It is 2019, I am 28 years old, and I decided to stop taking the oral contraceptive pill which I had been taking for around 12 long years. I felt a craving to get my body back into a ‘natural’ cycle without those extra hormones being pumped into my body, but was terrified about what impact the change would have on my body, physically and mentally.
I first when on the pill for contraceptive reasons when I got into my first proper relationship at the age of 16. I tried a couple different versions at first but had bad side effects including rapid weight gain and acne. I also tried the contraceptive injective which caused me to bleed for three months straight! Hello anaemia.
Finally I was put on the Cilest, one of the combined pills, which seemed to work well for me, physically anyway. It was around this time I developed more serious anxiety issues so I can’t help but speculate that the pill could have contributed to my mental health problems.
So, why did I come off it?
Firstly, being honest, I was sick of taking a pill everyday. I also felt like even though I had taken this little blue pill for so long, I still didn’t really know what it is doing to my body and mind. More scarily for me; I didn’t remember what I was like without it in my system!
I am in a place in my life where I am thinking of babies and a future, so coming off the pill seems like a natural thing to do right now. So what was my first month coming off the pill like? Find out below:
I have one words for you…CRAMPS.
Cramping was the main side effect I experienced in the first week coming off of the pill, both in my lower abdomen and lower back. I had a few days where it was particularly bad, but the other days it could be managed with pain killers. A few spots appeared on my chin and forehead, but after only a week it was difficult to tell if this was from coming off the pill or just too much chocolate.
Hello sex drive, I haven’t seen you in a while! Still lots of cramping going into week two but I was feeling really good in myself. A whole lot of energy magically came from somewhere and I felt quite self-confident. Not taking a pill everyday took some getting use to as I would take it every morning with my breakfast. Now it’s one more thing I don’t have to worry about which is great.
PMS signs started to creep in on the third week along with headaches. My usual anxiety felt a little heightened in this week and I felt like I was getting irritated much easier than I normally would. Breakouts were still appearing, especially on my neck which is something I suffered with in my teens. Fingers crossed that doesn’t stick around!
I had read so many different accounts of the pill, and one of the most common trends I read was that women didn’t have their period come back straight away. Well, I woke up one morning and my period had made an appearance! I am taking that as a positive and a sign that my body is managing to get back into some sort of cycle on its own. Yay! This period had very painful cramping and some pretty bad mood swings, but I was happy to see it come back so quickly.
Please let me know if you want to see more updates on this topic, I’d be happy to do another post on it!