anzeige / paid collaboration with femSense – thank you!
The contraceptive pill and I. We’ve had a grand time, haven’t we? I still remember the day my doctor first gave me the pill and the utter pride I felt that day. However, as you get older, things begin to change. So do dinner table conversations with friends. Whereas we used to laugh and laugh about that one wild SpongeBob episode where Thaddeus suddenly turns pretty, we now often turn to fertility and reproductive health; what would we do if we were to get pregnant? What does it feel like when you ovulate? And why does your discharge always change throughout the month?
We still laugh about childish things, but reproductive health has also become a big part of our lives. One that we take seriously. When I started opening up about the topic on Instagram, the feedback I received was tremendous. So many of you asked me about cycle-tracking, coming off the pill and contraception in general. This is why I am very happy to have teamed up with a local start-up to answer your questions regarding women’s health and also introduce a cycle tracker with a hidden bonus ;)
Disclaimer: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I am solely talking about my personal experiences with the pill and cycle tracking.
Coming Off The Pill: Your Questions Answered
How long were you on the pill? When did you start taking it?
I was started taking the pill when I was 14 years old and started taking it right after. I was constantly on it for about 8 years and only switched brands a couple of times in between because I was never feeling too well on it. After I first went off for a couple of months, my period got really heavy and I almost couldn’t bear the pain anymore. So I went to a new doctor and she ordered me to get back on the pill again. About two years ago I decided enough was enough and skipped if for good.
My doctor prescribed me the pill because of the pain. I would like to know if I am the only one.
You definitely are not the only one. As I said, I also went on the pill to combat the intense pain I was feeling whenever I had my period. This is also why I went back on again after ditching it for the first time. I only wanted something to ease the pain – and ease the pain it did. As far as I have experienced, the contraceptive pill gets prescribed for a number of factors and way too easily. Be it acne, weight gain, pain or mood swings – the pill is usually the first thing recommended. There are other fixes as well, though. What helped me a lot with my pain, for example, is supplementing with magnesium, CBD oil, and baths.
Did you have weight fluctuations while taking it or while getting off it?
I did see a difference in water retention and also the way my body is shaped. My breasts obviously grew a lot when I was on the pill and I am sad to report that I lost all of that after getting off it again. However, I also see my whole body being a lot less “watery” and I feel like my metabolism works much better now that I am not taking it anymore.
Did you experience any side effects/changes after going off the pill?
The first few months were rough in terms of my skin. I got awful acne and had to combat hair loss and very fragile fingernails after getting off the pill. Also, my period-pain came back again and I had intermenstrual bleeding about every other month. The first few months were weird. My period wasn’t regular, my nipples were swollen and I felt nauseous all the time. One more thing I’d like to add is that my main reason for going off the pill was the fact that I felt depressed and anxious all the time. I did not feel like myself anymore and wanted my own emotions back. Of course, that also affected my mood and personality within the first few months of getting off the pill.
How long did it take for your cycle to become normal/regular again?
All in all, I think it took my body about 1 – 1,5 years to completely normalize again after having been on the contraceptive pill for so long. Now, my cycle is 100% regular and I could even tell you on the spot the exact moment I am ovulating or starting my period. It’s beautiful to be so in sync with your body and to feel everything that is going on inside you so deeply. I have always felt a bit distanced from myself.
Which contraceptive method are you using right now? Are you not afraid of getting pregnant? I’m taking the pill solely because of the security it provides me with.
At the moment, I am solely using my cycle trackers and condoms. However, I am in a stable and constant relationship and my partner and I have openly discussed the possibility of a pregnancy and its effects on our lives. I am 100% that we will be able to deal with anything to come. I am fully aware, though, that this experience would be totally different for me if I were in a different relationship or single.
How did you prepare for coming off the pill?
When I went off the pill I immediately downloaded a cycle tracker to have a better understanding of my body, its reactions and the way my cycle manifests itself in my mood and health. I prepared by reading a bunch of books/articles on the topic and consulted my doctor about my idea.
Cycle Tracking With femSense
As I have mentioned before, the most important part for me when coming off the pill was learning about my cycle and getting to know my body better. I wanted to tap into an entirely new sense of self and so I did. So when I started to write down everything that was going on in my body and soul, I started to realize reoccurring patterns in my behavior, cravings and also bodily functions during the months.
The femSense app helps me to track my menstrual flow, mood, sleep and symptoms in order to analyze my cycle and get a better understanding of fertile and non-fertile days. Funny thing is: I always thought that I was fertile 24/7 all year round. However, a woman is only fertile on about 4 days per cycle. And now, after months of tracking my cycle, I can even feel my ovulation. I can sense it in my body and that is such a beautiful thing to be so in tune with your entire self.
Before I used to always talk myself down when I was having cravings during the month. However, now I know that I always have 1-2 really high caloric days right before my ovulation. It probably happens because my body wants to prepare itself properly for a possible pregnancy. Whenever I feel a symptom flaring up, I double-check my femSense app to see how far I am in my cycle and usually, that gives me a pretty good idea of why I am experiencing a certain symptom in my body.
For The Future: From Cycle Tracker to Kinderwunsch
I know there are plenty of cycle trackers on the market and some people even like to jot down their symptoms into their bullet-journals instead. What makes femSense so unique, though, is the fact that they are the only ones that not only help you in getting to know your cycle but also supply you with the first step towards having a family. I am by no means in a position where I want to have a kid or family. However, I know that some of you are. And this is why I also briefly want to talk to you about the Kinderwunsch option in the app.
When you are ready, upgrade the app to “Kinderwunsch” and use the intelligent patch to confirm ovulation. You will then stick the plaster under your armpit from where it measures your temperature throughout the ovulation period to give you a perfectly accurate understanding of when it’s best to conceive. I tried the patch out of curiosity. And let me tell you, I was absolutely amazed by the possibility to read your body temperature with your phone through the NFC-chip in the plaster. It is a totally natural way to get to know your body even better and prepare you for your future.