In Part 1 of this series I explored what the Pill is, how it works and what side effects it can have on your body. I talked about my client Rachel’s battle with anxiety, acne, IBS and irregular periods and how a simple homeopathic detox programme is helping restore balance to her mind and body.

In part 2 I will be looking at how the Pill has become more than just a contraceptive, often prescribed for just about any hormonal problem – polycystic ovaries, endometriosis, acne, period problems, even anaemia. Is it just merely covering up the symptoms or is it actually helping? Many women find when they come off the Pill their symptoms just return, sometimes worse than before.

My story

Ever since puberty I remember having problems with my skin and my periods. Almost overnight I developed angry and red acne spots all over my cheeks and nose. At school I was called ‘pizza face’ and tried desperately to clear my spots with harsh alcohol based skin cleansers and then hide them with make-up.

Initially I began a course of antibiotics. After the antibiotics failed I tried Dianette (a contraceptive pill). All I can remember of Dianette is that although my periods suddenly became more ‘regular’, I did develop the most awful breast pain. I felt miserable on the Pill and unfortunately my acne didn’t change. Interestingly, Dianette was recently banned in France due to increased risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis), cancer and depression.

By the age of 17 I was desperate, my skin made me feel very self-conscious. I was prescribed Roaccutane (isotretinoin), a strong acne drug that has been linked to depression, liver damage, excessive skin dryness and even suicide. I was told I’d need to take the Pill again as should I accidentally fall pregnant the foetus would need to be terminated as Roaccutane causes major birth defects in early pregnancy.

Being on Roaccutane was pretty awful; my skin was so dry that I had to apply lip-balm every few minutes. I developed white skin patches on my arms, felt itchy and worst of all felt depressed. I also suffered with hot flushes which were extremely embarrassing and unheard of in someone of my age.

After the course of Roaccutane my skin did improve and I began to feel more confident. But in my early 20’s my acne returned. Looking back, I was on the Pill, I had a stressful job and I was suffering with symptoms of IBS (which I believe were caused by the Pill). I was desperate for a solution. After some of my own research I decided to see a homeopath. Although it wasn’t an overnight success, after only a few months of treatment I began to see a noticeable difference. Now people often remark on my clear skin (which I still find difficult to believe!), my periods run on a 28-day cycle, but best of all I feel happy, content and stable. I was so impressed with the results from homeopathy that I decided to change my career and become a homeopath myself.

Prior-hormonal imbalance

When I took the Pill it was to ‘correct’ a hormonal imbalance, but all it did for me was send my hormones haywire.

If you are on the Pill, do you take it for your skin or period problems? When the Pill is used for complaints such as painful and irregular periods or acne, this shows that you already have an underlying hormonal imbalance. Unfortunately the Pill is not dealing with the underlying cause of this imbalance, but instead it is artificially changing the hormone balance so that when the Pill is stopped the original complaint likely returns.

As with any medication, the Pill places a strain on your liver, this is the organ used to process and eliminate toxins from the body.  As a result, when coming off the Pill, toxins may build-up in the body causing symptoms to be even worse than before.

Skin breakouts

For some women a skin breakout when coming off the Pill is a return to the state their hormones were in as a teenager when they may have first started the Pill. Women often don’t make this connection, as they have been on the Pill for so long that by adulthood they would not normally expect to develop spots; it is likely that their acne was suppressed whilst taking the Pill, yet the underlying hormonal imbalance causing this has not been corrected.

For those who did not have skin problems before, stopping the pill could still result in a breakout due to the withdrawal of the synthetic hormones causing a sudden change in your natural hormone levels. Once you stop the Pill the body begins its detox process, which may result in toxins being released through the skin (another organ of elimination) in the form of spots, especially if the liver is struggling to process the toxins via the right channels (bowels and urine).

If you are taking the Pill for a reason other than contraception

Whether you are trying to clear up your skin or ease disruptive and painful PMS, bear in mind that birth control pills are merely addressing the symptoms and are not solving the problem. Your body is trying to tell you something. Acne may indicate that your colon, lymph and liver need cleansing because they are toxic, that your hormones are out of balance, that your life is too stressful or that your thyroid and adrenals are fatigued. Acne is also a common symptom of a yeast infection or candidiasis. The Pill may improve your symptoms in the short term, but your body and its overall health is at risk in the long term.

Angela’s story

2 years ago Angela began taking the Pill. As Angela and her husband were not yet ready to have children it seemed to be the most convenient form of contraception. Unfortunately for Angela she has since been plagued with an unsightly health complaint.

‘Every month, just before my period I get a boil. They are painful, red and swollen and they sometimes grow to the size of a large coin and have to be cut out.’ Believing the Pill might be playing a part; she decided to come off it but was still suffering with recurrent boils. ‘I can’t let my husband touch me as I scream and we haven’t been intimate for months. I’m desperate and don’t know what to do.’

I prescribed Angela some homeopathic remedies to help support her liver and skin, remove remnant toxicity of the Pill and asked her to see me again in 6 weeks. At the second appointment Angela had some great news. ‘Since I saw you I have only had one boil, but it was different to the last ones, it was smaller and less painful and disappeared after only a few days. Since then I have not had anymore boils and I’m no longer in pain.’ To this day Angela remains boil-free and has decided never to take the Pill again.

In Part 3 I will be exploring what homeopathy is and what it has got to do with helping you detox. I’ll also be exploring what alternatives there are for contraception other than using artificial hormones.

If this post resonates with you and you would like to get in touch, please email me or book in for a free discovery call via the button below.

Until next time, have a happy, healthy week. Claire x

Claire Zarb

Claire Zarb


t: +44 (0)7582 269569
s: c.zarb

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