Hello lovelies and welcome or welcome back to my blog! Today's post is a little more personal, but it's a topic that's important to me and that I want to share.
Today I'm discussing my birth control story/experience and why I decided to quit taking it, and maybe this post may help you if you're in a similar scenario or are thinking about getting on some form of contraceptive.
Disclaimer!! I am not a doctor--consult your doctor for medical advice. These are just my personal experiences that I want to share and that I wish I could have shared with my past self.
I got on birth control when I was 19, and I've been off of it for some weeks now (I'm now 21).
My doctor prescribed it for me, and we didn't discuss the pros and cons or if I was even interested in being on it--she told me I should be on it, and that was pretty much that.
My first form of birth control was the pill, and it was easy to remember to take it. The main difficulty I had when taking it was that I had to take it at the same time every day which was tough as I started taking it early in the morning, so I could never really sleep in because I had to be up to take it. I also worked in retail at the time, and with different shifts, it was somewhat tricky to make sure I took it at the right time if I had to be on the road early or to work early.
I never really got sick on the pill apart from one time where I had to take antibiotics, which I took on a semi-empty stomach, and it did not end well.
With working an unpredictable schedule, I told my doctor early on that I wanted to switch to the patch. I'd read a little about it online, and I knew it only had to be changed once a week, and she switched me to it with no questions asked or any discussion of any kind.
At first, I was pleased because she wasn't prying in my business, but in hindsight, I wished we discussed everything in depth before I got on anything.
I was on the pill for such a short time that I didn't notice any symptoms, but as soon as I got on the patch, everything changed.
The first thing I noticed was weight gain. I weighed around 130lbs when I started birth control, and I'm currently 175-180. I was a size 0 and wore an XS, and now, I'm unclear of what my pants size is because brands are so inconsistent, but I wear a medium in leggings and pants and wear small-medium tops.
This change was gradual, but it was very quick as it happened within a year or so. Although some of it could be attributed to happy weight with me being in a relationship, it's not all tied to that as my eating habits have remained very much the same throughout my relationship, and with everything going on in the world right now, my partner and I eat out less.
I also have a small frame and ate whatever I wanted before getting on birth control and rarely or very inconsistently worked out. Since noticing the weight gain, I've implemented healthier eating habits, far more exercise, and have lost no weight.
If any of you watched my fitness journey vlogs and wondered why I stopped making them, this is why: because I was on birth control and no matter how much I exercised (at least 4 times a week to be exact) and ate better, nothing changed. My weight may have dipped slightly for a brief moment, but then my body went right back.
Some disagree that birth control causes weight gain, but I disagree with that. Birth control is the common denominator for my weight gain and is the main reason for why I couldn't lose weight.
The exponential increase from where I was to where I am now has affected me mentally and physically, and the only way I could see to break the increase was to get off birth control.
I want to make a few more points here:
1) I am not saying there is anything wrong with weight gain or anything to be ashamed of. I still love myself; I just want to feel normal in my body again and don't like it being altered by synthetic hormones.
2) Birth control also made me more anxious and affected my mood negatively. I found myself to be more irratable and upset while on it, so the weight gain was only part of the problem.
Also, I've read countless stories on other women who were my exact weight or at a similar weight who gained the same amount of weight like me or a little more from being on birth control including the patch which helped me further substantiate my reasoning.
I've been off it a little over a month, and although my body has not instantly gone back to its original size (as the changes in my body were gradual), I already feel better and am happy that I'm allowing my body to heal from the trauma birth control caused me.
Now, for anyone wanting to know of the pros and cons of birth control and the patch specifically through my eyes, here they are:
Easy to use and manage
Easy to be spontaneous in your romantic life
Effective (for me at least)
Affordable (my insurance covered it)
Easy to pack for travel
Everything I mentioned above the pros
I gained weight
It effected my mood
It made me self- consious
It was itchy on my skin after a while
I was constantly worried it would fall off or that it would get stuck on my clothing or bra strap
Sometimes water or soap would get underneath and I'd have to dry it out
It was a hassle to change it when I wanted to sleep in
I always felt bloated
All that being said, if you're going to get off hormonal birth control, it's important to find another method of contraception if you don't want to get pregnant, so be sure to research those options and find the best one for you. Also, consult your doctor.
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