Why I Stopped Taking Hormonal Birth Control

DISCLAIMER: This article is not meant to bash anyone who takes any form of hormonal birth control. We are all different and our bodies react differently to taking hormonal birth control. I am simply sharing my experience while I was on various types of hormonal birth control and feel that there is a lack of genuineness about how it affects women’s lives. I would also like to emphasize that hormonal birth control does not protect against STDs or other sexually transmitted infections, so please, always use protection! Now, here’s my story.

I started taking hormonal birth control during my sophomore year of college. I had been in a monogamous relationship for almost two years and like many women who are in monogamous relationships, I felt that it made sense to get on birth control, to “feel closer to my partner”. I went to the medical center at my college and was prescribed the pill.

I had only been taking the pill for about a month before I realized that I started feeling extremely depressed, I had mood swings and would lash out at my boyfriend and friends, I was extremely insecure, and it made my period even more irregular than it already was. So, I stopped taking the pill after three months and went back to using condoms. Over the summer before my junior year of college, I did a bunch of research about other birth control methods that were easier than remembering to take a pill every day at the same time.

I came across the Copper IUD, also known as the ParaGard.

Side note: Although the ParaGard is marketed as a non-hormonal form of birth control, what people fail to mention is that there are still copper ions that infiltrate the uterus and acts as spermicide to sperm. Our bodies are absorbent figures, so yes, they will absorb the copper ions, which can negatively affect the body. Also, if any device is inserted into the body, it will naturally try to reject, which also negatively affects the body.  

I figured that I would give this mini T-shaped device a try. I went to the doctor’s office and they pretty much sold it to me, stating that it could last up to 12 years, it was hormone-free and that it was 99% effective. I thought that I had hit the jackpot and that the Copper IUD was going to be my most reliable and go-to method for birth control. However, here are the side effects that I encountered over the 4 month period that I had the IUD:

  • Non-stop spotting

  • Low sex drive

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Almost constant nausea

  • Occasional headaches

  • AND the IUD expelled from my uterus

Yeah, homegirl was just hanging out in my vaginal canal.

I took this as a sign that my body did not like the Copper IUD whatsoever, so I listened to it...sort of. Before going back into the second semester of my junior year, I figured that I would give the pill another go-around. I thought that if I just tried a lower dosage pill, that I wouldn't have such horrible side effects, that I experienced in the past. So I tried the Junel Fe 1/20 and I was feeling great until I started noticing that I was slipping back into depression two months into taking the pill.

Here’s when I said that enough was enough and my body (and mind) has had it. After 4 months of depression, anxiety, low sex drive, and nausea, I made a pact to myself that I would stop taking birth control altogether and start taking better care of my body.

I realized that I have been fed information that women needed to be on birth control because we could not take charge of our own bodies and our own fertility. I came across so many informative and empowering women across social media who taught me that my body is the only one that I have and that I should cherish it.

Yes, I stopped taking birth control because of all of the horrible side effects that I experienced. I thought that I would be an exception to the rule and wouldn’t experience depression, anxiety, a low sex drive and countless other side effects that women face. However, I have been off of hormonal birth control for 4 months now and I can truly say that I have never felt more like myself and I appreciate and love my body more every day.

So, if you are currently taking hormonal birth control and have realized that it is not for you, you are not alone. I have listed below a bunch of resources that I have come across with more natural methods of birth control and women who advocate for more natural birth control methods and taking care of your body. Here’s to taking charge of our bodies!

 

The Birth Control Chronicles’ Resources:

Books:

Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler

Natural Birth Control Made Simple by Barbara Kass-Annese

YouTubers:

Femme Head

Hannah Witton

Natural Methods of Birth Control (these are not exclusive, there are so many):

Daysy

Lady-Comp

Bedsider