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Does supplementing estrogen stop your body from producing estrogen?


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Excerpt: Gladiola brought up an interesting point in another thread, and I'd like to see if anyone has a definitive answer. If you're supplementing estrogen through oral contraceptives, will this stop your body from producing estrogen naturally? In my case, I'd been using OrthoNovum 7/7/7 for almost 10 years and stopped taking it about 4 months ago due to contest prep and the discovery it was one of the higher estrogen content BCPs. I haven't had a period in 18 months and had only spotted for

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  1. #1
    Elite Bodybuilder JJFigure's Avatar
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    Does supplementing estrogen stop your body from producing estrogen?

    Gladiola brought up an interesting point in another thread, and I'd like to see if anyone has a definitive answer. If you're supplementing estrogen through oral contraceptives, will this stop your body from producing estrogen naturally?

    In my case, I'd been using OrthoNovum 7/7/7 for almost 10 years and stopped taking it about 4 months ago due to contest prep and the discovery it was one of the higher estrogen content BCPs. I haven't had a period in 18 months and had only spotted for years. Then, I had my first period one week before competition, when I was at my leanest. If Gladiola's theory is correct, this implies the level of estrogen in my BCP was lower than what I would have naturally produced, and it took 4 months for my body to start naturally producing enough estrogen for me to start menstruating.

    Does this make sense? If so, then it would also imply I'd be better off using oral contraceptives even during contest prep, especially if I switch to a lower estrogen content BCP.

  2. #2
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    The estrogen concentrations in the pill give you a much higher circulating estrogen concentration that you'd have naturally, roughly what you'd have in early pregnancy.

    W6

  3. #3
    Elite Bodybuilder JJFigure's Avatar
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    So why did I stop menstruating while on the pill, and start again 4 months after stopping? That's the part I don't understand, especially since I was one week out from contest.

  4. #4
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    I have other questions related to this if anyone can answer...

    Like JJ, I was on Ortho Novum 777 for MANY years. All that time I regularly had a period, but it was SUPER light. And had little to NO PMS-y symptoms. When I found out recently that the 777 is very high estrogen, I switched to Loestrin Fe 1/20, a low dose pill. Since then, I have had heavier periods and a lot of PMS-y symptoms (*bad* breast tenderness and swelling, water retention, cramps). I actually have been MORE pleased with the 777 than the low dose pill.

    What's the deal? I feel like I have MORE estrogen now!

  5. #5
    Elite Bodybuilder JJFigure's Avatar
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    I always did the off week. That's why I'm a little confused on the sudden onset of menstruation. Trust me, that was a HUGE surprise, especially considering my natural estrogen levels should have been at their lowest due to my low bodyfat.

  6. #6
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    I would have assumed the same thing Spatts -- that the pill does make your body think you are pregnant. Just the change in hormonal balance and the delicate shift that takes place would I assume, bring the period on.

    And yes 777 would make you feel more comfortable as the higher concentration most likely keeps you from peaks and valleys in the hormonal level (if I remember correctly each 7 days contains one dose, the next 7 a slightly higher and so on) but the ones you are on, are LOWER dose pills and may really NOT be enough to keep your balance in check. I also believe the synthetics are different and do not always work for everyone. How long are you taking the new ones? It does take time to adjust.

    I was on 777 for the longest time but it did pile on the fat (and one plus -- the breasts) for me. But I got tired of it. I used FOR a long time orthocept -- lighter periods for sure and less water (I never suffer from PMS -- I am lucky), and most certainly smaller breasts.

  7. #7
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    Yup, the whole point of oral contraceptives is to make your body think it is pregnant so it won't ovulate. Coming off the OC just allowed your body to go back to 'normal'. A lot of women continue mentruating until their are well below 10-12% bodyfat, so it's not unusual for (non-juiced) fitness competitors to maintain a normal cycle throughout their diet. I have never lost a single period even when dropping close to 8% bodyfat. Everyone is different.

  8. #8
    Elite Bodybuilder JJFigure's Avatar
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    Thanks NewGirl and MS - you cleared up my questions. Damn, and I was hoping Gladiola was onto something. :-)

    I started Yasmin right after my comp ended; we'll see how well it works, but I have a feeling I'll be dropping it during my next pre-contest cycle. Sigh...

  9. #9
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    JJ I am incredibly interested in your experience with Yasmin, even if you think it is not post worthy -- I think there are alot of women in addition to me that really like to know what the effects of oral bc and the hormones associated with it do to the body.

    Supposedly Yasmin is supposed to help with water retention and while I have not read the pharmacological makeup of the drug, if it does infact contain spirolactone for water retention purposes, would it be enough of that compound to work as the anti androgen it is capable of being when dosed for that application.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by JJFigure
    Thanks NewGirl and MS - you cleared up my questions. Damn, and I was hoping Gladiola was onto something. :-)

    I started Yasmin right after my comp ended; we'll see how well it works, but I have a feeling I'll be dropping it during my next pre-contest cycle. Sigh...
    OH and one more thing...why the sigh and do you already project the need to drop pre contest...just curious.

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