Quitting the Pill? Here’s What to Expect

No matter how long you’ve been on birth control, your body will need some time to adjust once you stop. Every woman’s experience is different, but we can fill you in on some common side effects. Keep in mind that once you’re off of the pill, you will need to use another form of contraception to protect against unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Remember: It’s important to discuss going off of birth control with your doctor so they can provide guidance and monitor any side effects you experience.

What Is Happening?

Stopping any form of birth control eliminates external sources of progesterone and estrogen, causing temporary side effects. Most of the time, going off birth control is as simple as not taking the pill anymore or removing a vaginal ring, but if you have an internal device, discontinuing will require a minor medical procedure.

What to Expect

Everybody is different, but there are a few common side effects to going off birth control.


Yes, we know, “duh,” but some women think it takes time after going off the pill to conceive, but that isn’t the case. In fact, pregnancy rates are about the same. While this isn’t the case for everyone, it’s something to be aware of.

A Wild Menstrual Cycle

Even if your periods were regular before birth control, it may take a few months to straighten out after you stop. They could be heavier than usual and involve more cramping – or they could stop altogether for a few months.

The Return of PMS

Since birth control helps level out hormonal chaos, without it, you may feel those annoying PMS symptoms again.

Change in Libido

If you experienced a lower libido after going on the pill, you may notice that you’re in the mood more since going off of it.

Acne and Unwanted Body Hair

The pill can correct hormone imbalances that cause acne and unwanted hair growth. But once you stop the pill, these issues could return.

How Long Do Side Effects Last?

It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for your body to adjust. After that, you can expect clearer skin, lighter periods, the ability to get pregnant, and learning to be more in tune with your body.

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