The IUD Chronicles Part 6: Two Months Hormone Free!

I’ve been off hormonal BC for two months and I feel AMAZING.

I haven’t taken hormonal birth control pills for two months now! My experiences this month have been very similar to the ones I described in my last post. But, I wanted to check in and review the benefits to stopping hormonal BC that I have noticed, and continue to notice, and reflect on how my periods, cramping, and acne have been. Let’s go!

Acne

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The zits are on the right side of my chin in this photo. I don’t have on makeup or anything. Yes I know they’re not that bad.

I can’t say that my face is wrecked by stopping BC. I use my salicylic acid face scrub more frequently, and I moisturize more, and things are tolerable. If I didn’t pop shit, I wouldn’t have temporary acne scars or large, irritated marks on my face at all. But I am an impatient child and picking at my skin is a stim and I can’t help but scrape at that shit.

I do have some bacne, as I mentioned in my last post. Some of the zits are kinda big and weepy and painful. Every zit disappears on its own after two or three days, if I leave them alone. I don’t leave them alone.

Because my mental health is better now that I’m off BC, the acne doesn’t bother me like it used to. Years ago, I wouldn’t leave the house if I thought my acne was too unsightly. I’d put benzoyl peroxide on the same zit over and over again, for hours, until some of my skin burned off. I just don’t care as much about that shit anymore. I’m able to forget about the pimples and drag myself away from the mirror.

Sleep.

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Erika’s sleepytime stories.

On the rare occasion that I can’t fall asleep immediately, I can read or screw around on my phone without feeling distress. No freak-outs, no long crying jags. I always had those when I was on BC. Which brings me to:

Crying

THIS IS INCREDIBLE! I used to cry every other day. I cried trying to fall asleep. I cried waiting for my partner to come home. I cried if I made a mistake. I cried if I thought about my family being all Republicans. I cried if someone frustrated me.

I don’t cry much now. I can feel misty and sentimental watching a cute video of a dog, and I can feel sorrow contemplating the unfairness of life, but I don’t sob and sob and sob. I used to have hours-long meltdowns with clear snot and tears dripping without relent. My head would pound for hours afterward, sometimes the whole rest of the day. My sadness seemed inescapable. It was white-hot and intense.

And now…crying is relatively rare and more self-contained. When I do cry, it is briefer and relatively controlled. I’m able to explain to my boyfriend what’s upsetting me, instead of shaking like a morose leaf and leaking snot for hours. I can’t believe how much better I feel.

Mood

I find myself singing around the house more. Even singing as I walk down the street. That’s always been a positive mental health sign, for me. I’m able to feel joy with so much ease. I can process sadness, anger, and annoyance without being destroyed by them. I can think about difficult things without falling into a spiral of negative thinking and distress.

I love inhabiting my own head, now. It was never like this before.

Libido

Menstruation

Cramping

Boobs

Dysphoria

Discharge

In Sum:

I will keep updating this serious periodically, as new developments arise. Unless something catastrophic happens, all future posts will probably be short check-ins, like this one. I may follow them up with a final, big-picture reflection six months or a year into the process.

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This is part of an ongoing series documenting my transition from hormonal birth control to a copper, hormone-free IUD. You can read the series from the beginning here: https://medium.com/@dr_eprice/the-iud-chronicles-part-1-why-im-going-off-bc4b2859367e

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