If you’re thinking about going off the Pill or other hormonal birth control method, you might have been thinking about it for some time. Maybe you’ve done some research (thanks, Google!) and seen some stuff that’s got you scared and apprehensive about taking that step (again…thanks Google). Maybe you’re just not sure what you’re going to do about contraception when you come off the method you’ve been using for years. Whatever the reason for your decision, and there are many good reasons to not use hormonal birth control, you might be finding you’re not getting a whole lot of support from your doctor, health practitioner, or even your partner and your friends. So, let’s take a look at the positive and everything that you have to look forward to (and don’t be afraid to share this article when you need it!).
The 5 best reasons to go off hormonal birth control:
1) You’ll enjoy sex more! It’s pretty much guaranteed that hormonal birth control has thrown cold water on your sex life in some way, at some point. Whether it’s made you less interested in sex, reduced your sexy dreams, given you less lubrication, pelvic pain or a harder time getting orgasms. Taking a pill to prevent you from getting pregnant, that then stops you wanting to even do the thing that might get you pregnant anyway is one of life’s cruelest jokes on women. We think not having to worry about getting pregnant will be the most amazing aphrodisiac (it makes sense!), but these synthetic hormones have the effect of removing the libido peaks all women would otherwise get with their non-medicated cycle. For many women, coming off the Pill is a revelation, because all of a sudden they really want sex, like physically want it, in this strong way they may not have felt since they were a teenager.
2) You’ll improve your relationship. Our body’s own hormones impact how we react to other people and how they respond to us. Many studies have shown that using the Pill causes men to behave differently around women and skews how women feel about men. Some experts even recommend women try coming off the Pill before marrying their long-term partner, just to check that they’re actually attracted to him. If you’re single, you might find not using the Pill helps you tune in better to your intuition when it comes to seeking out a date. If you’re in a relationship, coming off might cure any doubts you have. Not feeling solely responsible for preventing pregnancy is also really important for some women – sharing that part of a relationship can open you both up to more communication and intimacy.
3) You’ll experience all the feelings. Although the Pill can help some women avoid the perils of PMS (that said, there are better ways…), many women decide to come off the Pill because they feel it has caused them, conversely, to experience mood swings, depression or anxiety. The effect of hormonal birth control on your mood might be obvious to you now, or you might be questioning how it makes you feel after a decade or more of using it. For others, these methods of contraception cause a “blah” or dulled-down feeling that means they find it hard to get excited or feel really happy or enjoy life to the fullest. Everyone’s different. Going Pill-free can bring in a whole range of feelings and mood changes – some women have said it’s like coming out from under a cloud or from behind a veil. Colors are brighter, tastes better, and smells sweeter, a bit like when Dorothy switches from black-and-white Kansas to technicolor Oz! But without the weird little wizard man.
4) You’ll up your fitness game. This is a little-known fact unless you hang out with professional athletes – hormonal birth control actually prevents you from gaining muscle effectively. Some athletes have also noticed that the Pill makes them retain water weight through bloating. This all links back to testosterone – the Pill pretty much wipes out women’s testosterone levels which you need for energy, sex drive, and for building your strength and fitness. So, choosing non-hormonal birth control might actually help with your goal to tackle a triathlon this year or just to lose those 10 extra pounds. At the very least, it might make it less of a drag to get to the gym a couple of times a week.
5) You’ll stop worrying about scary headlines. Unfortunately, some methods of hormonal birth control cannot be categorized as safe. We’re seeing more and more in the media about the blood clot risks associated with the Pill and other hormonal methods like the NuvaRing and that’s because new brands with new formulations have been shown to have a significantly higher risk than the hormonal birth control methods of the past. You may have even already swapped your method because you read an article or your doctor mentioned the issue. As we get older our bodies change, we gain weight, we might be more sedentary – and as such our personal set of risks change. If the headlines have made you uneasy and you don’t feel like you should be at risk of death just because you want to avoid pregnancy (especially when there are so many other options out there for you), then coming off hormonal birth control can be a big sigh of relief.
Written byon Dec. 16, 2015
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