Yes, I know, I know. Birth control is awesome. It allowed me to get frisky and not get knocked up all through my high school and college years. It cleared up my skin, giving me confidence during those itchy teen years. It took my PMS from full-out raging to just mild, occasional raging. And the fact that I could anticipate my period and therefore not wear white in Mr. Older’s history class that time of the month? Priceless. But in the 13 years that I’ve been on the pill (I’ve taken various types over the years depending on insurance and what was recommended—generics, brand names, the Patch, so many), I’m more than miffed that not one person in my life—personal or medical professional or even someone on the street—ever told me that it could take months for your body and your cycle to reset after stopping birth control. A few weeks, sure, but months? Months of waiting around, just hoping that your body and your little eggies are ready to drop it like it’s hot? Torture.
It took my body just shy of four months to finally have a period. That’s a long time. In that time waiting, I’ll admit I became darn worried. What if BC had jacked me up permanently? What if I had a full-out case of post pill amenorrhea that would require treatment and YEARS of possible waiting? And perhaps most frustrating: What if all those years worrying about NOT getting pregnant weren’t even necessary at all?! Oh, that would be ironic. After two months of waiting, I stopped checking my ovulation temperature and reading discussion boards (wow, those can take you to crazy worry town sometimes) because it was just stressing me out. And then I’d stress about stressing because that can affect ovulation. Sigh. I wear myself out sometimes.
The day I got my period, my husband and I went out to dinner. I’d never been so psyched about having cramps. I called my mom and my best friends. I almost posted it as my Facebook status. Not that you can ever have control over anything in life really, but the confirmation that my husband and I were going to be able to try to have kids when we wanted to was and still is huge. I’d still like to get another cycle under my belt before trying to get our reproduction on, but we’ll see how the timeline all works out.
The positives to this whole thing? First, it’s given me more time to freak out about pregnancy, thereby making it seem less scary because I’ve had more time to learn about it and get comfy with the idea of becoming an alien-like host. (I’m in more amazement than freak-out mode now.) Second, through this process I’ve become quite the researcher when it comes to post-pill syndrome and coming off the pill, so you can expect another post or two on the logistics of that condition and how common (and uncommon) it is. Plus, some other freaktastic stuff that’ll make you go hmmm.
In the meantime, tell us about your experience coming off the pill. How long did it take you to have a cycle? And how long had you been on the pill? —Jenn