Whoever Said It's Not Nice To Fool Mother Nature Needs To Shut The Hell Up And Get Me Some Motrin

Some time ago, I heard Snarky mention that she was taking herself off birth control pills for a month, just "to give [her] body a break."

I thought that sounded nice. Ahhhhh.

So when I ran out of my supply of pills and realized I would have to jump through the (understandable-but-annoying) hoops my Voldemort's office requires, I thought perhaps instead I would take a brief hiatus. I would give my body a break. Ahhhhh.

Can't you just here the tinkling of chimes? Smell the sage? See the breezy woman wearing white and sipping tea and looking incredibly at peace with herself and the world, a la feminine hygiene commercials?

Yes, I know you can.

Except, well. As I sit here with lower back pain, unremitting fatigue, caffeine cravings resulting in both sleeplessness and canker sores, bloating, an inability to concentrate, embattled motor skills, extreme emotional sensitivity, and a realization that the cramps haven't even begun yet, it has occurred to me that going off birth control is not actually giving my body a break, because in fact I HAD BEEN ON A BREAK FOR THE LAST FIVE YEARS.

It's not even that my hormones are imbalanced, it's that THEY ARE TRYING TO ESCAPE MY BODY. They are forcing their way out of me in the form of gross awful disgusting oily secretions that have produced (among other ungainly blemishes all about the landscape of my lumpy, achy body) THE ZIT THAT ATE SAN FRANCISCO. The hormones, they are not happy. They enjoyed the drugs.

They want them back.

And believe me. They shall have them.


  1. Ack! You poor thing! Get some pills, stat!

  2. You poor thing! (But also, Haaaaa. Your hormones are trying to escape your body. Funny). I tried to use a "backup" prescription when I ran out a couple of months ago. I'd had it since '02, and stopped using it b/c of mood swings. I thought maybe (4 years later) that I had overattributed early 20's angst for side effects and gave it another whirl (we can talk about the fact that it was also expired another time. Desperate measures and all that). Um, wasn't imagining the mood swings. Early 20's or no, I was never that naturally crazy. I wondered the whole month whether I was developing some sort of mental illness (not that I'm that far off the DSM IV as it is). I will never again procrastinate the refill.

  3. Oh my god. I fell for that too! I ran out when I was switching between jobs and my insurance hadn't started up yet, but I thought, "Eh, one month. No biggie." Never again. Never again.

  4. What birth control pill are you on?

    Because, I've been in sheer birth control hell for, oh, about 6 months now, and am having issues figuring out what to switch to.

    Be glad that you found something that works for you. For some of us, going off of it truly IS a break.

    (except the cramps and the heavy periods. I'll give you that. But if it means I'm not wanting to eat everything that isn't nailed down, and I'm not bursting into tears every time, oh, a shirt falls off the hanger, then hey... I'll take cramps any day).

  5. This is one of the many reasons I am not looking forward to having kids. You have to go off the drugs!

  6. Back when they first introduced the pill, they were like horse hormones. Somewhere around a million times the dose they are now. For that reason, they told women to take a break every so often. Now that they refined the dosage and it's much, much easier on the system, there's no need to put yourself through the misery of a pill-free existence.

    Unless, you know, you're planning kids or something.

  7. Oh, you didn't. I hope you do not become the sociopath that I do when first going back on the pill. The first month has always been beyond hell for me. Well, actually, for everyone around me. Rage anyone?

    Not only would I not go off my precious prescription, I never take even the week long break. I throw away the placebo and head right into the next packet. No hormonal fluctuations whatsoever anymore. I'm like a boy. No periods. Love it! Ever since I heard that women retaining their periods while on the pill was a merketing decision made by the manufacturers and that there is no downside to skipping it entirely I've been free.

    I recommend it.

  8. Ahh you're a regular cautionary tale. I almost decided to go a month free of the pill this month when my own Voldemort's office gave me some hell. But I hung in there and my drug addicted uterus and ovaries thank me.

  9. I just wanted to say thanks for making me feel less alone in my current state as a twitching, crying bag of hormones.

    I've also been playing BC roulette the last couple of months, trying to find a version that won't leave me a blotchy, damp mess. (a pale redhead's skin looks fantastic in many circumstances...this isn't one of them)

  10. Giving your body a "break" is much more stressful than giving it something constantly.

    Also, recall that when you go back on, you'll still have to use protection for the first month that you're back on the pill... it doesn't "kick in" immediately.

  11. The birth control pill is best invention of the modern world. Indoor plumbing doesn't come close.

  12. Um. Yes. I am reading this on my laptop snuggled in bed with 4 ibuprofen floating inside my stomach, not in class as I should be because MY UTERUS IS TRYING TO EAT ME.

    I ran out of pills too this month. HAH! Never again. I would stock those before hurricane supplies (I live in Miami, so this really means something!).

