Is Your Birth Control Method Making You Estrogen Dominant?
Irritable? No Sex Drive? Sugar Cravings Driving You Crazy? Birth Control Side Effects May Be to Blame
You’re cranky and feel like snapping at everyone around you.
You’re bloated but can’t stop thinking about that slice of pie or cake you saw at the bakery. It’s screaming for your attention!
Every month, before your period your head feels like someone is pounding it with a hammer. When that time of the month rolls around, you’ve got menstrual cramps like you wouldn’t believe.
Your libido has ghosted you. Sleep sounds more enticing than sex.
These are just some of the symptoms of estrogen dominance. That’s when your estrogen levels are high in comparison to progesterone.
Getting rid of estrogen dominance can work wonders on your mental and physical health. Yet, treating estrogen dominance symptoms never works. You’ve got to dig down to the root cause. I’ve had a lot of success with this approach in many patients.
In a little while I’ll share with you the story of one patient I’ll call Jennifer. By getting at the root cause of estrogen dominance, Jennifer was able to kick estrogen dominance to the curb. The result? Jennifer’s symptoms disappeared. She was happier and more relaxed, lost weight, and her libido was back in action.
I’ll tell you Jennifer’s story in a little while. But first, let’s talk about what is estrogen dominance. That way you’ll know why Jennifer’s treatment worked so well. And why you might have the same stellar results.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Estrogen isn’t always the villain. In fact, women need estrogen for many different areas of health including happy moods, heart health, and fertility.
It’s only when estrogen levels become too high in relation to progesterone that hormonal balance gets thrown off. This is what’s known as estrogen dominance.
Estrogen dominance symptoms include:
- Breast tenderness or lumps (aka fibrocystic breasts)
- Breast, ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancer
- Disrupted sleep
- Headaches or migraines
- Holding on to body fat, especially in hips, thighs, belly, and butt.
- Infertility or subfertility
- Intense sugar cravings
- Low libido
- Mood changes: intense irritability, anxiety, devastating depression
- Water retention
- Weight gain
Estrogen dominance can be especially nasty if you’re in perimenopause, the time before entering full menopause. If you’re one of the unlucky ones to be going through both at the same time you might have bad mood swings, horrible PMS, weight gain, and depression. And your libido tanks. Not fun!
What Causes Estrogen To Get Out of Whack?
Remember, our number one goal is to reach a healthy balance of both estrogen and progesterone. In a healthy woman, estrogen and progesterone are balanced and work together in harmony. Progesterone is critical because it counteracts the bad effects of too much estrogen.
There are a number of reasons for too much estrogen or too little progesterone. But hormonal birth control is a very common culprit that most women have never heard about it. A woman might be taking the mini pill or have a hormonal IUD (aka Mirena) and she has no idea it could make her symptoms worse.
Don’t get me wrong. Hormonal birth control has its time and place, but if you’re going to use it you should know about the risks and limitations. You should especially know it won’t fix a hormone imbalance. The problem will still be there after you start taking the pill.
Ironically, birth control is often used to treat symptoms of estrogen dominance like heavy bleeding and painful periods. However, hormonal birth control only makes the estrogen dominance worse.
How does this happen? Hormonal IUDs block ovulation. Without ovulation, you don’t get a healthy rise in progesterone each month. That’s not good. But it gets worse. Just because ovulation stops, doesn’t mean estrogen production stops. You’re still making estrogens- and you’re getting less and less progesterone.
How does your hormonal IUD or mini-pill block ovulation, send progesterone into a nosedive, and allow estrogen to rage out of control? It’s all thanks to progestin, a synthetic form of progesterone.
Doesn’t synthetic progestin work just like natural progesterone? Not at all. In a nutshell, progestin is kind of like progesterone’s evil twin. Progestin doesn’t act like progesterone in the body – it acts more like testosterone, and with none of the benefits of natural progesterone! That’s why it doesn’t improve your PMS, mood, or sleep symptoms.
Progestin-based birth control spells trouble for your body’s hormonal balance. And it throws your progesterone and estrogen levels out of whack.
In fact, the whole reason you might have had heavy periods in the first place is because you suffer from progesterone deficiency!
A Double Whammy
What’s worse, perimenopausal women are often using hormonal IUDs. That’s because several birth control pills’ side effects including risk of stroke, heart attacks, and blood clots, go up after you turn 35. At that time, your doctor may recommend a hormonal IUD. And many women keep using this form of birth control right through the perimenopause period.
