There may be a couple of reasons you have been on birth control apart from preventing pregnancy. You could have been using it to regulate your periods or control skin problems like acne. Whatever the reason, the safest way to get off birth control will depend on the type of birth control you have decided to use. In most cases, it is something you can do on your own.
Other methods, such as intrauterine (IUD) removal, require a quick trip to the doctor to get them removed. Either way. It’s not that hard to do, as long as you know how to take precautions and prepare your body for the sudden removal of an element you had introduced to your system.
Steps To Safely Get Off Birth Control
The steps listed in this article will explore what you need to consider to get off birth control safely.
- Visit Your Doctor
As stated in the introduction, most birth control methods can be stopped on your own, but it will do you no harm to schedule a quick visit with your doctor to discuss the various side effects involved with going off your birth control. They may be of some help in prepping you.
In the case of an IUD or an implant, your doctor or nurse can perform a minor medical procedure to remove that for you in a few minutes.
Experts argue whether it is necessary to finish the pack of birth control pills when wanting to quit or not. It is best to follow what your doctor says. It is generally advised to stop taking the pills after a hormone-free interval; that is to say, right after having your period is the ideal time to stop taking the pill. It has been noted that quitting the pills mid-cycle could result in irregular bleeding.
- Prepare Yourself Mentally
Many things are likely going to change about how your body operates after getting off your birth control. Some of these changes differ from person to person. If you used to enjoy regular periods while on birth control, you could expect some of that consistency to go away as your hormones start to readjust. If you’re used to experiencing crampy and heavy menstrual periods, then brace for even crampier and heavier periods.
The hormones in most contraceptives are responsible for the relative calm you might have been feeling while you’re on your birth control. Once you get off, you might start to feel anxious and depressed for a while as hormonal imbalances affect your mood.
When it comes to getting off birth control, you’ll have to mentally prepare yourself in dealing with a lot of changes in your body, including acne and possible weight problems. If you’re particularly sensitive to your weight, then you can maintain it by watching your diet.
Know that all these changes are relative to getting off your contraceptives and that there are ways to alleviate all the stress and frustration, like doing yoga, meditation, having a support group, and many more.
- Adjust Your Diet Accordingly
Since hormonal birth control regulates and often adds progesterone and estrogen to your body, there are often side effects of going off of it. These side effects are your bodies’ way of regulating and restoring itself to factory settings. Depending on the reasons why you took birth control in the first place, certain side effects can exhibit more than others.
Common side effects include:
- Mood swings
- Weight changes
- Skin breakouts
Adjusting your diet can help you mitigate some of these effects. You will need to increase your intake of progesterone boosting foods such as healthy starches (potato, sweet potato, rice), foods with Vitamin E (sunflower seeds, almonds), Vitamin C rich supplements (citrus fruits, hibiscus tea), and foods rich in zinc (pumpkin, lean red meat).
You will also need to consume food that stabilizes your estrogen levels and keep them from fluctuating. Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli work wonders in this regard.
The foods to avoid when going off the pill are those with an inflammatory nature and include:
- histamine rich food (a fermented food)
All of these can contribute negatively and worsen the side effects listed above.
- Exercise regularly
Regular exercise has been proven to help deal with the pesky post-pill mood swings that occur. The hormones released during regular aerobic activity are a good way to soothe the irritability and anxiety you are feeling.
Jogging for 30 minutes or more, once or twice a week is enough to get you going. If you have more energy, you can squeeze in a few home workouts after your jog. Create a workout routine that you would prefer and enjoy doing.
- Develop A Good Sleeping Habit
Coupled with a good diet and regular exercise, a good 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night can help your body as it’s trying to adjust itself. Good sleeping habits include having a strict sleep schedule, cutting screen time an hour before bed, not having a heavy dinner before bed, and shutting out any noise and light that can disturb your sleep.
- Check Your Cosmetics
Most people are unaware of this, but many cosmetic and skin products may contain ingredients that could be harmful to your health and can potentially disrupt your hormones. For instance, pesticides, bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, among other chemicals can disrupt your endocrine and interfere with your hormonal system. When your hormones are already in flux, it is important to ensure that the products you are using are not contributing to this negative side effect.
In conclusion, if you feel something is not right at any point in the process of going off birth control, it is important to visit your doctor immediately to ensure that you are not suffering from any unforeseen complications. It is better to have a false alarm than to let a small problem balloon into something unmanageable in the future. Additionally, you can use the steps above to safely get off your birth control pill.
Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.