Can you ovulate whilst on the pill?

My heart hurts at the amount of stuff we just don’t know about ourselves as women. I believe with all my being that every woman has the right to know as much as she can about herself and how her body works.  Unfortunately the main reason we have disconnected from ourselves and we don’t know how to read our signs and symptoms is because of the pill.  After all, it’s designed to take everything ‘offline’, meaning that you don’t experience the ebbs and flows of the menstrual cycle, your hormones aren’t communicating with you like they are designed to do and really, we are left with little idea to what is actually going on in there.

At one of my events last week, I spoke quite strongly about the pill and how it was never designed to be the treatment for acne, painful periods, no periods, irregular periods, PMS, PCOS or other hormone imbalance. The pill was designed to be a contraceptive, to stop the series of events within our bodies that create the potential for a new life to be created. The biggest issue now is that is it being prescribed for almost all hormone imbalances and of course, it doesn’t actually treat the issue at all, but in many cases we’re finding it eventually makes the problem much worse. Think of a bandage around a hose covering a hole and the end of the hose being blocked. Eventually something is going to give! You’re body is much like this. If you ignore the real signs and symptoms and don’t get to the bottom of treating the root cause, it will never be fixed.

What struck me most at this event on the weekend was a beautiful young girl who told us that even though she was on the pill, she could feel her body doing it’s normal thing each month. She believed she could feel ovulation and of course experience her period each month.

Know this:  Whilst on the pill, you do not ovulate.

Also know this:  The bleed you experience on the pill isn’t a ‘period’ but a withdrawal bleed from hormones.

The number one misunderstanding of women on the pill is that they are getting a period. As we know, the pill is prescribed to technically ‘regulate’ menstrual cycles. Reality is, the only way to regulate a menstrual cycle is to actually fix the core problem. Sadly we’re lead to believe that the pill will offer this solution, rather easily. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

Also know this:  The correct medical term for what the pill does is ovarian castration.

What. The?

But truth be known – it stops the ovaries from working. It stops them in their tracks from producing follicles ready for ovulation each month. Because that is what it is designed to do.

Technically this is what should be happening but here’s the thing. The pill fails many many women and not because they haven’t taken it correctly. There are so many reasons why the pill fails to work as promised. One of the most astounding things (and we’ve discussed this before in detail here) the pill will do is see a woman gain weight due to excess oestrogen in the system. Now the actual dose of the pill is for a woman of around 64kg (what’s considered the average weight). But if the pill is making us gain weight, for many, it is rapidly becoming ineffective.

So we must understand that under normal circumstances whilst on the pill, we do not ovulate and we do not get a ‘period.’ What we get is a whole lot of load on the body, a digestive system that starts to be effected and the gut bacteria balance upset, a body that’s nutrient stores begin to rapidly deplete and a body that can’t adequately absorb nutrients because the gut health is so far compromised.

I’d encourage you, if you are on the pill for health reasons – fixing the problem is the only long-term solution. Maybe your GP, who typically is your first point of call on these matters, has been lead to believe that the pill is perfectly safe. However I invite you to come and sit in the waiting room of my clinic and ask every woman who has been on the pill if she is going back on it, and I’m willing to bet 9/10 say no way in hell. Because they’ve experienced a swag of issues that the pill has only amplified.

Above all, don’t take my word for it. Do your research and get informed so that you can go and make an educated decision about your own health. Nobody should be more interested in your health than you.

And finally I heard that a well know pharmaceutical company owner once said his best clients were women who took the pill in their 20’s and were back in their 30’s for medications to force ovulation. Somebody knows something that they’re not telling us!  I don’t have a direct quote, but sounds about right unfortunately.

On the pill and not sure what to do next?  Debunking PCOS, is here to help!  This masterclass you can watch (much like a tutorial) from the comfort of your couch.  Don’t be put off by the name, the same 5 steps I outline to help transition your body if you have PCOS are the same I advocate for if you have hormone imbalance – the fundamentals don’t really change across all types of imbalance.  It’s what you do day to day, in your own life that counts the most.  I want to make sure EVERY women has the chance to learn more about herself and how to take control of her own hormonal health because chances are it isn’t anything like the girl sitting next door!


  • March 31, 2014 By Jodie from Chin up, Lovely 10:10 am

    Thanks Nat for sharing your insights with such passion. Your blog posts on the pill were the reason I stopped taking the pill and now feel truly empowered as a woman. You rock my socks

  • March 31, 2014 By Alexia 11:34 am

    Hi Nat,

    Thank you for this article, I always love reading your blog! 🙂

    In the last couple of years I have been very interested in Gut Health. But I can’t quite communicate to some of my friends the detrimental effects that the Pill is having on their immune system (these are friends who are in Medical School too!). I was hoping you might have the time to expand on the Pill affecting the Gut? (either as a reply, or another post at some point down the track)

    Much Aroha,

    Alexia x

    • April 1, 2014 By Kate 1:25 am

      I would also love to hear some more information regarding gut health and some recommendations of good quality probiotics out there that can help regenerate the gut health and good bacteria. I have been doing a lot of research about the different types of probiotics and it seems most products are useless as when taken the stomach acid destroys the probiotic before it has a chance to even reach your digestive system/intestine! It seems the only ones worth buying are those that have ‘controlled release technology’ or beadlet technology, as they can withstand the stomach acid and reach the intestines alive so they are more effective.

