Post-Pill Life: What To Expect


September 26, 2018

Whether you want to treat your acne, you have a super irregular period, or you just want to avoid pregnancy, there’s usually a reason one starts taking the pill. And at some point, there’s a reason you’ll want to stop. If you’re ready to become pregnant, or you know you won’t be sexually active for awhile and want to take yourself off of birth control, there are usually some side effects that will accompany the transition.

There are a lot of myths regarding what to expect post-pill life. You may have heard that when you stop taking the pill, you’ll have a much harder time getting pregnant or that there will be permanent effects to your fertility or ability to conceive. Long story short, this is false. The pill contains just enough hormones to take effect for 24 hours — that’s why it’s so crucial to take it at the same time everyday. Dr. Jane Minkin, M.D. at Yale School of Medicine told The Cut, “Almost everybody can take them pretty much forever… there is no long-term association with decreased fertility.” That said, everyone is different and there are always risks involved when taking medication. Though stories of strokes, blood clots, or trouble getting pregnant are rare, they can happen, so stay up to date with your doctor’s appointments to make sure you’re healthy and everything is normal.

However, there are a few things you can expect when you come off the pill. A recent Bustle article highlighted some of the most common side effects that you should be prepared for post-pill:

  • If you were taking the pill to help with an irregular period, odds are that the irregularity will return once you’re off. Best case scenario, it will just take a cycle or two for your period to stabilize. This is totally normal — your body needs to re-adjust to life without a daily dose of hormones. The good news is that there are ways around this! According to the article, “It is best to come off the pill when you finish the pack you are currently on (so after your last set of placebo pills). Stopping mid-pack can cause irregular bleeding, disrupting the happy rhythm the pill brings to your menstrual cycle.”
  • As aforementioned, your body has to adjust to life off of the pill. So hormonal side effects, such as mood swings or headaches could haunt you. Side effects like these usually depend on the kind of pill you were on (they’re all different and contain different amounts of hormones). If things don’t level out after three months, talk to your doctor to see what options might help!
  • One of the most common uses for the pill is to help with breakouts. Unfortunately, once you come off the pill, your acne could be out of whack! Pro tip: follow your cycle. Like we mentioned, if you come off the pill mid-cycle, the side effects can be worse, so try transitioning off at the end of your placebo week!
  • Most importantly, you can get pregnant. As soon as you’re off the pill, you’re no longer protected from unwanted pregnancies. Therefore, if you will still be sexually active, you may want to look into BC alternatives! But we know life does happen — Ella or e-Contra, emergency contraceptives, are available through PRJKT RUBY and are effective from 3-5 days after unprotected sex.

There is nothing to be scared of when hopping off of the pill! Just be prepared to let your body reset and adjust. If you’re looking to find a birth control pill that works for you, speak to one of PRJKT RUBY’s licensed physicians here.