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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

For years, doctors have pushed birth control on women, saying that the benefits outweigh the risks, but many women are unconvinced. Doctors claim that birth control is safe to be on for years despite research showing that it has long-term effects. Female contraceptives have made 664 million dollars in the United States, and up to 2,000 dollars is spent on birth control per year. Doctors push birth control because it is profitable and easy to prescribe. My experience with birth control, conversations I have had, and research that I found led me to get off the pill after being on it for two years. 


I started birth control before my freshman year of college. My mom encouraged me to take it to regulate my hormones and acne. Taking her advice, I spoke to my doctor about it and decided to start. My first year of taking birth control, it worked well at clearing my skin and regulating my periods. The day my period tracking app let me know that my period was expected to start was the day it would come. My period would also last five days every cycle. The pill had no mental impact on me, and I felt good. The pill, however, did make me gain some weight and as time went on, it made my skin worse. Right before I decided to get off the pill, my skin was the worst it had been in years. I was right back to where I started, and it was one of my lowest moments. During this time, I spoke with other women in my life about their experiences with birth control and researched oral contraceptives. I started to wonder what the long-term effects of being on the pill were and questioned whether it was safe. I read stories of women sharing that they started birth control in their teens, and years later, after getting off the pill, they could not get their period back. 


Before stopping the pill, I did research. One source helped me make my final decision. I listened to an episode of Dear Media’s “Pursuit of Wellness” podcast with Mari Llewellyn interviewing Dr. Mindy Pelz, an expert on women’s wellness. I learned that a connection has to be formed between the brain and the ovaries. This connection takes up to 12 years to be established. Going on birth control only a couple of years after your first period adds a synthetic hormone to the body, which interrupts this natural process. The pill manipulates your natural hormones, which  leads to your body being unable to find its cycle without it. The aftermath of the pill is greater than any other contraceptive out there. The system does not support women, and doctors forego conversations with patients about the aftermath of the pill. Dr. Pelz recommends that women go into their doctor’s office with knowledge of their hormones, so they can have a more educated conversation and obtain informed consent before deciding whether to take oral contraceptives. She also recommends that if you don’t have your period back after getting off the pill, you should track any form of ovulation you experience. Mari noticed she had acne and skin dullness around the time of her usual cycle, so she tracked it. To get part of your period back, Dr. Pelz recommends fasting during your usual cycle to work towards bringing it back.


Shortly after discontinuing the pill, my skin cleared up and returned to its previous state. I was worried that my period would not come back, but it came back in the same month I stopped around the time my tracker predicted. Fast forward two months, and I haven’t had my period. My tracker predicted it would come earlier this month, but it hasn’t. I tracked acne that came up as a form of ovulation this month. Researching birth control before you decide with your doctor to begin taking it is the only solution to this wide-ranging issue that many women face. From the research I conducted and my own experience with birth control, I will not go on it again. Learning about your hormones and understanding your lifestyle will help you never fall out of love with your body again.

Sabrina Seldon is the Editor-in-chief of Her Campus at MSU. She edits articles, approves pitches and oversees the editing team. Seldon is a junior at Michigan State University majoring in Journalism with minors in Broadcast, Public Relations and Graphic Design. On top of her involvement with Her Campus, she is the Art Director of VIM Magazine at MSU. Seldon was Editor-in-chief of her high school's award-winning yearbook and has articles published through the Spartan Newsroom. Seldon enjoys listening to music, traveling and designing graphics in her free time.