internal healing: getting off hormonal birth control part 1
Updated: Aug 23, 2018
It all started when I read the book Woman Code by Alisa Vitti. I can only describe it as an awakening where I took a SERIOUS look at my life and for the first time was really thinking about what was going in my body on a daily basis. If you haven’t read Woman Code yet, I HIGHLY recommend it. It is the type of book that makes you think hard about your world and assess what is really going on with your hormones.
If you have been following my journey, I decided in January to make this year (2018) the year of internal healing. This was largely due to the fact that I had just finished reading Woman Code and realized that I had NO idea what I was doing to my internal systems and how greatly it was affecting my body and life. My awareness shifted to healing and nourishing my elimination systems in order to restore my gut. But let's start from the beginning…
Why I considered going off the pill:
Synthetic hormones being pumped into my system for 10 years.
Not taking my unique health needs as a woman seriously and covering them up with synthetic hormones (bandaid).
I was experiencing symptoms (cramps, cystic acne, male hair growth patterns- on my chin, digestion issues) despite switching pill brands numerous times.
Possible link to cancer (read more here).
From reading Woman Code and researching discovering that synthetic hormones will flush micronutrients from your internal system and compromise your immune function by disturbing your microbiome.
Getting off the pill
Initially I wasn’t so sure about going off the pill because of all the horror stories I had heard. It seemed like it would be more work to be off the pill then on the pill and I was scared that my acne, headaches, and digestion issues would increase. I decided that it was time to talk to my doctor about other options besides taking the pill. I started by telling my doctor that I wanted to discuss alternate birth control methods and was pretty tired of changing from pill to pill and having various symptoms. When I explained to her that I was really making an effort to use natural products and the only chemicals that I was really putting into my body was the pill, she looked at me and said “let’s get you off the pill and see what happens”. Immediately I experienced fear. I had been on the pill since 15 years old!!! 10 whole years of relying on a pill and now was going to leave it behind. Every day since my doctor told me it was time to get off the pill I am so thankful. It was the exact push I needed to leave it behind.
How I feel post birth control:
I feel super clear mentally. The week after stopping, I felt like I was seeing the world so clear for the first time. I was fully present throughout my day and was able to make decisions with a clear mind. Meditating was easier and I could jump right in without feeling distracted. Teaching yoga was easier because I was so focused.
I feel way more energized. When I was on the pill I didn’t realize how much it was dragging me down. Since coming off, I have been full of energy and even have dropped my morning caffeine.
My skin has MUCH less cystic acne. I have been suffering for years for deep, painful pimples. When I was talking to my Mom about the difference in my skin post pill, she was more shocked than I was because I originally went on the pill to clear up my acne!
I feel more in control of my life. This was major for me and is the biggest difference that makes me so happy I took the leap. It’s hard for me to put into words the shift that happened, but I will say that I am much more happy with how I carry myself and go about my life on a daily basis!
The first 2 months, I was very very emotional for the first 2-3 days of my period and would often cry for very silly reasons. This was probably the only “bad” thing that has happened since coming off the pill. However, it has taught me to look at the triggers that get me upset and identify how to avoid being triggered. It is almost a positive for me because I am learning more and more about myself during these emotional responses.
Recommendations for an easier transition:
Get MyFlo app and track you cycle, symptoms, and get recommendations based on what is going on. Cycle syncing is going really well for me and I’m excited to continue investigating.
Woman Code by Alisa Vitti. Again, read this book!!!! So much good information that will make you comfortable with this complex topic.
Journal and track how you feel each day. See the patterns and understand how you are feeling on a deeper level.
This was MY experience and yours may look completely different. I hope that this gives you some places to start investigating if you are interested in getting off of hormonal birth control. I labeled this post as “part 1” and hope to come back to it in the future to reflect further on my journey! If you are looking for even more information sign up for Alisa Vitti’s Birth Control Rehab for more information on this topic!