You are here:

Birth Control/Birth Control - What to expect when stopping


anonymous wrote at 2006-11-10 04:40:27
I just want to say that this "expert" sounds very biased to me and didn't seem to answer the question at all. Doesn't it seem strange to preach about the dangers of birth control to someone who just stopped taking it? should make sure their "experts" have a more scientific, clinical background and monitor the information they provide. I found a "mirror image" answer like this to a totally different question...suspicious and strange if you ask me.

audrey wrote at 2006-11-18 06:17:42
I agree with the previous comment. This is one of the least objective and least scientific articles I have ever seen about birth control. Firstly, there is no scientific basis for most of what the so-called "expert" says - particularly the comment about birth control pills permanently damaging a woman's libido. The statement about serious health hazards is blatantly false: in fact, hormonal birth control has been shown to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. The fact that hormonal birth control reduces the risk of ectopic pregnancy is a no-brainer: it reduces a woman's chance of pregnancy, ectopic or otherwise. This article is full of myths and propaganda should be removed from the system. I suggest that anyone who desires accurate information about birth control visit for more accurate information.

emily wrote at 2006-11-29 07:58:21
the previous answer to this question is absolutely ludicrous.  please don't listen to the obvious religious slant and find yourself a nurse practitioner or talk to your birth control provider.

Sandra wrote at 2007-12-12 18:10:56
I think the "expert" that answered this question should display her credentials.  Not only did she NOT answer the question that was posed, her opinions were obviously just that--personal opinions that are not scientifically based.  I think her future responses should be eliminated, or at the very least reviewed by a professional before being posted.  I was very interested in the question and very disappointed by this answer.  

Kate wrote at 2008-02-23 21:38:35
I would like to add a comment to this response based upon my own empirical data.  I, too, have been on the birth control pill for a very long time (33 years.)  I was mostly taking it to regulate and lessen the symptoms of extremely difficult periods (irregular, heavey bleeding for more than a week, terrible cramps, extreme fatique, etc.)  During that time I went off of the pill one time, for about six months, just to see how my periods might be.  This was after about 25 years of being on it.

I can say that in my case, my absolutely dead libo came back with a vengeance!  It was incredible!  I had forgotten what it was like to feel aroused, and within a few weeks it seemed as though I was aroused all the time!  I could have intercourse, and climax, and still be so aroused that I would want seconds!  My husband was astonished!

I can also say that after about three months, I had this very wonderful feeling of vitality.  I not talking energy, or stamina... it was this feeling of been alive.  I can't even really describe it, but it was great.

Up to that point, my body did go through many changes.  I didn't have a period for about six weeks, and I had strange sensations in the area of my reproductive organs.  Not unpleasant sensations, but rather like a rusty machine starting up again.  Also, my complexion went wacko for about a month.  My face became so oily that I could literally take my hand and wipe the oil off of it.  In addition, I broke out with acne.  In about three months my complexion cleared up, and my skin was even better than when I was on the pill.

Unfortunately, once my periods started again, they were the same, awful monthly experience as they had been before.  The cramps were so bad, even Darvocet didn't help much.  They would come at incredibly irregular intervals.  I lost so much blood during that time that I became anemic.  I also have MS and Fibromyalgia, so for me, it was just too much to handle, so I went back on them.

Now that I am approaching 50, I have recently stopped them again (about two weeks ago.)  I am happy to report that in only one week, my libido started to return, and I have wanted to experience sex again, just as before.  So, all is not lost, at least in my case.  The bad news is that I think I may be in Menopause, as I am starting to have hot flashes, night sweats, nausea, and trembling.  I guess I will have to research the best way to deal with these symptoms, as I have always been open to alternative medicine.

Good luck with your experience!  I just wanted to give you some hope that your sex drive, may indeed, come back!

cb wrote at 2008-08-31 23:29:29
Wow! Kate's response was almost a mirror of my own. I was on the pill since age 18 without any break. I am now 47 and just stopped taking it about a month ago.  My libido also returned with a vengeance. My husband was in complete amazement.  I too feel so much better physically and I have also lost a couple of pounds within this one month. I am so sad the I wasted so many years not knowing how much better life is without it.  I know my periods will be worse and we are debating my husband having a vasectomy but no matter what, I am not getting back on them.  Surprisingly 2 years ago I asked my prior gyno about the pill and my loss of libido and he pretty much brushed me off and chalked it up to my age. What a waste of almost 30 years.

Dr Jones wrote at 2008-12-03 16:30:34
I just graduated from medical school, and for those of you reading the response to this answer I can tell you that it is almost completely inaccurate. The risk of side effects for taking birth control is very small I would say something like <5% of all people who take OCP's have side effects. Please consult with your physician to find more details, but do not believe what the above person stated.

ljv wrote at 2009-02-11 06:03:34
As with any medications, there are benefits and risks to the birth control pill. I recommend doing your own in-depth research on the matter to get a fully informed view.

