Birth Control Pills: The New Candy And Why I Stopped

December 2009, a few days after Christmas I get the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. Severe pressure and sharp pains in the right side of my pelvis. So bad I could barely move and thought I was dying. I was only 14 years old and scared. Of course I knew about the menstrual cycle and things like that but I never heard about pain like this being ok. I go to the hospital, stay overnight for testing and find out that I have an ovarian cyst. At the time I didn’t know what that was, but most women get a cyst around ovulation time that dissolves on it’s own and doesn’t cause any pain. They then refer me to a gynecologist to get specialized treatment. I’m not gonna lie, going there for the first time was awkward and embarrassing. I remember hoping that the women there didn’t think I was pregnant. Skipping all the boring stuff, my doctor put me on a wait and see approach and decided to put me on birth control pills.

I started the pill in June 2010 at 15 years old. The first kind I was put on made it so you didn’t have a period except every 3 months. It’s called Seasonique and I liked it a lot. But I was really sick the first couple months, so nauseous (the pill tricks your body into thinking it’s pregnant, so basically this was what morning sickness would feel like when pregnant). If I remember correctly, I stayed on that pill for about 2-3 years before I was switched to a pill where my period came every month. The brand was Azurette and I stayed on that until I completely stopped in 2017.

Now for why I stopped: I started feeling bad. Besides the initial nausea when I first started, I didn’t have any weird side effects. If anything my skin cleared up drastically. But eventually, I started getting severe headaches and extreme mood swings. On the pill, you shouldn’t have PMS like mood swings since your hormones are at a constant level. I kept having to apologize to people for why I was so irritable. The headaches started out few and far in between but then became everyday-migraine like. I remember going to the doctor for refills and told him I wanted to stop. He seemed confused and against it. He kept telling me (pressuring me) to stay on them…so I did. March 2017 is when I completely stopped. When I first stopped I honestly forgot how to track my cycle since for the past 7 years all I had to do was look at the pack of pills and instantly knew when my period was going to start. I didn’t realize just how out of touch with my body I became (there were certain feelings and things I didn’t have anymore since before the pill. Don’t want to get too graphic) I ended up installing period tracker apps to help me and they are amazing!

If someone were to ask me if I would go back on birth control, my answer would be NO! I love being hormone free and natural. Being in tune with my body even though now I still have those pains I had when I had my ovarian cyst. I still get scared it could come back as I almost had to have surgery to get it removed. My doctor didn’t want to perform surgery on someone so young, it could’ve messed up my ovary and chances of having kids in the future. I’m grateful he went with a wait and watch approach. My cyst was considered large: 2 inches. I was on the pill for 2 years before it went away completely. The remaining years after that were to prevent further cysts from forming. I only stayed on to prevent cysts, not for actual birth control purposes. It raises your risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer and reduces the risk of ovarian cancer. I feel like doctors pressure women into taking birth control. They probably mean well but need to listen to their patients concerns. There are other ways to prevent pregnancy. Had I never had the cyst, I would have never started birth control. I will say it wasn’t a completely terrible experience, I just believe my body couldn’t tolerate the hormones for that long. Other women may just have a higher tolerance than I do. I’m almost two years off birth control and have never felt better in my life.