What to Expect If You Stop Taking Birth Control Pills

Women decide to stop taking birth control pills for many reasons—some are trying to get pregnant; others have a medical reason such as experiencing adverse side effects, and some simply want a change after taking the same pill for years. Regardless of why you decide to stop taking your birth control pill, you should be aware of some changes to your body that may occur. Here are some of the most common:

Birth Control Pills

It may take a while for your menstrual period to get on a normal schedule
Some women experience irregular periods or no periods at all for a few months after going off of their birth control pills. This is normal, as it can take your body a while to adjust. If you don’t have your period for a few months after you stop taking birth control pills and you’re not pregnant, you should see a doctor to learn more about what’s going on in your body.

You might experience breakouts
Hormonal birth control pills can suppress your natural hormones, so it’s common to experience hormonal acne or more oily skin after you stop taking the pill. The duration of these changes will vary from woman to woman, but these breakouts typically only last a few months. In the meantime, you can care for you skin by sticking to a healthy diet, staying hydrated, minimizing your stress levels, and maintaining a regular skincare routine.

You may experience hair loss
Hair loss is a rare side effect that can be brought about due to hormonal shifts that can occur after women stop taking birth control pills. Meanwhile, some women experience the opposite—an increase in hair growth, typically on the chin, back, and face.

Your menstrual period may be different
If you stop taking birth control pills, you may notice that your menstrual period is different than it was while on the pill. The pill often makes women’s periods shorter and lighter, so it’s common to experience more bleeding or heavier bleeding after stopping birth control pills. You may also experience a return of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms like bloating,  tender breasts, heavy cramps, headaches, and mood swings.

You may see an increase in your sex drive
Some women experience a low sex drive and vaginal dryness while taking birth control pills, so it makes sense that you may experience an increase in your sex drive and more pleasurable sex after you stop taking the pill. Alternatively, some women experience a lower sex drive after they stop taking the pill.

You could get pregnant
After taking birth control pills for a long period of time, it’s easy to forget that you can easily become pregnant after stopping. It’s possible to get pregnant soon after you stop taking birth control pills, so make sure to use alternative methods of birth control if you’re not trying to get pregnant.

If you would like to meet with a knowledgeable doctor, consider contacting Arizona OB/GYN Affiliates (AOA) at 602-343-6174 or visit www.aoafamily.com. We have offices in Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Casa Grande, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Chandler.

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