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Hi everyone! I was on hormonal birth control pills for a little over a year (ortho novum 1/35) from April 2012-July 2013. I went on the pill to prevent pregnancy, and before the pill I was happy, emotionally stable, and I had periods every 4 weeks like clockwork. I did have a pimple here or there but nothing to worry about and I didn't wear makeup. Being on the pill was wonderful too! My skin was beautiful, my moods were stable, and I was very content with my life (not to mention freedom to worry much less about an unwanted pregnancy). However, I decided I wanted to go off the pill and begin using a non-hormonal form of birth control, because I did not want to be on the pill for 10+ years.... who knows the long term effects of that. My partner is a great guy and very understanding and wants me to do what I feel is best for my body. In July, I had my wisdom teeth removed and I was taking some strong antibiotics... so I figured that it was the best time to go off the pill because they would be ineffective anyway. 

July 15th- Stopped taking pills (estimate)

After I went off the pill life was pretty good. I had my "fake" period for a week, and then everything went on as usual. I had some mild break-through type bleeding here and there but my real period did come in the middle of August. I was feeling good, going to my local YMCA and was healthier than ever. I lost a little water weight after going off (3-4 pounds at most).

Mid-August-Normal period, slightly oilier face and some breakthrough bleeding before period

After my period in August the acne came. Not too bad, but noticeable. I wasn't happy about it, but I had been prepared for it. I also slipped going down the steps so I broke my foot, this meant no more running at the YMCA for awhile. School started and I am taking a heavy class load so I was under some stress but not intolerable. I think the lack of exercise was bothering me more than the classes. I was experiencing some fatigue

Sept 11th- Started my period and passed out! I was feeling tired, and normally don't eat breakfast, but a guy in my psychology course passed out some plain doughnuts so I took one. 30 minutes later I was shaking like a leaf and my vision was going black. I passed out and the rangers came and checked my blood pressure(a little low) and my blood sugar (70). I went to my doctor a week later and he diagnosed me with neurocardio syncope. Basically, my blood pressure doesn't react the way it should in times of stress, and instead of increasing, it bottoms out. I wasn't happy with this diagnosis but I was glad to know what was wrong. I was very fatigued after this incident and began to experience some anxiety, which I have not had since I was 12-13.

I remember the day after I passed out I would blink hard because my eyes felt strained. This got continuously worse for about 2 weeks until they were causing me real problems. Accompanied with them was pressure, like a headache. I was never sure if the headache caused the eye problems or if the eye problems were causing the headache. I was also getting lots of tingly sensations, like a creeping feeling up the side of my back and head, increasing anxiety problems, and SEVERE loss of appetite and brain fog that completely killed my ability to concentrate on anything. The anxiety did not help these feelings within 2 weeks of going to the doctor I felt like I was going nuts. I was tingling, not eating very much, my eyes would hurt so badly (like straining or tension behind my eyes) and when I stood up the blood would rush from my head every time. In the middle of my cycle (2 weeks after starting my period) these symptoms peaked, and I came home crying, full blown panic attack and was shaking and was totally overwhelmed by anxiety and all these weird symptoms and sensations. I made another appointment with my doctor but it was about a week and a half away. I forced myself to eat and that helped and slowly I began to feel more normal. By the time I saw my doctor I could only describe what I had been feeling because most of the actual symptoms had gone away, all that was left was a tolerable level of anxiety, brain fog, a funny feeling in my eyes, and a buzzy feeling. The anxiety was making me very nervous and jittery, and I feel that it was not coming from my classes because being really busy seemed to help, and because of this I tried to always remain busy. My doctor said that I was stressed, but did check my thyroid and ran some blood work which all came back fine. He recommended that I try to exercise despite my broken foot, and to take a multivitamin. I began walking some (I don't have a cast on, and as long as I was comfortable I was given the OK to walk) and started taking an over-the-counter multivitamin. Also by now my face had broken out horribly but that was the least of my worries. 

