Birth Control: A (Not-So) Love Affair

(Continued from Coffee: A Love Affair)

I left off last time with the idea that birth control had caused all of my caffeine troubles.  How did I come to this conclusion?

Photo Feb 07, 3 37 02 PM

First of all, the same exact month I restarted birth control, I started having reactions. I threw up almost exactly two hours after each cup of coffee. This also came along with migraines of the ‘seeing colors’ persuasion. Once I stopped drinking it, the nausea and migraines stopped. If I mixed up my mom’s coffee with my decaffeinated brew, I’d get really sick. That, my friends, is science.

I also did a bit of research online and found that this was a common reaction to birth control.  I’d gotten the same kind of nausea before if I hadn’t eaten something before taking the pill, but this was amplified drastically. Reading warnings,  forums, and medical articles/journals solidified that this kind of reaction was common enough to cause a stir. Since I had just started back up on it after six months without it, my hormones were completely imbalanced from restarting on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen. After four months and an extra 20 pounds, I switched to Yaz, with the knowledge that I swelled less and hurt less during my period when I was on it (and the hope that I could drink coffee again). No dice.

Long story, short: I quit birth control again. This time, I weaned for a month first. I cut pills in half and hoped that my acne wouldn’t come back with a vengeance.  Honestly, during this month, I was freaking out because I wasn’t sure if weaning would help. I loved the time that I wasn’t on birth control, save for the extreme pain (think doubled up on the floor and hydrocodone) and the cystic acne. The acne was everywhere: my face, neck, back, legs. Not pretty. And I know it seems really shallow that I’d take pain before acne, but it left horrible scars during my first summer as a divorcee. Way to feel unattractive and forever alone.


After my month of weaning, I started taking FemRebalance. All of the research I did pointed to an herbal remedy along these lines and the best reviews pointed to this one. I take two a day and in the time that I’ve stopped taking the pill, I only get the acne right before my period. Holy crap. Research win! I’m still dealing with a bit of pain, but that’s drastically reduced, as well.

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This is the point where I say that when I made these decisions without the advice of a non-virtual doctor, I did so because I still don’t have insurance. I’m working on it. Obviously, I don’t know if this is specifically hormones, thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, or all three. Once I get real adult insurance, I’m going to the doctor to get levels tested and some more advice. I’d like to find a naturalist, as this whole birth control debacle has put me off of prescription drugs for a longgggg while. Herbs are the way to go for me, especially after seeing the effect they have on my problems now.

So you’re probably wondering what I am doing for birth control these days. If you were a visitor to my old blog, you’ll remember me talking about this book when I first quit birth control. During the time I wasn’t taking the pill, I stayed un-pregnant through paying attention to my body, of all things. I’m not saying it works for everyone, because you seriously have to pay attention to what your body is telling you and even then it’s not 100% reliable, but it is extremely helpful. That, and condoms. So, I’ll be doing that again. And honestly, I’m pretty sure that my system is so screwed up at the moment that I couldn’t bear more than a very large poop in the near future.

With all of this said, I’d like to add that I am excited to be going natural again. I just don’t trust birth control pills after all I have read and experienced first hand. I like that everything works better for me when I am not on the pill and if there is an apocalypse, I won’t have to abruptly quit one day. Now, if only I could get over allergies and taking showers…

What’s your take on birth control — would you rather be in control of your body through means of a drug or go au naturale?

6 thoughts on “Birth Control: A (Not-So) Love Affair

  1. I’m sorry to hear you had a bad time with BC but i’s kind of heartening to know I’m not alone cannot handle the pill, major headaches and all sorts,.All this time following you on twitter and I’m glad I’ve come across your blog : )

    • Yeah, the costs definitely outweigh the benefits.

      Thanks for finding me! I’m planning on putting this out there a little more this summer when I can convert to a .com. Until then, here is where I’ll be. 🙂

  2. I totally relate to this entry! I have an up-and-down history with birth control. I was on it for most of college, quit it and got HORRIBLE acne (and I’d never had more than the occasional zit before, even as a teenager!), went back on it, quit again because it tanked my libido, and suffered through the resulting acne for quite a long time. My face acne is pretty much under control these days, but my back is still a mess, so I’m definitely going to check out that supplement you linked to.

    I used fertility awareness methods for a long time with my ex-husband, though less carefully than I probably should have and in combination with withdrawal and a little bit of luck. A couple of months ago I got the Mirena hormonal IUD, which I’ve been pretty happy with, and it’s nice to not have to think about it at all (after the first couple weeks of bleeding and discomfort, which I don’t want to understate — it sucked and I may have had a panic attack or two about uterine perforation). The hormones stay out of my bloodstream and don’t mess with me, they just keep me baby-free. Works for me!

    • I’ve been too chicken and poor to get an IUD, but was considering a copper one. Seriously, order the supplement. It is made of magic and wonder. I also had to learn not to pick, which was a huge struggle that I still occasionally fail with. Currently, I’m using FAM and withdrawal. I used it when I quit before with success. I’m pretty sure I won’t use birth control anymore, though it seems nice from a distance. Oh well.

      • That’s totally valid (not using BC anymore), but for the record the Affordable Care Act made BC, including IUDs, TOTALLY FREE with any ACA-approved insurance plan. I didn’t even have to pay a copay for that office visit. One of my best friends has the copper one and is pretty happy with it.

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