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Should I Take the Contraceptive Pill for My Endometriosis?

Yarrow for endometriosis

I am probably the biggest protester of the pill there is. I had managed to completely get rid of my endo for 3 years and then silly me decides that I want to have some protection so I decided to go back on the pill. It was fine for the first year. Then the little symptoms started to appear. Mood swings came first, to the point that my partner thought they were so bad he asked his best mate whether it was normal for girls to act this way on the pill–  really embarrassing for a new relationship! Then came the pain after running, then pain during sex and well you know the rest. Unfortunately, I lived in denial about it for 2 years before realizing or perhaps even understanding what I had really done to myself. I didn’t know ANYTHING about the pill. How it worked, what it did to my body. All I knew was that it worked on different hormones to regulate my period and prevent me from having a baby. Unfortunately, it didn’t just affect my funny moods. I believe it brought back my Endo.

So, I thought I better explain it to you in simple terms, so you know more about it, what it really does and how it really works and then you can make a more informed decision about whether you really want to be taking it.

The pill is probably the most common treatment used for Endometriosis. Let’s delve into how it works first and then why it is often used for Endo.

So, the pill is made up of synthetic estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are generally taken for 3 weeks and then stopped for a week. The bleeding you experience is not an actual period but is simply “withdrawal bleeding”. There are different types of pills. The most common one used for Endometriosis is often called the “mini pill”.

The pill does the following:

  • Prevents ovulation
  • Alters the lining of the womb
  • Makes the mucus in the cervix hostile to sperm

Many women (including me) have experienced heaps of symptoms which is often related to the progesterone in the pill. These include all the usual fun ones, like nausea, vomiting, headaches, migraines, changes in sex drive, depression, breast tenderness etc.

For many of us who have Endometriosis when we first go on the pill, your gyni might recommend taking it continuously so you have no bleeding at all. This must have a scary effect on the body!

Thing is, I was on this treatment for 5 years. It was fine. I still had Endo pain every now and again. I still got pain during sex but naturally I didn’t have period pain. It was okay, apart from all the side effects I got from the pill. My problem came when I went off the pill. My body went into complete disarray! I got incredibly emotional, incredibly sore and it was really hard to stay away from it to find my natural path in healing.

So, I guess it really depends on what you feel is the best way to heal your body. Controlling your hormones with synthetic materials which never actually cure your Endometriosis? Or getting into the real reason you have Endometriosis and getting to the root cause?

I know many of you might wonder how you prevent falling pregnant if you are not on the pill. There is an easy way to know when you are ovulating.

You are much better off simply avoiding these few days or using other forms of protection for them.

So, ladies I hope that helps you make a better decision about whether you should go on the contraceptive pill. It is ultimately not natural to pump your body with synthetic materials. Guess who has to clean that up too? Yip, the good ol’ liver!

Hugs, Melissa x
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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Melissa

    Hi Becks,
    It is a tough decision 🙂 I would probably just focus on taking what you can with you and eating as pure a diet that you can get there. I would be hesitant to go back on the pill as you will be left with more mess to clean up when you get back. Tough choice sweets 🙂 Just listen to your body and work out what it really wants.

  2. Becks

    Hi Melissa,

    Firstly, I just want to say you are such an inspiration! I have spent a lot of time researching Endo over the past few months and your info makes way more sense than all the other things out there to read! Plus it ties in and echoes a lot of the good advice I have been given which is really reassuring 🙂
    Quick question: I was diagnosed with endo 6 months ago, I have been off the pill (Dianette – for my skin!) for 2 years having been on it for 12. I would love to stay completely away from it, for all the reasons you list and more. Doctors been pushing for me to go back on etc etc. Been having acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for endo and it has been great. On a waiting list for a laproscopy in the next few months. Still get odd bad bouts. I am going backpacking Nepal / India for 3 months and struggling to work out how to manage the endo with no acupuncture, no herbs, diet all over the place etc.
    Feeling like my only way to deal with it is to take the pill constantly for the 3 months then come off it again when I am back. Crazy idea I know but not sure there are many other options in this circumstance? When the pain its bad, it’s terrible for me, as I’m sure you can sympathise….
    Would love to hear your views and really value your opinion.
    Thanks masses, Becks, 32.

