Is it possible to gradually wean your dosage of the birth control pill in order to kill the chance of an acne breakout afterwards?
I would have thought no, but perhaps I was just thinking of it the wrong way! There is one girl who has done it and had success… watch the video to find out what she did and how you can try the same thing.
Visit this link to read the acne.org thread that I refer to in the video.
* And don’t forget, if you are going to try weaning off birth control pills, you need to use an alternative method of birth control to prevent pregnancy!
I saw this link too! I’ve been interested in this for a while, as I’m dying to go off of bcp after over 10 years of taking them, but I’m afraid of the acne. I want to know if this is safe though! But I’m afraid to ask my doctor, since they always think I’m crazy for stuff like this 😛 Also, clearly this method would require using a different form of birth control to prevent pregnancy!!
Well, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be any less safe than just stopping them… you can ask your doctor, but I’m sure they would say you shouldn’t do it! Doctors are really frustrating in that way… they seem to dismiss natural or alternative options right away… probably because they either don’t have time to discuss it… or perhaps it might be against some policy that they can’t tell you to use a medication in a way that’s not indicated. I don’t know. But anyway, that’s a good point about needing to use other birth control methods while you’re weaning, I will add that in as a note at the bottom!
Also, Tracy, don’t you think this kind of weaning would seriously mess up your cycle? I wonder if you wouldn’t just have breakthrough bleeding all month long.
You know, I’m not sure about that. People respond differently of course and maybe some people would have breakthrough bleeding…. to be honest, I really don’t know as I haven’t done this and I’m not on expert on it. But, if I was on birth control pills and wanted to be off them, I would definitely try this method. But that is because to me it seems more logical that it would be very gentle and easier on your body to wean off consistently like this over a long period of time, rather than weaning off by taking it one day but not taking it the next etc, or just quitting cold turkey. But maybe there would be issues that I’m not thinking of, and if you think there would be, then use your best judgment to decide whether to try it or not!
I’m in month 2 of weaning off of YAZ birth control pills. I take YAZ for PMDD (and acne).
My method includes taking a razor blade, cutting the pills in half, and then cutting one of the halves in half (to produce two quarter pill pieces). Right now, I’m in month two of taking 3/4 of a pill each day (that’s one half piece and one quarter piece). So far, what has happened?
a) my energy levels have improved – I felt sluggish all the time before and now I have lots of energy – also, I need to mention that this doesn’t fluctuate – I have energy all the time, no matter what day of the month it is
b) in the very beginning of weaning off, I got a couple of minor zits, which went away fairly quickly and I haven’t gotten any more since
c) I still have no period, AT ALL.
d) my moods have been consistently more upbeat, except this week as I near the end of my second pack of weaning off pills, I felt pretty emotional, but I have a LOT of stressors in my life very recently, so that could be why. Otherwise, I’m quite chipper.
Why did I want to go off YAZ?
Mainly because of what it’s doing to my joints and muscles. I’ve developed MAJOR cellulite all over my body (and I’m thin). Fronts of legs (UGHHHH), tops of arms, belly. I’ve never had cellulite in these places before. I learned that estrogen works to break down collagen in your body. This leads to cellulite. It also makes my hips and joints hurt, and my muscles have been feeling super weak and cramping up a LOT. So, YAZ has to go. But because I take it for PMDD, I don’t want to bring on a psychotic hormonal episode by just going completely off of it.
So far, my approach is working very well. I did start to get hot flashes in the past few days, which coincides with the extra emotion.
Also, some of my libido is definitely returning, which is a great thing. And, it’s kind of nice to feel feelings more deeply again, instead of functioning like an emotional robot. I plan to do another month at 3/4 pill, then cut down to a half pill.
Wish me luck!
I have been on Yaz for 10 years! And want to wean off. I had the exact same idea to slowly cut the birth control in half with a razor blade. Last time I stopped cold turkey my hair fell out like crazy, and I got terrible acne, and horrible mood swings…So i went back on the dreaded pill. I want to stop again, and for good this time, because of the cellulite issue as well! It is now March, how has your experiment gone? would love to hear
any updates on weaning off the pill by cutting it? did you get any cystic acne? I’m about to start the weaning process once I finish the pack I’m in.
I just started the process of weaning off Birth Control pills –
Follow my weaning off birth control journey here! http://birthcontrolweaning.blogspot.com/
Hello. I want to share my experience with weaning off the birth control pill. Just so people can compare themselves with me: I am now 16 but have been on the pill since 14. I am generally acne prone, really bad during the 14-15 times but now at 16 it is quite well. I was on Yasmin, and I decided I wanted to quit. The pills were getting too expensive. I was very scared for the side effects of acne. But this is how I did it: 3 months. The first month I ate 2/3 of the pill by cutting. The second month 1/2 and the third month 1/3. I was also traveling at the time so my skin would get dry from planes, and I didn’t sleep much. HOWEVER, it all worked great for me. Every time I would cut a third of the pill out I would get a pimple or two, but then nothing. The process was all relatively smooth and weaning worked well for me. It has been since Christmas ’12 and I am still quite clear. Only thing is that I haven’t had my period yet; bit worried but I don’t know. Hope this helped!
Thank you for sharing your experience! I stopped taking BC for awhile then the cystic acne emerged and I couldn’t deal with it. I went back on BC but this time I developed melasma on my upper lip which looks like a straight up mustache in the summer. I want to use this method to wean off the pill and hope that I will not get bad acne after. I had great skin before going on the pill!
You mentioned your skin did not go haywire. Is this true for the months that followed?
Hi, I found your site from acne.org and thanks for giving out tons of info! Anyways, I saw that link as well but I didn’t know the OP ever came back to report the current status. I think your suggestion of having a healty diet/lifestyle months before you plan to get off BCP is the best advice. Personally I wouldn’t recommend this “weaning off” method as we have no idea the composition of the pill, or how it’s made. It may very well mess up the cycle and gives you more side effects.
Hmm I thought she did come back a few months later and say it was still working out great for her!
Actually I asked my friend who is a doctor about this. She said she thought it would be fine to break or cut the pills, and she thought it would be a good idea as a way to slowly get your body accustomed to lower hormone doses! I have started weaning and am on my first week.
Oh very interesting! I’m really glad to hear that you checked that out…. please me know how it goes with the weaning!
Hey anna! I want to stop taking my pills also and last time i stopped i had horrible acne and was wondering if the weaning off gradually method really worked. It must be nearly a year now since you’ve stopped. Could you please take a little bit of your time and tell me how this method has worked out for u? Thank you
I actually just revisited this post now and saw your reply almost a year later. Weaning off of birth control pills did work pretty well for me. I have been off of them for a year and a half now. I took about 4-5 months to wean off and did not experience acne during this process. I have had problems with acne since then so I don’t know if that is related to not taking birth control pills but at least I didn’t experience the “initial breakout”. My acne didn’t flare up again until about 6 months after stopping BCP. I’m working on other ways to treat my acne now, but am very happy to no longer be taking birth control. Good luck!
How bad was your acne flare up? Could you give any advice on how you have been dealing with it? Did you do anything else while weaning off the pill? Like any diet changes or supplements?
Hey! I have been on and off birth control for awhile now. My first major breakout came after I stopped taking birth control (and increased stress levels). I cleared up but broke out again after taking an antibiotic. I started to take a different birth control at the suggestion of my doctor, but I am not a fan and my acne hasn’t really gone away (and it’s been four months now). Generally speaking, I have been working on my diet and exercise routine (but I’m afraid stress is still an issue). I feel like whenever I start to get clear, something gets in the way and I break out again! So, I guess what I am trying to say is that I want to come off of birth control, but I don’t want my face to get worse, is there a way through relaxation and exercise that I can regulate my hormones?
Get yoga, meditation, and any other relaxing and pleasurable activity will definitely help you to regulate your hormones. (as well as a healthy diet and exercise).
I’d also do some research on vitex (agnus castes)… it’s a supplement that seems to help a lot of women with hormone imbalances, and I think it usually helps with the type of hormone imbalance that occurs after you go off birth control. I’m still researching it myself, so I don’t know everything about it yet either – but look into it!
Do you think taking one less pill a week over a long time frame would be similar or is cutting daily recommended?
I think cutting them is a good idea……. I think skipping pills will just send your hormones all weird (since you’ll get the full dose, then withdraw, which will cause big fluctuations and so forth), and what’s what we want to avoid.
Thanks! I’m looking forward to this journey. I’m getting into yoga, loving green smoothies, and am going to buy your ebook after I get paid haha. You’re really an inspiration and I have a much happier and optimistic outlook on things now. Thanks. Keep it up!
Hi Tracy- I love your website. I am planning of coming of BCPS too soon and the only reason I ever got on them was for my acne. I was just wondering what the update of the weaning process has been for previous posters. Also, I have been reading alot about saw palmetto and mint tea, and have heard wonder stories about them for women coming of BCPS and acne, have you heard anything about these? Thanks in advance!
So far I haven’t heard from anyone with an update…
Also I don’t know a lot about Saw Palmetto as of yet.. I know peppermint tea is good for balancing hormones and is an anti androgen.
I know it’s been a while since you posted this, but I just thought you might be interested in having an update from people trying to wean themselves off the bcp.
I’m French, and over the past 10 years I’ve taken Diane 35 (Dianette for those in the UK), Jasmine (Yaz), and Jasminelle (Yazminelle). I’m lucky not to have any of the terrible side-effects experienced by so many women. My lifestyle is pretty impeccable – I eat very well, no drinking/smoking etc, but the other morning ago I woke up at 4am in utter panic, and suddenly realized that I’d been on this junk for a decade (I’m 29)! I’ve spent the last 10 days documenting myself on the pills I’ve been on, and I’m shocked to read SO many terrible things that happened to innocent women who just followed the dr’s orders.
So that’s it. I’m quitting.
I tried to come off Diane 35 in 2004 and broke out badly after having been clean for 6 months (I also had NO period for 6 months), so I just went back on. I was already a health-freak, and I tried so many food combinations, but nothing seemed to do it for me. Now, reading your website, I realize that I may just have been sensitive to some foods – as you say, what works for some does not always work for others. And there was probably a hormone imbalance at the root of all that.
Anyway, I’m going to wean myself off Jasminelle. I’m going to start by cutting off 1/6 of the pill, then 2/6 etc, and I want to be off in within 6 months. Now I just need to find a good way of balancing my hormones once I’m done.
I’m really determined to go through with this, but after that awful breakout in 2004 I’m nervous. Although your posts have given me SO much hope, I’m still nervous about what’s going to happen once my body no longer depends on the chemicals. But voilà, I’ll keep you updated.
I hope the weaning thing works out for you…. please let me know if it works or not, I’d love more stories and experiences with people who have done it and have succeeded! Good luck lovely, xox
I’ve been reading your comments and have been inspired to get off of Diane 35. I’ve been taking it for over 20 years and the last 10 years I’ve been skipping my periods and taking them all the way through. I am going to try weaning off. I guess the first step is to actually have my periods rather than continually taking the pill after 21 days. I fear I have a very hard struggle ahead. It is great to hear the support that is given from this blog it helps to know there are others out there going through the same thing.
Sorry it’s taken me forever to get back to you. I only just saw your comment.
I think it’s a great idea to start by taking a 7 day break between packs. I doubt that will cause acne, but you might start getting withdrawal headaches along with your “periods”. Your body is indeed addicted to Diane, and the gentler you are with yourself the better you’ll do in the long run. But according to ladies such as Kyra who managed to wean off Dianette with virtually no side-effects, it might not be such a rough ride after all. I would advise you to wean off extra slowly though, to make sure your body doesn’t get “shocked” by a sudden decrease in cyproterone (that’s the synthetic progestin – the addictive stuff).
If you can, read up on the ingredients in Diane 35, so you are as informed as possible on what to expect when you come off.
If you’ve been on the pill for years, your gut flora might not be very rich. I would suggest taking a good probiotic while you wean, and investing in a B complex vitamin. The pill tends to stop your body from absorbing B vitamines, and they are the good hair-skin-nails ones.
Good luck! SO happy you’re taking the big plunge! 🙂
Hi Jenn! So have you started to wean yourself off the pill yet? If so, how is it going for you?? I’m really interested to hear from people who have been taking it for a long time. I’m starting my first day of weaning tomorrow, I’m going to do it over 9 months. I’ve been taking the pill for nearly 20 years so I’m going to take it slowly. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed it will go ok!
I have been on low dose birth control since 1987, a very long time, and my daughter, a nurse, who is now being treated for ovarian cysts by physician who’s specialty is hormone imbalance convinced me I need to wean myself from pills. Can I just replace with estroven and progesterone cream. Being 59, I need to wean ASAP. Thank you for this website.
I wanted to know how your weaning off did go? I am taking Diane 35 too and would like to stop the pill. I did in the past and I have always experimented major breakouts, I got cystic acne last time. Thanks!!!
It’s been a while now and I was wondering how the weaning off did go? How long did it take you to be completly off and did you experience major acne breakouts. I’m on Diane 35 since ten years an tried to to getting off the pill 2 times, each time I did break off, but last time I started to have very big and deep cystic acne for which my dermatologist prescrib me Accutane. I never want to take this drug again and I am really scared to come off the pill. Therefore, I would like to know more about your journey to weaning off the pill. I would like to do it on 4 months. Thanks
My Pcp is more of an alternative Md. He told me the pill is made of horse urine…Ahhhh. I expressed my concerns about acne breakouts he said only take the pill every other day for a few months, maybe 2, then drop down to every 3rd day for a few mos and so on untill ur off… he said ur body depends on that dose of hormones every day so if you slowly remove it you body will balance itself out. So u will have lots of pills left over but will not have to take them just throw them away.
Hey thats awesome… it’s cool to hear that from a doctor that it’s okay to wean off them just by skipping pills! Thanks!
Oops, sorry Tracy, I misspelled your name in that first comment!
Ashley, I know, horse urine, ughhh!!! Good luck with your “skipping pills” method. I’m cutting mine – this month I’m cutting off a tiny fraction, and hopefully within 6 months I won’t be taking it at all.
In case anyone wants to try the same thing, remember, pills are tiny and very difficult to chop up, so be extra careful!
Also, I think it’s very important to make sure that while we are weaning off birth control our lifestyle and diet is at it’s best. I’m thinking of going on a candida cleanse and taking some probiotics + coconut oil supplements while my body adjusts to all these hormonal changes. I just think that for anyone who’s been on the bcp for a long time, it might be worth taking advantage of this “weaning” period to make sure you’re not giving your body too much of a hard time processing extra toxins etc.
Good luck ladies! And a million thank yous, Tracy, for the time and effort and love you put into all your posts and videos. I only discovered your website very recently and randomly as I was reading up on how to quit birth control. Anyway, you’re awesome! Much love xxxx
Thanks so much for your post about this weaning method, I am going to give it a try. I have been on the bcp since I was 16 (now 25) and I do think it creates imbalances in my body (Candida etc.) I have tried going off the pill ‘cold turkey’ a couple of times, but my acne came back each time with a vengence & I had to go back on. Anything is worth a try!
Good luck Charlotte! I hope it works out for you 🙂
I have wondering about some of this for the past two months. I had my tubes tied and stopped taking my yaz right away; however, within a few days I was having a huge hormone dump. Considering I already fight depression, I wasn’t willing to jeopardize my mental health so they put me back on the yaz. Thankfully, I have a group of doctors that have a lot of faith in me that I am very strong in my mental health. At some point I know I need to get off of bc. I would like to very slowly wean myself. I’m not concerned about the periods as I haven’t had one in months. Thanks for everyone’s input.
Just want to tell my story, I am so thankful that I found this site, thank u so much Tracy! I have passed my first month successfully weaning off the pill, I will start my second pack tomorrow! so excited… I was on loestrin 24fe for 3 yrs and had a severe hair fall while being on it… and I always had acne! So my doctor put me on ortho tricyclen high estrogen pill to take care of hair fall and acne and it worked and after being on it for an year I started having BP problems and my doc told me its because of the pill coz otherwise I am very healthy person with healthy eating habits, I was so worried, I wantd to get off the pill but so scared of hair fall and acne! My doctor has put me on 50mg of spironolactone to control my acne and my BP and she wanted me go on lower dose of orthotricyclen but I wanted to do ur way and I am so glad I am doing this way! First month is gone no major acne breakout( just one or two small ones) and I don’t see any signs of it coming! Hair is also great! BP was great when I checked last time! I will keep on updating my status but I really have lot of faith in this method! Thank you so much! I hope this message will help few others who are trying to get off the pill!
Good luck Gausha! 😀
any update Gausha! I have this same issue with my hair falling out after I stop birth control… and every time I go back on Yaz so my hair will come back. I want to finally wean myself off. Would love to hear if it worked for you, and the amount you took to wean off?
Hi, Wanted to say I am so happy to have seen this blog. As I am having issues so many others are having. Have been on several BP’s over the past 4 years for my skin. After coming off the birth control pill last time my skin went crazy and it scared me back on it, this time I have been on diane 35 for the past 7 months has done wonders for my skin, I can tell its a strong pill my emotions are crazy. Have been noticing a little bit hair loss recently which has really stressed me out and I want to come off it right away however concerns of a major hair shed and an acne break out, feels like a trap! Anywho I have been to the natroupath and following a vitamin rich diet with supplements and going to give this cutting pill a try and wein myself off of this high dose of estrogen the smart way which makes sense in terms of cutting your dosage down rather then cold turkey. So will keep you all posted on how this goes and if anyone else could provide feedback on any positive updates with this would be great. Also going to look at acupuncture during the next few months to get my hormones balanced while trying this process! Fingers crossed!
Good luck Rebecca!
Ok ladies. Here’s a brief update on how the weaning process is going (I’m into month-4). So far so good, girls! I started cutting my pills in February. I took 3/4 of a pill for 2 months, then 1/2 a pill last month, and I’m doing the same this month. Next month I hope to be down to 1/4 of a pill, and I want to do that for 2 months, and be totally pill-free by August (I’ve been on birth control for 10 years, and I’m siiiiick of it!).
The pill I’m taking is called Jasminelle (the French version of Yazminelle, I guess). It’s supposed to help with acne, but I’ve heard it can also cause strokes, and it has provoked several deaths in recent years (hello!!!). Of course, my gynecologist has never mentioned any of those things to me, and when I asked her about the link between breast-cancer and the pill she shrugged and gave me the feeling I was a hypochondriac.
Anyway, after reading up on all the ill-effects of the pill, and realizing that I’d been on it for a decade, I decided it was time to quit. Whenever I have tried to quit birth control in the past, the acne has come back with a vengeance. So this time I wanted to be prepared. I now know that the pill can cause gut-flora imbalances, and so the first thing I did when I began to cut my pills was take a probiotic (to get the good guys back in there). I cut out refined sugar (to help kill off the bad guys), gluten, and pretty much all dairy apart from milk kefir and some goat’s cheese. I realized at that point that tomatoes were giving me some issues too (sneezing, and rhinitis), and so I cut those out. Within a month, I managed to get rid of the mild eczema I had had on my hands and feet for the past 10 years, and au-revoir rhinitis too! I upped my intake of green-smoothies, and I quit cooking with olive oil (the French know a heap about traditional foods, but nobody ever told me that heating olive oil was toxic!).
So far, 4 months into the weaning process, my skin is, well, yeah, really good! 🙂 I’m not going to scream out for victory just yet, as I’m obviously petrified that the acne will return like it did when I tried to quit birth control cold turkey a few years ago. But, yeah, so far so good. I just wanted to give you ladies this update, as I know how daunting it can be to consider coming off the one thing you know has helped keep your skin clear for so many years.
If you have any questions, fire away! Otherwise, bonne chance! xoxo
Hey Christelle – good for you, I’m really happy for you that it’s working out well 🙂 and ps – if you want to write an article about it when you are all done, that would be awesome… (hahah I assumed you meant write an article for me, but maybe I’m just being optimistic..)
I was wondering if you had an update on the weaning process, did everything stay clear?
I am hoping to try this soon
Yes, I can update. In fact, I’m planning to write an article for Tracy very soon (I just haven’t had much time lately).
In a nutshell: on the acne front, all is clear. I’m really impressed, actually. It’s been over a year now since I quit completely, and my skin is fine.
On the cycle front, I’ve been regular – my cycle varying from 25-32 days (at the moment it’s averaging 25/26 days). I’ve had no PMS symptoms, minor breast tenderness from time to time, but no headaches or irritability. I have been taking vitex pretty much non-stop since I came off, and I’m sure that’s made a difference (I was very irregular before going on the pill). On the downside, my periods are long and relatively heavy. Sometimes, I can bleed for up to 13 days. I’ve had to include more iron-based foods. BUT, aside from one month when I had one nasty cramp, I am happy to say I’ve had not a single period cramp in a year. I have a fairly high tolerance to pain, but still, I wouldn’t switch long heavy natural periods for crampy cranky pill-induced bleeding… I couldn’t go back now. It feels so good to be natural. 🙂
My next step is definitely going to be Estroblock. I’ve done a bunch of reading up on it (via this website too), and I don’t know why I haven’t considered it sooner. I’ve read it can lighten heavy periods… so I’ll have to keep you posted as to how that goes.
I think I’m also going to invest in some MSM powder. I’ve heard it makes your skin soft and helps with hair and nail growth (not that I have problems in that area, but I want to give it a try). Also, it will soon be autumn here, which means that I’ll be cooking my vegetables more, and I want to make sure I’m still getting the benefits I would from raw veg. Voilà.
And if I may, do try this method! It’s so empowering to live more naturally 😀
Je suis française aussi et comme toi je prends la pilule (jasmine) depuis plus de 13 ans.. (imagine!)
je suis une personne très saine aussi, pas de gluten et de produits laitiers depuis un an non plus.
Je fais du sport, bref tout le tralala d’une femme saine sauf que je prends toujours cette pilule depuis des années (ironique non?)
Etant donné les cicatrices que ça m’a donné et le traumatisme que ça a crée (je ne sors jamais sans maquillage par ex), j’ai vraiment vraiment peur d’arréter cette pilule.. même si j’en meurs d’envie car probablement à cause de ça, j’ai eu une candida albicans
Mais pour être honnête la pilule ne m’a jamais fait une peau superbe. Je l’a prends par habitude et surtout par peur que ça empire si je l’enlève! J’ai même fait roaccutane et depuis ce moment là j’ai d’ailleurs des problèmes de santé (dont la candida albicans et tendinites à répétitions etc etc). Ma peau allait mieux mais après quelques mois d’arrêt de roaccutane, les microkystes étaient revenus. Par contre, depuis que j’ai arrété le gluten et les produits laitiers, j’ai remarqué que j’en avais moins.
Du coup je commence seulement à avoir une peau pas si mal que ça et j’ai pas envie d’arrêter ma pilule pour que tout s’écroule et que j’ai à nouveau pleins de cicatrices, de rougeurs et de boutons
Bref, comment était ton acné avant?
tu peux me donner des conseils sur ta manière de te sevrer, comment tu as fait, et sur différents options naturelles pour accompagner le tout?
j’ai lu dans beaucoup de site américain que les filles prenaient du vitex, du tea tree, ou de huile d’onagre
merci pour les détails, j’ai besoin d’être rassurée pour être sur de pas retomber dans le panneau 🙂
un grand merci par avance! et c’est super si tu as réussi!
Of course I’ll write you an article! 🙂
Hey I know this post has been up for a while, but I have some questions about acne and the pill…
I went off the pill last November ’11, and had breakouts only the 3rd month into stopping the pill abruptly (if I had known I would have waned off), but… too late now. It’s now been, around 6 7 months and it has gotten better… but to a point that I don’t know if it will? I had had acne before I went off, but not this bad! I’m getting bumps along my jaw line (which I never do), and on my cheeks (which I never do…) and my forehead… but they usually come on the RIGHT side of the cheek and mainly before my period.
When will it balance out? will it EVER? since it has been 6 7 months already!
Thanks, i’m really worried as I am someone who freaks out over imperfect skin!!
A good friend of mine stopped taking her pill (Dianette) cold turkey a couple of years ago, and she broke out quite badly at the beginning, and it took a little while for her hormones & skin to regulate. But the good news is that now, 2 years later (actually, her skin was great last year too, but she said she got the occasional pimple at that time of the month) she says she’s recovered her ‘baby soft’ skin again, after so many years of having pill-induced dry skin. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Your body will heal itself in time.
I’m going through this exact same thing.
Stopped cold turkey in December 2011. It’s now been 11 months and no sign of it improving…
I’m also very healthy, no processed foods, sugar. I take omega 3s and drink a lot of water…
I have done a lot of research and read that the cyproterone actetate contained in Diane 35 can have some dangerous withdrawal effects and if stopped suddenly can cause undesirable androgenic effects – which we are experiencing.
I got this from the Wikipedia page about it:
“In addition, although cyproterone acetate reduces androgen production in the gonads, it can increase adrenal androgen production, in some cases resulting in an overall rise in testosterone levels. Thus the sudden withdrawal of cyproterone acetate may result in undesirable androgenic effects. This is a particular concern because androgens, especially DHT, suppress adrenal function, further reducing cortisol production.”
The only thing is, I cannot find whether these “androgenic effects” are permanent or resolve themselves in time…
Hi Guys- Its nice to see this process working for people. I am currently doing this as well, but I am so scared that the acne is going to come back. I have been breaking out a little but I think it might be common? Has anyone else broken out? I usually get a pimple and usually goes away that day or the next. I was wondering if anyone noticed if their hair was getting oily? Good luck to everyone who is going through this process. This website is encouraging.
@ Cindy, from what I hear it takes about a year to get your skin under control, so you are almost there! I heard using a good greek yogurt and maybe Vitex as a vitamin can help, but I am not sure.
I’m breaking out a tiny weeny bit right now (after month 4), so I’m guessing this might be normal. But also I haven’t eaten that well these past couple of weeks, so you know… But yes, as for oily hair, I haven’t noticed anything in particular, maybe a little more oily. But it depends how often you shampoo your hair, and what product you use. I recommend using a gentle product that does not contain sodium laureth sulfate. On iherb.com you can get a gentle shampoo bar (J.R. Liggett’s Old Fashioned Bar Shampoo, it costs around 5$). It’s actually not a shampoo at all, but more of a soap. And it’s not tested on animals.
I think Vitex is good for balancing hormones, I’m planning on taking it once I stop taking the pill altogether (I’ve heard it can interfere with your hormones if you take it while you’re on the pill). Evening primrose oil is also recommended along with MSM. Some say Maca helps, and others say it aggravates their acne, so I think the best thing to do it to get your hormone levels checked once you’re done with the weaning process and take it from there. Good luck! xoxo
For anyone doing the weaning method, how does this work with your period?
I’m on Ortho-tri-cyclen Lo, have been on various BCPs for 10 years and really want to get off, but as all of you, am terrified of getting terrible acne. I never had acne before the pill, but I know every time I’ve tried to go off for a month, I break out and start the pill again.
I have the 3 weeks on, 1 week off type, where the amount of estrogen remains the same, but the amount of progestin increases every week. When I start, would I have to take 3/4 of each different color during the corresponding week, or do I just take them in a row and have leftovers?
Also, with your period, do you just stop on the 21st day as you normally would and let your period come? For those of you who have tried it, what are the effects on your menstrual cycle?
Thank you for any advice! I feel so much better knowing there are others going through the same thing.
I’m no specialist, so of course if you want to be absolutely sure of the safest way to wean off Ortho-tri-cyclen Lo, I would check with your doctor/naturopath, however, I can tell you what my experience has been so far in terms of getting my periods on time etc.
I’m on Jasminelle, and as far as I know that’s a regular dosage ethinylestradiol/drospirenone pill. Normally, with mine, I take it for 3 weeks, and then stop so that I can get my monthly period.
1) During the first 2 months I chopped off 1/4 of the pill, leaving me with 3/4 of the pill to take. I had no spotting between my period, but I got my period 1 week early both times. This didn’t bother me, I just kept taking it for 21 days (all the while taking only 3/4 of the pill), and then I stopped for a week, during which I didn’t get my period.
2) During the 3rd month, I chopped off 1/2 of the pill, leaving me with 1/2 of the pill to take. Strangely enough, I got my period on time, after having taken 1/2 a pill every day for 21 days. It actually lasted longer than usual (7 days-ish), and felt more like a “real” period, with real cramps, and I got a bit of a sugar craving.
3) During the 4th month, I continued to chop off 1/2 of the pill, leaving me with 1/2 of the pill to take. This time I got my period 1 week early, so I just continued to take my pill until I reached the end of the pack, and right now I’m waiting for 7 days as indicated on the pack before moving on.
Next week I’m planning to take only 1/4 of the pill. I’m nervous, as I’ve got a mini acne bump on my forehead, and a couple of mini bumps on my chin. Up until now I have been 100% acne-free. But I’m putting this minor breakout down to hormonal disruption and not having eaten so great these past couple of weeks.
Another thing I can say, is that for the past few days, during my last early period, I had mild headaches. I never ever suffer from headaches normally, so I guess it could be a withdrawal symptom. On the plus side, I’ve had less PMT symptoms since I started the weaning process in February 🙂
Good luck lovely, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate! xoxo
Thank you SO MUCH for clearing that up for me. I definitely feel a lot more confident and comfortable going through with this now. Looks as though this week will be my first week trying to wean off the pill and it actually feels really liberating! I’ll keep you all posted with my results.
Thank you all again!
I’m about to wean off Ortho-tri-cyclen Lo, too, and was wondering if you could give an update on your experience. Thanks!
hi christele, i’d like to try thios process too im on diane for almost 2 years now .. and i want to get off from this pill. i took this bc i was diagnosed with PCOS. i just want you to ask for example on u started to wean on the pill by taking the 3/4 of the pill, what are you going to do with the 1/4 left? hmm are you going to throw it away?? and buy another pack? i hope u can answer my question. i wanna know all the details you were doing. thank you.
Hi all, Im halfway through my second month of taking 3/4 of my pills. Up until last week my skin has been great, but a few days ago I had a breakout and I have noticed my skin getting a little more oily. Hopefully its just a result of recent indulgences as it was my birthday last week (A LOT of sweet treats!). I’m thinking of doing a Candida cleanse soon and am taking a probiotic. Pretty determined to stick this one out and to finally get off BCP.
Just wanted to give you an update on the whole weaning process. Nothing has gone wrong since I started about 2 weeks ago. But I have decided to quit cold turkey. I can’t handle to stress taking the pill is causing mental stress and emotional. So I decided to stop yesterday which I hope was the right thing to do.. looking back at a few years ago when I started the pill for my skin now I feel like I have a bigger problem then just my skin caused by the pill and candida overgrowth. For all those who think there acne/pimples may be linked to candida I suggest looking into Mercury poisoning as a possible contribution to your candida along with the BCP. If you do have amalgam fillings do some research and see if you think there is a link to your problems. I am going in next week to a holistic dentist who specialise in removing amalgam fillings and replacing them. I would suggest doing your research and speaking to a naturopath but if you want to get to the root cause of your problems I would look at all the possibilities for the best recovery and I do think the weaning is a very good idea I just can’t take having to take something that I see as such a problem causer and I hope that this has been the right decision.
I totally understand. The weaning process itself is SO frustrating, as it still means that you’re taking the very thing you don’t want to have in your system (even if you know it’s not for long – I know I have to go out and get myself a new batch of pills, and I’ve been putting it off for the past week). Ultimately, you are your own best judge. I think you said you were on Diane 35, and I know from experience that that pill in particular causes emotional issues as well, so it’s only normal for you to want to quit asap. Good luck with everything, and remember to give your body time to heal!
As you, i learned last year that i had the candida albicans. So i stopped eating dairy and gluten with less fruits for some times.
Now i feel better but i keep my pill (jasmine in french) and wanted to know more about mercury poisoning
Can you tell me more about it please?
Hi friends, just want to update every one, that I have successfully completed 2 months and down to half pill from this month….skin is still very clear….I am feeling great, lost 3 pounds already……few headaches and lighter periods…..no breakthrough bleeding! Very happy! I am so glad that I found this site! Met with my Dr. Last week, she said there is no scientific explanations for what you are doing….. But if it is working keep doing it!Will keep updating…….
Thanks Christelle.. so have stopped taking it since Sunday and yesterday got very heavy bleeding which I know is normal just going to wait it out a pimple on my left cheek which I don’t care about. I know if i have to deal with break outs some facials diet and natural hormone balancing will eventually cure me. The anxiety and stress I have felt over the last few weeks has taken it’s toll unnecessary stress on my part I am sure….It’s so hard to be sure that you are going about things the right way and I really hope that these side effects reside and I don’t have any over the next few months need be as optimistic as I can, working with my naturopath on Candida and hormone imbalance as well as stress and anxiety and I hope with a lot of hard work in the next year I will be myself again I have great faith in this practise so if anyone out there is worried about side effect of BCP go see a naturopath they are very experienced with this kind of stuff and see it all the time.
