You may have had a list of questions when you first started taking birth control, but after years of swallowing those tiny pills, there is a different set of questions for what could happen if you stop. After all, your body has been use to its daily dose of hormones and you want to make sure you know what to expect when that changes. Whether or not you're planning to meet with your doctor before making the switch, look over this list of things to consider before going off the pill.
According to Healthline, the birth control pills send messages to your body about hormonal releases and ovulation over a 30-day cycle, and works to prevent eggs from releasing in order to avoid becoming pregnant. However, pregnancy prevention isn't the only reason a woman may be taking birth control. It's also used to help reduce the occurrence of migraines, lessen the symptoms of PMS, and treat endometriosis. But aside from the reason the pill was prescribed, it can still cause side effects after you stop taking it regularly. This is why it is so important to have questions — and get the answers — before completely cutting off the pill all together.
Chances are, you are going to be just fine if you choose to go off oral contraceptives, as any major risks are rare. But before you make that decision, make yourself aware of what to consider before going off the pill.
1. Will Your Flow Be Different?
It's hard to tell how your body will react when you stop taking the pill. If you went on the pill to help manage those heavy flows, you may find that the same intense bleeding returns. However, as Gynae Online notes, it is more common for women to see a loss of period, post-pill, also referred to as amenorrhea. This is due to the time it takes for your body to get back on track with producing and managing hormones on its own.
2. Can Your Cramps Become Worse?
Much like the heaviness of your flow, cramps after stopping the pill can be related to the level of cramp pain you experienced before you started taking the pill, according to Women's Health. Unfortunately, cramps are one of the downsides to PMS, but can usually be managed with over the counter pain relievers.
3. Will Your Weight Be Effected?
Each person's body is different, and reacts differently to the pill. If you experienced some weight gain or loss when starting the pill, Huffington Post notes that your weight can also fluctuate when going off the pill. If you notice extremes in either direction with your weight shortly after coming off the pill, you should contact a doctor to determine if the changes are related to the pill or another underlying factor.
4. Will Your Boobs Be Affected?
Now that your body is having its own way with your ovulation, making all that estrogen can cause breast tenderness, according to What To Expect. Don't be surprised if your boobs are sore to the touch around the time of your period after you stop taking the pill.
5. Will Your Sex Drive Be Effected?
Much like your emotions, Mayo Clinic points out that hormones affect your sex drive. With your body experiencing changes in hormone production after stopping the pill, you may notice that your urges decrease, since low amounts of estrogen kill the libido.
6. Should You Expect Lots Of Emotions?
If you've ever noticed yourself getting weepy (or angry) more frequently before your period starts, Women's International Pharmacy points out that it's because hormones effect your emotional state. Conditions such as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) are serious diagnosis that can interfere with a women's mental wellbeing. After the steady flow of hormones from the pill is gone, your body may have an adjustment period, which can cause intense feelings. If these feelings become a concern, you should contact your doctor for an appointment.
7. Will You Get Pregnant Right Away?
After going off the pill, your cycle may go through some changes. You may miss one or two before your body finds regularity. But no matter what it happening with your post-pill periods, Parents notes that you can get pregnant any time after stopping the pill, so make sure you have another form of birth control in mind if you do not want to become pregnant.
8. Can It Cause A Breakout?
A common fear about going off the pill is that it will cause bad breakouts on your face. However, there is no proof that stopping birth control will cause acne., according to the Huffington Post. The truth is, if your skin was pimple prone before the pill, the same skin conditions may return.
9. What Else Can You Use For Birth Control?
If you are considering stopping the pill, but still wish to prevent pregnancy, talk to your doctor about other good fits for contraception. There are lots of options for birth control, such as condoms, IUDs, and vaginal rings — it all depends on your preferences which you choose.