The Pill has a lot more uses than you might realize, much like the Swiss Army knife of birth control. Oral hormonal contraceptives can help regulate your cycle, ease menstrual cramps, prevent unintended pregnancy, and improve the appearance of your skin. These are but a few of the causes for which people begin using hormonal birth control.But what can you anticipate if you stop using birth control, and are there any negative effects? In addition, aside from trying to become pregnant, why would anyone want to stop taking the pill in the first place?
The choice to quit using birth control is a personal one, according to Nicole Noyes, MD, Northwell Health’s chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility. As an illustration, she notes that “some people discontinue taking the pill if they realize they’re at an elevated risk for rare, but significant consequences associated to the Pill, like as blood clots.” Rarely, given that some tumors are hormone-sensitive, would a cancer diagnosis be a reason to cease.If a person experiences negative side effects from hormonal birth control, such as mood swings, they may also transition to non-hormonal birth control. Others simply don’t like the notion of having “artificial” hormones in their bodies and wish to try something else.
There isn’t an optimal way to quit taking the Pill, if you do want to. You are free to stop whenever you wish (medically, there is no difference between stopping in the middle of a pack and waiting until you are finished). According to experts, the only reason you might want to finish the pack is so you can predict when you’ll get your period going forward.
Alison Edelman, MD, an ob-gyn and the director of the Oregon Family Planning Fellowship, recommends a copper IUD if you wish to switch to non-hormonal birth control (again, that is entirely up to you). She claims that it prevents pregnancy even more effectively than birth control pills. However, some people who use copper IUDs do experience very severe cramping and bleeding during their periods, so that is also something to take into account.
In either case, once your body adjusts, the majority of them should go away. When you stop using birth control, how long does it take for your body to return to normal? According to the Mayo Clinic, negative effects should subside when your period returns in three months, if not before.
There are a few things you could anticipate happening if you stop using chemical birth control, regardless of your motivation. Just keep in mind that everyone reacts differently and that you likely won’t experience all of the symptoms that the professionals and ladies below did. Even while there’s a chance you won’t experience any of them, it’s still a good idea to be aware of them in advance.
1. You might get some pimples.
Alyssa Dweck, MD, an ob-gyn and co-author of V Is for Vagina, claims that when you take the Pill, your testosterone levels fall, which may result in less breakouts. She notes that when you stop taking medication, those levels rise once more and your acne may worsen.
According to Melissa F. from Louisiana, who had to stop taking the pill after losing her insurance, she developed acne all over her body. For three years, she had been taking the pill.
The good news is that most people won’t experience outbreaks for very long. Our bodies dislike change, according to Dr. Edelman. Your body adapted to a constant hormone for however long you were taking the Pill. Now that it needs to get used to the previous state, your body may experience some minor freakouts for the first few months. Acne may contribute to that.
The extra lumps on your face (and everywhere else) should go gone after those few months if you didn’t have any issues with acne before you started taking the Pill. However, some individuals first begin taking the Pill in an effort to treat acne. If that describes you, Dr. Edelman predicts that once you stop using the Pill, you’ll start experiencing the same skin issues you did before.
2. You might feel hornier.
According to Dr. Edelman, some people who start using birth control report having a heightened sex desire because they are less concerned about getting pregnant. When you quit using birth control, your body will return to normal, regardless of how it was altered, she says.
“When it wanted to, my sex urge kind of grew and reduced, “Melissa talks about stopping her medication. “It appears that everything was out of balance.
Your natural sex drive won’t be significantly altered by stopping the pill; nevertheless, it could feel that way because: 1) You’ve been on the pill for so long that you can’t remember what it was like; and 2) Your sex drive isn’t constant. Throughout our life, it changes. As a result, your baseline sex drive may differ greatly from what it was before you started the Pill.
3. Or, the opposite.
According to a research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the drop in testosterone levels may cause some women on hormonal birth control to have less libido drive and more discomfort when having sex. As a result, after they stop using the pill, some women claim to have more sex desire.
This information was pulled from a poll. At their website, you might be able to discover the same material in a different format or more details.
4. Your monthly cycle will alter.
Although it should go without saying, birth control drugs significantly affect your period. Giving up birth control has the same effect. Because my husband and I desire to start a family, I stopped taking the pill about six months ago, claims Kaely D. from California. “However, I wish I had left years ago. I adore my feelings. Although my cycles can be erratic and unpredictable, I don’t let it stop me.
But for Kathy H. from North Carolina, irregular periods were a little more of a problem. She used the Pill for nine years before stopping when she decided she wanted to have children. Your period will return to normal once you stop using the Pill since it balances your hormones, according to Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale School of Medicine. If yours didn’t always arrive on time each month, you should anticipate that it will do so once more.
