Bye, hormones: Why I finally went off the pill

Bye, hormones: Why I finally went off the pill

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)

 

I was in my first serious relationship and it seemed like all my peers were going on it anyway. Some to regulate their heavy periods, some for the acne and others because they were having sex, simple as that. I was looking forward to get my period exactly all 28 days too. Sure, you might say this was all pretty naive. But who could judge me: I was only a teenager and didn’t inform myself too much what this means for me and my body. And besides that, every doctor tells you that the pill it the “Miracle Drug for Women”. 

I didn’t really think about the effects the pill might have for me and my body. I just swallowed it every day, being super happy with it. All my girls took it too, those anti-pill campaign came lots of years later, the big mass wasn’t sophisticated at all. Yes, there was this critical incident in 2009, when a you girl from Switzerland died due to the side effects of the pill. She got thrombosis after taking “Yasmin”. But somehow this tragic story wasn’t brutal enough to give us the final wake up call we would all have needed. Yes, some girls and women changed from “Yasmin” to another pill. But that was it.

Since then, the German group «Initiative für Thrombose-Geschädigte», Risiko-Pille.de, collects reports from women who suffered from thrombosis after going on the pill. They say that the number of people taking the pills YAZ, Yasmin and Yasminelle were still the most high-selling preparations on the market in 2012 – 3 years after the horrible incident in Switzerland. In the annuel report it is said that the revenue is still at 1,07 billion Euro. The pill was and is a huge business for the pharmaceutical companies.

 

Bye, pill: My reasons 

 

 

Furthermore, at some point, I’ve just read too much. There was no way I could go on like this. For me it was total clear: I would swallow the rest of the package but then I would be more than happy to stop this whichcraft forever.

 

The consequences for my body and cycle

With the pill it is like in many other situations in life: It all has two sides. Right after going off the pill the cycle has to find itself again. Before it got controlled by the pill. There is no need to panic if you won’t get your period again directly after that. I’m currently in the same situation: My period didn’t come back so far. Do I need to worry? Not really. It’s normal. I took the pill for almost 8 years so what could I exspect.

In the beginning it was quite weird for me to don’t take the pill in the evening at exactly 7pm. So many years I didn’t have to think about my reproductive system on the pill. I knew when my periods were coming, they didn’t faze me and I could even plan when to have them. Birth control pills prevent pregnancy through several mechanisms, mainly by stopping ovulation. If no egg is released, there is nothing to be fertilized by sperm, and the woman cannot get pregnant: totally clear, right. Most birth control pills contain synthetic forms of two female hormones: the estrogen and the progestin. These synthetic hormones stabilize a woman’s natural hormone levels. Without the estrogen bump, the pituitary gland does not release other hormones that normally cause the ovaries to release mature eggs.

 

What has changed since that?

Going off the pill doesn’t only affect the body. It also effects the mind. It’s not overstated to say that I’ve been going through an emotional change as well. I can’t control my feelings as good as I could before which means I cry more often. This sounds quite negative, right. But in fact it isn’t. I used to be quite emotional before. That’s just me. And hey: It’s not only that I cry more, I do also laugh more often. Basically I could say that I can express better what I actually feel. And I just let it go.

When I still took the pill it felt like my emotions were hiding under a blanket. And everytime I would express some of them the blanket would push me down so they couldn’t come out. Callous, yes. That’s what I often felt during this time. And this shocked me even more since I knew this wasn’t me.

To what extend those changes are noticeable might be different for all of us. But in generel I can say that all of my friends who went off the pill too, feel the same way too. Actually it’s kind of funny. In our teenage years we all started to take the pill in the same year and now we all decided to stop it again. We’ve come full circle. And it feels good to not be alone.

 

 

How does the skin and hair change?

Lots of women are afraid of loosing their hair after going off the pill. And they’re also scared about acne. Sure, it can happen. One of my friend had skin problems in her teenage years, that’s why her doctor recommanded her to take the pill. And now, as she decided to go for a hormone free option, it all returned. Her skin was covered again with all the red pimples. But does it really surprise you? I mean, just because the problem get solved by the pill it doesn’t mean that it’s gone. It was just hidden. But the good news are: Now, after 6 months, it’s all gone. Her skin recovered.

