Why Quitting Your Birth Control Can Make You Bloated

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Saying buh-bye to hormonal birth control doesn't come without annoying side effects: breakouts, mood swings, and weight fluctuations are all possible, and if that wasn't enough to deal with, it can also make you bloated, according to a new study.

Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found that women's vitamin D levels drop after they quit using hormonal birth control—and that can lead to the bloat. And it was no small difference. The study found that women on birth control had 20 percent more vitamin D in their blood than women who weren't on it anymore.

Why would your body be working against you? According to the brains behind the study, when there's more estrogen in the body, more vitamin D and calcium is produced, in theory to help boost fetal development. Luckily this is a problem with a solution. Amping up your diet with high-vitamin D foods like fatty fish, eggs, and portobello mushrooms in the first few weeks after going off hormonal birth control can help level things out. The more you know, right?

Want more advice on how to go off hormonal birth control? This handy little guide will help prepare you. And if you're looking for more ways to cut bloat, here's what to eat—and what to avoid

Well+Good articles reference scientific, reliable, recent, robust studies to back up the information we share. You can trust us along your wellness journey.
  1. Harmon, Quaker E et al. “Use of Estrogen-Containing Contraception Is Associated With Increased Concentrations of 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D.” The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism vol. 101,9 (2016): 3370-7. doi:10.1210/jc.2016-1658

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