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I have been on the pill for five years, the same amount of time as my current relationship. But I have been wanting to get off them for nearly two years now because I was with the same boy since college, moving in with him, and now currently engaged to him.
The back story with the pills is that I was on them since a little accident in college regarding a wrong size condom with said partner in the beginning. Now that I have started my period nearly three weeks after ending the pills, the results are really shocking for me. Here are just a few I have encountered.
1. Bloating & Water Weight
Periods are not usually the best time to be drinking alcohol or having some serious binges. However, since I got off the pill my bloating has come back and the water weight is a serious issue. I woke up this morning looking like I was pregnant when it was just water retention from the period. But to see how much water I retain on my period nearly a month off the pill was really enlightening as to how much I was not caring about my body at all. Apparently I need to quit drinking on my period or I need to drink very little.
My exercise has been slim to none and that of course can contribute to my high water retention. But taking some water pills, drinking diuretics like coffee, aerobic exercise as well as HIIT workouts might help with easing the weight altogether. I could probably run before my job starts, but I don't feel like taking another shower right now and the rain storms are about to come out in the middle of this serious heat wave.
I never had a water weight or bloating problem that was really serious on the pill, but getting off it was really shocking how much water weight and serious drinking I have done. In order to lose the extra 13-20 lbs right now and keep them off for both wedding and pre-baby body weight, I need to make some serious lifestyle changes.
2. Acne & Oily Skin
I had a big problem with acne and oily skin before the pills. Once I was on the pills I had dry and brittle skin. My face could be dry as a bone for days without any oil in it until the next face washing or farmer's market walk.
The biggest breakout sections of my face included my chin and forehead. Regular acne products were not working for me when I was young. So I used a lot of men's acne products that had high amounts of benzyl peroxide. But now that I am off the pills, the female acne products work just as well. So now I don't need to pay $10 for peroxide treatments.
I would still say my skin is oily, but it has become a lot lighter in complexion or my complexion has smoothed out thanks to the pills.
3. Menstrual Cramps & Flows
My menstrual cramps were painful for the whole five days. Just walking or doing anything physical was exhausting. But during the pill and off the pill, it has been far less than what I was going to expect the first time around. My period was light and so were the cramps, to the point they were practically non-existent.
I used to have symptoms similar to a period syncope or dysmenorrhea, which is painful and uncomfortable cramping that happens during the period. But I did notice for the first half of the second year, that the prostaglandins, a hormone secreted during menstruation or childbirth, sort of tapered off or went down so my periods weren't as painful.
4. Vegetarian by Osmosis
I took the pill orally without any fluid to counteract the taste so I noticed a change in interest of food and flavor. Before the pill, meat didn't bother me as much, I could eat it and not smell it. But after the pill, I am averting meat. The smell from steaming, cooking, and grilling makes me sick to my stomach. I often order veggie or tofu at Japanese steakhouses now instead of chicken. However, the sushi has not changed on and off the pill, so I enjoy eating my raw fish from time to time.
I also like how reducing my meat intake or even not eating meat has helped with my diet by getting more greens and leafy vegetables, as well as checking out all the really good vegan and vegetarian outlets. There is so much creativity with what you can do with soy beans, quinoa, or even beets. Hopefully I can learn to like beets.
It has only been a month since I’ve been off the pills, but I am definitely starting to see some changes that I like and don’t like. At least it means that so far I am seeing some great signs getting off my pills.