How long did it take you to feel "normal" after going off the pill?

[name_m]Hi[/name_m] Berries! I finally stopped taking the pill two weeks ago, hooray!

I was prepared for the cramps, and my headache finally went away after 10 days. I had a withdrawal bleed that started on [name_u]Day[/name_u] 4. But what has surprised me is that my mood feels really low and I have no other explanation. I started Premama’s Birth Control Cleanse four days ago, which seems to have helped with the physical symptoms. (Side note: has anyone else done a BC cleanse, and did it help?) I’m also taking the prenatal vitamin that my doctor recommended.

[name_m]Just[/name_m] wondering if any of you had similar experiences of feeling “off” after going off the pill and how long it took to go back to feeling like yourself? TIA for any insights!

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I went off the pill in late [name_u]September[/name_u] and I only just now feel mostly normal. I’d been on it for around 1.5 years, for the first time ever, so I thought my body just needed time to adjust. I don’t have any answers or insights but you aren’t alone!


[name_m]Hi[/name_m] lovely. [name_u]Welcome[/name_u] to synthetic hormone free life! :blush:

There’s no exact answer to this one as every body is different and it also depends how long you’ve been on the pill.

When I quit the pill, I started seeing differences to my cycle after three months, but it was a solid twelve months before I got any regularity back to my cycle. I quit the pill in [name_u]December[/name_u] 2017, and I’ve probably only had clockwork cycles back for the last twelve or so months (not including miscarriages that upset the applecart again).

[name_f]My[/name_f] advice is to take your time with your healing journey. It sounds odd to say “don’t set goals”, but it’s kind of necessary in this situation because you don’t know how your body is going to respond.

[name_m]Plenty[/name_m] of things can help you along your post-pill health recovery…

  • Magnesium (calming supplement and will help settle oestrogen overload and anxiety).

  • [name_m]Zinc[/name_m] & B6 (promotes healthy progesterone products and will help your skin with hormone fluctuations).

  • [name_f]Maca[/name_f] Root (will help with libido and promote cervical fluid production that may be down due to hormone imbalance.

  • DIM & Cruciferous Vegetable Extracts (helps your body detox built up oestrogen).

  • Limiting your dairy intake (dairy products are inflammatory to the reproductive system, so if your period is haywire after the pill, I suggest taking a break or limiting it for the time being).

  • Chasteberry (aka Vitex) (a herbal supplement that encourages oestrogen and ovulation - this is a strong one though, if you would like to use it, let me know, and I can explain further).

  • Regular exercise (strangely enough exercise really help progesterone levels - my easiest periods are the ones after a solid few weeks of a good workout routine).

I hope this helps. If you want to discuss further, just say. I’m also open to messages if you’d like to chat about details you feel are TMI for the open forum.

Good luck on your journey :heart: xx

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As I understand hormonal birth control leaves your system pretty quickly, and a lot of the symptoms you may experience after are not a direct result of “aftereffects” of the birth control so much as a return to your baseline without the dulling effects of birth control, particularly as it concerns emotional lability.

I just got off the pill a couple weeks ago after around 6 years on it. Since I got off I did notice that my moods were more volatile around when I ovulated (my husband would very much attest to this), my libido improved (a big issue for me on the pill), and the vaginal dryness I had experienced while on the pill also improved. However, as far as the moods go I should also add that I am a social worker at a junior high, and had several very hard days in a row, so likely that contributed to how I felt.

I do think I ovulated this month, although I think it was fairly late, maybe CD 16 or 17. [name_f]My[/name_f] cycle was regular before going on the pill so I don’t expect it to be too varied now, although I am guessing it will be a little longer, maybe over 30 days (it used to be 28). If you had irregular cycles before the pill you will likely have them again, same for a heavy flow.

I am not doing any particular detox or cleanse because I don’t feel that is necessary, but I am being more consistent with taking a multivitamin, zinc supplement, and iron supplement. This is more in preparation for TTC than really as a response to getting off the pill. I also will likely add a choline supplement as we get closer to trying, and I am being more conscious of things like my calcium intake since my multivitamin doesn’t include it and I have decided to keep using what I have rather than starting a prenatal now.

All in all I wouldn’t say I DON’T feel like myself, even just a couple weeks post pill. [name_f]My[/name_f] crying jag on CD 16 was a little out of character for me, but not completely unprecedented. The body is resilient!

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I am currently rereading Expecting Better by [name_f]Emily[/name_f] Oster (which I definitely recommend!) and it had some good data from a few different studies about coming off the pill:

  • Women experienced longer cycles in the first months coming off the pill

  • More variable cycle length

  • Initially may have cycles where they did not ovulate, or ovulated later in the cycles

  • Initially may have cycles with luteal phases so short pregnancy was unlikely

However, in at least one study “virtually everyone” had normal cycles by month 9 off the pill, and many people had normal cycles very quickly. Another study found that people coming off the pill were slightly less likely to get pregnant in the first 3 months than someone trying who had no been on the pill, but no less likely to be pregnant at the 1 year mark. I also found a meta analysis that indicated that 87% of individuals who discontinued use of the pill for the purpose of getting pregnant became pregnant within a year, which is comparable with the rate of people trying to get pregnant with barrier methods or who has not previously used contraceptives (85.2-94%, depending on the study). You can find that study here

As for me I got my first post-pill period on CD 32, although it was slow to start. It has been pretty light, but my periods were very light before going on the pill (they were actually heavier on the pill) so I am not surprised. Interested to see what happens this cycle!

Update for anyone following this - the first cycle I had was 35 days and I don’t think I ovulated. Now I’m on CD 18 of month 2 post-pill and my ovulation test indicated that I ovulated somewhere right as expected. I’m feeling pretty normal hormone-wise. I think the week that I did the cleanse was immensely helpful, even if just as a coincidence or placebo. Hopefully this is encouraging for others who are going off the pill.