If you have been taking the birth control pill for many years and then decide to try to conceive, you might find yourself having troubles. This can be because the levels of estrogens in your body have built up over the years while you have been on the pill. Right after you go off the birth control pill, your body will still be teeming with all of the hormones that it has been fed for years. You are going to want to work on getting these hormones out of your system so that you can improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Not only is there excess estrogen in the body due to the birth control pill, but you are also exposed to high levels of chemical estrogens in many ways in your daily life. There are chemical estrogens in cosmetics, shampoo, plastic bottles, oil-based coatings, animal hormones and personal care products1. This estrogen will decrease fertility and it will also inhibit fat loss and increase the risk of cancers that affect the sex organs such as ovarian, prostate and breast.
Can You Get Rid of Birth Control Hormones Quickly
You won’t technically be able to “get rid” of the birth control as the hormones will stay in your body for a while. If you have been on the birth control pill for years, it has made an impact on the overall ecosystem of your body and it will take a while for your hormones to return to their natural levels. However, it is possible to make your liver go into overdrive, so that it can cleanse the excess estrogen out of your system.
By nourishing your body with what it needs, you can support your natural detoxification systems and help them to cleanse the hormones out of your system. The healthier your body is, the more it will be able to get rid of the hormones on it’s own. Also, you will be improving the health of your body so that it can make a healthy amount of hormones naturally. By eating a healthy diet high in nutrients and improving your health you will greatly increase your chances of conceiving a baby.
What is Estrogen?
Estrogen is a hormone that is made within the ovaries of a woman, as well as in the testes in a man. It is also produced by other tissues in both men and women, including fat tissues and brain tissues. In men it is important for sperm production and bone maintenance. When it comes to trying to conceive, the abundance of estrogen in the body is a bad thing because it will decrease your chances of being able to make a baby2.
Estrogen is metabolized by the liver, which converts the excess estrogens in your body into compounds that can be excreted by your waste systems. There are three ways that estrogen can be metabolised3. There is the “toxic” pathway that is linked to cancer development, there is the second way which is not very good for health and then there is the benign and healthy way. The key is to support the conversion of estrogen along the C-2 pathway, which can be initiated by ensuring that your gut is healthy.
Encouraging Your Body to Convert Estrogens The Right Way
If your body can convert estrogens along the two hydroxy pathway, it will be a much healthier way to eliminate these hormones. So how can you encourage your body to convert the hormones in this way?
- Eat more Omega 3 fats, which are found in fish, avocados and almonds. They have been shown to promote the C-2 pathway.
- A diet high in protein will help to improve your body composition and will support your liver function, which will help to get rid of the estrogen from the body.
- The amino acids threonine and lysine are found to be very good for supporting liver function. They are found in beans, eggs, fish, meat and seeds such as sesame and fenugreek4.
- DIM is an important compound that is found in cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli. You would need to eat a lot of these vegetables every day to get the amount of DIM that you need for estrogen elimination, which is why this compound is usually taken in supplement form.
- Include foods with phytoestrogens in your diet, as they will help to take both natural and chemical estrogens out of your body. These include foods such as clover, alfalfa, kudzu, leafy greens, sesame, flax and licorice root.
- Eat more mushrooms. They will prevent the body from producing an enzyme that is called “aromatase” which will convert androgen into estrogen. When you eat mushrooms this restricts the conversion process and decreases estrogen in the body5.
- Drink more green tea. It contains phytochemicals which will help to reduce estrogen production in the body6.
These foods will help your body to convert the excess estrogens in the right way, so that they will be eliminated in a manner that is safe and healthy.
Gastrointestinal Health and Estrogen
If you suffer from poor gastrointestinal health, this can inhibit the excretion of excess estrogen and cause it to be reabsorbed. When the estrogen is free in the large intestine and it re-enters circulation and is not removed from the body this is a bad situation.
Therefore, it is important to eat enough fiber and include more lingans in your diet, including leafy greens, grain, flax, barley, oats and rye. Take probiotics so that you can increase the levels of good bacteria in your gut. When you have a diet that is high in fiber it means that you will be able to bind the estrogen in the digestive tract so that it can be excreted by the body.
Nutrients to Eat To Return Hormone Levels to Normal
What other important foods and nutrients that you should include in your body so that you can return the hormone levels to normal? Here are a few of the nutrients that you should be focusing on.
- B Vitamins – The liver uses B vitamins to process hormones. When you add extra hormones to your body by taking birth control this will use up a lot of B vitamins, so it is important to replenish them. Good sources of B vitamins include whole grains, leafy greens and animal products.
- Vitamin C is important for liver health and it will also help you to get those excess hormones cleared. Good sources of vitamin C include vegetables and fruits such as citrus, peppers, berries and kiwi.
- Zinc is really good for the utilisation and production of hormones. To get more zinc in your diet you should eat more dish, pumpkin seeds, oysters or red meat.
- Magnesium is required for the production of ovarian hormones and great sources of it include leafy greens, nettle, kelp, cocoa and several types of nuts and seeds.