And once more, according to Dr. Edelman, it will take some time for your body to normalize. Your cycle may take several months to return to how it was before you started using the Pill. And although it’s not the Pill’s fault, it might never be the same. Many women overlook the fact that their periods alter as they age, she claims.
It doesn’t guarantee that your period will remain regular when you stop using birth control, even if it was always regular before. Periods can naturally fluctuate, so your body’s “regular” period after stopping the Pill could be significantly different from what it was initially.
5. You might be moody.
Women typically experience PMS with their periods, but for some it can be very severe. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe form of PMS that causes melancholy, irritability, and tension before menstruation, affects Connor D. from Virginia.
She took hormonal birth control pills for five years to treat the symptoms, then Connor made the decision to quit. When her life had little to no structure, she claims she didn’t trust herself to remember to take the medication every day because she was in college. In the middle of my cycle, I also started to have breakthrough bleeding.
Sadly, stopping the pill just made her PMDD symptoms much worse. “My PMDD returned in full force, with intense emotional swings, unexplained melancholy, rage, and worry. Only one excellent week every month for me.
Once more, specialists point us that any period problems you experienced before to starting the Pill may regrettably recur in full force after quitting.
6. You might put on or take off weight.
When someone stops using the Pill, not everyone loses weight. Others put on a couple pounds. According to research, a third of women who quit using oral contraceptives lose weight, a third gain weight, and a third maintain their current weight.
Given that taking the Pill might lead to water retention, if the scale moves down, it’s probably just water weight. But keep in mind that decreasing water weight is different from shedding fat, so any weight you do lose probably won’t stick around.
7. Your headaches might go.
Although headaches aren’t very prevalent while using birth control, some people do get headaches, especially those who are migraine-prone because the Pill balances your natural hormones and results in a sharp drop in estrogen. According to the National Headache Foundation, oral contraceptives may cause migraines in some patients.
The frequency of Kathy’s headaches had changed. “I did notice that I felt better physically and mentally, “she claims. “In comparison to when I was taking the Pill, I felt less lethargic and experienced significantly less headaches.
8. You may have hair loss or regrowth.
You probably didn’t know this about your hair, but: Dr. Edelman claims that each follicle is experiencing its own unique growth cycle. However, occasionally your hair is connected to one cycle when your hormones shift, such as when you become pregnant or stop using the constant hormones in birth control. And when that takes place, substantial clumps may all come out at once. Your health is unaffected, according to Dr. Edelman. But it may be frightful. Fortunately, it’s quite uncommon, so the majority of individuals don’t have to worry about hair loss after they stop taking the pill.
Others, though, struggle with a different kind of hair issue. In order to stop the growth of undesirable hair on their chins and backs, some women start using birth control. According to Dara Matseoane-Peterssen, MD, chief of the General Obstetrics and Gynecology section at New York-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital, hair in these places is referred to as hirsutism. Due to the Pill’s interference with natural testosterone levels, it can aid in reducing the growth of this hair.
If you struggled with excessive hair before starting birth control, you’ll probably struggle with excessive hair once more after ending it.
9. You may not conceive immediately away.
Although many people stop using oral contraceptives without intending to conceive, it comes as no surprise that the majority of those who stop using birth control do so in order to start a family. But there’s no need to panic if you don’t stop taking the Pill and then become pregnant right away. Keep in mind that it may take several months for your cycle to normalize, advises Dr. Edelman. So getting pregnant might require several attempts.
But not everyone experiences that—some women experience an instant pregnancy. So, before stopping your pills, make sure you’re actually prepared to become pregnant. There is a misconception that the hormones remain in your body for some time after stopping the Pill, according to Dr. Edelman. Some people believe that they won’t be able to become pregnant at first because their bodies need to flush the contraceptive hormones out, but that is untrue. As soon as you stop taking your pills, you can become pregnant.
10. Sexual activity may be more enjoyable.
Taking birth control may make sex a little uncomfortable for some people. According to Dr. Noyes, “some people report pain or discomfort during sex, and fortunately this should go away once someone stops taking the Pill if the Pill was the real culprit.”
According to Dr. Edelman, the discomfort frequently results from the dryness of the vagina caused by hormonal birth control. Lube can assist with that, but occasionally it is insufficient. When she stopped taking the pill, Connor was relieved that she no longer required lubrication during sexual activity.
If you struggle with uncomfortable sex due to the Pill, you may want to discuss alternative birth control methods with your doctor in order to restore the pleasure of sex. Just keep in mind to be ready. If you intend to go off, Dr. Noyes advises speaking with a doctor about other birth control options unless pregnancy is your primary goal.