I Stopped Taking Birth Control

I started taking birth control when I was younger to control my extremely erratic menstrual cycle. At the time, my doctor recommended the pill to help control all of the irregular bleeding and regulate my cycle. She told me that the pill would help maintain a standard, twenty-eight day menstrual cycle and even help alleviate some of the typical symptoms some women experience during their period, like abdominal cramping and breakouts. 

I started off on the “mini-pill”: a progestin-only version of birth control. The pack came in your standard, thirty-day pill pack. I took one pill every day and during the week of my period, I took a placebo pill. For a while, it worked well. 

When I got older, I switched to a progestin/estrogen combo pill. This was an extended cycle pill that came in a three-month pill pack so I only got my period every three months, and I saved a TON of money on feminine products, which was awesome. 

I didn’t think very much about birth control again until I started seeing a gynecologist. 

When she and I started talking at one of my appointments, I realized that I had been on birth control for about ten years. She suggested that I try to take a break for a while, so that month when my pill pack ran out, I didn’t get another one. 

It’s been about three months since then. The first month was the worst. I was told that it would take about 48 hours for the hormones from my birth control to leave my body (which is why they tell you to take two pills the next day if you miss one!) so that next week when I was finally “cleansed” I felt like absolute shit. As soon as I got my period though, I felt a little bit more emotionally stable. And of course, as time went on, my body adapted. 

Would I recommend quitting birth control? It depends. Before you EVER change ANY medication or prescription you’re taking, you should talk to your doctor. They are professionals and they always know best. That being said, I feel a lot better now than I ever did when I was on birth control, so it’s really up to you.