- Vitamin A is very important for reproductive health on many levels, so make sure that you are eating a lot of it including kidney, fish, liver, whole milk and cod liver oil.
- When it comes to fats, stick to healthy organic fats such as organic butter, virgin coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.
- Look for foods that contain sulphur. This will help to detoxify the liver by getting rid of the substances that will cause liver damage. As a result, the liver will become more productive. Since it is your liver that is responsible for breaking down estrogen in the body, sulphuric foods can help with this process. Try adding more onions, leafy green vegetables, garlic, egg yolks and citrus fruits to your diet.
Decreasing Body Fat
The more excess fat that you have overall in your body, the more estrogen your system will hold onto because the fat tissue will increase the levels of the particular aromatase enzyme that is responsible for turning testosterone into estrogen7. If you can decrease your body fat and build lean muscle mass, this will be the key to fighting cancer as well as eliminating estrogen.
Talk to your doctor about the best strategy for losing weight. If your BMI is over 40 they might recommend that you undergo gastric band surgery to help you lose weight. Otherwise, they will help you to make the transition to a healthier diet and regular physical exercise so that you can bring down your weight. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy BMI will not only help to improve your fertility, it will increase your health in many other ways and improve the quality of your life.
Cutting Down on Alcohol
It might be a good idea to cut down on your alcohol consumption if you are trying to get rid of birth control in the body. Alcohol increases estrogen levels in men and women and it has also been shown to decrease testosterone as well. It is advised that you cut down on alcohol as much as possible or eliminate it altogether.
If you do want to have a drink, it’s better to have red wine. Spanish and Sardinian wines are rich in antioxidants and they will help to remove estrogens8. Also, other good wines to drink include Merlot and Pinot varieties. These wines are helpful because they are made from red grapes, as the skin of the red grape contains a chemical that is called “resveratrol” and is known to help block the production of estrogen.
Limiting Your Dairy Intake
Try to reduce your dairy intake, as there are a lot of estrogens that come from dairy products and cow’s milk. This is because cows are usually milked during pregnancy, which is when their estrogen levels are the highest. Also, farmers would inject cows with excess estrogen to make them produce more milk. You can replace these dairy products in your diet with almond milk and rice milk instead. When you are consuming dairy you should choose helpful dairy sources such as probiotics, which will help you to promote healthy bacteria in your digestive system.
Limiting Exposure to Chemical Estrogen
It is important to limit the levels of chemical estrogen that you are exposed to in your environment, as this will help with your overall health and increase your ability to conceive. Recently there has been a movement in public health advocacy for chemical companies to take action to reduce environmental toxins.
There are also ways that you can limit the exposure to chemical estrogens in your life, such as:
- Using natural cleaning products that do not contain toxins.
- Eating organic so that you are not ingesting pesticides and growth hormones.
- Avoid using plastic containers for food and water, instead you can use a stainless steel water bottle or glass.
- Stay away from air fresheners or scented candles, which contain chemicals that can alter your hormones.
- Avoid microwaving food that is in plastic. Under high temperatures the BPA is easily transferred from plastic to food, so make sure that you use glass containers.
- Avoid using personal care products that contain phthalates, as these are another chemical estrogen.
Take a look at health food stores or shop online in order to find healthy alternatives to these products that don’t contain chemical estrogen and will not have a negative effect on the body.
Reducing Birth Control Estrogen in the Body
These are just a few ways that you can reduce your level of birth control estrogens in the body so that you can improve your fertility and increase your chances of conceiving. Getting rid of birth control in the body is a complex process and it involves making sure that your overall health is as good as possible, so that you have the best chances of conceiving. The key is to live a lifestyle that improves the elimination of estrogen and minimizes the exposure to chemical estrogens. If you need further advice on trying to conceive or you have any concerns about your health, make sure to ask your healthcare provider.
- Poliquin Group. 10 Ways To Lower Estrogen Toxic Load. http://bit.ly/1qlaDib (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- Conceive Easy. How Estrogen Levels Affect Your Fertility. http://www.conceiveeasy.com/get-pregnant/estrogen-and-fertility/ (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- J.M Swartz M.D, Y.L. Wright M.A. The Wisdom of Bioidentical Hormones In Menopause, Perimenopause, and Premenopause. http://bit.ly/1N5QyqC (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- Poliquin Group. Eleven Practical Tips for Optimal Estogen Metabolism. http://bit.ly/1UXPkjN (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- WikiHow. How To Lower Estrogen Levels. http://www.wikihow.com/Lower-Estrogen-Levels (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- HealthLine. Anti-Estrogen Diet For Men. http://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/anti-estrogen-diet-men (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- Bodybuilding.com. All About Estrogen. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/planet32.htm (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- Women Fitness. Top 10 Tips To Budge Estrogen Induced Stubborn Fat. http://www.womenfitness.net/budgeEstrogen_fat.htm (Accessed April 2016) ↩
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