Reasons Why Some Women are Quitting Hormonal Birth Control
Many women are opting out of using hormonal birth control while others are switching out their high hormone pills for a low hormone, or no hormone, IUD. Why exactly are so many women changing their minds about hormonal birth control?
More women are questioning whether they should be interfering with their hormones using birth control, while others simply don’t agree with the side effects hormonal birth control causes.
Are you wondering which birth control is right for you, hormonal vs non-hormonal? We spoke with five women who gave us their personal reasons for quitting hormonal birth control and included a few more reasons to consider.
It’s evident that in order to get pregnant you’ll need to get off of birth control. What may be less obvious is that it may take longer to get pregnant after getting off hormonal birth control because your hormones will need time to regulate.
It takes an average of six months for most women to conceive, and it could take even longer after getting off hormonal birth control. This could make you question if you’re infertile when in reality, your body is just trying to get back to its natural rhythm.
Women who are breastfeeding may be concerned about the amount of hormones that pass through the breastmilk and to their baby. They need to use either a birth control with no hormones or a progestin-only birth control.
Using artificial hormones can have many effects on your physical and mental well-being. Let’s look at a few of the most common side effects.
For many women, hormonal birth control can lower their sex drive. Sounds like a cruel joke, right? Sure, you can have sex without worrying about getting pregnant, but you may not want to have sex at all or it may take longer to get in the mood.
Many women report developing depression and mood swings as side effects of hormonal birth control. Many women have sited mental health reasons as part of why they quit using hormonal birth control.
Darion says she just got off hormonal birth control because “It makes me crazy, I bawl my eyes out, I’m moody, snappy…” She goes on to further explain, “My sex drive completely vanished and I got delusional like thinking people are out to get me.”
June says it “Literally made me go crazy,” and says she experienced a psychotic break when she was forced to stop taking hormonal birth control after losing her insurance.
A common side effect of hormonal birth control is weight gain. This weight gain isn’t inherently bad, but it can make you feel like not yourself or less confident. You may have to buy new clothes and it can impact your sex life.
Savanna quit hormonal birth control because “[It] started giving me migraines, weight gain, and it ended up worsening my cramps and irritability.”
Periods on hormonal birth control can sometimes do wacky things. You may have longer periods, periods that come irregularly, or no period at all. It can be a challenge to be prepared for a period if you don’t know when to expect it.
Mandy told us “I went off of mine 16 years ago. I hate the way it made me feel and that my monthly was never on time or the same. Since then, I have only had one kid and my moods and monthly are consistent. I always know what to expect.”
While some women are on birth control for medical purposes, other women have to get off hormonal birth control for medical purposes.
Kiah told us she had to get off hormonal birth control after developing a blood clot from her hip to her knee caused by a combination of estrogen birth control pills and a genetic blood clotting disorder. She had to use crutches to walk around for the next six months and had to be on blood thinners.
While most religions allow for the use of contraception, some religions prohibit the use of artificial birth control. The Roman Catholic Church believes birth control is a sin against nature but allows for following your natural cycles to prevent pregnancy, such as Natural Family Planning. Islam does not prohibit birth control, but promotes procreation. Judaism is a little bit more complicated as different branches have different views on birth control.
Alternative Birth Controls
If you want to quit hormonal birth control, but still want to prevent pregnancy, then luckily you still have options.
Natural Family Planning
Contrary to popular belief, you can not get pregnant at any time of your cycle. You are only fertile the five days before ovulation and the day of. Natural Family Planning is a way to track your fertile window and can be used to prevent pregnancy.
Your body gives you signs when your fertile window is approaching. Your temperature, cervical mucus, positioning and softness of your cervix can all help you determine when you are fertile. It takes a little bit of time and dedication but can be accurate if you pay attention to your body’s signs. When in doubt, use backup contraception like condoms to prevent pregnancy or take penetrative sex off the menu until you are sure your no longer fertile.
Tracking your other symptoms such as your libido and emotions can be helpful as well. You may notice a higher sex drive as you approach ovulation, or you may be more prone to sadness or anger at a specific time in your cycle. As you track, take notice of your emotional signposts to help you get familiar with your cycle.
Want to have more of a “set it and forget it,” type of non-hormonal birth control? A copper IUD may be a good solution for you.
Copper IUDs can last up to 12 years and are over 99% effective. If you would like to get it out sooner, don’t worry! You can get it removed at any time after having it placed. Side effects of the copper IUD include:
- Irregular bleeding
- Heavier and longer periods
- Intensified cramping
For a personalized consultation on birth control, contact us today!