How Quitting The Pill Can Affect Your Body

How Quitting The Pill Can Affect Your Body ©iStock/Geber86

The birth control pill is among the best inventions ever made for women. Along with the advent of available contraception came the opportunity to plan our lives the way we envision them and to decide when/if we want children. However, nothing is 100% positive. In the case of the pill, we notice a lot of the not-so-good side effects after we stop taking it, when our bodies are in limbo trying to balance out the hormone levels. All women’s bodies are different, but these are some of the most common things that can happen when you decide to take a break from the pill:

  1. You might be a bit of an emotional train wreck at first. When your hormones are trying to balance out, you may find yourself getting weepy after watching the cute puppy on the dog food commercial, and then getting irrationally angry five minutes later over something trivial. It balances out on its own in time, but you might want to keep a solid supply of wine, chocolate and Valium available to deal with the ups and downs until that happens.
  2. Your jeans might be a bit tight at first, but it’s just bloating. The hormone imbalance can cause some bloating, but it’s not actual weight gain and it does go away. Just wear a loose top and wait it out, because it does get better.
  3. After the bloating has subsided, you might actually lose a few pounds. The hormones in several varieties of birth control operate by using pregnancy hormones to make your body think you’re pregnant and stop ovulating. Those same hormones can cause water retention and a bit of belly bloat, so that effect wears off after you stop taking the daily dose of hormones. Don’t throw out those jeans that were a bit snug; they should be fine now.
  4. You may experience mild cramping. The hormone instability is making your body go berserk, and cramps are usually a part of that nightmare for us. The good news is that it doesn’t last a long time.
  5. You might be really tired for the first week or so. Fatigue is one of those fun side effects of hormone imbalance, and it’s responsible for us feeling like crap when it’s that time of the month as well. As much as we all wish we could spend those days lying in the sun with a drink in hand, we have to continue going to work, so you might want to stock up on some extra energy drinks.
  6. Acne and other skin imperfections may sneak up on you. The hormones in birth control are known in many cases for helping with clear skin, so that nice effect can go on the wayside when the flow of hormones is disrupted and there’s a sudden imbalance. Extra concealer is probably a good thing to add to your shopping list as well.
  7. You might feel like you’re forgetting to do something at the exact same time every day. For those of us who are good at remembering to take the pill at the exact same time every day, it becomes second nature and it feels weird not to do it.
  8. Your libido may increase. The hormones in your pills are often known to decrease a woman’s sex drive, so it goes back to normal when you’re no longer taking them. If you’re coupled up, this could mean you’re about to have a lot of fun. If you’re single, it means you might be very frustrated and use more batteries than usual.
Anna Martin Yonk is a freelance writer and blogger in sunny North Carolina. She loves hanging out with her goofy husband and two rescue dogs and can be found at the beach with a drink in hand whenever possible. You can find her on Instagram @mrsyonkdogmom or on her Facebook page.