In Germany, about seven million women use the birth-control pill for contraception. It became a symbol of female self-determination in the 1960s. At the same time, the pill is increasingly being discredited. Therefore, the side effects of the pill have become the focus of attention, and the studies on this subject are overwhelming. Many women doubt whether it is good for their bodies to be permanently taking synthetic hormones. Are they right? And what happens after stopping the pill?
The mechanism of action of the pill
The micro pill contains artificial hormones that have an effect very similar to that of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. In this way, the pill can interfere with a woman’s hormonal cycle and prevent an egg from maturing in the ovary and finally ovulating. If monthly ovulation does not occur, fertilization and therefore pregnancy cannot be achieved. This happens because taking the pill stops the release of certain hormones. However, the pill not only prevents ovulation, but it can also prevent the build-up of the uterine lining, so that no fertilized egg can implant. In addition, it forms a mucus plug on the cervix that is impenetrable to sperm and provides additional protection. Consequently, the pill with its triple protection is the safest contraceptive.
Side effects of the pill
The most dangerous side effect is still considered to be the development of life-threatening thromboses. These can lead to a fatal embolism. It has been proven that the number of thromboses increases in women who use the contraceptive pill. Although it hits on average “only” 2 in 10,000 women, with contraception of the second-generation birth control pill, but of course this risk should always be considered. For users of third- and fourth-generation birth control pills, the risk doubles even further.
– Second-generation pill: Evaluna or Femigoa
– Third- and fourth-generation pill: Yasmin, Valette or Mayra.
In addition to this, the likelihood of cardiovascular diseases and mental illnesses, such as depression, increases. It has been found that the pill can change the well-being of women even after a short time of consumption. For example, many women state that they feel less energetic and dynamic, and also suffer from mood swings. Many women also complain about a loss of libido.
Stopping the pill
More and more women are thinking about stopping the daily supply of synthetic hormones and would like to stop taking the pill. Nevertheless, there is a great uncertainty about this. How does the body cope with stopping the pill? What alternative contraceptive methods are available if you do not wish to have children? The positive effects that the pill can bring with it should not be forgotten. Primarily, there is a fear of mood swings getting out of hand. In addition to the undesirable side effects, the pill can also ensure regular periods, clear skin and full hair.
Stopping the pill – side effects and hormone balance
It can happen that your periods become more irregular after you stop taking the pill. This is quite normal, as the natural cycle must first settle down again. The pill continues to have an effect even after discontinuation, as the hormones are stored in the fat cells and are only broken down over time. Therefore, it is not uncommon that the period is missing for a while after stopping the pill. If it takes three months or longer before the first menstrual period starts, you should consult a doctor.
Stopping the contraceptive pill can also leave its mark on the external appearance, especially in terms of skin and hair. Thus, the pill not only ensures safe contraception, but also clear skin. During the period of taking the pill, the male hormone testosterone is suppressed, while estrogen levels tend to be high. This leads to clear skin and full hair. So it happens that after stopping the pill the skin tends to impurities (acne) and there may be short-term hair loss. However, this should have settled down again within one or two months.
Emotional side effects after stopping the pill
The emotional state can also change after stopping the pill. If the influence of the pill falls away from now on, this also affects the mood. This is because the woman’s natural cycle of hormones is disturbed. The hormone balance or the concentration of hormones changes in the course of the cycle. Estrogen levels rise steadily until ovulation, while progesterone then takes over. This also changes the mood.
By taking the pill, on the other hand, the hormone balance remains the same throughout the cycle. The artificial hormones virtually paralyze the natural cycle. If the pill is then stopped, the constant hormone balance also falls away and the mood changes again more noticeably. Mood swings may not sound so tragic at first and are part of everyday life for most women anyway. However, mood swings should definitely not be underestimated, especially if the mood swings develop a certain momentum of their own, it can become very stressful.
Other side effects after stopping the pill:
– Weight gain or weight loss,
– Water retention decreases,
– More desire for sex (some women report loss of libido when taking the pill),
– Circulatory problems,
– Bleeding between periods, or
– General physical discomfort.
Tips against side effects after stopping the pill
First of all, it is important to know that coming off the pill means an enormous change for the body. Some women are now getting to know their body and biology for the first time, they are confronted with their natural fertility. Stopping the pill should always be a well-considered decision. The best thing for women to do is to talk about this with their gynecologist and, of course, with their partner. In general, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle after taking the pill so that the cycle can settle down again. This includes a balanced and healthy diet, as well as a healthy weight. If it makes sense, you can supplement your diet with natural supplements tailored to you. Add to this regular exercise and time in the fresh air. The right diet can also help alleviate problems such as blemished skin, acne, hair loss and mood swings. Stress should be avoided, although this is not always easy.
After stopping the pill, and of course at all other times, you should ensure that you have a good work-life balance and take regular rest breaks. This is also important for the prevention of acne and hair loss, as well as in relation to mood swings. If menstrual cramps occur again due to the naturally occurring cycle, they can be alleviated with warmth, rest, and relaxation. In case of severe pain, painkillers are also an option.
Note: Experts advise against taking a break from the pill to test how it is. In the first six to twelve months after taking the pill, the risk of thrombosis, as the most dangerous of the pill’s side effects, is the highest. Of course, this should not be exaggerated.
After stopping the pill: Find a new contraceptive method
Women who do not want to have children, or who have already completed the process, now need a new method of contraception. After discontinuing the pill, pregnancy is theoretically possible immediately, for example, also due to a decrease in libido loss. It may take some time until the cycle and ovulation return, but it can also work immediately. If you are planning a pregnancy, you should give your body some time after stopping the pill, three to six months are recommended. If you do not wish to have a child, there is an alternative contraceptive that can now be used. You can choose between other hormonal contraceptives or non-hormonal contraceptives. The former can have similar side effects to the pill.
– Hormonal IUD (contraceptive shield),
– Contraceptive patch,
– Three-month injection,
– Contraceptive ring,
– Hormone implant.
– Intrauterine device,
– Contraceptive computer,
– Temperature measurement,
– Natural Family Planning (NFP),