Let me start off by saying a few things regarding this post. 1) This post will contain some TMI topics so unless you WANT to read about birth control, hormones, and periods, stop now. 2) By no means are we trying to get pregnant. We are not ready for a child and are still being responsible. 3) My experience may be completely different from someone else’s experience. These are just my feelings, thoughts, and opinions. 4) Birth control is not for everyone, but never judge someone for choosing or not choosing to use it.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? I started taking birth control, the pill specifically, almost 13 years ago. Looking back, I was 14 years old when I started taking birth control. I was not a sexually active 14 year old who just wanted to be part of the cool kids. I had ridiculously irregular periods that basically made me feel like I was dying when they decided to happen and caused me to worry when they didn’t. Isn’t that funny, though? How some of us women panic about missing a period even if we aren’t sexually active? The joys of lady time and anxiety meeting each other.
But, obviously, the pill came in handy when I did become sexually active. I felt responsible and more “adult” when I would go to the doctor, have my checkups, and leave with my prescription. I do think there are positive aspects of being on birth control and everyone needs to weigh their options before making a decision about it. For me, at this point in my life, the positive aspects no longer outweigh the negative side effects. so after much personal research, thinking, and discussing things with Briam, I decided to stop taking birth control.
The First Few Weeks Off Birth Control
The first few weeks and my first period after making this decision were horrible. I felt extremely bloated for weeks despite eating healthy and working out. I felt like a waddling whale who ate too much pizza. My skin began to get huge, painful cystic-like bumps that made me feel like I was in middle school and experiencing puberty all over again. My cramps felt like someone was using a rake made of fire and razors to scrape out the lining of my uterus. I forgot what it felt like to experience a real, hormone-free period. Fearing for my life (irrationally of course), I was texting one of my best friends asking her if this was normal and double checking that I wasn’t, in fact, dying. I craved root beer floats for like 10 days and started crying when I ran out of ice cream. Those few weeks were horrible.
Positive Changes After Stopping Birth Control
I think I’ve finally moved past the “hormone reset” my body may have been going through. I’m no expert, so all of my thoughts and opinions could be entirely false. I’m just talking about what I think was happening to my body. My skin looks SO FREAKING GOOD now. My skin is clear, smooth, and vibrant. The bumps has disappeared, the dryness is gone, and the redness is minimal. I wrote a post a week or so ago about the skin care products I was using to try to manage my hormonal skin changes. You can check that out here!
My anxiety and the depression I felt for years having seemingly disappeared. I can’t truly explain what happened or why a switch in my brain finally flipped, but I honestly think it was because of going off birth control. For the past 3 weeks I have been happy, outgoing, motivated, and positive. I’ve dealt with uncomfortable situations, agreed to things that used to scare me, and had “rough days” without feeling defeated or emotionally distraught. I feel like a completely different person, more like the person I always knew was inside.
I’m no longer bloated. Still fat, yes, but not bloated. Quick tangent: I actually saw the funniest thing on Twitter the other day about a chubby kitten that I felt related to me on such a deep level. The picture said “A bit fat but otherwise lovely and very talented”. I laughed so hard and vowed to use that line as the opener on my resume. Okay, tangent over. But seriously though, I’ve lost 6 pounds! For YEARS I spent my days eating 90% healthy and working out semi-regularly only to gain weight. My doctor said nothing was wrong and I should just keep “doing what I’m doing”. How unhelpful! I’ve still eaten ice cream, sushi, and pasta – all while losing 6 pounds. I’m super happy about this positive change.
Tracking My Period and Ovulation
Although I know I should have been tracking my period and ovulation while being on birth control, I wasn’t. I never knew the dates of the start and end of my periods, which would also upset my doctor. But now, using a period tracking app and soon-to-be using a basal thermometer, I’m finally tracking my period and ovulation. The app I’m currently using is called Flo. It’s so easy to use, allows for extensive note taking, and shows the predicted ovulation day – pregnancy chances – and expected period days. I plan on using this app from now on.
What are you thoughts on birth control? What were your experiences going off birth control?
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