Nutrient Deficiencies With Birth Control


Birth control pills are the most effective and the most hazardous form of contraception. Although they’re a 99% effective form of birth control, they also come with many possible side effects. Experiencing weight gain, breast tenderness, mood swings, tension, depression, circulatory, and gastrointestinal upset are not uncommon. Blood clots, liver and gallbladder problems and cancer are also possible.

How they work

Most come in the form of an oral dose, a combination of estrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone) in amounts higher than the body’s natural levels. This then prevents our pituitary hormones from being release to stimulate ovulation and fertilization of the egg and thus prevents pregnancy.

The deficiencies they cause

Along with the possible side effects, oral contraceptives may create certain nutrient deficiencies and excesses as well as increase your nutritional needs. Some of these deficiencies include:

  • Magnesium: plays a role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, vital for the health of the muscular, cardiovascular, and nervous systems
  • Zinc: assists with wound healing, carbohydrate digestion, growth, and immunity
  • Vitamin B6: aids in the digestion, fat and protein utilization, maintains sodium/potassium balance
  • Vitamin B12: assist with the replication of genes, synthesis of myelin, maturation of red blood cells (RBC)
  • Folic Acid: influences appetite control, body growth and reproduction, hydrochloric acid production, RBC formation
  • Vitamin C: aids in collagen production, healing, antioxidant, infection resistance

Going off birth control for some of us is absolutely out of the question. So, what’s the first step we can take to balance out the deficiencies? You got it! Incorporating foods high in these nutrients into your daily routine is a great first step.

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  1. It sucks that some of this information isn’t more readily available when starting birth control. I think maybe if people knew how to adjust their diet/supplementation, they might be more likely to adjust to one type of birth control, instead of bouncing back and forth which totally throws off your hormones. I had a copper IUD (paragard) inserted and there haven’t been any problems, for those of you who can’t quit birth control that don’t want hormones, maybe check that out.

    • I agree! I’m glad you were able to find something that works for you. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love this article, I don’t know how I even stumbled upon it, I haven’t ever come across the nutritional effects birth control pills can have on the body! It’s always important to know how choices can effect you and how you can make diet the main way to improve life! Thanks Leanne