Ok sorry to burden everyone again but can I ask a question which has been plaguing me and causing me so much anxiety. A month ago i noticed a bit of hair loss nothing severe but in the shower when washing and blow drying a lot more then what i am use to this has been happening close to a month now. I have been on dianne for 12 months for the skin and prior to that i have been on a bunch of other pills on and off with no problems related to my hair.. so I guess it freaked me out and I don’t know if i am overreacting or if it’s because of autumn i am losing a bit more or if it’s the pill even though i haven’t had problems with it before a month ago. So that’s a big reason why I just stopped it… the only issue i have now is i hear women experience problems with hair after stopping the pill so you could say I am sooo scared! I hope by stopping it i don’t have any issues but so scared that i might encounter more by stopping and i don’t think my mental state can handle it! Any advice on this one.
I have a good friend who came off Diane 35 2 years ago, and she said she went through the hair-loss phase for a few months, nothing drastic, but yeah, she said that was one of the side-effects of coming off that particular pill. But maybe what you’re experiencing is not related at all. When I started weaning off the pill in February, I noticed a bit of hair loss too, which lasted a couple of months, but I didn’t even think of mentioning it here as I put it down to it being winter here, and you know, in winter you just tend to lose your hair a little more.
Hormonal disruptions definitely can have an effect on hair loss, but it won’t last forever! My friend who came off Diane 35 now has gorgeous hair! She just went through a few months of hormonal stress. You need to stay focussed on how amazing you’re going to feel when you’ve finally recovered your natural cycle and health (and you will, Today, my friend has no regrets, and she looks so healthy, that’s what made me want to quit the bcp too)!
One last thing, if your hair loss does become more severe, you might want to look into taking a B-vitamins supplement and some magnesium – I know that they can help with hair loss.
Good luck lady! 🙂
Thanks Christelle.. it’s autumn/winter here at the moment so i don’t know if it’s because of the seasons or due to BCP. I have stopped taking it since last week and the first week i was an emotional mess feeling much better the last 2 days emotionaly. So i don’t know if it’s seasonal or the BCP it’s nothing major my hairdresser keeps telling me i have nothing to worry about so maybe just a combination of hormones and the weather. And putting all my efforts into diet, exercise and natural hormone balancing. So hopefully will start to feel a lot better soon. Feeling much more positive now.
Hi Christelle, I wanted to ask a question about your friend and dianne 35. A lot of what I have read on the interenet related to hairloss on dianne is that they experience it 3-4 months after stopping when I feel like I have been expereincing it after stopping the first week and I guess I am worried that stopping the birth control for now 3 weeks that it’s going to get worse in a few months rather then better. So I guess I am just worried that it won’t get better in the coming months when it’s been happening for close to 2 months now. I never had any issues with my hair prior to this and i guess I want to narrow it down to what the cause is
Yeah, the breakout I had after coming off Diane 35 eight years ago occurred after 3 months of having been off the pill, and I think my friend began to experience her breakout/hair-loss symptoms after having been off the pill for 6 months. I realize that this sounds a little scary, as you haven’t been off for very long time, and so I guess you’re worried about having yet to go through all of that.
I never experienced the hair-loss thing, but the acne was enough trauma to deal with, and I didn’t stick with it. I just went right back on the pill as soon as I got my period again (6 months after having quit cold turkey). My friend was braver than I was, and she stuck with it, and she said that the hair-loss and acne lasted for 6 months give or take, and then suddenly everything fell into place, and she stopped losing her hair, and her skin cleared.
If this helps, know that neither I nor my friend were particularly healthy at the time. I was eating a heck of a lot of sugar and dairy and gluten and soy (I had no idea they were possible allergens), and my friend told me she used to binge out on bread and cheese and cookies too, so that can’t have helped. I guess what I’m saying is, your body wants to heal itself, and it needs help – plenty of love, and rest, and exercise, and a healthy diet and maybe some supplements such as Vitex and or evening primrose and or DIM etc (perhaps you could discuss these options with your naturopath).
It might take you a few months to get there, during which you might experience a little hair-loss (hopefully it won’t be more than a little). But it won’t last, and that I can guarantee. Hair-loss can occur when your hormone levels are out of whack. Perhaps you could get them tested (a saliva test should do the trick, if it isn’t too expensive, otherwise you could ask your gynecologist for a blood-test). Once you know if you’re dealing with estrogen dominance, or PCOS, or whatever, you’ll be able to fix things more quickly.
How bad is your hair-loss ? I mean, is it noticeable by others, or are you just worried it’s going to last a long time?
Good luck girl, wishing you all the best 🙂
Hi Christelle! Sorry for bothering you but I have been following your weaning off process as I would like to do the same. But I am so terrified at the idea of having the same side effects as I had last time I stopped my pills :/
So I was wondering if you could please continue updating your posts for some time even after you’ve completely stopped taking anything, after the 6 months of weaning off are over. I would really appreciate that as that’s what’s stressing me out the most with this process: even though you may have less acne while weaning off, but does it still continue working after the weaning off process is completed, after you stop the pill completely? If yes, it would give me so much more hope and confidence, and you would be a real life savior! I’ve searched everywhere on the internet feedbacks from people after they’ve finished their weaning off, but nothing. Mostly people provide comments and feedback while they are weaning off but when they finish unfortunately they stop updating 🙁
Anyways thank you very much for your time and bonne chance pour la suite! 🙂
Hi Mona, et merci!
I know, it’s so frustrating. I’ve searched on countless forums to try to find accounts by women who’ve managed to quit the bcp this way, but nobody seems to follow through once they’ve actually come off the pill completely. Obviously, I’m going to keep on updating even once I’m done (next month is my “last” month!) as I think that if this method works it will be encouraging for other people who want to rid themselves of artificial hormones without experiencing all the terrible side-effects.
But you know how it is, what works for one person doesn’t always work for another, so even if this method works for me (crossing fingers big time!) it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will for other women. Having said that, I think it seems so logical; your body has been relying on artificial hormones for years, if you take all of that away suddenly, of course your system is going to be confused and do all sorts of weird stuff. Why put your body through that much stress when you can just reduce the dosage slowly?
Since I’m on here, I may as well update:
Two weeks ago, after having taken only 1/4 of the bcp, my period came 1 week early, again. This time, I just stopped taking my daily dose when I started to bleed (light period, 5 days), and I started taking it again last Monday.
What I’ve noticed since last week is that my breasts are painful, and my lower belly feels kind of tight, almost stiff. If my calculations are right, I should be ovulating (at least that’s what I’m attributing the pain to). I’ve also felt a little nauseous, and weak. But hey, as they say in France, you have to suffer to be beautiful!
I’m eating lots of healthy fats: salmon, cod liver oil, coconut oil, ghee, avocados, etc. (I’m a skinny girl, and I always worry that I’m not getting enough calories and nutrients). I’m also trying to avoid high glycemic foods because they can influence the production of androgens and cause candida (not so simple though, as there are lots of birthdays and family get-togethers this month, aagh!).
Voilà. Bon courage to all of you! xoxo
Oh yeah, and no acne so far! 🙂
Thank you infinitely, you do not know how much this means to me! Even though I haven’t stopped yet and as you’ve said, there’s a chance that it may not work for me, I already feel so much more hopeful 😀 I am happy that you still have no acne, and really hope that it will stay the same even when you come off it completely.
If I may I have another question for you. When you tried to stop the pill previously, did you get any increased hair growth on your body? Cause that’s also one of the symptoms I had and I am also terrified of that happening again 🙁
(Bref si jamais je parle en français parce que j’habite en suisse mais je pensais que c’était mieux que je t’écrive en anglais comme ça tout le monde peut comprendre. Je prends la pilule Belara tu connais? Elle est assez connu par ici, elle est aussi anti-androgenique comme la Diane 35).
Voila courage courage! Becs!
Thanks for this post, it is the most comforting post I have read about coming off Diane 35. And I think I’ve read every single reference to it on the internet.
I am on month 11 off Diane 35 and still breaking out.
What makes it worse now is that my skin and hair are ridiculously oily AND I have tons of red marks due to the past 11 months. It’s basically a disaster.
Can you please provide more info on how your friend’s acne got better? Did she take any particular supplement which made a good difference?
I feel your pain. Diane 35 is a nightmare pill. First and foremost, I’ve heard that MSM cream is great for scarring and red marks. I’ve also heard that turmeric masks are highly anti-inflammatory and can really help sooth sore skin tissues. Actually, turmeric is amazing when taken internally too as it has very strong anti-acne properties.
Ok, so about your break out, I can’t say for sure how long it will last for you, but in my friend’s case, she said she started breaking out about 6 months after having come off the pill, and the acne breakout lasted for a whopping 6-7 months (I know!). The good news is, after having been off birth control for a year, the acne just gradually subsided and today she looks great, no scarring, nothing.
From what I’ve read about Diane 35, it seems to be a very strong pill that in pretty much all cases causes a breakout when you suddenly quit (apparently one of its composing elements is highly addictive and what you experience when you suddenly stop feeding it to your body is similar to the withdrawal symptoms a drug-addict might feel when coming off drugs… I know, bet your gyno never told you that would happen!). So far, you’ve done an excellent job being off the Diane for 11 months! You deserve a massive cheer for that! 🙂
What you need to do now is be extra gentle with yourself. Your body is still trying to get back on track, and it will eventually find its bearings, but there are a few things you can do in the meantime to give it a helping hand:
1- A candida cleanse. Diane 35 (like many other pills) causes candida big time. Candida in your intestinal tract can throw your system out of whack and aggravate or even cause acne. If I were you, I would look into a candida diet type thing for a week or two (or more if necessary) and observe the effects on your acne. Taking probiotics afterwards is a really good idea as it helps replenish the gut with healthy bacteria (the good guys that Diane 35 killed off).
2- Invest in a bottle of fermented cod liver oil and turmeric supplements for vitamin D & A (roaccutane is nothing more than synthetic vitamin A, and there’s no point taking that junk when you can get natural source vitamin A in cod liver oil). Some people swear that fermented cod liver oil alone has healed their acne for good.
3- I should have put this as number 1, but hey. Burdock root is a great detoxifier. You can drink it in herbal-tea form or take capsules. In all cases, it will help your system rid itself of the excess hormones. It might cause an initial detox breakout though, so you may want to wait until you’re on holiday or at home alone for a bit before you start taking it to avoid the extra stress of having to deal with people.
Just a question, how long were you on the Diane for?
Let me know if you have any other questions etc,
Good luck! 🙂 You’ve already come so far, I’m sure you won’t have to put up with the acne for very long now.
Ah, and I almost forgot… vitex is recommended to help balance out your hormones. I’ve been taking it for 3 months now, and my skin is great (not sure if it’s the vitex, but anyway, so far so good… you might want to give it a shot). 😉
Thank you for the kind words it really cheers me up to hear a positive story with this nightmare pill. Thanks also for the recommendations, I will go pick up some tumeric asap. Also It’s funny that you mentionned th cod liver oilas I just ordered some from green pastures (with butter oil). I should be receiving th CLO tomorrow and can’t wait to try it.
I’ve been reading about vitex but have been very reluctant to mess around with my hormones any more… How are you feeling on the vitex?
Finally, my overall diet is close to the candida diet but I find it way too hard and depressing to go through those candida cleanses. Wondering if your friend did a candida cleanse? I’m just so tired of doing drastic things that don’t really improve my condition.
I want my old skin back sooo bad, i’m actually considering accutane but want to tough it through a bit more before biting the bullet. It’s gotten to thr point where my whole life is affected by this and I wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety about never getting my old skin back
I am so so so angry at doctors for prescribing me this pill which is ruining my life.
Im so angry at myself for trusting doctors and taking this for such a long time.
I have been on and off Diane 35 for over 7 years. I initially took it to clear VERY mild back acne, I had nearly nothing on my face. I was on it for 2 years then stopped for 6 months and only got mild acne on my back, nothing on my face. I got back on it after 6 months because the back acne was bothring me, I took it for 2 years and then stopped for 2 years. During this break I got more acne on my face but it was nothing close to what I have now. Stupidly, i got back on it for 2 years. At that point my hair was much greasier and it felt like I had lost some hair density too, but it controlled my mild acne. After 2 years of feeling guilty for taking it everyday, I decided to stop. First 3-4 months were good, barely noticeable breakouts, then i started messing around with different face washes, concealers etc… In an effort to regain my perfect skin and thats whdn my skin broke out like i had never experienced in my whole life! I then resorted to the acne.org regimen which helped resolve some pimples but also damaged other parts of my skin.
Now i am left with a HUGE mess. Lots of traces, oily face, oily hair and a few breakouts a week which leave red marks for centuries.
I don’t see the end of this nightmare 🙁
Thanks for the support!
I apologies for all the typos! I typed it all on my phone :S
I completely and utterly sympathize, Coco. When I tried to quit the Diane 8 years ago after having been on it for 2 years it was a catastrophe. Had I known back then that accutane was a possible solution, I’m sure I would have taken it. Anything to take away the uncontrollable acne.
The thing about accutane, apart from it being very damaging for the liver (but I’m sure you’re aware of that, you probably just want to be done with the acne for once and for all, which I totally understand) is that if you start taking it you’ll automatically be put on the birth control pill again (to avoid you getting pregnant – as accutane presents a serious risk for the fetus). And so in the end it’s the start of another vicious cycle, because one day you’ll want to come off birth control… and, well, you know how it goes.
That’s the theory. In practice I realize it’s much more difficult actually having to deal with acne right here right now, and I know how desperate I was when I came off Diane 35 cold turkey (I went right back on after 6 months of having been off… too much for me to handle).
If ever you do end up going back to both control just to clear up this breakout, maybe you could try to go from Diane to a lower dose pill, and then gradually wean off… that’s one suggestion.
But if you do feel you can stick this one out and let your body figure stuff out I’m sure it will in due time. My friend is so happy she stuck it out, and I promise her skin and hair look incredible today (she’s been off Diane 35 for 2 years now). Think about it anyway
You are so kind and sweet to have taken the time to help me, I really appreciate it!
So I bought the following:
Coconut oil (taking 1 teaspoon/day) + cooking with it now.
A detox tea containing Burdock root + red clover leaf + ginger.
Fermented cod liver oil + butter oil capsules (from Green Pastures, taking 3/day).
I’m now adding 1 teaspoon of turmeric in my morning shake (organic rice protein powder)
I’m also taking 1 tablespoon of Aloe Vera gel every day and 1 tablespoon of olive leaf extract.
I am drinking lots of water and trying to eat very well (very low gluten, no sugar other than from fresh fruits (and even that in moderation), no dairy (other than the butter oil in my CLO capsules).
We’ll see where this takes me, I’ll update you if I see progress. I’m really excited about the cod liver oil and heard that it has really helped other girls.
Hey christelle… yes it is all very scary and something that is stressing me because I have only been off for a month… i have never had issues with any bcps and hair before and I have been on several different ones over 4 years.. so i wonder whether dianne had an effect on my hair while being on it… it’s not noticible and everyone doctors, hairdresses are telling me I am fine.. although over the past 2 months I noticed more hair shed then normal example when i shower and blow dry i notice a lot more and notice more hair fall throughout the day.. when they say normal amount is 50 – 100 i would be in the normal but I do notice a lot of hair fall which just started out of nowhere 2 months ago… i am super stressed that this is something I am going to have to deal with for a long time or not know what the cause is… being off the pill 1 month i have broken out on my chest and 1 on my face and that doesn’t bother me… it’s not knowing what’s going to happen over the next few months and I pray I am one of the lucky ones that doesn’t have to go through this as I said I have never had an issue related to hair and bcp before.
I’m sure your symptoms are nothing to worry about. You say it’s winter where you live? You know, a lot of the time we tend to lose our hair a little in the winter anyway, plus if you’ve undergone a hormonal shock it might have worsened it a little. But I wouldn’t focus so much on what might happen in the next few months. If I were you I’d focus on right now. Diane 35 can cause candida, which in turn can stop you from absorbing nutrients (namely B vits). So If I were you I’d focus on getting all your nutritional needs met now so as to keep your hormones as balanced as possible. If your hair loss is due to a hormone imbalance, it will continue as long as your hormones are out of whack… do you see what I mean?
Although I’m sure your hair loss really isn’t anything you need to stress over, I do think that by taking the focus off that and back onto your overall health (making sure you’re well fed, and exercising, which also helps hormones to balance out), you’ll regain control over the situation, and that in turn will mean you won’t be worrying as much!
You’ve already completed a whole month without the Diane, that’s already really cool! I’m sure you’re doing really well! 🙂
Your English is really good. I thought you were a native speaker! 🙂
To answer your question about hair growth after coming off birth control, I have to say I was lucky not to have suffered from any of that. The symptoms I had were acne (which started after 3 months of having been off, and got worse and worse until my whole face was covered, ugh nightmare!), and depression (and when I say depression, I mean crying for hours and hours in my bedroom without a triggering factor. I would come home from university and think, ok, it’s time to have a good cry), and feeling really low and tired. I’ve never had that since, I’m a happy person usually. But I think hormonal symptoms can vary from one person to another, because my friend who also quit the Diane had hair loss issues (she says it was severe), and others experience facial hair growth.
Je ne connais pas Belara, mais sinon je pensais à un truc qui pourrait peut-être atténuer les symptômes post-pilules pour toi. Tu pourrais peut-être demander à ta gynéco de te préscrire une pilule plus faible pendant quelques mois, histoire de réduire la dose, et ensuite tu pourrais commencer à “te sevrer”, comme je fais… qu’est-ce que tu en penses ?
Bon courage ma belle 😉
Hey Christelle! I am returning you the same compliment, your english is very good too ^^
Okay well I guess I had even worse symptoms than you. Like you said each person reacts differently. I had acne on my face, back and chest (which I never had before starting :/), more body hair and like you, I was depressed as hell! I would also cry like every single day and I couldn’t concentrate on my studies anymore. Me too I am a very happy person usually and I’m also scared of losing that too once I stop. How are you feeling emotionally now that you are weaning off?
Sinon merci pour ta proposition 🙂 Tu sais, en plus j’ai pensé à la même chose que toi mais après je me suis dit c’est peut-être pas une bonne idée que je change encore de pilule, je sais pas. Je me suis dit ça va juste me créer plus de dérèglement hormonal, t’en penses quoi? C’est ce que tu as fait avec la Diane 35 toi? T’es passé à Yasminelle dans ce but?
Merci encore pour tes conseils! Bisouxxx
Yes, quitting cold turkey is rough! 🙁 Luckily, this weaning thing is great in that respect. I feel totally “with it”; no emotional ups and downs whatsoever. Before I started weaning, my boyfriend used to notice how I would get irritable 3-4 days before my period (poor him, haha), but I haven’t experienced that since I started weaning. What were you on before when you tried to quit?
(Sinon, ouais, je comprends ton dilemme. Mais finalement ce n’est peut-être pas nécessaire de prendre une pilule moins dosée avant de te sevrer. Jasminelle est anti-androgénique aussi, parait-il, donc tout compte fait c’est un peu la même chose que Belara, enfin les effets sur la peau sont les mêmes j’imagine. Juste une question (si c’est trop perso tu n’es pas obligée de répondre tkt), est-ce que tu souffres de syndrome OPK (PCOS) ? Moi, je commence à avoir des doutes en ce qui me concerne, parce qu’avant de prendre la pilule il y a 10 ans j’étais super mal réglée… je ne sais pas pourquoi on m’a donné la Diane pour commencer, mais maintenant que tu me poses la question je commence à me demander si ce n’est pas de ça que je souffrais (on ne m’a jamais diagnostiquée) ! J’étais un peu conne je crois, j’ai juste suivi les conseils de ma gyn sans me poser de questions, c’est nul (c’est elle qui m’a dit, au bout de 5 ans sous la Diane : “bon, on va passer à Jasmine, ça marche bien aux States”, puis 3 ans plus tard : “bon, on va passer à Jasminelle, c’est la même en moins dosée” !). Enfin bref, je crois qu’il n’y a pas de “bonne” méthode pour arrêter, mais je crois qu’il faut se fixer un objectif et s’y tenir. Moi j’ai les boules, mais bon, trop tard, j’ai déjà commencé, héhéhé 🙂 )
Bisous, and good luck with finding your own plan! xxx
Ecoute je prenais Ologyn, je sais pas si tu connais. Mais je l’ai pris que pendant 6 mois. Et après que j’ai eu tous les symptômes que je t’ai dit, je suis allé voir des médecins et ils m’ont fait une échographie et ont vu un kyste, enfin ils étaient même pas sûrs en fait parce qu’il était pas énorme et ils savaient pas si c’était une follicule un peu grande ou bien un kyste. Enfin donc je sais vrmt pas si j’ai le syndrome OPK. Mais à vrai dire je suis persuadée mnt qu’en fait, les médecins ne savent absolument rien. Quand je leur ai demandé pourquoi j’avais une poussée de poils, ils n’avaient aucune idée, d’ou l’échographie. Et je n’ai jamais eu de règles irrégulières auparavant….franchement je sais pas.
Si j’ai le syndrome OPK, j’en suis sûre c’est à cause de la pilule, parce que avant la pilule, j’avais aucun problème quoi que ce soit; I was a completely healthy person srlsy. J’ai souvent entendu dire et les médecins m’ont aussi dit quand je suis allée les voir que tous les symptômes allaient peut-être de toute façon arriver que je prenne la pilule ou pas et qu’en fait la pilule bloquait ses effets la. Et donc c pour ça que quand t’arrêtes, tu as ses symptômes qui sortent. Mais dans ce cas, ça voudrait dire quoi, qu’en six mois j’ai développé tous ses trucs bizarres et que la pilule n’y ai pour rien? Moi j’en doute fortement! La seule chose qui avait changé dans ma vie c’était la pilule et c’est pas possible qu’elle ne soit pas la cause de tous ses problèmes. Moi aussi j’ai écouté bêtement mon gynéco qui m’a dit voilà prend cette pilule même si j’étais un peu hésitante et voulais utiliser d’autres méthodes plus naturelles mais elle m’as tellement fait peur comme s’il n’y avait que LA pilule qui marchait vrmt et que si je ne la prenais pas j’allais tomber enceinte. Donc du coup j’ai décidé de la prendre. BIG MISTAKE. Anyways ça sert à rien de regretter mnt, ce qui est fait est fait donc voila, faut s’y faire. Peut-etre tu devrais te faire checker aussi si tu as des doutes par rapport au fait que tu as le syndrome OPK mais franchement je suis devenue un peu sceptique avec les médecins. Mais ça c’est juste moi lol. Mais dit toi qu’il y’a de grandes chances que tu n’ai rien et s’ils voient par échographie qu’en effet t’as rien, au moins tu pourra être sûre enfin et avoir l’esprit plus en paix 🙂
En tout cas merci énormément pour ton soutien, en ce moment, je passe vraiment par des périodes d’anxiétés terribles a l’idée d’arrêter mais j’ai vraiment envie d’être forte cette fois-ci et au moins, je m’attends a tout, pas comme la dernière fois ou tout m’est tombé dessus par surprise. Et puis t’inquiètes pas, n’ai pas les boules, de ce que tu m’as raconté, ton arrêt a vrmt l’air de bien se passer cette fois. En tout cas je suis avec toi dans mes pensées et je te souhaite que tout se passe bien par la suite. En attendant moi j’attendrais tes updates et vais gentiment me préparer psychologiquement pour suivre dans ta voie 😉
Je t’embrasse xxx
Rha la la, je suis d’accord. C’est scandaleux. On ne nous explique rien et on distribue des cachets à gogo. Moi aussi je suis de plus en plus sceptique quant au diagnostique du syndrome OPK. J’ai rdv avec ma gyn en août, et je vais lui demander s’il elle peut me faire une écho.
Je comprends que tu sois angoissée. Mais finalement dans tout ça, tu as pu te rendre compte que les docs n’étaient pas forcément dignes de confiance, que la pilule n’est pas aussi géniale que tu l’espérais (et pas sans séquelles, puisque le sevrage est rude), et qu’il ne te reste plus que toi et ton corps. Je crois qu’il faut faire confiance à la nature. Même si tes trouves post-pilule de la dernière fois ont clairement été causés par un dérèglement hormonal, la nature se renouvelle sans cesse, et ton corps fera de même lorsque tu arrêteras ta pilule actuelle.
Je suis persuadée que mes troubles post-pilule de la dernière fois étaient dus à ma manière de métaboliser le sucre. On sait bien aujourd’hui qu’on peut renverser le syndrome OPK avec un régime pauvre en sucres, et on sait que la production d’androgènes est aggravée par une consommation élevée en sucres (sans parler de la candidose, qui est aggravée par la pilule). La dernière fois que j’ai arrêté la pilule, je ne faisais pas du tout attention à réduire ma consommation de sucre, et tous les symptômes que j’ai eu laissaient penser que je produisais trop d’androgènes… tu vois, là j’essaye de réduire les sucres, et pour l’instant ça va, je n’ai pas d’acné. Donc peut-être qu’un régime pauvre en sucres t’aiderait aussi à passer le cap une fois que tu auras décidé de “te sevrer”…
Gros bisous et plein de courage! 😉
Salut christelle! Alrs ta eu les resultats pr le syndrome OPK? Ils tont dit quoi les docteurs? Bisou
Je suis nul, je ne suis toujours pas allée voir la gynéco. Il va falloir histoire de vérifier tout ça, mais je suis rassurée, pour l’instant j’ai eu mes règles tous les mois depuis que je ne prends pas la pilule, donc à priori il n’y a pas de problème à ce niveau-là… mais bon, il faudrait que je fasse un scan pour en avoir le coeur net.
Sinon, j’ai vu que tu souffrais d’une inflammation type vaginite. Tu sais, quand je prenais la Diane j’avais candidose sur candidose sur cystite. Mon médoc ne me disait jamais que ces infections étaient dû à la pilule, mais bizarrement quand j’ai commencé une pilule moins dosée tout a disparu, et depuis que j’ai arrêté tout court je n’ai jamais rien eu de la sorte. Si tu veux mon avis, le fait de réduire la dose de la pilule en te sevrant ne peut pas faire du mal à ton corps, ne t’en fais pas pour ça. Je suppose qu’ils t’ont filé des antibios? Si c’est le cas, tu peux faire une cure de choucroute crue/kéfir/yaourt ou capsules probiotiques pour re-peupler la flore intestinale, et le mieux c’est aussi d’éviter les aliments sucrés. Mais en tout cas le fait de te sevrer de la pilule ne devrait pas poser problème pour ton corps (plutôt le contraire). De toute façon, tu continues à prendre la pilule, mais la dose est juste un peu réduite si tu la coupes. Au pire si tu ne le sens pas tu peux reprendre la pilule pendant un mois et commencer le mois prochain…
Je te fais un bisou ma belle! Ça va s’arranger 🙂
hey! oui je prends des antibiotiques alrs je vais manger du yaourt au probiotiques je pense. Je vais attendre de finir le traitement avant de commencer a sevrer. J’espere sincerement que tt ca est lié a la pillule et que ca s’arretera quand j’arreterais la pillule aussi 🙂 En tt cas merci encore pour tes conseils!!!! je tembrasse
Ahh, je viens tout juste de lire ce com hehehe! Désolée je suis à l’ouest!
T’inquiète, j’avais ça tous les 4 matins quand je prenais la Diane, même Yasmine d’ailleurs. Ça va s’arranger. Il faut juste faire une cure anti-sucre, et manger du yaourt/kefir comme tu le fais déjà. Bisous ma belle, j’espère que ça va comme tu veux la vie aux states! 🙂
I just noticed that since I’ve started commenting here, I haven’t even thanked you yet! :O So thank you!!!!! 🙂 Thank you for dedicating your time into putting up this blog, it has helped me out tremendously. From what I’ve searched, this is the only place that I managed to get any kind of answers concerning the weaning off process. I don’t know if you have read my comments, but I also want to wean off the BC pill because of the bad effects I had when I stopped previously. Christelle has given me some advices and insights so hopefully soon enough, I will also go through the same journey of weaning off. I will definitely update too for those who are interested and for you too if it interests you. Hope you don’t mind that I’ve written some things in French, if it bothers you I can totally rewrite them in English :/
Anywayyyyyys, I love your blog, not only this part with BC pills, but everything else you write. Thank you once again xoxo
I thought i would share my experiences with you after weaning off the pill Dianette, which i have been on and off for 15 years.
I have had two children during this time and my periods came normally within a few weeks of stopping whilst trying for them. I was lucky to get pregnant within 2 months of stopping both times so didnt get the acne breakouts i have suffered when i just wanted to stop taking it. I have tried twice cold turkey…after 6 weeks the dreaded acne came back…so in a panic i went straight back on it.
In May 2011 i decided to cut my doesage to half a pill..a few months into it my skin became alittle oily but then seemed to normalise itself…i carried on taking half a pill for 10 months and then cut down to 1/3 in February.
In April this year i decided to come off it all togther to see how i got on after lowing the dose for so long. After 3/4 weeks my skin and hair became oily but not as bad as when i had come off the pill cold turkey in the past. I am now 10 weeks off it completely and my skin is great..just a few spots i got while i was on the pill before my period but nothing major. My hair seems alittle oilier but haven’t noticed any difference in hair loss..in fact my hair dresser commented on what great condition it was in.
Somethings iv’e also been doing is drinking peppermint and spearmint tea, taking Vitex and Dong Quai to help regulate my hormones. My period returned after 6-7 weeks but hear it can take longer with some women. This is definitly the longest iv’e been off it and so far so good. I dont want to get my hopes up too much but fingers crossed and i will update again..
Hope this helps you x
That’s great news, Kyra!
I’ve just ordered a whole load of Vitex capsules too, as I’ve read it’s amazing at regulating hormones.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Best wishes for the rest of your post-pill adventures! 🙂
Thank you Kyra!
Good luck with your stopping, hope everything works out for you. And feel free to update, any good news is a blessing 😉
oops sorry my english is not that great, I meant to say please update more if you can, i dunno why i said feel free ^^
Au fait, Mona, ça fait longtemps que je ne t’ai pas lue! J’espère que tout roule pour toi ma belle, et que tes aventures post-pilules vont comme tu veux! Donne des news quand tu peux, ça me ferait bien plaisir! Bisous 😉
No worries it’s great we can give each other tips and i will keep you posted on my progress. I recommend the Vitex and Dong Quai as i am sure it has helped me :-)) Take care and speak soon.
ps your English is very good!!
Kyra, you mentioned that your acne returned 6 weeks after you stopped taking the pill cold turkey. I wondered if it happened all at once or if you started to notice a difference earlier?
For others who have experienced breakouts after stopping birth control, did the problem come on gradually or did things seem to change overnight?
Thanks for your insight!
I started having acne after 4 months of stopping the pill cold turkey. And it came gradually to become worse and worse. But I had mostly on my back and chest. I don’t exactly remember when exactly, but after a year it started to get a little better. But the process was too slow, it was getting better at an extremely slow pace. So I just couldn’t handle it anymore after so long, and therefore, went back on the pill.
Hope this helps!
Arffffff I have serious issues! So sorry I wanted to write that previous message to Emily! :O
Hi Emily yeah it was Approx 6 weeks that I started to get small bumps under my skin… By 8 weeks they had broke out especially on my jawline area on the right side… Like painful cysts and into the third month it was awful and really got me down so I went back on. It wasn’t until reading up on dianette that I realised it was a nightmare pill and now wish I had never gone on it! Even after having my children the doc suggested going on the pill again for contraception so I asked to go back on it as my skin had been great not knowing then what I know now. Well things still going great and I’m on week 11 on Monday :-)).
When I stopped taking Diane 35 cold turkey (a few years ago), I was clear for about 2-3 months. The cystic acne only started well into the 3rd month.
And I have a friend who went off Diane 35 cold turkey 2 years ago, and for her the breakout only started when she’d been off the pill for 6 months (she stuck it out, and said it lasted about 6 months, and then her skin became totally clear).
Voilà, hope that helps 🙂
Lol no worries Mona… It’s strange how we all get the ance at different times after stopping, which must mean its our hormones for sure as everyone is different. I’m just hoping that this weaning is working. It’s seems to be so far x
I just wanted to update. And, I have a question for Kyra, regarding your cycle. When you were weaning, did you experience breakthrough bleeding, or any other problems?
For the update: these past 2 cycles, I have been taking 1/4 of the pill. Last month, I had minor breakthrough bleeding for 1 week before my period actually came (then my period lasted a week, so basically 2 weeks of bleeding, not fun!). But as far as the acne is concerned, I am 100% clear. In fact, my skin is looking great. I’m not crying out for victory yet, but so far so good.
