It’s an auspicious anniversary for me, this, because I have been off the contraceptive pill for a year.
I was on the combined pills, that’s progesterone and estrogen, and I had been on that for seven years to use as contraception, but also because I had really bad period pain. I decided to come off it for a number of reasons. People were talking a lot about coming off the pill and about how we don’t really know the effects of the pill long term on your body. As far as I’m aware, from actual studies they haven’t found anything terrifying out yet. But yeah, it’s still a thing that’s relatively new, so it is hard to know what the long-term effects are, isn’t it, cat? I’m sorry, I think she can see a bird I’ve heard people saying that it was a bit of a fad, that everyone was coming off the pill. I guess I don’t really see it as a fad, I see it more as like I had never thought about these things, and when people started talking about and I was like, hmm, interesting… The other reason was just for me personally, because obviously having been on the pill for seven years, um, that had just been a big chunk of my adult life, I didn’t really know if I would feel different off the pill. So, anyway, I came off the pill. I didn’t go on to any other form of hormonal contraception, I didn’t get the coil. I was using the good old-fashioned “put-a-crisp-packet-on-it”. No, condoms. I wish I didn’t know for sure that my parents were watching this, but… they are. So this is what I found in one year of being off the pill. My periods are back with a vengeance. “Painful Periods 2: This Time It’s Personal”. “Heavy Flow”, the sequel: “Am I haemorrhaging?” Three to five days before my period I start feeling sick, I start feeling dizzy and really weak and strange. Then sometimes I start having painful cramps before my period even starts. Other times I get my period and I’m not cramping yet, but about 12 hours later, oh, the cramping begins. I have actually thrown up from the combination of the pain and the nausea. My period pretty much consistently wipes me out for a couple of days a month now. By day two I’m usually fine. Also, just, like, how can I describe this? You know the blood scene in ‘The Shining’? You know the blood scene in ‘What We Do in the Shadows’? You know the blood scene in ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’? There’s a lot of blood is what I’m saying. Another thing that I was really interested to see is whether or not it changed my mood or I felt differently not being on hormones. This one is hard to judge, because when I first came off the pill I definitely felt a bit different. It felt like my mood had been quite flat all the time, like everything was just okay. And then I started to feel the extremes more, like I felt more happy or more sad. This could have been coincidental, but yeah, I did notice a difference. Unfortunately, my mental health has not been the best for the past few months, so it’s just really hard for me to judge how that is going, I guess. One thing that I’ve noticed is that on top of all my regular normal anxiety, I definitely don’t have depression, but I’ve had more kind of depressed days. But again, there is no evidence whatsoever that that could be linked to the pill or not taking the pill. I was really hoping that my skin might get a little bit better coming off the pill, because I get a lot of like chin acne and I’ve been told that’s hormonal. I’d say my skin is just as bad, but I have noticed that it gets worse towards my period and it gets better after my period so, you know, that’s something. I’m still getting spots all on my jaw, I’m getting a lot more spots on my forehead, but that could be because of this fringe. Okay, family members: stop listening now. I think it probably did have a positive effect on my sex drive. Again, hard to tell lately, because bad mental health does not have a positive effect on your sex drive. The thing that I’ve actually really enjoyed is getting to know my cycle. I use the Clue app, it’s been really helpful, I track things obsessively, and it means that like when I’m feeling certain things, or I’m in pain, or my skin is particularly good or bad, or whatever, I can look at my cycle and be like ‘huh, that might be why’. Cause it’s often like ‘oh, there’s a reason for this’. I actually noticed that I was getting stabbing pains on one side when I was nowhere near my period and then I looked up and I realized that I was about to ovulate, and I googled it, and people get ovulation pain in the ovary that’s ovulating. Gross! So, moving forward there are a few things that I’m gonna do. People have suggested that I get my period pains checked out to make sure that I don’t have endometriosis or anything else, that’s causing them to be that painful. I have been recommended naproxen for my period pain, which is a drug that I actually already have because of my wrist pain. “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something”. Cause of my incredibly painful horrible periods I am actually considering going back on the pill, but probably going on the mini-pill. I’m really apprehensive about this because I’ve obviously never been on it and it feels like a bit of a risk because I don’t know how my body’s gonna react to it. Like, at least if I was going back on my old pill, I’d know what to expect, but I don’t want to go back on the combined pill because of the increased risk of breast cancer, because we already have increased risk in my family. I’m also considering the Mirena coil, the one that has, like, localized hormones. Obviously people are a little scared about one, ’cause, you know, you have to get it inserted, but I’ve had so much happened to my cervix, that I’m just, like, probably would be fine. If anybody has any recommendations, I would love to hear them, I know that everybody’s body is different, but still, would be very helpful to me. I don’t know what I’m gonna do next, but my periods can’t continue like this. Anyway, that’s what’s been going on with me. What’s… what’s going on with you?