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    Old 02-18-2007, 07:36 PM   #1
    MoonLight0
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    Quitting The Pill?

    Hey everyone,

    I'm facing a huge dilemma right now and I am not sure what to do about it. I started taking Ortho Tricyclen Lo about two years ago.
    I didn't see any problems with it initially. It worked just fine and I was happy with it, but over time I have developed various issues that are really starting to bother me.
    I'll basically list the pros and cons and hopefully that will help with my decision.

    Cons -
    1. Since I started taking this pill I have gained about 6-8 lbs. Now that's not a big deal for most people, but I'm relatively short, so for someone my height that amount of weight makes a big difference. That has been stressing me out a lot recently mainly because I've tried to lose it but it's impossible. I always eat healthy and I recently cut down on how much I eat, but that didn't help. I attempted exercising and focusing on problem areas (mainly by butt and thighs since that's where I also developed mild cellulite since taking the pill), that didn't work at all. And I basically just gave up since it seems like there's nothing I can do about it, the weight just won't come off no matter what I try to do.

    2. I have absolutely no libido. I mean zero. It is starting to stress me out as well since before the pill my boyfriend and I had a very exciting sex life. Now it's just totally boring since I have no desire whatsoever. I also have a lubrication issue, like major issue.

    3. For a period of time it was causing moodswings, nothing too major but I definitely felt a difference.

    Now all that stuff didn't bother me at first since I figured it would take a while for my body to get used to the hormones. But now that it's been 2 years I realize that things aren't changing and I have no clue what to do.

    Pros:
    1. I'm not pregnant.
    2. I had no breakthrough bleeding/spotting issues like many women seem to have with this particular pill.
    3. It's relatively cheap.
    4. I never get a single zit anymore (which only happened before I get my period). My skin looks good, but I never had major issues in the first place.
    5. My periods are very predictable. I get them every month on the same day and around the same time. I can literally predict to the hour when it's supposed to happen and that's definitely a great thing.


    There are obviously more pros than cons and that's why I'm having such a huge issue with this. I am really body conscious, so the weight gain has definitely affected me negatively. My boyfriend and I have been in a committed relationship for a few years now and I hate the thought of qutting the pill and going back to condoms since I know they're not nearly as effective.
    I've thought about other forms of bc I could switch to, but none of them seem very appealing. I definitely don't want to go on the shot because I've heard too many horror stories, and I'm way too young to screw up my body. I also don't like the idea of patches and rings since they increase the risk of heart attack/stroke by 300% (or so that's what I've heard). I can't take that risk.
    I've also thought about switching to a different pill, but I don't want to go through another set of unwatned side-effects when this pill has been working so well as far as effectiveness is concerned. I don't want to take something that's going to cause more problems.

    Basically I'm just trying to figure out whether or not I should quit the pill and what I should do next?
    Sorry this is so long, but I would love to get some input. Thanks!

    P.S. Also, if I do end up qutting the pill, is there anything I need to do extra to help my body get back to normal. I hear a lot of women don't get their periods for months at a time after qutting. I don't want to go through that either. And do I have to talk to my doctor about quitting it or can I just stop taking them?

    Last edited by MoonLight0; 02-18-2007 at 07:41 PM.

     
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    Old 02-18-2007, 08:15 PM   #2
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    Here's a question for you.... Why bother staying on the pill for contraception purposes when you don't want to have sex anyway? If you're not having sex because you don't want to due to being on the pill then there's no way you'll get pregnant.

    Unfortunately, if you want your libido to come back then you can't go with hormonal birth control. It's just not realistic. Once you lose your libido on BC it won't come back until you quit BC, regardless of what brand or method you try. Whether it's any brand of BC pill, the patch, the ring, the Depo or the Mirena, all of the above are hormonal methods of BC and all will just continue to supress your libido as it is right now. The only thing that will help you regain it is to stop putting the fake hormones into your body.