  13. I envy those of you who can use the pill. I get bloated, my boobs hurt, I eat everything in sight and my sex drive goes down to ZERO. I took the every-three-month shot for a while (progesterone?) but it make me gain MASSIVE amounts of weight. So here I am on the "natural" basal body temperature method with a gizmo. I used the Lady Comp (and no I'm not a shill, I just love it..) http://www.ladycomp.com/

    You take your temp every morning before you get out of bed and knows exactly where you are in your cycle and it will tell you if you are fertile or not with a red/yellow/green light system. You let it know when you have your periods but it will start asking you a day before or the day of if you period has started. You can see its guess for where you fertility will be 3-4 days in the future too and it will estimate when your period is going to start. It wakes you up gently and after awhile you don't even notice doing it. I’ve been using mine for 6-7 years now with perfect results. One does have to be very, very careful to use alternate methods of birth control or abstain when fertile, but it's worth being off chemicals. IMHO, this is a product for women 30 years and older. It takes a kind of dedication because you have to do it every day AND be very careful during those times of the month. Anyway, I really do love.

  14. I am taking a one month break right now, too (weird coincidence??). My birth control brand is "back ordered" everywhere and I'm too skeptical to take the generic they gave me. Fortunately, I didn't have any scary side effects, aside from the MOST painful period ever this month, which made me remember why I take them to begin with.

  15. I feel for you. But, just think, now you know!! You would have always wondered how your body would react.

    I'm glad I read this - been on the pill for almost 10 years now and there's no going back..especially now that I'm in "the know" too! Whew. One less thing to worry about.

  16. Oh, Kristy, how I feel your pain!

    My Voldemort has been f-ing with my dosages and bc pills for the past 3 months. When I saw her back in June she said, "Your blood pressure is high." I was like, what? It can't be, my Cholesterol is down and I've lost 30 lbs. Why would it go up now? So she figured it's because I've been on the pill for almost 15 years and she wanted to try me on the low-dose and see how it goes. So, I try the low-dose and the first month it's ok...the second month I got my period twice and was a weeping, screaming, demon posessed, raving maniac all month! So, I go back to Voldy in August and she says, "Your blood pressure is still high. I want you to try the mini-pill." So now I am on my first month of the mini-pill (no estrogen, just progesterone) and I'm moody, weepy and spotting.

    Oh, and the real fun of the mini-pill is you have to take it the same time (or within 3 hours) every day. If you miss it or take it late you have to use an alternate bc method for 2 weeks. I missed one on Monday night. My fiancee is not amused.

    Those of you searching for the right pill...if you can handle the estrogen I STRONGLY recommend Yasmin. Lower dose, never had any side effects, very easy periods.

    Good Luck Ladies!

  17. This is a weird thing for me to say, but suddenly I feel the need to watch a football game, scratch myself, and drink beer.

  18. Last month I forgot to start taking my pills when the new pack started. I never take the sugar pills, I just go a week with nothing and then start up with a new pack. Well, Thursday I remembered that I should have been taking a pill for the last four days. So I started it on Friday. Messed my shit WAY UP. I ended up having THREE WHOLE PERIODS in FOUR WEEKS. And talk about a raving lunatic... It's honestly a miracle my husband ever came home from work.

    I vow to never forget my pill again.

  19. I'm so glad I'm a dyke. Hey Jester, wait for me, I'll bring the nachos.

  20. man....when i got pregnant while ON the pill, i went off (obviously) and between that and baby hormones was a complete and total disaster. Yikes.

    Guacamole helps.

  21. I too am off birth control, but only because I'm in my 30's and worried about keeling over from a heart attack from them. I've always hated my periods, so I haven't noticed a huge change going off.

    But yeah. What's with the oil? I feel like someone should just hose me down in the middle of the day and throw some soap at me. It just makes me.... greasy. Blech.

  22. You really need at least 3 months before your body adjusts to being off the Pill (or on the Pill).

    It generally takes at least that long for your body to adjust fully either way.

    Going off of it for one month and then going right back on is only stressing your body. It's better to either just stay on it or stay off for at least a few months.

    (This information is courtesy of gynecologists with whom I have discussed this issue in the past.)

  23. I stopped taking the pill after the birth of my last AND FINAL child. FINAL CHILD. FINAL.

    Sorry, I digress.

    Anyway, it takes a few months for all that crap to regulate. After about month 4 of the high drama, oil/zit fest, cramps that leave child birth in the dust, and serious emotional issues, it all worked out.

    SO, one of these days if you DO have to stop, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Until then......DRUGS I SAY!!!!!!!! DRUGS!!!!!!!!!!

  24. your body will change a lot in your 30s and you will find (sob) as your fertility begins a downward spiral, your period changes (towards the better.)

  25. I feel your pain. I stopped taking the pill to give my body what I thought was going to be a bliss filled all natural break, it was just going to be for a few months and then I was suddenly in between insurance and well then it turned into 6 months.
    It was hell- like I was going through puberty- only I am 28. After trying every type of face cleanser, body wash....and finally a dermotoligist....I got back on it. Any side affects of the pill are slight in comparison to the hell I lived for 6 months.....never again and for the record I strongly recommend YAZ and YAZMINE...they work great no weight gain and gorgeous perfect skin....at last.


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