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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?

Poria

Fungus & Root

Scierotium Poriae Cocos / Fu Ling / 茯苓 Scierotium Pararadicis Poriae Cocos / Fu Shen / 茯神

Poria calms the heart and soothes nerves, helping with anxiety and insomnia. Additionally, Poria drains dampness, an excess of moisture that the body collects in the wrong places and makes us feel heavy and fatigued (hello moodiness).

Chinese Salvia

Root

Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae / Dan Shen / 丹參

Salvia root nourishes the blood and heart, and calms the spirit. Salvia works with Schisandra and Zizyphus in Chica Chill to help relieve insomnia.

Rehmannia

Root

Radix Rehmanniae Preparata / Sheng Di Huang / 熟地黄

Rehmannia root is your Yin nourisher, supporting calm and cold in your system. With its additional ability to help cool blood, increase fluids, and clear heart fire; Rehmannia is a star herb for soothing and preventing heat flashes.

Polygala / Thin-Leaf Milkwort

Root

Radix Polygalae Tenuifoliae / Yuan Zhi / 元志

Polygala root nourishes the Heart, and helps soothe nerves and restlessness.

Schisandra / Chinese Magnolia

Berry

Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis / Wu Wei Zi / 五味子

Schisandra berry is famous for featuring all five flavors of Traditional Chinese Medicine: bitter, sweet, salty, sour, hot. This means that Schisandra is completely energetically balanced, promoting overall health and vitality. Schisandra helps relieve night sweats, insomnia, and hormonal imbalances. Schisandra is also rich in antioxidants that are thought to protect from free radicals and other toxins in the environment that may cause cellular damage. 

Platycodon / Balloon Flower

Root

Radix Platycodi / Jie Geng / 桔梗

Platycodon root is a neutral balancing herb, meaning it is not especially Yin or Yang. Platycodon is nourishing for the lungs, which in TCM, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Scrophularia / Figwort

Root

Radix Scrophulariae / Xuan Shen / 玄參

Scrophularia root nourishes Yin, drains fire, and cools the blood. Scrophularia is particularly soothing for irritability.

Ophiopogon / Dwarf Lilyturf

Tuber

Tuber Ophiopogonis Japonici / Mai Men Dong / 麦门冬

Ophiopogon tuber works with Asparagus to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.

Stemona

Root

Radix Stemonae / Bai Bu / 百部

Stemona root is a balancing herb in the Chica Chill formula. Stemona is nourishing for the lungs, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Licorice

Root

Radix Glycyrrhizae / Gan Cao / 甘草

Licorice acts as a unifier, balancing the formula and amplifying the properties of the other herbs.

Zizyphus / Sour Jujube

Seed

Semen Zizyphi Spinosae / Suan Zao Ren / 酸枣仁

Zizyphus seed nourishes the heart and calms the spirit. Zizyphus helps relieve insomnia, irritability, and anxiety.

Ginseng

Root

Radix Ginseng / Ren Shen / 人参

Ginseng root, one of the most famous herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is known for its ability to strengthen Qi and support life vitality. Ginseng nourishes the Heart and calms the spirit, helping reduce anxiety and insomnia.

Acorus / Grassleaf Sweetflag

Rhizome

Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii / Shi Chang Pu / 石菖蒲

Acorus helps relieve internal heat and is a favorite herb for reducing frequent insomnia.

Eucommia / Chinese Rubber Tree

Bark

Cortex Eucommiae Ulmoidis / Du Zhong / 杜仲

Eucommia bark balances the Chica Chill formula by offering Yang properties. Eucommia is also nourishing for the heart, and has been featured in research in Western medicine for its ability to help lower blood pressure.

Angelica / Dong Quai

Root

Radix Angelicae Sinensis / Dong Quai / 当归

Angelica root is sometimes described as the “female ginseng,” due to its fame for supporting a healthy and regular menstrual cycle. Angelica root strengthens blood and energizes circulation. In Chica Chill, Angelica root balances the herbal formula with its Yang properties.

Biota / Arborvitae

Seed

Semen Platycladi / Bai Zi Ren / 柏子仁

Biota seed benefits memory and promotes restful sleep by nourishing the heart and calming the spirit.

Chinese Asparagus

Tuber

Tuber Asparagi Cochinensis / Tian Men Dong / 天门冬

Asparagus root works with Ophiopogon to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.