This month, I’ve decided to cut down to 1/8 of the pill. It’s not easy to cut it into such a tiny fraction, and I’m sure I’m not very accurate with the dosage, but the aim is to wean myself off it completely by the end of this cycle. Wish me luck, girls! I feel a little daunted, but pretty determined.
That’s great news Christelle! Good luck girl! I’m sure you’ll be fine 😉 xxx
Merci ma belle! 😉 xxx
Hi Christelle, No i didn’t get breakthrough bleeding..maybe it was beacuse i stayed on half a pill for ten months ( i did this beacuse i felt i needed to to wean longer cos i had been on it for so long) In the last two months of weaning i went to 1/3 and still had a normal light bleed between. It took abit longer for my natural bleed to come and i have just had my second period which came exactly to the date so my cycle is definitly back to normal. I am on week 12 now and still ok. I find my skin oily still after aprrox 3 hours of washing and my hair needs washing at least every other day as gets oily at the roots. i have had a few pimples in last week but i expected that anyway with my period..defo still better than coming off in past and never gone this long. I suppose this next 2 months will be telling for sure. I can handle a few spots not just the mass outbreak all at once. I know how you feel about the doseage…which i s why i thought would come off at 1/3. Im sure lowering the dose is bound to help with the hormone balance. Im hoping my skin will become less oily as they settle down. Fingers crossed and will keep you posted 🙂
I have a ques. for Christelle, How about ur hair? because I am more worried about hair! Well I am going to start 1/4 pill from this cycle also… so far I have not experienced any acne or hairloss! Also want to share that I have started washing my hair only once a week for an year now… initially my hair use to get very oily and I use to get headaches because of not washing it, but after few months my body adjusted to that… my hairfall reduced tremendously and my hair stays fresh and no oil even after 7 days, I am getting so many compliments on my hair these days!I see around 50-60 hair when I wash my head after a week and around same amount when I style them after washing! During the week… I just see less then 10 hair fall when I style!Forgot to mention that I am not using any conditioner… after washing I quickly rinse it with apple cider vineger mixed in cold water and afterwards I put very little leave in conditioner. So far this method is working very well for me! I am concerned about loosing more hair after I am done weaning off pill! Christelle, because you are two months ahead of me I want to know ur experience!Thanks!
I have a ques. for Christelle, How about ur hair? because I am more worried about hair! Well I am going to start 1/4 pill from this cycle also… so far I have not experienced any acne or hairloss! Also want to share that I have started washing my hair only once a week for an year now… initially my hair use to get very oily and I use to get headaches because of not washing it, but after few months my body adjusted to that… my hairfall reduced tremendously and my hair stays fresh and no oil even after 7 days, I am getting so many compliments on my hair these days!I see around 50-60 hair when I wash my head after a week and around same amount when I style them after washing! During the week… I just see less then 10 hair fall when I style!Forgot to mention that I am not using any conditioner… after washing I quickly rinse it with apple cider vineger mixed in cold water and afterwards I put very little leave in conditioner. So far this method is working very well for me! I am concerned about loosing more hair after I am done weaning off pill! Christelle, because you are two months ahead of me I want to know ur experience!Thanks!
Kyra – Wow, I’m happy for you. I think Dianette is a stronger pill than Jasminelle though, which might explain why you didn’t get breakthrough bleeding when you reduced the dosage. But hey, you seem to be doing really well with your cycle and your skin (it’s normal to get a little spotty at that time of the month). I’d say all in all it’s very encouraging for us. Do you think the vitex is helping (ah, sorry, more questions – are you taking vitex in capsule form or tinctures? And what’s the dosage per day? I just bought a jar of capsules from Nature’s Way; the dosage is 400mg per capsule… does that sound right to you?)?
Hi Gausha. I understand. Hair-loss is scary. Fortunately, I haven’t experienced any significant hair-loss so far. But, and this is a significant but, I am a dark brunette with a lot of hair on my head (and curls), so even if I were to lose my hair, it wouldn’t really be visible, which is why I haven’t be focussed on this particular problem. But in all honesty, I think I did lose a little hair when I first started weaning in February. I noticed that it tended to come out a little more when I washed it or combed it. But I put that down to it being winter here (I live in France). Since then, I’ve had no major hair-loss. Don’t get me wrong, it does come out a little when I wash or comb it, but that has always been the case for me, even when I was much younger.
In your case, Gausha, I would keep up your natural hair-care routine (I’m all for the natural approach, and your system seems really good), and maybe, if you are worried about sudden hair-loss, try weaning even more gradually. Basically, the reason your hair sometimes falls out when you come off the pill is because a) your hormone levels change suddenly, and any hormonal shock affects hair-growth, and b) because your androgen levels may have risen, and a high adrogen level can be responsible for hair-loss on your head, and hair-growth in other areas of your body. I think you said you were taking spironolactone? Spiro is an anti-adrogen, so yes, it does affect hair growth too. Are you still taking it? I ask because that is to be taken into account if you’re worried about hair-loss…
Yes it is one of the stronger pills for sure..im very encouraged i have gone this far and how well my body is dealing with it so far. Yes i am sure the vitex is helping. I started taking it two weeks after stopping pill altogether so my body had a small rest in between. I take 2 tablets every morning (it says 1 to 2 tablets each day on pack)..each tablet is 1000mg so i would assume that is the maximum dose..they are in small grey tablet form not capsules. I take 500mg of Dong Quai also each morning. I hope after 6 months i can assess how i am doing and lower the dose to 1 tablet of Vitex maybe..Ive been taking both for 10 weeks and had no side effects. Hope that helps you x
Ps i got the Vitex off Ebay…says Lindens Apothecary on front. It was buy two get one free so quite resonable x
Ah, thanks, Kyra. I think I’m going to do the same as you (I might up the dose a little and take 2 x 400mg capsules, if I feel daring! We’ll see.). I don’t think I’m going to take dong quai – my family has a history of cardiac arrhythmia, and I’ve heard dong quai can be a bit troublesome for some, so I’m not going to risk it. But apparently, vitex is a reliable supplement for lots of women, and I don’t think there are many side-effects. Voilà. Well, thanks for your help, and lots of good vibes for the rest of your adventures! 🙂
I have also dark brunette but I have lost lot of hair when I was on loestrin 24fe BCP(high androgen). Right now my hair is just fine… I am just worried coz I have seen how severe the hair loss was! I am still on 50mg spironolactone, I have not increased my dose… and I know it’s anti androgen pill… and it is diuretic too.. That pill is working just fine for me because my BP was also little high because of the BCP.
I have one more question… is anyone taking probiotic supplement?? I just started taking a week ago.. I am having hard time getting adjusted to these pills.. I am getting severe headaches and I also feel little congested when I get up in the morning! Does anyone else got the same symptoms!
Also what is the good time to start taking Vitex and Donq Quai?? I thought it should be after we r done with weaning off process!
I see. I’m sure that if you wean off birth control you won’t suffer from extreme hair-loss, because your body will adapt to the hormonal changes slowly. Plus, if you’re already taking spiro, I don’t think your androgen levels will shoot up suddenly. Maybe you could try weaning off that too once you’re done weaning off the birth control pill?
To answer your question, I won’t be taking vitex until I’m totally done weaning.
As for probiotics, I’ve been taking some for several months now. I take Pearls Probiotics. They’re pretty good, I think (I take the yeast balancing ones). Although, if you’re experiencing congestion, it might be because they contain dairy… are you sensitive to dairy products? I know sometimes dairy can make you sneezy. But, honestly, the best probiotics are probably the ones you get from food itself – sauerkraut, kefir etc…
Good luck! 🙂
I am so glad I decided to put in my own research on the birth control pill. I’ve been on it for three years, stopped taking it in Dec, then broke out MASSIVELY after a few months. I caved and went back on, thinking it was perfectly safe. Unfortunately, that is not the case! My skin is looking better and better because of the pill but knowing that it is all fake and covering up my hormone imbalance, I feel awful.
I’m going to start doing exactly what you’ve been doing, however I was wondering if you need to have a backup form of birth control when it comes to pregnancy? I am going to have a copper IUD put in, if I can have it put in during my next period that would be ideal, but if I need to I will put it in much sooner.
I’m also going to be taking natural hormone regulating supplements, drinking herbal teas, exercise, avoiding gluten, sugar, etc. I also have an appointment with my naturopathic doctor on Saturday where I will discuss this with her. I’ve heard that acupunture helps with the balancing of hormones as well.
I feel your pain. Obviously, I have no guarantee that this weaning thing I’m doing is going to keep me acne free once I’m done, but I am convinced it is the gentlest way to come off medication that my body has been depending on for years. I haven’t spoken to my gyn about what I’m doing, and that’s a risk I’ve chosen to take.
Yes. You definitely need back-up contraception (I should have mentioned this before. I totally forgot!). My boyfriend and I are using condoms – far from ideal, but in the long-run I’d like to ditch those and invest in a LadyComp, which is supposed to be very reliable, and non intrusive. But I’ve heard that copper IUDs are good too, and at least you know there’s no hormonal treatment involved.
I have to add that before I started weaning off birth control, I had a long talk with my boyfriend about all the ins and outs and pros and cons of coming off the pill, and coming off it this way. It was important for me to know that he was going to support me throughout all of this. As you can imagine, it wasn’t fun going back to condoms after all those years, but now we’re fine with it, and we’ve agreed that if I fall pregnant, that’s ok too.
It sounds like you’re doing it the wise way, with the naturopath & herbal supplements. I think the first step to balancing hormones is doing your own research and finding out exactly how your body should be working naturally, and then, yes, avoiding stimulants and high glycemic foods. See what works for you! I find that eating as varied as possible – even including a little gluten and dairy (as long as it’s from organic sources) is fine for me. The only thing that I feel is a no-go for me is food with a high sugar content, even fruit, and soy products. 🙁 Otherwise, you could try licorice and spearmint tea. Both are said to be good for balancing hormones. As for acupuncture, I’ve never tried, but I’d love to hear if it works for you!
Good luck, girl! 🙂
Thank you so much for taking the time to maintain this blog. I am a 22-year-old and have been on Yaz for the past 8 years of my life (yikes!) I’ve read every single comment on this thread and looked up some of the bcp’s mentioned. Many of them seem to have a coating, and so does Yaz. Christelle, have you figured out whether coating matters during this weaning off method? I realize that yours didn’t have it, but many of the other women on here listed bcp medications with coating. I am psychologically and physically traumatized by Yaz and am entirely ready to start this process. Would you recommend that I finish this current pack and THEN start the weaning off process with the new pack, or just start tomorrow? Thank you so much for doing this. I’ve been researching extensively for the past week with little hope and even considered staying on Yaz until I finish my last semester of college because I was terrified of the side effects. This blog has given me so much hope!
I know, this website is amazing isn’t it?!! I was so relieved to have found it too (hooray for Tracy!!!)!
To answer your first question, my pill is coated too. I read that you shouldn’t interfere with coated meds, but I decided to do it anyway, because whatever it is that’s in that pill is interfering with me and my health! I figured that taking a lower dose of hormones, even if it meant chipping the coating, couldn’t be worse than taking the whole dose, which is why I went ahead and chopped my pills up anyway, despite the coating.
If I were you, I’d finish your current pack, and then wait a week until your period ends, and start chopping your next batch. You need to sit down and establish how long you want to be weaning. I too had been on the pill for years (10 years!), and so I figured that I would need a good 6 months to reduce my body’s dependence on those hormones. I decided to do 2 months on 3/4 of the dose, 2 months on 1/2 the dose, 2 months on 1/4 of the dose, and this month, I’m taking 1/8 of the pill, just in case… normally I should be done in a couple of weeks. But you might want to do things differently! 🙂
Good luck! And let us know how it goes! 🙂
Thank you so much for your quick response. You said wait until I get my period ends and then start the weaning off process with a new pack. Should I be doing this even if I usually START my period when I start a new pack? I usually start it on my last non-active pill/first couple of new active pills.
Hmm, I see. I’m not sure how your pill works, but I’m guessing it’s one of those non-stop pills where you take it for 28 days running, and the final week of each cycle you take “non-active” pills. Is that right? If that’s the case, I suggest starting the weaning process when you start a new batch of active pills, regardless of where you’re at with your periods.
Hope that helps 🙂
Ok ladies, little unplanned update here.
I just got my period this morning. Normally, I should be finishing my current batch of pills in a little over one week (which is when I normally get my period), but it appears nature has other plans. So I’m calling it a day. I’ve decided to discontinue my pill, and let nature do the rest ( 🙁 so much for my week by the sea!).
It’s a little overwhelming, because I’ve been weaning for so long, I feel like I should give it another month… just in case… but at this point I don’t think it will make any difference. So this is the final plunge. Maybe it’s just the hormones, but I almost feel a little emotional, and happy to have been able to share my experience with all of you.
My diet is good. I eat pretty much only whole foods, only organic meat (once or twice a week), dairy and eggs, wild fish, organic local fruit & veg, few grains, hardly any gluten grains, and I’m watching my sugar intake. In terms of supplements, I’m taking cod-liver oil, spirulina, and some B-Vits, and when I finish my period, I’ll start taking the vitex. I had planned to go on all sorts of cleanses and detoxes once I was done weaning, but in the end I’ve decided to take it slow, and give my body time to adjust.
Thanks for your support, ladies! You’re all awesome! I’ll keep updating, of course. I’m sure I’m still going to need your input and advice in the coming weeks and months. Wish me luck! 🙂
Good luck for the rest of your journey! I think you made the right decision! don’t worry, I am sure everything will be fine, you have been doing so well up until now, I don’t see why it shouldn’t continue so. 🙂 On top of that you have been weaning off for quite some time and eating healthy, so I remain positive that this method really works!
Take care girl! xxx
Hey Christelle, sounds like you have done the right thing there 🙂 Im sure you have done enough weaning as as long as the dose as been lowered for a while your body will not go into shock like it does when stopping cold turkey.
You have an excellent diet well done…my diet isn’t too bad but i still eat things i shouldn’t lol..excercise is good too.
Im on week 13 now and pimple free..had a few over the time of my period but they all cleared up again. i’m feeling really positive for us and wish you luck.
Speak soon x
Good luck Christelle! I think u have done enough weaning…. and u will be perfectly fine! My best wishes are with u! I think this is really going to work!
15 days off birth control, yay! So far so good (although I want to wait a good few months before I start crying out for victory).
My period lasted 6 days, and I started taking Vitex on day 8 (400mg/day – on the bottle it says to take three times that dose for the first 8-12 weeks, but I don’t want to risk it, so I’m just taking one capsule a day). I had really sore breasts and lower belly the whole week following my period, but today I’m feeling much better. No acne in sight.
YAY! so happy for you christelle! 🙂 keep in touch! x
So I thought I would give you an update on my situation after abruptly quitting the pill (dianne 35) 2 months ago. So about 4 months ago while taking Dianne my body was a mess.. i was ridiculously hormonal, miserable, depressed, put on weight, started developing anxiety, candida overgrowth, and then out of nowhere my hair started to fall out…. that was the drawing point for me.. So i did try the weining process for a few weeks but decided to stop i couldn’t take putting it in my body anymore. So anyway after about 6-7 weeks of stopping bcp the hair went back to normal (thank god!!! But then I thought i am going to have to battle the acne again… nightmare! So for the past 3 months I have been working with my naturopath on all of my issues mainly focused on the candida and hormonal imbalance. Have been getting acupuncture done weekly and taking Chinese herbs among the many other supplements I am taking! I am also doing lymphatic drainage, having my 2 amalgam fillings taken out next week, colonic irrigations, I have gone totally organic with my eating, I try to be as natural as possible. And I plan to stick with this for as long as it takes. And although about a month ago i started getting small break outs again I feel like it’s a lot more controlled with my eating habits and everything else I am doing… not to bad! I feel 100x better! I definitely feel on the road to recovery. And will be getting microdermabrasions to keep the acne under control ( which is only on my chin and just a few spots). Will keep you all updated and good luck with the weining it sounds like it’s working great : )
That’s really good news, Rebecca! So happy for you!
Wow, looks like you’ve managed to get a lot of your issues under control naturally. I’m curious, what is lymphatic draining?
Ah, and another question… for Rebecca, or for the others… have you (any of you) managed to retrieve your cycle since you quit birth control? That’s what I seem to be having the most trouble with. I’ve pretty much completed a whole cycle without being on the pill at all, and I got very light bleeding on day 21, and now I’m at day 26 and I’m still spotting. But on the bright side, no pms irritability or sadness at all, no headaches, nothing like that… and on the acne front, one insignificant and barely noticeable pimple (my boyfriend laughed when I pointed it out).
I’m suspecting I have estrogen dominance. I need to get my levels checked, but the symptoms are there. I’ve just ordered some evening primrose oil capsules and natural progesterone cream. I didn’t really want to go down that path, but I’m feeling very uncomfortable – think constant breast tenderness, cramping in the lower belly, a little nausea, very little libido, etc., although I’m feeling great mentally, my body is clearly battling. In fact, I have so trouble sleeping whatsoever. I really feel that my body is repairing itself overnight. The vitex is probably helping, so I’m definitely going to continue taking it, but I think my body might need an extra push, which is why I’m going to give progesterone cream a shot too.
Voilà, girls. Let me know how you’re all getting on! 🙂
I am almost through my second month of weaning off my BCPs. So far things have been going well. I had acne before, which is the main reason I got on to BCP. I regret it so much, I have had negative side effects with mine and it’s the pits to quit (as I have read) I take AmethiaLo which is the generic for LoSeasonique.. So I only have 4 periods a year- the only pro to birth control 🙂 This will be my first time trying to come off the pill. I have wanted to for a while but I was too scared because of all the stories I have read about women who experienced acne worse than ever when they came off, specifically cystic acne, which I struggle with. Currently my skin is doing good, but I am also on an acne cream called acanya. I have though been experiencing bleeding in my second month of coming off the pill. Its not a lot, not like a normal period, just light spotting, its more inconvenient than anything.
My fear now is, as I have read up more on the weaning off method is that I will break out afterwards because it seems like all the stories I have read have been people who tried the weaning off method because the FIRST time they tried to come off birth control they broke out so they got back on and later tried the weaning off method with success. My fear is that since this is my first crack at weaning off the pill that my body will still experience the shock… I’m just worried. I need hope 🙂
Sounds like you are all doing well…and it will be normal to take time for your cycle to re adjust itself. I had my period after about 6 weeks of quitting and then it was normal after that..slightly more heavy than when i was on the pill but i expected that. i get cramps and sore breats just before i am due to come on aswell..but i have always experienced that. I believe the vitex is working to help regulate me and keep my hormones in check.
I have been completely off 4 months today!! I get the odd spot here and there and a few more around the time of the month but nothing to even notice really. My skin is still oily and i have to wash my hair daily but apart from that i am feeling really well.
I know some experienced the breakouts around 6 months so i feel i am still not out of the woods but going off my personal past record of quitting i am exceeding the 2 month mark when i have broke out in the past.
Can i ask Christelle..what is progesterone cream?
Looks like you’re doing very well! I’m glad you’ve got your cycle back.
When I saw my gyno last year, she told me that if you were regular before going on the pill, you’re likely to be regular once you stop, and likewise, if you were irregular before, there’s a fair chance you’ll be irregular when you come off… I was 18 when I went on the pill, and I was terribly irregular back then. I never had PCOS, but I’m thinking of adopting a special PCOS (low glycemic foods) diet for a while to see if it helps me to get on track…
Progesterone cream is used to help some women to kick-start their own progesterone production when they are suffering from hormonal imbalances such as estrogen dominance. If you choose natural progesterone cream, it’s said there are little to no side effects. Some women really swear by it. Here is the link to a website I found with questions & answers about the role of progesterone, etc.
Thanks for the quick reply! So glad to hear how well you’ve been doing! 🙂
Quick question 🙂
How do you know when you have ostrogen dominance?
to be honest, i don’t know a lot about it… even though i had been on “jasmine” for 13 years… (oh my gosh… why does every dermatologist gives you the pills when you only are 14 or 15 years old! i find it scandalous! i never really experience my body withou the pill and it’s became an habit for me. When you’re young, to take what they tell you to take.
But now, you wanna quit but you know it will probably going to have consequences…
That’s great thank you Christelle 🙂 might look into that myself. Take care and will keep updating :-)) xx
Question for Christelle – As I mentioned earlier I am on quarter pill now… and this will be my last month hopefully on bcp.. I will start my new pack from Monday.. My periods were very light this month.. very light close to nothing.. I am little worried… Is it OK?? Did u experience that too??
I’m no expert, so I can’t give you much of an explanation for why your period was light this month, but I can say that your body is adjusting to a lower dose of birth control, and that can have an effect on your cycle – for some it might mean heavier periods, for others lighter, I suppose. How long have you been weaning now?
I’ve been off for one whole cycle now, and I started bleeding on day 21, with light bleeding to start with, and then mega heavy bleeding until pretty much yesterday. I haven’t counted, but all in all I’d say that was a 9-10 day period. But I felt great, little to no tiredness, no psm, and no acne. My appetite has totally increased since I’ve been off the pill too.
Honestly; Gausha, I don’t know if it’s ok or not to have a light or heavy period. Right now I’m learning to get back in touch with my body, and I’m enjoying it, but if you feel anxious, do get in touch with a naturopath or a gyno to discuss your concerns. But my guess is your body needs time to adjust – some say it can take up to a year to retrieve your cycle after having quit birth control, so I wouldn’t stress too much. Just make sure you’re eating well and getting plenty of rest.
Good luck sweetie xoxo
I just wanted to post a comment to say thank you – to Tracy, Christelle and Kyra in particular.
I have been on Dianette for 15 years. I came off it cold turkey 4 years ago with horrendous results – terrible acne on my cheeks and neck. It was so bad I was prescribed Roaccutane for a year and ended up back on Dianette as you have to take the birth control pill with it.
Since then I have been terrified about coming off Dianette again but I think about it constantly, often getting upset. I feel like it is holding me to ransom!
However, reading this blog has been very inspiring and as of yesterday I have begun to reduce my dose. I will update you with any results in due course but I just wanted to say thank to those who have taken the time to share their experience and offer advice.
To answer your question about Lymphatic drainage. It’s a technique they use you clear you lymph nodes which when blocked or not working correctly don’t flush toxins and hormones correctly. I had 1 session don’t know if it made the world of difference honestly… but I am willing to give anything a try.
In terms of my skin not the best not the worst… I have been breaking out over the last 6-8 weeks although I did abruptly quit the pill (I didn’t wean like you girls) that was due to unbearable side effects I was experiencing.
I am getting hormonal test results back from my naturopath tonight so we will be able to see what’s what and hopefully work through those imbalances.
As well as starting some microdermabrasion sessions this week to minimise the break outs while I work out the internal issues.
My diet is pretty damn good (no what, sugar, dairy etc.), I take chinese herbs, I take naturopathic vitamins, I do acupuncture once a week. I am having a colonic tomorrow and a foot detox spa. ( I don’t even want to think about all the money this has been costing) But honestly If I can get through this it will all be worth it!!!
I have also ordered some coconut water as I have read it’s great for skin among many other health benefits.
Will keep you guys updated. All the best.
You more than welcome and this site is fantastic where are can share our experiences. I know how you feel as i too have been frightened of the consequences of quitting.
I am on week 17 after stopping completely and although i don’t want to get my hopes up, it is most definitley the most successful attempt, with only having the typical minor breakouts you get at that time of the month…which i can handle.
Good luck Caroline 🙂 x
I am weaning for almost 6 months now… I am on a quarter pill now.. this is going to be my last month.. I just started a new pack yesterday! I really don’t have any other symptoms, good news is my blood pressure is back to normal and I have stopped taking the medication for the BP… I was on 25mg anyways…but I am still on spiro.. that I will wean off after 6 months. Also question about VITEX.. I have heard that it can increase the progestrone level in the body that can trigger hairloss and other stuff..I was on the high estrogen pill, I think my body needs extra estrogens right now… is vitex a good idea??? I am leaning more towards Dong Qoui… but side effects says that it has some ingredients in it that can cause Cancer.. so I am very confused about which vitamin to start after I am done weaning off .. right now I am just taking Flax oil 1000mg vitamin once a day!
Good to know the weaning is working out well for you. I think you’re probably right to wean off spiro too, it really seems to be the most gentle way of coming off long-term prescription drugs.
Regarding vitex, yes it is supposed to help the body to produce progesterone, but that is not a bad thing at all! It’s the hormone that triggers hair-loss in women, not progesterone. In fact, progesterone actually helps the female body to regulate any excess estrogen or testosterone, so if you’re suffering from PCOS or hair-loss or any other condition caused by excess testosterone, you definitely need to make sure your body is producing enough progesterone (if you’re on spiro, it’s because you suffer from excess testosterone, not progesterone). That’s where vitex can come in handy, because it doesn’t contain any artificial hormones, but it helps your body to find it’s own hormonal balance. Dong quai is said to help stimulate blood flow in your sexual organs. I’m not taking it because it can have an effect on your heartbeat, and since my family has a history of arrhythmia, I’m skipping the Dong quai, but loads of women swear by it, so definitely give it a shot if you think it will help.
If I may, I really don’t think you need to be getting any extra estrogen. Our modern polluted environment is already jam-packed with a chemical form of estrogen known as xeno-estrogen, which can be found in most regular detergents, and in plastics (even drinking water out of a plastic bottle, or heating food up in a tupperware box can have harmful effects). If you’ve been on the pill for several years, there’s a fair chance you’re already estrogen dominant, so you don’t want to be creating an even bigger imbalance. The reason women who take the pill for years end up estrogen dominant when they come off is because it’s easier for the body to produce estrogen (and it probably has tons of it stored up from years of oral contraceptive use) than progesterone. When you come off the pill, your hormones can go haywire if there isn’t enough progesterone to regulate the excess estrogen and testosterone. Dianette is not just a high estrogen pill, it’s also a testosterone suppressant (just like spiro), so the two combined will stop your body from producing testosterone altogether. When you come off the pill and the spiro, your body is going to start producing testosterone again, naturally, and you’re going to need to make sure you’re keeping those levels in check as it’s the excess testosterone that causes acne, hair-loss, and facial hair-growth etc. You might want to look into getting your hormones tested once you’re off the pill, and then maybe trying something like the “PCOS diet”, which is said to help keep androgen levels down…
I hope that helps. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Good luck! 🙂
* it’s the hormone testosterone that triggers hair-loss in women, not progesterone (oops, typo – I missed a word!)
Thank u soo… much Christelle!!You have cleared lot of my confusion! I really appreciate all your help! Hope things are smooth on ur side too!!
Hey ladies.. thought I would give a quick update. I have been off for 3 months now and I went to the naturopath and had my hormones tested. Got the results and says I am high in testosterone, low in progesterone and have bad estrogens whatever that means. Anyway I am not taking supplements to rise my progesterone levels which will lower my testosterone. Point being I don’t think you can judge your own hormone levels and take different stuff without knowing what the imbalance is. My advice would be go get tested by a naturopath. She says it may take a couple of cycles before I get balanced but it makes me feel a lot more comforted knowing I am doing the right things.
I think you’re right to have had your hormones tested professionally, Rebecca. It’s so much simpler than fumbling about in the dark trying to guess what imbalance you might be suffering from.
I think I might do the same, although in France it’s not as easy to get hold of a saliva testing kit, so I might have to stick with the regular albeit not all that reliable blood test…
Please can you tell me how your skin is now after weaning, have you finished weaning altogether now? I have just got to my second week of cold turkey but am thinking of starting the pill again today but only in halves to avoid the nasty acne. Just wanted to see how you were getting on now, thank you x
Yes, I weaned off the pill for 6 months, and I’ve been completely off since mid July. So far, I’m pleased to report that my skin is doing incredibly (and surprisingly) well! 🙂
I have no acne whatsoever, which, to me, is miraculous, because the last time I quit (cold turkey though), I broke out veeery badly!
I still want to wait a few more months before saying “ok girls, this weaning thing is the way to go”, as it’s only been a month and a half since I’ve been free of hormones altogether (and this month my period hasn’t come – I was expecting it to come on Saturday… :-()
As for my lifestyle & cleansing routine, I’d say I am definitely eating well – lots of fresh veg and fruit. I do eat dairy – organic yogurt. I try to avoid gluten and sugar, but I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with eating perfectly. I also don’t wash my face with anything other than water, and only once a day, when I wake up. I wear no foundation at all, no moisturizer, just a few drops of jojoba oil on my face in the morning, and before I go to bed.
If you don’t mind my asking, Sophie, what pill are you on? Have you ever come off birth control before? – If so, did you get acne? I ask because every pill is different, and everyone’s experience is different, so it helps to know what you’re taking. Also, you said you came off cold turkey… how long ago was that?
All the best,
Thanks so much for your reply. Okay, the pill I’m on is dianette – possibly the worst one!! I decided to go off it 2 weeks ago at the end of my packet as I’ve been feeling depressed and my sex drive is zero!! So I finished the packet (been on for 6 years) and stopped, so so far 2 weeks with no pill, anyway I have since read about severe rebound acne after a few months, and honestly I won’t cope with that at all, as it’s only been 2 weeks I figure I can start taking half pills for a couple of months then quarter etc, I have 4 packs of pills left. I went to the doctor to see if this rebound acne was inevitable and could not seem to get a straight answer. Infact, I was only put on this pill for very mild acne (it is supposed to be for severe acne which I have never had) – so should never have gone on it in the first place.
(very angry at the original doctor). In answer to your question I’ve never come off it in the 6 years so don’t know what the effects will be. The problem is I can’t find any info on the statistics of how many people do get severe acne, the only info on the internet is really bad.
So, not willing to take the risk I’m happy to wean myself off, took half a pill yesterday and another today. The bad ingredient in my pill is cyproterone acetate, info on this drug alone warns not to stop it abruptly (it is used to treat sex change patients and enlarged prostates!), it blocks testosterone. Weaning makes so much sense. It is obviously working for you, do you know of any other success stories?
Thanks so much for your help, Sophie xx
So you must be nearly 4 months now, how is it going? I have been on dianette for 6 years and have become depressed do am coming off. However I’m doing the weaning method like Christelle, just started half a pill a day and will do down to quarter in a couple of months. Any advice would be so much appreciated. So the naturapath said your testosterone was high, presumably higher than when you were on the pill and is a result of coming off? Have you had many break outs or greasy hair etc? Would be great to hear how you are doing. I would go cold turkey but am terrified of the outcome.
Thank you, Sophie x
I understand your fears. I used to be on Dianette (on it for 5 years), and when I came off it I experienced very bad symptoms (depression – I wouldn’t have qualified it as that at the time, but in retrospect, definitely, acne, exhaustion, dandruff, amenorrhea for 6 months… it was a nightmare). The symptoms started after having been off for about 3 months. This time round, I was on Jasminelle – also an androgen-suppressant, but not as strong as Diane I think.
If I understand rightly, you just had a two-week break from the pill, and now you’re back on 1/2 the dose. You need to determine how long you think you’re going to need to wean off Dianette completely. I started weaning with 3/4 of the dose for 2 consecutive months, just so I wouldn’t shock my body (I didn’t want to get withdrawal symptoms, or experience hair-loss, which can happen after a couple of months if your body experiences a sudden fluctuation in hormone levels…), but if you feel that starting weaning at 1/2 the dose is what you’re comfortable with, definitely stick with it.
Also, don’t forget, acne and lifestyle are closely linked, and when I came off Dianette cold turkey, my eating habits were not that great. You need to be aware that the consumption of sugary foods will make your testosterone levels rise – leading to all those terrible symptoms. If I had known this when I first came off the pill, I would have reduced my sugar intake.
There’s a girl on this thread called Rebecca who quit Dianette cold turkey recently, and she gave her body a helping hand by improving her overall diet and lifestyle, and it sounds like she’s doing pretty well. You could always ask her about her experience too…
It’s so sad that doctors just put us on this junk without explaining anything to us. I completely agree with you. I’m angry too. I knew the pill wasn’t flash when I first went on, but I had no idea just how dangerous it was. Today I am SO determined to stick this out and never go back on hormones ever again!
I’m sending you lots of positive vibes and strength for your big adventure! Let us know how it goes 🙂
Sorry for the late reply, and thanks again for your advice.
Yes, I came off for 2 weeks but in that time read so many horror stories that I have decided to wean off. I am only taking half a pill but potentially should be taking 3/4, I’ll stick will half and see how that goes. Hopefully the 2 weeks I was off won’t have messed things up.
