Coming off the pill: my experience

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Contraception is something I've wanted to talk about for a long time on my blog as it's one of those topics I wanted to offer my two pence and spread awareness about for other people.

Coming off the pill: my experience

If you're considering going on the pill, looking to learn more about my experience, or have a similar experience to me, here is my experience of coming off the pill.

Going on the pill - my journey

Growing up in a Catholic school, I never really learnt much about contraception because of the religious morals and values the school had, which meant I was thrown into the world of contraception as an adult. I wasn't sure of what contraception I was meant to use when I first headed over to the sexual health clinic as I heard terrible tales of the pill making you gain weight and the implant causing really long periods from friends and it worried me.

But the happy smiles of the sexual health nurses are always a great reassurance and they made my first trip to the clinic easy than I thought it would be. I originally went on the Depo-Provera injection as that's what my friends were having and it meant after 3 months, it would run out so I could decide if I preferred that method or not. But after a few injections, I decided it wasn't for me and wanted something that I would have more control over putting in my body and that's when the nurse suggested the pill as I could stop taking it at any time I wished.

I was hesitant at first as all the horror stories filled my brain that I heard about people but I wanted to be sensible and see if the option would work for me and my body. There were many different pills to choose from and initially, it was all a bit overwhelming, but after a few questions, the nurse suggested the progestogen-only pill.

This pill is the one where you don't take any breaks and lose your period. I was given this one as I'm prone to migraines so it was the safer option compared to the other pills available. 

The outcome of being on the pill

I was on the pill for 2 and a half years in total, and overall, it was something that really affected me in a negative way which I didn't really realise until coming off it. When I was on the pill, it suited my body well; I didn't get any weird side effects and it did what it said on the tin: no periods and no pregnancy.

However, although I didn't have horrible periods or a traumatic time, the overall impact on myself was a bad one. I gained weight (not massively but enough for me to notice), my appetite was bigger and the worst thing, it killed my mental health. I wasn't me when I was in the pill, it heightened my anxiety, my depression, and my mood swings were horrific. I was on a constant emotional rollercoaster and it was tough. But I was too scared to try any other form of contraception so I stuck with it as I was in a relationship and it was the 'sensible' thing to do.

It seemed so easy to take it every day and have no worries but the implications on my mind, in the long run, weren't worth it.

How I felt after coming off the pill

The moment I came off the pill, it was like a weight had been lifted and my mind became clear for the first time in a long while. I could think normally, feel like myself and I knew all the emotions I was feeling were real, not affected by the artificial hormones the pill contained. It was the first time I felt properly connected to my body again and it was the best decision I made for myself.

After not having my periods for over 2 years, they came back pretty quickly and in a matter of months, my regular cycle resumed and was slightly longer than my younger self and lighter too (although I think this is down to age.) My mental health didn't immediately get better as I was going through a troublesome time but for once, it wasn't heightened by the pill, everything I was feeling felt like what I needed to feel and my real emotions if that makes sense.

It took me a few months after coming off the pill to realise it was a big contributor to why I wasn't feeling okay a lot of the time and why my mind was all over the place as it fed my anxiety terribly and I was completely out of sync with my whole body - as I had no period.

Two years on after coming off the pill and I feel incredible. My periods are healthy and normal, my mental health is manageable and I'm so in tune with my body and I love that. I love that I can recognise what I'm feeling, where I'm at in my cycle and when my hormones are affecting what I'm doing. My mind is clearer, I'm happier and I'm more active. I don't have the sluggish feeling I always felt when on the pill.

Since coming off the pill, I've learnt so much more about my body and how important it is to understand it and know what's right for you and what isn't. I think I've realised that any type of hormonal contraception isn't for me. I don't like being out of sync with my body or not knowing when my next period will be. I like being natural, and I think that's another reason why I now have a deeper connection with myself. 

I'm not saying that everyone should come off the pill as many use it for a variety of reasons, however, for me it was the best choice I've ever made and I don't think I'll go back to it again. The main thing is to do what's right for you. Each body responds differently to contraception so it's important to find the method that works well for your body and mind - and ensures you're caring for yourself.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What are your experiences with the pill?

