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Before I dive in, I just want to say that everyone is different, and what works for some people, doesn’t work for others. I want to share my experience, in case others are going through what I went through, but this doesn’t mean that my choice is the best choice for everyone. Ya feel me?
Okay so, a little backstory. Previous to dating my boyfriend, I had little experience with birth control. I had been on Yaz for a few months when I was 16, and was NOT a fan. Made me feel crazy most of the time. But my boyfriend at the time and I broke up, so I stopped taking it.
When my boyfriend, Scott, and I started dating, we decided me being on birth control would be the best option for us. I started what I didn’t realize would be my long journey of trying to find the best birth control for me.
I went through 3 different hormonal birth control options over the course of a year and a half, all with the same side effects to various degrees. I started with a low dose pill, then NuvaRing, then Skyla IUD. I gave each one months for my body to adjust, hoping that if I waited long enough, the side effects would subside, but that was never the case. Eventually, I switched to the Paraguard IUD, which is non-hormonal, and I am finally starting to feel like myself again.
These were the symptoms I experienced that lead me to finally making the switch.
This was the worst with the pill, especially in the first few months. I’d range from crying one minute, to irrationally angry the next. I felt seriously crazy, but eventually realized it was the birth control and not me. Switching to the two others made them less intense, but they were still there.
I don’t really consider myself to be a moody person, but during my time on hormonal birth control, I found myself to be on edge a lot. I snapped more frequently, especially at my boyfriend. The littlest things would set me off.
I am an emotional person, and definitely can tear up at a sad movie, but I found myself tearing up at EVERYTHING, constantly. Any sort of disagreement with anyone, tearing up. See an old person doing basically anything, tearing up. Think about puppies, tearing up. Anything and everything.
I have lucked out with my skin in that breakouts were not a place I struggled. But all the sudden, I’m 25, and my face turned into a war zone. I guess I don’t know for sure if it was birth control related, but it seems it to me. I basically had constant breakouts throughout my time on birth control. Now that I’m off hormonal, they seem to be dying down, but I’m still dealing with some.
Low/No Sex Drive
It was so hard for me to get in the mood or ever be in that frame of mind. I felt like that part of my brain had been switched off. My mind would just never go there, and would make it feel like a chore at times. Took a toll on my relationship for sure.
Unattracted To Boyfriend
This would come in waves. Basically the week before my period I just did not want to be around him at all (sorry Scott). No touches, no jokes, nothing. And it wouldn’t be in the middle of a fight or something bad happening, things would be going great, I just did not want to be near him.
I felt down a lot. Probably the entire time, and some days would be worse than others. I was always trying to figure out a cause of why I was so down. I could never find a reason though, and it persisted throughout my time on hormonal birth control. I’d find myself crying over nothing so often.
I’ve had anxiety my whole life, but usually just social anxiety. This was the first time I was experiencing serious generalized anxiety. Just feeling anxious about absolutely nothing, no cause to it at all. I even went so far as to get a prescription for Xanax to help calm me.
Not going to lie, that year and a half was a really frustrating and hard time for me. A lot of days were spent crying and confused over why I was feeling this way. My relationship took a toll, luckily Scott was very understanding. But, finally, I scheduled my appointment to remove one, and insert the other (ouch), and it’s been a few months now since I made the switch. So far, I’m really happy I did. The change wasn’t as dramatic and sudden as I wanted it to be, but as my body adjusts to this new IUD, and reading back the list of side effects I previously was experiencing, I realize just how much better I am feeling now. Pretty much all of those symptoms have vanished at least partially, if not 100%.
So, if you’re not happy with your birth control, definitely don’t be afraid to change. There are so many different kinds out there, you might not have to go off hormonal, but maybe you’re just not on the right one. But, I stuck out feeling so miserable for a year and a half, and wish I had done it much much sooner.