This is a topic that I personally feel very attached to. Birth control, in my opinion, has played a huge role in my life for about 10 years now. Ever since I started the pill, it has negatively impacted my health (mind, body, and spirit).
First, I would like to make it clear that I realize that birth control can be a tool for many people, whether they're trying to avoid getting pregnant or dealing with health issues that birth control helps alleviate. This post is just a personal story based on my own negative experiences with birth control. Please keep in mind that I am NOT a doctor, and I don't have the right to tell anyone what the “correct” thing to do is. I do, however, feel that I have the right to share my own experiences surrounding this topic. I can only speak from my own point of view and hope that sharing my story helps shed some light on a birth control-related issue that is seldom talked about.
Starting the Pill
I started birth control at around age 15. I originally started taking it because my skin would break out here and there, and like most high-schoolers, I did NOT want to deal with breakouts! Acne was definitely not “cool." After I started getting regular facials to combat this issue, my esthetician recommended that I see my Ob/Gyn to get on birth control pills.
She informed me that the pill would help balance my hormones and clear up my skin. It sounded like a miracle pill! I thought they were just used to prevent pregnancies (hence the name), something that wasn’t my main reason for getting them, but, like many other teenagers, I thought was a pretty great upside. From that first conversation with my esthetician, I was 100% sold on this new idea.
She informed me that the pill would help balance my hormones and clear up my skin.
I made the appointment to see my doctor, and again, she informed me about this wonderful pill that seemed like it would take all my troubles away. She explained that it would bring me clear skin, balance my hormones, AND – here’s the real big kicker – it would also make my boobs grow bigger! What? I was like, sign me up right now, please!
I picked up my prescription the next day. Soon, though, I noticed that my health had started to slowly decline. After about a year, I started to have major hormonal mood swings, I had gained weight everywhere BUT my breasts, AND my skin still wasn't clear…
My Symptoms Just Got Worse
Every 6-8 months I was back in my doctor’s office, explaining how nothing had really gotten better, and, if anything, I only felt like more symptoms were coming up every day. My doctor would respond by putting me on a different brand of birth control pills each time I saw her, confident that one of these new “miracle pills” would finally subdue my old and now new symptoms. Each and every time, though, my body would only react negatively.
Nothing had really gotten better, and I only felt like more symptoms were coming up every day.
After about four years of yo-yoing with different birth control pills, my symptoms only got worse. I finally decided to see a more natural Ob/Gyn that my mother had heard about from a friend in Los Angeles where I was then living. I was about 19 years old at that time with severe mood swings, monthly hormonal breakouts, hot flashes, and the sex drive of let’s just say somewhere in the negative range (which is NOT normal for a 19 year old).
Seeing a Holistic Ob/Gyn
Before my appointment, this new Ob/Gyn had me get a lot of blood work done so she could see exactly where my body was at – my hormones in particular. At my first appointment with her, she told me she had never seen anyone my age with hormone levels as low as mine. She said my results looked as if I were in my fifties going through menopause. Yes, you heard that correctly. She told me that my issues STEMMED from my birth control pills and advised me to get off them immediately. My health journey started from that very moment.
The Ob/Gyn told me that my issues STEMMED from my birth control pills and advised me to get off them immediately.
Ever since then, I have been rebuilding my hormones due to the years of being on multiple pills. When I was on birth control, it didn't fix my hormone levels, or my skin, or my mood in any way. In my personal experience, it didn’t fix any of my issues – if anything, it only gave me more.
There are many things I wish I would have known before starting the pill, and the side effects I experienced are just a few of them! If you’re advised to go on the pill, especially for your “skin,” PLEASE take the time to educate yourself on the many potential side effects, and consider looking into alternative treatments.
There are so many underlying factors of why your hormones may be off, and why your skin may be breaking out. Once I had a full hormone panel done, I was able to see where my body was unbalanced. From there I cleaned up my diet, cleaned up my not so healthy habits, and I have finally been able to rid the negative side effects that I’ve dealt with for SOOO many years.
Some Instagram accounts I love to follow for birth control awareness, and HELPING those who have already been on the pill and are now trying to come off of it are: @nicolemjardim @zesty_ginger & especially @drjolenebrighten