It’s been close to a year now since I came off the Pill. Truth be told, I should have done it a lot earlier, but it was one of those health ‘things’ that took a back seat while I got my anxiety and gut health sorted. Coming off the Pill was my final hurrah – like a high-five to my new, healthy self.
This isn’t an article to explain the pros and cons of being on/off the Pill – there is a myriad of information available about these things (check out this amazing podcast by Melissa Ambrosini and Dr. Nat Kringoudis if you want answers!)
Rather, this is a capture-all of ALL the things that happened to me, straight after (and some still occurring now) I came off the Pill.
My cycle regulated quite quickly
And by quite quickly I mean it took about 60 days for me to get my first natural period. Which in the scheme of things IS quick, seeing as for some women it is FAR longer (we’re talking months, even years here). I was sure to start tracking my cycle as soon as I came off the Pill. I use Clue although there are a number of trackers available in the app store. Being able to track my cycle has allowed me to develop a far greater understanding of my body’s natural rhythms, including when I am fertile (so I can take the appropriate precautions) and when I am going to have my period.
That being said, while my cycle has regulated quite quickly, it is still pretty long (about 35 days). So long as I can track it though, I can work with my healthcare team (consisting of my naturopath and GP) to ensure my hormones are functioning at their optimum.
I bleed WAY MORE now
Holy moly. There’s no more of this mini-tampon business. I am talking super tampons (which I have never used before coming off the Pill) for the first 2 days of my cycle. Now is probably the right time to mention, I am not saying any of these symptoms are NORMAL or okay – I am merely illustrating what happened to me. If anything feels wrong or out of whack, please seek the advice of a fertility or natural health care provider. Preferably someone who isn’t going to advise you to go back ON the Pill to stop the bleeding so much (but that is a discussion for another day).
My nipples got super sensitive and stayed erect for about 2 months
This is the one that totally threw me. For the first two months, my nipples were sensitive and super erect. It was almost awkward. And not a fun sensitive too – a kind of swollen, achey feel. It eventually went away (much to my fiancés disappointment) but now, I can definitely read when my period is coming because my boobs swell up right beforehand and become sensitive to touch.
Adult acne. It’s a real thing.
This has been by far the HARDEST thing for me since coming off the Pill. I did a call out for other women to reach out and let me know what they have struggled with the most, and ALL of them complained about acne – not only on our faces, but our chests and backs too. This acne is incredibly frustrating – especially as adults, we expect puberty to be a thing of the past. It took me 3 months after coming off the Pill for the pimples to start appearing, and a year later they are only just starting to subside. And let me tell you, I have tried EVERYTHING – facial peels, essential oils, coconut oil, light therapy treatments, changes in my (already super clean) diet, naturopathic herbs and supplements. Literally, done it all. The recent changes I have made that seem to be working are a blend of hormonal naturopathic herbs, eliminating ALL dairy from my diet (no more haloumi, this is serious guys) and walking for 1 hour 5 x a week. Don’t ask me HOW it is working, but it is.
That being said, before this treatment, I did get a range of blood tests from my GP to ensure my hormones and testosterone was all functioning okay. Which it was (my second opinion via my naturopath supported this). Be sure to get your bloods tested if you think something may be up – like PCOS or elevated testosterone levels (both very real symptoms that can be masked by the Pill). And if your GP advises you to go back ON the Pill to clear up your skin…practice self control and just don’t do it. Chances are the minute you come off it again, the acne will reappear.
Chin hair. Yep. I grew a hair underneath my chin.
Thank the Universe for laser hair removal. Not only did my one chin hair emerge, but I also got noticeably hairier on my ‘bits’. Again, this is a big one women have complained to me about with their own experiences. If you are growing facial hair, or chest hair, definitely get your bloods tested and get a second opinion outside of your GP. It may just be your hormones levelling out, which can take some time depending how long you have been on the Pill, but regardless it is better safe than sorry.
Feeling in sync with my body like never before
A real positive since coming off the Pill is that I genuinely feel more in touch with my body than I ever have before. Tracking my cycle has enabled me to start recognising when the best time is to work (right after my bleed), rest (in the lead up to my period) and play (my fertile zone). This may be different for you, but tracking my period has been wonderful in getting me really familiar with my cycle and how it impacts my energy levels, mood and personality. As well, I am just SO proud of my body each month, I get excited when my period comes! Like genuinely I could give myself a hug – after all I have put my body through, it is functioning at its optimum and for that I am incredibly grateful.
Well HELLO libido, where have you been my whole life?
Oh yeah, another big benefit – my libido is BACK BABY. I don’t even really need to say anything else about this one do I? More sex, enjoyable sex, all of the sex? Yes please.