Last May I decided to come off of the pill for good. A year and a bit later and it’s still one of the best, most liberating decisions I’ve made in regards to my own body (alongside switching to a menstrual cup).
I wrote here about my logic for coming off of the pill in the first place and here I recounted the changes I experienced in the first 3 months.
I won’t rehash anything I’ve already published but just to recap, I’ve always been very lucky in having regular, light periods. I never had any skin issues pre or during the pill and my usage was purely for contraceptive purposes.
Benefits of coming off the pill
The number one positive benefit that I’ve felt is a renewed sense of connection with my own body. I’m not off to hug a tree and rub my crystals; I mean that having proper cycles – rather than a break bleed – has allowed me to notice, learn and understand how each stage impacts me.
I know how I feel when I’m ovulating; that I occasionally get light stomach cramps but . I know that two days before my period starts, I turn into a ravage, savage angry honey badger and should probably keep to myself. That’s not the time for big conversations or important decisions. And so on and so forth, in learning these things I now understand how to take better care of myself. I know when to schedule busy weeks and when to build a blanket fort and sob into a tub of Haagen Daas Pralines & Cream because I burnt my toast.
Mentally, I can’t say that I came off the pill and my world changed exponentially but I do think I’m calmer. Links between the contraceptive pill and mental health are tenuous and poorly researched but plenty of people have documented negative side effects in regards to their emotional wellbeing.
Physically, my weight and bra size hasn’t fluctuated. I definitely bloat less at random points now but still suffer with IBS symptoms after certain meals.
My skin was one of the things I was most worried about but thankfully, that hasn’t changed much either. Taking the impacts of travel out of the equation, I get the odd hormonal spot usually around the time I’m due on, but that’s nothing new really.
My sex drive definitely increased after coming off the pill, then plateaued a bit and is now just normal (I use the term loosely) and healthy. This is definitely a positive change as in the pill I found that nine times out of ten I couldn’t be bothered/didn’t want to have to get up for a wee after/but do I really have to take my fluffy socks off?
It seemed counter productive to switch to another form of hormonal contraception, so condoms it is. It honestly makes so little difference. They’re easy to use, safe and hey – there’s no messy clean up. I think the strategic Cum Run should be an Olympus sport. Boy, I do not miss those days. The only real downside of condoms is an occasional lack of ability to be totally spontaneous but honestly, who actually has good sex in the shower anyway?!
So there we have it! I’d never say never but I really can’t see myself choosing to go back on the pill any time soon.