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What May Your Body Go Through When Going off Birth Control Pills

Stopping birth control may impact your skin, menstrual cycle, and much more.

Birth control is a great option and comes in a range of alternatives that allow you to adapt the protection you require to suit your lifestyle and preferences. The one that comes to mind frequently when you consider birth control is the pill form.

A review published in 2018 revealed that birth control pills could improve the skin, regulate your menstrual cycle, ease PMS and even prevent the onset of pregnancy. So, If you’ve been using oral contraceptives for a long time, it’s expected to worry about what might happen to your body once you take a break.

The positive side? « For the most part, women don’t notice too much of a difference [when they go off the pill], » stated Alyssa Dweck, MD Gynecologist from New York and author of The A to Z of the V. However, if you were using birth control pills for a specific reason, like to ease acne or cramps it is possible to notice a recurrence of those signs once being off the pill.

« A lot of the changes women see go back to why they took birth control in the first place, » Dr. Dweck explained.

The adverse effects associated with stopping birth control can depend on the type of birth control you’ve taken (combination with progestin, progestin-only, or extended-cycle) and your dosage. Also, two people taking the same medication could experience different reactions after quitting. Some expected changes can occur in your body after quitting birth control medications. Here’s what you can (and should not) expect to occur.

You Could Get Pregnant Right Away

It’s not true that your body requires time to eliminate birth control from your system. In most cases, the normal ovulation cycle can resume within one or two months. 80% of women were able to become pregnant within 12 months after quitting hormonal birth control, such as oral contraceptives, the intrauterine device (IUD), and injectable types of hormonal birth control.

If you dont desire a pregnancy, try condoms or other contraception right after getting off the pills.


Your Weight Will Probably Stay the Same

Don’t stop using birth control solely to shed some pounds. While many people think they’ve gained weight with birth control, studies haven’t established a link between oral contraceptives and weight growth.

A review from 2014 of 49 relevant studies found that birth control didn’t affect weight in a significant way. « There has been no definitive evidence showing that starting–or stopping–birth control pills will affect your weight, » said Neha Bhardwaj, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive science at the Icahn Medical School at Mount Sinai in New York City. (One exception: only progestin birth control pills can lead to weight growth.)

Your Skin Might Break Out

Birth control pills in combination (the most popular kind) consisting of estrogen and progestin can clear the appearance of acne in many people due to their ability to lower the body’s levels of androgen. This hormone creates oils that are absorbed by the skin. It is possible to see new types of pimples when you stop using the pill, particularly during your period, when hormone levels change. « Going off birth control pills may return acne symptoms to what they were before starting birth control pills, » said Dr. Bhardwaj. If you choose to get off birth control pills, There are other options to control your hormonal acne. These include changing your cleanser and reducing stress levels or supplementing with probiotics.

You Might Lose a Bit of Hair

Changing your birth control medication or getting off of it can trigger Telogen effluvium, a temporary condition that causes hair loss. Telogen effluvium generally subsides in about six months once your body is used to not using birth control. Certain people who experienced hormonally-related hair loss (as sign of polycystic ovary syndrome, for instance) before starting birth control may notice that it is back when they quit the pill. However, according to Dr. Dweck, hair loss can be a bit complicated and is usually a result of other factors, including stress.

The most important thing to remember? « Most women won’t see a significant net effect on their hair after stopping birth control pills, » said Josh Klein, MD, chief medical officer of Extend Fertility in New York City.

On the other hand, some grow more extensive hair but not necessarily on their heads. Hairs that are coarse and dark may be found in undesirable places, such as the back, face and chest when the body produces excessive androgen. PCOS can be the main frequent reason.

Your Period Might Be Heavier and Less Regular

One of the pill’s most significant advantages is that it regulates the menstrual cycle. « Birth control pills typically lighten periods and decrease pain associated with periods, » stated Dr. Bhardwaj. When you stop taking oral contraceptives, it’s not uncommon for you to experience your periods being unpredictable regarding how heavy or light it feels, how long it takes, and how crampy you feel.

« Some women who have been on the pill for many years assume their cycles are very regular, » explained Dr. Klein. « But when they stop the pill, they learn their cycles are not as regular as they thought. » After two or three months, your period will return to normal, as Dr. Klein added.

Another unexpected guest who could reappear after quitting the medication? PMS. « This is a big reason why many women go on birth control in the first place, » Dr. Dweck. If you initially began taking birth control to alleviate PMS and other symptoms, don’t be surprised that symptoms like moodiness or irritation are more evident after you’ve stopped taking it.


Your Vitamin D Levels Could Drop

Many individuals experience a decrease in levels of vitamin D whenthey stop using birth control pills. This is particularly problematic for those trying to get pregnant as vitamin D supports the fetal skeleton in the pregnancy. Inform your doctor that you’ve decided to stop taking birth control pills. Also, inquire about ways to increase your daily dose of vitamin D, such as taking a more active walk (with SPF! ) and eating vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish or supplements.

Your Boobs May Feel a Little Different

Many women experience tender breasts just before their period (you could blame hormones for that – a rise in progesterone before your period can trigger the growth of the milk glands, which could create tenderness). Because the birth control pill regulates hormonal levels, it could help alleviate this problem. Thus, taking off the pill may mean that your breasts appear a bit more sensitive following ovulation, as per Dr. Klein.

Breast tenderness could result from taking this pill, explained Guirlaine Agnant, MD Chair of the Department of Obstetrics, gynecology and website in Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital in Mount Vernon, NY. If your breasts were susceptible during specific periods of the month when the pill was used, it might go away after you quit taking it. For those who suffer from this, « stopping the pill will bring back normal breast tissue, and no tenderness should be experienced, » Dr. Agnant said.

You may also notice subtle changes in your breasts look: « Some women will see their breasts deflate a bit when they go off the pill, » said Dr. Dweck.

You Could Get More Headaches

About one-fourth or one-half of the population suffer from migraines during their menstrual cycle. This is usually because of a decrease in the levels of estrogen. Like extended-cycle pills, birth control drugs that allow you to skip your periods or extend the time between them can stop migraines. For some people, getting away from birth control medications may result in headaches becoming more frequent.


Your Libido Might Be Affected

The doctor. Agnant stated (Health is the magazine name so i removed it)that some patients report that their sexual desires dropped when they started taking the pill. « This is most likely due to changes in hormonal production, » Dr. Agnant said, adding that women generally have an increase in their sexual desire after stopping birth control.

However, each individual is unique. And for some, sex can be stressful without birth control pills that protect them from unplanned pregnancy.
« Decreasing the risk of pregnancy for a woman may allow her to enjoy the experience of sex more, » the doctor. Bhardwaj.

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