Monday, October 2, 2023

How To Balance Hormones After Plan B

How To Regulate Hormones With Exercise

balanced hormones

As I discuss in my book Healthy Gut, Healthy You, exercise is another pillar of health. Getting outside in nature, preferably with a friend, can improve your internal environment, which will allow for healthy bacteria to flourish.

Its important to exercise enough, but not too much. If youre new to exercise or recovering from burnout try light activities like walking for 30 minutes a few days per week . As you get stronger, add more time and experiment with different exercise strategies like weight training, swimming, or biking.

When it comes to hormonal symptoms:

  • Exercise can improve menstrual pain, constipation, breast tenderness, anxiety, and anger .
  • Swimming improved 14 out of 17 PMS symptoms when compared to women who didnt swim .
  • Personalized exercise improves hormones, balances blood sugar, improves mitochondrial function and capacity and thus fatigue, and helps improve sleep .

What Causes A Hormone Imbalance

Hormones play a major role in our lives because they control many aspects of our bodies. They regulate growth and the general working of our bodies. There are many different hormones and many reasons for an imbalance.

Women suffer hormone imbalance relating to their menstrual cycle due to fluctuations of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Women encounter hormone imbalance due to puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and the menopause.

These are normal types of imbalance and women learn to live with the changes in their moods and bodies during this time. Some women have hormone replacement therapy during the perimenopausal to relieve undesirable symptoms. Other reasons women encounter a hormone imbalance include PCOS, HRT and birth control, menopause, POI and ovarian cancer.

Symptoms are vast and include irregular painful periods, osteoporosis, weight gain, hair loss or gain and infertility. Emergency contraception may or may not cause a hormone imbalance but it is important you see your doctor if you suffer from any unusual symptoms.

A hormonal imbalance may be a sign of an underlying health condition which requires treatment. .

Which Exercise Is Best For Hormonal Imbalance

There are a variety of exercises that can help restore hormonal balance after pregnancy, including yoga and Pilates. It is important to consult with a health professional before beginning an exercise program if you have any doubts or concerns about your health.

Here is a video from Yoga with Kassandra on how to balance hormones after pregnancy with Yoga:

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To Decoding Your Hormones: How Long Should Your Period Be

Since we only have our own period to compare to, it can be hard to know whether what we experience is normal. Lets run through some normal cycle parameters so that you can determine where you fall:

The length of your periodrefers to the number of days from the first day of your bleed to the last day before your next bleed. A healthy range for your cycle length is anywhere between 21 and 35 days, with the average being around 29 days.

Many of my clients tell me their period is always late because it comes on day 30 . This is a huge misconception: that if your period isnt 28 days, you arent normal. If your period consistently arrives around the same day of your cycle, and it falls within the healthy range of 21 to 35 days, this is your normal, healthy cycle length.

Whether or not you fit this textbook 28 day cycle , the most important factor to consider is whether your normal has changed or not.

Our menstrual cycles are very responsive to stress in our lives and demonstrate this most clearly in the length of our cycles. Stress is not always psychological , but may be physical .

When we are more stressed, our body does not deem our environment to be a safe place to bring a baby in to the world, and can shut down ovulation all together, or delay it until it deems we are safe. The end result of this change in ovulation is a missing period altogether, or longer cycles than your normal. Think this might explain your menstrual cycle problems?

What Is Plan B


Simply, Plan B is an over-the-counter pill that contains a highly concentrated dose of hormones to block a pregnancy after unprotected P-in-V intercourse has occurred. Per Planned Parenthood, if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, the morning-after pill can decrease your chance of getting pregnant by 79 to 89 percent.

When taken correctly, Plan B solely prevents a pregnancy from ever occurring and cannot prevent or end a pregnancy that has already happened, explains ob-gyn Tia Jackson-Bey, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York. It takes five to sevendays for the sperm and egg to meet, and Plan B is meant to be taken within 72 hours, aka before this meetup happens.

And if you dont have a regular medical provider or if youre feeling nervous about speaking with any reproductive health care providers right now , check out Bedsider for more info on the emergency contraception options out there for you.

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How Does Plan B One

Plan B One-Step works like other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. The drug acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It may prevent a sperm from fertilizing the egg.

If fertilization does occur, Plan B One-Step may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb. If a fertilized egg is implanted prior to taking Plan B One-Step, the drug will not work and pregnancy proceeds normally.

What Actually Happens When I Take Plan B

Again, Plan B is *not* the same as an abortion pill, but it will work with your body to prevent a pregnancy from ever occurring. Just make sure you do in fact need it before you take it. If you are taking your birth control as directed, there isnt a need to take Plan B or another type of emergency contraceptive, Dr. Ginde says. But if youre not taking birth control or if you skipped a pill and didnt have a backup form of contraception like condoms, this is where emergency contraception comes in handy. Heres how it all goes down.