    For a natural method of birth control that does not involve putting fake hormones into your body, look into FAM, which you can read about in a book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility. There is a wealth of information in that book about many women's health issues and it's worthwhile even if you decide not to go with FAM for your birth control purposes.

    My bf and I have been using FAM and condoms since I quit the pill about 7 months ago. Not only has my libido returned but also my moods have been great and I actually feel healthy again! I never felt healthy on the pill, and no wonder since it's an immunosupressant steroid that affects every major organ system inside your body. Once you quit taking that garbage, your body will actually start feeling a lot better in general and it's just all around better for you.

    There's no way to know for sure whether your periods will return to normal after you quit. Some women, such as myself, get their periods back right away. Others have to wait longer. It just depends on how healthy you are and how well your ovaries are still functioning after having been put to sleep by being on the pill. You should definitely start reading some of the other posts here on this board to find out the necessary vitamins and nutrients that you should be taking in order to ease the transition off the pill.

     
    Old 02-18-2007, 08:26 PM   #3
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    Hi, I have been lurking around this message board for a couple of weeks now and your post has prompted me to write. I have been on the pill since I was 20 and am now 35. I never put two and two together why I have gained 12 lbs. over the past 10 or so years until recently. Anyway I have decided to stop the pill as I have the exact same issues as you. I had my period last Wed (the 7th) and started up my pack again on Sunday (the 10th) I took pills for two nights and just decided I didn't want that stuff in my body anymore so I quit cold turkey. Yesterday I started bleeding like i hadn't ever before. I had really mild light periods while on the pill so this is just very abnormal. I read somewhere it's called a withdrawl bleed. I definitley feel like I am on my period again. I hope my body gets back to normal soon and the weight starts coming off. I work out 5 days a week for 1 1/2 hours and eat around 1400 cal a day. I am 5' 125lbs but should be around 118-120. I'll keep you posted over the next few months about the weight and any side effects (good or bad). I am really glad I did this. I don't know your situation or how old you are but if I did get pregnant again it wouldn't be the end of the world (but I definitley have no plans for it). If you are young I would stay on them for a while until you are in a situation where it would be okay to get pregnant. Just my 2 cents. Thanks for listening.

     
    Old 02-18-2007, 08:35 PM   #4
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    So I hear a lot of women don't want to use condoms after the freedom BC brings to the situation. I have to say though that w/o BC there are just not the options we would like. I don't think condoms are all bad. They do have some cons. The mess is less and it could be fun at times. My husband and I don't use them unless I have some bleeding and he just has to have it. I used to think the same way though about condoms. It isn't that big of a deal and if pregnancy protection is what you are looking for, it is the best option (w/o the pill). I know the FAM is recommended but I know a few people who got pregnant using that. If you truly want the hormone issue to be resolved, condoms are a small price to pay! Good luck.

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 09:30 AM   #5
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    I could have written your post when I was debating going off the pill. I'd been on various types for 20 years. My libido was gone, I had nasty mood swings (which came on gradually over the years, so it was hard for me to see they were pill-related), my periods just sucked. Sure, I knew right down to the minute when they were going to start, but the PMS and cramps preceding them were awful!

    The libido was a biggie for me. Having sex once or twice a year was going to cost me my marriage. Finally, last January, it came out in respected medical literature what the pill does to a woman's libido (due to a hormone in our liver), and my doctor finally agreed the pill was causing my non-existent drive.

    We don't have babies and don't want them. It's almost funny how creative a couple can get in the bedroom when they both want to have sex, but they don't want to get pregnant!

    It's been almost a year since I quit, and I wish I'd quit years ago!

    DH recently had a vasectomy, but in the months following my quitting BCP, we experimented with forms of intimacy other than penile/vaginal intercourse (again, that creativity ) and condoms.

