Birth Control Pills and Nutrient Loss

Updated: Jan 6

With more empowered women taking the workforce, women, now more than ever are deciding to delay starting their families until later in life. Family planning is a hot topic. There are so many methods out there, and I often get asked which is best? My honest answer; is the birth control method that works best for YOU!


However, let’s spill the tea a bit about the options (in order from most effective to least effective):

  • Birth control pills (OCP)

  • DEPO-PROVERA INJECTIONS (injection of the hormone progestin about every 4 months)

  • Tubal Ligation

  • Intrauterine Devices (Copper or Hormonal options available here)

  • Mechanical barriers (ex: condoms, femCap or diaphragms)

  • Spermicide creams


Combination oral contraceptive pills are one of the most common prescribed types of birth control. The OCP’s work by preventing ovulation from taking place, essentially you are taking the hormones from an outside source. Your body works through many feedback mechanisms and loops to regulate the internal hormonal environment. When we are putting hormones into the body, the body thinks that it no longer needs to produce them. Ergo prevents ovulation, which means no egg will be released, and the sperm will not meet the egg, hence no baby can be made.


Now, it's time to talk about the other side of birth control that’s often overlooked by many health care practitioners. Unfortunately regular and long term use of birth control pills can deplete the following nutrients from the body:


Folate → Found in dark green leafy vegetables, eggs

Magnesium → Found in dark chocolate, avocado, nuts.

Vitamin B2 → Found in eggs, fortified foods, green vegetables.

Vitamin B6 → Found in turkey, grass-fed beef, sesame seeds, fish.

Vitamin B12 → Found in salmon, trout, eggs, nutritional yeast.

Vitamin C →Found in red pepper, kale, orange, kiwi

Zinc → Found in oysters, beans, lentils.



The Bottom Line

Yes, there are side effects to the OCP and some of us women, have greater risk factors for certain diseases than others, that’s why it’s super important to have these open discussions about what’s the best choice for YOUR body with your healthcare practitioners. And remember to consult your naturopathic doctor to learn more about how to best support your body while on the OCP.


Much love,