Plan Bs active ingredient is levonorgestrel, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone thats found in many hormonal birth controls. The difference here, per Dr. Jackson-Bey, is that theres a much higher dosage of levonorgestrel compared to regular contraception.

This large, concentrated dose disrupts the bodys normal hormone patterns, which is why its so time-sensitive, she explains. This delays ovulation, preventing fertilization. How? Well, if youre not ovulating, theres no egg hanging around the fallopian tubes for the sperm to meet up with. And per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, sperm can chill in the body for up to five days. SoI guess you could call this the only good form of ghosting?

On top of said ghosting, that extra oomph of hormones also thickens your cervical mucus. The thicker the cervical mucus, the less likely it is for sperm to even reach the fallopian tubes, Dr. Jackson-Bey says.

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+ Delayed + Decreased Fertility

In order to promote fertility its critical to have an optimal balance of the dominant female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, but taking birth control blocks these receptors, creating imbalances.

One of the most common hormone imbalances on birth control is estrogen dominance, which can result in heavy or painful periods,cramping and blood clots, PMS, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and Endometriosis .

When your body becomes estrogen dominant, it means your progesterone levels in relation to your estrogen are low. Progesterone is what builds the integrity of your uterine lining in order for a fertilized egg to successfully implant. Women with low progesterone are 39% more likely to miscarry as a result.

Cut Out Inflammatory Foods

WHAT I EAT for Balanced Hormones & PCOS on a Plant-Based Diet

Food is medicine, straight up. Most doctors wont admit it, but diet has a huge role to play in your health and coming off the pill is no exception. There are certain inflammatory foods that can create chaos in the body and should be avoided at this time. Dairy, soy and gluten are the main three I recommend kicking to the curb.

Dairy can be full of hormones and toxins that act as endocrine disruptors and create inflammation in the body. Not to mention lactose, casein, and whey are notorious food allergies for many people and tax the bodys digestive system and gut health.

Soy is controversial, but there is evidence showing soy can act as an endocrine disruptor due to its estrogenic properties. Soy is also the largest GMO crop in the world, which means finding a clean source is near impossible.

Gluten. Its everyones favorite nutritional buzzword, but that is for a reason. Many people cannot digest gluten properly and even if you can, it still loosens the tight junctions in your intestinal wall that keeps invaders from entering your bloodstream. And once they do, boom, inflammation.

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Women On The Pill Had Gained 40% Less Muscle Than Those Who Werent On It

At the time, he was researching how a persons genetic makeup can affect their ability to grow their muscles through exercise. His research team put a group of men and women through 10 weeks of resistance training slow, punishing exercises such as crunches and lifting heavy weights. Then participants were weighed to see if they had more muscle than they started with. The team also gathered information on various lifestyle factors so that they could make sure any gains were caused by genetics and not, for example, the medications they were on.

While they were doing this analysis, they discovered that women on the pill had gained 40% less muscle than those who werent on it.

It jumped out as a pretty big impact, says Riechman.

Eight women open up about the side effects they experienced from the pill. Watch the video below.

Its well-known that men naturally have more muscle than women. The average man has 72lbs of brawn, compared with a measly 46lbs in women. This is partly just because men are taller and heavier overall, but that isnt the whole story as a percentage of overall body mass, men are about 38% muscle while women are 31%. This comes down to hormones: men have more anabolic hormones running through their veins, which tell the body when to grow more muscle.

Men tend to have a higher percentage of muscle mass than women because of their hormones

Fat storage

Hormone Balancing Tip #: Manage Stress

Stress wreaks havoc on our hormones, particularly our production of progesterone. Progesterone is produced from the same building blocks as our stress hormone cortisol . When we are stressed, our body ramps up its cortisol production and slows down on progesterone, contributing to a number of hormonal imbalances.

For many of us, we have little control over the stressors that are thrown on us on a day to day basis. The key then to managing stress is learning how to change your relationship with stress. Shifting your mindset around stress is the cornerstone to changing the way that it affects your body.

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What Causes Hormone Imbalance

There can be a wide variety of reasons for a hormone imbalance. Menopause is one, according to Dr. Dobs, but since menopause is a normal part of the aging process, doctors are typically only concerned if the woman is having a tough time with symptoms and needs help managing them.

What were concerned with is suddenness, she says. If something has changed in the last six months that wasnt there before, such as an irregular period or sudden hair growth on the face, we absolutely recommend an evaluation be done to see whats going on with your hormones. Meanwhile, for young women, your period shouldnt suddenly stop, she adds.

