This month marks three years since I decided to stop taking the pill, after 18 years of taking it I decided to go birth control free. I was one of the unfortunate little girls who was luckily enough to meet aunt flow whilst still in primary school and even worse have boobs for my first day of high school. Although it did get me out of rather a lot of PE classes, a small victory and I got to spend at least one day a month in the sick room drawing love hearts on my school books and getting make up lessons from the other girls that couldn’t be bothered with lessons that day either. Did anyone sick ever actually use the sick room?! Do schools still have sick rooms even?
By my 12th birthday my dad took me the doctors to try and get something to help with the pain that was causing me to miss school, and to be honest it was bloody painful, especially for a 12 year old and not to mention it was embarrassing, I was constantly worried that everyone in the world would know that I was on my period. Which they probably did from my boobs getting massive and my hips getting wider, there is very little that can prepare you at that age for your period starting and the change into womanhood. They doctor suggested the contraceptive pill as a way to regulate my periods and help me deal with them better.
It eventually took 7 different pills and almost two years before I found one that didn’t give me headaches, sickness or month long periods. Then half the time I would forget to take it which caused extra periods and cramps. By 18 and ready to use it as a form of contraception I looked at alternatives like the coil or injection but was massively put off by all the horror stories of mood swings and weight gain. So I stuck with the pill for another 12 years but decided on my 30th birthday that it was time to come off it and reverse some of the damage it was doing to me. I had managed to convince myself that putting extra hormones into my body couldn’t be good for me and wanting to be able to eat better and look after myself better, then that included everything I put into my body. After all it had been 18 years and I didn’t even know what my periods were even like now and whether or not they were still painful. Naturally it was a big decision, one that would have to include any future partners. I always have and do use condoms with new partners until we have both had sexual health test, the pill doesn’t stop the spreading of STI’s. But when results came back clear, would stop using them knowing the pill would stop pregnancy, I knew I would have to explain that this would never be an option now, so no glove, no love forever!
I can safely say that coming off the pill was the best thing I have ever done and wish I did it sooner! My entire body has changed since coming off it, my D cups boobs have gone down to a B cup, I have dropped weight and kept it off. My skin has stopped breaking out once a month and the icing on the cake is that my periods have completely changed from a full week of bleeding to just 48 hours. Not to mention that I’m more in tune with my body now, I know when my period is due because for the three days before all I want to eat is meat, which I don’t eat or want for the rest of the month. The truth is you have to do what is best for your body and I know that not taking birth control is best for mine although it does mean I have to be a bit better at planning holidays because no one wants aunt flow dropping by when you are trying not to look bloated in a bikini. And there has been some awkward conversations with new partners, I once even got dumped over it, but my body my choice.