08 May What Happened When I Stopped Taking Birth Control
Disclaimer: this post is not meant to tell you what to do but rather to inform you of all of the birth control options and the side effects I personally experienced from prescription versus natural methods.
When I was 14 years old I started to develop acne. It wasn’t on my face but instead I had little red bumps on the tops of my shoulders and my back. I was so ashamed of the way this looked. Looking back, I realize this was so minor but at the time it felt like the end of the world. Instead of waiting for my hormones to naturally balance themselves, I begged my mom to let me start taking birth control.
A little over seven years later I wanted to stop taking birth control. I found myself wanting a natural alternative. I remember going on and off of birth control over several months following this decision because of painful periods and acne that had come back with a vengeance.
I remember the afternoon I stopped taking birth control for good. I was looking at my package of birth control and started researching the ingredients:
Lactose monohydrate = milk sugar, not animal friendly
Magnesium stearate = a form of soap
Microcrystalline cellulose = wood pulp
I was enraged. How could I have been taking something for so long thinking it was helping me when it contains all of these weird ingredients that I would never knowingly consume.
I was so frustrated by the lack of empowerment involved with female sexuality and fertility that I had been taught but I wasn’t going to let that push me back into submission. All my life I had been taught that you need some form of protection to have intercourse, otherwise it would result in a baby. I had some serious fears about going off of birth control for this reason. As with most things we have been taught in the mainstream, it’s not exactly as it seems. I am not going to go into this topic too much because you have to find what works for you but if you want to know how to really take back your power as a female creator in this world I highly recommend reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. This book will help to put the power back into your hands by giving you real evidence of how to track your fertility and connect to your body on a whole new level!
I have been off of birth control for over two years now. I am in a really good place, I feel so good in my body, I can feel when I’m ovulating, when I’m going to get my period (within a six hour time frame), and how to use the natural cycles we go through as women to best work within my life.
Unfortunately, the road to get here wasn’t so easy. When I went off of birth control my hormones were a mess! I intuitively started to take Maca and Ashwagandha powder (hormone balancers) but it wasn’t enough. I started to develop acne all over, I had never had acne on my face before this. I then started to develop chin and facial hair, lost my period for over eight months, grew white hairs on my head, and went down a cup size. I felt as if I was going through menopause at the age of 22. These are the kinds of side effects you are never informed of when you go on birth control.
The only benefit at this time by going off of birth control was my emotions. I finally felt like me again! For years I had lost touch with what it felt like to be me. Since I started taking birth control at such a young age, I amassed my changed feelings to being a grown up. I was so wrong. During my years on birth control I was in a long-term relationship. We would often get into simple arguments that developed into full blown fights because my behaviour was sporadic, heated, and hugely emotionally charged. I remember feeling totally out of control if I was angry. After this I would feel a whirlwind of guilt followed by severe depression. I was even prescribed an anti-depressant because I told my doctor of my eradicate behaviour and moods. I also could never take a joke because I was extremely sensitive. On top of all of this I never felt truly happy.
Within a week of going off of birth control I felt like me again, and within two months I was completely in charge of my emotions, back to my naturally calm and peaceful demeanour. I noticed that my inner child really started to shine through, I was joking around and being playful again, crying from laughing so hard, and being fully in the moment.
Unfortunately, I was so embarrassed about my skin that wearing t-shirts or tank tops was not an option (even when I was teaching hot yoga classes). So, I would occasionally think about going back on birth control but then I would think about how I used to feel and act and I didn’t want to go back to that place. The drastic change in my emotions was the only thing that kept me off of birth control even though I was experiencing so many unpleasant side effects aesthetically.
After many experiments (liver cleanses, vitamin C shower heads, drinking more water—you name it, I tried it) I finally found a naturopath that was able to identify exactly what was going on with my skin and how to cure it! She prescribed a specialized tincture that had an equal balance of hormone balancing and stress balancing herbs. After taking it regularly for a few months my skin completely healed, my chin/facial hairs stopped growing, my periods became more regular, and I’m feeling even better!
I’m so glad that I took the leap to stop taking birth control and start taking my fertility into my own hands. This has been one of the most humbling and empowering journeys in my life. There is so much magic to womanhood that I was missing out on by numbing my state of being through artificial hormones.
Have you ever experienced any of these side effects? What do you do to empower your womanness?
If you have any questions about this post I would love to share my answers with you, so let me know in the comments below.