It’s been almost six years since I started taking the contraceptive pill, Microgynon. Up until the last year or so, I never really questioned it. Taking a pill every day that alters my hormones and changes the way my body functions. I was 17 when I first started taking it, and now, 22-years-old, I’ve decided to stop.
At least, for a while, anyway.
The first time I considered coming off the pill was at the start of 2015. I was on my year abroad and suffering from anxiety and depression. Although my circumstances at the time were undoubtedly affecting my mental health, I did wonder whether the pill was contributing at all as well. I decided I would change from the combined pill to the progestogen-only pill (or mini pill), as the doctor advised that without the oestrogen, this might lessen my anxiety.
In the end I decided to leave it and stick with the combined pill I was used to taking, as I was nervous that starting something new before heading back out on my year abroad that might cause irregularities wasn’t something I wanted to do.
Around eight months ago, I had a small procedure as a result of an ongoing irritation, which was likely caused by taking the contraceptive pill. It was nothing major, but the problem had been ongoing for over two years. After having the procedure, I asked the gynaecologist about coming off the pill. By this point, there were a number of things that had been happening that I felt could be linked back to the pill. He told me it might be a good idea, but didn’t really go into any specifics.
I decided not to come off again. After reading articles of other girls’ experiences coming off, I was terrified that I’d inevitably end up with never-ending periods and I’d be even more miserable than before. Plus, with the summer coming up and travel plans and potentially a new job ahead, I didn’t want to put myself in that position.
Over half a year later, holidays out the way and new job firmly settled into, I’ve decided it’s now or never. Whilst the benefits of being on the pill make it hard to give it up (good contraception, control over periods, regular periods etc.) I have no idea what life on the other side is like. I’ve changed a lot in six years, but I don’t know if I’m a different person off the pill as well. Will I experience less anxiety? Will I be calmer? Will I be more emotional?
I won’t go into too much detail of all the reasons that lead to me making this decision to come off. However, I will continue to post updates on how I’m feeling over time. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stick this out for at least six months and not be tempted to pop a pill from my emergency packet I left in case it all backfires and I’ve made a terrible mistake…