I commonly hear women tell me that their hormone test results have come back normal but they still feel like shit!
This is often followed by their doctor saying “everything is fine, it’s all in your head.”
UGH! How frustrating right?
My first question always is – any chance you happen to be on the pill?
My clients then typically answer with – YES!
My reply – then your test results don’t matter!
You can’t do hormonal lab testing while on the pill!!
Testing sex-hormones while on the pill has diminished value because women on birth control pills have suppressed estrogen and progesterone. If you wonder why your progesterone and estrogen levels are low after testing – they are supposed to be! You’re on the pill!
I’ve had women ask if they can stop taking the pill and do hormone testing the following week.
In that case – NO.
I encourage my clients have 3 full menstrual cycles without any pill, ring or implant use before testing to ensure the hypothalamic-pituitary communication with the ovary is back on track as best as it can be.
In case you’re wondering what that means, let me explain. You brain communicates with your ovaries. In fact it communicates with your whole body! But their are specific hormones secreted by these three organs (hypothalamus-pituitary-ovary) that have a direct role on your menstrual cycle.
The hypothalamus at the base of the brain secretes gonadotropic releasing hormone (GnRH), a tiny gland called the pituitary gland just below the hypothalamus secretes follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) and the ovaries secrete the steroid hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Testing your hormones once you’ve had 3 full months of menstruation without the pill will give you and your practitioner better results and a clearer picture of what is happening with your sex-hormones. It allows the HPO axis to regulate and get back into communication with each other.
Coming off the pill can be quite traumatic for some women.
Breakouts, irregular cycles and bleeding, moodiness – it can all show up once off the pill.
I know what’s that’s all about. When I ditched the pill almost 10 years ago I suffered with breakouts for quite a few months. You can click here to read why the pill ruined my health.
Post pill acne typically happens because when you are no longer ingesting synthetic estrogen (which keeps your skin clear), your OWN estrogen is quite low AND your liver is working hard to metabolize the excess estrogen from the pill.
While your body is detoxing and your ovaries are working to kickstart again, breakouts, acne and even cystic acne is quite common.
As much as this sucks (I mean, no wants wants acne!) this is a natural detox reaction. With the right detox protocols, you can clear your skin up and get your cycle back on track.
It’s easier than you think – I promise.
I’m answering LOTS of hormone-period-pcos related questions in my private Facebook group for those who have joined my 7-Day Hormone Detox. If you’re confused about what to eat to support your hormones, feeling fatigued, anxious and hopeless with your cycle and ready to reverse your PCOS, you’ll love the simple strategies and meal plan in my Hormone Detox.
Simply join the detox and join the Facebook group – all FREE! This way I can help to support you on your hormone journey. Or comment below if you have any questions.
And if you’re thinking about coming off the pill or know someone that could use this information, read and share my article on how to get off hormonal birth control.
In my Hormone Intensive Program (launching mid-October), I’ll be diving into this topic in more detail and providing you protocols for effectively ditching the pill.
In the meantime, love and honour your body today with delicious whole foods, lots of clean water and deep breathing.
Your Hormone Fixer-Upper,
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