Quitting the pill is a series of essays where I explore femininity, my moon cycle, natural birth control, connecting to my womb wisdom and living in tune with the natural rhythms of my body. The first part is about my cycle and how disconnected I was from my body through the use of birth control.
I was 14 years old, laying on my bed at night and tears were rolling of my face. Earlier that afternoon I’d had sex for the first time with my boyfriend, who was 14 as well, and the condom broke. I didn’t know what to do. I thought I was going to be a pregnant teenager, graduating from high school with a 5 year old. I was on the phone with one of my girlfriends, sobbing and telling her that I didn’t know what to do. My mom overheard the conversation and stormed into my room.
She hugged me and told me that I always should tell her these things as she would help me, regardless. The next morning she went to the pharmacy, got the morning after pill for me. One week later we sat in the doctor’s office and the doctor prescribed me the pill.
As my cycle only started a year earlier and I wasn’t regular at all, my cycle became suppressed by these artificial hormones. I’d take my pill every day until I was 18 years old and switched to the nuvaring until I was 25 years old.
When you take birth control, the drug floods your system with hormones (estrogen and progesterone) stopping ovulation from taking place. The contraceptive pill or other hormone based birth control methods, trick your body into thinking it’s already pregnant. This is only one way the pill influences your body to prevent you from getting pregnant.
From my 14 to my 25, I was fake pregnant.
It wasn’t until I became vegan when I was 22 that I became more aware natural birth control methods through books like Taking Charge of Your Fertility, that I started questioning the hormones I voluntarily put into my body every day.
I realised I’ve never had a natural cycle, as a real menstruation only takes place after ovulation. As you don’t ovulate on contraceptive drugs, there’s no need for bleeding.
The bleeding that takes place when you stop taking the pill on the fourth week, is actually medically unnecessary. According to this article the reason why we do it because the scientist that helped developing the contraceptive pill was a devout catholic and was afraid that The Catholic Church would freak out if women stopped menstruating all together when taking birth control. To make it look more natural, he decided that the pill should be prescribed in four week cycles with one week off the drug.
My fake periods on the pill were very painful and I’d feel sick.
I’d often go for a year without having my period and it was around this time that I didn’t have a boyfriend for over a year either. I felt very out of touch with my body and never listened to the signals that I was tired for instance. I just listened to my head and did what I was supposed to do or what I was pressuring myself to do. I felt lost and out of flow with life. The men I liked, would walk away from me because I was too controlling. But I’ll talk more about this in a later post.
After doing some research, I decided to stop using the nuvaring and allow my body to do its thing when I was 25.
It took me more than a year to get my period again. I was so worried that year. I went to the doctor to check my blood (everything was fine), I checked my diet to see if I was getting enough nutrients (no issues here). I finally got my period again when I met my ex-boyfriend.
Now my mooncycle is very regular and it only lasts 3 days. The first day there’s some light spotting, the second day I bleed and the third day there’s light spotting again. I only have light cramps before I menstruate and I feel a bit down. I’m tracking my cycle by taking note of my bodily functions and my feelings throughout the month. More on this in a later post!
It’s been a process of listening to the subtle changes in my body and accepting them the way they are. From this point I’m experimenting with synchronising creating moments, my work schedule, meetings with my physical and emotional blueprint every month. We’re often looking for outside affirmation and guidance, while we have a super advanced inner compass that will always say what you need at that time.
- What has your experience with birth control been so far?
- Do you still use it?
- Are you experimenting with natural fertility methods?
How to track your cycle and live in tune with your natural rhythms
My experience with Yoni de-armouring: releasing sadness and pain from my womb
How to use the yoni egg in your yoga practice