I did just have 1 question, you mentioned tbhat the first time you came off dianette your symptoms lasted about 6 months, does that mean that you saw it through and after 6 months they got better? Did you go on jasminelle because of acne? I can’t seem to find much on women who don’t end up going back on the pill when they get these symptoms, I know that you mentioned your friend who was better after about a year? I’ve also read (only a couple) of blogs from women who got no bad symptoms, and I’m wondering if only women who have a nightmare post stuff on the internet and a good percentage don’t because they are not having a nightmare? Hard to say I know, I’m sure there are no official statistics. I have an appointment to see a doctor tomorrow as I want some answers on the effects of coming off dianette and also advice on weaning. I’m not massively hopeful as I think doctors don’t know enough or don’t want to admit the problems. Be interesting to see what she says on weaning, even if she’s against it I’ll stick with it I think, I’ll let you know what she says.
About diet, I too have a very healthy diet with very little processed food and sugar, lots of water etc, so I think I am doing everything I can there. Just looking forward to the day when I am taking no more pills!
Thanks again x
To answer your question, I came off Dianette cold turkey about 8 years ago. I had been on it for 3 years, and since I had just broken it off with my then boyfriend, I figured I could do with a break from the artificial hormones (my doctor initially prescribed Dianette in particular because I had very mild very sporadic acne, and because I was a premadonna and I was making a fuss).
The first couple of months off the pill were fine, except for the fact that I wasn’t getting my period. Then around month 3, the acne started, and by month 5 it was uncontrollable. I couldn’t recognize myself. I was depressed (I’m usually a very happy person), I had dry scalp, candida, acne all over my forehead and chin, and I felt exhausted… oh, and still no period. At that point I was probably very high in testosterone, but nobody explained anything to me at the time, and I didn’t think to Google search my symptoms (I remember speaking to my gyn on the phone, I was almost in tears, and she seemed surprised: “oh, you have acne and no period… hmm, strange”). So when my period finally arrived, six months after having come off, I just went right back on Dianette, and within 4 months the acne disappeared altogether.
I wound up on Jasmine because my gyn said it was a new funky pill (and she probably wanted to try it out on someone naive), and the following year she put me on the lighter version, Jasminelle. So all in all, by the time I started weaning last year, I was already on a mini pill, which probably helped.
As for the stats, if I were you I’d forget about trying to find out, because frankly I’m not sure the doctors have a clue what happens when you quit birth control. I met somebody who’s in med school recently, and he told me he had no idea how hormones worked. He said they vaguely learn hormones in the first year, and then they go on to specialize in whatever interests them. Only endocrinologists specialize in hormonal activity, the other doctors don’t have a clue.
There are some nightmare stories out there (before I started weaning off birth control, I read a heap of horror stories about the post-pill breakout and totally freaked myself out). Try not to dwell on those stories too much, Sophie. The key to weaning off hormones successfully is learning to understand how your body works. Read up on the female reproductive system, which hormones are needed for what, and which herbs can help balance out your hormones, support your liver while it’s eliminating the excess hormones, etc, etc. Most of the horror stories on the internet were written by people who don’t know how their body even works, and who don’t care to find out (I’m 29 and I only really discovered how my body works this year by doing my homework). I’m sure you’ll be fine coming off the pill this way. Your diet & lifestyle sound great. And you know, even if you did have the stats, it wouldn’t help you to know how you’d react personally to being off birth control.
Good luck with it all! Let us know how it goes! 🙂 xxx
Hi Christelle! Did you experience any breakouts when you switched from Dianette to Jasmine?
I’m thinking of doing so, to extend my weaning period so to speak – (Jasmine is less dangerous right?)
I just wanted to do a very brief update. Last month I starting taking a 3/4 of my Dianette pill. I had a couple of spots but nothing too bad and completely managable.
Last time I stopped taking Dianette cold turkey, the symptons (acne, greasy hair, excess hair growth, etc) starting after about 3 months and gradually got worse and worse, so I am really apprensive about rushing the process, but equally I want to be off it as soon as possible!
I am planning to take 3/4 for another month, much like Christelle, and see how it goes.
I’ll aim to do an update each month with progress.
Thanks and good luck to all!
Good luck, Caroline! Thanks for your feedback! 😉
Here’s the quick update..I am done with the weaning process and I have not started the new pack this month, I was weaning from last 6 months and that should be enough! 7th day of periods and still bleeding… I am also getting little headaches from last three days! I think they will go away when bleeding is going to stop! But I am little nervous and at the same time very excited! Finally I am off the pill completely. Also, no hairfall and acne! Skin is still very clear! Hopefully it is going to stay this way! I will keep updating.
Christelle – Did u get your periods?? I am not planning to take any vitamin this month.. I will wait for my next cycle and then decide.
Glad to hear all is going well on the acne front! I wouldn’t worry too much about your period. Your body is probably just adjusting.
Yeah, I got mine. Last month, I got it on day 21. It started out really light for a few days, and then it was really heavy. It actually lasted almost 10 days! The good news is I had no pms, and no pain.
This month, I thought I wasn’t going to get it at all when I saw day 28 come and go and no period in sight (I even got a pregnancy test… you never know!). And then on Sunday I got it (on day 35). So far it’s really light and not at all painful (and no pms – my man is loving it!)… but that’s how it started out last month, so will have to wait and see.
Just fyi, before I started birth control, 10 years ago, I never once had my period two months running. I always seemed to skip a month or two. So this is a big first. I’m sure the vitex and healthy lifestyle are helping! 🙂
Yay to you for sticking it out and finally managing to come off! I’m sending you loads of happy vibes for the rest of your adventure! Keep updating, it’s really encouraging!
Just one more question, thanks for being so helpful already.
When you were weaning did you have the regular 7 day breaks when your period was supposed to be or did you just keep taking the cut up pills right though? I’m not sure what to do, thanks x
PS, how is it going by the way?
No pb, Sophie. Yep, I always left 7 days in between packs.
So far so good. I got my period this month on day 35. It lasted much longer than when I was taking the pill (it started last Sunday, and I still have it in fact), and it appears that when you’re not on the pill your period is heavier – at least that’s what it’s like for me. But I feel great 🙂 No pms, no headaches, and one modest pimple on my chin the day before I started. Honestly, I’m still not going to cry out for victory, but I’m definitely very confident that this method is the way to go for women who want to come off birth control.
What about you? How are you doing?
Hi all, thought i would give you an update on how i am doing as i approach week 24 after my last pill.
I am really pleased! My skin is great will just the odd pimple still around that time of the month. Im feeling so much better for not having that poison pill anymore. My diet isn’t great but is isn’t bad either…i eat what i want and have wine at the weekend. I have since stopped taking Vitex and dong Quai and just taking skin, hair and nails capsules once a day now and have been doing for a month. The reason i stopped was the possible side effects and i didnt want my body to become reliant on them for too long. I did experience some minor hair loss which settled and hair dresser assured me it was very minimal (vitex can cause hair loss).
Skin is still a little oily, more so at certain times of the month and hair gets greasy still but i wash it every day anyway as my hair is fine and blonde.
So as i approach the 6 month mark i feel happy that this is working. I also suffered with Canidia (thrush) quite a bit and since quitting not had it once. I think the pill is responsible for alot of things looking back…i even got melasma on holiday on my forehead which is caused by the pill and hormones, thankfully it faded away.
So keep at it girls 🙂 and good luck x
I’m so happy for all of you who have managed to successfully wean on off the pill – that’s so awesome that it’s worked so well! And don’t forget, Christelle, Kyra, if either of you would like to do a guest post about your experiences with this process, I think it would be really helpful!
Hi Tracey, did anyone end up writing a guest article about their experiences weaning off the pill? I’ve had a look around your site but haven’t found anything.
whoops Tracy, not Tracey, sorry!
Not yet! Christelle (or anyone else here), if you read this, I would LOVE a guest post from someone about this topic! 🙂
Kyra, yeaaaah! Good for you! 🙂
Tracy, I would definitely love to write an article about my experience weaning off the pill. I’ve been off for almost 3 months now, and so far so good. I have no guarantee my skin will always be this good, which is why I still haven’t plucked up the courage to write you a guest post about it (it’s silly, but I don’t want to be like hey, this method really works, and then wind up with acne one week later! he he). But on all levels (I have had a period every month so far, no pms symptoms, no candida… no depression, no acne, no dandruff, no oily skin…), this method has definitely been a million times more effective than coming off the bcp cold turkey, and for that alone I’d write you an article any day!
I have to say a big thank you to you, Tracy :-), because if I hadn’t come across this website in January last year I would probably never have had the guts to quit birth control, and it’s the best new year’s resolution I’ve ever made (and the only one I’ve ever kept!)!
Hey Christelle! I just saw your message asking about my post pill experience but strangely enough I could see it in my inbox but not here :/ Anyway I didn’t write for a while cause I STILL didn’t get the courage to stop the pill 🙁 The thing is that the last 2 months have been hectic for me, I have moved to the States, started a new school, new place, new food, well basically everything is new! lol so I wanted to settle down a bit before weaning off. But i am thinking in a month or two I will start…but I’m so scared!!!!! 🙁 All kinds of questions are coming through my mind you know, like what if this method doesn’t work for me, or what if I fall pregnant, etc.
Anyhow I’m so happy that it has worked out well for you and Kyra (cause I am still following your stories :)), if I hadn’t heard your accounts, the idea of really stopping wouldn’t even have crossed my mind. Pls keep updating cause I really do follow your stories and well of course when I’ll stop, I will write too.
Prends soin de toi Christelle et j’aurais surement des questions a te poser une fois que je commencerais a arreter, j’espere que ca ne te derangerait pas 🙂 Bisou!
Hey Mona! Good for you! I wish you lots of happy things in your new American life! Yep, you definitely want to be in a stable situation when you start weaning, as it is a big decision.
Bien sûr que ça ne m’embête pas de répondre aux questions! Au contraire, j’adore! 😉 Avant, j’étais sûre que je ne pourrais jamais arrêter la pilule, et je suis toujours aussi surprise de voir à quel point cette méthode fonctionne. Bon, je n’ai pas envie de crier victoire et de finir couverte de boutons (hehehe), mais voilà quoi, pour l’instant ça va plutôt bien… en tout cas je te souhaite tout plein de courage et de bonheur et de succès dans tes études! Bisous ma belle 🙂
Hey, girls. Thank you so much for updating this. After a stressful couple of months, I’ve decided to start weaning off. My emotions have become much more uncontrollable and I question my sanity on a daily basis. I’m convinced this has something to do with taking Yaz for 8 years since I don’t recall feeling discontent before.
I started a new pack two days ago and chickened out on only taking 3/4 of the pill. So now it’s two days into my new pack and I cut the third pill into 3/4. Do you guys think that taking the first two pills whole and then the third cut into 3/4 will be problematic? Also, how precise do I have to be when cutting the pills? Unfortunately I used a knife since a razor blade wasn’t available.
Thank you for your consistent feedback.
Sorry, forgot to ask another question. Since Yaz has a diuretic, will this weaning off method aid in adjusting to that? I’m really worried about gaining weight and would like to know if weaning off would prevent water retention, cravings and hormonal weight gain?
Thank you again.
Yeaahhh! Good for you! Yaz is said to cause a plethora of terrible side effects, and the emotional roller coaster is one of them.
I wouldn’t worry about the two “whole” pills you took. I think starting the weaning process on 3/4 of the dose sounds fine (that’s what I did too). Now you need to sit down and determine how long you want to spend weaning, and how exactly you plan to go about it (I knew I didn’t want to wean for more than 6 months, so I did 2 months on 3/4, 2 months on 1/2, and 2 months on 1/4 of the dose, but I know Kyra did things differently – it took her longer to wean, and she stayed on 1/2 the dose for a long time, and that method worked for her too).
I was on Jasminelle (which is the same composition as Yaz, but just slightly weaker). I don’t know anything about it being a diuretic, but I honestly wouldn’t worry too much about weight gain or cravings. If anything, you probably crave more sugar and junk when you’re on the pill because the pill stops your body from absorbing many vitamins & trace minerals, and so you find yourself craving energy. I myself haven’t experienced any weight gain or loss (this is my 3rd month off the pill). I’m not particularly toned or anything, but I’d say I have a less cellulite now than when I was on the pill. My friend who quit Diane 35 said she noticed the same thing.
One thing you do need to know about Yaz is that it is an androgen suppresser, which means that while you are on it your body isn’t producing testosterone. As excess testosterone is responsible for acne, your skin is often acne-free when you take Yaz, but when your body starts producing testosterone again, after you come off the pill, you want to make extra sure your body is not producing too much so as not to suffer from a bad outbreak. Sugar and carbs influence testosterone production (a high carb diet can provoke excess testosterone production and that can trigger acne), so you might want to consider going low carb while you are weaning and for a little bit once you’re off altogether, just while your hormones are sorting themselves out… that’s just a suggestion though.
Good luck to you! I’m very confident it will work and you will feel much more emotionally balanced 🙂
Let us know how it goes!
I agree completely with Christelle. I decided to go straight to having half a pill, to see how i got on from there and stayed on half for ten months simply because i had been on Dianette for most of my adult life i wantd to wean longer with it being a strong pill. I then spent two months on 1/3 and then quit. I was concerned about my cycle lowering the dose much more as it was hard to cut the pills up much less. However im 24 weeks and touch wood seem ok…yes my skin is alittle oiler and i get a few spots but nothing to lose sleep over…overall i am happy…no mood swings the days running upto my period (my hubby has noticed this lol) no thrush since quitting and now you have mentioned celulite i have to say mine doesn’t seem to be as bad on backs of my thighs either after just looking..no coincidence i am sure. I too dont want to get too excited as i am around the 6 month mark i too am scared to jump for joy and than have a major breakout.
Thanks for this site Tracy it has been a life saver for me and i will write a post for you for sure when i feel i have gone ‘long enough’.
Take care girls xx
Hi Kyra, I was on dianette for 5 years so am really interested in your story. I am 2 months into half a pill now (went straight to half), plan on doing another 2 months then down to a quarter for 4-6 months. You mention that you have a few spots here and there now, I wonder, did they start whilst you were still weaning or just after you quit altogether, if after, how long after? Only reason I ask is because I’m wondering if a quarter of a pill is enough to keep them at bay, last question (promise), did you have bad spots before going on dianette and that’s the reason you went on? Thanks for your help.
Thank you Kyra and Christelle!
Christelle, would you say that since I’m on Yaz I’m more prone to experiencing acne while weaning off as opposed to the rest of the girls on here? Is there some sort of supplement I can take to maintain my levels of testosterone? A cream perhaps? I’ve decided to wean off at 3/4 for two months, 1/2 for two months and 1/4 for another 2-3 months. I’m really nervous about it because I’ve read that stopping birth control dramatically changes the appearance of one’s body structure, and considering that I already suffer from crippling self-confidence issues, I don’t want my body to become masculine or something of the sort.
Hi Diana, I don’t think you being on Yaz makes you more susceptible to getting an acne breakout than someone coming off another type of pill. The question of testosterone production is just something to keep in the corner of your mind while you’re weaning off (it helps me stay focussed when I feel like pigging out on chocolate, hehe).
Please don’t worry about your body changing dramatically or anything like that. Your body won’t become masculine, I can assure you! 🙂 For centuries and centuries women have looked like women, and their bodies have functioned perfectly without the use of artificial hormones. I know how daunting it can be, especially as you’ve relied the pill for years (I was on it for 10 years!). I used to think I would be on it forever. But I’m learning to love and trust my body and my womanhood, and it’s something I could never do fully while I was on the pill because I never knew if my body could “work” without the magic stuff I was pumping into it. Does that make any sense to you? Perhaps it’s just me, but I really really am convinced that your self-confidence will improve when you accept and love your body as it was designed to work, i.e. without the hormones. And don’t forget that Yaz creates emotional disruptions and you will probably find that once you’re off the pill you automatically feel better about life in general, and therefore about yourself. Anyway, we’re all here with you on this, and if you have any kind of question or you’re beginning to doubt, just fire away. This website has helped me so much to overcome my fears, and just seeing that I wasn’t alone was a real blessing.
Chin up lovely! Good luck with everything! 🙂
Hi Ladies!! I’ve just come across this site!! I’m 26 and have been on dianette on and off for 10 years! Never been strong enough to put up with the horrendous outbreaks and misery of having to wash my hair twice a day after coming off so always ended up going back on!! I’m going to speak to my doctor about weaning off and will hopefully give it a go!! I just want to be off the pill and never have to touch it again!! Hope all is still going well for you all x
That’s great, Laura! 🙂
Just to let you all know I spoke to my doctor who said she’s never heard of it before but that it would make sense so that it’s not such a shock to your body. She also said it doesn’t pose any risk or danger either so I’m going to give it a go. I’m being a bridesmaid for my best friend in a few weeks so will wait till next month before I give it a go x
I’m glad to hear doctors aren’t rejecting this idea 🙂
Hi Coco i would defo try and stick it out alittle longer. Have you thought about trying a topical solution like differin to control the acne while your body/hormones settles. I hear Differin is great for reducing acne.
I still seem ok. Still get a few spots mostly on the lower half of my face and had a couple of tiny ones on my forehead but nothing major. No cysts like before just pimples really and a few tiny closed comdones. I am around the 6 month mark so i am kind of nervous that i will have a major breakout any time soon and not wanting to get my hopes up but this is the longest i have ever been clear of the pill.
Good luck Laura and Coco xx
I have been weaning off yasmin after being on it for around 10 years,I came off the pill cold turkey in the past and my skin was horrendous!! I had spots everywhere and they wouldn’t budge so I went back to the dreaded pill as I gave up. Saw this post and thought I’d give it a go!! I started with 3/4 of pill for a month, 1/3 for a month, 2/3, 3/4 then stopped!! I had a period and now I am into my 2nd week pill free and spot free!! I don’t want to get over excited but this is working!! 🙂
When i was on Dianette i would get the occasional spot anyway so knew after stopping i would get a few. I just get a few more now mainly at that one time of the month. When i was weaning i remember at about 6 months on half i got a few on my forehead and then they cleared up so i am assuming it is my body adjusting to the hormone levels and like Christelle says about her friend after 12 months or so things should start to get back to normal and how our bodies should naturally be.
I originally went on the pill for teenage spots..looking back they probably were not too bad but still got me down and i got them on my back, shoulders and chest too. It seemed to work a treat and i was happy…until trying to come off i didn’t realise the horror of it.
My skin is alittle oiley but not too bad i can leave my hair every other day before i have to wash it. With my past record of trying to quit i am sure i would have had a major breakout by now so that is hopeful. Can i add aswell that approx two weeks of the month i am spot free so as long as it stays like this i am happy.
I realise i have done the weaning alittle different as i only spent two months on 1/3 after going straight to 1/2 for 10 months..i just thought i would take the plunge and getting the doses much lower could be tricky and affect my cycle too much. My periods are normal now every 28 days. They are not heavy and i don’t get bad cramps like i did as a teenager before starting the pill (which i thought would happen again).
I was just thinking the other day since May 2011 i have only put 6 whole packs of Dianette into my body which is reassuring itself 🙂
I am sure this will work. Good luck Sophie xx
p.s sounds like you are doing well Laura..Good luck too xx
Hi Kyra, thanks so much for your reply and sorry for taking so long to reply to you. I’m the same, have always had the odd spot on dianette which obviously is fine so I happy with that. I am just over 2 months now and have to say one thing I noticed very quickly was that my boobs became alot less sore (they were very bad on dianette, not just before period but most of the time), but they have shrunk too (oh well!) This is all a sign that the hormones are coming out of my system so all good. Please keep us posted on your progress, your story gives me a lot of hope. One thing I will say is that there must be some women who come off dianette problem free, I can’t believe that all women get horrible acne that take this and other pills, surely it would be known about? but I wonder why some women and not others?! Thanks Again, Sophie xx
Hi everyone! I was wondering if any of you developed yeast vaginitis and bacterial vaginosis on the pill? Cause I’ve been having them now for the third time and am scared its becoming chronic. And so I started wondering if maybe it could be linked to the pill somehow. I asked the doctor but she kinda said no, that it could be happening to any number of reasons :/ the thing is that I was planning on weaning off from my BC pill next week when I start my new patch but now that I am on tons of medication to get rid of these infections I don’t wanna do it anymore. I think it would be too much for my body. So I really wanna get rid of these before weaning. But if somehow the pill is actually the cause then I think it would be a good idea to wean off my pill as soon as possible. Hum, does anyone have any idea? Thanks!
Hey Mona, did you get that other comment I wrote you in French? If not just let me know and I’ll write you another one in English. Have you managed to get the vaginitis under control?
Bisous, je t’envoie plein de positive vibes 😉
hey Christelle! yep i got your message and I’ve answered to it. If you look up, it’s there (i think lol) 🙂 Thanks for the advice once again. I’ve finished my treatment and will see my doctor next week, so I will know for sure if my vaginitis is gone. Bisou bisou
I have been on the pill since I was 18 (I am now 25) and came off Microgynon about 3 years ago only to experience terrible acne. I had never had acne or spots as a child but – being a teacher- was far too insecure and anxious to stick it out and let it clear up. The Dr recommended Dianette to clear up my acne and I have now been taking Dianette for 3 years. I feel like I have been put on a much stronger pill to clear up something only caused by birth control in the first place, very frustrating. I have never been a spotty person but am terrified that if I come off cold turkey from Dianette, the acne results will be even worse than previously.
Your success stories about weaning off Dianette have really given me confidence where so many other websites basically made me feel like I might as well stay on it just to avoid problems.
I am hoping to go down to 3/4 of a pill for 2 months, as Christelle did, as it seems to have been successful for her. Just want these chemicals out of my body so I can start to feel like me again 🙁
Good luck to you ladies. Hope it’s still going well!
I’m about two weeks into my pack and have been cutting down the dosage to 3/4 of a pill. I am now bleeding every day. Will this keep going until the weaning process is done? Maybe I need to give up.
What you’re experiencing is spotting. It happens when the dosage of a pill is too weak. Gynecologists often put women on stronger pills for a few months when this starts to happen (often after several years on the same pill, their bodies get used to the dosage, and they start to bleed between periods) and put them back on their regular pills once the spotting episodes are over.
It happened to me a whole lot when I was weaning. It wasn’t severe bleeding, just spotting. I didn’t get checked out while I was actually weaning, but I do remember this happening a few times when I was on Yaz, and after check-ups my gyno said it was nothing to worry about.
The thing is Diana, this might well happen throughout the weaning process. I was prepared luckily, and I didn’t pay much attention to it when it happened to me because I was so desperate to come off the pill that I just figured this was my “cross to bear” until I finally stopped putting the hormones in my system. Thankfully, since I’ve been off the pill altogether (since July) I have had 4 pretty regular periods (in August it came early, after 2-3 weeks I think, then in September a little late, but hey, and in October I got it on day 30 which is pretty damn great considering I was irregular before I went on the pill), and no spotting since I’ve been off.
If the spotting issue worries you, definitely go and see a doctor. I’m almost certain there’s nothing to worry about, but if you need reassurance, do get some medical advice.
If the spotting hinders your sex-life, or is just too difficult to handle, then maybe this weaning this isn’t for you? If that’s the case, you need to figure out what you plan to do… stay on birth control, or quit cold turkey. Some girls have had no problems with acne coming off cold turkey, so don’t automatically believe you will suffer a breakout of you just up and quit.
The fact is, unfortunately, the medical field doesn’t have much to say about weaning off birth control, which leaves all us ladies with our common sense and intuition to try to find what works best for each of us. What worked for me might not work for you, but I can’t tell you to give up, that has to be your decision. In all cases, if you decide to keep going (the spotting may subside by the way, it won’t necessarily continue, but I can’t say for sure) I will always answer your questions and give you maximum support, and I’m sure Tracy and Kyra and the others will too. The pill is harmful for us women, and it makes me so angry at the medical field to see how uninformed we are as to what we’re putting into our bodies. I am persuaded that this method of coming off is efficient in reducing post-pill acne breakouts, and heck Diana, you deserve to be happy and free from the emotional roller coaster Yaz is for so many women.
That said, I wish you luck with all the thinking through things, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have more questions!
Big hug lovely! 🙂
You are welcome. Thats great and i agree my boobs were sore too quite alot and now it is just a week prior to my period. Getting the hormone out is most definitley for the best! It just takes time for our bodies to adjust but everyone is different and there must be people who have just come off fine, but they will not have discussed it on here as you only ever go on the internet when you have a problem and thats why it is nearly always bad news when you do. This site is great and for me has been a life saver. Im still ok as i approach week 27 of being pill free 🙂
I would say if i can get to Christmas without a major breakout i am going to be ok. Its just scary to think i could just break out.
Good luck Sophie and i will update again xx
I just wanted to say you girls are AMAZING… you all have changed my life in so many ways, if I could fly out and hug each and every one of you I would. All I have ever wanted to do was have children but I was so scared to take the next step… stopping my pill – Yasmin.
Thank you for taking the time to keep filling us in on your progress. I wish you all knew how much this meant to me.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! XXXX
Oh BTW this might sound silly… and maybe already addressed, but how did you actually cut your pill? I’m afraid if I do it with a knife it might not be so accurate?
Hey Frida! Glad to hear our updates have been helpful! 🙂
This website is amazing. I remember stumbling across this particular article in January if this year, in the middle of the night, in a moment of despair. I was desperately trying to find some hope online for quitting birth control without suffering from a bad breakout, and wherever I looked there were comments and blog-posts by women who had quit birth control cold turkey and were devastated at the sight of their own skin. This article by Tracy was the only thing I read that gave me hope, and now into my 4th month off the pill after having weaned off I am so happy to observe that I have no acne whatsoever, and so far my periods are pretty regular.
As I’ve said countless times on here, and I’ve read Kyra’s comments and I think she feels the same, we’re so surprised at how effective this method has proven that we’re afraid to jinx it by saying “wouhou, this works!”. But Kyra has been off for 6 months, and so far so good, and I’m into my 4th month, and so far so good…
I think the idea of reducing the amount of artificial hormones you put in your system gradually is logical. Meanwhile, as you’re actually weaning off you can focus on other areas of your life you want to “clean up” in order to help your skin while you’re transitioning off the hormones (eating habits, supplements, exercise, inner peace, etc…).
I bought a paper cutter back in February when I first started weaning, and I just chopped my pill into pieces on a wooden chopping board. Sometimes it was a bit of a hit and miss operation I must admit (and a miracle I didn’t chop off a finger!). I’d just take the little pieces that were broken until I ended up with the dosage I wanted.
Some people have asked about whether it bothered me that the pill was coated, and to be honest, I’d have to say no. I so badly wanted to come off that I just figured it couldn’t be worse than taking the whole pill anyway… I hope that helps…
I did the same as you. I was on Diane (for 5 years with a 6 month break acne catastrophe), then Yaz (3 years), then the lighter version… Yasmine maybe? In France it’s called Jasminelle (for 2 years). Anyway, quitting the pill is the best thing I’ve done in 2012.
This is none of my business, Frida, but if you want kids (I do too, which is one of the reasons I wanted to come off the bcp), you might want to wait a little before stopping contraception altogether, just so that you can replenish your gut flora. The pill kind of kills off the good bacteria, and if you get pregnant immediately after coming off the pill you can end up passing on your gut flora imbalances to your child. The GAPS diet website is pretty informative on that subject. Anyway, lots of positive vibes to you! Good luck 😉 xxx
Ive just been using a knife, pretty sure Im not accurate with my cutting but attempting to cut 3/4 so far! Cutting in half n then 1 in half again x Good luck
Thanks Rose. Please keep us updated. I was on Diane too then switched to yasmin to lessen the amount of hormones for when I stopped. The switch was ok tiny bit of break out but felt better. Only bad thing was the hair loss. Not sure if it was because I stopped Diane or started Yasmin. Im interested to see how you do!! All the best!! X
How long did the hair loss last and how drastic was it? So far I am taking Zinc for hair and skin and Multi-vitamins every day to try and prevent this happening so fingers crossed it’s not too bad. I am only a week and a bit into it and I have already start spotting a bit. However, this was always an issue so I’m hoping it would have happened if I was still on full pill anyway.
Thanks for the luck giving, really feel I need it :s xxx Thanks for everything
Thank you! I had no idea, yes well truth is I think my BF is going to propose! HAHAHA hopeful thinking but he’s been dropping hints. I just turned 29, and I think Im ready to have kids straight away if he does. But your advice is awesome I will hold off a little.
Rose – I stopped taking Diane in 2010 in August and by January (5 months) I started to break out and hairloss started. I couldn’t handle it so I got tested and stuff and nothing helped so I decided to try something not as strong… Yasmin. which as a result lessen the hairloss but I think I am still losing hair on Yamin noticeably more than I did on Diane. Diane made my hair gorgeous!
I am going to try Nioxin shampoos I heard it helps so we’ll see. When I do wean off… (When I do get that ring) I will be so prepared! Better than before. Vitamins and supplements to help balance myself quicker. I am sick to my stomach about it… but I’m going to do it!
Good Luck Rose… You girls are my heroes!
Lets hope my BF asks soon.
Yay! 🙂 That’s awesome news Frida (and I love your feminine intuition, hehehe, men are hopeless at hiding things!).
I am SO confident this method will work for you. If you want to replenish your gut flora, definitely try milk kefir (it’s got so many beneficial bacteria in it, I highly doubt it will break you out at all), and sauerkraut if you can handle the taste. Otherwise a good probiotic should do the trick! That and fermented cod liver oil and turmeric for their anti-inflammatory properties. I’m positive you’ll be fine.
Recently, over the past couple of weeks, I got sluggish with my diet (sugar, gluten, dairy, birthdays, eating out with friends etc.), and I kind of expected to break out, but my skin is surprisingly blemish free (actually, I don’t want to brag but it’s looking really good at the moment), so I’m just saying, don’t worry too much about breaking out. If you lower the dosage gradually I’m sure you’ll be fine. Also, for hair-loss, B-vitamins and magnesium are said to work wonders.
Good luck lady! 😉
Fingers crossed for you sweetheart x
Hi ladies, Its been a few months since I wrote. I quit Dianne cold turkey at the end of May as I was over the horrible side effects I was experiencing. And like most of you I went on the pill when I got an unexpected outbreak of acne at the age of 20 which was the reason I started BCP. When I tried to quit about 2 years ago the acne came back which is when I went back on Dianne. So anyway 5 months post BCP (no weining) I feel tons better mentally and physically but the acne is back : ( It’s not major its mainly just on my chin area but it’s there and I think when you experience acne it does some horrible things to your self esteem. I feel as though I am doing everything to avoid this – I see a naturopath once a month we are working on hormone rebalancing, I take a ton of vitamins, I haven’t touched sugar in 5 months my diet is clean! I have been getting lactic peels once a fortnight, I exercise. Like I said it is not major but it is consistent. Any suggestions on anything I can do to avoid this or at least manage it better. How long do you think I will have to ride this out? I don’t want to go back on the pill! But summer is coming up and I am stressing as I tend to be a bit of a recluse when my skin breaks out!
Hi Rebecca, I was just wondering what your naturopath thought about all of this coming off the pill? I have found the doctors to be useless to be honest (total denial about ladies breaking out) so would be interested to know an alternative opinion. I am on month 3 of weaning of dianette (half pill for 3 months) and so far okay. I was also curious as to how the pill had made you feel, ie why you are coming off. Personally I have no sex drive and feel moody and flat alot with low energy, this happened so gradually I hadn’t put it down to anything like the pill! Be interested to hear how you felt, thank you xx
Sorry to hear you acne has come back. It is awful and i too remember the feeling of hiding away feeling so self concious. It sounds like it isnt too bad which is good and your diet and lifestyle is fantastic and i do believe this does help to a certain degree. I would suggest a topical solution like Differin Cream/Gel and a mild benzol peroxide cream like Oxy to start with. Again it depends on the type of ance you are gettting…is it cysts, small closed comedones or whiteheads? If it’s comedones then Differin will work well. If its cysts maybe antibiotics to clear the infected pores.
You have done the right things coming off the pill as dianette is the strong one aswell…i am so glad im off it…it might have cleared the spots but the other side effects it brought were not pleasant either…i got melasma too. Since quitting even my ezcema has cleared up…the melasma faded away, i dont suffer with thrush like i did and i feel so much healthier for having the pill out of my system.
I’m still ok and hoping the minor spots i get will clear after 12 months from stopping like Christelle’s friends did as i am sure yours will too. The only thing i noticed the other day was a few spots on my lower back. Im expecting there to be some i suppose while my body regulates and im on my period at the moment..i always get a few just before i start.
I didnt’t expect to get to the end of October and be feeling this confident though…i thought i would have had a major breakout and gone back on it just to make my life easier.
Hope you get sorted Rebebcca and stay positive 🙂
Ps Frida i used to cut mine in half with a knife and it was approx. I dont think you can get it dead on, just as long as it is as near as you can get it.
