Post # 1
I’m a long-time lurker who recently decided to get involved and have received a very warm welcome on here! I have a question for anyone who has had similar experiences…
DH and I are not planning on TTC until next summer, but I have decided to go off of my BCP now. We will be using the FAM to avoid a pregnancy before then, and are planning on using condoms until my cycles regulate enough to see a pattern. I’ve decided to go off the pill now due to multiple issues – foggy feelings, lack of sex drive, migraines, etc. I’ve read a lot of stories about people not regulating for quite a while after they come off BCP and want to start that process as soon as possible. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading about the pills themselves and the thought of putting those synthetic hormones into me scares me now! I can’t believe how much I didn’t know about a pill I’ve been taking for 7 years now.
Anyway, I was planning on finishing this pack and then just not starting the next one in order to hopefully avoid some of the breakthrough bleeding and cycle confusion. However, the last few months I’ve had mid-cycle spotting on the pill that usually starts during the second week of active pills and lasts anywhere up to a week. I have about 10 more active pills this pack and started spotting yesterday, so I’m wondering if I should even bother finishing the pack. Part of me thinks its silly to keep taking something I’m no longer comfortable with in order to avoid breakthrough bleeding that I’m having anyways! Still, I am not sure if stopping mid-pack will have any other effects I should know about.
Everywhere I look I find conflicting information about stopping the pill mid-cycle. Do any of you bees have any experience with it or any advice to share? Should I finish the pack or just stop now? Thanks! 🙂
ETA: I’m on Ortho-Tricyclen if that makes any difference!
Post # 3
I have stopped mid-pack multiple times. My first go-around, I was on Orthocept (combo pill) and had what you described -breakthrough bleeding that lasted about a week, and later on my period. As soon as I stopped taking that pill, my symptoms were gone. It was like night and day. My cycles were the same, but I can’t speak to ovulation post-pill…maybe it was later.
I was on Micronor (a POP) for just over a year and stopped mid-pack recently. Symptoms gone overnight, period came when it was expected to, etc. My first two cycles did have shorter than normal luteal phases – about 9 days. This last cycle, it was 10 days, so they’re gradually getting longer, my cycles went from being very short (25 days) to being a more typical 29 – 30 days.
I’m now on my 3rd cycle and things have regulated. While it certainly happens that some women might be regulating 6 months, 12 months or longer after the pill, it does seem for most folks it’s generally a few months.
I’d just stop now if you’re done with the side effects.
Post # 4
@LissieBear: I was on ortho tri cycles lo for 17 years, just stopped last week. Dr told me to finish out the pack and then stop, not to stop mid pack. Unfortunately I just said uh huh and didn’t ask why! 🙁 so that’s all the info I have.
Post # 5
When I stopped taking them, I was SO over it that I just stopped mid-pack. I had bad breakouts and lots of spotting. This was like, ten years ago though so I can’t give you any specifics. Maybe if I had waited and finished out the pack it wouldn’t have been so bad, but maybe it didn’t matter either way….
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@LissieBear: Unless you’re having issues you think are caused by the hormones in the pack it’s a good idea to finish the pack so you have a period like normal and then start on day 1 of your first cycle off BCPs. Each new cycle starts with the first day of your period. If you stop mid-pack you will still get a period but because you are stopping mid-pack it may take more time for your cycles to straighten out off the hormones. Best to start with a fresh cycle by finishing a pack so you know day 1 of your first cycle off BCPs.
Since I stopped at the end of my pack when I went off BCPs, my first cycle off BCPs was the “normal” 28 days. After that my cycles got longer and longer until I had a 69 day cycle. After that I alternated between a 30-40 day cycle and a 60+ day cycle. So my most “normal cycle was the first one off BCPs. My doctor told me this is normal and why a lot of women get pregnant their first cycle off BCPs and that when I was ready to TTC I might want to consider going back on BCPs for a short period of time and then TTC my first cycle off BCPs. I’ll find out next year when we start TTC because I don’t plan to stop taking my pill again until we start actively TTC.
Post # 7
I would finish the pack, just because the hormones and sudden lack-thereof can throw your body out of whack. I tried skipping a placebo week (during our honeymoon I was supposed to get my period) and instead of getting no period, or a late one, I got a lovely two week one!! Hubby was absolutely thrilled. haha So I would just finish the pack, just to be safe. PLUS, then you can get AF immediately upon stopping, and can start charting right away! If you stop it now, who knows when AF will arrive, so you won’t be able to start your first full chart until whenever that may be. But, it’s your call 🙂 Exciting stuff!!
Post # 8
I say stop now if you want to. I couldn’t find anything bad/dangerous about stopping the pack mid-cycle so I did it. I had a my break-through bleed a few days after stopping the pill. Then, I had a 28 day normal cycle and mine stayed pretty much regular thereafter with a few days of variation depending on which day I ovulated that cycle. Since you are already spotting, it can be difficult to pinpoint when the first day of your period would be to start the new cycle. That might be something you want to monitor while doing FAM. Mid-cycle spotting can be indicitive of other issues that you may want to work on before TTC. Good luck!
Post # 9
Thank you ladies for all the input! I ended up deciding to just stick it out and finish the pack. I only have another 4 pills to take (yay!) and I can’t wait to not start the next pack. I know it’s extreeeemely unlikely that my cycle will stay the same as it is on BCP, but on the off chance that it does I won’t have my period during a couple vacations we have planned! I can’t wait to let my body get back to doing what it wants!
Thanks again for the input 🙂