**Disclaimer: This is the writer's personal experience with deciding to quit birth control. All experiences may vary. It's a woman's choice to get on the pill and its a woman's choice to get off the pill. We respect and support both. Your body, your choice.**
I first went on the pill when I was 14. This was mainly due to my time of the month being such a violent hag that I would be physically ill for the duration, and only partially because my Mom once saw an episode of 16 and Pregnant and said, “not today Satan!”
Fast forward 15 years and the pill and I were by far my longest relationship, and with that came my relationship to monthly mood swings, insane chocolate cravings (I once ate three whole boxes of Count Chocula in one sitting, this is not a joke, it’s my life) and the ever-so-sexy chin pimples. Not once in 15 years did I stop to question the Pavlovian response I had when my phone alarm went off and I popped a pill. That was until nine months ago when I adulted (read: my health insurance lapsed) and I thought, huh, do I seriously still need this? The short answer for me: nope.
But first, the pros. It should be noted that birth control has made amazing strides for women. While I personally took the pill, this can also apply to the insert, patch, and every other thing the pill has become since I was 14. Birth control is a highly effective method of, say it with me, BIRTH CONTROL! Shocker. When used perfectly (at the same time every damn day), the pill is 99% effective. Now for all you real-life women who know that sometimes mornings start by snoozing eight times and then having three espresso shots for breakfast, nobody is perfect and therefore BC (we’re abbreviating now to look cool) is 91% effective on average. The pill can also help with acne, iron deficiencies, cysts and a slew of other health issues. Emphasis on “can” and even larger emphasis on “I am not a doctor.”
That being said, here is my experience breaking up with the pill. After making the leap I can honestly say that I am personally better off. The first few months were touch and go, my period came and went, I broke out tremendously, my PMS was a solid eight on the Richter scale, and I finished a few pints of Ben and Jerry’s. Par for the course honestly but I knew it could get worse. My acne wasn’t clearing up and I had bags under my eyes. So I did the research for you (you’re welcome) and figured out my routine for getting my body back on track and better than before (read: fewer mood swings, lighter periods, and less Count Chocula). So, if you are thinking of quitting hormonal BC, take these steps first:
- Food glorious food: coming off bc could result in weight gain so get your healthy eating in check and make sure you load up on nutrients. I start my day with ACV in water, hit the protein for breakfast and then make lunch my biggest meal full of veggies, carb, lean proteins and fats.
- Love your liver: quitting the pill can put stress on your organs, like your liver. Give it some love by taking a liver supplement or incorporating herbs like milk thistle into your daily routine. I also use Schisandra Berry daily for extra gut support and magnesium during pre, during, and post-period to help with fatigue and cramps.
- Wrap it before you tap it: When I get that feeling: don’t be a chump! Have an effective method to prevent pregnancy in place before going off the pill or another form of BC. And no, the pull-out method is not an option #notsorry.
- Prep your skin: if you do not have a skincare routine down already, get one and utilize it at least one month before going off the pill. Add evening primrose to the routine to help balance the skin’s pH.
- Take stress seriously: hormones and stress are bigger frenemies than Regina George and Cady Heron, and they constantly effect one another. Take time to breathe, workout, meditate and supplement with herbs like Ashwagandha (natures Xanax). Also, don’t push anyone in front of a bus.
- Again, I am not a doctor: though I do play one on TV. But seriously, consult your doctor before making any major medical decisions. Do your research, talk to friends, talk to that lady in your office who seems zen af and make sure this is the right decision for you.
And remember. Listen to YOUR body and do what is right for YOU!