Millions of women rely on hormonal birth control for years or even decades before deciding to try more natural methods.

Nicole Granato, an expert on women’s health, works with women from all walks of life to overcome conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility and sexual insecurity. During this process of healing, many women opt to swap their hormonal birth control for a more holistic and natural approach.

We asked Nicole to share her tips for tackling the most common symptoms of birth control withdrawal, from acne to mood swings and all the madness in between…


Resetting Your Cycle

One of the big worries when coming off birth control is menstruating naturally. Your body has been dependent on a hormone to support it, which is no longer a part of your life. The first thing to remember is that this will take time. Other important things to remember:

Go Slow. Be gentle with your body. Gentle exercising like hiking, walking, pilates and yoga are great choices. High-intensity workouts will create stress in the body, which is not what you want.

Get Nourished. Make sure your body is receiving proper nutrients. Make sure you’re getting enough iron and magnesium – two nutrients most women are deficient in. We need these nutrients to build blood for our body and keep us feeling good.

Treating Topical Acne

A lot of women start taking birth control to manage hormonal acne. When coming off the pill, some women end up facing hormonal acne for the first time — actually, 90% of women face some sort of skin change. Acne is usually a sign of internal imbalance, however there are many mistakes we can make when treating acne topically, like switching from brand to brand trying to find that one miracle product that will save us! Here are some things you can do to help sooth or treat hormonal acne after birth control:

Take It Easy. The most important thing is to be gentle with your skin. Do not over exfoliate.

Be Consistent. Do not transition from product to product. Be consistent with what you use and be conscious of the ingredients inside. In most acne cases, the less product you layer on the better.

Go to Bed Bare. Always wash your face in the evening. Sleep with your hair up to keep oily stands away from your freshly cleaned face. make sure you wash your pillows weekly as well.

Fighting Acne Internally

Fighting acne internally is just as important as fighting it topically. When coming off the pill, a lot of women experience acne, but also puffiness in their face, bloating, water retention – the list goes on. One of the things I always tell my clients is drink superfood-enhanced water! You can do this at home yourself. I love adding chlorophyll to my water; some people like adding apple cider vinegar or their favorite green powder to their water. Other acne triggers for a lot of women are yeast and dairy. Stay away from yeasty foods, alcohol and dairy for one to three months when coming off the pill.

Managing Mood Swings

Mood swings, depression and exhaustion can become a really big issue when your body is going through this transition off birth control. There are a few natural herbal products on the market that you can take to help balance you. My personal favorite is ashwagandha root. I love the liquid version of this herb, because you can keep it in your bag and drop it into water where ever you are.

On The Fear of Weight Gain

A lot of women struggle with weight gain when coming off the pill, which is quite normal in this major shift. Weight gain can be scary. Your body changing without you having any control over it can lead to a lot of anxiety and depression, which does not help weight management. It is really important in this time to stay consistent with your eating, exercising and self-care methods. Sudden changes to routine can be a lot for your body to take on. If you stop the pill abruptly, then change what you eat, how you exercise, and how you take care of yourself it can be too much for your body to process. Stay consistent and be gentle with your body. Get enough sleep and make sure you are supplementing correctly!

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 

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  1. This is a load of rubbish , nothing happens to your body when you come off the pill.

    Sallyanne | 05.23.2018 | Reply
    • if nothing happened to *your* body, that’s wonderful! but plenty of women experience all kinds of side effects, both when going on and when coming off of hormonal contraception

      kristina | 05.25.2018 | Reply
    • Good for you that you haven’t experienced this.

      However, I have ! And I wish I had read this 2 years ago when stopping with the pill, I now still deal with spots in my face and a year on my back too. It also took me 6 months before having my first period!

      I was way to eager to test out various products to get rid of my spots, which caused more stress and spots. After I’ve stopped testing so many products my skin is slowly getting better, it takes a long time to get over this.

      Louise | 05.26.2018 | Reply
    • I’m pretty sure you cannot answer for every woman’s body. I certainly dealt with some of these when I came off the pill, as did my best friend. You are not all-knowing. Therefore, your comment is the load of rubbish. Not this article. It’s very helpful for those of us who actually pay attention to our bodies and know how they operate.

      jessica | 06.16.2018 | Reply
  2. THANK YOU for writing this!
    Women’s actual reproductive health is ignored so often…doctors just tell you to take the pill to fix everything. But it doesn’t *fix* things. It just suppresses symptoms of underlying issues. And lots of people will shame a woman who isn’t on birth control, unless she’s actively trying to get pregnant.

    Can’t tell you how much I appreciate this!

    Marie | 06.27.2018 | Reply

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