For me I can’t really say that I felt a change for my skin. Maybe it regreases a bit faster but that’s it. But I have to admit here, that I never really had problems with my skin anyway. What I’ve realised is that my hair has changed. In the first 3 weeks I couldn’t wear it open, I always had to do a ponytail. My hair just looked like I didn’t wash it for over 3 weeks. It was horrible but hey, it was only a short time. Now it’s all gone again and I’m super happy with my decision. If you struggle with the same issue I can recommand you to wash your hair with a special shampoo against regreasing hair.

Conclusion: I’d do it again, anytime!

 

 

Which contracept do I use now?

Before you have to ask me, I’ll answer this question myself (because you might know that I’m in a relationship). I haven’t made a decision so far so for the moment we just contracept with a condom. I was thinking of getting a spiral but I’m not quite sure. First of all I want to wait until my body has fully recovered.

I’ll keep you informed about that if you want. In the meanwhile I’d love to hear you story too. Are you still taking the pill or when have you decided to cut it out? What do you think about this whole debate?

Looking forward to discuss with you in the comments down below. Lots of love from Zurich.

Talk soon,
Anina



9 thoughts on “Bye, hormones: Why I finally went off the pill”

  • Great Post! I actually stopped with the homonal contraception six weeks ago and I’m also so happy about it!
    I always had the worst issues with the pill and the nuva ring (moodwise, mostly) so I decided to try the contraceptive coil (Kupferspirale) and that was the best decision, I can only recommend it. I really feel lighter and my mood is just in general better than before. Of course, the insertion of the coil is no fun but that goes away quickly. A lot of my friends have it, too, and I never heard anything bad about it from them. (But sure, everyone has a different body and has to make that decision on their own. I just think it helps when you personally know people that have good experiences with it (because you can read A LOT good and bad on the internet and I was confused what to believe. In the end I just decided to try it – you can always get it out again if it doesn’t feel right. And it’s not as expensive as I thought it’d be. Cheaper than the hormones over the years.))
    I think it’s so important to not put something so chemical like synthetical hormones inside our bodies! It causes problems far deeper than we first think or realise. It’s important to me to “find to my natural self” and how on earth can I do that when my mood, my body, my period and my skin are being held back by the pill? Also, since I’m watching out for not producing so much trash…it really is so much plastic over the years.
    For me stopping to take the hormones was an utterly good experience and I hope that more girls find the determination to do it 🙂

    • Hi Lari. Thank you for sharing your story here and talking about this topic too. Yeah, I know a lot of girls too who have made good experiences with it. For the moment I just want to wait until everything is kinda normal again. I’m happy that you’ve found something that works for you! 🙂 Have a lovely rest of the evening and a good start again tomorrow. Lovely to see you here. Talk soon, Anina

  • I think it’s important we think about this topic as women. But I would also love more research and links to articles in order to get more information. Where are your sources coming from? 🙂
    The Swiss woman dying is certainly something alarming, but how many deaths a year does the pill cause?
    Everything else is super useful and I just want to know more about this as now I feel like I should seriously think about it as well.
    Thank you for shedding some light on this Anina!!
    Lots of love from cold London,
    Marta xxx

    • Dear Martha, thank you so much for your feedback. Good point with the sources, I’ll include that to the next blogpost. I’ve been doing a lot of research and I also read some nice books about this topic. In Switzerland about 20 women per year, and this is quite a small country.. So you can imagine how many deaths there must be world wide.. How long have you been taking the pill? Lots of love from Zurich, Anina

  • Hi Anina

    This is a very important topic and you wrote a great and informative article. Thanks for sharing this – for most it’s still a taboo and they don’t like to talk about it. And that’s also the reason why most women still continue taking the pill. It’s easy and you don’t have to think nor talk about it. I started to take the pill because of my skin when I was like 14. The skin improved but very quickly I got very depressive. Any hormonal contraception I used always resulted in me being depressive. Only until very recently I actually figured out why. I’m estrogen dominant and the contraceptive pill made this dominance even stronger. No doctor took my mood swings seriously and always just told me I have to live with this:( When I was 21 I decided to get the copper spiral. With it my cycle got very regular and I’m happy with the protection. However, I still have issues with my estrogen dominance (there is so much xenoestrogen in the environment now which does not help) and I think it’s so important that women start to understand their hormones, their cycles and what they do by taking the pill.
    Maybe another blog post from you could be about xenoestrogens in our daily products (cosmetics, plastic etc)? Would be interesting to see what kind of products you use…
    Have a lovely day
    Dominique

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