Feeling Tired? It Could Be Your Birth Control
The Other F-Word: Why Fatigue Can Be Caused By Your Birth Control
Even life on top feels exhausting sometimes. We don’t get enough sleep, we overcommit during the day, and we’re constantly on the go. But what if you’re tired all the time? Is it you? Is it your birth control?
It’s time we decode the mystery of birth control fatigue, so you remain in control, not your hormone contraceptives.
I just started birth control and I’m constantly tired–is this normal?
We hear you! It’s common for birth control pills to make you feel tired at first. However, like the other side effects (e.g. weight gain and breast tenderness), birth control fatigue should abate after a few weeks.
Why does my birth control make me tired?
There are several reasons why the pill can cause fatigue at first:
Testosterone. Women require testosterone to maintain reproductive health and regulate energy levels.
Since birth control contains estrogen to inhibit the hormone cycle, taking the pill adds estrogen to the bloodstream and increases the presence of SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). SHBG binds testosterone and reduces its circulation throughout the body. Less testosterone means a decrease in sex drive, decrease in satisfaction, and decrease in energy.
Adrenal Fatigue. Although adrenal fatigue is currently unrecognized by the medical community, it doesn’t diminish how real the symptoms feel for real women like us.
The condition is thought to occur when the adrenal gland overworks in response to excess estrogen in the body from birth control. Since estrogen is an inflammatory, the adrenals over-produce cortisol to combat the inflammation. Eventually, the adrenal glands become too fatigued to keep up, causing you to feel tired too.
Hypothyroidism. The thyroid manages your metabolism and energy levels. Birth control depletes nutrients vital to thyroid functionality which can trigger hypothyroidism. Lack of proper nutrients prevent the thyroid gland from producing, activating and using thyroid hormones. A low thyroid hormone count causes cellular activity to misalign, resulting in sleepiness, fatigue, and even depression.
Depression. Depression is one of the more severe side effects of birth control. Estrogen in the pill affects the levels of “happy” neurotransmitters in the body, especially serotonin (a mood stabilizer). Estrogen is tied to serotonin production; when estrogen dips occur, serotonin also drops. Too little serotonin can lead to depression and its debilitating effects like low motivation and chronic fatigue.
Contact your physician immediately if you think your birth control is making you feel depressed or exacerbating existing depression.
What can I do?
Replenish B vitamins. B vitamins are necessary for our mental health and acuity. Not enough B vitamins can make us feel depressed, foggy, and weak. Birth control exhausts B vitamins such as B6 and B12, which are critical for energy maintenance. Unsure of how to get B vitamins? Check out our Top Up Tonic below.
Increase magnesium levels. Birth control also depletes magnesium levels. Magnesium deficiency can seriously impair energy production and lead to chronic inflammation and chronic fatigue.
More antioxidants. Antioxidants like vitamins C and E, selenium, and CoQ10 are essential to support healthy energy production. Unfortunately, birth control also drains these crucial nutrients.
Start our Top Up Tonic. Our holy grail of nourishment. The Top Up Tonic replenishes vital nutrients and antioxidants crucial to energy production that are depleted by birth control. Key ingredients including vitamins B6, B12, C and E, zinc, selenium, and CoQ10, restore balance and boost thyroid and adrenal health so you can feel energized all day long.
Switch birth control. It’s important to find the right birth control for your body, which sometimes takes a few tries to get right. Consult with your OB/GYN to determine the best form of birth control for you.
It’s normal to feel tired from taking birth control at first, but the tiredness should subside after three months. If the birth control fatigue persists for more than three months, speak to your doctor as the fatigue may be caused by other medical issues.
Your birth control doesn’t have to control you; ground your hormones with our Top Up Tonic to help support your body while you’re on hormonal birth control.
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