A breakup that was brought on by a deep desire to be fully in tune with my body and ultimately led me to empower my Divine Feminine. This is my holistic approach to hormonal harmony and the journey I took to balance out post birth control!
My History with Birth Control
Birth control was introduced to my body shortly after I had entered the realm of womanhood, as marked by the onset of menstruation. At the time I was a sophomore in high school and was under this preconceived notion that going on the pill was ‘normal’ and ‘safe’. Almost as if taking the pill were a right of passage or a stamp of approval. Looking back, I wish I had asked more questions and took more care to learn how hormonal birth control would impact my overall health beyond my periods and ability to conceive.
Once I got to college, I switched off of the pill in an effort to make birth control more convenient. I wanted something that I didn't have to remember to take at the same time every day so I opted to have an implant inserted into my arm. The Nexplanon implant would go on to pump progestin through my body for 3 years, whilst also halting my period completely. After the implant had run its course, I replaced the implant with a new one but ended up taking it out a year into its 3-year lifespan because I felt it was affecting my weight. The implant was a convenient option but I don't recommend it for anyone who is squeamish about being able to feel the small tube-shaped device under your skin. The removal process was also painful and uncomfortable as there was scar tissue that had developed around the implant so I do still have a small scar on the inside of my bicep from that procedure. As an alternative, I decided to try out the Mirena IUD. The IUD would have been effective for 5 years -- talk about a hassle free hormone disruptor! Three years in though, I decided it was time to break up with birth control and take back my womanhood.
The Break Up
I always felt that a piece of me was missing while I was on hormonal birth control -- that there was a connectedness to self I could not attain. After some research on hormone disruptors and limiting my exposure to certain chemicals, something dawned on me. I had been welcoming a massive disturbance to my body's natural function. For almost a decade! Being that holistic health and wellness has been a means of propulsion to better myself for years, I knew it was time to take hold of my reproductive health in a consciously controlled manner. One that would rid my body of hormonal birth control, whilst also providing me with the knowledge and power to strengthen the Divine Feminine within.
It was December 2020 when I made the appointment with my Gynecologist to discuss getting my IUD removed. I told her that I sensed it was doing more harm than good to my body. I explained how it had been about 10 years since I had experienced a natural cycle, and over 6 years from the last time I had my ‘period’. We talked in detail about how I was feeling out of touch with my body as a woman -- specifically how I felt I was silencing my power as one through consciously choosing to avoid my body's natural cycle. I had even joked for years leading up to this conversation that I felt like I was "cheating being a woman" because I didn't have to experience my period. After sharing my concerns with my Gynecologist, we decided it was time to end my long standing relationship with birth control.
Hormonal Harmony Journey
Not soon after the removal of my IUD, I began to experience dysregulation from my hormones being completely out of balance. This dysregulation manifested as PMDD, extreme PMS, and depression for me. Feeling this extreme sadness and low mental state served as an awakening and catalyst to healing my endocrine system. I have experienced mental health struggles over the years, as I have shared more about in a previous blog, but I knew this time was different. My hormones had been disrupted for far too long and I wasn't experiencing any other major lifestyle or health changes so it was clear that they were my underlying issue -- this is where the journey truly began.
Balancing My Hormones
I started to research how to keep my hormones in check, and found the following to be most helpful in my journey.
Avoiding hormone disruptors by using chemical free products (i.e. natural deodorant, plant based household cleaners)
Buying organic produce, specifically steering clear of the Dirty Dozen
Sticking to a structured sleep schedule
Working out and/or moving my body daily
Not skipping meals and eating fully plant based
Being mindful of my stressors and making time for myself
Staying hydrated and limiting my intake of caffeine
It took me about 4 cycles to finally feel balanced, and I owe a great portion of that to adding a PMS & Period Support supplement to my journey. To say I was nervous about experiencing my natural cycle again, is an understatement. After suppressing what my body was made to do for so long, I honestly had no idea what to expect. Let me tell you, it was not a great first few months post-breakup. So, when I came across Semaine Health's PMS support supplements, I knew I needed to give them a try.
Semaine Health offers a plant-based supplement to alleviate the dreaded PMS symptoms I avoided for a decade on birth control! You know...the cramps, bloating, cravings, and mood changes -- just to name a few. I take their PMS & Period Support Capsules 1-2 days before the onset of my period and continue to take them as needed throughout. I find that supplementing my body in this process to hormonal balance has been extremely beneficial -- my PMS symptoms are minimal at best now!
If you’re interested in trying them out, you can use the discount code ERICAJADEHEALTH for 20% off your first bottle!
The final key to my journey is one that has been all encompassing of learning my body and its phases. I began using the Natural Cycles App to track my period, and get a handle on what my specific cycle was like. Natural Cycles is not just a period tracker though, it is also the first FDA Cleared Non-Hormonal Birth Control App. I have used the tracker in conjunction with my PMS & Period capsules to get a handle on my monthly cycle. Specifically, I know when to incorporate the supplement into my daily routine, depending on when my period is beginning.
Reclaiming my Womanhood
This whole experience has felt like a rebirth of self by entering into a new phase of womanhood through natural menstruation. Though this may not sound glamorous, it surely has been empowering! I feel a novel respect for my body, after allowing it to speak to me again after a decade of silence through hormonal manipulation.
I hope my journey is one that inspires you to reclaim your own health and take a deeper look inside -- we all deserve to be in touch with our Divine Feminine energy! We are powerful beyond measure and our bodies are ones that should be celebrated and honored through all phases of life.
**Disclaimer - Please speak to a health care professional before making the decision to stop hormonal birth control. We all have our own journey to follow -- I am simply here to share what has worked for me!
If you have questions about starting your own journey to a more balanced life with a holistic approach in mind, sign up for a free strategy call with me today!