The Pill and it’s impact on the Gut and overall health… Ladies, must read!

The Pill and it’s impact on the Gut and overall health… Ladies, must read!

The oral contraceptive pill was once praised as a wonder drug; How fantastic, easy contraception, no more skin breakouts, mood swings, irregular cycles etc… But what a disaster this has created.

I have known for years that it’s not good for health; numerous times over the past 15 years I went off the pill to give my body a break, and never did it take less than 6 months for my menstrual cycle to return to normal. That can’t be healthy. But I continued dabbling with the oral contraceptive pill until I decided it was no longer a necessity in my life.

I started researching in more depth about the Pill after recently attending Dr. Nat Kringoudis’ Debunking Ovulation seminar where she mentioned the terrible effect the pill has on gut health. With my interest in gut health, I was fascinated to learn more. The oral contraceptive pill devastates beneficial bacteria flora in the gut, leaving it vulnerable to a whole host of bacterial strains taking dominance. Especially candida albicans – so if thrush is something you deal with on a semi-regular basis, get your hands on some good probiotics, pronto. It is likely there is an imbalance in your gut flora.

Another big problem with the pill wreaking havoc on the gut, is that when you finally do go to have children, several issues come to the surface….

Gut imbalance reduces absorption of nutrients, meaning that even if a pregnant woman (who was previously on the pill) eats remarkably well during pregnancy, it is highly likely that she AND her baby aren’t reaping the full benefits.

Beneficial flora in the gut also synthesise nutrients including vitamin K, folic acid,  pantothenic acid (B5), thiamin, B12, amino acids and more. If the gut is imbalanced and lacking the beneficial flora, she may be missing out on producing these vitamins for her and her growing baby.

Did you know the pill also depletes zinc in the body? Zinc is known as the ‘intelligence mineral’ as it is closely involved in mental development. So if you have been on the pill, and wanting to become pregnant, it is recommended to wait at least 6 months so that zinc levels return to normal. Low zinc is associated with lowered IQ. Interesting! As well as disturbing.

Another common symptom from abnormal gut flora is anaemia (low iron). Many strains of bad bacteria actually consume and feed off iron! If you have battled low iron levels despite consuming iron rich foods or supplements, you probably have an overgrowth of the bad bacteria, of which are growing even more with your dosage of iron supplements! Treatment? Probiotics. Feed the good stuff so it can overgrow the bad. And the problem lies for the fetus. Low iron, equals less oxygen, which means poorer development and higher chance of low birth weight.

And if you’re still not convinced of not only the pill’s effect on your gut and overall health, and potential harmful effects on your unborn baby, get this.

Your gut health is literally a genetic imprint of your mothers at the time of your conception.  That means, how your mothers gut health at the time you were made, is exactly what yours would have been at birth. In other words – you directly pass on the health of your gut onto your unborn child. Children with imbalanced gut flora are predisposed to more allergies, asthma, eczema and learning difficulties.

Have you been on the pill? For how long? How do you think this has affected your gut health? Are you willing to pass this on to your baby? And how do you think your overall health is suffering because you are on the pill?  

Depending on your reasons for being on the pill obviously will determine how you decide to come off it. Adequate probiotics and supplementation is important, and being under the care of a health practitioner will also assist if side effects are a concern.

I’d LOVE to hear from you! What are your thoughts? Comment below. 




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22 Responses to The Pill and it’s impact on the Gut and overall health… Ladies, must read!

  1. Thanks for a great article. Everything in this article was relevant to me. I took the pill Yasmin for 3 years. About a year into it I kept getting thrush and had horribly low iron. The doctor didn’t connect either symptom with the pill. I had to get iron injections to help me feel better. About 6 months ago I stopped taking the pill as I was trying to completely change my diet and lifestyle. I was also getting horrible mood swings. No meat, no dairy and no more PILL! I’m feeling really great now. The only thing my doctor told me to do (apart from take iron supplements) was to eat more red meat! I know better now!!

    • Wow, that’s amazing Amanda, and glad to hear you are feeling better, and the Pill is no longer a part of your life. Keep up the good work with the healthy lifestyle change :) xx

  2. I am unable to take the pill because approximately 8 years ago it caused me severe depression. At the time I wanted to look into it more and was told by all doctors it is taboo and I should not push any of the pharmaceutical company’s buttons. I hate the pill and think it is overused and frankly, dangerous.
    Thank you for this article and keep up the good work.

  3. Awesome article – Agree completely with Sarah – you are highlighting such an important message which women need to hear. Unrelated to the gut but a few years ago I had estrogen related hypertension from being on the oral contraceptive. At the time I was absolutely guttered that I had to come off it but soon realised that it was definitely a blessing in disguise. Thanks for the post- will def be sharing!

