In the past year or so, I’ve made some very healthy changes to my lifestyle-from the foods that I eat to the products I use. I’ve become more conscious of chemicals and toxins, and the myriad of other things that I don’t want in my body. So it was only a matter of time before I started having second thoughts about ingesting synthetic hormones every night. That’s right, I’m talking about The. Pill.
The thought crossed my mind about a month ago. It almost felt like a naughty thought, the notion of taking no birth control. What would my boyfriend think? Would my pill-pushing doctor fall off his chair and faint? Would my friends think I’m some earthy-crunchy hippie?
In regards to the latter, it was quite the opposite. I have a good friend who I often talk to about such intimate things as periods, sex, and birth control-girl talk! When I posed my crazy idea to jump ship to her, she told me that she had already done the same, much to my surprise.
She had been using NuvaRing, and experienced some very unpleasant side effects. But, after only a couple of weeks of having the ring removed (at her insistence), her breakouts and depression, which she associated with the ring, had completely gone away. She was glad for the turn of events, because she said her body needed to “detox from the pill.”
That afternoon I spent at least a couple hours on my phone, poring over articles about the negatives of hormonal birth control and what can happen with long-term use. And that was all it took.
I took my usual dose that night, but vowed to stop by the end of the week. And I did! I was excited and eager to see what sort of things would happen to my body sans the pill. Would I turn into a radiant-skinned, fertile goddess? Only time would tell.
In the meantime, I knew I had to come up with some way of charting my cycle accurately, no matter how primitive. I may be quitting traditional birth control, but I don’t any more babies yet! I did some research, and came across a form of birth control called “The Rhythm Method”. Never heard of it? I hadn’t either.
Basically, it’s exactly as it sounds. You track your monthly cycle and plan accordingly: no sex during fertile days.
But how would one best go about that? Upon further digging, I stumbled upon an article where the author had, like myself, decided to stop taking birth control pills. Instead, she was using an app called “Clue” to track her monthly cycle.
This piqued my interest. An app to replace my pill?! I immediately looked it up and downloaded it, which was completely free. I just filled out some information, and then the little OB/GYN living inside the app calculated my next predicted menstruation, my fertile days, and PMS days. It was all displayed on a neat little chart that is super easy to use. There are other tracking options as well, which have proved useful to me.
Clue can track the heaviness of your flow, any pain, food cravings, mood, any tests you take, whether you have protected or unprotected sex, your digestion, skin, energy, and so on.
As a woman who is not very in touch with her body, this is super helpful information to have and look back on. Plus, the more I use the app, the more accurate my future period predictions will be.
It has been about three weeks now since I gave the pill the boot, and I’m feeling great.
Call it coincidental, but now that I’ve stopped using my birth control, my skin has greatly improved. Other than that, I have not noticed any other changes. But I’m not complaining! I’m just glad that I am no longer putting a whole slew of synthetic hormones into my body. The way I see it, our bodies know how to take care of themselves, and nature is best left alone.
If you are like me and are considering whether you’re actually doing yourself more harm than good by using a traditional birth control, I hope this has inspired you to dig deeper and question whether or not you’re ready to make a change for the better!