A month in to no birth control
Following on from stopping the contraceptive pill, we take a look at the effects a month later
Hopefully you read my previous post on stopping the contraceptive pill, but if not here is a quick recap; it's bad for you and I hate it.
So I stopped the pill, had the period and never restarted the pill again. It's only been a month so far but I can confirm that the mood swings are the absolute WORST. I hate everything and then I want a cuddle, then I'm crying, then I'm overjoyed. My hormones are all over the place and honestly it is incredibly difficult. It becomes hard to manage and differentiate between what is your actual feelings and what you just think you're feeling. I am trying to remain level headed and consider what is real, but it isn't easy in the slightest. I have found myself absolutely despising my boyfriend for the most pathetic things. For example, he rushed me to get ready and I started to cry. That's not something anyone would cry about usually. Half an hour later I felt awful for it, guess what? Started to cry. So in short, the hormones are HARD.
I have been completely battered by coming off the pill, emotionally crippled. I likened it to going 15 rounds with both Tyson and Anthony Joshua against me. (I have absolutely no boxing skills btw) it is massively taking toll. I have never cried so much in my life. This last month has bought some atrocious elements of coming off of the contraceptive pill, more so toward the end. My emotionally stability is non existent at the moment, to add insult to injury I have gotten spotty as well, however these spots are appearing on my chest not my face (at least I can hide them I guess) but they're painful. I read recently that coming off of the pill increases the chances of you getting thursh and bacterial vaginosis... FABULOUS. I now have to insert some gel into myself to ensure that I am protected against these infections and, worse, eradicate them if they have started without any symptoms. So now I am being both emotionally and physically beaten, I can't help but think "is it worth it?" As my reasoning included not wanting to fill my body with artificial hormones it will be worth it in the end, though it definitely doesn't feel that way at present. I have essentially tricked my body into thinking it's been pregnant for 8 years, which I'm adamant can only be a bad thing. I'd love to know what you think about this and if anyone is considering stopping or on their own journey, you can find me on twitter!
I can't remember the last time I didn't have a headache, I'm much hungrier than usual too. Always hungry, never know what for. As a foodie, that is the hardest part for me. One minute I want to eat pasta salad, the next i want pizza, crisps, chocolate, nuggets, pie and mash, Mexican, it just goes on and on in my head for a while until I give up and eat whatever. I also haven't been sleeping very well, but this could be chalked down to the fact I need a new mattress, so until I have bought a new one I think I will leave that out of any side effects.
For a few weeks my libido was through the roof. Unmanageable. Not something I would complain about. If you're that way inclined you should definitely take advantage of this while it lasts! I was a little concerned about myself and did an online test to find out if I am an addict, unsurprisingly not. It passes and settles down so don't worry, you're not an addict either and it will go away.
A few days ago I watched the Netflix documentary Explained! Birth Control and I would recommend that everyone watch this too. Whatever your birth control situation it is worth the watch. In this they highlight that pill producers and healthcare professionals have known about life threatening side effects since the 1970's. That's a very long time to be giving it out to teenagers without ever attempting to correct any issues with it. When I was 16 and went to start taking the pill, no one told me about ANY side effects. You still wouldn't be told now, if you walked into a doctors office looking to discuss which birth control is best for you there would be no discussion regarding all the adverse side effects that can leave you not only feeling crappy or being unwell but can also have life threatening effects on your body.
I've downloaded Clue, an ovulation tracking app. This is more than just ovulation though, I guess you could use it for tracking when you are most fertile in order to get pregnant, but I think it's great at the opposite. You just add your symptoms each day and then it does the hard work for you and you get info on your fertile window, period etc. I don't think you could rely on this alone, certainly not for the first few cycles. Give it time to understand and analyse your data. I have obviously been off of the pill for one month, however based on the data I have provided it already appears to be relatively accurate in predicting my next period, PMS and fertile window.
All in all at the moment it's broken me as a person. I'm really trying to manage the hormones and emotional instability, however it is hard. It's definitely a situation where your loved ones really have to stick with you and try not to take anything personally. Fingers crossed next month I will be feeling better.