What Happens to Your Body When You Go Off the Pill

Go Off the Pill

Go Off the Pill

Perhaps you are ready to conceive a child, or are going to try a different method of birth control, or maybe even get back to a more organic self. Reasons aside, you are probably wondering what will happen to your body when you stop taking birth control pills.

Scientifically speaking, here are the facts: When you take the pill it is giving you a combination of estrogen and progesterone (or progestin-only, like the “mini-pill”); essentially these hormones stop ovulation and/or make a hostile environment for sperm. When you go off the pill, you are no longer receiving those hormones.

When you no longer receive these hormones, your body will adjust to your regular cycle. This means there will be certain side effects. Most of them are harmless but can be irritating.

The Return of Cramps

Certain women started to take the pill because it relieved them of cramps or heavy periods. These will likely return. Ovulation is what causes discomfort during your “monthly visit.” Because birth control pills stop ovulation, your cramping and heavier periods are somewhat relieved. When you go off the pill, ovulation starts again, and your cramps and heavier periods also return.

Acne

The estrogen your birth control pill gives you combats oily skin. When you stop receiving this hormone, your skin might feel more oily resulting in acne. Your body also boosts its testosterone levels after you stop taking the pill, therefore your hormones are in flux and this could also have an effect on your skin. Fortunately, there are other ways to combat acne.

Erratic Emotions

Yup, that’s what hormones will do to you. The hormones from the birth control pills, combined with your body trying to balance its natural cycle could result in emotion overdrive. Some of those PMS symptoms may have disappeared with the pill you were taking, but they will be back. You will find that your body will fall back into a normal cycle and you will be able to calm the whirlwind of emotions better after a few months.

Pregnancy

Yes, you can get pregnant right away. In fact, some have said you are the most fertile the month after you stop taking birth control. It doesn’t matter how long you have been using the pill (months or years); the hormones will be out of your body in a few days. Studies have shown that 79-96% of women get pregnant within a year after ending the birth control pill. In other words, if pregnancy is your goal, then you don’t have to stop a few months before you are ready.

Enhanced Libido

Logically, this makes sense. While some women are on the pill, they notice a decreased desire to have sex (most likely because your ovulation has stopped). When you go off the pill, your sexual drive will return, especially around the time of ovulation. You will also notice an increase in discharge around the time of ovulation.

As always when making decisions about your health you should consult your physician.

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