Getting off the Pills
By FeminineRhythm on July 18, 2010
It was about this time last year that it started to occur to me that my use of birth control pills could be causing/contributing to some imbalances in my body. Over the past 2 years I have delved further and further into the spiritual world and alternative medicine, I began cleaning up my diet, being more aware of what I choose to put inside my body, and becoming an advocate for natural medicinal therapies. Yet, I was still popping that little pill daily. I began to ask questions; why did I refuse to take aspirin for a simple headache, but I was ok with putting external hormones that are not my own inside my body? It started to make no sense to me.
The First Signs
In July 2007, my first pap smear came back abnormal. I was shocked. I was 21 years old and had had been getting a yearly pap since I was 16 (the year I went on birth control), all of which until this time came back normal and healthy. Interestingly enough, my HPV test came back negative so the doctor decided no further action was needed and we would re-check in 6 months.
My pap smears continued to come back abnormal and my HPV tests continued to be negative for any signs of the virus for the next 2 years. I received a colposcopy in January 2008, which also came back negative for anything much more than cervical dysplasia. I was confused as you can imagine. The cells in my cervix were changing, but there was no medical reason showing up on a test to tell us what the issue was. I received no further instruction on what else I could do to heal my cervix aside from "make sure you take your folic acid for your immune system" and “wait 6 months and let's see if the cells heal on their own”. The doctor did mention to me that while my tests continued to come back negative for HPV, I most likely had some strain of it since a high percentage of cervical dysplasia is caused by the virus. So of course this became my explanation; my label for what was happening to me. It was my excuse; what I told everyone about what was happening. And so eventually I manifested it into my life.
The manifestation phase:
Two years later, in August 2009, my pap smear came back abnormal, again, and my HPV test showed up positive. Interesting: I wasn't surprised; in fact it was more of a relief to actually have a test confirm it. Still, I felt confused. I had been with the same man since a few months after abnormal pap number 1, I exercised on a regular basis: "What gives?" I thought. My second colposcopy came back negative again. The doctor just said again “Take your folic acid and we'll re-check in 6 months, it will start to clear up on it's own, most do."
This pap prompted me to really get serious about cleaning up my diet and exploring alternative medicine even more than I had before. Over the next 6 months, I eliminated most of the dairy, grains, legumes, sugar, and processed foods out of my diet in favor of lots of vegetables, lean meats, nuts, and seeds, and fruits. My body never felt better physically or emotionally. It was also the year I began doing a lot of personal growth work including the class I now teach, the art of Feminine presence, which put me on the fast track to remembering who I am and connecting me to my feminine essence and power.
Fear or Love?
I found myself in a circle of women who I admired and also, I began to notice, chose not to be on birth control pills. It started to make me question why I was taking them. I also started to have an intuition that being on the pills had something to do with my cervical issues. Not that they were causing them, but that they were blocking the healing process.
I started to think of all the things I was missing due to being on pills. Prior to being on pills, I had never once had a regular cycle. My cycles were sometimes 3 weeks and sometimes 5 or 6 weeks apart and lasted sometimes 2 days to 5 days. I had my first menses at 14, so I have only 2 years of natural cycles in my experience. The pills obviously force a regular cycle, so one thing I realized is that I actually have no idea what a “normal” cycle is for my body. I used to be able to tell the moment my cycle began; I felt it every time like clockwork. I used to feel when my breasts ( my under developed 14,15 year old breasts) became tender before my cycle. With the pills, those body cues were eliminated. How can I be present with my body if I don’t even know what my normal rhythm is and I am shutting off body cues? What did I miss all these years when I was supposed to be solidifying a relationship with my body’s own feminine rhythm at such a crucial time as age 16-24? My body was not fully developed as a women when I started on them!
The answer to my question about why I was on these pills came swiftly to me: I didn’t want to get pregnant. More specifically I was AFRAID of becoming pregnant and of my ability to fully enjoy any sexual experience without feeling this fear. This was unacceptable to me. I am a coach who teaches people to make decisions based on love and empowerment, not fear, yet I was making a huge decision of my life based on fear.
The Best Advice
I started asking my friends who had made the change for advice. The best advice I received came from a chiropractic friend who reflected on her decision to get off the pills. She said to me “It was an empowering decision. My boyfriend at the time fully supported me and we both knew that our intention in our intimate relationship was not to create new life. You will know when the time is right for you when it feels empowering, not fearful.” She was so right, so while I knew that I did not desire to be on birth control pills any longer, I knew that I still felt the fear inside me. That was in February of this year.
Four weeks ago, I popped my last pill. A week later I had my annual pap, which came back abnormal and positive for HPV. This year is the year I find out what my cervix is trying to tell me. This year I will explore supplements, acupuncture, reiki, and anything else I am drawn to in order to nurture and connect with my body. I know that I have a lot to uncover around my relationships with my friends and family, money, and feeling supported. I know that I have a lot explore around the relationship to myself and the trust I have in myself. My entire body of expertise surrounds work in the second chakra, the feminine furnace, my sexual organs, and now that I can connect my own dots I know I am so hooked into grace and my path.
This month I have been even more emotional than I can express. My sexual energy is coming back. I feel my body communicating with me more and more from my womb space; my feminine furnace. I have not had a natural cycle yet, but as I write I can feel my uterus moving and it is a glorious feeling!
Can you relate? Have you experienced getting off the pills or are you thinking about it? Do you have stories, advice or comments? Do you think we could improve the way we educate young girls about birth control and they way they relate and listen to their bodies? I'd love to know!