I have been thinking about how to naturally stop the birth control pill and for quite a long time but did not go through with it. Why you ask? Most likely for the same reasons you’re reading this post: Fear of the side effects.
We’ve heard it all. You will gain weight, you will lose weight, your hair will get thinner, your acne and/or cramps will come back. It’s safe to say that after 15 years of being on the birth control pill I had no intention to stop it and having to deal with the side effects.
However, with some research and a good holistic regiment, I have found the ways to not fear to stop the birth control pill. It all comes to safe supplements, a holistic practice to ensure the side effects will not affect your mental health in any way, and the right foods & drinks. But let’s get into this a bit deeper and I will show that you can do it too, naturally.
How to stop the birth control pill with no side effects?
Before I decided to stop the birth control pill I had to start somewhere.
My first ever period at 13 years old was short and painless. And that was me thinking “Great! That was easy, don’t get what all the fuss is all about”.
My second period (which was really my first one) was HELL. “Oh no no no no, that is way too much blood…why is it so painful… I feel dizzy… nauseous… cannot sleep…”
A bit extra you say? Ok, maybe a little but it’s not the point. I did not expect to feel this sort of pain and have, on top of that, horrible symptoms.
I had no choice, no other alternative, I just had to go through with it, I mean I’m a woman, right? What else can I do about it?
The cycles that followed were extremely irregular, I mean EXTREMELY, every 3 to 4 months if lucky. In a way, I was happy I did not have to go through the pain every month but I knew deep down something wasn’t right.
I later found out it was Amenorrhea, which is the absence of one or more missed menstrual periods. There are many causes but I believe mine was due to a low body weight and possible anxiety. However, I did not know that at the time.
My main symptoms: throwing up, dizziness (I actually passed out once), HEAVY flow and some other TMI not so glamorous…
First, I would take paracetamol to relieve some of the pain: did not help. I was once given a pill (can’t remember the name) by my friend which specifically targeted period cramps and it worked wonderfully. However, I have only taken this once. Even at the time I figured, a drug numbing the pain that much can’t be that safe for my health.
Why the birth control pill ?
I heard that birth control pills could potentially reduce the pain, and give me ‘fake’ regular periods. I was in!
At 17 years old I had started birth control and absolutely loved it, I mean I could control my cycles, I had no cramps, it wouldn’t last more than 5 days and the flow was light.
I was a satisfied customer.
One thing that still bothers me to this day though is how easy it was to get a doctor to prescribe a teenager such a high dose of hormone to ingest daily without asking me appropriate questions about my sex life (which was non-existent). Birth control is to prevent pregnancy! PREGNANCY! And it is given like candies for issues such as acne, irregular periods, etc.. without underlining the root cause. Anyways…
My side effects with the birth control pill
Nothing that bothered me. I had gained a tiny bit of weight which in my case was a blessing.
So why did I decide to stop the birth control pill… after prolonged use…?
Through my journey of becoming a healthier being, the only thing that was keeping me from totally detoxing my body was birth control. I had researched enough to find out it was damaging my health and my womb. It was raising chances to develop issues like fibrosis, ovarian cysts, infertility, cancer, blood clots, to mention a few.
The first thing I did was to google the side effects of stopping the birth control pill and it scared the heck out of me. I had greater chances to experience painful cramps again, hair loss, to lose or gain weight, to develop acne (which I never had), mood swings, dysfunctional hormones etc…
Hmmm nah !
But this book changed the game…
I bought a book my friend recommended and it changed ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, I was no longer afraid, I felt empowered and confident the universe had my back on this one.
SACRED WOMAN, a guide to healing the feminine body, mind and spirit by Queen Afua.
I was looking at my cycles the wrong way. I was being anxious about the pain instead of focusing on loving my body for this wonderful gift menstruation is.
In this book, you will find womb meditation practices, operating a more alkaline lifestyle, learn how to talk to your womb (yes that’s a thing), detox advice, true healing through diet, and sacred space.
Generations of women have been taught to suppress their feelings, their emotions, and their true essence. Queen Afua guides you towards a softer healing and transformation.
Through research, I also found these natural remedies and tools to anticipate the side effects.
For hair loss and skin health :
- COLLAGEN PEPTIDES, it’s a protein made out of amino acids found in animals and humans. The health benefits have been known for centuries where collagen was used in broths to stimulate bones and joints health, and more recently for hair, skin, and nails. There are loads of different products out there and I admit it can a bit overwhelming having to choose which product or brand to get. I prefer the powder form, and I add it to my morning tea or porridge. I recommend to start a course of 30 days prior to stopping the birth control pill.
