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Why I Quit The Pill

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Why I Quit The Pill
I don’t do controversial or vulnerable here very often, but today, I’m going there. If you’re adamantly pro-traditional medicine or easily offended, I recommend clicking away now. The recipes section is full of fantastic stuff that I’m sure you’ll love!

Today, right here – it’s getting personal. I’m talking about periods and I don’t mean the punctuation.

Why, you ask? This is a food blog. Why am I going there? I’ll tell you why. Because food is directly, undeniably, and completely related to hormones. And because I want to start a conversation around a topic I feel very strongly about.

My Experience with The Pill

When I was 15 years old, I had my first gynecologist appointment. At the time, I was concerned because I hadn’t gotten my period. “What’s taking so long?” “What’s wrong with me?” I asked myself. The gyno assured me that everything was normal and that everyone, of course, develops differently. A few months later, it happened. And a few months after that, I went on the Pill.

I could lie to you and say that I wanted to go on the Pill because “My cycles were irregular.” Because, “I had acne.” Because, “My cramps sucked.” All of that was true, but mostly, I just wanted bigger boobs and I wanted to have sex without worrying about – you know – the consequences. 🙅 👶

In hindsight, I know that I made a mistake by going on the Pill when I did. I didn’t give my body a chance to adjust. To balance itself. To acclimate to the new hormones and to establish its own natural rhythm.

Fast forward to college, sophomore year. Bodies have a funny way of talking to you, if you choose to listen. I was lethargic all of the time – I always wanted to sleep and had zero desire to exercise. I still had acne and I often had headaches. My period still sucked – I had cramps that left me curled up on the floor. No amount of ibuprofen helped. I had no control over my emotions – I was either extremely high or I was the lowest of lows. I didn’t like the way I felt AT ALL.

So I stopped taking the Pill.

Why I Quit The Pill
What happened after I went off the Pill?

I had no cycle for 6 months. Then I had irregular cycles for a few more months. And then? Miraculously, everything evened out. It was almost as if my body knew how to deal with its hormones on its own. Shocking, I know.

I started caring for my body from a nourishment standpoint. I cut out junk food and started providing my body with the building blocks it needed to create its own balance. Greens, grains, vegetables, good carbs and protein, nutrient-dense whole foods, and a few supplements. I have had success with Garden of Life Raw Vitamin D and Raw Iron. (Do NOT take synthetic Iron. It causes constipation and liver blockage.) I incorporated exercise into my routine, because I finally had the energy to do so.

I now have a reliable, manageable 31-day cycle and my cramps are almost non-existent. Every. Woman. Is. Different. Your body will tell you when it’s ready to cycle. Listen to your juices. Listen to your boobs. Listen to your appetite. Listen to your emotions (and NEVER apologize for them.) They will tell you.

I stopped getting urinary tract infections. While I was on the Pill, UTIs were a chronic issue for me. The Pill disrupts your natural flora and creates an environment that practically begs bad bacteria to shack up for the long haul. Antibiotic course after antibiotic course couldn’t stop the issue. After I went off the pill, I self-medicated with D-Mannose and the problem resolved itself.

Why I Quit The Pill
How does the Pill work?

Quite simply, it shuts off your body’s internal hormone production system. The Pill supplies your body with synthetic estrogen and progestin to inhibit natural cyclical hormones. The Pill changes your cervix’ mucus cycles to prevent sperm from traveling upwards. Some forms of the Pill even affect the structure of your uterine lining to make it an unwelcome home for an egg.

Why I Quit The Pill

Why is the Pill dangerous?

I could go on for days.

It increases your chance of stroke, depression, blood clots, heart attack, and cancer. You are more likely to be prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, both of which come with their own list of dangerous side effects. You are more likely to gain weight. You are more susceptible to heart disease and osteoporosis. You are more likely to suffer from sleeping disorders and a lack of deep sleep, both of which contribute to higher stress levels.

It doesn’t regulate your cycle. It eliminates it. It literally implants itself in your biology, blocks your body’s natural hormone production, and provides you with a one-size-fits-all hormone solution. Have you ever met a woman with exactly the same skin type as you? Exactly the same hair texture? Exactly the same eyebrow shape? No? Your hormones are yours and yours alone. No one Pill can fix every woman’s hormones.

