne… hmmm. About two-three weeks ago or so, I started to break out. Big ones, small ones under the surface, red, irritated, and oily looking skin… you name it. This has been beyond frustrating since before I got this IUD, I had the healthiest, clearest skin I have ever had in my entire life. Big bummer, right? As a 28 year old woman, I did not think I would have to deal with hormonal acne ever again… I take collagen EVERY day, I eat a mainly plant based diet, I don’t consume dairy, for the better part of the year I have abstained from sugar, I am training for a marathon, I take, what feels like, a gajillion supplements, and yet my skin looks worse than it did when I was eating pizza, chicken fingers, and french fries on a regular basis. UGH, WHY?!
My other symptoms have been bloating, irritability, tiredness, and cramping all sort of around when I should be menstruating. Oh, that too, I’m barely menstruating. Which, surprisingly, bothers me. It makes me feel like something is wrong… Plus, I liked getting my period every month, it felt cleansing, and I felt especially in-tune to where I was at in terms of my cycle. (I was learning so much about the different menstrual phases through the app: MyFlo created by fellow IIN grad, Alissa Vitti, I highly recommend it!)
So, what’s up hormones? Why are you messed up? I should be patient with my body, I know it’s adjusting, and I did just change it’s status quo, but I can’t help but think what my experience would have been like if I went off birth control completely. Would I still be getting my period? I guess I’m not a feminist by saying that I enjoy getting my period, but whatever, I do, and I miss it. I’m going to give it some time, and explore different hormone balancing options through diet, acupuncture, sleep, restorative yoga, and medicinal herbs before I decide to take any action on my method of birth control.
In terms of diet, I will limit my sugar and coffee intake, and focus on eating real, whole foods. Why sugar and coffee? Both are linked with raising cortisol levels which puts the body in a fight or flight state because it perceives the spike as stress, or an “emergency”, which then throws the balance of pretty much everything, but mainly your hormones, off.
Sleep and restorative yoga are to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, as opposed to the sympathetic nervous system, the opposite of fight or flight, which will help control cortisol levels, and therefore (hopefully) help balance my hormones.
My dear friend and fellow health coach, Em from Golden Wellness, suggested I try an herbal tea as a hormonal remedy. I’ve only had it for two days now, so I’m not sure of the affects yet, but I’ll keep you updated. Plus, I’ll share the recipe below! It tastes super delicious and cleansing. It includes a lot of herbs that I’d never heard of before and was super overwhelmed about buying and finding everything until she recommended Mountain Rose Herbs, an amazing inexpensive wholesale website where you can find herbs, adaptogens, spices, and more! I can NOT recommend this company enough! I may or may not have gotten the tea ingredients and then some…
I want to thank you for reading this post. I am sharing my personal experience with hormones, “the pill”, and “the IUD” because I think that as a woman, it’s so important to have this conversation because we don’t NEARLY enough. It’s like we’re taught to keep all of this a secret or something so we all silently suffer and get lost in WebMD concluding that we have cancer. What? That’s not okay. We’re entitled to talk about our bodies because our health and wellness is important.
I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my quest to balance my hormones, get rid of hormonal acne, and getting my period back. Until then… be well.
Female Tonic Tea
- 1 part strawberry leaf– high levels of iron
- 2 parts raspberry leaf– uterine relaxant
- 2 parts lemongrass-digestive relaxant, anti-inflammatory
- 2 parts peppermint-digestive relief, calming
- 2 parts nettle– stimulates hair growth, hormone supporting & balancing
- 2 parts squaw vine, or partridge berry – supports the uterus, helps regulate menstrual cycle,
- Stevia or Raw Honey to taste
Boil and steep water for 15 mins.