    I did not quit the pill cold turkey. I just never started a new pack. I did call my doc's office just to let them know, but then I switched doctors, anyway, because I was really ticked at my doc for discounting my lost libido for so many years. I did nothing with my diet or supplements. I get more than enough Omega 6's with vegetable oil, and with a heart healthy diet, I achieve a 4:1 ratio of Omega 6's to Omega 3's. I know some recommend Vitamin B supplements, but I watched my mother become very, very ill during the '80s with the B-12 craze. The transition was very easy for me, so I never really felt the need that I had to get extra supplements.

    Since quitting, I've noticed my period is a little longer, but it's soooo much lighter, and I have hardly any cramps and zero PMS. My libido is through the roof. I've lost weight without even trying. I think my immune system is stronger, because it used to be me who always had the cold. Now it's the opposite. DH and DM have gone through three colds since last March, and I think I might have had the beginnings of one of them. I took some zinc, and it just never got worse than a sore throat for a couple days. I do get one big pimple somewhere on my body before my period comes. I was on the pill all during my teenage years, so I figure I'm due.

    When I went off the pill, my new doc found endometrial cysts on a transvaginal ultrasound. We watched, waited and monitored to see if they'd shrink, dissolve, stay the same or grow. Every three months, he'd offer me high-dose BC pills and said the pills would get rid of them. Otherwise, if they were still there after a year, his recommendation would be surgery. I always, always turned the pills away after feeling the way I do being off of them. Honestly, I'd rather endure sugery and the risks associated with that instead of what synthetic hormones did to me.

    I realize that kind of thing is a very personal choice, but I just wanted to share when I was deciding whether to be cut open or just take the BC pills, I'd rather be cut open.

    Oh, there's always the copper IUD, too, as a means of BC. There's no hormones in that one, and it lasts twice as long as the Mirena. I think it's called the Paraguard.

    Best of luck in whatever you decide!

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 02:30 PM   #6
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kszan View Post
    Here's a question for you.... Why bother staying on the pill for contraception purposes when you don't want to have sex anyway? If you're not having sex because you don't want to due to being on the pill then there's no way you'll get pregnant.

    To answer that question, I do like having sex (or at least I did) prior to starting the pill. My boyfriend and I used to have a fun sex life, and we're still sexually active but I don't have much desire for it anymore, though we still do it anyway.
    Plus we've been in a committed relationship for almost 3 years, the first year of the relationship was much better and less sexually frustrating since we were both happy... now I'm totally blah about things mainly because I feel so uncomfortable in my body (due to the weight gain).

    Thanks for mentioning the other alternative. I have never even heard of it, so I will definitely have to consider and educate myself more on that.

    Last edited by MoonLight0; 02-19-2007 at 02:32 PM.

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 02:35 PM   #7
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beanerz777 View Post
    Hi, I have been lurking around this message board for a couple of weeks now and your post has prompted me to write. I have been on the pill since I was 20 and am now 35. I never put two and two together why I have gained 12 lbs. over the past 10 or so years until recently. Anyway I have decided to stop the pill as I have the exact same issues as you. I had my period last Wed (the 7th) and started up my pack again on Sunday (the 10th) I took pills for two nights and just decided I didn't want that stuff in my body anymore so I quit cold turkey. Yesterday I started bleeding like i hadn't ever before. I had really mild light periods while on the pill so this is just very abnormal. I read somewhere it's called a withdrawl bleed. I definitley feel like I am on my period again. I hope my body gets back to normal soon and the weight starts coming off. I work out 5 days a week for 1 1/2 hours and eat around 1400 cal a day. I am 5' 125lbs but should be around 118-120. I'll keep you posted over the next few months about the weight and any side effects (good or bad). I am really glad I did this. I don't know your situation or how old you are but if I did get pregnant again it wouldn't be the end of the world (but I definitley have no plans for it). If you are young I would stay on them for a while until you are in a situation where it would be okay to get pregnant. Just my 2 cents. Thanks for listening.

    Thanks for the response. Do keep me posted on the weight thing because that's my main issue at this point. I didn't gain all that much (I guess), but it's driving me nuts since I'm not used to being above 100lbs.
    I'm only 21, by the way, and a college student, so getting pregnant definitely isn't something I want at this point in my life.
    I'm gonna have to seriously reconsider this whole thing again, talk to my bf about it, and maybe even my doctor to make a final decision.

