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Post Pill Syndrome

Have you heard of Post Pill syndrome (otherwise known as Post Birth Control Syndrome)?

It's a tricky topic, and one that we see so often in the clinic, so we feel the need to shed some light on this relatively unknown condition in the hope that anyone suffering from symptoms can recognise it, and hopefully act on it.

We know that many people rely on the pill for contraception, and this is where things get tricky but in many cases, the pill is over-prescribed to teens (and adults) as an easy band-aid fix to some very common hormonal issues like painful, irregular or heavy periods and acne. This can exacerbate the underlying issues, and this is where things can get messy. When you come off the pill, obviously the original issues will most likely flare up again (possibly worse than before due to the damage caused by the pill) and worse still, there are likely to be a bunch of new symptoms caused by the disruption to the normal physiology of the body, that you didn’t have prior to taking it.

Put simply, Post Pill Syndrome is caused by the effects the pill has on the body while taking it, and the withdrawal of exogenous synthetic hormones when we stop taking it. But there is a little more to it than that. On top of this, it is damaging to our gut health and our microbiome, so damage can be done over and above the withdrawal factor. Often the liver becomes overloaded with toxins from oral contraceptives and the body’s natural ability to detox can become compromised which can then cause more serious and long-term health issues (you may be surprised to know how many health issues begin with a compromised liver).

Many studies show the pill can wreak havoc on the body and can cause a long list of unwanted side effects. These include IBS, digestive issues and other inflammatory disorders, and menstrual issues. It affects our ability to produce our natural happy neurotransmitters and therefore it can have a pretty big impact on our mood, libido and overall feelings of wellbeing too. It can also deplete key nutrients and micronutrients in our bodies. But what many people don't know is that when they stop taking the pill, these side effects generally don't just disappear.

Post Pill Syndrome side effects:

Acne, cystic acne

Rosacea and other skin issues

Hair loss

Digestive issues



Amenorrhea – (loss of menstrual cycle)

Heavy periods

Painful periods


Brain fog and cognitive issues


Blood sugar dysregulation


Leaky gut

Gut dysbiosis

Immune imbalances

Lack of libido

Systemic inflammation

Plus many more...

While many articles written on the topic report the side effects as lasting up to 6 months, the truth of the matter is that these issues can last years or even decades unless they are addressed – and the sooner they are dealt with the better.

So, while this sounds like a bit of a doom and gloom BLOG today, there is an upside (of course)!

You can guess where this is heading, right? Good old acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help reverse these symptoms and help to rebalance hormones, assist in the detox function of the liver to ditch the chemicals from the body, rebuild the integrity of the gut, and advise on nutrition to speed up the process and get you back into your natural state of health and wellbeing.

If these symptoms sound all too familiar and you think you may be suffering from Post Pill Syndrome, book a session with us – we’d love to help get your health back on track.

Petra & The Pod Health Team x

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