Good luck girls xx
Thanks for your advice….
Sophie to answer your question – My naturopath never objected to weining I just could no longer bare to ingest it into my body I think this was just the Dianne as I have been on several different pills and never had side effects this bad.
The side effects I started to experience 8 months in on Dianne was – anxiety, depression, no sex drive, sluggish, weight gain, bloating, thrush (candida), hair falling out (last straw).
So I decided to quit, made sure my diet was perfect, I see my naturopath every month (expensive but worth it). Again we are working on naturally getting my hormones to work I know I am high in testosterone as the saliva test stated, we are trying to raise the progesterone to lower the testosterone.
I think weining is a terrific idea, I just couldn’t cope with the side effects anymore. Anyway 5 months on and I feel great, no more depression, sex drive is back, physically feel so much more energetic. Just so many things in my life are better. I am still working at the candida but have again come along way with that. It is just the bloody acne but I do believe my body is just adjusting and I think stress (and I am a massive overstresser) plays a big part in it to which is something I need to work on.
So I think diet, stress and getting your body’s organs working again – liver, kidney is vital in coming off with success. but it is a slow process and no “magic pill” is going to fix it.
Again also trying to alkalize your body, lots of green drinks and the right vitamins. Naturopaths are very expensive but they know what they are doing.
Kyra – Did you quit cold turkey or wein? Sounds like you had a rough ride as well
Anyway I guess I just need to relax a little and let it take it’s course!
It’s nice to feel like you have support : )
Thanks for the advice!
Thanks for the quick reply. Thise side effects sound just like mine,except no candida, at least I don’t think so. I’ve always had the odd spot even on dianette but nothing much, anyway recently I did a 6 week full on detox, by metagenics, taking lots of herbs and strong probiotics (it’s pricey but really really good, and you basically just eat pure foods but plenty so no hunger), maybe ask your Naturopath about it. Since then my skin has never been so good, I’m convinced it was the big detox clean, it concentrates on ridding the gut of bad bacteria and replacing with good bacteria. That said, I am still weaning just incase. I do feel more uplifted on just half a pill but not enough, very much looking forward to being free, and no S/D yet, how long did it take for yours to come back?
Last question, I’m intrigued by the saliva hormone test, I think you can buy them on line. Have you found that your testosterone has crept up after quitting, as dianette is a surpressor? Thanks a million x
Yep I have gone through all the detoxing and cleansing. I have even had a couple of Colonics done. So gut health has definetley improved. Alot has improved with my lifestyle change and since quiting BCP and cleaning up my diet. I think I just need to fix the last parts, stick it out a bit longer.
The break outs started maybe a month after stopping, like I said I have never had BAD acne and it hasn’t been bad. But every couple of days to a week I will get a spot, and around my period I will have a break out. And it’s mainly just the chin that gets affected and sometimes around the mouth. Occasionaly I do break out on the chest also but that is always easy and quick to clear up.
With the horomone test I wouldn’t get it done until about 3 months after you stop taking the pill. That way you know what your hormone levels are because they may change once you stop. And I would get it done by a naturopath as they will be able to look at your results and if you need to make any adjustments they will be able to tell you what you need to do.
And metagenics are great I use the same products supplied by my naturopath. : )
Sorry and yes testosterone was the part that was very high. Which is why we are working on rising the progesterone which will decrease the testosterone!
Sorry to hear you’ve been battling with a breakout. Compared to what I had when I quit Dianette 8 years ago you do seem to have things under control though. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before your hormones balance out.
Just out of interest (I haven’t had my hormone levels checked yet – this is my 4th month off the pill), what are you doing to help raise your progesterone levels? Are you following particular dietary routine?
Sending you lots of happy vibes 🙂
I am definitely going to get the saliva hormone test done, I would like to do it now and then later just to monitor the changes. I’m not sure I can afford to see a naturopath on a regular basis, I did see the saliva tests online for NZ$150 (I live in New Zealand). I’ll contact a local naturapath and see how much it all costs. One thing I have noticed after 3 months of weaning is a significant reduction in hair fall. I’ve got quite thick hair but the last few months or so before I started weaning noticed alot of hair coming out in the shower and when brushing etc, the last few weeks there is barely any, this is such a good sign. So like you I started losing hair before stopping dianette, so it was causing it. I also had incredibly sore boobs, like really painful but that has totally gone now. I am feeling so much better even on just half a pill.
I wanted to ask you, how is your hair loss going now? Also, I was wondering about going to my doctor for a full hormone blood test, visiting the doctors here is on $50 and I don’t think they charge for blood tests (will check though). Did your naturopath ever suggest this or is saliva really the only way to go?
Thanks a million x
Hey Christelle, My naturopath prescribed me with something called Progestralift – it has certain ingerdients in it that help support your body to produce your own progesterone. Which is really the goal in all of this to get our bodys to produce our own hormones. I also take something called estrofactors which helps produce good estrogens. If you feel like you need a test I would recomend doing it as it’s good to know what is exactly out of balance.
Hi Sophie, Sorry didn’t see the last part of your message.
With the hair situation it is completley back to normal now which is such a relif as I was freaking out when it was happening, and every GP I went about the hair said it couldn’t be the Dianne as they use it for women who suffer from hair loss? Which I find very strange! When it started happening I was 9 months on the pill and all of a sudden had this hair fall come from nowhere, I beleieve to my immune system was very low I was sick a lot and not very healthy at the time. Again like you it was in the shower and during washing and brushing. That’s why I just stopped taking the pill, it was a very stressful time as I was scared what was going to happen if I stopped. But about 6-8 weeks after stopping the pill the hair loss stopped and symptoms started to clear.
Now it’s just the whole skin thing, and it’s not to bad! It has never been bad but I mean dealing everyday with a pimple on my face is not something I want to have to do for the rest of my life. Using vitamin A cream at the moment and going to start Salycilic peels as recommended by my beautician. As long as I can maintain my skin over the next 6 months I will be happy. As I believe it will take me around a year to steady my hormones again or get them back to some kind of normal. Again diet and lifestyle are the main tools I am using to battle this.
How strange that we have both had hair loss whilst taking dianette, I definitely have way less loss even on half a pill, it’s like just by halfing the dose of hormones my body is way better off, and I think emotionally too. I just can’t wait see how I feel after I am off it completely.
Glad to hear your skin isn’t too bad, from what I’ve read you will definitely be okay after a year. By the way, has your naturapath suggested saw palmetto, I think it’s a natural testosterone supressor, presumably way weaker than dianette or yasmin.
After a month of taking 3/4s of the Dianette pill, I went to the doctor for a repeat prescription and have been switched rather forcefully back to Microgynon. It’s so much lower in hormone than Dianette that he told me to take double the pill for the first week to get used to it. I still want to come off the pill permanently but am now at a total loss at what to do.
Do I continue with weaning off but now with Microgynon or should I stay on this pill for a while until my body gets used to it?
I’ve been on Microgynon before but really need to get these hormones out of my system once and for all.
Sorry for the rant ladies.
Hi Rose, I just saw your comment. That’s insane! Firstly, what’s all this about taking a double dose? It sounds kind of risky to me (I don’t know what you ladies think, but it’s shocking to me). Secondly, why has your doctor suddenly decided to switch your pill? Have you spoken to him/her about weaning off?
I understand your frustration. I think it’s up to you – you can either do a few months on Microgynon so as not to disrupt your hormones too much, and then start weaning off that, or you could always go to see a different doctor to get a new prescription for Dianette…
In all cases, don’t let it get to you. You are the one who decides what you want in your body or not 🙂
All the best
If you want my opinion, like Christelle, this taking double dose sounds weird. Not only have I never heard of it but if u were on dianette and trying to wean off i think it’s best if you stick with the same pill. Cause now if you change to another pill, your whole body has to adjust again to not only new levels of hormones, but actually different type of hormones. I mean i do not know what Microgynon contains exactly but I highly doubt it is exactly the same as Dianette. Well in any case that’s my opinion, hope it helps 🙂
I agree that taking two a day sounds wrong! If anything he should have dropped you onto yasmin as i hear that is much safer than Dianette. Maybe speak to them about weaning off Dianette?
I’m still ok as i approach week 30 being pill free. Still get the odd spot but they have not got worse as time has gone on. I did get some acne on my lower back about 2 weeks ago but they seem to be clearing. I find that strange as dont ever remember getting acne there in the past it was more at the top and on my shoulders…strange?
I’m hoping after hitting the one year mark they will clear altogether. will keep you posted x
Hi Christelle, Mona and Kyra,
Thank you for your messages, when I went to the pharmacy to pick it up I asked them about it and they said to perhaps double up for the first dose as it will be like I’ve missed a pill but not for a whole week. Don’t know what my doctor was thinking!
Think I’ll take your advice and take Microgynon for a while and then start weaning off that. Have had some serious mood swings as part of this hormone mess up, not to mention stupidly bad period pain. However, so far, no spots and hair is ok (fingers crossed so far)!
Glad things are still going well for you all and seriously thanks for the help. Will keep you posted. Good luck with the rest of the journey. We can do it. xxx
This post was a revelation! Thank you so much.
I had an awful cystic acne breakout in my early 20s when I was on Microgynon BCP, I tried everything including zinc, selenium, vit C, Iron supplements, antibiotics, steroid cream. I eventually was put on Dianette BCP. This thankfully cleared up my awful, painful acne. I also went to a specialist (with photos of my skin at it’s worst stage for proof!) who recommended I try Roaccutane- I read up on the drug and decided it all sounded a bit too scary, so stuck on my Dianette and had beautiful clear skin. However… I heard that you shouldn’t stay on this pill for more than 2 years, so decided as my skin had been so well behaved I would try to get off it, when much to my dismay I broke out in horrible cystic acne, even worse than before.
Its so depressing and knocks your confidence and I was so upset that I went back to Dianette BCP for another 3 years
I was petrified of this happening again so stayed on it as long as I could, until my new doctor refused to prescribe it any longer (I had a crying tantrum like a child in the doctor surgery! I was 29!!) she put me on Cilest BCP (after apologising profusely to me and explaining it was for my health) I also switched my make up to a mineral makeup (lily lolo/bare minerals).
I was lucky and continued to have lovely skin for a further couple of years. Which brings me to present day…
After wanting to get off bcp and being a bit scared of another nasty breakout- I researched and saw your post about ‘weaning off BCP’ to prevent hormonal craziness! So I braved it and took 2 months to slowly reduce my pill size.
I’m 5 months down the line now and have the occasional spot, but absolutely nothing like cystic. I have also been taking 2 x Evening Primrose Oil 1300g capsules at night when I go to bed, with topical application of the same oil if I do get a tingle of a potential angry- which fingers crossed, has so far reduced or prevented them from popping up!!
I also never use any cleansers on my face, except for water in the shower every morning.
… I am so pleased!! Your blog is brilliant! I wish I had found it 10 years ago!!
I hope this may be of help to anyone who is thinking of trying this method? I feel liberated by not being a slave to BCP’s and am not a lot healthier by instead being a slave to Evening Primrose supplements- which can’t be a bad thing!?
Again, thank you Tracy and for everyones comments and stories. What a great help. N x
Hi Natalie – that’s awesome this method is working for you too! I’m so glad that I decided to post this video! It seems like it’s helped a lot of ladies out there 😀
I’ll say! This post has changed my life! Period day 1 today, and no acne, and no pms, after 4 months with no bcp in my system at all. Happy is understating. 🙂 A million thank yous, Tracy!
So have you been completely off dianette for 5 months? And you weaned for just 2 months? That gives me real hope. I’m just over 3 months on half a pill and really not sure how long to wean for, I suppose I should go down to a quarter soon. What size did you cut your pills to please?
Another few weeks down the line and Still no horrible cystic spots. (yay! Fingers crossed!!) I still get little ones and a few small blackheads but they barely bother me.
In reply to your question…
I was quite rubbish with my pill ‘cutting’ I started biting (!) them in half and if I felt the cystic chin tingle- I caved and took a whole one now and again, but generally, I was taking half a pill a day for a month going down to rough 1/3 of a pill and for the last week or so going to quarters.
At the end of the 2 months, I started forgetting my tiddly bits of pill and realised I’d stopped taking them altogether. I planned on weaning off for 4-6 months it just naturally happened to be earlier.
I definitely think the evening Primrose capsules help. Orally and topically.
I wear mineral makeup- it’s amazing!
Use oil of olay moisturiser (for normal-oily skin) in the morning after a shower.
Hope this helps?!
Ok, little update here. The good news is, no acne in sight! My skin has never been this good ever ever. The worrying news is, my period barely even showed up this month. I’m on day 4 and I’m hardly even spotting. This is strange, because usually my period is much heavier. Not that I feel particularly pregnant or anything, but I’m still going to get a test this afternoon because I’ve just done lots of reading up on the internet (not always a wise thing to do when feeling anxious!), and it appears spotting is common during the early stages of pregnancy… not quite sure how I feel about all this… oddly relaxed, but I need to find out what’s going on. Wish me luck (either way!). 🙂
Ah, yes, initially this post was just a reminder to all y’all weaning off to find other forms of contraception for during the weaning process and for after too. My boyfriend & I use condoms, but I’m not sure they’re totally reliable… I’ll let you know once I get the result!
I am going to start weaning off today! :/ I feel totally stressed out about it, I do not know if it’s going to go as smooth as all of you who have weaned off. I just wanted to ask some advice on what to take during the weaning process, any suggestions on what you took and think helped with the hormonal imbalance?
Oh and following Christelle’s last post, (which by the way good luck Christelle!), do you guys think that I should use another method of contraception when i’m on 3/4 of my pill? Cause mine is quite a strong one, i dunno, maybe along the same lines as dianette I would say. So I was thinking that on 3/4 i would still remain protected, dunno….
Anyway thanks everyone and wish me luck!
Hey Mona! SO happy to hear you’re going to take the plunge! I am pretty certain this is the right way to stop birth control, and judging from everyone’s comments so far I’d say there’s a fair chance you won’t suffer from acne. As regards my earlier post, it turns out I’m not preggers, hehe (phew, not quite ready!). But yes, I definitely recommend using contraception while you’re weaning, you never know!
Good luck giiiiirl! You’ll be fine! 🙂
Hey christelle and Mona,
That’s great news on weaning Mona and Christelle brilliant on no acne!! My period is much lighter than I remember from being a teen… My periods were irregular and heavy. Now they are very light only 5 days at most! I assumed it was my age. But I’m not having any more children and my husband has had a vascectomy so birth control isn’t an issue for me. Defo use something even when weaning as it will almost certainly increase your chances of getting pregnant a but like when you on antibiotics they tell you to use other methods whilst on the pill.
I’m on week 30 being pill free! Today I have one spot so I’m not complaining lol. As I mentioned I had a few spots on my back which have improved alittle but decided to go the doctors today. She thinks its folliculitis…so prescribed me a week of antibiotics to clear it but only mild she said… Plus I’d never had acne there before so thought it odd.
Will keep you updated ….. X
Thank you girls for your support! But I was also wondering whether you took anything during your weaning process that you guys think helped you…like vitamins, herbs, teas, anything? Or maybe did u start taking something once you had completely weaned off?
Thanks again! x
When I first started weaning, I remember I was really strict about having no sugar, and I cut out soy, dairy and gluten, and went low carb, and started upping my intake of green stuff (smoothies etc). Looking back, I think my diet was probably a little restrictive!
Today, I’ve integrated organic sources of gluten, I eat a fair amount of organic dairy (mainly yoghurt), and it’s been a while since I had a green smoothie (although I would maintain that soy is a no go for women trying to balance hormones, as it’s very estrogenic). If I sense that I’m starting to break out a little, or my feet get itchy (I can get eczema sometimes), I stop eating cheese and sugary foods, and usually within a week or so the outbreak dies down. That’s what works for me, but perhaps you are sensitive to other things.
One thing you can do that can only be beneficial to your body is helping your liver to process the unwanted hormones. After reading that article Tracy wrote about liver flushing, I wouldn’t recommend going down that path, but maybe drinking tea with burdock root in it (en français je crois que ça s’appelle “bardane” – en tout cas c’est ce que je prends en tisane tous les matins). Turmeric is also great for detox, and green juice – wheatgrass – is also said to be soothing for the liver. Otherwise, to help your hormones (namely to avoid excess androgen production), spearmint tea is said to be great. I used to drink it. It’s yummy!
And then once I stopped the pill altogether, I started taking vitex, which I am certain is very efficient for balancing hormones.
Oh, I forgot, yes, if there’s one supplement I really recommend, it’s fermented cod liver oil by Green Pastures. It costs an arm and a leg (un true genre 50 euros la petite bouteille), but it’s awesome stuff. Some women swear it has helped them rid themselves of acne for good…
Mais franchement, ne te prends pas trop la tête avec ça! Avant, j’essayais de vivre parfaitement (pas un gramme de sucre, pas au lit après 11h le soir, etc.), mais petit à petit je me suis rendue compte que le mieux c’était de faire de mon mieux, et de ne pas trop me rendre malade avec tout ça. Et en ce qui concerne les compléments alimentaires, d’y aller molo. Ce qui compte c’est de réduire la dose de pilule petit à petit. Voiliou ma belle! Yay, trop contente que tu aies commencé l’aventure! 🙂
Ijust drank the peppermint tea after weaning. Also took the dong quai and vitex afterwards for a few months. Not taking anything now just multivitamins.
Good luck x
Just to add it was a spearmint 40% and peppermint 60% tea x
Thank you Kyra and Christelle!
I will definately buy that spearmint and peppermint tea! i think i cannot be as strict as you christelle 🙂 i dont drink milk except for teas and i love yoghurt in the mornings so i think i cant stop that hehe Like you said ill try to take it easy and not get obsessed with my food. But for sure i will stay away from processed sugar as much as i can!
I will keep updating for sure like u guys did 🙂 take care and thank u for your support! X
My name is Michelle and I have been on diane 35 off and on since I was 15 I am now 25 :S I tried to come off at 17 but was but on alesee and broke out again ( not near as bad as before ) but consistant. so I went back on the diane after otc creams did not help. This past year has been very bad for me, have been in hospital twice ): I tried to come off the diane again cold turkey In january but my adrenals were in very bad stages of exhaustion mode. I go to a naturopath. So I went back on. I am also trying to wean off valium. ( it’s a long story but I am so mad dr’s did not tell me about these HARMFUL TOXIC DRUGS ) I am not sure what to do as my adrenals are still in exhaustion mode, just not as bad. I have a question for those who are weaning off. How do you measure how you cut the pill for 3/4 or 1/2? And they are coated, what do you use to cut them? I really want to ease off this as am going through horrendous withdrawal trying to get off the valium as is and really can’t afford to shock my body any more but this pill has caused me a b12 deficiency and gut problems and I know I need to get off as well :S
ANY advice on how you measured/what you used to cut the pill/for how long you weaned would be GREATLY APPRECIATED SO MUCH!
Good to hear you want to come off the medication. I understand your anger. I feel the same. It’s so unfair to have to go through withdrawal without having any prior knowledge of what those harsh treatments actually do to your body. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll manage to recover. Your body just needs time and TLC.
I cut my pill very approximatively with a paper cutter on a wooden board. It was a miracle I didn’t cut off a finger (you wanna be careful! 🙂 )! But yeah, it wasn’t very precise. Usually I chopped the pill in half and ended up with 2 uneven halves. I swallowed one half, and then chopped the other half in two and swallowed what appeared to me to be a quarter (that was when I started weaning – I took 3/4 of the pill), and threw the rest away.
If you need other info, fire away! 🙂
Hi Ladies, Glad to hear your all doing so well with the weining. Unfortunately I am not to happy with my results I quit dianne 5 months ago (no weining cold turkey) and have been breaking out. It’s not massive acne I have never had that but it still makes me super self concious to the point where I won’t leave the house if I have a couple of pimples call me over obsessive YES! But I want this thing to be over – It’s been a 4 year on and off battle with acne! Anyways I have a question or need some advice. I believe my acne is hormonal but I think it may be estrogen dominance related my naturopath put me on I3C which I believe is pretty much the same as DIM. I have also been reading about Saw Palmetto. Any suggestions on which of these I should take to help balance my hormones. I need to see some results with all I have been doing over the last 6 months in terms of diet and lifestyle change I want to be seeing some relief on my skin. Any suggestions would help. Thanks : )
I understand. Apparently, coming off Diane cold turkey always gives you a breakout… it’s just part of the withdrawal effects of that particular pill. I have a feeling that it’s because it causes your body to suddenly produce excess testosterone. In fact, I’m fairly sure that what you’re dealing with is excess androgen production, I’m not a specialist or anything, but judging from the symptoms you describe, it could well be the case. Maybe talk to your naturopath about it.
I’ve read that Saw Palmetto is good for balancing hormones too, just like Maca, and Dong Quai, and Vitex. Right now, I’m taking 400mg of Vitex per day, and I think it’s helped my cycle stay on track.
I can’t lie, I’ve also read some horror stories with Maca and Saw Palmetto, which was why I didn’t want to risk trying them. I think they either work really well, or have the opposite effect. As for Vitex, there might be some horror stories, but as far as I know it’s pretty safe insofar as it helps your body balance its own hormones, and – and this might be of interest for you if you’re suffering from either estrogen dominance or excess testosterone – it encourages your body to produce progesterone, which in turn helps balance out the excess estrogen and testosterone.
One thing you can do, is give your liver as much support as you possibly can, because it’s processing all those toxins and leftover hormones from the years you spent on the pill.
My friend went through the exact same thing a cople of years ago, and it did last for a little while (the breakout started 6 months after she stopped taking Diane, and lasted for 6 months – so all in all 1 year with acne… fun!), but today her skin is great! She said she really almost went back on the Diane out of frustration, but stuck it out a tiny bit more, and then the spots started to fade away.
I’m sure you will see the results of your effort in due time. It’s already brilliant that you’ve managed to come so far!
I have just started weaning off a few days ago and I just cut my pill with a really sharp knife. Mine is not coated (or I think lol) so I dont know how you do it if it is.
Hope this helps and good luck with everything! 🙂
Oh sorry and you were asking how you measure the 3/4 exactly? Well I just do it by eye. It’s not very precise I know but I think there is no other way.
Hi Ladies, well I have been following this post for some time whilst making plans to wean off Diane 35 in the new year.
However I recently had a bit of a health scare and decided to start immediately. I thought I would keep a record of my weaning process here to help anyone else following this post!
So I started on the pill when I was 16, I have just turned 27. I’ve tried to stop several times but my skin broke out and became terribly oily with lots of blackheads. I also experienced mood swings and depression, so unlike me!
So about 2 months ago I was in bed and became numb on one side of my face, then I went blind for about a minute in one of my eyes. It was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me, and I had a bit of a panic attack. I went to the doctor and they couldn’t tell me what it was, however from my research into the pill it fits pretty well with some of the symptoms it can cause -basically a mini-stroke or TI. I have an appointment with a neurologist in December so will be able to find out more then.
This experience made me decide to start weaning immediately so I got all my pill packets and spent 30 minutes cutting all my pills (with a steak knife! – I was on a mission!) I have decided to start at 3/4, do that for a month, then do 1/2 for 2 months then 1/4 for a month. I have one more repeat prescription which I may decide to fill, I’m not sure yet.
I also had a blood test and am deficient in B12 and Vit D so I’m taking those vitamins, and will also be adding the Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil and a good probiotic. I take magnesium as well for foot cramping. I’m really picky about the brands of vitamins I take and have done a lot of research into this.
I eat a pretty good diet, I’m about 70% paleo (veggies, meat, nuts, seeds and good oils is my main diet) although I still eat too much sugar and have to eat the pasta my boyfriends mum cooks! I also eat dairy, no milk but good quality organic yoghurt and butter and some non-organic cheese.
I honestly don’t clean my face much because on the pill I haven’t had to, I will often just clean with water. After reading Tracy’s adventures in leaving her face alone, I think this will probably stick to this routine. I’m too lazy anyway!
I only wear mineral foundation and Ere Perez mascara and a little eyeliner.
So far it’s only been a few weeks, so I don’t expect there to be any differences so far.
I also just wanted to thank all the regular contributers to this post, it has been so valuable to read all your experiences and get all your advice!
sorry for the long post!
Emily, this sounds a lot like multiple sclerosis. Please request an MRI.
No, from what I’ve learned I had a bad b12 deficiency. B12 is an often overlooked issue, and can mirror lots of other issues. I did consider ms, but since taking b12 a lot of my symptoms have lifted. If you’re interested look up Chris Kressler, he has a great article about b12 on his website
Yay welcome to the club! Great to hear that you have started weaning off like me 🙂 Good luck with everything, i’ll update too on my weaning process! x
What a story, best of luck to you, looks like you started at the right time before it got any worse. I think I started to see my skin flare up and mood swings off the chart about 4 months after stopping cold turkey. I can’t believe how moody I was back then.
ANYWAYS… All the best, please keep us updated. Especially me who seems to keep moving my start date because I am a chicken!
Go on Frida!
It’ll be the best thing you’ll do- I’m so proud of myself!!
How are you? I wanted to know how you were doing. Is everything still ok?
Mood swings, skin, weight and hair?
I just found out from the doctors (annual blood test) I have an active thyroid. BLAH! I think that might be the cause of my hairloss. My mum had the same thing too so I doubt it had anything to do with the pill.
Just bad luck, I am going to find a naturopath and sort this out naturally if I can.
I’m sorry to hear about your thyroid issue. That’s not fun. But I’ve heard you can reverse this type of condition with diet and lifestyle. I wish you all the best of luck! 🙂
On my end, skin-wise, things couldn’t be better. My skincare routine motto is “do nothing”. I’ve decided to just let my skin live is own life, and it seems to be happy that way. If need be, I rub a little jojoba oil on my face before going to bed or in the morning, because it’s getting cold here in France, and I don’t want to have dry skin this winter. People say I have a healthy glow, and I am still surprised that I haven’t broken out at all since I stopped the pill in July.
Cycle-wise, my periods are fairly regular (give or take 30-35 day cycles), but completely different from when I was on the pill. Basically, I start out with 4-5days of really light bleeding at the beginning, and then from days 7-10 or 11 (yes, I know, my period can last thaaat long) I bleed like hell (last week, I thought I was going to bleed to death, hehehe). But suddenly, almost overnight, the bleeding stops, and I’m set to go for a new cycle. I need to go for a check up, but after speaking to my mother & grandmother, both reassured me saying that they had exactly the same types of cycle, and that it appears to run in the family.
It’s kind of fun getting back in touch with yourself. I feel very happy being able to listen to my body, and see how it works. It’s an adventure, almost. And the best part of it is that I feel good when I have my period, despite the heavy bleeding and the length. I don’t suffer from anxiety or moodiness like I used to on the pill. I get breast tenderness, and a little cramping, but nothing impossible to deal with.
My hair needs washing slightly more often, for some reason. But it’s not falling out, and I’m letting it grow out at the moment, so I accept that it’s not at its best in terms of style. But it’s shiny, and healthy.
As for weight, perhaps I’m a bad example, because I’m really skinny (not anorexic skinny, but I’m definitely what people would consider thin or slim). Any weight I may have put on since I came off the pill is due to force-feeding myself in order to fatten up! 🙂
I’d say, in all honesty, that I have much less water retention and edema now that I’m not on contraception. It wasn’t obvious, looking at me, that I used to get water retention, but I do remember my ankles looking a little swollen back when I was on the pill, especially in summer. Today I don’t get that.
For your hairloss, I think B-vits, magnesium and potassium are important… but also, we do tend to lose hair more in winter anyway. So maybe it’s just seasonal 🙂
How is ur cycle??? I have not got my periods yet it’s been 6 weeks I guess??? MY last cycle was week late too… but had very heavy bleeding that lasted almost 10 days, it started with light for few days and then got very heavy! This time I really see no sign of coming…. little scared!!!This will be my second periods after I have stopped taking the pill(quarter Pill)
Yeah, it sounds like your body is adapting too. For me it’s been 5 months-ish (since July), and my periods have been fairly regular, but not absolutely precise. Usually, I get my period on the 30th day of my cycle (but I’ve gone up to 35 days before). I seem to have the same problem as you: I get light bleeding for 4-5 days at the beginning of my period (usually, I think “cool, this is a really light and manageable period!”), and then it gets really heavy really suddenly, and I bleed for another week.
My periods usually last from 10-13 days. I know, it sounds absolutely unbearable, but strangely it’s not. Yes, when I do start bleeding, it is very heavy bleeding, and it’s not fun. But so far I have not experienced much cramping (barely at all), no premenstrual tension, no acne, no mood swings, no headaches… and I don’t know how to explain it, but since I’ve been off the pill, I really feel like my period is a time during which my body is cleaning itself out. When I was on the pill, I had 6-day periods that were relatively light, and I got heavy legs and headaches from time to time. I also felt very stressed and sad on the days leading up to my period. That is a thing of the past. So, for me, I wouldn’t trade a 13 day period for a fake ‘pill period’, even if these transition cycles aren’t fun.
I must admit, this month, my period didn’t come on the 30th day (it came a few days later), and I started to freak out. I actually took a couple of pregnancy tests to make sure 🙂 If yours doesn’t turn up right away, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. If you do suspect a pregnancy, you might want to take a test just in case…
Just one question… are you actually off birth control altogether or are you still taking 1/4 dose?
Good luck, Gausha. Let me know if you need any extra info xxx
I am completely off the pill since last 2 1/2 months, and last night I started bleeding…. so tension relieved!! It’s like I am rediscovering my body! But I completely agree with u that it is so much better than being on a pill… and weaning is the best method to go! I am so thankful that I found this site and I do have friends like u to guide me… believe me 8 months ago.. I was in big trouble! I didn’t know what to do? Mood swings, day and night crying for no reason, hair shedding, swelling of toes, discomfort in my breasts and then my BP went high! It was horrible! I am so glad that I am on the right track now. AND no side effects at all! Thank u so much….
🙂 Phew! You must be so relieved! I’m sure your cycle will star to become regular little by little. You can also take vitex agnus castus to give your body a helping hand (I’m sure it’s helped me over the past few months).
I’m so glad to have found this website too! It’s great to know there are other women just like me who have had it up to their eyeballs with birth control, and so good to see how well this method is working!
Good luck girl, you’re doing great! xxx
I wanted to ask you, are you still taking vitex? It’s now been 1 year I am off the pill, and although my acne has improved, it is still not 100%. I’m really considering vitex now. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.
Good to hear your acne has improved, even if you’re not 100% satisfied, it’s still great news!
As for vitex, I swear by it. I rarely boast the merits of a product, because I’m more of an all round ‘eat healthy, sleep well, feel good’ type of person, but I am sure vitex has helped me tremendously. Right now I’m just beginning my period, and this months I started on day 28, which is the most on-time I’ve ever been in my life. Before I went on birth control at all (when I was 18) I was really irregular – I could go for 2-3 months without getting a period, and since I’ve been off the pill, I’ve had my period every month, give or take around day 30-35. This month it came on day 28, and believe me, I was very surprised! I am certain vitex really helps to regulate women’s cycles. It’s said to enact with your own hormone production, so it’s very safe because it doesn’t actually contain hormones (unlike soy, etc.). It just helps to balance out your hormones, and thus help you in your fight against acne. But, I’ve read that it doesn’t have an immediate effect. You have to take it for several months before you begin to notice the changes. I get mine from iherb.com. A bottle of 90 capsules costs me roughly 6$, so… you know… it’s pretty good value. The capsules I take contain 400mg of pure vitex. I think that’s the recommended amount per day. I don’t take it during my period.
So far, I’m into my 5th month off the pill, and I’m on my period, and I have no acne… I’m sure that vitex is partly if not greatly to thank for that! 🙂
Good luck, Coco!
Thanks Christelle! You’re really awesome 🙂
I bought a bottle of Nature’s way, is that the brand you are using?
Also, you only take 1 capsule/day ? (i.e. 400mg) and at what time do you take it?
Is there a reason why you stop taking it during your periods?
Finally, did you experience and unpleasant side effects (initial breakout? drowsiness? feeling bloated?).
And do you plan on taking this long-term?
I know, a lot of questions but it will really help me.
I’ve heard horror stories of vitex causing massive breakouts in people, but I figured if girls who were on the same pill as me (i.e. either Diane or Yaz) got positive results when using it, then it might be positive for me. I am willing to take the chance. It’s all about trial and error anyway.
I’ve decided to start taking it after the holidays. I don’t want to mess things up in case it does cause a massive breakout and other side effects.
Yay, join the vitex club! I take Nature’s Way capsules too! Yes, I read all about vitex causing breakouts for some women, but I really doubt that it will cause you to break out. Perhaps the women who broke out took vitex while they were still taking the pill, or other hormones, and their bodies just got confused or something…
I was on Diane too when I first took the pill, then Yaz, and so far, I’m really convinced that vitex has had a positive influence on my cycle and skin.
