Ruth Writes is a 30-something Liverpool based blog covering mid-size fashion, pescatarian food and beauty.
Back in September 2019 I decided to come off the pill. I’d been on it for 13 years at that point and I was ready to get it out my system and my body. Coming off the pill is always a tricky decision, in terms of whether you’re switching to a new contraception or taking it as it comes in terms of babies, and for me, us, at the end of the summer, we knew it was time. I had wanted to come off the pill for about a year beforehand, as I had been on it since my late teens for 13 years and after pumping my body with hormones for that long, I was ready to not. Basically.
Not that I have to mention this, but it’s worth mentioning that my fiance was super supportive in me coming off it and we’re in agreement that we navigate life, and my insane mood swings. I feel great to be learning about my body again.
I was on Microgynon for around 10 years until Summer 2016 and then I wanted to lower the hormone dosage and was switched to Mercilon for a couple of years. I got on with both fine. Can’t say I experienced headaches or weight gain, but my weight does fluctuate. But I also like to eat. Yeah, I got on with both fine and had no complaints.
It might seem weird to blog this but I really just want to normalise these things and that it’s not weird if your period doesnt return straight away. If it helps just one person who ends up down the Google rabbit hole like I did, that’s a good thing.
One of the ways I’ve tried to get a handle on my body and the return of normal periods is by using the tracking app, Clue. I bloody love this app. I wouldn’t say it’s a way of replacing contraception, a la the Natural Cycles shitstorm that hit the internet a few years ago, but for me, it’s so good. Darren really didn’t get why I used it at first and thought I was being a bit too controlling, but after I finished my last pill pack and had my routine withdrawal bleed, I didn’t get another period for four months. Or, 63 long days.
63 long days of not knowing when my period would arrive, so constantly being alert. And doing pregnancy tests before nights out when I had planned to be drinking as I was in limbo and had no idea whether I was fertile or not. So, that was fun. And weird. For me and Darren.
And then at last my period arrived and it was very anti climax vibes. Like it was fine. I’d gone down a rabbit hole on Google over those looong 63 days. Mumsnet is a fucking weird place and somewhere I don’t want to visit, but I wanted to learn if it was normal. We read and hear so much about taking the pill and why we should, but I’ve found few posts about what happens when it stops.
Of those that I did read, many got their periods back straight away pretty much, but my super frigging long cycle made me feel like I was weird and not normal. But it’s so normal and can take three months. So now I’m a poster girl for the three month cycle and I want to normalise that.
My next cycle after that was a shorter 40 day cycle, with my period arriving two weeks earlier than Clue was predicting and I’m kinda glad about it as it means my body is starting to regain some normality by the cycles getting shorter and closer in length. Clue is really good as you can track so many different things – mood/exercise/sex/skin/energy levels etc and it’s so helpful and gives me a bit of indication of what’s goin’ on inside of me. That sounds weird but you know what I mean.
So, yeah. I might blog about this again in the future. I might not. But yeah. I found it a bit isolating and hadn’t spoken to anyone who had experienced this and wanted to write it down and share my experience so far. I always wondered if I would still be ‘me’ coming off the pill and I am. I have mood swings, shall we say, which I’m sure my fiance could vouch for. But I feel a lot more in tune with my body. I had my first bout of real proper period pain recently and oh my god, oww. I felt like I was 15 again and I realised how much my body had shielded me from in terms of period pain and intense periods.
I was a huge advocate of the pill, clearly with 13 years of week in week out taking it, and I may return to it in the future, but for me, I’m enjoying the au naturale life and taking each day as it comes. What will be, will be and I’m just going with it. One Clue app update at a time.