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Periods on the Pill: Can Chica Still Help Me if I Don’t Bleed?

A question has been coming up for us a lot lately, especially when we introduce someone new to Chica: can this still work for me if I’m on hormonal birth control and no longer have a period?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer, however, requires a better understanding of how hormonal contraceptives (the pill, hormonal IUDs, the implant, the depo shot, or the patch) affect our bodies. First, it’s important to know that the bleeding–if any–that you experience while on birth control isn’t actually a period. Especially if you’re on the pill (IUDs and other forms of hormonal birth control may or may not suppress ovulation, so they can have a different effect on your period. In other words, they don’t trick you into thinking you have a cycle when really your body is just stuck in hormonal limbo. If this is confusing, you can read more about the menstrual cycle here). Weird, right? The spotting that you may experience when you take the placebo pill might feel like a period, but it’s actually called “withdrawal bleeding” and signals a physiological response to a drop in the artificial hormones.

The pill is among the most popular birth control method, with multiple types that you can choose from: monophasic or triphasic combination pills, and mini-pills. They contain synthetic hormones, either estrogen + progestin or progestin alone, that are naturally occurring in your body and help prevent pregnancy by suppressing ovulation, thickening cervical mucus, and thinning the uterine lining. A lot of menstruators are prescribed the pill to combat difficult periods, so you can imagine why someone who would be interested in Chica might feel like they’re already taken care of.

Here’s the thing: even if you’re only experiencing a pseudo-period/don’t bleed at all, Chica can still support you when it comes to hormone balance. Our natural progesterone and estrogen cycle hasn’t been erased, it’s just been tinkered with so we skip the ovulation phase. Plus, the introduction of synthetic hormones may not help with your other symptoms: like mood swings, cramping, bloating, acne, migraines, fatigue, anxiety, etc. When they’re not accompanied by an obvious signal like bleeding, it can become a habit to just grit your teeth and get used to this experience every month. While birth control can introduce a faux cycle that creates the semblance of balance, the root of your pre-birth control symptoms can always use some extra nurturing. Chica nourishes your liver–our main hormone regulator–and promotes healthy circulation; in other words, it supports foundational health so you can feel naturally better over time. 

I used to dread my period. In spite of being pocket-sized, I bled so much that a super tampon and an overnight pad would barely get me through the morning. My cramps left me crying on the floor, and I was a straight up b*tch to my poor mother. Eventually, I got an IUD and the bleeding slowed until I was only spotting every month. However, I still got wicked cramps and wild mood swings. In that respect, Chica has completely changed my life. This is painfully obvious whenever I miss a month of eating Chica. My symptoms start to reappear, and I realize how much I was taking a pain-free and carefree period for granted. The person I become with Chica is more gentle, more comfortable, more capable. Even if that wasn’t the case, I would still enjoy eating chocolate every month. What more could I ask for?