If you are considering stopping your hormonal birth control, you could have any number of reasons for doing so. Regardless of if you have decided you are ready to conceive or simply have a desire to switch to a more natural method of family planning, it is important to know what you can expect when your body is no longer subjected to the extra hormones.
First, know that the timing of your first menstrual cycle after you stop taking hormonal birth control can be difficult to predict. It is possible you will suffer from a condition called post-pill amenorrhea, which is a complete absence of your period for several months. This is because the birth control was suppressing your body’s natural ovulation and menstruation hormones, so it can take some time for them to produce normally again. In addition, when your period does resume, the length of your cycle may not be the same as it was before you began birth control. It’s not unusual for it to be shorter/longer or heavier/lighter than before. Because of this variability, if you are not trying to conceive, it is very important to have your new natural birth control plan in place before you stop taking the pill. It’s actually possible to ovulate and conceive immediately after going off the pill, before you even have your first natural period.
Next, remember that your birth control pill may have been doing more to your body than just preventing pregnancy. If the pill was helping to control your acne, you might find your skin becoming oily again. If you were someone who suffered from weight gain as a result of the birth control hormones, you might find that you lose a pound or two as a pleasant side effect. Finally, if the pill was helping to control your premenstrual syndrome symptoms, be prepared for them to return. It is not abnormal to find that they are even worse than usual at first as your body adjusts to the chemical changes. Thankfully, you should find that your hormones regulate themselves within 3-6 months. However, if you are concerned about anything you are experiencing, it is advisable to see your doctor.