Thank you for reading <3

63 comments

  1. I totally relate to how you felt mentally when you were on the pill. I was horrific when I was on it, and I ended up coming off it, as it just wasn't worth it for me. Glad to hear that you're doing better now xx

    Hannah | https://luxuryblush.co.uk/

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    1. I'm glad you ended up coming off it if it didn't work for you xx

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  2. Ruth| Ruthiee loves Glamour26 September 2021 at 08:34

    Wow! I have never been on a contraceptive pill before but I agree that each body responds differently to things and it's important to find the method that works well for your body.

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  3. Thanks for sharing such a personal experience on your blog. I am so sad that you faced all these side effects and I hope your experience helps others make better decisions about whether to go on the pill or not!

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  4. I’ve heard so many people coming off the pill recently and finding it to have a really positive effect. I’m very tempted to come off mine, I’ve been in two minds but it’s something I’m defiantly thinking of doing. I’m so sorry you suffered so many side effects, it’s awful isn’t it! Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience! Xo

    Elle - ellegracedeveson.com

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    1. Same here, I hope you make the right choice for you xx

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  5. I stopped my birth control pill in 2019 and it was the best decision I ever made. I had gained weight, was always moody & it had the worst effect on my mental health. I am happier to be off it and I am so glad so many women are coming off it. There's not information about the true effects of contraceptives on a womans body !

    Great post.

    Nons - https://cherbelle.co/

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  6. Great post! It was Contraception Day yesterday, so a very well-timed piece! I love this honest experience, I went on the pill for a few months but I hated it as it made my anxious tendencies worse. Thanks for sharing, this will be helpful for others x

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    1. Thank you! Oh no way, I didn't even realise that x

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  7. That's awesome that you came off the pill. It's not really good and thank you for sharing your experience.

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  8. I've been in my relationship for nearly 5 years and on the pill for the majority of this time. Coming off the pill is something I'd definitely love to try to see how my body and mind reacts. I often get terrible mood swings from the pill but it's helped with my skin massively. Your expereince of coming off the pill has really reassured me for when I come off mine x

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  9. This is such an informative post! I'm currently not on any contraception but was thinking of the pill as that one seems to be talked about the most but now I'm thinking I should do a bit more research and not dismiss the other options straight away. Thank you so much for sharing, this was really helpful x

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  10. I think it is so important to talk about coming off the pill experiences, because it can really help people who might be thinking of going on the pill or even coming off!

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  11. Thank you for sharing your experience. I know several others who’ve also had similar experiences coming off the pill. I’m happy to hear that you’re confident in your decision and feeling better!

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  12. Great post, Della! I was on the pill for a good 6 years before switching to an non-hormonal IUD and I totally get what you meant by a weight lifting off your shoulders. I feel a lot better and overall stress free. Thanks for sharing your experiences! x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you're feeling better with that switch xx

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  13. I have never been on any kind of birth control pill or device, but I have read a range of stories from both people who found the pill or a device just what they needed, and also stories from people who discovered it was not for them.

    I personally do not connect with the idea of not being able to stay in touch with my body, so I love reading about your experience noticing the difference between being on the pill and being off.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  14. I've never got along with the pill, every time I've tried a new one it's made me so anxious/panic attack prone and really depressed. I will never go back on it now, it just messes up my head completely! x

    Gemma Louise

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    1. Oh no, I'm glad you decided not to stay on it then xx

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  15. Thanks for sharing your experiences, it's so important we talk about how contraceptives effect us and what worked, etc. I was on the progesterone only pill too and for me it worked wonders. I have incredibly painful and debilitating periods that severely impact my mental health. I have such a bad time with digestive issues when menstruating that I can barely leave the house. I want so much to go back on it and I'm looking into options as I don't have health insurance -- but I found an online distributor that may help. I think people don't realize there are so many options out there and that it can be a bit of trial and error before you find what works for you. I wish all contraceptives were free where I live as it would make such a difference. This post was so informative -- and much needed!