Regarding your question, I stopped the birth control pill just over three weeks ago. I was on it for about five or six years total, with a five month break in between. I am 32 years old and planning to try to conceive in the next six months.

Some of the symptoms I have experienced so far are tender nipples and moderate cramping (more than a week before my period is due). There is a small chance I could be pregnant, though, so I am waiting for a few more days to test. Apparently snore nipples can be symptoms of pregnancy, period, or adjustment after the pill. I'm not sure where my symptoms fall quite yet. :)

I had a very difficult time losing weight on the pill and I'm already noticing some weight loss now that I'm not on the pill. So that's a potentially good outcome.

One of the best things in the last few weeks has been increased libido and much more lubrication during sex. I hope you enjoy that, too. :)

When I went off the pill last time, I noticed a much heavier period and it lasted longer, too. I was also more emotional prior to menstruating and experienced more cramping.

I'm told that many women will experience irregular periods and symptoms for anywhere up to six months before their bodies adjust to a normal cycle.

Personally, I am happy to no longer be on the pill and let my body function naturally. I'm not sure yet what birth control options I will consider in between having children, but I know it definitely won't be the pill. I think a healthy sex drive is important for keeping a happy marriage.  

May_B_MD wrote at 2009-05-20 17:18:00
I do question the above expert's credentials (Brigid Kowalczyk)as well as the objectivity of the answer:

"The most important thing to remember about hormonal birth control methods such as the pill is that they are synthetic hormones. It isn't healthy for a woman to be exposed to them.  The use of birth control pills or synthetic hormones is actually rarely justified."

The above statement is clearly an opinion rather than an objective response to a question.  It is important that each so-called "expert" has proper credentials to be able to provide scientifically substantiated answer to questions from those who are honestly seeking an expert's opinion.

dana wrote at 2009-06-22 01:46:45
I am 25. I have been on the pill and the patch for 5 years now. I used to have clear skin, people would say they had never seen a perfect skin like that. But my periods were heavy, so my doctor said I should see gynecologist and ask him to prescribe me BCP(Birth Control Pills) that would minimize blood loss. So I did. I hate the moment I so that doctor. It has changed a lot in my life for worth. My perfect skin started to break everywhere with large painful acne. I didn't have sex drive at all, moreover, there was no natural lubrication whatsoever(at 22!). I stopped taking that pill. my acne got worse. after a while I started taking different kind of pills (Desogen. I don't remember the name of the ones I have got problems after). Anyway, it took me three years to work on my sex drive.I have talk to gynecologist about lack of lubrication and all but all they offered me is lubricants. My skin is mostly clear, but I have acne scars.

After another wave of acne breakout I am thinking off stopping using the pills. I have made an appointment with endocrinologist and I hope that he will help me.

Yes, I don't have anemia anymore, but at a cost of not having sex for a long time, and having scars on my face which I will try to clear with laser(the cost for one treatment is $1300, and there is no guarantee that it will help and won't make things worse).

i will write more after i stop using the pills.

JJ wrote at 2009-09-01 19:44:56
I agree with all the follow-ups here, and NOT with the "expert" who is clearly biased.  I too found the same exact answer given to a completely different question.  Your follow-ups give me hope that my libido will return after being on the pill for 18 years.  That's most of the reason I am going to qwuit taking them.

E wrote at 2010-01-04 16:19:24
The question asked at the beginning of this article is EXACTLY what I was wondering. But how completely biased and harmful was the 'experts' answer! It didn't even answer the question! I consider myself to be resonably well informed concerning the use of the Pill but the experts answer made me question my knowledge (just for a minute thankfully!). To whomever moderates this site, please reassess the content of the answer before the 'information' causes confusion and harm.

I've been on the pill for around 12 years now and due to my non-existant libido am going to come off it for a trial period. Honestly, i've been on it so long its kinda scary to stop taking it and see how my body behaves naturally! Am off to find a better answer to my question.

Jen wrote at 2010-05-15 17:05:05
I got off the pill three weeks ago after being on them (various types through the years) for about 20 years. I'm 37 and finally looking forward to pregnancy. My husband is more ready than I- I think! AND he is so excited with my recent spike in mood to practice... the libido does kick in fast and hard. On the downside of my experience, so far, is my insane appetite. I'm ALWAYS hungry- like I PMS crave all the time. I'm also experiencing cramping and today had an odd yellowish discharge that was clear,thick, and sticky- hence the research on-line for others experiences. Freaked me out a bit. Anyone else get this too?

