5 Things I've Learned About My Body Since Ditching Hormonal Birth Control Pills

After almost 10 years on hormonal birth control, I decided to stop taking the Pill when I was 24. It was working great for me — I’d never been pregnant, my periods were light, and my extremely acne-prone skin cleared up — but I decided that I was curious about what my body would be like without the added hormones. After all, I started taking them while I was still in the final throes of puberty, and I’d been on them for my entire adult life. I’d never really been sexual without this little pill changing my sex hormones, and I figured it was time to check out what exactly that looked like.

While there were plenty of adjustments to be made post-Pill — number one among them probably being way more freaked out every month as I waited for my period to come — some of the coolest ones were centered around changes I noticed in my body. The main reason I wanted to drop the hormones, after all, was that I wanted to be more in tune with my own body and sexuality. I wanted to see what my body would do when it was left to its own natural devices.

So here’s what I discovered when I dropped the hormones for good. Spoiler alert: It’s been pretty awesome.

1. I’m Not Actually Horny All The Time

I’m actually super horny mid-month when I’m ovulating. Because the Pill kept me from ovulating, I didn’t know what my natural arousal cycle felt like. I’ve discovered that, like a lot of women, I’m horniest during ovulation. That’s because it’s when I’m fertile, so it also means being extra cautious for those few days.

Totally worth it though, because sex is amazing when you’re ovulating.

2. Periods Come With A Lot Of Feels

So obviously, I knew that periods come with feels, but this is a whole ‘nother level. I used to get a little grumpy around my period. But now? Now I’m like, “GET OUT OF MY WAY I HATE EVERYTHING GIVE ME ALL THE WINE AND CHOCOLATE AND FRIED CHICKEN NOW!!!!” Luckily, I have a very awesome partner who indulges me while I sulk and complain and cry about nothing and everything.

And while on the surface, that might sound like a “con” to the whole ditch-the-Pill experiment, I actually see it as a major plus. My mom has always told me that your period is your body’s way of forcing you to get out all the emotions you’ve been suppressing for the past month. (And in case you were wondering: Yes, she comes from a WASP family.) I view my monthly freakout as an opportunity to face the stuff I’ve avoided, and to also drink as much wine / eat as much fried chicken / devour as much chocolate as I want.

3. Things Are A Lot Wetter Than They Used To Be

And by “things,” I mean my bits. And by “my bits,” I mean my vagina. Pre-Pill-dropping, I often had to use lube for vaginal intercourse, which is super weird for a functioning, horny teenager. Post-Pill-dropping, I’m more likely to need a towel afterward than a bottle of lube beforehand. Score!

4. My Boob Size Is Not Fixed

My boyfriend right before my period: “Your boobs are HUGE!” (Smiles.)

Me right before my period: "DON'T TOUCH THEM THEY HURT!"

Yup. My normally enormous boobs go gigantic around my period. I guess this one is more of a plus for my boyfriend than for me?

5. My Cycle Is Super Regular

My cycle was always regular on the Pill, because that’s one of the main things that the Pill does for you. However, I’ve been pleased to discover that my natural cycle is also super regular, which is a huge boon for this anxiety-prone freak who thinks that increased appetite obviously means she’s pregnant.

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our SoundCloud page.

Images: Dawn Foster/Bustle; Giphy (5); ilya_oreshkov/Fotolia