    • Thanks Anita – share as much as you can, more women need to hear it. I hope your hypertension has resolved now. I didn’t go into it in this article, but the link with blood disorders, stroke and also the link with breast cancer are also very alarming xx

  4. Great article Ash. It’s funny and maybe a little crazy, but I’m really starting to suspect the pill as being responsible for a lot more of those little ‘inexplicable’ health troubles I’ve picked up on in the last few years. Going off it was the best decision I’ve ever made :)

  5. Thank you for a wonderful article.
    I have been on and off the pill and currently on the implanon rod however this is now causing havoc with my body also.
    I want to come off contraceptives however am interested to know if there is any other form of contraceptive that anyone knows about that is less stressful on the female body short of stopping all forms of female contraceptives?

    • Hi Melanie,
      Thankyou! I am not sure about other contraceptives, apart from naturally getting to know your cycle and your ovulation (and signs that you are ovulating)… All foreign objects or medications come with a host of side effects. Have a good read on Dr. Nat Kringoudis’ website, she has loads more information on it. I think it’s important to have someone (health practitioner) to support you when you do come off the pill, and good on you for being aware for what is clearly causing havoc in your body. Good Luck and email me if you have any further questions xx

    • Hi Meri,
      I use one BioTrust ProX10 from the USA – you can buy it online. Otherwise, Swisse do one with 50 billion bacteria which is ok, and Metagenics also do a great one (Ultraflora) but you need to have a health practitioner to get that one. Try the BioTrust. Email me if you have any other questions, always happy to help anything regarding health and especially digestion! xx

  6. Thank you for sharing this article! I’ve only recently started on the pill (approx 2 months) because I am currently using another contraceptive Implanon, but my period has been all over the place – the doc suggested the pill to regulate me.. Now I’m extra concerned.. Do you have any advice?

    • Hi Amanda,
      It’s a completely personal preference. I personally stay well away from the pill, because of its proven effects on the body (like anything artificial i guess!) Also with a family history of breast cancer, and it’s significant impact on risk, it’s not for me. Plus looking after my gut is very important to me. I think if you are getting irregular periods, working on balancing your hormones is a good start. This may be starting in the gut for you, and having a good look at your diet, is it balanced? Many processed foods? Much sugar? Do you eat lots of good fats like avocado and nuts which support your hormones? I would seriously consider going off it, but at the same time, you need to work out why your periods are so all over the place, and make sure that you are eating and living in a way that supports your health and a balanced hormonal system. Also understanding ovulation will be helpful too. If you have any other questions, shoot me an email, always happy to help! xx

  7. I was on the pill for 33 years. I’ve only been off for just about 2 months. I’ve never had any problems with it. Guess I need to be thankful. Thanks for the info.

  8. I have recently come off the pill about 2 months ago and I have to say that my skin is starting to suffer. I had the clearest skin and would get a pimple like once a month. Since coming off the pill I am getting quite a few more. It’s not at the point of acne, but I still feel horrible because I eat such a clean diet now as well as for a year whilst I was on the pill. I also haven’t had my period since coming off the pill (I’ve done pregnancy tests and what not) I’m assuming that this is fairly normal when coming off the pill and it will eventually return? Do you have any suggestions? Or do I need to wait it out and my skin will balance itself?

    • Hi Isabella,
      I would look at your gut health, and building it, by working on adding more good bacteria (from probiotics and fermented foods), and also by removing any toxins (sugar, or foods that feed the bad bacteria) this will help balance your hormones. How is your current diet? And do you take probiotics? It is normal for your body to take up to 6 months to get your period again, so don’t be too concerned – if it is longer than 6 months, you can go to your GP for more testing, but give it time. If you want some more help on balancing your gut and your hormones email me xx

  9. I just came across this article and wanted to share my story. Ever since I got my first period, they have been irregular. I can never predict when they come, they can usually take anywhere between 4-8 weeks. Test haven’t really shown any big differences in my hormones, although one doctor told me a had some cysts. I was told to go on the pill to help regulate it otherwise I may have problems later when I want to have kids. I’ve been on the pill for a year or so, usually on and off because I’m terrible with taking tablets. I have taken it for about 3 months now, in that time I’ve slowly adjusted my diet but still havent seen any improvements in my menstrual cycle. I’ve started eating more superfoods…I hope to continue this for the next 6 months but do you have any thoughts on what if diet changes don’t help? I havent seen major improvements, I prefer not to be on the pill but I dont want to have problems later if I want kids….maybe I’m just a mystery case?

    • Hi Nat,

      Thanks so much for commenting – i just sent you a long email – I would want to know your gut health was optimal first, then I would look at diet. Adding superfoods is fantastic but there are more foods out there that can support or disrupt hormonal balance so we would want to make sure things were right there. Personally I am against the pill – I don’t like the idea or taking synthetic hormones, if our bodies are balanced, this should not be a problem. It’s just about working hard to get it right. I hope that helps and look forward to getting a reply from the email.


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Disclaimer - This website is based on my personal journey which I am sharing for educational and informational purposes only. Please consult your own doctor or healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for you.