3 Reasons I Gave up Birth Control Pills

birth control

By Alicia Barnes 

After years of horrible cycles, I gladly took the pill. While it didn’t set everything right, it improved my months dramatically, and I took it and other forms of hormonal birth control for over a decade. While the pill and shots did their jobs keeping me baby free and lessening my periods, the trade offs eventually became more than I could accept.

1. Side effects

Most women only benefit from the good side effects like clearer skin and being able to go months without a period; however, the side effects of hormonal birth control aren’t always so benign and include but aren’t limited to blot clots, stroke, heart failure, decreased libido, gallstones, nausea, vomiting, and bleeding between periods. While I was lucky to not have any of those super scary side effects, over the years I had a few I could have easily done without. Though hormonal birth control is widely available and accepted, the risk for side effects has to be considered just look at the problems with Yaz and NuvaRing and how poorly doctors and women were informed of its increased risks.

2. Synthetic hormones in unnatural cycles and dosages

I began having trouble rationalizing why it wasn’t ok for me for my meat and dairy products to have artificial hormones, yet I was taking artificial hormones every day. It didn’t make any sense. While I loved not having a period for long bouts of time or being able to skip it when I wanted, I began to realize how unnatural that was. When I began to question my concerns, I realized I needed to rethink my birth control options.

3. Bizarre drug interactions

The last straw was a few years ago I started having strange medical problems. I went to my doctor who referred me to a specialist to make sure I didn’t have brain tumors. Hundreds of dollars later it was confirmed that the pill didn’t like other meds I was on and they were the source of my problems. That day I gave up the pill. This list covers some medications that have known problems with the pill. The problems range from decreased medication effectiveness to the crazy issues that had me getting MRIs.

That was it for me. No more hormonal birth control which means using less clinically effective methods. I feel a lot better since  having only my own natural hormones in my body. I will admit I’m a lot less worried about a surprise pregnancy in my 30s than I was in my 20s, but I do wish I had stopped using them sooner.

Here’s one of the 239 brain scan photos from my MRI.



Since I was paying so very much for them, I insisted on the hospital giving me my own copy. Most expensive photoshoot I’ve ever had.

Ladies, are you pro-pill? If not, what are your alternative methods of birth control? What have your experiences been with the pill?

Alicia is currently living her plan C or maybe D or F in a small college town where she divides her time between family, travel, work, and the internet.