      • April 1, 2014 By Kate 1:33 am

        Hi Nat,

        Sorry I meant to say in my last post also, a big THANK YOU for sharing your knowledge and information to help women. I have learnt so much and feel so empowered to help my body heal after being on the pill.

        If you have the time at some stage to elaborate on the gut health topic and which quality probiotics are worth taking, that would be so helpful for many women I think, as there are soo many probiotic products out there that, after researching seem to be useless and ineffective as stomach acid destroys them before they have the chance to be effective in the intestines…in your opinion is this the case or do you think most probiotics are beneficial? Thank you for your time Nat!

        Kate 🙂


  • March 31, 2014 By Bianca 1:34 pm

    There is so much confusion because we are all so confused about this issue. What we have been programmed to believe by the people we are supposed to trust plus then the effects suffered by every woman are so amazingly different that we sometimes don’t fit the mold. I never gained weight on the pill. In fact I could eat for days and still not put a drop on. Then after going off the pill I gained weight like no tomorrow. It scared the bejeezus out of me and if I wasn’t on this path to wellness and to get my body back on track there is probably every chance I would have jumped straight back on the pill bandwagon. Thank you Nat for educating us and answering our questions of why things are they way they are and helping us to gain control back of our bodies!

  • March 31, 2014 By Sophie 8:15 pm

    I just have a quick question..

    When you say “What we get is a whole lot of load on the body, a digestive system that starts to be effected and the gut bacteria balance upset, a body that’s nutrient stores begin to rapidly deplete and a body that can’t adequately absorb nutrients because the gut health is so far compromised.”

    Does this hold true for other forms of hormonal contraception such as depo provera, implanon and the mirena coil??

    • March 31, 2014 By mnfadmin 9:23 pm

      Yes that’s right – all forms of OC. x

  • April 1, 2014 By Em 9:21 am

    Nat, I believe you, I do. But my experience with the pill has been ‘mixed’. After going on it at around age 19 I noticed an immediate improvement in persistent hormonal acne which has plagued me since I first started ovulating. Now at 30, and off the pill for over two years, the acne immediately returned worse than ever. I cannot attribute it to lifestyle factors as I have the cleanest diet of anyone I know, (and I’ve read & tried everything that claims to improve gut health), I don’t have a stressful life, i exercise regularly and in every other way I’m a picture of health! I don’t want to go back on the pill but I’m not sure how much longer I can go on putting up with my horrible acne. Is it possible that nothing BUT the pill will help?

    • April 1, 2014 By mnfadmin 11:53 am

      Em, I understand. The underlying cause of the issues hasn’t been address which is why when you stop taking the pill, the problem is still there. Probiotics play the biggest role here – it really is all about gut health. x

  • April 1, 2014 By Carly 4:42 pm

    omg THANK YOU for writing this brilliant article! I will redirect many peeps to your site. Love your writing style. thank u thank u!!!

  • April 2, 2014 By Katie 6:45 am

    Wow! I went off pill on October and thought I knew everything about it, but I had no idea it affected our gut and our ability to store nutrients. I have a friend who is suffering from gut issues and nutrient issues and I immediately thought of her when reading this post.

  • April 2, 2014 By tips cara 1:18 pm

    After reading the symptoms of an under active thyroid, and the fact that my close female relatives also suffer with their thyroid, I feel i need something, but a bloodtest always comes back borderline satisfactory.

    i am always tired, fall asleep very easily anytime of the day, gained 3 stone in weight that i find hard to loose, depressed, lack of energy and motivation. Is there anything i can buy over the counter that could help, as the doctors do not seem interested??

    • April 24, 2014 By Kate 9:10 pm

      Hey, my doctor had been monitoring my thyroid for a few years but even though my hormone was high my thyroid was normal so he always said he’ll keep monitoring it every 6 months.. I was in tears last year just with how tired I felt. I stopped the pill July last year because thought maybe was all because of that.

      Only just the other week the doctor finally sent me off to test antibodies and said I have hashimoto’s disease. I’d encourage asking for this also!! Finally on medication and hoping to feel better in next few weeks!!

  • April 2, 2014 By Jacqui 2:44 pm

    Hi Nat

    Just wondering if this is true of the mini pill? Can you ovulate and have periods whilst taking the mini pill?

    Thanks so much

    J x

  • April 4, 2014 By Hayley 3:17 pm

    Hi Nat

    Please can you recommend someone for me to see in Perth? Your counterpart, if you like?

    Thank you


  • April 4, 2014 By Hayley 3:38 pm

    As a long-time sufferer of incredibly painful periods, I am almost certain I have endometriosis. I was on the pill for 10 years for the pain, and have been off for about two years. The pain gets worse each month. I have tried acupuncture, chinese herbal supplements, a naturopath, an incredibly clean diet – everything, It just gets worse.

    I am about 18 months of wanting children, and my gynaecologist has recommended I go back on the pill and use it to skip periods. She said this will minimise the endometrial tissue growth and maximise my chances of conceiving naturally. She also said it will help with the pain.

    I expressed my concern at ‘masking the problem with the pill’ and she said – we know what we’re masking. It’s not sinister and the pill will slow the growth of the tissue.

    I am so totally lost as what the right thing to do is and I don’t know where to look.


  • October 12, 2014 By Bianca 9:15 am

    Hi Nat, I am just wondering where you studied & what courses you actually studied? I am wanting to begin studying in this sort of area but no idea where to look! Love and hugs to you xx

  • Trackback: Can U Get Pregnant Whilst On The Pill - Maternity Pants

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *