How Was My First Pill-Free Month?

24 Nov 2019

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What do you get when you cross Olivia, a blog that's been silent for three weeks and a need to write? A comeback blog post about hormones, periods and female anatomy.

Yes, I'm back after my little stint of being quiet, but you know me, I've always got something to talk about and as it's been a month since I stopped taking the pill, I felt like I needed to do a little check in. But just to preface this post, I'm not really in the mood to beat about the bush, so if you're a bit sensitive to discussions around bodily functions, this may not be the post for you.

If you freaking love talking about all things periods, mental health and saying a big 'F YOU' to the man, then you're going to enjoy this, so stick around and find out how my first pill-free month has been.

To catch any newbies up to speed, I decided to stop taking Microgynon 30 for a few different reasons. I'd been taking it for 6 years, so I was keen to see if my body still knew how to do the period thing without the extra hormones and withdrawal bleeds. I also wanted to see if quitting would help my weight to stop fluctuating and steady my mental health - all of which I'll be talking about in this post. Granted, it's only been a month, so there hasn't been anything momentous and life-changing to really pinpoint, but there have definitely been things that I think are 100% worth mentioning.

My first pill-free period

Yep, we're going straight in at the deep end (is that a pun?) - my first pill-free period. As I'm typing this, I'm currently riding my first crimson wave since I stopped ingesting hormones and let me tell you, it has been hell. I knew that everyone's experiences would be different after stopping the pill, but pretty much everyone I spoke to said that their period didn't make an appearance for a few months. Mine though, it couldn't wait to come back and it was angry.

It started with a bit of light spotting a few days before my period was due and I thought 'surely not?', but used a precautionary daily liner, just in case. However, a couple of hours into my working day, the flood gates opened. I was in agony, which isn't usually the case, and I was having to use a hot water bottle at my desk. It was heavy and relentless, when it would usually come in waves of light blood. In two days, I managed to get through more sanitary products than I did on my standard 5-6 day period (
which reminds me - if anyone has any recommendations on eco-friendly period products that aren't cups, please let me know).
At this point, day 4, my pain has calmed down massively. I'm still bleeding fairly heavily, which I'm not used to, but I've been reassured that this is normal after taking the pill. But that makes me think, 'what exactly is normal after taking the pill?' I'd heard so many people say that their periods didn't show up for ages, so I just didn't expect the crazy onslaught of cramps and blood that I've been experiencing!

It really does go to show that there isn't a 'one size fits all' when it comes to this topic, so I suppose there's a bit of comfort in that, but at the same time, I kind of wish I knew that this could happen. Would it change my mind about quitting the pill? Absolutely not. Would it help me to understand what I was potentially letting myself in for? Absolutely yes.

Mental health

My mental wellbeing was a huge factor that came into play when I was considering quitting the pill and while November was a pretty sad month for me, I'm coming out of it and heading into December with a bit more of a clear mind and feeling like I'm ready to focus on me. I've had a rush of wanting to feel happier within myself and I've got no idea whether that's something that's happened because of the lack of hormones, or whether it's a place that I've got to on my own.

The thing with mental health is that it's not an overnight flip-of-a-switch sort of deal. It'll probably be another couple of months before I can look back and say, 'do you know what? I'm a lot better now,' but I'm definitely looking forward to getting to that point.

Discharge

Listen, I said I wasn't going to beat around the bush, so here we are - the big scary D that no one likes to talk about. Discharge. It happens to us all, so let's chat about it.

Before I stopped taking the pill, I had a fair amount of daily discharge. It wasn't anything unusual and didn't match up to any of the scary symptoms that you get told to look out for. I was just a bit leakier than what I thought was average. It wasn't uncomfortable, irritating or itchy, so I figured that I didn't have a lot to worry about. However, it wasn't until I stopped taking the pill that I noticed it was slightly reducing. A quick Google search told me that taking the combined pill can increase discharge, so this was a really nice side benefit that I didn't know would come along with quitting!

Of course, it's totally natural and healthy to have discharge, and I still do, just not to the extent that I had before. It's a really positive sign to me that my body still knows how to do what it's meant to do without the aid of the extra hormones.
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Weight

This is probably the area that I have the least amount of stuff to talk about, which I kind of expected because like I mentioned before, mental health isn't an overnight change, and neither is weight. Although, I'd love it if one night I went to sleep looking like a caramel custard doughnut, then woke up like a sprig of asparagus.

However, I felt like it was worth me saying that I'm ravenous. ALL. THE. TIME. I feel like I could eat for England right now, but definitely not healthy stuff. I've been craving a doner kebab for well over a week now and I want to stuff all of the sweet things into my face. I try my hardest not to snack and when I eat my meals, I do get a satisfyingly full point, but then half an hour or so later, I'm back to being hungry.

I have no clue if this is a pill thing or if it's just me being a greedy guts, but it's something that I've definitely noticed more during November, which leads me to think that it's the reduced hormones that's causing it.


There we have it, my first pill-free month in a nut shell. It's been a bit of a wild one and nothing like what I expected. I've learned a lot about my own body and I'm kind of just going with the flow, which I think is what's best to do in this new lifestyle situation. While I still want to keep this pill series going, I think I'm going to do these updates every couple of months, just so that I've got a bank of things to talk about (unless you'd prefer them monthly - just let me know).

Thanks to everyone that stuck around for my silent patch - I'm back and louder than ever!

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