Contraceptive Pill – The Good, the Bad and the downright Ugly Sides.
*A note to the reader, before you get settled in for the read, this is in no way a recommendation to stop taking the pill or to scare you out of contraception. This is simply my journey, a guide to fill in the possible blanks that may occur should you wish to head down the path of stopping the Contraceptive pill.
When it all began…
I was 14 years old when I was placed on the Contraceptive pill for my acne. The doctor recommended the strongest possible that my body could handle, ‘Yasmin’. I had developed severe acne that ran all the way down my back, covered my chest and shoulders, and when I got my period (all of two times before I went on the pill), it covered my jawline. In my mind as a 14-year-old it was like I was trapped in a toad’s body, covered in these painful lumps in the midst of puberty about to take full speed ahead.
My Mother sat next to me in the doctor’s office and held my hand while we talked about my options. Roaccutane was one option, but with the risk of me being sexually active I also needed to combine this with the Contraceptive Pill because of Roaccutane’s known side effects on the child should I fall pregnant. So, with this “red pill” or “Blue Pill” scenario I opted for the Yasmin.
When the symptoms started to show
I was 6 months into the use of the Pill, my period had become attuned to the new layout, after all, I had only had two cycles before I started the pill, so there wasn’t much to go by in any case. Take the actives and follow the lines, it was simple enough.
Until it wasn’t. Sure my skin was near immaculate now… but something else was burdening me, I was beginning to have severe bouts of depression and rage. I would have mood swings like that of Frankenstein woken from his slumber; it was a sight and an embarrassing and uncontrollable one at that. The only time I felt normal was when I was on my period, the sugar pills, the placebo. I began to draw the dots…
4 years on with Yasmin Contraceptive Pill
4 Years on, I’m now 18 and heading into adulthood, my skin was awesome, and boy was I carrying more weight. Putting it down to poor diet and merging from a teen into a woman we just labeled it as ‘baby fat’. I started training at the gym and had just gotten out of a relationship. So I dabbled in not taking the pill for a few weeks here and there (not recommended) but during those weeks, my brain fog and depression lifted somewhat.
This was enough for me to consult the doctor and talk about my options of going off the pill. I remember distinctively the doctor laughing at me and saying, “there is no difference in Yasmin or another Contraceptive pill, it will not change how you feel.” Regardless, I opted for a much lower dose contraceptive pill. Within months the depression lifted, and my weight started to shift. “Interesting”, I thought and persevered. The varicose veins that I was experiencing on Yasmin became less prominent also, and the fluid retention dropped away. “Very interesting,” I thought to myself. I stayed on this lower dosage pill for 3 more years and at the age of 21 went cold turkey.
The Cold Turkey Method
Let me just say that cold turkey is hard, immensely hard. Taking away something like the contraceptive pill that had complete control of your hormones and how your cycle timed itself messes with you… A LOT!
I ranged from the following on any given day:
– Depressed and burrowing through a box of Kleenex.
– Raging irrationally – I once punched a ticket box because it kept spitting my ticket back out in the car park and my arms are too short to stay reaching that long (irrational to say the least) I promise no one ever got hurt.
– Waking up miraculously 2-3Kg heavier like I had been gifted ankle weights in my dreams!
– The Acne, it came back…with a vengeance!
– Oh and also, no period for the first 12 months post cycle has its perks, but it’s not healthy!
I was a wreck! And So, began my journey to understand my hormones. It was a lot of trial and error but my period returned, and the moods drastically settled. I did Alpha Venus and t432 for a 1-3 months initially and my cycle came back Yippee! Unfortunately, the Acne stuck around.
Turns out, skipping puberty blues is kind of a lie…
Well, I got away with it for a long time – Years in fact. My skin went from war zone to heaven because of the Contraceptive pill. Stopping it, made me realize that with that also came to the giant bandaid getting ripped off and the Acne came back with an absolute vengeance! It was like a battle of the death star all over my body.
With that came the self-conscious thoughts and depression, do I go back on the pill? But you have come so far, this is the only thing left, and it’s so superficial for you to be upset by this. Real beauty is more than just the surface – Blah Blah Blah is what I thought when I would get these pep talks from my family and friends, but in essence, they were right. I was letting something so minor control my life entirely. I even wore long sleeve shirts in summer, Australian summer none the less, it was insanity!
Understanding the Root Cause to my Acne –
Well, with much trial and error it inevitably came down to two things now that I was no longer using the pill as my bandaid:-
– Gut and my insulin around my gut imbalance.
– Topically balancing my oil ratios.
I’m just about to turn 25 and the last few years has been a journey and a half to balance my body and its hormones. However, I am thankful for it, I now know exactly what I can and can’t handle and how my body responds to even simple things like eating sugars and or dairy etc. Something I never gave a second thought to before – and I know my cycle without a tracker or pill packet telling me, I can tell when I’m ovulating and not ovulating. Yes, there are “conveniences” that come from taking the pill, so if you do choose to head down that path ensure the partner you are with is mature enough to understand that you are in control of your own body and you make the choices.
What helped my acne
Topically – I literally tried every.bloody.thing topically. You name it, I put it on my face.
Diet – albeit I probably didn’t stick to them hard enough but I did for long enough to know that it wasn’t helping me.
Working for ATP has been a huge help in understanding the pathways in the body more closely and where dietary elements fit in, but even still things can catch you by surprise. Like when we launched Aurum oil, it’s designed for internal use right? Well, I said to myself if these fatty acids are so good, then surely my skin can benefit from them too right? What have I got to lose? Perhaps I’ll get more acne…please as if it could get any worse!!
Well, something amazing happened – within 3 days of using it on my face day and night I had not a single new pimple turn up. Continue down for a month, and it’s getting better and better, what the heck!? 2 months on and it’s healed to 90% clarity. I’m now 3 years post contraceptive pill to put this relief into perspective, that’s how long I have been Battling this for!
My daily routine now:
1 tsp of Gutright Evening when going to bed.
3 x caps of resilience to help with inflammation.
2ml of Aurum oil internally.
1ml of Aurum oil on my face topically massaged in morning and night.
Spot treatment – make a paste of resilience and Aurum oil 1:1 ratio and apply to a pimple, leave overnight and wash off the next morning.
Pro tip: get a pillowcase you don’t mind staining yellow!
That’s it for me now, diet wise I have just cut out easy to avoid sugar and dairy sources, but I haven’t been super strict. Correcting internal inflammation and my microbiome I would say has also played a huge role, but topically nothing has come close to using the Aurum oil on my skin. It’s silky and smooth and absorbs straight away. I’ve thrown all my other topical treatments out.
Sometimes you just have to trust your gut, ironically enough!