Coming off the hormonal contraceptive pill (Week 0)

Please note, this post contains details which may make some people feel disgusted or awkward. However, I think this is really important to talk about! If you’re grossed out by female issues, you probably shouldn’t read this post. Yes, that means periods!

I’ve been taking Microgynon 30, a brand of the contraceptive pill, for five years. I started when I was fifteen to help control my overzealous menstrual cycle, as my periods would often last over ten days and very heavy. The pill shortened my periods to only four days and made them light and pain-free, so why would I ever want to stop?!

Unfortunately, my body has reacted very badly to it over the past year. Slowly but surely, my periods started getting longer, heavier and more painful. I started getting craps and back pain so bad that I’d be forced to stay in bed; this was a massive warning sign, as they weren’t painful even before the pill. I also found that my blood was clotting much faster than normal – a massive warning sign when on the pill, as it increases your chance of deep vein thrombosis and a stroke. My libido tapered away into nothing. I was feeling increasingly down and demotivated, and experiencing horrible weight gain and bloating. Eventually I decided that enough is enough.

So today I should have taken another pack of the pill, but I didn’t. This is the start of six months free of hormonal contraception. I’m going to let my natural cycle return, and hopefully make some positive changes for my body. My ultimate goals are to experience my natural cycle and to lose a little bit of weight. I’ll probably go back on birth control at the end of this six months (getting pregnant is literally my worst nightmare) but for now my body needs a break.

Every week or so I’ll be sharing what side effects I notice as my body readjusts, because there’s not enough information out there for people coming off the pill. Hopefully it will all be okay. I’d love to hear your experiences of coming off hormonal contraception in the comments because I’m genuinely terrified!

Have a wonderful day.

- Bethan

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