The Pill separates you from your most intimate, personal, and natural bodily function.

You’re allowing Big Pharma to control your body. A bunch of miserable, rich, suited CEOs are sitting at a long, lacquered wooden table deciding how to market artificial hormones to you. Need I say more?

It decreases your libido. Which makes absolutely ZERO sense. Why take a pill that makes it safe to have sex while simultaneously diminishing your desire to have sex?

Increased risk of yeast, bladder, and urinary tract infections. Nope. No thanks.

Why I Quit The Pill

What happens when you go off the Pill?

You get to take responsibility for your own reproductive health. YOU and YOU alone are in control of your body. You’re not allowing a bunch of bought-and-paid-for scientists and richer-than-hell CEOs into your lady parts. You’re empowered, woman.

You get to know your own body and become familiar with the way it works. It’s a beautiful, magical experience when you embrace it. Every. Woman. Is. Different. We are affected by the moon, by our stress levels, by what we eat, and by what we don’t eat.

Use condoms. We continued to use condoms even when I was on the pill because, you know, consequences. I know a handful of people who got pregnant while taking the Pill as prescribed and a handful is too many considering the effectiveness that Pill claims to have. I prefer Sir Richards because A) they don’t contain harmful chemicals that disrupt your vagina’s very complex and intuitive natural chemistry B) they offer a wide variety (if you know what I mean.) and C) for every condom that’s purchased, they donate a condom to an in-need community. Side note – if you’re with a dude that says he’s “too big” for condoms or he “can’t feel anything” in a condom, dump that piece of shit. You deserve respect. It’s your temple and you’re being kind enough to invite him to worship. If he can’t respect your decision, he doesn’t deserve to get in the door.

Why I Quit The Pill
What has been your experience with the Pill?

Have you taken it? For how long? How has it affected you – positively or negatively? I’d love to hear from you beautiful, amazing women on this topic. Maybe we’ve had similar experiences or maybe our experiences have been completely different. Either way – this is a subject that isn’t talked about enough. I think the sooner we can openly discuss things like birth control and womanhood, the sooner we can become more comfortable, more honest, and happier in general.

To put things into perspective – just in case you’d forgotten – we have one life to live. If we’re lucky, we have 100 years of laughing, loving, hugging, crying, running, climbing, jumping, and straight up living to do while we inhabit Mother Earth. It’s my opinion that we should treat our earthly bodies with respect and admiration for every single second that we inhabit them.

*DISCLAIMER* I am not a medical doctor. These are my real life experiences. Your body and your experiences are sure to be vastly different from mine. This post is not meant to prescribe a solution to anyone else’s health problems.

ALSO – I am fully aware that some women have to take the Pill for health reasons – endometriosis, migraines, ovarian cysts, etc. I’m fortunate in that I have not had to deal with any such problems. I fully respect and feel sympathy for those women who deal with these chronic, often debilitating issues.

ALSO – I strongly believe that all women should have access to affordable contraception. Whether that be condoms, or female condoms, or the Pill. Being in control of one’s own reproductive system is a fundamental human right.

I speak mainly from my own experience on the topic, but I did consult several references for information on side effects and health risks. Here. Here. Here. Here. Here. And here.

Why I Quit The Pill

14 Comments
  • Kendi
    August 21, 2017

    There’s so many of us, but they want us to think that we’re crazy to think that the birth control pills are harmful for us in so many ways. I was on the pill for 10 years (2x small pill then combined in the end) and in the last year I started to think that maybe the pill is not so good for me. I started looking into it and found there’s so many women feeling the same! I stopped the pill because my anxiety, depression and even paranoia that my husband is cheating on me was getting worse and worse. Now I’m 3 weeks off the pill and I must say I’m struggling, I’m still feeling moody and paranoid. I hope it’ll get better with time and that’s just my body needing more time to recover.

    How much time did you gals needed to feel some clarity and relief?

    • thefitchen
      August 22, 2017

      You are 100% correct. They conscientiously try to make women doubt themselves and to feel like we are out of touch with our bodies – like the doctors and big pharma CEOs know best. It’s all about the money.