I did not have a period for 6 weeks, until Oct. 22

My period was very normal except that I was 2 weeks late. School was stressful but not to the point that it would make my period late. It lasted 5 days and was very much like the periods I would have before I went on the pill. I still experienced some of the same feelings I had when I went to the doctor (a tolerable level of anxiety, brain fog, a funny feeling in my eyes, and a buzzy feeling). The main difference was that my knees were sore (never had issues with my knees). This lasted for a couple days. Right when my knees stopped being so sore my back was suddenly VERY sore and this lasted for 4 days. I would literally move around like an old woman and try to shift in my seat to make myself feel more comfortable. It was not my actual spine, it was lower back internally, like perhaps my ovaries or kidneys or something? I looked online and it sounded more like my adrenal glands, however, before I could begin to get too worried this symptom faded. I was also experiencing some general soreness all over, especially under my arms and down my sides and even my butt muscles, but I figured this must be from walking a lot (I was very determined to stay well exercised). I have also been experiencing a very small headache almost every evening at the same time, and it seems to be worse if I am looking at a TV or computer, or if I am around a lot of noises. I have NEVER had headaches in my whole life.

I was given the OK to begin running and on October 30th and I began running (yay). Then last night (November 1st) I had a very disturbing feeling. I was typing an email and my right hand went very cold and numb from the center of my forearm all the way to my fingertips. I could literally feel where my arm was numb because with my other hand I could feel how cold it was. Right after this happened I experienced a very STRONG creeping sensation that started in my left shoulder and ran up the back of my neck and wrapped up around the left side of my head/scalp. I even tapped on my left cheek and lip because it was such a weird sensation. It wasn't exactly pins and needles, or numbness, but just a creeping feeling that left a bit of numbness behind. It felt weird and powerful enough that I called my mother and asked her to come home because it was such a powerful and scary feeling to have. When she got there my hand was still colder than the other, but not to the same extent as before, and the leftover numb/tingly feeling was still continuing on the very back of my head near my neck on the left side. A warm shower helped very much but that peculiar sensation never fully went away until I woke up the next day and it was gone (but I had a tiny headache like I get at night sometimes). Obviously that whole situation made me anxious. 

Also my acne SUCKS, I hate it. Thankfully it is only on my face, no chest acne or back acne yet (hopefully never). It still seems to be getting worse, though not at the same pace that is did for a couple months. Could this all be from going off the pill or something else going on?

The anxiety is getting to me, and I know some of it is from having all these weird sensations and not knowing what on earth is going on with my body, but I think most of it is from a hormonal imbalance or something. Any suggestions? The only tingling/numbness sensations I ever had was while I was on the pill my toes would sometimes go numb, but this was early on and went away after a few months. It was more of an irritating kind of thing, but it got to the point that I complained to my mother about it and she reminded me of the other night. 

So there we have it... this has been my life post pill (going on for nearly 4 months). It has been awful and I just want to go back to before. I have stuck it out and decided not to go back on the pill, though there were moments of weakness where I REALLY wanted to. I feel like if I go back on then I will loose all this time that I have spent trying to rebalance my body, but after yesterday I am even wondering if this is really the pill or something bigger? I am an 18 year old who eats well, attempts to exercise regularly, and who weighs 120 pounds. 

Any advice would be helpful! I am so fed up with all of this and just want to be NORMAL again!

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Don't worry. Every single symptom you are experiencing is coming from hormonal imbalance due to your stopping birth control. I'm 100% sure your adrenal glands are exhausted and your sex hormones still low. Also, I think your thyroid levels are still not fine, although your doctor said they were. 

The most important thing: be aware that all this comes EXCLUSIVELY from birth control. Don't let ANYONE convince you otherwise. The only things you can do is: REST (very very very very important), eat healthy, take multivitamins and vitamin D, be patient.

Your body should return to normality in a year.

 

Good luck!

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Thank you for reading such a long post(I wrote the post above). You don't realize how much better that makes me feel! It seems like I am going crazy some days.
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I've had all these symptoms before. But I ended up having a blood clot in my lung.
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When I came off the pill I broke out like crazy, had a constant headache, and had no period.

The headache took two months to subside.

The acne was awful, like pizza face and on my back too. It took about 4-5 months to finally go back to normal.

