PCOS Diaries: Coming off the pill

Health & Fitness PCOS Story

I took the last set of my prescribed oral contraceptive last December. Coming off the pill this time is somewhat frightening, as I do not know if my period will finally come back and my ovaries are now normal.

Throughout this phase of my journey, I’ve done more research to now seek how to treat PCOS naturally. I was shocked to find out results new to my knowledge.

Birth Control Pills are shortcut medication

For most PCOS patients, OCP is what they prescribed. A woman’s period is a sign of her overall health and not having it every month means something is not right. I remember taking it in 2007 until 2012 and after that nothing happened – I mean my period didn’t come back.

I must admit I was not that mindful of my overall health. Those were also the years where my asthma came back and I have to take other medications.

In 2017, since prescribed I took it again, only to find out that synthetic hormones are not as good as your true hormones (Estrogen and Progesterone). And the period happened was just a pill bleed or withdrawal bleeding during the off-pill days. A pill bleed is not real period* – sad reality for me.

It also gives the worst mood swings you could ever have and even depression. It overrides the real effect of normal hormone levels of your body. If you are taking it, you do not produce your own sex hormones. The pill doesn’t regulate your hormones*, it switches them off entirely – another sad reality for me.

After learning so, I decided to finish the last pack and change the course of my PCOS journey.

Effects of coming off the pill

Althea gave me the most beautiful skin I could have in my entire life. I even told myself that I will just come back to Althea if my period would not normalize. NOT A GOOD IDEA.

After finishing my last pack last December, I am observing what will happen, my skin got more oily, no hardcore excess hair, hair fall still, no breakouts and happier mood.

Special thanks to water, supplements, and exercise done in December too, I was able to prepare my body to the changes.

Treat your PCOS naturally

It is important to know what kind of PCOS you really have. More than the ultrasound of bilateral polycystic ovaries, you should also check other symptoms such as hirutism, acne, weight gain, and the like. PCOS is a series of symptoms not just the ultrasound. At least that is what I found out from reading books.

Based on symptoms, I would consider mine to be on the insulin resistant PCOS as my sugar levels got high during tests and I am overweight. Treatment could be tricky but with patience, nothing is impossible. Meaning I should sleep well, eat right, exercise more, and be happy.

I notice how stress affect our overall health, so I am choosing joy.

Since my problem is the absence of period, I have to take new steps to detect ovulation and yes become pregnant. After all, this is my end goal of treating PCOS.

What am I doing now?

Period Repair Manual Book

As mentioned, most facts stated above came from the book that I purchased in Amazon. It is called the Period Repair Manual by Dr. Lara Briden. She opened my eyes about the truth on birth control pills as PCOS medication and suggested ways to “repair” my period overtime. I sent her a DM in Instagram and I am very happy she replied.

Period & Ovulation Tracker App

I also downloaded a period app called Flo among all the apps I’ve tried before this is favorite. I used to believe that these apps are applicable to women with normal periods. For this one, it also focuses on ovulation and getting pregnant. You can log all the possible symptoms and it gives you personalized insights about it.

I am actually addicted to it. It is the first thing I open in the morning when I check my phone. It even helped me drink more water as you can set a reminder to drink at least 3L of water.

Let me know if you want me to further review the app, but the link to iTunes above gives more information about it.

Fertility Awareness Method (FAM)

For women naturally planning their family, this is one of the safest way to do it. For women like me who is trying to get pregnant this is what they also recommend.

It is easy to do and scientific too. It uses observation of three concrete signs of fertility: Basal Body Temperature, cervical fluid, and cervix changes. It is different from the rhythm method the old style of FAM as it relies solely on calendar dates. Which is not useful for me cause I do not have a period to track.

On checking BBT – I am currently searching where to get a BBT thermometer as Daysy is not yet available in PH (and quite expensive).

Home Ovulation Tests

I also learned about Luteinizing Hormone surge which you can detect from your urine. A positive result on test shows that you will ovulate for the next 36 – 40 hours. This should be charted as well along your BBT. I got mine from Watsons and it has five kits per box but you can buy one kit at a time.

I should have bought the box since I need to record the result for at least a month. On the positive note, I got a positive result. haha I am so happy.

Joining PCOS Community

I joined a #Cyster community on Facebook where they freely talk about their situation. PCOS Nurse Amber of thepcosnurse.com gives tips on how to lose weight if you have PCOS. I am excited to hit the gym again.

It is nice to have a support group and compare notes with other #Cyster and achieve results altogether.

Disclaimers

Okay! Basically all the information I mentioned above is based on my own personal research. Every body is unique and my diagnosis may be different from yours. Please do your own research.

I am not a doctor. My recent post about Althea made my inbox crazy. Please, if you are trying to prevent pregnancy, talk to your doctor so they can advice better birth control methods. If you are trying to conceive like me, it also best to talk to your doctor.

I am sharing these information to document what am I doing and to give you an overview of what you can also do.

Finally…

I feel relieved that I can stand my ground not to choose birth control pills to fake my periods. I also know how to talk to my doctor. I never imagined that planning pregnancy can be this tedious.

I am not complaining though cause at the end of this journey, in God’s perfect time, it’ll be all worth it.

So women, be healthy, be happy, and let us make babies.

Feel free to talk to me via Facebook Messenger should you need someone to talk to. I am all ears!

 

 

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