      So happy for you! You will feel so much better, but it will take time. I would say that it took my body at least a year to correct its course. Parts of the journey were frustrating, but I have learned so much through the process. It’s different for every woman and I think the length of time a person was on the Pill has an effect as well. Just be patient with your body, knowing that it has to take its time to wake up, relearn, and establish its own harmony. It definitely doesn’t happen overnight. But you will eventually feel better than you ever thought possible!

      I have learned a lot from Allie at moderngoddesslifestyle.com – especially about eating for my cycle. I recommend checking her site out! :)

  • Emily
    July 11, 2017

    Thank you so much for this post I can completely relate to your experience but had zero support/sympathy from my doctor, who insisted I try every form of birth control under the sun. The pill was bad, but Implanon was far worse. Both caused acne, weight gain and insane mood swings, I didn’t feel like myself! I am finally off those forms of birth control and am a much happier and healthier person. It is not for everyone and I wish doctors would recognise that.

  • Andie Thueson
    June 29, 2017

    Thank you for sharing your story! Birth Control for me was a ticket to crazy town. So Thankful to be off of it and have my full self back!

    • thefitchen
      July 1, 2017

      SAME! Somehow, my husband stuck with me through all those trips to crazy town. He says I became a totally different person after I went off of it. So glad you did too!

  • Kristina @ Love & Zest
    June 28, 2017

    You shared a great experience for you! This was great to read!

  • Alisa Fleming
    June 27, 2017

    I hear ya! I was on the pill for 10 years for medical reasons, and felt so much better when I was able to let my body take control.

  • Katherine
    June 27, 2017

    Such an interesting perspective! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jenn
    June 26, 2017

    I agree. When I finally went off the pill to try to get pregnant, my body had ALL sorts of issues getting back to normal. I had been on it for almost 15 years at that point! In hindsight, I wish I would have never gone on it in the first place.

  • Sarah
    June 26, 2017

    I can relate although it’s been so many years. I was on the pill and many of them at that with issues, the shot, then both together and it was a mess. The best thing I could do was just to get off them all. When they were brought up again years later for fertility reasons it scared the heck out of me but I went with it but it didn’t help and later I wondered and worried it might have messed things up. With two girls I hope to make sure they have all the facts they can before going down that road if they do. Although I do know everyone is different and things have changed since I was on them.

  • Laura
    June 26, 2017

    I agree completely about how dangerous the pill is!!!!! I was put on it by my gynecologist when I was 17 because I had an eating disorder and no cycle. She didn’t tell me to eat healthier and treat my body right, she just forced my body to have a cycle with drugs without treating the REAL issue. Fastforward to after I get married and we’re ready to have kids and I go off the pill…I finally felt like a woman again! However, my body was trashed and it took much longer than I hoped it would for us to have a child! I tell every young couple I know whose getting married to just chart their temperature and watch their body and NOT take the pill ever!

  • Beth R.
    June 24, 2017

    Thank you so much for sharing! I completely agree with you on so many of these points. (And thanks for the awesome condom recommendation. I’ll definitely look into it!)

    You know it’s funny…I’ve never been on the pill and used to have a very irregular cycle with irregular symptoms. I think my longest is 45 days between cycles. I say used to because I haven’t menstruated in over two years because of hypothyroidism. Unlike some people who have hypothyroidism, I don’t even get PMS symptoms. I have a very nourishing and balancing diet, but when I tell people–especially doctors–my symptoms, they all think this disruption is become of the pill. Side note: One doctor wanted to put me on the pill to help get my periods back without fully understanding my full picture of health. Um….no thanks.

    Again, thank you for your vulnerability!

    • thefitchen
      June 25, 2017

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience and thoughts on the pill. <3 I totally sympathize with you on the irregular cycle thing – it was definitely a problem for me after going off of it. It's so crazy you haven't had a cycle in 2 years! I bet doctors get so freaked out by that. I suppose as long as you're not trying to conceive, it's not a big deal. I know a girl whose doctor put her on the pill to get her periods to come back – and she wound up getting pregnant while on it. No thanks, indeed!

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