Birth control has offered women more freedom than our forebears would have ever been able to imagine. Not only does it give us the chance to take full control over our reproductive choices, but it can also be used to ease the suffering that painful periods can cause.
However, with every up there tends to be a down – and birth control has its downsides. For some women, the side effects can be severe. Rather annoyingly, those side effects can be similar to the hormonal problems that they were hoping birth control would help – there’s never any predicting with synthetic hormones! The much-vaunted male contraceptive injection actually had its trial stopped as the subjects were struggling so much with the same side effects that female birth control can produce (Boohoo!)
Side effects aside, there are other reasons for coming off of birth control. The most obvious, of course, is in an attempt to get pregnant.
Whatever your reason for ditching the birth control, it’s not as simple as letting it run out and going back to normal. While using the medication, having the injection, or implant – your female hormones have been being controlled in a synthetic manner. Your body is thus going to need a little time to adjust back to normal – which can be quite the shock if you’re not expecting it. So in an effort to ensure that no one comes off of birth control uninformed, here are a few of the problems that you might find yourself experiencing:
#1 – It’ll Take a While to Become Fertile Again
If you have come off of birth control in pursuit of pregnancy, then you’re going to have to be patient. It can take up to six months for your body to regulate itself and settle into a reliable menstrual cycle. Only at this point can you begin to think of conceiving. The clock doesn’t start the moment you get rid of your birth control, it starts six months down the line.
This is important to bear in mind when it comes to worrying about a perceived failure to conceive. What seems like seven months of trying without success can actually be only a month. There is still plenty of time before you need to think about delving into resources about fertility medications and taking medical advice. It’s advisable to wait at least a year after you have ceased using birth control before worrying about a lack of conception. While 20% of women are able to fall pregnant within a month of stopping birth control, medical professionals are unlikely to want to investigate too far until the oft-quoted six months has passed.
#2 – Hormonal Acne Makes a Comeback
One of the more pleasant side effects of birth control is that it can help reduce acne, especially if you’re taking the so-called “mini pill”. Of course, the moment that you stop using the medication, there’s a chance that your acne will return.
Hormonal acne is one of the more stubborn forms of acne. If you have more than a few zits per month or the ones that you do have are deep, cystic, and cause a lot of pain – then there’s no point continuing to suffer through it. Speak to your doctor about your options for managing the condition and start a skincare regime, with a specific focus on using BHA, a form of acid found in skin, to help get to the root of the problem.
#3 – Be Aware of Your Need for Vitamin D
Rather surprisingly, scientific evidence has shown that women who stop using birth control are liable to see depletions in their Vitamin D levels. It’s important that you get to know the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency, so that you can be ready for action should you begin to display any signs of them.
Of course, you can also just skip right to the obvious and begin taking a Vitamin D supplement when you finish your last round of birth control. If you decide to go the natural route, then Vitamin D is primarily derived from sunlight – but make sure that you keep exposure short, and continue to use an SPF when out in the sunshine for long periods.
#4 – You Might Experience Some Emotional Upset
Most of us are well aware of what hormonal changes can do to our moods. When you stop using birth control, you may find that you have a couple of weeks where you feel like you’re in permanent PMS. It sounds miserable, but it will pass. You just need to ride it out; eventually your natural hormonal rhythms will take over and you’ll return to feeling like your usual self.
There’s no doubt that coming off of birth control can mean changes for your body – but it’s definitely a storm that you’re going to be able to weather!
Featured Image By: Wikipedia