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The contraceptive pill will not fix your hormonal imbalance.
I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t work that way.
Whether you have irregular or heavy periods, acne, PCOS etc. and seek out the contraceptive pill such as the combined or progesterone only or another form of hormonal contraceptive, believe me, it will not help your hormonal imbalance. It will not fix it.
I speak from experience as someone who was put on the combined pill at sixteen-years-old due to my very heavy periods. Sure, while on the pill I did notice my periods become a little lighter and for a year or so, everything seemed fine apart from the odd spotting. But eventually, I learnt that I had oestrogen dominance, where the balance of oestrogen to progesterone in the body is very ‘off’ and this played a part in triggering my thyroid condition. In fact, it does for quite a few women.
You see, that pill, patch, injection etc. secreting hormone and messing with chemicals, just suppresses your hormones. In simple terms, it tells your brain to stop talking to your ovaries and so your ovaries think they’ve been replaced, stopping the production of hormone. By putting hormonal contraceptives in to your body, you are replacing your ovaries’ job with synthetic hormone that can go on to wreak all kinds of havoc.
Although your heavy periods, acne etc. may be gone for a while on hormonal contraceptives, it is a short-term and short-sighted solution to a hormonal imbalance.
You see, that acne, those heavy periods, those irregular periods and the PCOS, they are of course due to a hormonal imbalance and this needs addressing in order to correct it. Masking the issue with synthetic hormone only makes the problem worse. Especially when you inevitably come off the hormonal contraception one day, you will likely experience a surge in symptoms again and they’re usually even worse this time around. Even if you stay on the same contraception for years or never experienced any issues before going on the pill, you may well do after messing with these hormones.
When I came off the combined pill after five years on it, that oestrogen dominance I had before, causing the heavy periods and acne, came back even worse. As my ovaries came back online, I had a surge of hormones that caused me to break out in to acne I’d never experienced before and my periods were horrendously irregular. As I attempted to go on to another hormonal contraceptive (the progesterone only pill) I only made it worse by trying to turn my ovaries and their natural production line off and on again.
Those hormonal imbalances you have, whether they’re due to being on hormonal contraceptives or even if you had them before, need addressing. The root issue needs looking in to. Most often, it’s oestrogen dominance many of us also have alongside hypothyroidism and the link between oestrogen dominance and hypothyroidism is hard to miss, considering that for every nine or ten women that suffer from hypothyroidism, only one man does.
We also know that big hormonal shifts in a woman’s body, such as pregnancy or the menopause, or even taking hormonal contraceptives, can bring hypothyroidism to surface. I don’t doubt that attempting to treat my hormonal imbalances with the contraceptive pill helped trigger my hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. In fact, many medical professionals are now blaming oestrogen dominance for the cause of hypothyroidism in some cases, particularly as a trigger for the autoimmune version of hypothyroidism: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Which 90% of us have. 
So please, we need to stop messing with our already out of whack oestrogen and progesterone and instead try to fix it by addressing the root issue, such as gut and/or liver health. And for those who never had a sex hormone imbalance in the first place, don’t give yourself one by messing with them!
You should also look in to addressing your gut health when it comes to sex hormone issues. Speaking from personal experience, I had a lot of work to do on my gut health when I came off hormonal contraceptives.
Have you taken the pill?
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Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her books include “Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate” and “You, Me and Hypothyroidism”.