I heard that it was best to take it from the end of your period up until the first day of your next period, to give your body a breather in between. I don’t know why that is, and to be totally honest, the first months I took it, I just took it every day, even when I had my period… so… I don’t really know if it makes a difference. In all cases, I never experienced any side effects whatsoever from having taken it, apart from the positive effect on my cycle.
I don’t know if I want to take vitex forever, but I think I will take it for another 6 months/1 year. Once my cycle is 100% regular, I might stop and see how it goes, but from what I’ve read it seems to be very safe.
All the best!!! 🙂
How are you going so far, I noticed you wrote that you were dealing with hair shedding. Has that changed much while weaning off the pill. That was one of my major concerns.
Really appreciate your feedback.
My hair is in very good condition! No major shedding, I did not notice any change in my hair… and I am getting lot of compliments on my skin and hair these days… My major concern was hair fall because of switching of all those pills they were in very bad condition… But this process has been very easy on hair and skin! I am very happy!! My cycle is little bit off these days I got my period after 6 weeks this time…but no heavy bleeding! So far things are looking pretty good!
After the doctor switched me to Microgynon I now have greasy hair n a couple of spots, small but still I had none before and I’m STILL on a pill all the time. They really are just the worst thing. I’m going to start weaning off of this new pill after Christmas as I had started to do with Dianette. I feel so let down by the healthcare system. It’s like they play guinea pig with their patients sometimes.
Fingers crossed for weaning soon anyway. Can’t wait. It’s like my christmas gift to myself!
Well done the rest of you xox
I weened of BC!!! When I was about 17 I got on the pill because I got with my first bf and and because I had acne.. It seemed to help it along… Flash forward 5 years later, we break up and I got off the pill.. 2 months later, I got CRaZY acne… And not even like before…. WORSE! I’m talking about cysts on my face, I didn’t even have to touch them and they’d pop on their own!!, terrible things all over my chin and starting next to my eyes even! They were truly infected mountains of puss on my face.. I knew it was because i got off the pill so I waited 6months hoping my body would regulate itself and still nothing had changed.. So I went back on it.. Sure enough, 2 months after that my skin was perfectly clear again. I was so frustrated.. I didn’t want to rely on these pills anymore… a few years later, I decided to get off it again… But this time I took up to 7 months to ween off of it (based on that video) it made a lot of sense to me… For the first month or 2 id cut a tiny corner off the pill.. By month 3/4 I was taking half, and by month 6/7 I was taking tiny pieces.. Month 8 I took it really slow and took a teeeeny tiny piece ever 2/3 days…. It was a bit annoying having to cut a piece off every time I had to take the pill but you can either carry around a knife or razor blade, or just pre-cut them… 2months after the weening had been complete, my face was lookin good, and it’s been a few months now and I do get a few little pimples here and there but it’s deff. Something I can live with.. I feel more normal and natural…Iv learned that skin problems stem from toxicity in the liver, so you can take tinctures for liver cleansing, and I’d say a 10 day master cleans detox might do the trick too at the end of the weening 😉 I hope this helps someone because it worked for me and I’m so glad I don’t rely on those pills anymore…even if condoms suck.. Lol
Ps… While weening off I DID notice my mood changing… I’d cry about little things that didn’t even really bother me that much.. I was also pretty snappy at loved knes Lol other than that everything was fine
Thank you Nathalie for sharing your story! It really gives me hope as I have started weaning off three weeks ago. I know it’s only the beginning and I am on 3/4 of a pill but things are okay for now so i still have my fingers crossed 🙂
Mini update here: I’m into month 5, and I got my period on day 28 (first time it’s been this accurate since I stopped the pill in July, so little victory!). I’m still bleeding, and this is day 7, but so far every month it has been like this, and apparently my grandmother, mother, and aunts have all had cycles like tho, and they are all healthy and have never had trouble conceiving.
On the acne front, there’s nothing to report. My skin is glowing. I didn’t even have any pms redness or oiliness this month at all.
I’m feeling very confident about this weaning thing, girls!
Just wanted to encourage all those who are going through the process at the moment! 🙂
Hugs to all xxxxx
I’ve started my second month on 3/4 two days ago and I think the first month went okay. I’m trying not to freak out at every instant and trying to look for weird stuff that may happen to my body lol The thing is that even on the pill I had a few pimples here and there so unless the spots get worse, there is no way for me to really say that the pill is making my skin worse. For now it has been the usual, sometimes I break out, sometimes I have nothing.
But I have noticed one “significant” difference and that is that my periods came 1 day earlier than usual. Before weaning, my periods used to come on thursdays and now this time it came on wednesday. But I’m not really worried about that because I guess it is to be expected. Before the pill, my periods used to last a week. And on top of that, those of you who have stopped and weaned off all seem to have had the same effect as me.
Anyway, just wanted to give an update for those who are interested. Oh and yesterday my bf said smth mean to me as a joke and I took it really badly and cried, without being able to stop. It kinda triggered this sadness in me and I felt quite depressed. I hope this has nothing to do with the weaning :/ I dunno, I dont wanna read too much into it, cause it may be completely unrelated.
Okay thanks everyone and good luck for the rest who are weaning off too! xxx
p.s: Great news Christelle! I’m so happy for you that everything is going well 🙂
I just wanted to ask about the spotting. How bad is it? Obviously having a partner I wanted to take this into consideration.
Im actually considering Accutane. I know your suppose to go on the pill while your on it… but I was thinking a low dose one wouldn’t be so bad. Or even not taking the pill at all and maybe the IUD or something…
I don’t get why I am so scared… I guess Im so scared this isn’t going to work. Even though you girls have proved it does. I can’t get over this fear. 🙁
To answer you question regarding spotting, I’d say it probably depends on the person, but in my case I didn’t really supper from “spotting” while I was weaning, but my period tended to show up a week or so early, and last a little longer than when I was on the pill.
I have a partner too, and I discussed all these issues with him before I started weaning, and we agreed that never mind the inconveniences. There have been too many deaths and strokes due to 3rd generation oral contraceptive pills such as Yaz for my partner and I to worry about a little spotting over the course of a few months. Accutane is also a very strong drug, and it is responsible for a number of deaths too. I am not well-placed to say what you should or shouldn’t do, Frida, but I would definitely recommend reading up extensively on Accutane before accepting to take the treatment, because once you do start the dangerous side-effects (depression, suicidal behavior and thoughts, paranoia) are irreversible.
The question you really need to ask yourself concerning this weaning thing is: how badly do I want to come off birth control? I wanted to be off it so badly that I didn’t give myself the choice; it HAD to work.
Voilà, good luck with it all! All the best
I haven’t had issues with spotting but understand your concerns… I would try and give your body more time to adjust with the hormones as I’m sure things will settle down. I had a fair bit if hair loss issues but in last two months its stopped and I have lots of new regrowth comi g through which proves my hormones are getting be be more regular 🙂 I do get mini breakouts just before my period still but I can handle that as got a few spots whilst on dianette.
I would avoid accutane is possible as I hear side effects are nasty and reason you have to be on pill is you cannot become pregnant whilst on it as causes major harm to unborn children if you became pregnant.
How about trying differin gel or antibiotics just to control it whilst your hormones settle? Keep strong I’m on week 35 off the pill and its going good! Skin gets a bit oily especially certain time of the month but hair not as greasy so I’m confident it’s going in the right directon…. Good luck xx
Been a while since I’ve been on, I just wanted to report my progress. I started weaning mid August (straight to a half) and did 3 cycles on a half, then went to a quarter, I am on the second cycle of a quarter now and have noticed a few things, firstly my periods seem to have stopped now, I was regular on a half, the same timing as being on the pill properly, but a quarter I guess is not enough for my body, spots are few and far between, about the same as on dianette so that’s fine so far. I had a blood test for all the hormones recently, a week after my last period, progesterone I can’t remember but testosterone was 1.9, within normal range but on the high side, my estrogen was very low so much so that the doctor was concerned enough to ask me to have another test later in my cycle (just before my period so when it should be high), anyway second test showed it was on the low end of normal range so concern over for now. I wondered if anyone else had had hormone tests and what they came back with (Rebecca, I think you did?). I have started taking vitex even though I’m still on a quarter, I read that it can take months to work and should help balance the hormones so I wanted to get moving on it. Last thing is, my sex drive still hasn’t returned, that was one of the big reasons for coming off the pill, has anyone else had experience with this? Kyra, how are you doing these days, you will have been completely off for a long time now.
Thanks Ladies xx
Glad to hear you are going well too…. Never did I imagine I would still be pill free after 35 weeks 🙂 x
I’m SO glad to hear that, Kyra! 🙂 Such good news! xxx
I just wanted to give you a quick update on my progress. I started weaning off Dianette in August, taking 3/4 pill for 2 months, then 2/3 for one month, followed by 2 months at 1/2. I’m nearly at the end of month 5 of weaning. All has been fine – a few small spots and periods fine. However, this week my skin has been a little worse with the spots. I am starting to get very nervous about my acne returning (it was really, really bad when I came off cold turkey a few years ago, so much so that I went on Roaccutane – it was a major decision but for me, it was a god send). Anyway, I am going to keep on reducing the dose and hope for the best. I might order some Vitex as that seems to have worked well for Christelle. I’m also trying not to squeeze the spots or over analyse my skin by looking at it all the time as I don’t think that helps.
I just wanted to say good luck to everyone. Keep going! Thanks for the regular contributors who really give us all strength. It’s really appreciated. I’ll update again in due course.
Well done for having come this far! It sounds like you’ve made a wise decision to wean off Dianette. Don’t forget, Dianette is a strong pill, and it’s common for lots of women who come off it to break out quite badly. I know that when I was on Diane and I tried to come off cold turkey I suffered from the worst breakout in my life. This time you’re weaning, so I’m sure the effects won’t be as harsh, even if you do get a few spots here and there. Kyra weaned off Dianette, and she seems to be doing really well, so don’t jump to conclusion because you get a spot or two. I’m sure you’re on the right tracks!
I think there are many factors to take into consideration that might contribute to acne. Are you sleeping enough at the moment? Are you eating healthily and drinking lots of water? Are you stressed? etc. etc. Your liver is your best friend when it comes to healing your acne, and especially after having been on birth control because it’s having to deal with all the artificial Dianette hormones. If you can, maybe invest in some burdock root capsules or herbal tea, and sprinkle turmeric on your food. Those are excellent liver tonics.
Good luck, Caroline! And I know it’s not easy, but try not to attach too much importance to a few spots. Let us know how it’s coming along! 🙂
Hey ladies… Merry Christmas to you all! I have a question if anyone can help? I came off Dianne 7 months ago now (cold turkey) and I have been doing all the natural stuff eating healthy, vitamins, herbs, exercise and I think it has minimised the impact coming off the pill has had on my skin although I am hanging in there cause I am still having break outs regularly. Mostly before my period is when it gets the worst. I stated taking DIM about 5 weeks ago as I belived this was something that could help about 3 weeks of taking DIM i started spotting 2 weeks after my period which didn’t bother me it cleared in a couple of days although that’s something I never get normally. And I am now having trouble getting my period as it’s day 36 since my last full one… I am having all the PMS symptoms I normally get it’s just it is so frustrating the week before my period as it feels such a relief to finally have it and I am worried the DIM could be having a negative effect on me although it may be to soon to tell. I am just dying to get my period as all the premenstrual symptoms are awful! Any suggestions?
Hi Rebecca – personally I found that when I started Estroblock, for the first couple/three months, I wasn’t really sure it was working as I was having the same PMS symptoms (including acne at at that time)… one month my period was a week late for no reason… overall I was like “uhhh is this working?”… but it seems to have evened out, and my skin looks so rad (which I feel i can mostly contribute to that)… hope this helped!
Hi Tracey, thanks it does! I was just worried it was making my hormonal issues worse! Like I said it’s been 5 weeks so to soon to tell, but i hope I get my period soon as it’s super frustrating having pms with no period. Will keep you posted on how the next 4 weeks go. Thanks : )
Hi anyone give me some advice on weaning of my pill..My doctor put me on it a year ago.I was mildly depressed and didnt want to take anti-depressants.I cant beleive ive gone along with it.I am suffering hair loss,and generally I just dont like the idea of taking this pill at all.Can I wean down 3/4 for 2 months 1/2 for 2 months 1/4 for 2 months.I am scared that I will get acne.I am taking good B vitamins and a multivit,is there anything else I can do.I am so stressed about this.
Hi Gena, The pill caused me to start shedding my hair too. It was a very scary time, I went to the doctors and told them I thought it was the pill causing the hair loss and they all assured me it wasn’t. I stopped the pill cold turkey and 6 weeks later the hairloss stopped! I have now been off the pill 7 months! I have been dealing with break outs which aren’t as bad as last time I stopped taking the pill. But I have been doing alot my diet is super strict I eat lots of Veg and NO sugar! I have been seeing my naturopath for 7 months and we have done all kinds of things. So I would suggest the weaning but I would also look at your lifestyle and make sure you are getting lots of vitamins, exercise, healthy eating this will all help tremendously! But Start the weaning if you are to scared to quit a lot of girls have had great success with this!
Hey Girls Happy New Year!!! May 2013 be a pill free year for us all!!
Caroline, I wanted to see how you were going? Did your break outs continue?
I have been on the birth control pill for almost ten years now and it has managed to pretty much prevent any acne breakouts (my skin was quite bad as a teen). I’m quite nervous about coming off the pill now for fear that I will go back to having horrible skin and that my hormones will be all inblanced (but I want to get pregnant so what choice do I have (-: What do you recommend for helping to balance hormones after coming off the pill?
P.S I plan to try out the weaning method and would be more than happy to share my experience. I hope to begin in a week or so.
My boyfriend & I have been considering having a baby too, and I must admit this weaning thing has been great. I started weaning in February 2012, and I gradually reduced the dose over a period of 6 months, and in July I came off the hormones altogether. Since then I’ve been taking vitex agnus castus. It’s a plant that helps your body find its own balance. My periods have been pretty regular since July, and I have had no acne whatsoever (I was also on the pill for 10 years).
To answer your questions (I know it was destined for Tracy, but I thought perhaps I could help since we’re in similar situations), I would recommend eating lots of fruit & veg, and good quality food + exercising/drinking lots of water/getting good sleep etc. while you’re weaning, and then once you come off the pill altogether, I suggest taking 400mg vitex/day. You’ll need to take it for a number of months for otto work, but I’m sure it’s helped me stay on track (I was VERY irregular before I used bc).
The pill also depletes your system of B-group vitamins, and can cause candida. I would suggest taking a B-vit supplement too while you’re weaning, and to avoid refined sugar.
Just make sure you’re using contraception while you’re weaning. You don’t want to risk starting a pregnancy while there’s still some artificial hormones in your body.
Good luck! 🙂
There is no way of weaning the nuva ring is there? 🙁 Soooo not looking foward to the breakouts when I don’t put it back in…
Hmm that’s a good question.. never thought about that. I guess you could have it in for 3/4 day… then move to 1/2 the day… then 1/4 of the day… or something. I don’t know if that would work, maybe someone else here has some insight on it.
Hi! In Dec. I weaned my self off of nuva ring by leaving it in 3/4 of a day (18 hrs) for the 1st week and then 1/2 of a day (12hrs) for the 2nd week and then 1/4 (6hrs) for the 3rd week. I had headaches the first week and my period came for a day at the end of the 2nd week with spotting durring the 3rd and then only spotting for my period. This week I am nuva ring free! I’ll keep you posted….
Hi Ladies. I thought I would start posting my experiences here on weaning off of the pill. For the last week I have reduced my pill by 1/8th using a pill cutter.
I have been on Trivora for the last seven years. My reason for quitting birth control are many, and I have decided to wean instead of stop cold turkey because I would REALLY like to avoid having sudden severe acne. I had very bad skin as a teen, and the last few months I have actually been dealing with some breakouts on my cheeks – typically my t-zone is the problem area. My chiro thinks this is because I have made so many healthy lifestyle changes in the last year that my body might be “detoxing” the extra hormones out. Who knows? 🙂
This post and the resulting comments helped me make the decision, and I would like to post here at least every month to share my experience. I find other people’s stories to be very helpful, and hopefully my comments will help someone else out!
The last week I have experienced some bloating – my pants are somewhat snugger. I suspect cutting back on the pill might be the cause, but I am going to get in a good week of clean eating, lots of water and sweaty exercise in first and see if it all doesn’t help 🙂
Happy New Year!
Happy new year to you all! Just a quick update for you.
All is still super… still getting odd few spots and hair in good condition. It’s been 9 months now I have been completely off the Dianette and feel so much better for it.
Hope it’s going we’ll with you all too and keep at it 🙂 xx
Been a while since I’ve been on, I just wanted to report my progress. I started weaning mid August (straight to a half) and did 3 cycles on a half, then went to a quarter, I am on the second cycle of a quarter now and have noticed a few things, firstly my periods seem to have stopped now, I was regular on a half, the same timing as being on the pill properly, but a quarter I guess is not enough for my body, spots are few and far between, about the same as on dianette so that’s fine so far. I had a blood test for all the hormones recently, a week after my last period, progesterone I can’t remember but testosterone was 1.9, within normal range but on the high side, my estrogen was very low so much so that the doctor was concerned enough to ask me to have another test later in my cycle (just before my period so when it should be high), anyway second test showed it was on the low end of normal range so concern over for now. I wondered if anyone else had had hormone tests and what they came back with (Rebecca, I think you did?). I have started taking vitex even though I’m still on a quarter, I read that it can take months to work and should help balance the hormones so I wanted to get moving on it. Last thing is, my sex drive still hasn’t returned, that was one of the big reasons for coming off the pill, has anyone else had experience with this? Kyra, how are you doing these days, you will have been completely off for a long time now.
Thanks Ladies xx
Hey fellow weaners! Just wanted to add to the discussion!
I have been on various versions of Apri (Desogen, currently Desolett) for about ten years now. I started when I was 19-after stopping Depo which I had been on for 4 years.
I briefly stopped due to not wanting hormones in my body-actually it may have been for a year and a half total about 4 years ago and it was awful. Initially I suffered significant hair loss, which I attributed to not eating enough fat while marathon training. Then, about 6 months after stopping, I started gaining weight and getting zits on my chin, upper lip, and jawline,often one or two on the cheekbone and forehead. Probably relatively not that bad compared to some people, but having always had flawless skin I was really upset. I didn’t 100% attribute it to bc, because I also happened to be living in a new country with very different (humid!) weather and some other foreign friends were also having skin problems. I still hope this may be the case as I am now back in the US. Anyway, after about a year of this I decided to go back on-also because I was in a new relationship and didn’t want to use condoms anymore. My skin instantly improved and it’s been great since.
Anyway, 4 years later and I’m suffering from the sex drive issue, as well as really not wanting hormones(besides my own!) in my body. I have done all the research I can and will be switching to the copper iud as soon as possible, but plan to wean off concurrently. I am following Christelle’s plan, with 2 months each of 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4. I am currently halfway through my second month of 3/4 and really enjoying the process. Silly right? By the way, Christelle, I am ready for another update-you are my inspiration!
I did talk to my gyno about it and she was actually incredibly bitchy, and made me feel stupid. She told me that there was no way that I could have lost hair and gained weight after getting off bc last time, because the pill I am on doesn’t do that, so it must have been unrelated. She was like, “the pill makes you gain weight, not lose it”. This just seemed so ignorant as many people I know have had similar issues, and she was also quite young(younger than me I think!) so I’m surprised she didn’t consider that different people react differently to different things. She also told me that weaning was impossible because it only comes in one dose-I didn’t tell her about cutting but that seems like the obvious answer-when you cut you are giving yourself a smaller dose, right?
Anyway, I’m in and will check back monthly as well. Planning on trying vitex when I’m off and in the meantime experimenting with fun things like yogurt honey tumeric masks! Thanks to all who have shared, and good luck! It’s exciting to be in this together!
Sara, I just read your comment, and… your gyno sounds like an asshole! Of course you can lose weight when you change pills! Four years ago, after taking Yaz for a few years, my gyno decided to switch me to a 3-hormone pill (I forget the name, something like Tri-Ortho something, anyway), and one morning I woke up and left for work, and on my way out I started to feel really strange, dizzy… and I ended up having to sit down on some random steps and asking a friend to pick me up and take me home. The doctor brushed it off as me being tired, and I took that pill for another month, but I lost 15 pounds over the following 3 months, and that only stopped when I went back on Yaz. No doctor ever said the Tri-ortho pill was the cause, but I can’t see what else could have made me lose all that weight. So yeah, everyone reacts differently to artificial hormones.
Anyway, as regards your weaning, go for it, sweetheart! In 6 months’ time you can be completely off the pill, and I’m positive your skin will be fine. A good friend of mine got a copper IUD put in after she had her baby, and she seems to say it’s a great alternative to oral contraception.
Let us know how it goes!
On my end, things are looking good! I have no acne, and my periods are give or take a few days pretty regular (I won’t lie, the bleeding is much heavier, but goodbye pms), and I feel so much more in touch with my body. I am sure your sex-drive issue will disappear too once you retrieve your own natural cycles.
Good luck! 🙂
Hi Kyra, good to hear that things are going well your end, I’m on a quarter now and have just got my period 2 weeks late. I was wondering how your periods were whilst weaning? I’ve nearly done 2 months on a quarter now so should think about stopping soon. Spots are few and far between but a few more whiteheads on the chin than normal.
Sara, glad to hear you are weaning too, I noticed a change as soon as I started (went down to a half at first).
Rebecca, how are you getting on? Are you still having hormone tests? I had some recently which showed very low estrogen. The second test came up better but the progesterone was very very low. I guess with all this weaning my body won’t know what the hell to produce!
Have to say, this website has been a lifesaver too, I will never go back on birth control knowing what I know now. Thanks Ladies xx
My periods have been pretty regular give or take a few days. They are lightish and last about 5 days or so. I was about 6-7 weeks having my first period after weaning. I think when you get to a qtr pill your body may confuse itself cos the dose is low so think that’s why they may take time to become regular and why some are having the spotting problem.
Glad you are doing well… Don’t worry about the odd spot you may get them and your face/hair may be more oily after first few weeks of stopping as well , I didn’t expect to be spot free just not have lots of them severely which I haven’t and for that I am very pleased 🙂
How are you doing Christelle? X
SO strange, for some reason I am no longer receiving notifications for this thread, which probably explains why I didn’t see your last comment there.
Thanks for asking! I’m doing well, at least on the acne front! Not a spot in sight 🙂 I’m just a little worried though, because I’ve been expecting my period since Monday and it hasn’t turned up… but you know, trying to stay calm about it.
Did you know France has just banned Dianette? Apparently, it was responsible for a huge number of deaths that were silenced so as to keep it on the market. Doesn’t that just make you so happy you came off it! 🙂
What about you, chic? How are things coming along?
Sorry again about the belated reply (stupid internet!).
Little update – My period turned up on day 32! Yay! 🙂
Funny as I too have stopped getting notifications…. Just have to keep checking now and then… Thought it was just me lol.
Yey that’s great news Hun 🙂 oh my goodness how frightening to hear!! I’m so glad I’m off it now…. I too am fine… Better than ever.
Spots are few and far between with no cysts and my hair has so much new regrowth and it thickening up. Looking back at old photos I noticed in my younger years pre pill my hair was so thick compared to when I was on it … I think it made it much thinner and also it seems to be growing faster now I’m not on it!! My eczema is so much better too. I think that nasty pill has a lot to answer for!
Keep in touch
That’s great news about the spots and the hair, I noticed way less hair falling out just a month into weaning. I’m on month 3 of a quarter now and skin is okay, i’ve had a few mini outbreaks recently but nothing to get stressed about, plus I got a topical antibiotic from the docs which seem to work wonders.
I’ve been following your story in particular as you were on diannette the same as me (I was 6 years). One thing I haven’t noticed hugely is a return of my sex drive as this was completely diminished on the pill over the last couple of years, it’s better but not great. Did you have any issues with this?
Thank you x
Hi Sophie sorry for delay … I’m not getting notifications via email now o just seen this.
My sex drive seems to be normal and prob better than when I was on the pill.
Hope it’s still going well it you
Yep, for hair loss and eczema that would make sense as the pill tends to kill gut flora, which in turn hinders the absorption of nutrients such as B-vitamins – which just so happen to be “hair & skin” vitamins! So glad to hear you’re doing well!
Hi ladies! Today I took the last active pill for this cycle. After my period I will go from cutting 1/8th of the pill to cutting 1/4th off. There was a somewhat concerning episode a few days ago where a deep, painful blemish formed right in the middle of my back, and a single blemish formed on my chest. With some tea tree oil they have both gone down, though.
My period typically starts two or three days after the last active pill is taken, but today I noticed the bleeding has started early. I woke up this morning feeling EXHAUSTED, and if memory serves correctly I used to have episodes like this before I got on the pill. It remains to be seen if the gnarly cramps come back…
Onward to Month 2!
Glad to hear you’ve decided to join the weaning club! My period was chaotic at first when I was going through the weaning motions. And I won’t lie, it’s not as light as it was when I was on the pill, BUT the cramps are more manageable for some reason (probably because nature is always the best way) and I don’t get pms anymore… just to encourage you on that front.
All the best!
Hey Tracy! So I asked my doctor if there was a way to wean off the nuva ring and she said theres no way too:( What supplements do you think I could take to mellow out my hormones. I Know in one of your bast posts you had mentioned Estro-block. Do you think that is a good for this situation? And I was thinking about primrose oil?
Estroblock and Vitex are probably the two I would recommend the most for post-birth control balancing! You can take them at the same time
Oh and how long does it take for your body to get back to normal after your stop birth control? Since the nuva ring is the lowest dose of hormones of birth control do you think it will be quicker?Sorry for all the questions!:/ Just worried about the after effects!
Ah that all depends on lots of things. A lot of times people don’t even get symptoms until 5 or 6 months later and they can last for a year or two. But that’s if you don’t do anything to help (not everyone gets symptoms)… just eat healthy, exercise, keep stress low etc… don’t go into it fearing and expecting the worst. These supplements should help, and hopefully you will avoid getting post-BC symptoms at all!
I thought I would join in on these posts as I have recently started to wean off bc. I decided to do it in 4 months decreasing the pill by 1/4 each month. I’ve almost completed 1 month of taking only 3/4. So far I haven’t noticed anything different with my body. I imagine I’ll see a change in my cicle once I go down to 1/2, but we’ll see.
I notice some of you are on Vitex. I’d love to try this and see if it works for me. Does anyone know if there’s any risks to buying it and taking the recommended dosage? I’m always nervous about taking anything without first consulting a professional, however, I’ve read only possitive things and really want to purchase it in the next week or so. Also if you’ve used it or are using it and can share your experiences that would be so helpful.
Also a HUGE thanks to all the wonderful people who have shared their experiences with weaning. You all gave me the courage to come off the pill when for years I’ve been terrified to, so thanks 🙂
Yay! So happy to hear you’ve started weaning!
I’m currently taking vitex, although this month I’ve been lazy. I’ve been taking it since I stopped bc altogether last July. I’d say from my experience that it has been really efficient in helping to regulate my cycles. This month, I kept forgetting to take it, and now my period is late. I can’t help thinking that it might be due to me not having taken the vitex capsules regularly…
Anyway, the recommended dosage is 400mg/day, I think, at least that’s what I take. You can get it on iherb.com for something like 6$ a jar of 90 capsules… if I’m not mistaken.
Good luck with everything, and keep us posted!
Hi girls! Happy belated New Year! Sorry I didn’t write earlier but I just stopped receiving any notifications like Christelle. I decided to update on my weaning process and was surprised to see so many new messages lol
Anyway I have just finished my third month on 3/4 and have started my periods today. Next week I’m gonna start on 1/2 a pill – kinda apprehending it :/ So far I can say I am doing okay I guess. My periods are fine, they come on time. I’ve had more pimples at one point, but I was traveling for the vacations, so I do not know if it is due to that. I am really trying to control my diet and eat healthy, but I must admit some days I just cannot control myself. And sadly I’ve noticed that practically immediately when I eat sugary stuff, I get a pimple the next morning 🙁 oh well! Other than that I’ve noticed a little bit more hair growth on my body, like last time I’ve stopped. It’s kinda pissing me off and I’m wondering how it’s going to be once I completely wean off. Anyone had the same problem as me?
But anyway, overall I must say that I am doing okay and I am really happy that I am getting rid of these hormones once and for all! Without this site I don’t know what I would do, I would never have been able to stop. You guys really gave me tremendous courage and motivation 🙂
Okay will update again when I’m half a pill! Take care everyone, good luck on your weaning and BE STRONG! xxx
Happy New Year, ma cocotte! I remember being SO stressed when transitioning from 3/4 to 1/2 a pill. Chill sister, it’s actually not that big a deal. It might affect your cycle a little, but you’re not really cutting down much in terms of the dose.
And if it makes you feel any better, my diet this month has not been flash at all (Christmas, birthdays, one desert leads to another, and before you know it you’ve downed half a box of choccies). Just be caring with yourself, and try to improve your diet little by little. At least you know the breakouts are probably diet-related.
All the best, Mona! Des bises 🙂
Ooh merci Christelle! You’re so sweet! Yes I went back home to Switzerland during Christmas and New Year, and I ate a lot of cakes and desserts lol Et puis tu sais cmt c’est, les patisseries et surtout les croissants au chocolats ne se trouvent pas aux Etats-Unis comme en Suisse ou en France, alrs j’en ai juste trop mangés :/ Anyway so happy that you are doing fine and your skin is completely clear! This gives me so much hope really 🙂 Thank you for all your support once again! Je t’embrasse ma belle! xxx
Héhé, vive les gourmandises de Noël lol! 🙂 Moi c’est pareil. Je commence tout juste à me calmer un peu sur les chocos!
Des bises ma belle! Et à bientôt! Plein de courage pour tout ça tout ça! 🙂
Hi Ladies –
Since last Wednesday (CST) I have been cutting off 1/4 off my pills. When I told my chiro about what I was doing, she was very surprised and questioned whaat sort of payoff I would get from weaning as opposed to stopping the pill cold turkey. I explained my fear of severe acne, and she said that I should weigh having a period possibly last for an entire month against having “a few pimples”. From what I understand, the general experience for those going off the pill is a HELL OF A LOT more than just a few pimples!
She almost convinced me that I should just stop completely in order to give my cycle a chance to recover (assumming it would even need one), and take herbs to deal with whatever kin trouble I do get. But then I thought back to this thread, and so many discussions that are taking place on Acne.org regarding post-BCP acne, and I decided to stick to the weaning. Admittedly I am thinking I may change the weaning “schedule”, and reducing the pills by 1/4th from here on out instead of 1/8th. It is damn hard to consistently cut pills that small and not have the pieces fall apart! So maybe next month I will keep cutting off 1/4th, then the month after go to a half. I am still giving the approach some thought.
Have any of you ladies any other changes down there while weaning (dryness, itchiness etc)? After this last cycle I have been dealing with this occassional feeling of irritation, and I am treating it with the assumption that it is related to a flora change down there.
p.s. Following Tracy’s lead and have a large pot of bone broth simmering on the stove – in a couple of hours I can nourish my gut AND my skin!
It’s funny that the medical profession knows so little about hormones and how they can affect us. All I know is that when I came off the pill cold turkey 8 years ago, I suffered from the worst acne breakout in my whole life. It started after having been off the pill for 3 months. It lasted for 3 months. All in all I spent 6 months off the pill, during which I didn’t get my period at all. This time round, I weaned off. It took me 6 months, during which I did not suffer from acne at all. I got my period every month, and I’ve now been off for 6 months, and I’ve had a regular period and no acne since. My gyno also told me to come off the pill cold turkey, but after what I went through last time, there’s not a chance in hell I’ll put medical advice over my own logic (after all it’s my body!).
Just took my first 3/4 of a pill today. Going to do it over 4 months – 3/4 for one month, 1/2 for two months, then 1/4 for one month. Just wondering if any of you take/took Vitex while going through the weaning process, or just after you were completely done with BCP? I’ve been on it for about 12 years now and I’m so excited to get off!
Hi everyone! Firstly just wanted to thank the OP and all the commenting women who have given so many useful tips for weaning off BCP. I felt inspired and encouraged to write on here because I am in a position like so many of you.
I’ve been on Dianette/Diane 35 since 2009 – coming up to 5 years (I’m now 28 years old). I was put on it for suspected PCOS – I had moderate acne and hair problems. Luckily I haven’t had too many side effects from taking it and for a long time it was my saviour!
But I started to notice the last year or so a few niggling things about being on it that started to worry me. Constant headaches, always being tired, really low mood, and so on.
