health

What happened when Amelia McGuinness stopped taking the pill after six years.

About a month ago, I decided to make a very unpopular decision: I went off birth control after being on it without a break for six years.

I had never had any issues with it. No pregnancy scares or weight gain or mood swings, like many of my friends seemed to have experienced. But I just wanted to see what my body was like, naturally, because it had been such a long time.

I went on it for all the normal reasons: to improve my skin, calm my PMS and stop little babies from forming inside of me. This little pill I took every day seemed to solve so many of my issues. And it worked great. My skin improved, my boobs got bigger, and still no mini-me.

But there was one thing that I have only realised since I stopped taking it.

what interferes with the pill
"But there was one thing that I have only realised since I stopped taking it." Image via iStock. 

Being on the pill didn’t make me depressed or anxious. It just made me sort of… flat. Not overly happy, not overly sad.

One of the reasons it took me so long to stop taking the pill was that I was worried my mood would spiral out of control. But it didn’t, at all. In fact, since I’ve stopped taking it, I feel much, much happier. And a lot less hungry, I might add.

Because I never thought I had experienced the negative side effects people talk about when they go on the pill this was just a really pleasant surprise. I wasn’t looking for better moods, I just found them by accident.

Like a lot of women, I still get stressed out and anxious, but it’s decreased considerably. And while the pill has never been officially linked to mood disorders, estrogen and anxiety are linked, so it makes sense that this happened.

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My mood swings are a little more intense, but I actually enjoy that. When I was on it, I couldn't figure out why my emotions were just...the same.

"My mood swings are a little more intense, but I actually enjoy that." Image via iStock.

Now, I’m more motivated to get up and workout in the mornings and I feel like a big cloud has been lifted off my head.

I’d always been pretty skeptical of anyone who tried to blame their pill for acting like a raging lunatic, because none of the research has shown that hormonal birth control can seriously influence your mood. But now I kind of get it.

And there are plenty of other options. I've always been scared of the IUD, but after I found out it's about 99 per cent effective, I'm now considering it.

As for my skin, it hasn’t gotten any worse at all. In fact, it’s a little better. And I'm not sure if this is directly related, but my sugar cravings are way down.

I know going off the pill has been the right decision for me, but that doesn't mean it's the right decision for everyone. If you're thinking about it, you should definitely seek professional advice.

Going off the pill truly changed my day-to-day mood. When I feel happy, I feel really happy. And it lasts a lot longer. I might not have any idea what's going on with my menstrual cycle, but that's nothing compared to the simple joy of just being in a better mood.

This post originally appeared on Spring Street. It’s a happy place for smart women, come say hello.

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