Thursday, February 21, 2019

I stopped taking Birth Control, here's what happened.







You might find this an odd topic to talk about, and maybe it's not for you - that's okay! The reason I'm writing about this today is because I found a lack of transparency on this topic from people I find relatable, people that are in this same season of life as me. Maybe because some find it taboo to talk about, but I know if I'm searching the Internet for transparency and answers - others are too. 

Last August I decided that it was time to give my body a break from birth control. My original Gynecologist retired several years ago, and to be honest - I haven't really found another one that I trusted and felt as comfortable with as him. I'm a firm believer in referrals, and checked out a recommended woman amongst my girlfriends but, I kind of felt like they were shuffling patients in and out as fast as possible and billing for anything and everything they could. As I entered my late twenties, I started having chronic headaches and said Gyno thought this could be attributed to the type of birth control I was on. So, we entered down a rabbit hole of trying one after another and nothing seemed to be sitting well with my body. Yes, my headaches were better, but I started grinding my teeth at night so badly that I would wake up and my temples were sore from clenching down on my jaw all night. It just didn't seem worth it anymore. At this point, I expressed my frustrations to her and she recommended just removing birth control all together. Shane and I had never entertained doing this as we didn't feel ready for kids yet - but I did like to idea of just giving myself a break and letting my body naturalize back to its normal state. 

So, this is what I did. However, no one told me what the side effects of doing this would be. Some are amazing, and some are very frustrating. Here are the biggest changes I noticed:

PMS

ON BIRTH CONTROL

For years, I always experienced PMS and PMDD pretty negatively. My emotions were all over the place about a week prior to my menstrual cycle and no matter what I did, nothing seemed to be able to help that. I was mostly emotional for no reason, at times irrational, and super sensitive during this time. 

OFF BIRTH CONTROL

I feel like a million bucks where as this is concerned! I can't even begin to explain how much better I feel. I still get a little emotional leading up to my menstrual cycle, but not nearly like I used too. The PMDD seems to be gone completely, and the PMS seems minor compared to years on an emotional roller coaster ride during this time. I will say, the bloating and cramps are definitely worse and very uncomfortable but it's short lived (usually a day or two). 

MY SKIN

ON BIRTH CONTROL

Clear as day! I have always had super clear skin, and no problems with acne or breakouts. Even prior to birth control, I always had clear skin as a teenager - I feel very blessed for that. 

OFF BIRTH CONTROL

Girl, this is the worst side effect of stopping the pill. No one told me my skin would break out! Even if someone had told me that, I also probably would not have believed it would happen to me since I've never had skin issues. My skin started breaking out about a month or two after stopping the pill. It breaks out in the same spot every month (my chin), which is driving me bonkers! From what I've read, my skin should start to balance itself out, but it can take 6-8 months from the time the break outs started. I'm hoping this is true - but in the meantime, I'm taking every skincare precaution and step I possibly can to keep the breakouts under control (see my latest skincare post here). The second side effect I've noticed: I have always had bone dry skin - for years. When the breakouts started happening, I noticed my skin all of a sudden was much oilier than normal. This is also apparently (according to Internet sources) very common when stopping the pill. Oily skin also equals more breakouts - so they go hand in hand. 

WEIGHT

ON BIRTH CONTROL

Like most women, when I got on birth control I gained a little weight. It's a common side effect of starting the pill, but nothing alarming. I'm a very active and health conscious person, so it wasn't something that bothered me too much. 

OFF BIRTH CONTROL

I lost weight! However, I should state that I have no idea if getting off birth control is the cause of losing weight. It's simply a correlation I noticed timing wise. As mentioned above, I eat really healthy and workout regularly 6 days a week. My weight can fluctuate 3-5 lbs on any given day (I track it with my Fitbit app and the Fitbit bluetooth scale), however about a couple months after stopping the pill, I lost about 5 lbs total. 


Overall, I feel a lot better. Being that I am in front of a camera regularly, on stories etc. the skin issue does really bother me but I am hopeful it will clear up within the next couple months. Anyway, I felt like sharing my experience could be beneficial in preventative measures for those of you who are thinking about stopping the pill in the future, and am simply putting this out there in light of my own search for people with similar experiences. I wish someone would have warned me about some of the side effects so that I could have been better prepared. 

SHOP THE POST:


2 comments:

  1. I am SO glad you took the time to share this! I have been debating the idea but have read via the internet it can be a terrible transition and cramps can become more intense than they were or cysts can form which has caused me hesitation to drop the pill. My husband and I aren’t necessarily ready to start a family either but just seems like such a good idea to let my body get back to it’s natural state. Anyway, thanks again for sharing your experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Amber! Thanks for reading, and for the feedback! I can totally relate with how you're feeling, which is exactly what inspired me to write this post. I say do it! Everyone's body is different, but you can always go back to it if it isn't the right option for you, and if it is the right option - then great! You can only know if you try!

      Delete

 

site design by kiki and co.