In Jan 2012 I decided to stop taking Dianette, and I went cold turkey as I didn’t realise there was a different way to do it! Around three months after stopping I started getting terribly oily skin and hair and my skin also began to get really spotty again. It was so depressing! I also think possibly I went through hair shedding as my hair got extremely thin when before it was really thick and nice.
I very quickly caved and went back on the pill (around May 2012) and I’m still on it to this day.
Once again, I now have clear skin, and I do love not having to feel self conscious about the way I look all the time.
However I am sure the pill is contributing to my emotional issues and I am still really low/ possibly with mild depression all the time. I get constant headaches still and I’m tired all the time too. I’m fed up with it and I want to get off it so I’m going to try weaning!
Going to start at 3/4 of a pill for a couple of months and see how that goes. Then if the acne/hair symptoms don’t come back with a vengeance I will go down to half, then quarter, like so many of you have. I don’t mind a few spots but I’ll be panicking if it goes back to the way it was before.
I was just wondering, is there anyone on here who went on the pill (most likely dianette/diane 35 or Yas) for PCOS and have successfully weaned themselves off?
The weird thing for me was I was told I have PCOS in 2009. Then when I stopped cold turkey in 2012 and started getting the acne symptoms again I went and had a blood test (probably about three months after stopping dianette/diane-35) and they actually said my hormone levels were in the normal range (particularly testosterone). So I’m wondering, were my acne symptoms just a product of my body trying to self-regulate itself, or were they the symptoms of PCOS?!
All of this is so confusing but I’m so glad to find other people in similar positions to me who are successfully getting themselves off the pill without all the horrible cold turkey side effects!
I wish everyone still weaning the best of luck! 🙂
How are you? I was in the same boat as you wondering if I had it or not, actually my doctor suspected it because everytime I tried to stop the pill Id get freaky facial hair and acne… (Duh, we all know its from the stopping the pill, but I didnt do research back then, and the doctor thought it was strange). Anyways, i had to stop taking the pill for 6 weeks, to get tested, I was on Diane like you and stopped. I didnt have PCOS.
At that time I reasearched and found out how bad Diane was! So after 6 weeks, not even bothered to wait for a natural period I went back on the pill. But this time I changed to Yasmin. Luckily I didnt breakout much from the switch, and I felt better, lost weight and was in a better mood. (Not straight away though, at first hairloss, heart pulpitations and moody as hell, after 2 months they all subsided).
My point isnt to say that you should stay on the pill, its more that you should get it checked out to see if you have PCOS. From there you can make a well educated decision on the choices you have.
On a side note, Ive been seeing a Naturopath who thinks weaning is an amazing idea. Shes so happy that Im doing it this way. But as the girls have mentioned about my gut flora is sooooo bad from the pill so we are working in that too.
Anyways hope something I said helps. No pill is good for you, but anything is better than the devil called Diane 35.
Sorry for not replying sooner. Thanks for replying and for your advice. It’s comforting to know someone else has had the same issues!
I’m in such a state at the minute with the pills. Last time I went to the doctor’s they said they might not renew my dianette prescription, which freaked me out! I really need them to renew my prescription so I can continue weaning
However, I might also do a little research on Yasmin and see if that’s an option for me! I really do want to get off Diane-35 but it’s just so scary!
Hi Laura! So happy that you also decided to try the weaning method. Concerning the PCOS I kinda had the same thing as Frida. When I first stopped the pill after drinking it for only 6 months, I had more hair growth on my body and acne, and so the doctors thought I had PCOS. They tested me and the results were kind of inconclusive :/ So the doctor wanted to put me on Diane 35 and I refused bc I knew that it was a really strong pill and so got another one that was less strong, but which worked well on acne too (which is the one I am stopping now). So I guess what I am trying to say is that doctors are not necessarily right nor knowledgable about everything when it comes to BCPs. If you start having symptoms of PCOS, it does not mean that you have it. But yeah maybe when you stop you should get tested again by more than one doctor to be absolutely sure whether or not you have PCOS. Hope that helps! 🙂
Sorry in my last message I wanted to say that if you start having symptoms of PCOS, it does not NECESSARILY mean that you have it cause it might be bc you have just stopped the pill and your body needs time to refind its balance. And most often it seems that doctors don’t know about this and look at you as if you’re stupid when you try to make the connection between BCPs and all your symptoms (that was the case for me anyway) Hope it’s clearer now what I meant before ^^
Yeah I totally understand what you’re saying 😀
Thanks for your reply. 🙂 I find my PCOS thing quite confusing as in 2009 I had blood tests and my testosterone was high, and also I had an ultrasound which they said showed small cysts consistent with PCOS, but then three years later the blood tests came back normal. I was under the impression that it didn’t just disappear… So confusing!
I’m in the process of weaning off now, but I’m so busy at the moment sometimes I forget to cut the pills, or even forget to take it completely! D’oh! Need to get more strict with myself as I do want to stop relying on this little pill!
Hi Ladies just wanted to give you an update and hopefully seek some handy advice. I have been post pill (cold turkey) 9 months now. I have been seeing a naturopath and chinese doctor and following a strict diet except the last week as I was on holiday and decided to enjoy bread, cheese etc and eating that food didn’t really make my skin any worse like I had feared(first I had strayed from the diet in 9 months). I started taking DIM 3 months ago now and hoped it was going to help straighten out my hormones and help the acne as NOTHING has even made a difference in the last 9 months I have even had chemical peels and microdermabrasions! I started taking some vitex with the DIM and I had a really bad break out1 I have had no relief and I am soooo over it1 I wonder if the pill is the only thing that will help my skin. I feel 100% better off the pill except for the break outs which I have feel I have struggled on and off with for almost 5 years! It has ruined my self confidence and makes my life so much harder then it has to be. Somebody help I feel I am at a loss!
How are you? I think you are very brave to not jump back on the pill. I tried CT too and failed I went back on in a matter of months. For you to last 9 months is amazing. Stick it out… you’re almost there!
Now, I was thinking about your situation and thought to ask if you had any tests done? Other than hormones… because things like a vitamin D deficiency or having the Celiac gene can actually cause acne even a shitty liver does it too… Acne is just a way of letting us know that something is wrong with our bodies (but don’t worry most of these issues are reversible) So my suggestion is to get test for everything… a thorough blood test. I do one once a year.
Anyways if you find anything you can treat it as it might help.
My second thought was to ask if you are using any special face washes or topical creams? I know that most of the girls here didn’t need any but that’s because they weaned, rather than stop TC like you. So maybe going to the doctors and asking for cream might help. I know ideally we want to do this in the most natural way, but you may require a little more help temporarily.
I suggest something like Duac or Epiduo which has benzoyl peroxide and a retinoid. Or something natural which I use now is tea tree oil gel. It works just as well as BP but doesn’t have the nasty side effects like dry or red skin. (Don’t use the first two if your preggers).
Your fighting the problem from the inside which is great. But maybe your skin needs a hand from the outside too.
All the best Bec! Remember no matter what our skin looks like we are all beautiful! And think of the bigger picture… Our bodies will love us for it!
BTW are your periods regular yet?
Still thinking about your situation… you know I think Christelle mentioned something about candida overgrowth… that too can cause acne. Do you feel bloated much and just yucky in your stomach?
A good probiotic will help. Talk to your Naturopath about it. I did and now I am taking stuff to fix it… I knew I had it because I was constantly getting thrush. Sorry if that was too much info. 🙂
Hi Friday thanks for the response. Well I thought I had it pinned fown yo hormonal as when I was on the Diane 35 my skin was perfect maybe a very few odd spots. I have been seeing my naturopath for 8 months and was going regularly but it just got to expensive and I wasn’t happy with the results of my skin. We worked on different parts of my body stomach, liver, kidneys etc and I have seen improvement in all areas except my skin. Candida (thrush) has been an issue for me over the past 2 years I haven’t been able to get rid of the thrush which has been consistent every day for 2 years and my diet has been very strict at times although now I eat fruit etc I haven’t touched sugar in 9 months. As for topical I was getting microdermabrasion and chemical peels once a month and I use retinol A and special face washes which cost me about $50 a bottle. I was see a chinese dermatologist and take herbs for my skin. my cycles are getting better once stopping bcp i was getting my period every 33 -36 days but horrible pms the week before. last period i got it on the 30th day with no pms which was good but still had a bad break put even worse then The Previous months. i thought mu acne was cycle related but i feel like i get zits all month long with a weeks break a month. I am in month 10 post bcp as of next month and maybe I will give it 12 months to see if gets better I am just scared it won’t and then I don’t know what to do.
Hey Rebecca! I know you are feeling really down because of your acne but pls my advice for you is to be more patient. I know you have already waited 9 months but just so you know, last time when I stopped my pill and had terrible acne on my chest and back, it took me more than one year to see even the slightest improvement. Now that i think back, i feel stupid for retaking the pill when it was just starting to show some recovery, but I was SICK of it and had lost all my confidence. On top of that I had started a new relationship so I wanted to protect myself, didn’t wanna fall pregnant. I know 9 months is a long time but maybe you will see some results if u wait a few more months. It seems that you are much stronger now psychologically than I was back then so maybe you can stick it out longer than 1 year and your acne will start clearly out very gradually. Everyone is different and I believe for some it takes more time for their body to heal. Hope this helps 🙂 Good luck and stay strong!
Thanks for the advice ladies. I am trying to be strong and wait it out. It just feels like it has gotten worse in the last month. And it’s frustrating when u feel like you have tried everything to avoid it happening! And another thing is I started breaking out before I went on the pill when I was about 20. So I’m scared its never going to stop. I am now 25 and just over it!!!!
I just wanted to update – all done my pack of 3/4 pills. I have noticed my skin a bit more oily but I think that might have more to do with work stress than BCP changes. I’ll be starting my pack of half-pills next Sunday. Funny thing, this is the first month in almost a year that my “period” has come on time. I was on Alesse (before that Yazmin until I read about all the terrible potential issues) and my period has been so wonky. I am really excited to be off of this pill (and to start planning to have a baby – my initial reason for wanting to go off and researching a weaning method).
One thing I want to say is that all of us gals who have realised how this pill can affect our bodies owe it to the younger women who are looking at Birth Control methods to talk about our experiences. I never even considered any other method when I started taking BCP and I really wish that someone would have informed me of them. I’m talking to my younger sisters about this and want them to know how it can totally alter their bodies.
Also, Frida – I am not a product promoter, but if you are looking for something topical, have you tried Proactiv? It is what I have used and it is the ONLY thing that worked for me (I still suffered from (some pretty bad) breakouts while on the pill and using proactiv kept them pretty tame.
Love and light to you all!
Ooops – I meant Rebecca
Thanks for your feedback Claire.
Ok girls… I got a ring from the BF (It’s so pretty, he picked well) So I said when that happens I’d wean.
AHHH! Here goes nothing. I will update here as often as I can and be completely honest. I am currently on the sugar pills and have a period when I start the new pack I will do 3/4 for 2 months and 1/2 for 2 months and then finish up with 1/4 for the last two. Which means I will be off the pill in 6 months.
BACKGROUND: Been on Diane 35 (Dianette) for about 5 years on and off and switched to Yasmin in the last two years in preparation to get off it because I knew Yasmin was SLIGHTLY better.
Every time I tried to get off the pill I would feel amazing in the first few months then my back and chest would break out, I would lose hair and then my face would explode. 3 months later I would always get back on have a whole 3 months of initial breakout again and be all moody and fat and all the other nasty side effects but have gorgeous skin.
While being on the pill I have been using a topical called Epiduo which is benzyl peroxide 2.5% and a retinoid. I have stopped using that and switched over to an over the counter 2.5% BP only as you can’t use retinoids when your preggers. Not that I am trying or anything but might as well find something now. I guess eventually I could wean of the BP too but that’s another story. I think I will keep it as my safety net for now. I am treating my acne internally too but baby steps for me. So with the BP 2.5% I use it morning and night. On acne.org it suggests you use copious amounts however I have been fine with a pea size amount at night only. But because I am weaning I will put it on in the morning too.
(I know it kinda defeats the purpose… I am still using something to control my Acne. But I just want to give another perspective for girls out there who are so scared to wean, who have the lowest self esteem out there… ME. I wish with all my heart I didn’t care what other people though but I do. So I’m adding a back up plan in this weaning, I’m so sorry I don’t have the guts to go all natural.)
I’ve seen a naturopath in prep for this and I have been given vitamins D, Evening Primrose Oil, Iron and a Probiotic for my gut flora. She thinks weaning is a great idea, and wants to help me all the way. Ive been drinking lots of water min 2L a day and trying to cut sugar out. I say trying because I kind of stick to nothing over 9 grams of sugar in every 100 grams. Try to avoid artificial sugar too. (ITS SO HARD) and 100% no dairy. I know for a fact I break out from dairy.
At the moment my face is not nice… because recently I tried a generic brand of my pill and i broke out heaps. But it’s settling down and I think it’s coming to the end of it. I haven’t had any new pimples for about 2 weeks now. Only whiteheads that I have popped myself because I was silly and impatient and even though I have popped them that’s about it. I don’t have anything new.
I thought that maybe I should wait to wean because my body seems like its only getting use to Yasmin again from the generic. BUT THAT’S JUST ANOTHER EXCUSE. No more I say!
I will watch my face carefully and give you all a details. Wish me luck.
Thank you all for your stories and giving me the strength to do this. God bless you all.
BTW If it makes any difference I live in Australia and it’s still Summer so its still very hot. This is kind of an experiment so I am writing all the outside variables. Oh and I am a little stressed with work on a scale of 1-10 I’d say 4.5.
(Sorry for the essay)
I’ve read through all the other pages on this site. I love your site and intend to get your book too.
Might just wait for next pay as I recently went wild and bought a new pair for shoes. hehe… 🙂
Lol. You don’t have to buy it, but if you want to, I sincerely appreciate it 😀 Good luck with the weaning process, friend. *Hugs*
Just wanted to wish you all good luck with the weaning! I just completed 7 months off the pill (after weaning for 6 months), and I’m happy to say I’m still 100 acne free. Just wanted to encourage you all.
For those who came off cold turkey and are weighing up the pros & cons of going back on, I also want to encourage you to stick it out a bit longer. My friend who came off Dianette a few years aago suffered from a very bad post-pill breakout after having been off for 6 months, and it lasted at least 6 months, so even when she’d been off the pill for over a year, she was still getting severe acne. Luckily for her, she was brave and stuck it out a little more, and sure enough, the acne disappeared altogether. Your body is purging, and your hormones will eventually settle. The best thing to do is to support your liver with supplements such as burdock root, turmeric, and take vitex to help raise your progesterone levels naturally.
Thinking of you all!
Just wanted to let everyone know that I am off the pill for 6 months now and doing perfectly fine! No signs of acne! I had little bit of hair issues… little more than usual when I use to take shower for last 1 and half month, but now it seems to be better… nothing alarming…
Question for Christelle – I have gained weight around 6 pounds! Does anyone else experience weight gain after weaning off? Just wanted to check..
Good luck with the weaning everyone!
Sorry I missed this comment, Gausha!
Ugh, you’re lucky! I am desperately trying to put on weight, but unfortunately being off the pill hasn’t helped. I’m the exact same weight I was last year when I was on it.
Perhaps it’s your body’s normal weight, and you’re just absorbing nutrients better now that you’re not on birth control?
Are you still taking the 50mg of spironolactone?
yes I am still taking 50mg Spironolactone! I am kind of scared of getting off, plus I’ve done research on it, 50mg is a very small amount. I might try to wean but I want to wait good 6 months so that I am sure that the weaning of bcp was successful. I don’t have any side effects from it, infact my hair use to shed a lot before spiro and my face was full of acne, it was terrible no antibiotic or bcp had worked, Spiro is the only medicine that had worked without giving me any side effects.
Hi everyone! I have completed the first month on half a pill and I really need your advice. I am supposed to get my periods this week and we are thursday afternoon but there is still no sign of any periods. Did this ever happen to anyone while they were weaning off? I don’t think I am pregnant (I will check just to be sure) but if I don’t get my periods by Sunday, should I restart taking half a pill on Monday or should I wait until I get my periods and then take the pill? I am so confused with what to do. Pls if you could give me your opinions, I would be most grateful! Thanks!
Don’t worry my lovely. The weaning process does tend to send your periods on a roller coaster. I remember I kept getting mine every 2 weeks, it was kind of annoying (being in a relationship & all that). If I were you, I’d just totally ignore whatever’s going on on that front. I know it’s a pain in the you know what, but it just means your body is dealing with things in its own way. Perhaps you won’t get a period at all this month, but don’t give it too much thought, next month might be altogether different. It is a nuisance, but think how great you’ll feel once you’re free of the pill. I’m so happy now. I don’t get my periods every 28 days, but they do turn up eventually, and I’ve chosen to stop worrying about it. 🙂
Having said that, only you know exactly how you feel, and I can’t tell you what to do. I wish you the BEST of luck with everything. Bises ma cocotte, et courage 😉
Coucou Christelle! Yes you are right, I should stop worrying so much about my periods but you know how it gets, you get freaked out over the littlest of things 🙂 I am so happy things are going well for you! Did you stop taking Vitex or are you still on it? Bisou ma belle! x
I knoooow! I got mine on day 32 of my cycle this month, and I was so sure I was preggers, hehehe!
Yep, I’m still taking Vitex. Just not as regularly as before. If I forget it one day, it doesn’t matter. I was in Martinique early Fabruary, and I forgot my capsules, so I didn’t take it at all for almost 2 weeks… basically, I try to be as regular as possible, but I don’t beat myself up over it if I forget.
Bisous, ma belle! Bonne chance! 🙂
Gausha – I am glad it’s going well for you. I was considering that too but I want to try for a baby next year so I want to do this as natural as possible.
Mona! I have been following your posts religiously because I feel that we are very similar. We pretty much had the same symptoms when we both stopped and we both took awhile to actually start. (Though you are more brave than me for starting much earlier) I enjoy reading about your experiences, thank you for taking the time to fill us in!
Christelle, Kyra, Rebecca Natalie… (Sorry if I left our anyone else) The girls who are pioneers and jumped in first, thank you for your regular updates. I’m very grateful!
Thanks to all the girls here who have commented and helped me actually start! And of course to TRACY! LOVE THIS SITE!
Yes isn’t this site awesome? Like you I don’t know when I would have found the courage to stop my pill. I am happy that I could help you too; I didn’t know you had nearly the same symptoms as me, then I will also follow closely your account of the weaning process 🙂 I am really happy that you have finally made the step towards stopping the pill, good luck girl and keep us updated!
Ive always had very mild acne throughout middle school AND high school.. it wasn’t until September of 2011 (18yrs.old) i started getting cystic acne. It wasn’t an extremely bad case but for me it was BAD. they hurt and were very red! And mostly only on my cheeks.
i noticed around November of 2012 i started getting acne on my forehead and chin.. where i really never get anything on those places! the pimples are small on my forehead and some small on my chin but i do kinda get hurting ones more near the jawline.(on both places they were stubborn and wouldn’t go away)
Ive been on birth control for almost a year (i think since MAYBE april of 2012). Ive taken two kinds.
The first BC worked for a couple months but then kinda stopped. i started taking a different kind because they didn’t have anymore of the one i was first given. and i think it has been working okay? but i still get big red hurting ones now and then.
Ive been weaning off for 3 months now.. so i’m taking half the pill atm. And then i will be taking half the pill again after this pack is finished.. and so on and so fourth.
For me i haven’t really gotten any side effects from weaning off. At least i dont think i have?
my face regimen Ive been using is a 100% all natural face kit(GoodForYouGirls). and i really love it! it doesn’t make my face red and burn like.. with other 3 kit products i have used in the past. i have very sensitive skin. and i also you a neutrogena face scrub which was suggested by my derm.
i went to the derm in early Feb. this year and she prescribed me epiduo and its been working pretty good! cleared up my forehead.. my chin is okay. its getting there i guess (still some small ones and 2 hurting ones along the jaw).
my cheeks are pretty clear looking. i mostly get acne on the left side of my face (a few small ones in the middle atm).
thought id share because i dont know anyone else like me who has been weaning off BC after only being on it for almost a year.
also i’m planning on taking Vitex once i’m off BC completely. sorry this was so scrambled around!! just wanted to share 🙂
That’s another success story so far!
I’ve been wondering for all the girls who have weaned off completely, did your periods come back to how they were before BC?
Before I started mine were every 28 days, I could even guess the time I was going to get them. Very clock work… I’m just a little nervous the weaning might screw them up a little. Every time I stopped BC I pretty much got my period right away (within 4 – 6 weeks)
WOW! This thread has been an eye-opener, for sure. I am 21 and have been taking birth control since I turned 18. I started taking birth control for one reason: my skin. I had always had really good skin – clear, hardly any break outs – until my sophomore year in high school. During the summer I had way too many activities and my skin started to deteriorate. I was so unhappy that I tried pro active for, I don’t even know, like less than two weeks? That two weeks (I believe) left me with so much acne, way worse than before. I was so devastated and my self-confidence plummeted. My doctor had been bugging me to go on bc since way before Pro Active so, at 18, I finally did (I still had really bad acne all over my cheeks mostly but I learned to live with it for the two years since my first major break out at 16).
I went on Yaz first for a little while, then Ocella. And I have been on Ocella since I turned 18. I have always hated being on bc. I gained weight (which, at first was daunting because of the cravings but now I am glad I did), I became emotionally unstable (I like to think I have learned to control my emotions but some days I’m not so sure, haha) BUT my skin improved MAJORLY. I was so happy.
I tried to go off of Ocella a year ago but within a week or two I instantly got more pimples. I was so scared that I went back on them. I actually have come across this thread a few times and read it back when it didn’t have so many comments. At that time I found it inspiring but having experienced the cold turkey effect, I dismissed it and kept taking my pills. Anyway, to make a long story short, I think I may be ready to commit to weaning off and would very much like to keep the acne under control. I want to follow Christelle’s plan but I have one more week of yellow pills and the one week of the placebo pills (for my period).
If you are reading this, Christelle, do you just throw away the pieces you cut off and keep getting new packs for the 6 months while weaning? And did you take the placebo pills? This may sound stupid but coming from someone that has literally been scared for 4 years of missing one day of pills (even the placebo) to avoid any problems, I just wanted to do it right and ask before I start. Anyway, I am planning to start the process on the 17th of March with 3/4 of the pill. Then the 12th of May marks 1/2 of the pill until the 7th of July which begins 1/4 of the pill. And finally, I am considering trying 1/8 of the pill beginning on September 1st. I really hope it works out this way….. crossing my fingers.
I am so happy for your success and the success of others here on this forum. Many thanks for keeping the conversation going and helping those in need of guidance through this frustrating process.
Hope to hear from you,
Yep, I did. I bought new packs for each new cycle. I was on Jasminelle, and if I remember rightly they came in packs of 3 for 3 cycles. I threw away the remaining pieces once I had cut the pill down to the dose I needed.
You might have trouble cutting the pill into a 1/8th sized-piece. Good luck if you do manage. It was too much hassle for me. I stopped at 1/4 and had no problems.
I am POSITIVE that it will work out for you! THe key to it is reducing the dosage gradually so that your body doesn’t go into shock and compensate releasing tons of hormones and messing your system up (and your skin).
Good luck! And don’t hesitate to ask questions 🙂
That’s awesome I can have a weaning buddy. I am on day 5 of weaning. Not much to report. I feel so happy each time I chuck out the 1/4.
I’ve just been chucking the 1/4 of the pill and I never use to take the placebo anyways they were just sugar pills. So when I get to that part of the pack I will just not take anything until I start the active ones again.
I think they are there so you don’t lose track of days. But my DR said I didn’t have to take them so long as I remembered when to start up again.
Although I think if you read up (correct me if i’m wrong Christelle), but once she got to 1/4 on the second month she felt like her body was just not needing it anymore and so there was no point of even continuing. So not sure how 1/8 would go
Dont forget to try to be as healthy as possible.
Yep, that’s right. I did 2 months on 3/4 of the original dose, 2 months on 1/2, 2 months on 1/4, and then I stopped. Initially I wanted to do an extra month on 1/8th of the dose, but I had trouble cutting it, and then my period turned up out of the blue, and I thought what the hell, I’ve done 6 months weaning, may as well just come off it altogether. 🙂
I think in another post above, you asked about whether or not the ladies who weaned off birth control retrieved their period… In my case, yes. In fact, it’s MUCH more regular now than it ever was before I took the pill. I haven’t skipped a month since I stopped weaning, and the length of my cycle ranges from 28-32 days. All PMS and cramping have disappeared (my tolerance to pain is high, and by no cramping I mean nothing that requires taking medication to reduce the pain – basically, I know I have my period, but I don’t suffer).
If you don’t retrieve your period right away, I recommend Vitex Agnus Castus (400mg/day).
YAY! I am so glad we’re doing it at close to the same times. I cannot wait until these two weeks are over.
Ok, perfect, less pills to take. And yes, I think I won’t do the 1/8 either as it would be a pain to try and cut the pieces that small!
Good luck to you as well, keep me updated!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Tracy and Christelle for the huge amount of time you have put into this blog and your responses.
Tracy, I’ve been a long-time reader of your blog and have finally gotten around to commenting. I cannot begin to tell you how amazingly helpful I have found your blog. Your beautiful light (inside and out) really shines through.
Christelle, thank you for the consistency in your updates! As someone who is also weaning off BCP, it is so helpful to know I’m not alone, and I know it’s been helpful to many more of us. I too have scoured the Internet looking for info on this topic, and your updates are very comforting!
Overall, it’s just so heartening to find a community of people committed to supporting each other in caring for our bodies and ourselves, especially in the face of societal pressures to just ‘take a pill.’
Yay! Thanks for being a Love Vitamin fan and taking charge of your own health! 😀
I’m getting the symptoms I got when I first started. 12 days in… Very moody, irritable, sad and a little trouble breathing. I guess its because the dose is lower.
Do I care? Hell to the no! I’ll stick it out for sure. Just giving people a quick update.
No ACNE even though I had pizza and cake on the weekend. (I know… 🙁 but it was a birthday party)
Yes, don’t underestimate the addictive nature of the pill. When I was taking Dianette, 10 years ago, I would get very stressed out and almost hyperactive during the 7 day breaks between packs. It felt like withdrawal symptoms.
You’re right to stick it out, because in time those symptoms will completely disappear, but in the meantime I suppose you just need to be extra kind to yourself.
Just for the update: this is my 8th month off birth control, and I’m happy to say I’m still doing great skin-wise, and my periods are regular. I’m still taking Vitex, although not every day (every few days, pretty much). I’m no longer obliging myself to follow strict eating guidelines. I eat healthy organic food for the most part, and if I feel like a dessert or whatever, I go for it, I’ve noticed it doesn’t break me out. I’m fairly skinny, and I know that if I’m too strict with my diet, I can lose weight quickly, so I’ve just decided to go with the flow, hehe. Now, I think I need to work on not stressing out too much about life in general. I think that’s what might be causing my periods to last a long time (12 days sometimes! I know, yikes!). I’m sure that’s improvable, somehow, maybe by doing yoga or pilates… will let you all know how that works out! 🙂
Hugs all round, and positive vibes to all you ladies!
Yay Christelle! So happy for you :))))))))
Don’t worry, I had similar symptoms during the first weeks when I started weaning. I felt really moody and kind of depressed. It’ll pass, rest assured 🙂 Just try to keep a positive mind and do things that make you happy or put you in a good mood. Good luck girl!
Hello Everyone! In particular Nicole and Claire
Im kind of at a stage where I want to be off the pill NOW. I was thinking about doing what you both are which is 3/4 for a month 1/2 for two months and then 1/4 for a month. Total of 4 months
I know you both are doing this, how is it going? Im feeling depressed and I hate it. I’m such a happy person. And for some reason my fiance is annoying the crap out of me, and that’s not fair because he is amazing. So its just me.
The quicker I do this the better, but I don’t want to risk it if it means I’ll break out. I just don’t think I can keep hating the world for 6 months. Its really playing with my emotions I started crying because my sister beat me in a running race!!!! OMG yes… its that bad. 🙁
Hi guys, Well I last commented in November about starting the weaning process so I’ll update a little now.
I weaned 3/4 pill for just one month and then 1/2 pill for another 2 months (due to other reasons I decided to do a quick version and deal with the fact I’d break out, I was hoping just not as much compared to cold turkey).
For the whole of January I was getting daily headaches, I went to the doctor but everything checked out fine and so I just dealt with it. I went on holiday in Feb for a few weeks and stupidly forgot my pills, so I decided to quit cold turkey after just over 3 months of weaning. So now it’s been about 6 weeks since stopping. My cycle started back straight away (this is normal for me, I’ve always had super regular periods when coming off the pill).
A few things – I have broken out, but just the tiniest bit (I currently have 1 under skin pimple, and had 3 over my period, also have had a couple of whiteheads).
Last time I went off the pill I broke out straight away, and really bad so I think even the small weaning I’ve done has made a difference. Also my skin isn’t too oily, more than when on the pill but not as bad when I went cold turkey.
The only thing, (and I’ve tried looking this up on the love vitamin Tracy!) But I have gotten lots of new blackheads. I’ve always been blackhead prone, but I have definitely gotten plenty of new ones. It’s not a huge worry for me right now, as they can be covered by makeup but I really have no idea what to do about them or how to get rid of them! Does anyone have any experience with this? I’ve looked into the oil cleansing method, thought I might give that a go.
Also the headaches I had have all gone away, has anyone had this while they’ve been weaning?
Finally, to my boyfriends relief, I have gotten back a little of my sex drive back. I’m hoping this improves as the months go on.
Mood wise I’ve been up and down, it’s been a pretty stressful few months so that hasn’t helped. There’s been a few times where I’ve felt down for no reason and realised it’s probably the weaning/being off the pill. Certainly nothing as bad as last time I went cold turkey and would literally cry for no reason. It’s just been something to be aware of.
Also, I have had the most terrible diet the last few months, I’ve been on holiday and had to move twice so my diet has certainly not helped. This will be an area I concentrate on in the next few months. Particularly sugar and processed foods. I will also be going to see a chinese medicine doctor and also get my hormone levels checked and will be back to update at some point!
Great work on keeping this thread going ladies, it has been invaluable. I totally agree with a few of the pp’s about telling your friends/sisters and anyone really about this info. It’s really disgusting how little is known about the pill and it’s effects. It feels like you just can’t trust mainstream medicine for anything aside form an emergency these days. It’s sad, as not everyone has the energy, insight or knowledge to go it alone.
Hey Emily! For the moods swings I totally have that too! I think it’s nothing to worry about as our body is still adjusting to the change in hormones. My libido increased so that’s a yay! 🙂 But I was wondering how the chinese medicine worked. Have you tried it yet? I’ve heard some good stories about it and was also wondering whether I should try it out. Thank you for the update, really helps to know how everyone is doing with this weaning method. Good luck for the rest of your weaning process xxx
Finished one month of 3/4 and started month two with 1/2 planning to do this for two months.
Im an emotional wreck, skin has broken out a little but Im 100% sure its from other factors other than the pill. I used to still break out little on Yasmin anyways. So no big shock.
Sex drive is creeping back, weight is coming off too. Hair is not bad bit more hair fall than usual but season changing so i dunno.
Anywho I guess overall – so far so good.
Thanks to all the people still updating! It’s encouraging to know people are having success with this method!
I was just reading through the comments and I noticed that some people have experienced hair loss or hair shedding either after coming off cold turkey or whilst weaning.
As this is something I have also gone through I thought I’d post a couple of things that seem to have helped. I used to have really thick hair, but after stopping Dianette for a few months it started falling out. I think this happened due to a combination of crazy haywire hormones, and stress. My hair’s probably about 50% of what it was right now, but since going back on dianette it’s slowly getting better. (One reason why I’m finding it hard to bite the bullet and start weaning off!)
Two things that have seemed to help me which I wanted to pass on. I started using a natural, SLS free shampoo for thinning hair. It contains caffeine which is thought to stimulate the hair follicle. While I can’t say my hair has got thicker from using it, I can definitely say it has reduced the amount of hair falling out when I’m showering. I know this cause I went through a paranoid state of counting the strands of hair that fell out during washing, when my hair was at its worst!
The other thing I think will help, but I’m only just starting to do is a massage/oil treatment for the hair so can’t say for definite, is something I found on a the web. A hairdresser with a website called Noelle Speaks has done a post on treating hair with a combination of white vinegar, rosemary oil (stimulate hair follicles), and coconut oil (penetrates hair follicles). She’s also put up a before and after photo of one of the people she used this treatment, and the results look awesome! You can easily do it at home, it’s literally just oil massage!
