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

I know it’s only been a few weeks, and call it the placebo effect if you will, but I already notice changes in my overall health since coming off of birth control.  

I had been on birth control for as long as I could remember. Getting on it was a struggle itself. How could I, a junior in high school, convince my mother that I wanted to be on birth control because my cramps were killing me? It was the God honest truth, but what else would she think? When I finally got permission to talk to a doctor about it, I was ecstatic. My physician agreed, and this started my long journey with the pill. 

First and foremost, you should all know that I did no research on the pill before I started taking it; all I cared about was not having excruciating pain every month for a whole week. For someone who wasn’t having sex anyways, I didn’t care about all that other stuff. I didn’t realize until four years later that it might have been affecting me more than I let on.  

I know that a lot of people notice weight gain on the pill, but when I eventually asked the doctor about it, she told me that that was a myth. Now I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure gaining nearly 40 pounds in four years isn’t normal either. To be fair, the pandemic did a number on me because what else is there to do in quarantine but eat snacks and watch television? Regardless, I did notice myself putting on more weight after I started to take the pill. 

That was not my biggest concern though. So what if I have a little extra tummy fat? I’m healthy and alive. It was the effect on my mental health that started to frighten me. Now I have always been a very extroverted, loud, and friendly person, it’s just my nature. But after some time I noticed that I became more and more anxious. This is another thing that could have just been a natural progression of my maturing, but it all came so suddenly. There are studies done about how women show signs of anxiety when they’re on hormonal birth control as a mental reaction to the pill. I’m not one to self-diagnose, but I definitely noticed a difference in my anxiety by the end of junior year. 

Fast forward to the end of high school when I actually became sexually active. (Yes mom, I’m sexually active). It was then that I decided that staying on the pill was probably the best idea. Being off of the pill in addition to being anxious is simply not a good mix. I am too academically oriented to let a kid ruin it now! For a while, I kept taking the pill, like a robot, every single morning. 

I’m not ashamed to admit that a TikTok video was the reason I began doing research about getting off the pill. The video said something along the lines of  “Three months off of the pill and it feels like a weight has been lifted off of my entire life.” 

 I felt as though this is the change I might need in my life, not to mention I wanted to begin my celibacy journey because men are awful. The research I did ultimately led me to quit the pill cold turkey; and on a random Tuesday earlier this month, I decided I was done.  

I’ve already noticed changes in my overall health despite it only being a few weeks since I stopped. For one, I have such a small appetite. I can finally eat a good three meals (and dessert) without feeling the need to tear up the kitchen in the middle of the night. Another change I noticed is that I feel lighter, whatever that means. I can sleep a full 8 hours a night without issues, and have felt less anxious overall. On and in terms of the weight thing, I haven’t noticed much of a change, but don’t worry I’ll update you all in 3 months.  

Rayma Abdallah is a senior Media Studies & Production major at Temple University. She has a passion for real estate and all things media related. She enjoys reality tv, thrifting, exploring new cities and all things romance. You can follow her on instagram @amraymaa.