I was on birth control for over eight years before I took my first break.
I began with oral contraceptives. For seven years, I struggled to take my pill at the same time every day. I set alarms on my phone, tried to associate the task with other habits and put the pack where I couldn’t miss it. Even after all my attempts and a reason to be motivated (if you don’t take the pill consistently, it’s less effective), I still forgot to take it all the freaking time. My spotty adherence was enough for me to explore my options.
I talked to my doctor and decided to try a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD). I had health coverage through my job at the time, so the cost didn’t deter me, but the horror stories I’d heard sure did.
In the end, I wanted to decide for myself.
I’ll spare you the gory details, but the process of having my IUD inserted was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.
It took me thirty minutes to peel myself off the table after it was over. I ended up taking the rest of the day off work because of nausea and pain. My best friend came over to help me sit up in bed and make my food.
The fun didn’t end there. I endured unpleasant daily side-affects. My doctor told me to stick it out. I kept waiting for my body to get used to it, but after 10 months, I was Done with a capital D.
I had the IUD removed, then tried the birth control patch for four months.
First, finding a place to put the patch wasn’t easy. A flesh-coloured square isn’t exactly a cute accessory.
Second, the patch gave me a terrible skin rash.
Back to the drawing board.
I took my original pill prescription for one last month, mostly out of sheer frustration, then I decided to experiment.
I wasn’t worried about getting pregnant, so I stopped.
I don’t know what I was expecting would happen, but having my boobs shrink and my face, chest, and back explode…