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Side effects of stopping birth control?

By Anonymous October 3, 2014 - 7:01pm
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Hi, I have been on a 21 day active birth control pill (Alesse), and because of the side effects I was experiencing, mainly increased acne, as well as personal reasons, I have decided to stop. I was just wondering if I stop taking it after my 1 week of placebo pills, will it change my menstrual cycle?

Also, I feel that my body will get used to the hormones if I take it for another 3 weeks, so if I get off it, will my body have other side effects because it is already adjusted to the increased levels of estrogen and progesterone?

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Hi Anon,

Thank you for sharing your question with the EmpowHER community! While you are on birth control, you menstrual cycle regulates itself and your body becomes used to more hormones entering the body. Side effects from stopping birth control vary for everyone, but do occur.

However, there is no need to worry when you notice these side effects. It's just your body responding to changes without the birth control and trying to regulate itself again. 

Some common side effects include:

  • acne
  • mood swings and enhanced emotions
  • cramping
  • irregular period such as spotting or heavier menstrual cycle
  • higher sex drive
  • back pain
  • tender breasts

If any of your symptoms seem unusual or are causing you excessive pain, it is important to talk to your doctor. There are so many varieties of birth control on the market. If you are interested in finding a different kind here are some helpful resources on EmpowHER to read: 



I hope this helped! Please let me know if you have any other questions.


October 4, 2014 - 11:18am
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