I stumbled across Fertility Awareness more or less by accident. I was taking the pill at that time and that intrinsic feeling that it was messing with my body grew steadily louder. I was already really bad at taking it at the same time and I kept finding more reasons to “forget” to take it. One of them was acne. Even though I had first been put on the pill at the age of 13 to improve my acne, I slowly observed that my face was actually breaking out more when I was taking the pill compared to when I was on the 7-day break.
I also knew that I wanted to have children at some point in the future (like in the next 5 years) and some little voice in my mind was telling me that I should probably come off the pill a little sooner so that my body would have time to adjust.
I was also starting to be more health conscious and aware of my body and what I was putting in it after reading “Wheat Belly” (thanks Dr. Davis for jump starting my road to crunchiness). So after some digging and searching the internet for alternatives to hormonal contraceptives I. just. stopped.
So what did I gain by stopping the pill? Well, for one, my face cleared up (before it got way worse again, but that had other reasons), but most importantly, I stopped being a “hormonal” moodswinging maniac that would scream and yell at her husband in a high pitched voice. Did he deserve a smart-ass remark? Maybe. Did he deserve to have a maniac wife screaming at the top of her lungs, arms flailing around?? Um, no. He just didn’t put his dirty cereal bowl in the sink, not murder anyone.
Despite a lot of women who are currently taking the pill and claim to not have any side effects, I would challenge all of you to stop and think again. I didn’t think I had any side effects either until I came off. As I said earlier, I was put on it at age 13, and everyone around me just thought I was a teenager who had emotional meltdowns all the time. And as I grew older that was just who I thought I was.
Note - I have not had a meltdown like that since I came off the pill.
Another unexpected - and very pleasant - “side effect” of stopping the pill was that my libido made a grand re-entrance into my life! I actually desired and enjoyed sex again. Which got me thinking, why would I want to take a drug that prevents me from getting pregnant, when I don’t even want to do the very thing that could get me pregnant in the first place???? But again, I didn’t know that until I came off. I just thought I had low libido.
If you just found yourself nodding to any one of the things I mentioned, I have a few tips and resources where you can learn more.
If you like to read, grab a copy of Dr. Lara Briden’s book Period Repair Manual, where she talks in depth about the most common side effects of the pill (and no, it’s not blood clots) among many other topics.
Do you share my love for podcasts? Lisa from Fertility Friday interviewed Dr. Lara Briden about her book. You can listen to Episode 7 on her website or your podcast app.
Another great interview about how the pill affects your mind and body is episode 203 of the Fertility Friday podcast with Ross Pelton, where he addresses the nutrient-depleting aspects of the pill.
Are you taking hormonal contraceptives right now? Do you or did you experience any side effects?
What other resources have you found helpful when making up your mind about the pill?