Excited to finally share my thoughts + experience on this topic in one place. If you’ve followed me on IG I’ve shared a lot about this over the last year.
I’m only sharing this to share MY experience. Not to tell you to get off of birth control, or make you think you need to, or tell you my experience will be your experience. Just wanted to share my side of things because I think A LOT of women deal with issues coming from birth control but are too scared to get off of it.
I was on birth control for probably 7ish years nonstop. I got on it originally for acne and cramps. It was great until it wasn’t great. About three years ago I started having major gut and anxiety issues. The stomach issues were related to anxiety and my anxiety was worsening because of my gut issues so it was like a ruthless circle I couldn’t figure out. I was also having these insane mental breakdowns and just all around WASN’T OK. I started reading into my birth control after I saw an article about how women are getting off of it for many reasons and spent hours going down a hole on the internet reading more. It was a few months before I was getting married and my anxiety was through the roof so I thought I may as well try getting off of it.
(I have a whole other story with the stomach issues but that’s for another day…. the birth control was leading to the anxiety which was worsening stomach issues so it did play a part in it but not all of it)
I remember breaking down in front of my family right before getting off of birth control and it was the defining moment where I knew I had to stop taking it. My little siblings were teasing me and messing with me like little siblings do, but the tiniest things made me bawl crying. I remember my little brother said something and I just freaked out screaming crying in front of everyone. The whole family just stared at me and was like we think you need help haha. It’s funny to think back on but in that moment was when I was like alright… SOMETHING has to change. I had been dealing with so many breakdowns, and being such a b*tch to my husband and family for more than a year and that day in the kitchen was just the cherry on top.
Of course I talked to my doctor about it. She recommended a nonhormonal IUD but I really just wanted to cleanse my body of birth control for a little while. She said to give it a year being off and then we could re-evaluate. It takes about 3 months for birth control to get completely out of your system, and I wanted to give my body time to adjust. My gastro doctor on the other hand recommended getting on a tiny dose of anxiety medication as well. So I got off birth control and onto anxiety medication in the same month and my mood, well-being, and mental health did a complete 360 within 2 months. It was THE BEST. Life changing.
Perks of Getting Off:
- No more crazy mood swings
- Anxiety 100x better
- I hardly ever cry now and I used to cry at least twice a day over nothing
- Sex drive went way up
Around month 3 or 4 I started having some crazy acne issues. My periods also got way worse.
I dealt with AWFUL cystic acne all over my face for about 11 months before I ended up going on Spirinolactone which completely cleared my skin praise the lord. The acne was the worst part about going off!
My periods also went from being 2 days long, super light, and no cramps to being about 5-6 days long, much heavier, and the first 24 hours causing such terrible painful cramps. But, I’m happy to deal with that once a month to have my sanity and emotions back in check.
Things I never dealt with getting off:
Everyone has a different experience going off of it but here’s some things I was aware could happen but I never dealt with:
- Never had irregular periods. They were regular immediately, just worse.
- Didn’t deal with any weight gain or loss
- Vitamin D levels didn’t drop
- Didn’t pregnant lol
- No hair loss (although I’ve stayed super proactive with collagen and supplements to not lose too much)
Ways To Prevent Pregnancy:
Obviously, I’m married and have been off of birth control about a year and 4 months. No baby thank goodness! My husband and I are actively trying NOT to have a baby right now so condoms & tracking my cycle are what we use. So far it’s worked! I do not have plans to get on an IUD. It could be an option in the future but I’m happy where I’m at right now.
- Nonhormonal IUD
- Tracking your cycle- I use the Flo app. You can track your cycle by looking at the days you have low chances of getting pregnant and using those days for intercourse and avoiding days where it says high chance. Basically tracking it as you would if you were trying to get pregnant, but just using it in the opposite way.
I THINK that’s all I’ve got on this topic. Feel free to post a comment below with anything further and I’ll answer 🙂 If you’re having issues, this may be something to look into but of course always talk to your doctor. So thankful to be able to share experiences with y’all! xo
Thanks for being so transparent on such a sensitive subject! I’ve been dealing with the same issues but have been nervous to stop my BC. I am happy to hear it’s such a positive experience.
Thanks for reading, Alexis!! Totally understand being nervous to go off. I was so scared at first!
Thank you so much for sharing! This is something I have been debating for a little while now. Did you have issues with acne growing up / before getting on birth control or was this completely new to you once you got off?
Thanks for reading, Riley!! I had issues with acne before I got on it, had really bad acne for about two years when I got on it, then had clear skin a few years, then bad acne when I got off… no clear skin lol! It’s been a rollercoaster.
Braylea Fisher says
I am so glad you shared your experience on this topic. I have had such a similar experience with the acne, heavier cycles, etc. It’s always good to hear you’re not alone.
Thank you for sharing!
You’re definitely not alone, gal! Thanks so much for taking the time to read
Hi Audrey! Thank you for sharing all of this!
I’m wondering if you stayed on the small dose of anxiety medication? It’s something I’m considering as well.
Thanks for reading, Sarah!! And yes! I’m still on the same small dose of anxiety medicine. It’s helped me so much!