Not only are you in perimenopause, which already makes estrogen dominance worse—but you’re also using a birth control device that can cause progesterone levels to plummet. This causes you to go deeper into estrogen dominance. And your symptoms continue to get worse. How crazy is that?
Other Causes of Too Much Estrogen
It’s bad enough that hormonal birth control like IUDs cause estrogen dominance. But if you’ve got one or more other problems going on, everything just gets worse. It’s like a snowball rolling downhill getting bigger and bigger.
Things that worsen estrogen dominance include:
- An overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut (aka dysbiosis). Bad gut bacteria put estrogen back into circulation where it doesn’t belong.
- Sluggish liver detoxification, which slows the clearance of hormones from your body.
- Stress, which hampers your ability to make healthy progesterone levels.
- Too much body fat.
- Xenoestrogens accumulate in our bodies and act like estrogens. These chemicals come from plastics, fragrances, pesticides, and processed soy products, to name a few.
Many doctors go after the symptoms of estrogen dominance rather than tackle the root cause. But symptom relief isn’t the same as hormone balance. In fact, trying to relieve symptoms by inserting a hormonal IUD only leads to more hormonal imbalance.
Instead, I go after the underlying hormonal imbalance issues such as healing the gut, balancing hormones, relieving stress, detoxification, and nutrient deficiencies. If these aren’t addressed, your whole health will suffer.
You remember I mentioned my patient Jennifer? Now we’ll get down to the nitty gritty on how I helped her get rid of the root cause of her estrogen dominance. At the same time we switched her over to one of the safest and best birth control methods.
Jennifer’s Path to Hormone Balance and Better Health
Jennifer was a 34-year-old patient of mine frustrated she couldn’t lose weight. She also had digestive problems. She was constipated and only had a bowel movement every third day. She felt bloated, although this symptom improved after she stopped eating gluten, grains, and dairy. Eating too much fat at one time caused her GI symptoms to act up.
To make matters worse, Jennifer struggled with severe anxiety, carb cravings, and low libido.
A few years ago, her doctor installed a hormonal IUD. Her periods became light and only lasted three days. This is a common side effect of these devices. In fact, it’s the main reason doctors recommend an IUD, to lighten heavy periods. This is because the progestin in the IUD reduces the thickness of the uterine lining, which in turn leads to lighter bleeding or makes periods go away completely.
Testing revealed Jennifer was estrogen dominant. No surprise there! Her estrogen levels were actually ideal but her progesterone levels had nearly hit rock bottom.
She also had low bile flow. Bile is needed to lose weight and detoxify the body. Bile deficiency happens a lot in women with estrogen dominance.
In addition, lab results showed she had a parasite and the harmful bacteria in her gut were growing out of control.
I felt bad this lovely woman was suffering. I knew we could turn things around for her.
Address Estrogen Dominance and Gut Health to Feel Happier, Sexier, and Lose Extra Pounds
We started working on the root causes of Jennifer’s problems. First, upon my recommendation, she had the hormonal IUD removed and replaced it with a copper IUD. These aren’t as hard on hormonal health. However, the copper IUD can promote heavier periods and increased cramping, especially in the first several months for certain women. In women like Jennifer, I address heavy menstrual bleeding by using Slow Flow and Chinese herbal formulas for one to three months. I supported Jennifer’s natural ability to make progesterone using vitamin C and Vitex.
To her surprise, she lost eight pounds! And she did it without doing anything other than just getting the hormonal IUD removed and taking those few supplements.
At that point I started working on her imbalanced gut bacteria and her sluggish liver, the cause of her low bile flow. The low bile was also the culprit behind her inability to digest fat, which in turn led to bloating and gas, sluggish bowel movements, and low levels of essential fat soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, and K.
We addressed the gut dysbiosis and the sluggish liver and—Viola!—her constipation and GI symptoms went away.
Throughout the course of treatment, she also said sayonara to her anxiety, carb cravings, and low libido.
Find Serenity, Boost Your Libido, Cure Carb Cravings, and More
I know how frustrating estrogen dominance symptoms can be. My heart goes out to all women suffering from this condition. I can work with you to pinpoint what’s holding you back from optimum health and turn it around, just like I did with Jennifer.
Your path to peace, sanity, and your best life ever begins with a free 15-minute troubleshooting call. During this chat, I’ll get to know more about what troubles you. If after the call you come on board as a patient, I’ll work with you on estrogen dominance treatments and run the right tests that can put you on the path to vibrant good health. Book your call today and you can feel younger, happier, and more energetic tomorrow.