7 Vitamins Your Body Needs to Recover if You’re on The Pill

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When you think about taking oral contraceptives for birth control, or to treat your acne or “regulate” your menstrual cycle or whether it’s to keep upsetting period symptoms under control— you might have heard about potential side effects like headaches or vaginal spotting (among other things).

But a lesser-known side effect is nutritional deficiencies. Turns out that women who take the pill are more likely to develop lower levels of certain vitamins. These nutrients are vital to your well-being, and you’re likely to find your body sorely lacking in them, even after you quit taking hormonal birth control. The absence of these nutrients can contribute to conditions like anemia, stroke, and depression. But you can keep these in check by replenishing your body’s nutrients now, whether you continue your use of the pill or not. Here are 7 vitamins you should be taking. 

 

01 

Zinc

Zinc is an important nutrient that helps our immune system, keeps our hormones balanced, and maintains healthy skin and nails. But zinc is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies caused by hormonal birth control.

The pill messes with zinc levels because it can affect both zinc production and absorption in the body. When zinc levels drop, it can throw off hormone balance, especially progesterone, which can show up as dull hair, skin, and nails. Eating foods rich in zinc, such as beans, seeds, shellfish, pumpkin can help make up for any shortfall.

 

02

Selenium

A lot of women are struggling with hormone issues, and if you’re one of them, you should know your thyroid function is key. Selenium deficiency can directly disrupt your thyroid, which in turn affects your estrogen levels. This imbalance in selenium can throw off your other hormones too, since they all work together with your thyroid. Even if you’re on birth control to manage conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome, it might be affecting your hormone levels negatively. Getting enough selenium can help balance your hormones, especially by helping your body process estrogen better. You can get selenium from foods such as sunflower seeds, organ meats, seafood, poultry, and eggs.

 

03

Magnesium (Essential for Period Pain Relief)

Ever get pounding headaches or painful cramps during your period? Your body might be telling you it needs more magnesium. One study found that 80% of women don’t get enough magnesium. Magnesium is super important for balancing estrogen and easing those dreaded period symptoms like headaches and inflammation. Plus, it’s good for your bones, muscles, and helps you relax. Experts suggest taking a daily magnesium supplement of 300-600mg, but you can also find it in foods such as leafy greens, brown rice, yogurt, and nuts.

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04

Vitamin C

Dr. Mariza Snyder, a women’s health expert, coined vitamin C the “duct tape of vitamins” because it’s so versatile. It fights off harmful free radicals in your body, boosts your immune system, and helps your cells produce energy. But hormonal birth control can mess with how quickly your body uses up vitamin C, leaving you short. Luckily, you can find vitamin C in lots of fruits and veggies. If you’re feeling tired, sluggish, or noticing more bruises than usual, you might be low on this essential nutrient.

 

O5

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, is a natural compound that helps your cells make energy. A study from 2010 showed that women on hormonal birth control had lower CoQ10 levels. As we get older, our bodies naturally make less CoQ10, but having too little is linked to serious health issues like neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and diabetes. CoQ10 supports heart health, helps with insulin resistance, and can even ease chronic headaches and migraines by boosting cell energy.

 

O6

Folate: (Important for Energy and Pregnancy)

Feeling weak, tired, and sluggish after stopping birth control? Your body might need more folate. Folate, also called vitamin B9, is crucial for making red blood cells and other important functions. It’s different from folic acid, which is made synthetically. If you’re planning to get pregnant after stopping birth control, folate is super important for a healthy pregnancy. It helps with the development of a baby’s neural tubes, which are the building blocks of the spine and nerves. You can get folate from supplements or foods like beans, eggs, citrus fruits, and veggies like broccoli and cabbage. B vitamins, including folate, are also important for keeping your brain healthy, repairing cells, boosting energy, and regulating mood.

 

O7

Other Vital B Vitamins

B vitamins, especially B6 and B12 are the most common deficiencies that’s super important for keeping your brain healthy, fixing cells, boosting energy, and managing your mood. If you’re feeling down or struggling with brain fog, you might need more of these vitamins. Unlike some other nutrients, your body doesn’t make B12 on its own, so you have to get it from food or supplements. Good sources of B vitamins include eggs, fish, organ meats, leafy greens, beef, and lots of fruits and veggies.

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Bonus: While not technically vitamins, probiotics are still important, especially if you’re on hormonal birth control. Birth control can deplete your gut health, which makes it crucial to add healthy bacteria back into your gut. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, and probiotic-rich products like kefir and kombucha, are great for gut health. They can help balance out any harm caused by long-term use of artificial hormones.

 

Is it Okay to Take Vitamins With Birth Control?

The answer is a bit unclear. Some research suggests it might be a good idea to take vitamin pills along with birth control. But it is not clear if these lower vitamin levels affect your health clinically.

There isn’t enough proof on how vitamin pills affect women who take birth control pills. Therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation.

But here’s a fact: Birth control pills with added folate can help keep your folate levels up. This is especially helpful if you plan to get pregnant soon after stopping birth control.

In addition, Taking supplements might not solve all your problems, but it’s a good start to help counteract any harmful side effects of birth control. If you stay on birth control for a long time without treating any deficiencies, they can become more serious. Paying attention to your diet and nutrition is just as important when you’re on birth control as when you’re not. Choosing to take hormonal birth control is a big responsibility, especially when it comes to managing its effects on your body.

It might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about whether taking vitamins would be helpful for you.

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