furmin wrote at 2010-05-25 01:50:33
For all of you saying the first person that replied is biased towards birth control pills, you have no idea what some of us on birth control pills have gone through. I swear on my life that birth control pills are the most dangerous drugs I have ever put in my body (even beating out the illegal drugs I've tried!) I've never experienced such horrific side effects from any other drug as I have from BC pills. I was put on them at 13 to fix heavy, irregular periods. I just quit taking 9 years worth of them. I had taken a certain brand for 2 years, and then I realized it was causing severe joint pain I had been experiencing. I quit taking about 3 months ago and have not had joint pain since. This is the longest I have gone w/out having joint pain since I changed to that brand. After I quit that brand, the docs put me on another brand, and I had a SEVERE reaction to it. I ended up in the ER multiple times due to insane headaches, numbness in the whole left side of my body, nausea, chest pain, etc. They thought I was having a stroke or a pulmonary embolism at age 21! Thankfully all tests came back fine, but I quit the pill entirely after the bad side effects hoping to go back to normal. I have been off for just over 2 months and the road to recovery has been HELL! I now suffer from anxiety/panic attacks, high heart rate, hot flashes, night sweats, and things you can't imagine. I'm only 22! I have essentially the same feelings as pre-menopausal women. If you put synthetic hormones into your body, your body will quit making its own. I suspect that is the case with me. I have no estrogen, because I put in fake estrogen for 9 years when my body wasn't even fully matured. I've found many women with stories similar to mine. I've heard it will take 6 months-1 year to get back to normal. I even have to go see an endocrinologist now because I'm having all sorts of problems with hormones that I never had before. Think about it: When male athletes take Testosterone steroids, their testes shrink and they quit making their own hormones. The same thing happens when you put the pill in your body! I will never touch a birth control pill again! On the plus side, since I've quit the pills, sex has felt fantastic (even with a condom)!!!

adrienne wrote at 2010-11-04 15:08:07
im pretty sure the previous answer states nothing from the original question, it is merely this individuals bitter and false opinion of something that they dont entirely know about.  

Casey wrote at 2011-07-17 00:41:41
This seems to speak of symptoms for being on contraceptives.  Myself and the person asking would like to know affects and symptoms after stopping.  I just stopped a week ago, to start to conceive, and I am having tenderness on the left side where an ovary might be.  Thoughts?

dragnflyla wrote at 2011-11-04 17:16:37
I too have gotten off the BC after 20+ years of being on it & love it! With the guidance of a naturopath dr & fertility calendar on my iphone to document my cycle, it took about six months to figure out what my body was doing. I now have a regular cycle & know when I've ovulating. I take a couple products that have greatly helped (not promoting...just sharing: Nature's Sunshine Mood Elevator & Female Comfort along with various Bach Flower Remedies). My sex drive is unbelievable! My cycle is regular & last approx. 3-5 days which was much longer that that on the BC. I do spot a little before & after. Another thing I discovered that has made life easier is a menstrual cup called a diva cup & I can wear it for about 12 hours during my cycle...goodbye tampons! I have to say it's awesome!!! Only two down sides to all of this...I have started to lose my hair which I heard is normal after discontinuing BC & my husband does complain that I'm a little crazy at times. ;} The hair loss is bothering me a bit b/c I'm not sure how long it'll last but I would encourage you to be will feel healthy & amazing & will be glad you made the decision. ***Blessed Be to all***

CMColeman wrote at 2012-02-03 04:33:03
I was happy to find this site just now and read so many of the testimonies regarding what happens when you stop taking BC pills. I just underwent the Essure sterilization procedure this morning, and am looking forward to ONLY having 3 months of BC pills left to take until the coils that were placed in my Fallopian tubes are completely sealed. I have been on BC pills for 25 years... and absolutely zero libido that entire time. It has been problematic, to say the least. I am excited to read how many of you had a return of libido... Woo Hoo... looking forward to THAT! Since I have never wanted children and now at the age of 45, REALLY don't want to have a child... the Essure procedure seems to fit the bill... for me. I am sure there will be changes, and I have no idea what to expect that my body is going to do after not being in control for so many years... but perhaps it will be a pleasant awakening. Thank you all for sharing. I am even more happy with the decision that I have made and look forward to what "Life After The Pill" brings.

OB/GYN wrote at 2013-04-07 16:03:27
I feel like the "expert" answer to this question was extremely biased and judgmental. There were facts mixed in with the personal beliefs, but as an OB/GYN who's been practicing for over 20 years I would have to disagree with the absolute statements made by the "expert". For example, "long term use of the pill will permanently damage your libido" is an assumption. This statement is not founded in fact or research. I hope you looked elsewhere after reading this info. What a joke.  

Birth Control

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Brigid Kowalczyk


Natural Family Planning issues related to fertility and health


Your period is a natural normal function of your body. Protect your fertility. Birth control pills are bad medicine for something that is delicate and easily destroyed. Now is a good time to quit using the pill.

©2017 All rights reserved.