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    1. Sorry to hear it's not free where you live and I hope that can change - thank you for your lovely comment xx

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  16. This was super interesting Della! I have been thinking of doing the same thing as I wondered if it was having an effect on my hormones and mental health. It was really great to read your firsthand experience and I'll definitely be looking into coming off the pill more now.

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  17. Excellent post. I chose to come off the pill last Christmas, I wanted to experience adult life without the extra hormones etc. It was the best decision I've ever made. I felt a bit off for a few weeks and then became regular and much more balanced. I've encouraged my sisters to do the same. As long as you're safe when it comes to being intimate, I literally feel no need to be on any kind of birth control ever again!

    Rosie

    https://www.loverosiee.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much, I'm glad you're feeling better and I agree!

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  18. Thank you for sharing your experience, Della! It's important to make these topics of coming on and off contraception more open and honest. I've been on the mini pill for over 5 years now but it's something that's been on my mind a bit recently because I don't want to be on it forever because I'm assuming if I have a kid it'll be within the next few years. I remember when I came off the combined pill in my early 20's I felt absolutely dreadful for weeks!x

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  19. It's been years since I was on any kind of contraceptive pill but I can still remember how much they all messed with my physical and mental health to some degree or other. That isn't to say the right ones can't be beneficial for some people but in the main, you're suppressing your natural hormones so side effects are to be expected, also when you come off them too. Really helpful post, Della, thank you for sharing this.

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  20. I have never been on the pill but this will be so helpful for people who are on the pill and wanting to come off it also. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Lauren - bournemouthgirl

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  21. Its great to hear your experience. Contraception is one of those things that we don't really get to try out to see what is best for you. At the time it can feel like the right option, but sometimes it can really affect things like your mental health. I agree that it can sometimes go unnoticed.

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  22. It's great to read about your experience of coming off the pill, this post will help so many who are considering coming off the pill! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  23. We're so sorry you had such terrible side effects. We're glad that you're feeling better and prioritizing your mental health.

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  24. It’s so important to be as tuned into your body as you are! I’m glad you’re feeling better now. Thanks for sharing.

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  25. Retrospecting and deciding based on gut instinct always helps. Glad you made the right decision. Happy health!

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  26. Thanks for sharing Della - I did quite a bit of research a year into the affects of birth control on our bodies (which I had zero clue about) since going off the hormonal birth control I've also noticed a big difference in emotions and my own mental clarity - similar to what it sounds like you experienced as well! I'm glad learning more about what were putting into our bodies is more prevalent that it was years ago when I started the pill.

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    1. I'm so glad you've noticed the difference too xx

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  27. I've been on the pill since I was 16 and I'm 30 now. There's been many times over the past couple of years where I've considered coming off it just to see if I feel any different and because I've spent almost half of my life taking it. I'm glad you felt better for coming off it.

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  28. The pill made me really ill so I've never been on it longer term to notice any changes like this when I've come off it but the number of women I know/ have heard of who have gone through something similar is so scary. It's awful to think how it can impact things like your mental health without you even realising x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  29. I don’t have experience of the pill. However, I had the coil and it didn’t agree with me mentally, can’t explain what a relief it was to get it out! Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Soffy / alittlecupofus.com

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  30. This is so helpful and I enjoyed reading your story, Della! I have never been on the pill but I've thought about it and reading some of the side effects of the pills made me not want to try them. Maybe if I need it in the future I should consult a doctor first, to make the best choice for my body :) Thank you for sharing your experience x

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  31. This is SO interesting to read! I've been on the pill for 8 years and never had a problem with it but I feel quite a lot of pressure these days to come off it. It's helpful to read your story to see a different perspective!

    Katy | www.katystephenson.com | www.thegrownupsclub.com

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  32. thanks so much for sharing! If it is not for you then you should do what you feel is right and take control of your body!xx

    sophiapatel.co.uk

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  33. Thank you for sharing this really honest post. I am currently on the pill and don't mind it but I find my periods are really painful and heavy compared to what they were. I'm happy you have found what's right for you and are thriving now! Best wishes, Em x

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