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 02:41 PM   #8
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by StenoLady1 View Post
    I could have written your post when I was debating going off the pill. I'd been on various types for 20 years. My libido was gone, I had nasty mood swings (which came on gradually over the years, so it was hard for me to see they were pill-related), my periods just sucked. Sure, I knew right down to the minute when they were going to start, but the PMS and cramps preceding them were awful!

    The libido was a biggie for me. Having sex once or twice a year was going to cost me my marriage. Finally, last January, it came out in respected medical literature what the pill does to a woman's libido (due to a hormone in our liver), and my doctor finally agreed the pill was causing my non-existent drive.

    We don't have babies and don't want them. It's almost funny how creative a couple can get in the bedroom when they both want to have sex, but they don't want to get pregnant!

    It's been almost a year since I quit, and I wish I'd quit years ago!

    DH recently had a vasectomy, but in the months following my quitting BCP, we experimented with forms of intimacy other than penile/vaginal intercourse (again, that creativity ) and condoms.

    I did not quit the pill cold turkey. I just never started a new pack. I did call my doc's office just to let them know, but then I switched doctors, anyway, because I was really ticked at my doc for discounting my lost libido for so many years. I did nothing with my diet or supplements. I get more than enough Omega 6's with vegetable oil, and with a heart healthy diet, I achieve a 4:1 ratio of Omega 6's to Omega 3's. I know some recommend Vitamin B supplements, but I watched my mother become very, very ill during the '80s with the B-12 craze. The transition was very easy for me, so I never really felt the need that I had to get extra supplements.

    Since quitting, I've noticed my period is a little longer, but it's soooo much lighter, and I have hardly any cramps and zero PMS. My libido is through the roof. I've lost weight without even trying. I think my immune system is stronger, because it used to be me who always had the cold. Now it's the opposite. DH and DM have gone through three colds since last March, and I think I might have had the beginnings of one of them. I took some zinc, and it just never got worse than a sore throat for a couple days. I do get one big pimple somewhere on my body before my period comes. I was on the pill all during my teenage years, so I figure I'm due.

    When I went off the pill, my new doc found endometrial cysts on a transvaginal ultrasound. We watched, waited and monitored to see if they'd shrink, dissolve, stay the same or grow. Every three months, he'd offer me high-dose BC pills and said the pills would get rid of them. Otherwise, if they were still there after a year, his recommendation would be surgery. I always, always turned the pills away after feeling the way I do being off of them. Honestly, I'd rather endure sugery and the risks associated with that instead of what synthetic hormones did to me.

    I realize that kind of thing is a very personal choice, but I just wanted to share when I was deciding whether to be cut open or just take the BC pills, I'd rather be cut open.

    Oh, there's always the copper IUD, too, as a means of BC. There's no hormones in that one, and it lasts twice as long as the Mirena. I think it's called the Paraguard.

    Best of luck in whatever you decide!
    Thanks. Your post is very interesting since the opposite happened to me as far as getting sick is concerned. Since I started the pill I haven't got sick once, not even a minor cold, sore throat, or anything health related. I didn't even think about exactly why, but who knows, it could be due to the pill.
    I'm still torn on the whole issue and will have to think about it more till I make my final decision. I still have half a pack of pills left that I plan on finishing, hopefully that will be enough time to figure out exactly whether or not I want to quit or continue taking them.

    My boyfriend and I are both noly 21 so I'd hate to have to go through drastic measures not to get pregnant.
    I just hope once I quit (whenever that may be), I don't go through serious issues. But my periods have always been relatively normal (though sometimes irregular), so hopefully they won't get totally out of control one day when I decide to quit.