And finally after 31 weeks I got my first real period after stopping the pill. ( Right now, I am on day 8 of my period so far. The first five days were very very light, then day 6-8 have been incredibly heavy. TMI and there have been so many clots coming out. )

 

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Hi! I was just wondering how you are doing now that it's been a year since you posted this. I went off the pill 2.5 months ago and I am going through a similar thing. I keep having these weird feelings that seem to move from one part of my body to the other and lately (for the past two weeks) I have a constant headache. I feel it in the back of my right eye and sometimes the right side of my head aches all together. I had my second period 2 weeks ago and I was severely depressed. It felt like I was in a dark place and I was never going to be able to feel normal again. I was about to drop everything and move back home so that I could be taken care off properly. Now my mood is improving a little bit but since my 3rd period is approaching I am so afraid to feel the same way. I really hope that things are well and you are feeling fine. Best wishes
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Hi there - I just got off the pill at the end of September and was wondering if you've had any luck with feeling better? I feel like most of my symptoms have gotten better over the past 2.5 months, except for the anxiety/depression and the weird pressure/tingling feelings (mostly in my head/scalp, sometimes with headache)... Can you update? I feel like I will never get back to normal and just want to hear that there is hope!
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I am having the same problems! So glad I found this forum. I got off of my BC almost 3 months ago but have pretty much been on it for 10 years straight. I feel like I'm going crazy now, depressed, mad a lot, confused and forgetful. How long does this last?! I hope it ends soon!
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Hi there - Just wanted to follow up since it's been a month since you posted... Are you feeling any better? You are about a month ahead of me (I'll be off 3 months in a few days), so just wondering if there's any hope! :) I've also been having weird feelings/sensations (on the top of my head) and a headache (although the headache seems to get a little better every day)...
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Hi everyone, I had posted on October 31st and here's my update you requested. In a few days it will be the end of 4th month for me. I am not having the headaches as frequently as before and they are milder. I guess I feel them mostly the week before my period starts now. They are still localized behind my right eye and the right side of my head (sort of like migraines). During this month and a half I got a lot more tests done. A head MRI came back normal. I got my eyes checked and the ophthalmologist didn't see any problems. But I forgot to tell you that since I stopped birth control I have had eye floaters in my right eye and those haven't gotten better. I also had a comprehensive blood test, which only revealed little iron deficiency. I am trying to eat more meat now and taking vitamin b complex and d. I had a chest CT scan, because i had some chest pain, it came back negative as well. Right now my own problem is these pin, needle, tingling. burning sensations I am having all over my body. They are tolerable but at first I was worried about a nerve issue, so I saw a neurologist and the doctor thinks that it is related to iron or vitamin deficiency. I guess it is a good thing that they haven't found anything major wrong with me but it's very debilitating to feel all these weird sensations that my body is not used to and I keep wondering whether I have something that they just didn't find. I guess this whole process turned me into a hypochondriac:) As far as depression- it is much better but I still get very moody before my period starts. Oh also I've started seeing an acupuncturist and to lift up my mood and help regulate my periods I started taking some chinese herbs. They have been very helpful and I've had 3 periods already (and expecting my fourth one in a few days). How are you doing? What are your symptoms? Best wishes
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Hi Emily - Thanks so much for responding! It's so much more comforting to go through this with others who are going through the same thing... I got off the pill the end of September (so, it's coming up on 3 months for me). I didn't really have any symptoms until about 2.5 weeks after I finished my last pack. Basically everything you've read about, all at once. I got EXTREMELY anxious/panic attacks and depressed (would cry for no reason whatsoever), I freaked out about everything (mostly health/body-related stuff, I guess a hypochondriac too lol), I even had some scary suicidal thoughts (I would never physically hurt myself though), and I started obsessing about death for a while (few weeks probably)... On top of that, I had this MAJOR head pressure, not like any headache I've ever had before (it started on my right side and eventually just took over my entire head, and was there daily, almost 24/7), I was super dizzy all the time, sometimes I couldn't even walk a straight line (ran into walls, etc) which made me very nauseous. My entire body hurt, and I pretty much just wanted to sleep all day (although, I really wasn't sleeping very well at all). I also had some very weird visual disturbances like you mention (it sort of looked like I was looking through a sheet of glass - everything had a glare and it seemed like the "negative"/afterimage of everything followed my view, like when you stare at a lightbulb and look away, but it was all the time for me)... I got my eyes checked and the Dr couldn't find anything wrong with them. My vision, as well as most things have gone back to pretty much normal. The only things bothering me at this point are: still pretty tired, a little anxious (mainly about symptoms not going away) and the weird pressure/sensations on top of my head. I've read that anxiety can cause pressure and tingling on the scalp (and other parts of the body), but I really don't feel like I'm that anxious, definitely not like before. I'm hoping it's just some tight muscles that are still pretty sore from being "worked up" for so long. I keep thinking that I should have a head MRI done, but I keep seeing everyone else say that there's "came back normal" so it seems silly to do that. I'm also going to my naturopathic doctor next month to have some bloodwork done, thinking it might be some vitamin problems, too..... When you say you have weird sensations on your body, what exactly do they feel like? Do they affect your head, as well? ((*Side note: I was prescribed prednisone (a steroid) about the same time (2.5 weeks after birth control) for 10 days, which also affects hormones/anxiety, so I might have gotten a double-whammy without realizing it... ugh!))
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Hi Megan, so I've been feeling very anxious this past week, and yesterday especially I just could not stop worrying. But i got my period last night so I guess that explains the PMSing. At this point I find it difficult to believe that everything that I've been experiencing is due to coming off birth control, like will I ever feel normal again?! I think the worst time for me was 2.5 months after I stopped. I was majorly depressed, I also thought that I was very sick and was going to die or something. That depression slowly got better over the next month and a half, but like I said I still feel it the week before my period and also the week of my period. So yes I had those weird sensations affecting my head as well, I also had head pressure at some point for days and I had some tightness or pain feeling behind my head. I am not feeling anything with my head now, but I have pins, needles, tingling and numbness throughout my body. I'm worried about MS, since these feelings are not getting better, but the MRI didn't show anything to suggest that. Yes doctors always suggest being anxious, and they said pin needle feeling could be due to that as well, but why would a feel anxious while I'm lying down on the couch watching a show... This counselor that I saw told me to trust my instincts and that they would they me whether there was something truly wrong with me, but I think my instincts are totally messed up right now. One day I am like okay i am fine everything is over, next day I freak out thinking that I have MS.

