“TMI” and “too personal” don’t exist around here, clearly. My pregnancy loss has taught me to be open about my experiences and let you all in on it (no matter how personal or embarrassing it might be). I’ve had some friends recently that have gotten off birth control, or plan to soon, and have asked me what it’s like; what happens to your mind and body when you do make such a drastic hormonal change? I am no expert, or doctor by any means, but I can share my experience.
I was on birth control since I was 13 years old because I developed severe cramping and migraines and my doctor thought birth control could really help regulate these issues. That means I was taking birth control every day of my life for 13 consecutive years. Yeah, that’s a long time to be feeding my body regulated hormones, but it did what the doctor intended it to do: regulate my cycle/make it more bearable and decrease the amount of migraines I would get and their severity. So, goal accomplished!
When it came time to TTC, I got off birth control and didn’t experience very drastic changes (this was in November of 2016). I would get usual period symptoms: cramping, back soreness, breast tenderness, and migraines. It was nothing out of the ordinary. All of these symptoms came the week of my period and continued that way until I got pregnant in June.
After my surgery and chemotherapy, my doctor decided that it was best for me to go back on birth control to regulate my body again and provide me with a preventative while the chemo worked its way out of my system. When we got the “all clear” to TTC again in January, I stopped taking my birth control and let my body do it’s own thing.
This time around has been very different than the first time. I now experience symptoms during the week of my ovulation, the week before my period, and the week of my period. Yes, ladies and gentlemen-if you are still with me here, that leaves me with ONE good-feeling week a month (insert eye roll emoji followed by the crying face).
During the week of my ovulation, I have started to experience dizziness, nausea, and daily migraines. Lovely, I know. I spoke with my doctor about these things and we worked out a plan for the migraines. Since I am unfortunately allergic to Imitrex (THE drug that solves migraine issues), and can’t take my prescribed medicine since it has negative effects on pregnancy, my doctor advised me to take tylenol, aspirin & caffeine to make them go away. So, that’s my new plan! Any excuse for more coffee, right?! As for the nausea and dizziness, we are hoping those symptoms will subside once my body gets regulated again.
The week following is filled with food cravings, being constantly hungry and tired, and feeling extremely bloated, and breast tenderness. I can handle this a little better than the nausea/dizziness/migraines, though. Except, can I please mention what a mind-game these symptoms are?! How am I supposed to know if I’m getting my period or experience symptoms of pregnancy?! Seriously…so frustrating!
And, finally, that last week is, well…you know. Just gross, uncomfortable, miserable…etc. So, CHEERS to the week after that, haha!
Both of my experiences going off birth control were so totally different. Everyone’s body is different and experience is different, but I especially, understand that it’s nice to know someone else’s experience with this in order to relate, feel more normal, and put my mind at ease. As you all know, my goal at the end of this is to grow my family and I know every miserable symptom and tough time will be so incredibly worth it!