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 04:04 PM   #9
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    this post is such an inspiration to me! I have been on the pill for over 10 years and I too have had my sex drive drop to 0! I used to have a great sex life....I asked me doctor if it was the pill and she said no. I have been wanting to get off and get an IUD. I hope the sex drive comes back. I am a newly wed!
    I am a little worried about side effects of quitting the pills after being on them so long. Any advice?

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 10:58 PM   #10
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    I'm also in the same situation as you... I'm also 21 and have been with my bf for 3 years ha. We used to have a pretty good sex life, but now.. it's HORRIBLE. I never want to have sex (seriously, never ever) and half the time I just get irritated when he tries to do anything sexual. I'm in college too and most definitly don't want to be pregnant right now, but I decided to go off BC anyways becuase it was starting to affect my relationship with my bf. He usually takes it the wrong way (that I don't want to have sex because I don't want him/am not attracted to him) but in reality I just don't feel like it, though my mind wants to haha. I don't see the point in taking it, like someone else said, when you don't ever want to have sex, but it's a big decision that you have to make and there are pros and cons to going either way. For me personally, I just want to WANT to have sex again haha... Good luck!

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 11:05 PM   #11
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dynastar View Post
    this post is such an inspiration to me! I have been on the pill for over 10 years and I too have had my sex drive drop to 0! I used to have a great sex life....I asked me doctor if it was the pill and she said no. I have been wanting to get off and get an IUD. I hope the sex drive comes back. I am a newly wed!
    I am a little worried about side effects of quitting the pills after being on them so long. Any advice?
    I know exactly how you feel. They say it's not the BC, but I know that it is since before I started taking the pill my sex drive was perfectly fine, ever since it's been down to zero. It's very frustrating.

     
    Old 02-19-2007, 11:10 PM   #12
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by holahanson View Post
    I'm also in the same situation as you... I'm also 21 and have been with my bf for 3 years ha. We used to have a pretty good sex life, but now.. it's HORRIBLE. I never want to have sex (seriously, never ever) and half the time I just get irritated when he tries to do anything sexual. I'm in college too and most definitly don't want to be pregnant right now, but I decided to go off BC anyways becuase it was starting to affect my relationship with my bf. He usually takes it the wrong way (that I don't want to have sex because I don't want him/am not attracted to him) but in reality I just don't feel like it, though my mind wants to haha. I don't see the point in taking it, like someone else said, when you don't ever want to have sex, but it's a big decision that you have to make and there are pros and cons to going either way. For me personally, I just want to WANT to have sex again haha... Good luck!
    That is exactly how I feel. Our sex life used to be super exciting, now it's just totally blah. And I also tend to feel irritated by it most of the time since I try as hard as I possibly can to get in the mood (mentally) but it simply doesn't work (physically). And the lubrication is a huge issue... I feel like a 70 year old woman or something. Ugh. KY is nice and all, but I feel that I'm way too young to have to use that stuff, haha.
    There is definitely a huge difference in comparison to how things used to be, as my bf also feels that I "don't want him" which is definitely not the case. Who knew such a small pill can cause so many issues.
    Hopefully I'll resolve this soon. So far he's not too happy about the decision but he's listening and supporting it. So hopefully we can figure all this out together. We both hate the idea of having to go back to using condoms.

    Last edited by MoonLight0; 02-19-2007 at 11:11 PM.

     
    Old 02-20-2007, 05:04 AM   #13
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dynastar View Post
    this post is such an inspiration to me! I have been on the pill for over 10 years and I too have had my sex drive drop to 0! I used to have a great sex life....I asked me doctor if it was the pill and she said no. I have been wanting to get off and get an IUD. I hope the sex drive comes back. I am a newly wed!
    I am a little worried about side effects of quitting the pills after being on them so long. Any advice?
    Yeah, my doc told me my libido problems were all in my head, "that the pill just doesn't do this to women."

