Hi, my name is Lisa, I go by the user name Marilyn360 because I'm a big fan of Marilyn Monroe. I wanted to tell you guys about my experience when I came off birth control pills.
I decided to come off birth control on December 18 of 2016 after more than 10 years. I put a lot of thought into it and I decided it was time. Im 36 years old and my GP advised me it was time because of the long terms side effects and I realized she had a point. I've came off birth control before and never had side effects but i get this time was different because I'm older. What a surprise!!
I thought everything was going to be smooth and a piece of cake lie before but I was wrong. One positive thing about this decision was that I'm hormone free. That makes me feel good about myself. Another thing is that my period has come every month on the dot. So it's been pretty regular and no cramping which is a big plus. I never had stomach cramps when i was younger during period time so maybe that's why. Lastly, for some reason I'm very regular going to the bathroom every morning since coming off the pill and everyday, which before, a day could pass by, maybe two, and I didn't go to the bathroom. Maybe my body is going to its normal self.
Now to the negative symptoms....
I really thought I was doing something good to my body and I still think so but boy what a ride.. Here are all the physical and mental symptoms I've experienced since coming off the pill:
Weight loss (6 pounds), Sore nipples, mild acne, Burning feeling in my lower right abdomen (ovulation), diarrhea (at the beginning, every morning, a very annoying tummy ache would wake me up and had to run to the bathroom), Bloatedness, a creepy sensation and tingling sensation of something crawling up and down my back (THAT WAS SUPER SCARY), heartburn, excessive belching, acid and trapped gas, weak and sore legs and muscles, back pain, anxiety, heart palpitations, brain fog, blurry vision, eye twitching, rash in my thighs, lots of cervical mucus, growing pain, mild numbness in hands and feet, backache(i never knew what a backache felt like until now :( ), sleeping problems, sometimes i would feel depressed, tight throat, chest pain and headaches.
This is my fifth month off the pill and lots of those symptoms have gone away. The ones that remains until this day are the sleeping problem (I wake up several times at night for no reason), belching,heartburn and acid in the stomach( which I noticed it happens more during period and fertile days), chest pain (which i attribute it to the trapped gas i feel) , occasional numbness and muscle pain specially in my legs and hands (carpal tunnel)
These symptoms have make me feel so down and so sick and it's been quite a ride. I do feel much better than before but I still don't feel completely like my old self. Soon I will go to my primary doctor and get a complete check up again even whe i already got one done not so long ago but I changed my primary doctor so it won't hurt) . I haven't done so because I have to admit that i feel scared and also because of insurance issues. But I will face my fears and do what I have to do. I believe going to the doctor will give one peace of mind as well and stop the bad habit of looking for a diagnosis in Google like I've done a bunch of times . I've done my research as well and I've read lots of blogs with women experiencing the same problems and that has calmed me down. I've also made some changes and have started taking vitamins and supplements which the pill depletes you once you start taking birth control and after you come off of it as well. I take a women's multivitamin by Naturello, and additional to that, I take magnesium, zinc, Dim Detox (which helps you detox from the hormones from birth control and regulate your cycles) by Pure encapsulations. I also take Max b by Premier Research Labs which is a vitamin B complex supplement. Also I take Omega 3 by Dr Tobias.
In addition to that i try to buy BPA free products which contains non-chemicals bad for you body and hormones, parabens free and organic products for my personal hygiene, body and face. I also try to eat better than before. I have always watched what I eat and I'm not a junk food eater but I'm more careful now, let's put it that way. I do indulge myself and treat myself once in a while. I definitely try to rest as much as I can and drink lots of water.
I have bad days and good days until this day. Some of the symptoms are still present and are a constant reminder that your body is trying to regulate itself and it's not completely well. I feel very down sometimes and anxious because i tend to always think the worst and give myself a diagnosis. THAT'S MY BIGGEST MISTAKE. In life you have to be positive and this is a new transition. It will take time for the body to go back to its normal self. I was on birth control for more that 10 years so I can't expect my body to regulate itself in one week after all those artificial hormones in my body for so long. I read it can take 6 months to a year. So It does get better. Some women are lucky enough not feel a thing after coming off the pill lie my sister but it's not always the case for other women. It's a difficult road ahead but everything will be fine. Amen to that!!!
Other things that have helped me too in this period of my life is the method of charting. I take my temperature everyday when i wake up and before getting up from bed and chart my cycles. I use the Kindara app, Glow, Eve and My calendar. This apps also have community blogs which have been very helpful. I never felt any ovulation symptoms until I came off the pill so these app are very helpful tracking your period and speculating your fertile days so one can be extra careful during those days.
I still have a long way to go. Every month it's different i believe. I pray to God to be more positive and stronger to face these challenges. Sometimes I'm able to do so but there are days i feel very discouraged and anxious. The reason I wrote about my experience it's because If there are women like me out there going through the same thing, which I know there are and feel scared and confused , i want them to know that everything will be ok. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I've cried so many times and pray because at the beginning i didn't understand what was happening but little by little one starts understanding your body and the consequences of our poor choices. I used Birth control as a birth control method and was never oriented about the synthetic and artificial hormones one is taking for years. Wish someone would have informed me better.
My OBGYN told me on January of this year when I went to see her regarding this matter, that the pill only prevents ovulation and my side effects were not related to the pill which left me very disappointed and very troubled.I left the office so sad and so discouraged and scared. I went to see her to get answer and instead i left as empty as I before. All i got was her opinion regarding me being 36 and not having kids of my own at the moment which wasn't the subject of our discussion. Or What, the purpose of women in life and this society is solely of being a mother? That's the only purpose of being a woman? I have dedicated myself to go to school and work. I don't think there is nothing wrong with that. I never said that I wasn't going have children. I know the risks of having children at my age but lots of women are having kids in their thirties. Then I found out that she was pregnant so I was like, ok.
The point is i felt judged and I know birth control were the cause of these symptoms. I know for a fact it does!!!! Lots of women can't be wrong!! That's very wrong and of course I've been looking for another OBGYN. Her response wasn't comforting for me and lacked sensibility and empathy. I hope I can help anyone going through this and provide some comfort as well just like when I first started looking for blogs regarding this subject so desperately and found this website with woman asking the same questions that I was asking myself. Some of the blogs and threads I've found are very old and didn't get an update or response but some were from a year ago and was able to get some answers and comforting words of women in this same situation. That's the point of telling my experience. God bless you all!! Don't lose Hope!! Never...