It’s officially been over 3 months since I decided I was finally ready to stop taking the contraceptive pill. Those 3 months have passed by at a rapid rate but so many things have changed in that time for me. When I took my last Cilest pill, I wasn’t sure what to expect but my brain was prepared for things to be hard, my skin to break out like crazy, my periods to be erratic, and incredibly painful. The reality has been far different from what I expected and that is something I feel so insanely grateful for, my transition off the pill has been quite easy and I was terrified about it for so long. I’ve had nothing but good side effects since I stopped putting those extra hormones into my body and here’s a little conversation about coming off the pill 3 months on. If you haven’t read my initial post about the decision to stop taking the pill after 15 years on it then you can find that post here.
As a teenager, I had incredibly severe periods that made me so ill I had to take time off school. Once I found a contraceptive pill that worked for me my periods calmed down a lot from what they once were. As I got older, especially when I switched to the contraceptive implant for a year I noticed that periods were really painful once again. Whilst they certainly weren’t as bad as they once were it was still becoming a worry of mine especially as my family history isn’t wonderful. My mum suffered from ovarian cysts and cancer and my sister also struggled with large cysts resulting in a hysterectomy at 30. Just before I decided to come off the pill, my periods were becoming more and more severe, despite one of the biggest appeals to being on contraception is to have pain free periods it just wasn’t working for me anymore. I’ve had three very ‘normal’ periods since March, the first was a little heavier than I was used to but since then they’ve been completely manageable as well as pretty regular too which was a big concern of mine.
When I switched to the contraceptive implant it lead me to suffer from hormonal ache and it was something I found incredibly difficult to deal with. Whilst my skin had never been crystal clear, it had never looked like it did and it broke down my confidence so much. On the Cilest pill, I never really struggled with my skin apart from the one hormonal spot that I would get around my period but other than that things were ok. I was expecting my skin to go back to how it was when I switched to the implant, it was undeniably the side effect that I was the most worried about. 3 months on and I’m very happy to say my skin is even better than it was on the pill. Granted, this could just be a coincidence that I’ve also only worn make-up a couple of times and focused on skincare more than ever before but even so, it’s been a huge relief.
Undoubtedly the biggest push for me to come off the pill was my mood and my mental health were at all an all-time low and they have been for years. I barely remember 2019 it was such a bad year for me mentally and I couldn’t face another year feeling that low. Of course, I had no idea if the pill was having that much of an effect on me but I also knew it might have been contributing to something in one way or another. It was around a week or so after taking my last pill that I felt quite a big change, it was like all my brain fog had suddenly gone and I could finally see and think clearly for the first time in a very long time. My anxiety is so much less aggressive now, it’s still there and around 10 days or so before my period I’ll have a really bad couple of days but it’s nothing compared to what I was dealing with before. My OCD is certainly still there, humming away in the background and there are periods of time where I can feel it bubbling up to the surface but that’s to be expected and I never expected coming off the pill to be a cure that.
Whilst we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and a historical revolution this feels almost wrong to say but I’m the happiest I’ve been in a really long time. When I feel an emotion I feel like I’m actually feeling that exact emotion instead of a huge cloud of hormones, and I no longer constantly cry at everything which is something that was becoming quite an issue. When I get up in the morning I want to get up instead of staying in bed forever and I’ve been sleeping so much better which is welcome change from earlier in the year. I finally feel like ‘myself’ again when for so long everything has felt so cloudy and like I’m constantly wading through mud.