    This conversation would have been in 1998, weeks after my wedding, right after he switched me to Levora because of spotting on the previous one. The Levora in particular dropped my drive to zero. I still remember that doc saying, "This is normal for newlyweds. But if you don't do your duty, your new husband will find what you don't give him elsewhere." Somehow I don't think that was "normal" for newlyweds. Aren't newlyweds supposed to be doing it like bunnies, breaking in every room in the house -- a couple of times? GRRRR!!!

    As to your question about side effects, I really only had two negative ones: A longer period by a day or two (but an overall much lighter period) and a nasty pimple somewhere on my body right before AF comes. I was expecting the worst. My mother had a heck of a time with her periods (fibroids, polyps), so much so that docs wanted to give her a hysterectomy when she was 28. As a last resort, a homeopath helped her, thank goodness, because, otherwise, I wouldn't have my brother. I'd always heard and read that however your mother's period is, is probably how your period will be. So I was really expecting something awful when I quit. I was shocked when nothing bad happened, and I felt so alive, vibrant and feminine.

     
    Old 02-20-2007, 05:27 AM   #14
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    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MoonLight0;280***9
    Thanks. Your post is very interesting since the opposite happened to me as far as getting sick is concerned. Since I started the pill I haven't got sick once, not even a minor cold, sore throat, or anything health related. I didn't even think about exactly why, but who knows, it could be due to the pill.
    I'm still torn on the whole issue and will have to think about it more till I make my final decision. I still have half a pack of pills left that I plan on finishing, hopefully that will be enough time to figure out exactly whether or not I want to quit or continue taking them.

    My boyfriend and I are both noly 21 so I'd hate to have to go through drastic measures not to get pregnant.
    I just hope once I quit (whenever that may be), I don't go through serious issues. But my periods have always been relatively normal (though sometimes irregular), so hopefully they won't get totally out of control one day when I decide to quit.
    Well, I may have spoke too soon on the colds. Everyone around me has been sick for the last few weeks, and I'm pluggy this morning.

    Yeah, don't do anything drastic. DH & I are 35, have been together since we were 20 and felt as confident as we could that we didn't want children. But he didn't rush right out and get snipped. I quit the pill thinking I may have to go back on it, especially if I had some awful reaction to stopping. During those six months, we used condoms, or we mastered oral, lol, if we didn't feel like dealing with rubbers. Initially I was dreading stopping the pill because of having to use condoms, but looking back, we rarely had a need for them. There are so many erotic ways to be intimate that don't involve penile/vaginal intercourse. And for me, I felt like a kid in a candy shop for the first time ... it was all new and great!

    It's a hard decision. I began questioning the pill in the mid '90s, became frustrated with it in '98 and finally quit in '06. I think the hard part of the decision is the predictibility being on the pill mixed with the fear of the unknown going off. But, see, that's messed up, too. Docs are so quick to prescribe the pill to young women, and they don't really know what's going to happen to them when they go off. Three different gynos couldn't tell me what would happen to me if I quit. I was told to "expect anything and everything," or "nothing is unusual when quitting the pill." There's something very wrong with that picture.

    And the women I know on HRT are dealing with the same issues. They're either afraid to stop it because no one can tell them how their bodies will react, or they're afraid to start it with all the risks that are now in the spotlight.

     
    Old 02-20-2007, 08:55 AM   #15
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    snogal HB User
    Re: Quitting The Pill?

    I was on Ortho Tri Cyclen (regular & lo) for over 5 years. My list of pro's and con's looked just like yours. My marriage was really suffering - since I NEVER wanted to have sex with my husband & because I was a complete B*#TCH all the time. About a month ago, I made the decision to quit the pill. I know it was the right decision for me. The first 2 weeks off the pill were GREAT - my sex drive came back and my mood improved greatly. I got my period about 6 days early, and ever since, my sex drive has decreased a bit, and I've been a little more moody. I realize it's probably going to take time for everything to get back to normal and get regulated, so I'm just going to take it day by day. Life off the pill has got to be better than life on the pill.

    Like you, I wasn't too thrilled about going back to condoms - they're not ideal, but my husband and I are getting used to them again.

     
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