In March of 2019, my significant other and I talked about me getting off of hormonal birth control. At the time, I was training for a powerlifting meet, and I felt like I couldn’t make any progress. One day, he sent me a video of a female powerlifter who talked about why hormonal birth control is bad for lifters. Basically, the hormones in the pill, patch or IUD affect the hormones you need to get bigger muscles.
We discussed how this would help me in lifting, and I also told him about how I didn’t feel like myself since starting birth control. Luckily, I had been on and off of the pill for 3-4 years, so it was fresh in my mind of how I was before him and the birth control. We decided that I would get off the pill and we would start using condoms. After a few months of that, we were a little worried about pregnancy, so we looked into other non-hormonal methods for me. That is when we discovered the copper IUD.
I did my research on it, and many people had horror stories about them. Then I found an article that discussed how women with a positive experiences don’t post about it. It defined the percentages of how many actually have side effects and it was much lower than I expected. That month I booked an appointment with Planned Parenthood and got it inserted.
Looking back, it blows my mind that I did so much research into getting my IUD, but did none before getting on birth control. After the fact, I have done more research on it and it freaks me out that they allow women to do that to themselves without teaching them the affects it could have. One of my big concerns was the decline of testosterone in the female body. I could absolutely tell that I had lower testosterone levels, because I was super moody, no motivation or a sex drive. All of these things were not like me and were very concerning. Also, I have a hunch that the amount of people with fertility issues, might be liked to the birth controls people may have been on growing up. I haven’t been able to find too much research to back that up, so who knows.
During this whole experience it got me thinking that I am so lucky I was able to take this step into the right direction for me. I think more women should try it. It isn’t fair that we have to be the ones who need to alter our bodies to have some kind of birth control, but it’s going to take awhile for men to step up to the plate and do it too (sorry guys). The copper IUD is a good alternative, but I know for some people it may not be the best option. We shouldn’t have to change our bodies chemically just to prevent a baby, and possibly affect who we are as people.
I know there are some women out there that this isn’t possible for. Hormonal birth control is a good way to control acne, or depression, but it was not helping me in either of those realms. Take the plunge and see if something else can work better for you.
One of the main things that I have loved about being off, is that I have control of my emotions. While on hormonal birth control, I would get angry over nothing, cry constantly, worry about everything and I was miserable. I constantly would tell Shaun that I wasn’t the same person and that I disliked who I had become. It took about 6 months to finally control my emotions more. I would say after 2.5 years of being off, I am still noticing some changes that I haven’t seen since before I was on birth control. I was sick of a tiny pill controlling who I was as a person, and I wanted that control back for myself. Honestly, with technology companies are starting to come out with male forms of birth control. I’m hoping that this conversation can change in the next decade and women can stop letting a pill control their lives.