Warning: If you can’t deal with the fact that half the population bleeds for ¼ of their lives, you probably shouldn’t read this post.
A year ago, I went to my gynecologist to attempt to get an IUD put in. While doing an exam beforehand, she looks around my giant skirt at me and asks, “How long have you been on birth control?” “Twenty years,” I reply. “You need to get off it. Now.” she says. “But –” I start to protest, and she cuts me off: “Now.” She told me that I had the uterus of a seventeen year-old – whatever that means.
I finally took her advice last December when The Texan moved back to the US and went off hormonal birth control for the first time in two decades. I was freaked out about what might happen to my body; here’s what did happen:
- My face broke out like a fifteen year-old. The acne was gone in a couple of months, but it was really bad for a while. Now when I get my period, I get acne in places I’ve never had any before, so that’s weird. It goes away, but still. Weird.
- I finally stopped spotting and my mood swings stabilized. Yea on both accounts!
- My periods last longer and there’s a significantly heavier flow, but nothing too bad. I’ve also been experiencing cramps for the first time since I was fifteen.
- MY BOOBS GOT SMALLER! This is a huge victory. I’ve always had giant knockers; since I exercise a lot, this is a pain in the ass. Having smaller breasts feels wonderful – it’s something I’ve wanted my whole life.
- My libido has skyrocketed.
I thought that I already had a much higher libido than most people – I’ve had more than one boyfriend complain about the frequency with which I want to get down. Now it feels a little out of control. In addition to no longer putting extra estrogen and progesterone in my body, I also do weight lifting, which increases my testosterone level. I am ridiculously horny ALL THE TIME.
I’ve started hitting on people I normally wouldn’t hit on, have said yes to sex with someone I’ve never considered sleeping with before (and it’s been great!), have done some pretty stupid and hurtful things in the past month because of my sex drive (sorry, Emily Nagoski), and have had some horrifyingly sexually aggressive thoughts that I never had before.
I’m feeling great about having more sex with more partners (this is going to be a renaissance year for my sex life, no doubt), but I’m not okay with being in a place where I’m not fully thinking through my actions before doing them. What I’m saying is, I need to check myself before I wreck myself, as it were.