Post Birth Control Syndrome (PBCS)

Post birth control syndrome is a relatively new term still gaining traction in the medical community. It refers to the group of symptoms women can experience when coming off of hormonal birth control. The symptoms are the result of withdrawal from synthetic estrogen as well as a rebound surge of androgens.  The birth control pill has also been found to deplete many nutrients and minerals (B12, B6, Zinc, Copper, Magnesium) and impact the gut microbiome contributing to the symptoms women experience when coming off.

It is important to note that many women come off of hormonal birth control and have no symptoms at all.

Symptoms

  • Acne

  • Abnormal or lack of menstrual cycles (commonly misdiagnosed as PCOS)

  • Heavy periods

  • Painful periods

  • Anxiety

  • Facial hair

  • Hair loss or thinning

Assessment

A thorough assessment of what periods were like before hormonal birth control is essential to proper treatment. If hormonal birth control was used to suppress symptoms that may indicate PCOS or endometriosis, these conditions will still be present and need to be treated.

For women who experience a lack of ovulation and periods after coming off of hormonal birth control the first step is to rule out the following causes; PCOS, hypothyroidism, undernutrition, over-exercising, chronic stress, and hyperprolactinemia. If these are ruled out, treatment focuses on re-establishing the hormonal connection between the hypothalamus, pituitary and ovaries that drives ovulation and hormone production.

Treatment

Treatment depends on the specific symptoms each patient presents with. Goals of treatment are to rebalance hormones, repair gut dysbiosis, replace nutritional deficiencies, and most importantly restore ovulation and progesterone production if impaired.

Frequently used treatments include; reduction of inflammatory foods, replacement of vitamins and minerals depleted by hormonal birth control, the use of botanicals to balance hormones and repair the connection between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and ovary.



Other HORMONE BALANCE conditions treated include:

Acne, Adrenal fatigue, Amenorrhea, Cortisol Imbalance, HPA axis dysfunction, Hyperthyroidism (Graves Disease), Hypothyroidism (Including Autoimmune Thyroiditis aka Hashimotos), Low libido, Menopause (hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep, mood), PCOS, PMDD, PMS, Post birth control syndrome