March 11, 2016 - Written by:

GIVE ME THE DRUGS BACK! My Struggle with Birth Control Cold Turkey

Today I threw a full-on wobbly because the house was a little bit untidy. Two Fridays ago I had to leave a bar my boyfriend was playing a gig in because every time someone tried to talk to me I nearly broke down in uncontrollable, sobbing tears. I’ve cried when someone has looked at me just because they were looking at me and I’ve been so far beyond the line of rational that said line is in Argentina.

On January 1st I came off my birth control. 13 years of popping a little green pill called Loestrin 20 which gave me predictable reactions to life, no PMS, three periods a year, good skin, no stomach cramps and no bother about the inconvenience of condoms.

What I now have is uncontrollable bouts of crying for no reason, at any time of day, in any public place. PMS that makes me seethe with rage at the slightest move anyone makes who is unfortunate enough to be in the same room as me. Lumbering, lead-footed periods that are so painful it feels like my womb is being dragged out of me with every drip of blood. Spots. And the overwhelming inconvenience of having to think about contraception.

So why did I decide to swap out of a life where I was always rational and happy to one where I could drop into a ball of snivels at any time? It’s as simple as this: I want to live a life as natural as is possible, and pumping my body with artificial hormones is the first step in that direction.

But anyway, lets go through the motions of the intense rollercoaster my body has been through in the last two-and-a-bit months.

Week One – ‘Hello, it’s Sex Calling!’


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Nothing much to report other than my libido went through the roof. I wanted sexalldayeverydaynowPLEASE. I wasn’t really even sure if this had ever dropped – from 14 you don’t exactly know what your natural state of libido is right? But anyway, boyfriend and I were both happy, maybe this won’t be so bad?

Week Two – Why am I crying!?


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At everything. All of the time. Being so out of control of my emotions in this week made me break. Into tears of course. I cried because my boyfriend went into the garden. I cried because he came back in. I cried because I wanted a cup of tea but the kettle was downstairs. I cried because I had to go to Cornwall. I cried because I had to leave. I cried because I couldn’t sleep, but couldn’t sleep because I was crying.

Week Three – Am I pregnant?


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Well this is embarrassing. Apparently I can’t count, and what amounted to me being a week late in my head was just two days late IRL. Cue more crying and an unnecessary pregnancy test.

Week Four – Don’t touch me.


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The pain that is stamping on my insides is far, far too unbearable. My back is aching, My boobs are so sore that even putting on a bra hurts. And as for the disaster going on in my knickers? I’ll have 8 packs of tampons and shove ’em right up there, thanks.

After the first month of hell, I did settle. Slightly. But only to Level 8 on the 1-10 Crazy Scale. The problem from there on is that I forgot about the extreme change in hormone levels and drove myself mad wondering why I was acting so erratic.

So just an FYI to any of my friends reading this – if you find me sobbing in a corner for no reason within the next two months (because apparently that is when this will calm the hell down) I’ll have the biggest slab of chocolate you can find. And to all you ladies out there who aren’t on birth control – well done *slow claps*.

If you enjoyed this post why not check out ‘The Bloody War: Let’s Get Real About Menstruation?’



1 Comment

  • Lauren, I hear you!
    I had problems with the implant in 2010, and made the decision to go zero hormones. Doctors did not like my choice (and tried to get me to use the Pill and the implant TOGETHER), but I got a non-hormone copper IUD (good for 5 years). I have had moderately heavier / more painful periods but no other problems. It has been SO convenient not to have to think about pills or injection visits to the docs that I practically forgot about it!

    Five and a bit years later, my periods got gradually worse and worse, and I had abdomen pain. I found out I had a 5cm diameter cyst on my ovary and have been taking the Pill for the last two and a half months. It has totally messed me up! I have had the craziest, uncontrollable emotional swings and unpredictable periods (they don’t settle down for the first few months, apparently). I spent three of the first four weeks travelling, and I couldn’t work out why I kept needing to take alone time to cry. I am getting by on the simple knowledge that it will be over in two weeks. Three months is apparently enough to bring the cyst under control, and I cannot wait for that moment, when my body can get back to controlling its own hormones, thank you very much!!

    However, while my non-hormone IUD has been great, I have extremely painful periods as a side-effect. Once the pills are done, I am considering switching over to a very low-dose hormone IUD (Mirena) which apparently reduces pain and blood loss every month but the hormones are not strong enough to affect the rest of your system!

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