Why I Stopped Using Birth Control

Tired of being hormonally assaulted by your hormonal contraceptive? Find out how you can take control of your fertility WITHOUT using birth control!

Like many women my age, I took birth control religiously.

If I missed a day, I’d panic and immediately pop two pills at once.

By the time I was a Junior in college, I had switched my method/brand of birth control three times.

At that point, I had experienced almost ALL of the symptoms of being on hormonal birth control:

  • Cramps
  • Weight Gain
  • Spotting
  • Missed Period

You name it!

It wasn’t until I started taking a “chewable” birth control pill (which tasted horrible btw) that I began to experience SEVERE mood swings.

After days of questioning my sanity, I realized that my bouts of intense sadness and anxiety were brought on by my birth control.

Needless to say, I stopped taking them immediately, and apologized to my boss for having to leave work because I could barely contain my tears.

I was so nervous about being off of birth control because I thought that my debilitating cramps would come back with a vengeance, but I just couldn’t bring myself to continue taking any form of a hormonal contraceptive.

After doing a great deal of research on alternative methods of birth control, I came across Natural Family Planning (NFP) and decided to give it a try.

I’ll be honest…

Although it made complete sense (in theory), I was still nervous that it would be too hard to keep up with.

My biggest fear was that I’d ultimately have to bite the bullet and make an appointment with my OBGYN to discuss birth control options.

In spite of my fears, I decided to go ahead and start becoming familiar with what to look for every month, and to my surprise, I began to really become in tune with my body.

I tried countless apps to help me keep track of everything, but it wasn’t until I came across Kindara that I was hooked!

Once I knew what to look for and how to track it, keeping up with my fertility signs became second nature.

According to the “Couple to Couple League” website:

“[NFP] is a means of reading the body’s signs of fertility and infertility; applying this knowledge through the Sympto-Thermal Method (STM) is over 99% effective in postponing pregnancy.”
What Is Natural Family Planning? (2017, March 16).
Retrieved April 14, 2017, from https://ccli.org/what-is-nfp/

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty.
But first:

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. Please do not use this as medical advice. Always discuss your concerns and any questions you may have with your Doctor! 

In order to practice NFP, you need to know the three major fertility signs:

  1. Cervical Mucus (AKA the good vaginal discharge)
  2. Basal Body Temperature
  3. Cervical Position

1. Cervical Mucus

Cervical mucus is a type of discharge that women naturally produce more or less of over the course of their menstrual cycle.

Around the time of your menstrual cycle (before and right after) your body produces less cervical fluid.

However, during ovulation, your body produces a lot more cervical mucus that will vary in texture according to how imminent ovulation is.

Initially, this can be tricky to track but once you get the hang of it, it becomes like a sixth sense.

Plus, if you’re a beginner and need something to refer to, there are dozens of sites with photos of the change in cervical mucus over the course of a woman’s menstrual cycle. 

2. Basal Body Temperature

Basal body temperature (BBT) is your temperature when your body is completely at rest.

Around the time of ovulation, your BBT rises steadily.

Once ovulation has passed, your temperature will return to its lower BBT temp pattern signaling that aunt flow is near.

If you are pregnant however, your BBT will remain high long after ovulation and it’s likely that you’ll experience a missed period around this time as well.

Once you begin tracking, you’ll learn what a normal resting temp looks like for you, and be able to recognize potential causes for ‘outlying’ temperatures.

It’s important to note that things such as alcohol and not getting enough sleep (at least 4hr uninterrupted hrs) can cause your temp to be higher than normal.

When I first began to explore NFP, I was using a super cheap BBT thermometer that I found at Wal-Mart, but then I came across the WINK by Kindara and I absolutely LOVE it.

It makes it so easy to keep track of my temps without having to remember to put them in my phone.

Plus once it takes your temp, it does a soft vibration to let you know it’s done and sends the temp directly to your phone via Bluetooth!

Game Changer!

3. Cervical Position

Cervical position refers to the current physical state of your cervix during your menstrual cycle.

When tracking cervical position, you want to pay attention to how high or low, wet or soft, and open or closed your cervix is.

Around the time of ovulation, the cervix is typically soft, high, open and wet (SHOW).

After ovulation has occurred, if you aren’t pregnant, your cervix will then become hard, low, closed and dry (sorry, I don’t think that there’s an acronym for that one).

If you are pregnant, your cervix will remain high, close and become hard, eventually forming a mucus plug.

