You’ve decided to kill the pill? Or maybe you’re still deciding. Maybe you were on it actually for birth control, but many women are put on pills for other reasons, including acne, “regulating cycles” (you don’t actually have a cycle on the pill), or mitigating PMS symptoms. Either way, here are some reasons to stop taking birth control pills, followed up by some of your other options for birth control.
Let’s talk about some reasons to stop taking birth control pills. There are a lot of reasons people decide to quit the pill or other hormonal birth control. I’ve listed just a few below; you may not even have considered some of them yet!
I’m not a health nut, nor do I believe that all medicine is evil. But I do believe that artificially created hormones meant to hang your body in limbo instead of allowing it to cycle naturally is, well, unnatural. Artificial hormones are put
Side Effects and Diseases Connected to the Pill
For years, we haven’t had much information how hormonal birth control pills affect you. Sure, they stop your cycle and halt your ability to get pregnant, but what do they actually do? I’ll link some studies for you to decide for yourself.
Loss of Libido
While only about 15% of women who take the pill suffer from loss of sex drive, it is a somewhat common side effect still. I’ve linked a study here with those results.
Increased Anxiety/Depression/Mood Abnormalities
A failure to have the correct amount of progesterone can increase the symptoms of anxiety and depression in women. While you may feel a little bad just before you start a new cycle (PMS), it is a valid concern, especially for women who already have issues with depression and anxiety. If you want any more information about the science, you can skip on over to this page to read more.
Recently some studies about hormonal birth control causing increased rates of cancer were brought out into the open. While some believe the studies don’t have a strong enough link to cause worry, I think that when you add it with other side effects, it’s not worth the risk. I’ve included a few links below to check out if you’re curious about the studies.
Some other common side effects include migraines, extended PMS symptoms, nausea, weight gain, eyesight changes, and sore breasts. If you have these symptoms more than usual while using hormonal birth control, I suggest you look into alternatives and possibly stop taking birth control bills.
Ready to Conceive
While not really similar to the reasons above, the fact that someone is ready to conceive is a great reason to quit birth control. Most doctors suggest that you stop taking hormonal birth control 3-12 months prior to trying to conceive. Believe it or not, it can take that much time to get your body back on track after hormonal birth control.
When to Stop
Because your body isn’t cycling while on hormonal birth control, you can stop hormonal forms of birth control at any point. It may, however, feel more natural to stop when you would usually bleed. Do note that you are not safe to have unprotected sex for 7 days prior to stopping your hormonal birth control. This is because sperm can live up to 7 days in a healthy environment.
Either way, your body may take some time to adjust, and you may have some withdrawal symptoms right when coming off the hormones. Some may be positive while others may be negative, and it’s important to be aware of these changes as they happen so that you are able to react to them correctly. Once you make the decision to stop hormonal birth control pills, though, you do need to follow through with it.
There are some great resources to help you figure out what’s happening with your body. One of my favorites is The Period Repair Manual, by Lara Briden. I’ve found through my own journey to rebalance my body, this book has really helped me to determine supplements, diet changes, and exercise changes from which my body could benefit.
Do you have personal experience coming off of hormonal birth control? Any tips for everyone else going through similar experiences?