Some causes of hormone imbalance in younger women can include polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, according to Dr. Dobs, which is associated with very high levels of testosterone. Lifestyle choices can lead to hormone imbalance, too, according to Wen Shen, M.D., assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore.

Smoking can lead to a hormone imbalance, and it can actually lead you into an earlier menopause, she says. Very high levels of stress can cause a hormone imbalance, too, according to Dr. Dobs. In rare cases, a testosterone-secreting tumor can be a cause of hormone imbalance.

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Does Plan B One

A Hormone

Like any medication, Plan B One-Step does have side effects. The most common side effect is nausea, which occurs in about a quarter of women after taking the drug. Other side effects include abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, dizziness, vomiting, and menstrual changes. If you vomit within two hours of taking Plan B One-Step, consult a health care professional to find out if you need to take another dose.

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The Side Effects Of Plan B

The way emergency contraceptives work is that they contain a large dose of levonorgestrel. Levonorgestrel is a synthetic hormone that mimics the sex hormone progesterone, which prevents ovulation and, hence, pregnancy.

Plan B and other emergency contraceptives contain 1.5 milligrams of levonorgestrel. That’s three times more than what you get in a regular birth control pill. As a result, this large, concentrated dose can cause side effects like:

  • You might also notice changes to your menstrual cycle, like irregular bleeding.

Less common side effects include:

  • Breast tenderness

While plan B side effects can be uncomfortable, they shouldn’t feel excessively extreme or severe. Pelvic pain and a disruption in your cycle should be the most severe side effects of taking plan B.

If you experience side effects that go beyond these symptoms, or if they worsen after more than a few days, consider consulting a doctor. Moreover, if you notice irregularities in your period persisting for more than one cycle, take a pregnancy test.


You Had Easy Breezy Periods And Little To No Hormonal Concerns Pre

The envy of many, you may experience some breakouts or mild anxiety as your body weans off its daily dose of synthetic oestrogen, but youll likely be fine to stop taking the pill and see how you go.

Supporting your body to start ovulating and producing its own natural progesterone again will help to soothe any low moods or anxiety, and promote regular, symptom-free cycles.

To help your body ovulate ASAP, make sure to:

  • Get plenty of sleep and manage your stress levels. Easier said than done, we know. Try cutting back on additional stressors such as over exercising, caffeine and alcohol.
  • Make sure to eat plenty of nutrient-dense wholefoods, and include a good balance of healthy fats, quality proteins and the right kind of carbs in your diet.
  • Keep your nutrient stores tip-top, particularly zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. These key nutrients nourish the ovaries and support ovulation – find these all in our beloved Take Me With The Pill

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Team Up With A Practitioner

Sometimes it takes a little targeted support from someone who has experience helping women like online training to address this common health with you in a strategy sessionNow you tell me, whats worked for you to help balance your hormones after coming off birth control? Share your experience in the comments!

Ways To Measure Female Steroid Hormones

Hormones Out of Balance – This is Why! – Dr. Berg On Hormonal Imbalance
  • Dried blood spot

The most common methods are serum and 24-hour urine collection, which are good options for measuring hormones in most people. Some evidence suggests theyre not accurate in people undergoing hormone replacement therapy .

Saliva is an easy method of testing and may be a better option for those undergoing HRT, but can result in different outcomes than serum testing . A 2020 literature review found saliva testing to be good for testing fertility, measuring levels of estrogen, and for tracking perimenopausal hormonal changes .

Dried blood spot sampling appears to align with serum levels, but may be better for measuring incoming hormones from HRT .

Dried urine sampling may be effective at finding steroid hormones and their metabolites in cycling and menopausal women, whether on or off HRT. In addition, dried urine sampling may allow for taking multiple hormone measurements, which can be useful for analyzing fertility .

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Hormone Balancing Tip #: Consider Supplementing

The above suggestions will go a long way to improving your body’s production and elimination of hormones. Consider these initial steps as the ‘ground work’ for hormone balance. If you have implemented all of these tips, your next step is to consider adding 1 or 2 high quality supplements in to your regime

Magnesium: wonderful in helping the body cope with chronic, ongoing stress as magnesium is used in the stress response. Magnesium bisglycinate form is best for most people as it causes the least disturbance to digestive symptoms. 300mg per day is an effective dose for most people.

Zinc: Great for acne and digestive issues. 30mg per day in citrate or picolinate form after food .

Iron: great for heavy periods, low iron stores and fatigue. Please have your iron levels checked through a simple blood test which can be requested through your health care provider. Bisglycinate form is best as it causes the least digestive issues. 24mg every second day away from caffeine is a good dose for most people.

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