Cervical position is one of the trickiest signs to track because the cervix position fluctuates throughout the day.

So When tracking cervical position, it’s wise to track it at the same time each day for the most accurate observations.

I know what you’re thinking…

“I might as well take the birth control if I’m gonna do all that.”

But be patient and trust the process.

I know it seems like a lot but after about two months or so, I was pretty comfortable tracking and became well acquainted with what I should look for month-to-month.

So far, natural family planning has been working for us for a year and counting!

I now am able to confidently predict when I’m ovulating, and I’m also able to predict my upcoming periods- almost down to the day!

Are any of you trying of Natural contraception or NFP as an alternative to birth-control?

If so, how has it been working for you?

Tired of being hormonally assaulted by your hormonal contraceptive? Find out how you can take control of your fertility WITHOUT using birth control!

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  1. I love this post!! I’m happy to see that more people are turning to NFP. I took birth control for a month years ago and hated it. Almost all of my friends have experienced issues with various types of birth control. When we take certain medications it can affect the body’s natural functions making it harder to be aware of what our body is doing.

    1. Absolutely!! People thought I was crazy when I quit taking it but I feel soooo much better since I’ve stopped!! There’s nothing like really being in tune with your body!

  2. Thank you for that information, that was very helpful and answered alot of questions that I had
    about birth control. Count me in, offically off birth control!!!!!

  3. My gosh, I completely understand what you went through with the severe mood swings!!! I got on the pill right after I gave birth, for the first time in years. IT WAS BAD. I felt like an insecure hormonal teenager. I felt like my husband didn’t love me anymore, even though nothing had changed, it was AWFUL. I’ve been off it ever since! I love that you wrote this, I do the same thing as you, but I didn’t know all the details! You’re so amazing, thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thanks so much! I HATED being on the pill. I ended up switching because I kept spotting on one pill and then the next pill made me feel like I was having a nervous breakdown! It suckedddd! It’s been 4 years and I’d never go back!

  4. theterrificfive says:

    Wow good for you to take this route! It’s a lot of work and I don’t think I know my body well enough, but no medication is always best. I am using an IUD right now and I have mixed feelings but much better than the pills… they were throwing me for a loop too!

    1. I was always to scared to get an IUD. It took me some time and a bit of research to really understand what to look for but now it’s kinda like second nature.

  5. Love this post so much! So glad I’m not alone in feeling horrible on the pill. I was on it for years and thought that the mood swings were normal woman behavior. After my first baby, I tried an IUD instead. The OB told me the horomones were localized and I wouldn’t have the same problems as the pill. Fast forward a few months and I would have pulled that thing out myself if I could have. We then decided to try NFP and it worked just fine. The best part about it is that when we got ready to try for baby #2, I knew when I was ovulating so we got pregnant the first month of trying.

    Just came across you blog and love it! I just started a blog at bethbrookeandcompany.com!

    1. Thanks so much! & Yes! I feel your pain! I was always too afraid to try the IUD. People thought I was crazy for getting off of the pill but I am so glad that I did! I love the freedom of being able to actually plan when we want to add to our little family. I’m gonna go check out your blog!!

  6. Love this! I’ve actually been thinking of taking out my Mirena because of my anxiety and mood swings. Not fun – at all.

  7. Shawna | MISHMASH MOMMY says:

    This is really interesting! I’ve been on oral birth control since high school due to severe cramps. I’d love to be rid of it, but I’m so afraid of getting pregnant again!

  8. I have heard of this method, it qaw just never explained to me.. Im at a point now where I have to decide on getting my tubes tied because in so tired of being on birth control.. I’ve had all of them and had side effects every time.. I’m honestly only on it because I’m so fertile, it takes no time for me to get pregnant.. Think I’ll have a chat with my husband about this.. Thanks✨

    1. Hey Jaleysa! I know the struggle when it comes to dealing with all the crazy side effect of birth control. I was terrified to stop but I’m so glad I did! Learning the ins and outs of this method is definitely a learning curve, but it changed everything for me. I love having the ability to ‘choose’ when I want to get pregnant. Hopefully, it’s a fit for your family! Thanks for reading!

  9. Thank you for this post! I have never been on birth control in my life and people always look at me like I’m crazy for that! I wish doctors would educate people about other effective options before just jumping straight to birth control!

    1. Hey Mary! I completely agree! Birth control is not the end all be all when it comes to preventing pregnancy! Learning about NFP was so empowering for me so I just had to share what I know to hopefully help other mamas! Thanks for reading!

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