So please keep updating me how you feel, and hopefully we will start feeling better.

Best
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Hi i am christopher actually my girlfriend also went through almost the same symptoms after consuming birth control pils but dont worry everything will come to normal,even my gf was paranoid but then as time passed evrythng was fine you just ned to rest a lot and take vitamin tablets especially vitamin D. Jus relax don,t get anxious and rest and eat healthy.

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Hi there - Sorry to hear that you're also going through this horrible "after-the-pill" stuff... I have felt like c**p for almost 3 months now (getting slightly better every day)! How long have you been off the pill? I finished my last pack on September 20 (so this Saturday will be exactly 3 months off for me). I am feeling much better, but I still don't feel 100% back to myself yet. It's so funny that you mention the head sensations and thinking you have MS because I've been thinking about that for the last two weeks. I'm happy to hear that you are not feeling anything with your head anymore (I'm hoping mine will finally go away). My head sensations seem to get better some days, but it's still freaking me out. It's not like a pain, more of a feeling like something (headband, sunglasses) is sitting on my head, and sometimes it's like a slight tingling/pulling feeling. I haven't really had too much pins & needle type feeling anywhere else on my body, but I wouldn't be surprised if it starts once this head problem goes away (it seems to be one thing after another lol)... I've also been thinking about getting a head MRI, but like you, everyone I talk to says the scan comes back negative for anything harmful, so it seems silly to put myself through that unnecessary radiation. I have a feeling that your tingling sensations are also coming from anxiety. I've read that even when you stop feeling anxious, your body is still feeling the effects and the symptoms can last for a while after. And yes, I think both of our instincts are totally messed up right now. Anxiety causes people to be overly aware of everything going on which can cause you to overreact and think horrible things. That's why anxiety and depression can go hand-in-hand (and hormones can cause anxiety). It truly is a vicious cycle that we have to try to get ourselves out of, which is obviously way easier said than done. Please keep me updated on your progress as well!
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Hi Christopher - Thanks so much for your reply. It's nice to know that even guys have some input on this (my boyfriend has went through a lot with me getting off of these pills). Do you know about how long it took her to recover? I think that's what most of us are worried about.... just finally getting back to feeling like our normal selves :)
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