- MAGNESIUM, it reinforces hair follicles, skin, teeth, muscles, and bones. It is one of the most important minerals of our bodies. Magnesium is necessary for the brain’s health too. You could also top it up with some VEGAN MULTIVITAMIN
For mood change :
- MEDITATION, no brainer here, if you are serious about stopping the birth control pill then I highly recommend you implement some sort of mindfulness practice. We all know how beneficial meditation is for us. It calms us down and vanishes the stress away. Adding some conscious breathing techniques is also a great way to pose your thoughts for a moment.
- JOURNALING, I find it to be helpful to manage my emotions. Lay things down on paper allows me to put my feelings and struggles into perspective.
For a regular cycle :
- YONI STEAMING helps improve stagnation and cleanses old residue in the vagina and womb space. It helps with balancing your cycle and also known to increase fertility.
- RASPBERRY LEAF TEA, known for its benefits for women’s health, regulates menstrual cramps. It helps balance out your estrogen-progesterone hormones, creating a steady cycle. Red raspberry leaves reduce cramps by both relaxing and toning your uterus. It also gives a boost of energy, thanks to the vitamins it contains. Also high in iron. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.
For menstrual cramps :
- EXERCISE, on that topic Dr. Tahir Mahmood (Ob/Gyn) says “Generally, regular, moderate-intensity exercise is good for you as it helps relieve periods related backache, tiredness, and general body discomfort”. However, make sure you don’t go crazy with high-intensity training or weight lifting.
- TEAS, I recommend nettle, fennel, dandelion, or cinnamon
- HEAT, a hot water bottle will suffice
- WOMB MEDITATION and breathing exercise,
- DIET avoid dairy, processed foods, fried, sugary foods, and meat
- CBD oil
Time to swallow my last pill
I was given all the tools possible, time to let go and trust.
And this is what happened after I stopped the birth control pill…
- My period came on time (5 weeks after the last one), and the next too (been regular ever since)
- I have practiced how to let go and release the anxiety of pain through breathing and being present in the pain rather than wanted it to disappear. However, it wasn’t painful at all, mild cramps that were quickly neutralized by the tips mentioned above.
Side effects after I naturally stopped the birth control pill
Minor headaches on the first day.
*Update* Results after 4 months :
I have a regular cycle every 5 weeks which lasts 4-5 days. I have no major side effects, no menstrual cramps either. The only thing I could think of would be some trouble sleeping through the night a week before the start of my periods. Nothing crazy!
Side note: I totally understand that every woman is different and has experienced different symptoms. Let’s also emphasize the fact that in 15 years I have healed a lot of damaged cells in my body, lived a healthier lifestyle, which helped in the process of stopping the pill. However you can also take these steps now and strive for better and smoother menstruations.
This has definitely changed my life for the better and gave me a different outlook on the cycle and the health of my womb.
What if you do not want to get pregnant :
There is a lot of controversy around Neem oil. It is known to totally immobilize sperm cells within 20 to 30 seconds of being in contact with the oil. There has been some considerable amounts of studies based on rats’ testing to show it potentially works.
I have never used it and since I have stopped the pill I have not really been concerned about contraception, considering I am single.
Although, I believe that when it comes to that time, I would rather like to follow my own hormonal rhythm and adopt a natural contraception.
What is “natural contraception” ?
I guess it is just a generic term to say: “I know my body and when I’m ovulating, I also know when I’m most likely to become pregnant, therefore I just track, count the days, and Voila”.
Alright, maybe not that simple. But you get the concept, no birth control pill, no implant, etc… The goal is to determine your fertile days and your menstrual cycle then act accordingly.
How do I know my menstrual cycle ?
Girl, technology is your friend. There are dozen of apps to track, know and predict your cycles. Some are surprisingly accurate. I have tried a few and I decided to stick with “Flo”. Flo, asks you before and during your period to enter data of different symptoms. Consequently, in the long run, you will anticipate your cycle with amazing precision.
First of all, a cycle is considered “normal” when it lasts between 21 to 35 days (more or less). Half of this time is the start of our period until ovulation, the second half is the post-ovulation. The “fertile” phase starts 4-5 days before the ovulation, and that’s because it is the sperm life expectancy in the uterus. So if you have sex on day 6 of your cycle and the ovulation is on day 11, there’s a risk.
- it is impossible to predict the EXACT date of ovulation. As ovulation is sensitive to stress, environment change, sexual intercourse, etc.. Even if you have a regular cycle, it’s important to take precautions in the pre-ovulation phase.
- The safe phase of your cycle is between the end of ovulation and the start of your period.
Sure, I get it, it’s tricky. I have not completely put my mind around it. But like I said earlier I am single and not too worried about it just yet. However, I trust that practicing holistic methods of living and app tracking can help in finding your balance.
I would love to hear what was your experience around stopping your birth control pill or why you would like to stop it.
Thanks for reading