  3. eliana


    Please could you tell me what is DIM and MSM? I went to the webpage you suggested and it is not available.
    Thank you so much,
    Eliana form Ecuador

  4. Melissa

    Hi Anne,
    I recently found a new chinese herbal formula called Bupeurum and Peony Formula. Maybe ask your chinese doctor about these. They are designed to slow down the prostaglandins in the body. Those are the guys that cause us pain 🙂
    Glad the world isn’t going to end anymore and you are feeling your old self again!

  5. Anne

    I started experiencing all the endometriosis-related pain for over a year now every time I have my period. Earlier this year my obgyn suggested me to take one of these pills continually, and so I did. I didn’t have pain as long as I kept taking the pills, but the “withdrawal bleeding” still hurt like hell. I had horrible mood swings literally all the time, basically I was depressed for months. And i put on a lot of weight! So 2 months ago I decided to stop taking them and tried some chinese medicine. I still have the pain during periods, but in general my mood definitely got better, I didn’t feel so depressed or feel like the world was going to end anymore!

  6. Melissa

    It varies depending on the volume in the tablets that you buy 🙂 It usually tells you on the packaging. I take MSM twice a day with food and dim three times a day.

  7. desiree

    how much dim should one take? and how many hours apart should one take msm and in what amount? I am not on any medications and never taken the pill.

  8. Melissa

    Glad it helped open your eyes to what it is really doing 🙂
    Get onto some DIM to help flush out the xenoestrogens when you go off it. Let me know how you go!

  9. Laura

    Thanks for the advice Melissa. I’ve been trying to decide whether to come off the pill. I’m taking it continuously for 4 mths then a break. The two breaks I’ve had since my surgery last year have been awful so was scared to come off it, thinking it would make the endo worse. But now I keep experiencing headaches and seem to be more irriatable than normal and think it could be the pill. I think I’m going to try and come off it after this summer and reading this article helped convice me.

    Laura xx

  10. Melissa

    MSM is designed to clean out the liver from toxins and works with DIM. Is BCP a hormonal treatment? Sorry not familiar with the abbreviation? If it is then I would advise just trying the DIM and MSM to work together first. MSM has a detoxifying effect on the body. Read this article on it, until I write my own shortly 🙂

  11. Winifred

    Thanks for your support and encouragement. It was confirmed a few days ago that the endo cysts are back and need to be removed…surgery is scheduled for Wednesday 18. My question what is the MSM? Would your suggestion be to stop the BCP and then start the DIM & MSM or can I take them with the BCP. Thanks

  12. Melissa

    Hi Winifred. I was on the same treatment as you for 7years and the endo still came back and I still had heaps of pain. I know it is scary to go off it initially but you need to get back to how the body was meant to be, without superficial hormones. You can take DIM and MSM to get your body back to how it is meant to be. Natural healing does take some dedication and time but it does work 🙂

  13. Winifred

    Makes me wonder because I have been on the the pills longer than I can remember and have been on it continuously since my last surgery in 2008 – only to be diagnose with endo again and surgery is schedule o next week. I would really like to come off the pills but I am scare on whether I can make it without it; because I feel the I should not have develop the endo so quickly since I am the pill continously

  14. Melissa

    Yes, mom’s are often not given their true credit with their advice! 🙂
    I know I think I have tried every brand label they could try! I eventually took it as a sign that I was not meant to be on the pill or any other hormonal treatment and I am so glad I did! Glad you found the same path!

  15. Jane

    Wow… I hear you about all the side effects from the pill. I was on the pill on and off because they could not find one that “agreed” with me. No wonder my body was on a roller coaster. I gave up on that and then I found out I had endo after two doctors said it was just stress. That was years ago. So many doctors think it is the “cure all” because it prevents ovulation. I personally hated being on the pill.
    After I was diagnosised the pain continued until I got pregnant and WOO HOO no pain for 21 mths pregnancy and breast feeding kept it at bay. Then I did it all over again with my 2nd child. BUt years later it all came back. You can’t stay pregnant and breastfeed forever LOL.
    I knew when I ovulated . I got the definite pain.
    I am not a fan of the pill and feel you should go natural as much as you can. It is funny. My mom says ” I think it was that darn pill that messed everything up” Good old Mom 🙂


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I'm Melissa

Sick of dealing with endometriosis and ready to move forward?

I empower women to stop feeling like a victim to their endometriosis and find empowering ways to reduce pain & symptoms. 



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