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What is it like to stop taking the birth control pill after 13 years?

Ever since I was a teenager, getting a prescription for the pill was the most normal thing in the world. I was 14 years old when I started taking it. I wanted to feel more secure about my periods and was getting serious about birth control. I’ve always considered the pill as positive so years went by easily.
But at a certain point your circle changes, you start to hear different stories of other women and you grow older. Also, more in depth news started to show up about the pill. With that I suddenly felt the need to get to know my natural flow and body better. I’m 27 now, not dating anyone, so I decided this is the perfect time.

my experience

I took my last pill on Nov 4th (which was also the last one of my strip). After reading a lot of different stories about other women’s experiences, I was very curious how it all would be for me. First things first: I got my breakthrough bleeding 3 days after. I kinda felt happy about that because for some reason it made me feel like my natural flow would come back fast. Turned out, it did.

My first period after the pill came exactly 3 weeks after I had my breakthrough bleeding.

On Nov. 29 to be exact. And on top of that, MY PERIOD ONLY LASTED 3 DAYS. Yooooo! I was like: WHAT? This is how it could be like on my natural flow? Sign me up.

My second period came exactly 3 weeks later once again.

On Dec 21. And once again it only lasted 3 days. So far so good! In the meantime I didn’t feel different, my skin was still the same and I felt perfectly fine!

My third period tho, arrived 4 weeks later

On Jan 23. And this one changed the game.. I woke up from intense cramps, I felt like I had to get out of bed, do something. I walked up, still in pain, straight to the bathroom. Convinced that taking a shower would make me feel better. But as I got into the shower, I all of a sudden started to feel light headed, dizzy and my sight got blurry. Wtf was happening?! I couldn’t stand up straight. I quickly turned off the shower, opened my shower doors and took a deep breath. I cooled down and I slowly started to go back to normal again. Okay, I need to call mum (my mother was actually on her way to visit me that day. Such a wonderful coincidence!)’ “Euhm, mum, just now.. I think I almost fainted in the shower”. Apparently the intense pain of my cramps combined with hot water (warm temperatures) caused this. Nah, I was shocked. I had to sit on my couch for 20 minutes to just chill. The cramps were so bad I just couldn’t move. After taking 2 Aleve Feminax I felt totally fine the rest of the day. So besides all that, it was still okay and it only lasted again for 3 days.

And the fourth came 3 weeks later again.

The cramps were definitely not like the ones I had the month before. However I noticed my skin got a lil bit restless. Still I think I can call myself lucky to have a pretty easy to handle skin. This time my period lasted for a whole week. Yep, 7 days straight.

fifth period: feels like everything is back to normal

I’m not experiencing super heavy cramps anymore, my skin went back to normal and well, I guess I just have to deal with the fact that a natural flow is a bit all over the place. Sometimes it lasts longer, sometimes it’s heavier, sometimes my skin needs a little extra love and sometimes she’s chilling.

a year later: what's the status?

It’s been exactly a year ago since I stopped taking the pill. I use the app Flo to keep track of my cycle and because of that I know my cycle is pretty regular. The app predicts when I have my period very accurately. Compared to how my periods were when I was taking the pill, there’s definitely a huge difference. My periods aren’t necessarily heavier, but they’re more painful and so much longer. My period now lasts up to 7 days, sometimes even 8. Day 4 or 5 is the worst; the cramps are strong and I feel them continuously, without breaks.


I’m 28 years old now and I always said I wanted to quit birth control before 30. Happy I did! My cons: painful and longer periods, PMS symptoms like getting more emotional for no reason, mood swings, cravings, sensitive breasts. My pros: I feel so much more in touch with my body and cycle. Knowing it’s a natural thing makes it all worth it to me!

*disclaimer: I’m in no way a professional to be able to give you advice about your own menstruation or birth control. All I do is share my own experience. If you need professional advice, ALWAYS contact your doctor. If you have questions about my experience, feel free to contact me! Thank you.