Side Effects Of Stopping Birth Control Pills And IUD

side effects of stopping birth control

In this article, we’ll discuss the side effects of stopping birth control pills and IUD.


If you are someone on contraceptive pills or IUDs, you may recall the initial uneasiness you faced adjusting to them. If you are hoping to stop these methods, you may wonder what the probable consequences of discontinuing might be.

Here we present before you a host of after-effects associated with the two most commonly adopted long-term contraception- Birth Control Pills and IUDs.

Side Effects of Stopping Birth Control: Pills

Birth control or hormone pills consist of two synthetically produced female hormones – estrogen and progesterone. They avert pregnancy by stopping the process of ovulation, i.e. release of eggs into the uterus for conception.

The most obvious after-effect of stopping the consumption of birth control pills is that the headache and associated symptoms associated with consuming them will vanish.

Here are some of the other consequences:

1. Pregnancy

You may get pregnant sooner than expected. You may think it will take time for your pills to wear off. But research shows that more than 95% of those who stop taking these pills can get pregnant within a year.

Thus be certain to adopt other methods of contraception as a precaution.

If you stopped your pill hoping to conceive soon, it may happen anytime between 3 to 13 months based on a study conducted on extensive users of Levonorgestrel (birth control pill).

2. Restoration of Normal Menstrual Cycle

It will take a while for the outcome of estrogen and progesterone in the birth control pills to wear off and your menstrual cycle to restore its normal pace.

On average, you may expect your periods to return within 90 days of getting off the pills. Ovulation may start from day 32. These statistics are based on a study done by users who took Levonorgestrel for a year.

  • Return of previous symptoms: These pills are also responsible for preventing the indicators of pre-menstrual stress such as irritability, moodiness, anxiety, binge-eating, etc. Because of the lack of supply of the hormones, these symptoms may return. Hormonal imbalance is the number one reason behind skin outbreaks and unwanted hair. The birth control pills do a remarkable job in maintaining the hormonal balance in your body. Therefore, there may be unwanted hair growth and acne.
  • Variations in the characteristics: After discontinuing birth control pills, there could be heavier blood flow and increased cramps. This depends on when you began consuming your pills and for how long. If you started birth control in your early 20s and stopped them in your mid-30s, this problem may not arise, otherwise, the blood loss and contractions may increase. There also may be mid-cycle cramps. When ovulation restarts, you may experience pain on one side of your lower abdomen. There could also be an increase in vaginal discharge.

3. Variations In The Body Characteristics

  • Weight loss or gain: Although, the difference may not be remarkable, cutting your body off the progesterone may lead to weight loss. Some women may also experience weight gain because of an increase in appetite. For best results, you may want to adopt a healthier diet and more exercise to prevent either case.
  • Reduction in Vitamin D levels: Vitamin D is responsible to maintain bone density by helping your body assimilate calcium. It stabilizes the immunity and energy levels of the body along with preventing the risk of mood disorders such as depression. Coming off your birth control pills may result in the Vitamin D levels in your body to plummet. You should get yourself tested to avert the harmful consequences in the long run. Some Vitamin D supplements you may include in your schedule are from the brands called Drisdol, Calciferol, Cholecalciferol, Ergocalciferol, etc. Long time users of birth control pills may continue to be safe from ovarian and endometrial cancer. This benefit also extends to reducing the risk of other diseases such as fibrocystic breast disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), etc.

Side Effects of Stopping Birth Control: IUDs

Some women also use long term contraception methods such as IUDs. Intrauterine devices or IUDs are a T-shaped device that a physician can insert into your uterus to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Some of the generic brands of IUDs are ParaGard, Liletta, Mirena, Skyla, etc.

They guarantee 5 to 10 years of birth control by preventing the sperm from fusing with the egg after intercourse. If you wish to conceive before the expiration date of the IUD, your doctor can remove it.

These are some of the consequences you can anticipate after taking out an IUD:

1. During Removal

Although taking out an IUD hurts lesser than when inserting it, there may be cramps. Typically a doctor uses a speculum to broaden the vaginal canal opening and take out the IUD by drawing out the string connected to it.

In case when the IUD gets caught in the uterine lining, your doctor may use medicine such as Misoprostol (Cytotec) to expand your cervix and take out the IUD using forceps. Anesthesia will be provided before the procedure to ease the soreness.

2. After Taking Out The IUD

You will continue to experience cramps for a couple of weeks. There will also be mild bleeding during this time. If the cramps are unbearable, you can purchase pain relief medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen which are easily available.

Birth control pills like Lo Ovral or Yasmin pill have a buffer phase of at least three months before you can conceive. IUDs on the other hand do not temporarily stop your normal menstrual phase after insertion. They merely prevent the possibility of fertilization.

This contraception is a better option for women who wish to conceive right after discontinuing contraception. Also for women who are unhappy with the weekly consumption of pills.

Side Effects Of Stopping Birth Control: Wrap Up

Every form of contraception has a variety of side effects associated. If you do not wish to wreck the normal hormone discharge of your body, IUD may be the best pick. In the case of erratic hormonal balance in the body, birth control pills will be ideal. They are also cheaper and less complicated.

Whatever means you adopt, the correct contraception depends on your personal needs and comfort.


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