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Birth Control and Whole30


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I admit I haven't read _every_ thread here, so I'm sorry if this is a repeat.


I've been on Nuvaring birth control for, I forget, 8-10 years at this point.  It works well for me, and fits in my life easily (I'm terrible at taking pills every day!).  For this entire time, once I take the ring out for the week off / period, my body takes a few days to actually start my period.  Eg, if I take the ring out on a Friday, my period would start on Monday or Tuesday, and linger throughout the week, with a couple of heavy days, and a number of days of tapering down.


During my Whole30 (and again now this month, where I'm still mostly Whole30, but working through re-introductions), my period started within 24-36 hours - ring out on Friday morning, and my period had started when I woke up the next day.


Has anyone else experienced changes like this in how their body behaves on birth control?  I'm guessing it's fine, but it seems like an odd change / side effect.

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If you look around, you'll see lots of threads about women on birth control that notice a change in when they get their period.


To help understand it, think of how our bodies were made: we get our period, then our estrogen rises high enough to trigger ovulation, then it tapers down after ovulation so progesterone can increase to prepare our bodies for a potential pregnancy.  If we don't get pregnant, progesterone drops after a certain number of days, and it's that drop in progesterone that triggers a bleed so the cycle can start all over again.


For those on birth control, the synthetic hormones prevent your body from ovulating, thereby preventing pregnancy.  In essence, birth control tricks your body into thinking it's already pregnant so ovulation isn't even necessary.  It's important to note, though, that your body is still producing some levels of hormones; the birth control essentially overpowers them.  When you stop taking the pill for a week (or take the placebo, or take your nuvaring out), it's the same drop in hormones that triggers your period.


Getting your period the day after or 3 days after you take out your nuvaring is irrelevant.  Your body is just registering a drop in hormones.  Perhaps with some diet changes, your own hormones have balanced out a bit in the background, causing the drop to happen sooner.  Or, perhaps because of a rebalancing of hormones, your hormone levels aren't as high, thereby making the drop shorter.  It's hard to say exactly what it is, but whatever the case, it's just another sign that what you eat can certainly impact your hormones.  

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YES. I am on the ring and the same thing happened to me on both of my Whole 30s when removing it after 2+ weeks of Whole 30. Usually, I get the withdrawal bleed 2.5 days after removing the ring, like clockwork. During my first Whole 30, I got my period the day before I was supposed to take it out. The second time, I got it one hour after taking it out and it was very light.


The ring is a low-dose hormonal BC so I think it's entirely possible that our bodies start to balance out the hormones despite the fake hormones being dispersed.

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Thanks for the replies!  I'd seen a lot of posts about periods being later or whatnot, but not as much in the other direction!


I know that a lot of industrial meat, etc. probably has more hormones and disruptors than I would want, and I know soy mimics estrogen. This was just not a side effect I predicted!  My periods are also lighter (which is a nice side benefit).


I don't _think_ this is a sign of the effectiveness being reduced ... is it?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi. I am on day 17 of my first Whole30 and am feeling great! I have more energy than I've had in years and am thinking much more clearly (my main reason for trying this.) I just joined the forum and tried to read the posts related to my question, but can't find a similar question (and am having difficulty searching.) I am 45 and went back on a birth control pill a year ago after 7 years with a copper IUD because I was bleeding too heavily and kept ending up with low iron. In addition, my acne was severely acting up, and on the pill it's nonexistent, so the pill seemed like the best option, and indeed it's been effective for this year. However, once I started the Whole30 I began breakthrough bleeding (which has never happened). It was initially quite heavy for a few days, and since then it's been very light, but it hasn't stopped. I haven't yet reached the "sugar pill" section of my pill pack so this has all been while taking the active hormones. Is this normal? Thank you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I take a non-cyclic oral contraceptive, so the level of hormone is the same for all 24 days (only 4 days of iron pills on Minastrin) instead of changing every week. I took a tricyclic generic for a few months when I was 19 and I became a different person with each change of dose, and none of my alter egos were friendly. I've taken this one for almost seven years (not counting the generic... ew) and I love it. Three days of a super-light period, max, without cramps and without a whole lot of moodiness.


I honestly did not think about it until reading this post, but my periods were starting earlier and earlier, too. They went from starting as late as Sunday mornings (the iron pills start on Thursdays) to my last one starting on a Friday afternoon. I've been eating as close to Whole30 as possible since January, and that's right about when they started creeping closer and closer to when the hormones get cut off. Definitely did NOT put those two things together until just now!


From a medical science student standpoint, this hormone stuff is pretty cool, isn't it?

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