Let me start you off with a little bit of background; my periods started when I was around the age of 12 and they were a little crazy to say the least. After two years of putting up with total irregularity and some embarrassing moments, I started looking into contraceptives to help me regulate them. I've tried a number of them over the years from the good old pill, the implant (which lasted three months before I was begging to have it out), patches (which gave me a bad rash and side effects) and the Depo-Provera injection.
In 2012, I started having the Depo-Provera injection. This method really worked for me and I was pretty much only having around 3 days of light spotting per month and no real side-effects that I can recall. The ease of it was great for me too, pop to your GP for 10 minutes every 3 months and jobs a good'un. I was on this for just over 4 years before making the decision to change back to a different version of the contraceptive pill.
I was made aware that it could take around 18 months for your body to get back to normal after the injection which was fine as I was in no way ready to start a family at this point so birth control was definitely still required.
From that moment on, I‘d been taking Rigevidon and honestly, since coming off at the back end of last year, I could see how they really messed me up so I'm going to tell you about the things that change when you stop birth control.*
Yep - not that I had much to begin with but they must have went down a cup size -pretty much straight away too. I guess I'll enjoy having them again whilst pregnant but before now, I was quite happy to buy all the pretty bralets finally!
Changes in my mood
Well, this was the biggest change by far. Pre stopping my birth control, I was a bit of an emotional, anxious mess with seriously low self-esteem and confidence. I worried about everything and used to think the worst about myself.
The change wasn't straightforward or quick though, it took around 6 weeks before I felt 'better'. Not that I think I was 'sick' before but the way it made me feel and the things I used to think was ridiculous. I went through a week of just having a 'I couldn't care less about anything' attitude; followed by a week where I just wanted to cry at everything. Then it was a mixture of the two followed by a massive energy burst and I was just so happy.
Since then, I've been feeling a lot more cofident about myself, I don't think bad things are going to happen and I don't ask stupid questions or make silly remarks - which has done wonders for my own personal wellbeing.
Whilst I am not singing my own praises each day and telling myself how great I look in the mirror, I'm no longer shooting myself down with negative remarks or thinking people are lying to me when paying me a compliment.
I was a relatively healthy weight whilst on BC, I fluctuated with the seasons which I feel is normal - I mean, it's all about the comfort food and chocolate in the winter so I'm obviously going to put a few pounds on right? But I was stuck. I couldnt never lose weight past a certain point.
It's been so much easier to lose weight and push past that point since I've come off birth control. Not that this should be a factor in anyone's decision to do it at all but it's strange how all of a sudden, the work I put in became noticeable on the scales.
The main issue for me was the realisation as to how I felt about myself as a person again. I know I was foolish to think that putting additional hormones into my body wouldn't change me in some way but I didn't think it would be so dramatic that my mental (and in some ways, physical) health would be compromised.
Despite the fact I only spent a few short months without taking contraception, I noticed the changes it made to me. How much happier I felt and how my confidence levels rose. There hasn't been a day since I stopped where I've had any hang-ups about the way I look or felt like I wasn't good enough. I've barely worried about anything I used to and I don't feel like the world is out to get me. I was stuck behind a barrage of negativity and the fact that this all started to disappear when I wasn't taking anything anymore is more than just a coincidence surely?
*Note: this is my own experience when stopping birth control, you may not experience all or any of these things yourself but for me they were noticeable changes that can only be pin pointed to stopping BC.