I’ve only done this treatment twice, but I really think that it will have a positive effect on my hair. Or I hope so anyway!
Anyway, I hope that maybe this info will help other people who are experiencing hair thinning or shedding while weaning off BCP!
I’m still trying to will myself into coming off Dianette at the moment. Still being a bit of a coward and worrying about side effects! Argh!
Now that I am down to half I have noticed a little more hair loss than usual. But it’s not as bad as when I stopped CT. I will give your suggestions a try.
Laura… If you read above you will see that I had been posting in early 2012 and was too scared to wean until Feb 2013! One day you’ll feel ready and when you are… you will have all of us to support you and all this information!
Thanks so much for replying! Sounds like things are going okay on the weaning front then? I am so scared of my hair starting to fall out, as it’s already on the thin side. It’s reassuring to hear you’re getting a smaller amount of shedding. Fingers crossed things happen that way for me too.
I am actually off to the doctors today to try and get a new 6 month prescription – I think my doctor/s is getting a little uncomfortable with dishing them out to me cause I’ve been on Dianette for so long. Hopefully this 6 month prescription will be my last one! I am going to try and force myself to start weaning as of next month. Eek!
Please keep updating on your progress! It’s giving me the confidence I need to start my own BCP weaning adventure! 🙂
You know… I think I have noticed a pattern with my hair.
When I stopped CT on Diane my hair fell out like no tomorrow. It freaked me out! I switched over to Yasmin and it subsided. When I switched to a generic again hair was falling out.
While I have been weaning each time a lower my dose I do notice a little more hair loss but nothing alarming and it pretty much only lasts 2 weeks max.
I think the best thing is weaning… especially for hairloss. I noticed I kept losing more hair everytime I changed something with my pills. My hair is thin too from stopping Diane twice and Yasmin once. But I have noticed regrowth and if it gets bad I think i’ll try your suggestions. But having said that I don’t think the hairloss is so bad. I hate being so vain… but I am and believe me if i did lose alot of hair I would 100% notice and worry about it.
I understand where your coming from though… Diane made my hair awesome. I honestly think its the same thing as when women who have babies and then have temporary hair loss. Its all about the hormones. So stopping CT will 100% result in hairloss (for you and me) but weaning so far… has been great!
I’ll be done weaning in 10 days so i’ll let you know how I go.
GOOD LUCK! XX
My darling! Can I ask… Im on 1/2 a pill at the moment and I got my period a week early. I’m not sure if I should still follow my pill scheduled or simply stop taking them to allow for a period and wait 7 days to start again.
I’m thinking in my head to keep going and follow the pills to a T. I haven’t had any spotting, but this period is early and more painful… like pre pill painful… sore chest, lower back and feel like throwing up.
Is this ok? I’m just a bit worried at what to do.
I am doing a quicker version of your method. I have been recently told by my doctor to get off the pill He said Yasmin is BAD ( 5 years too late mate)… so weaning will only be 3 months for me. 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4. In case anyone is interested in the quicker version…
NO ACNE to report. I was breaking out a little but that was from existing blocked pores from switching to a generic 4 months ago – (Yasmin to Isabelle then back to Yasmin). My blocked pores are clear only like 5 left and skin is back to being nice. But as I mentioned I was never 100% clear on Yasmin. I would still randomly break out when I ate bad. just an FYI.
Hey, my lovely! I’m glad to hear you finally started the weaning process, and I agree wholeheartedly with your doctor as regards Yasmin. It’s a terrible pill, one of the worst, and the sooner you’re off it the better you’ll feel!
I think your express-weaning system sounds great! If I had known it was that efficient, I wouldn’t have wasted 6 months weaning off last year when I could have done the same thing in just 3-4 months! Anyway, the “period” symptoms you’re describing seem to be normal. The whole time I was weaning I experienced the same thing. Each month, I got my period one week early, and it was always a bit heavier than how it was when I was on a full dose of bcp. If I remember rightly, I got a little nausea here and there around the time of my period too, which was a pain (there’s no worse feeling in the world, I think, than feeling sick). Perhaps your symptoms are exacerbated by the fact that your weaning off more quickly, and your body’s having to make adjustments… kinda like you would be if you were weaning off drugs, I guess, with withdrawal. Oh, and as for breast tenderness, I got that all the time when I was weaning, so much so that I don’t think I even mentioned it much on this thread, it just felt second nature to have sore breasts for 6 months. Now though, that’s totally gone. I only get that around ovulation and at the beginning of my periods.
I think what you could do to feel better is try to include any anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, such as turmeric, and leafy greens, or fermented cod liver oil. I notice now that when I eat lots of spinach in the days running up to my period, I get less psm. Crazy huh! Your body is probably just detoxing, which might explain the soreness and feeling sick. You could also take burdock root supplements or tea to give your body a helping hand, and maybe drink spearmint tea to help with the nausea.
I would just follow through your pack, and stop for your monthly 7-day “break” as usual, even if your period turns up early. That’s what I did. It was a bit random and awkward, especially being in a relationship, and having random unplanned periods turn up out of the blue, but oh well, I just figured it wouldn’t last forever (it settled down once I stopped weaning altogether). Honestly, from this end, it sounds like you’re doing really well! And so great to hear that you’re pretty much clear on the acne front!
Wishing you good luck with everything! 🙂
So, if you got your period a week earlier than normal, did you stop taking the pills for that week, then finish that same pack and then start a new one without the week break that usually comes when you’re supposed to have your period? Or did you continue your pack throughout your period and just stop at the end of the pack, like usual? (reading back, it seems like you did the second one). I just finished month 1 of weaning and feel extremely giddy about it! 5 more months!
I’ve had two pimples since starting but they’re just about gone now. Last time I tried to quit cold turkey, it was way worse! I had nausea the first few days of the first week which was really bad but thankfully it has subsided. It’s such a nerve wracking process, especially for those of us who have tried quitting before and experienced a bad reaction.
Good question. I did tend to get my period one week early (and sometimes it kind of lasted over the 10 day mark, but hey). When that happened, I always followed through with my pill, as usual, stopping only at the end of the pack despite my early period.
Good luck lovely! 🙂 xxx
I am so happy things are going well for you! I just wanted to let you know that I also had my periods a week earlier when I switched to half a pill so don’t worry about it 🙂 I just followed my schedule through as planned. Keep up with the good spirit! x
Ive read some amazing reviews. Just abit abot me, I’ve developed bad acne at the age of 18 and am now 33.
I have been off/off Dianette now for 15 year. Once I started taking the pill my acne cleared uop within a couple of months and was crystal clear. I have tried to come off Dianette (cold turkey) 3 times and each time my face has exploded after approximately 4-6 week. The first time I went off it, it took 6 months for my period to return, my face was awful and went straight back on the pill. The second time I went off Dianette cold turkey I started taking Agus Castus, it took 3 months for my normal period to return so I guess that the herbal medication helped somewhat with my cycle but in relation to my acne my face was still covered. Again, I couldnt bare my acne which was on my face, chest and back and went stright back on Dianette again.
Since reading all your reviews and sucsess stories I am going to give it another go.
I have started my first month of weaning, I am currently taking 3/4 of the pill, I am into my tenth day and have to say I have started seeing my skin deteriorate slighly on my ckeeks and forhead and have found my skin had been very itching on the cheeks. (not sure if I reacted to the Clinique 3 step range I used for 2 days and then discontinued it. Not sure if my breakout is due to stress.
I have today been for a facial and Blue/Red LED theraphy so I will keep you updated on that, I will be having the LED theraphy done evry week.
Oh, also have started 1200 mg of evening primrose oil and Fish oil, im taking them both once a day.
Sorry for the long email but I really want to be off this pill for good and hope not to cave. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
sorry, i meant i have been on/off dianette for 15 years.
Your story sounds very similar to mine. When I came off Dianette cold turkey (some years ago now), I didn’t recover my period for 6 months either, and let’s not even begin to describe how my face looked!
Kyra weaned off Dianette, and she seems to have seen great results.
Good luck weaning. And, yep, evening primrose oil is great (especially taken during the first half of your cycle). As for the fish oil, just make sure it’s not that “keep on your shelf” stuff, because fish oil needs to be fresh otherwise it goes rancid fairly quickly.
Sending you lots of happy vibes! xxx
Thanks for your kind words. Just a quick update, I am on day 16 of weaning and I have a few red sore spots on my face and one on my chin along with some small pimples under my skin on my forehead, cheeks and a few under my chin. They are not that noticable as can put make up on them and they dont look that bad, i’m paranoid as I had perfect skin when on Dianette fully.
Also, I am now trying Dermalogica ultra calming skincare range as my skin seems to be quite sensitive and red.
Also am drinking raw veg smoothies everyday, so will keep you all updated.
I’ve come so far, my skin isn’t perfect at the minute and I still do think to cave and stop weaning but I will see it through hopefully. xxx
I’m starting my weaning before the end of the month. Been on dianette for nearly 5 years, and I’ve decided to wean myself off too, starting at the end of this month.
Just wanted to say, good luck! I hope it all goes well for you this time, I know what a nightmare coming off dianette cold turkey is!
Keep us updated with your progress!
Lots of well wishes to you x
Goodluck with weaning. I am nearly at the end of my first month and my skin has deteriated abit, it was 100% clear whilst taking Dianette fully over all thoses years 🙁
I hopefully won’t cave in, I have changed my skincare routine and drinking raw veg smoothies, I’ve heard this really clears up the skin. I will keep you updated.
Hey Jazz, I’ve just read all your accounts of the weaning process and I just want to give one advice if I may. I see that you have changed your skin regimen quite a lot (Clinique, LED therapy, facial, Dermalogica) so I was thinking that it would be maybe be better if you stuck with one regimen for a while. I was also thinking that there is a high chance that you are breaking out from that and not the weaning. I don’t know what you mean by cave it in but I really hope that you will not abandon. If need be, why don’t you wean slowly like me for 9 months? I am not in a rush and certainly do not want to have a baby right now so especially if you are weaning off from a strong pill like yours, why not make things easier for your body and give it time to adjust? Well I hope this helps and good luck girl! We are all in the same boat and with you 🙂 xxx
Your right Mona, I have panicked and tried all sorts to clear my skin up. I took your advice and decided to let my skin breath.
My forehead was very itchy and looks like I possibly had a reaction from all those products, this was sorted with a steriod cream the doctor gave me. I must say that a couple of weeks on my forehead has cleared up well althou not 100% but I am happy.
I am still getting the odd pimple here and there but nothing to worry about.
When I say ‘Cave@ yes I do mean going back on Dianette fully. I did actually do this for the last 5 days of my circle 🙁
I am starting my second pack now and have decided that I am still going to wean, hopefully now Im not messing about with my skin I wont break out like I did in the first month.
I have since the last 2 weeks gone back to my normal cleanser and just using aqueous cream and thats it. I have also stopped the veggie smoothes.
I really want to be off this pill and will see how my skin is at the end of May and then decided how long I want to wean for as like you I am in no rush.
Thanks for your advice xx
Really sorry to hear you’re getting some spots during weaning! I’d say hang in there! 🙂
Just read Mona’s comments and would totally agree. Maybe your skin deterioration has something to do with the changes in your skincare regime? I know particularly when I have a facial, I sometimes breakout a little. And changing face wash, and your diet can sometimes do the same thing I’ve heard. Perhaps the vegetable smoothies are flushing out toxins?
Maybe use a very simple and gentle cleansing facial wash for a while to see if your skin calms down?
Please do keep me update, and really really hope your skin starts getting better soon.
Best of luck! 🙂 xx
I have stopped messing about with my skin and letting it breath as you can see from my previous comments.
Hope your weaning is going well xxx
Hey Girls! I haven’t updated for a while, so I thought it is about time 🙂
I am currently on month 3 on half a pill (I did also 3 months on 3/4 of a pill before that) and next month I am moving on to 1/4 of a pill. I know I am weaning off much longer than you guys (9 months in total) because I am a chicken and secondly, I have time and don’t want to rush my body into it. Up until now I can say that things have been so far so good.
Acne wise, I have had few pimples here and there but nothing dramatic that I couldn’t handle. Actually it has stayed the same as when I was on the pill, as my skin was never 100% clear even when I was on the damn thing. Actually, I was quite surprised because during spring break, I ate so many sweet stuff, like literally I ate everyday ice cream, cakes, chocolate etc. and I was sure I was going to break out like hell but to my surprise I didn’t really. So I am happy about that lol
Mood wise it has been okay too I guess. But I must say I have had more mood swings as of lately. Sometimes I would be really down for no reason and then the next day I would be seeing butterflies, rainbows and pink everywhere haha
Hair wise, I think it has stabilized, or I hope so. In the beginning I had the impression I had more hair growth but now I am not really sure. Anyway I am not complaining.
The one really good side of this stopping process is that my sex drive has really improved. I am so happy and my bf too hehe 🙂 But my periods have come one week early last month, meaning my periods lasted for a whole 2 weeks, and they have been more heavy and painful :/ I can’t wait to get my normal periods of 1 week back!
Anyway I think I have covered everything. Diet wise I am trying to eat healthy but honestly at least once to twice a week I do treat myself (except during that break when I ate like a pig lol). Once again thank you for those who have finished weaning off and shared your experiences, and good luck to those who are weaning off like me. Keep updating, it really helps! xxx
Oh and sorry I forgot t o add something else, I go to spinning/TRX classes religiously once a week. I have the impression it really helps mood wise; I feel so much better after I go to the gym 🙂
Thanks so much for updating. I’m going through all the posts here, trying to work out the best way of starting weaning! Getting updates is so helpful and encouraging!
Really glad to hear everything is going well! 🙂 Have you been supplementing your diet with any like vitamins, herbal rememdies, hormone balancing things, while you have been weaning? I’m trying to make a list of all the things I need to take while weaning to try and have the most success possible.
Thanks again! 🙂
I haven’t really supplementsed with anything special up until now. I sometimes drink peppermint tea as some girls suggested that to me. Other than that I don’t take any vitamis because every morning I eat a bowl of muesli which I used to do even before weaning and I believe it contains every vitamins that I would need, as I did a blood test in August that showed that I wasn’t deficient in anything. FYI I put greek/probiotic/organic yogurt mixed with whatever fruit u want to put (depending on what I have, I put either apple, banana, strawberries or blueberries), plus walnuts, almonds, goji berries, dried cranberries and raisins.
I may start taking supplements once Ive completely weaned off, depending on how I feel and how it goes. Im thinking of taking vitex if I start breaking out majorly, but we ll see. Ill keep updating in any case 🙂 hope this helps and good luck with your weaning! So happy you are doing it too! Xxx
Sounds like you’re doing good, girl!
I am totally on board with the whole treating yourself thing. I was strict with my diet and all that while I was weaning, and to be honest I think it was a little silly at times. Now, I definitely allow for more leeway – you know, going out for meals with friends and the BF, having dessert, enjoying life! I eat very well anyway, so as long as I’m getting my nutrients first I figure I can have fun too! I’m sure that you’ll be fine while you’re weaning.
9 months sounds good to me. I know some of the ladies on here are doing express versions of the weaning process, and I hope it works for them, but I can’t help thinking that the whole point of weaning off is to gradually reduce the dosage so that your endocrine system doesn’t go into shock and cause you to break out etc., but then I could be wrong. In all cases, I’m frankly positive that you won’t get acne after having weaned off over 9 months.
Good luck cocotte! 😉 xxx
Christelle! Merci ma belle! Yes up until now I must say I am quite happy with how this weaning process is going, but like you I do not want to jinks it you know lol so just in case I am still on alert and try not get my hopes up too much. I am happy you are enjoying life, I think you deserve it after all these months of being on a strict diet. 🙂 Me lately I haven’t been eating very well like I used too, so I need to get back on track! Since the spring break I haven’t been able to control my sugar intake as I have definitely been eating more than twice a week sugary stuff :/
Anyway thank you very much for still staying, commenting and advising. It’s really such a relief that your skin is 100% clear after what like one year? I think it is safe to say that it will stay like this from now on hehe 🙂 Je t’embrasse fort, merci pour ton soutien! xxx
Coucou ma belle! T’en fais pas pour les excès. Le tout c’est de profiter de la vie, et de te recarder quand tu sens que tu dépasses un peu les bornes! Moi, j’ai pig-out cette semaine car j’ai eu une copine à la maison pendant quelques jours. Je me dis que bon, la semaine prochaine je serai plus sérieuse! Et puis si j’ai un bouton, au moins je saurai pourquoi! 😉
Bonne chance avec tout ça, ma cocotte! Ça va marcher!
La grosse bisette à toi, et à très vite pour une update! xxx
Thanks for letting me know what you’re taking. I think I may get some herbal teas, peppermint, dandelion, burdock root and so on to really try and cleanse my system. I’ve also got to start being a little stricter with my diet I think.
At the moment while I’m on dianette I still get a few small spots, but nothing major, and I think that it is down to my diet. I eat so much sugar and dairy, both of which have been linked to acne. I now drink almond milk but I find it very hard to stay away from cheese… I LOVE IT! 🙂
I definitely need to get more fruit and nuts into my diet too. I’m actually a vegetarian, so you’d think this wouldn’t be so hard!!
Please do keep updating with your progress!
I have got 4 pills left in my current pack, then I’ve got my 7 day break and then I start on the weaning on the 26th. Very exciting!
Now I’ve just got to find an easy way to break the pills into 3/4!! 🙂
Lots of well wishes and good luck to you as well! xxx
Haha yes Laura I totally understand you about the cheese and sugar but I did cut them dramatically. Before I used to eat sugary and sweet stuff everyday and now (or at least before the Spring break lol) I let myself enjoy one sugary thing per week. If its 2 little sweets then twice a week. And for cheese, I come from Switzerland so you can image how I love and used to eat cheese lol but now I only eat goat cheese from time to time as I have read that goat cheese makes you break out less than cheese made of cow’s milk. You can find good ones at Whole foods. For the fruits I find is essential to help me not eat sugary stuff. The moment I get a craving, I just stuff myself with fruits and then it goes away 🙂 So you can imagine how much fruits I eat in general haha I do not know if you eat vegetables but I also eat quite a lot of them and I try to vary them. All in all, I just think it is important to have a healthy and balanced diet. C’mon girl, I know you can do it! We just need some self discipline for the sake of our own happiness and also if you think about it health. Cause through this whole process of changing out diet, we are doing a hell of a lot of good for our body and health in general. Good luck with your weaning and think that you are not alone 🙂 x
Ahhhh thanks for the wise and kind words Mona.
I am going to take some steps to make sure I cut out the sugar and dairy foods. First thing to do is stop looking in the biscuit and chocolate cupboard! Also I am going to stock up on lots of fruits so I can stuff them when I’ve got a craving.
Also great tip about the goat’s cheese. I love that stuff! I’m going to try that for sure 🙂
I’m a vegetarian so I eat a whole lot of vegetables already, but I seem to eat something very healthy (like homemade soup) and then finish it off with chips and a chocolate bar, hahahaha. I will have to start thinking about it more seriously when I start weaning at the end of the month! 🙂
Thanks for the encouragement! I am definitely going to start on my next cycle! Wooooo! x
I have decided to start the weaning process at the end of my next pack of Diane 35. So in about 5 days!!! Excited at the thought of getting off this drug, but also ridiculously scared at how my body’s going to react!
I have a quick question about supplements to take while weaning and then after weaning. Do people have any definite recommendations? Totally understand people will have different reactions to different things, but any info on possible supplements/vitamins/herbal remedies that people have found helped them would be really appreciated.
I’m interested in the supplements that are supposed to balance hormones as well, think they’re vitex and dong quai?
Has anyone who’s been taking them got any advice on when to start? Would you start taking them after you come off the pill or during the weaning process? Also, while I would definitely like to take anything that will help the process – these two pills seem to be quite pricey and I wouldn’t want to be taking them forever? Has anyone used them to balance hormones and then stopped taking them and had any problems?
I’d be so grateful for any help/advice! 😀
Good luck and well wishes to everyone!
Yessss! Join the club (soon)!
So, I weaned off the pill from February 2012-July 2012, and I’ve been totally bcp-free for 9 months almost. I didn’t take any hormone-regulating supplements while I was weaning, so I really can’t say whether or not they’re useful during the process. What I did focus on during those months was detox, and I took stuff to help my body process all those chemical hormones, mainly liver-friendly supplements like turmeric, burdock root, herbal teas, etc.
Then, once I was done weaning, I started taking vitex (agnus castus). Honestly, I can’t put it down to JUST that – I mean, perhaps my age – I’m 30 – has played a role in regulating my cycles too – but quite frankly I’m convinced the vitex has helped my cycle stay on track since I’ve been off the pill. Last month I didn’t take vitex at all, and I got my period on day 29. Pretty sweet huh!
I get my vitex on iherb.com. From what I recall it’s definitely cheap (5$-ish for 90 capsules), and I live in France, so I order 2 bottles to optimize shipping, etc. I only used one pot from July-January. I didn’t take one capsule a day, mainly because I forgot most times, but I must have taken 2-3/week. In all cases, no irregular cycles to report, and no acne – still, after 9 months! 🙂
Good luck chuck! You’ll be just fiiiine! xxx
Thanks so much for that advice. It’s great to hear that you haven’t had to take vitex everyday since you came off the pill and you’re still having regular cycles. Gives me hope! 🙂
When I tried to go cold turkey off dianette early last year I tried using vitex, but unfortunately I think my hormones were so off whack that the supplement didn’t have much chance of working anyway! I think I’ll try the weaning vitex-free and then move onto it once I’m off dianette. But depending on how my skin reacts maybe I’ll try starting to incorporate vitex while weaning… It’s hard to know what to do until it happens I suppose!
Thanks also for the info on where you buy the vitex from. I’ll have a look at that link. Last time I bought a bottle of vitex I got it off amazon, but it was about $10 for 90 capsules so I was worried it would be an expensive habit to keep up long term, especially as I want to take other supplements at the same time (evening primrose, fish oil, tumeric, etc).
I think one thing I definitely need to address while I’m weaning is my diet! I find it really hard to eat healthily cause I live with people who buy very unhealthy foods (cakes, crisps, biscuits etc). I need some serious willpower!!
Thanks again for your advice, really helpful!
Lots of well wishes to you! 🙂 xx
Thank you all so much for your feed back… So far so good. 🙂
Christelle, your advice has been priceless! Merci ma amie merveilleux! (Ahh sorry if thats wrong it’s been a long time since i’ve used my French) You too Mona, everything you are going through has been the same as me… except I guess I am doing it a lot faster. Now that I am on my 7 day break, I am trying to decide whether or not to go straight to 1/4 or do another month of 1/2. I’ll let you know what I decide.
Laura! Ohhh I’m so glad your doing it! If you get scared remember you can do what Mona is doing and do 9 months instead of 6. 🙂
Hi Ela! My weaning buddy! Hope all is going well for you.
Hey Frida! I am happy things are going well for you! But how long have you been weaning already? Tell us in detail how things are going 🙂
Héhé, si si c’est bien! 🙂
It’s going well! I am starting month two (of 6) for weaning! I can tell that I have some mood changes because of it but it’s not that bad! Also, on the skin front, it’s going way better than I thought it ever would! Last time I quit cold turkey, my acne came back with a fury after only a month. So, each day I’m feeling a little happier that I’m not breaking out so much.
How’s the express route going???
I was the same Ela… I was so moody it was bad. But the girls are right it doesnt last too long so not to worry. And be prepared for early periods too once you hit 1/2 a pill. As Christelle and Mona suggested just continue with the packs schedule. Thats what I am doing… not sure if that means I’ll have a super duper long period or not. 😐
Mona – I am going on to my 3rd pack this week. And I have decided to do 1/4. So in total three months. I decided to this because recently my doctor asked me to stop Yasmin as my liver needs a break. blood pressure isn’t good too. So express version it is.
Mind you, it looks like I am going through all the symptoms everyone else is but just quicker. My skin is fine. I do have a few clogged pores but like a crazy woman I only counted 5. And 3 of them had been there before I started weaning. I feel happier and my sex drive has come back. OMG I forgot how wonderful that is. I have even lost weight.
Hairloss is my only issue. But I feel that might be a case by case issue as the same thing happened to me when I quit cold turkey. I know its temporary and need to not stress out about it.
I have read about other people who have wean I even read about one girl doing it in one month. 3/4 1 week then 1/2 the next and the 3rd week was 1/4 and she was fine too.
I know there is a higher chance I will break out. But I guess thats a risk I have to take now that I have been told I have to stop. Besides I am reaching the end of my 20s and God willing, I want to have children.
One day we all have to do this. Might as well be today.
I wondered if any of you stopped menstruating altogether after weaning, and if so, what you did to get your period back. I weaned off Yasmin over three months starting in June 2012, and haven’t had a period since August 2012–more than 8 months. I’ve had my hormones tested and everything’s just pretty low–though not completely off the charts. I’ve just started taking rhodiola and am considering vitex or don quai, but am worried about breakouts. Thanks for any thoughts!
I just finished weening, and my periods are still going strong. I took 6 months to wean though, and I just completely stopped 3 weeks ago, so who knows?
Perhaps you should tested for PCOS? There is a blood test I believe. If you do have this hormonal condition, there are dietary changes you will need to make that may help. Also some supplements that are helpful. Seems like you might be aware of this though.
Hmm, you must be worried. I think the pill can do that to women’s cycles though. Sometimes it takes longer than usual to recover your period after having taken oral contraception.
I was worried about having amenorrhea after weaning too, as the first time I came off Dianette cold turkey, I didn’t retrieve my cycle for 6 months.
There are several factors to consider, namely, your weight, your overall health, the fact that you weaned off the pill quickly, and possibly other medical complications such as PCOS. If you are underweight, you are more likely to suffer from amenorrhea. The same applies if you’re overweight, in which case you could have PCOS. I would suggest, before taking any supplements or whatever, getting a thorough gynecological examination, just to make sure you’re not omitting a factor in your equation. If everything turns out ok, you might want to consider something like a full-body detox. I’ve never tried to do one myself, but I know websites like Dherbs, and natural-fertility-info.com do them. I can’t advise you, as I really don’t know your situation enough, but I think it’s safe to say that you’re definitely suffering from some form of amenorrhea. Lots of women go through this at some point or other. You just need to find out what’s causing it in your case.
Good luck, Emily.
I just finished weening off birth control using the advice in the video. Took 6 months. My OBGYN told me it would be safe to “ween.” I’m so glad I did.
-Worked really well. I stopped cold turkey years ago and had a hell of a time adjusting (severe acne that lasted years). This way was so gentle and mild!
-Only mild breakouts (so far).
-My periods are back to normal length (see “about me”)
-I feel way more hormonally balanced now.
-Heavy periods, PMS, and cramps returned around 1/2 pill dose (this is “normal” for me when off pill)
-Broke out a little each time I went for lower dose. Mild acne that cleared quickly.
-Major mood swings when dropping down to lower doses. These went away and I don’t get them any more. They were much worse when stopping cold turkey.
-Took a long time.
-Pain to cut pill (get a pill cutter).
-My periods got out-of-sync with my pills for awhile. I just kept taking the pills as normal, which meant I was taking placebo pills after my period. Eventually everything synced again.
Total time to “ween” of pill: 6 months (2 months on 3/4 pill, 2 months on 1/2 pill, and 2 months on 1/4 pill). Stopped all together about 3 weeks ago. Had considered doing a third month on 1/4 pill, but decided not to.
About me: I’m 33 and was on orthotricyclen lo for about 5 years prior. I had really bad hormonal adult acne that was successfully treated with the pill. Wanted to get off the pill because I want to get pregnant, but also because my periods were starting to get shorter and shorter recently. I didn’t like this change as it seemed unnatural.
Other things I did that helped: I started using tea tree oil and carrot oil diluted in almond oil as moisturizer. This helps prevent breakouts. (will stop carrot oil when pregnant). Started washing face with hemp oil. Also switched to mineral makeup and removed all chemicals from beauty routine. Reduced sugar intake.
I notice that I start to break out when I don’t use my tea tree oil. Perhaps this is the secret? Not sure, just know that weening went really well.
As others have reported, the hardest part was when I was switching and taking 1/2 pill.
I experienced an early period around 1/2 pill like others report.
Worst breakout occurred around 1/2 pill too.
Major mood swings around 1/2 pill (I thought about going back on pill they got so bad).
All these symptoms resolved themselves around 1/4 pill. Still minor breakouts though.
I started using tea tree oil prior to weaning off the pill. I still had minor break outs even on the pill.
Thank you for your awesome update and story. Seems like the weaning process has worked out well for you. I am going to finish my weaning in 2 months and I am already dreading it :/ please let us know how it goes now that you have completely stopped, it would be much appreciated! Many thanks!
Good news: I haven’t had major acne issues! The first couple of months I had minor breakouts. Now, I’m pretty clear. Mood swings have resolved themselves too.
Best news: my periods have worked like clockwork. When I cold-turkey quit birth control before, my periods got way out of whack. Now, they are an even 28 days apart.
UPDATE (5 MONTHS OFF BIRTH CONTROL):
Good news: I haven’t had major acne issues! The first couple of months I had minor breakouts. Now, I’m pretty clear. Mood swings have resolved themselves too.
Best news: my periods have worked like clockwork. When I cold-turkey quit birth control before, my periods got way out of whack. Now, they are an even 28 days apart. This is due to weening off. Awesome!
The bad news: I have gained some weight. Not sure if it is related, but it sucks. I gained weight when I started ortho tricyclin lo. And now I’ve gained weight getting off. Also, PMS has returned.
p.s. sorry for the duplicate posts. The computer prematurely submitted my post before I was done.
I think your timeline sounds about right for me too. But I didn’t really note my break outs because they are so tiny. I had to look really close into the mirror to notice them.
I have 1 week left of taking 1/4, however my moodiness was horrible when I first started weaning 3/4. I guess its safe to say everyone who weans will experience some sort of moodiness.
I don’t regret doing the express version one bit. Mind you I might be singing a different song in 4 months time hehe
I noticed Tracy has Candida Cleanse coming up which works perfectly with my stopping the pill. I will be doing it. 🙂
Cant wait to get rid of these pesky pills!
Hi everyone! It took me about 2 hours to read through each and every post last night. It seems like a lot of lives have been ruined by Diane 35, huh? I went on Diane 35 because I was an idiot and didn’t do any research :(. I was getting married, and my little sister was using it to treat acne, and even though I did not have an acne problem, I decided because our ‘body chemistry’ was similar, that would be a good pill for me. Well, I didn’t marry the guy, and for the last 4 years I have been stuck on this death pill. I tried to go off it once or twice, the first time I got acne within 2 months, and the worst thing about it was from neck to chin on the right side of my face grew these long, fine, wierd hairs. I just freaked out. I’m Australian but I’ve been traveling the world for the last 5 years, and my diet has never been amazing, and up until 6 months ago, I was a smoker. The second time was earlier this year, my husband (different guy – took me a while to find the right one!) and I moved to Vietnam, and I ran out of Diane. Well, I got acne, and it was right before my wedding and I just freaked out. I discovered that Diane 35 was the go-to non-prescription pill of Vietnam and off I went on it again. My skin cleared up beautifully, but I did manage to pile on a good 10 pounds! Long story short, we are moving to Berlin in 3 months, I’m turning 31 this year, and we want a child. I can’t seem to lose weight and I feel like a water balloon at all times. I read this article with great interest last week but decided that because the Diane here looks and seems a bit different from back home, I’ll just go off cold turkey. I bought multivitamins, dong quai, and evening primrose oil capsules to see me through these first few months. Are they any good? That’s about all that’s available to me at the pharmacy here (I live in a tiny seaside town, full of tourists, called Hoi An). It is really great to have a support network of women going through the same thing! Thank you all for your time and commitment to helping other women, like myself, and guiding us toward a natural life and body. 🙂 Much love
Not sure if you have started to ween yet, but I also agree that weening is the best possible option for you.
When I got off of birth control years ago using the “cold turkey” method, my period got way out of sinc and completely unpredictable. Not having a steady period with make it difficult to get pregnant. Much better to gradually ween so your period will stay regular and you’ll be able to time ovulation.
Hope it works out well!
Ugh, poor you. You have my total sympathy. Your story with Diane 35 sounds very similar to mine. I went on it naively too.
If I may, I would strongly suggest weaning off rather than quitting cold turkey. Cyproterone, which is one of the components of Diane 35, is a highly addictive androgen suppressor. The body becomes very reliant on this substance, and suddenly reducing its intake almost always causes a surge in testosterone production, which in turn causes the dreadful post-diane breakout. Other withdrawal symptoms associated with this component include drastic hair-loss, facial hair-growth, amenorrhea, and depression. It’s actually very strange that doctors don’t suggest weaning off Diane 35 due to these known side-effects. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that it’s very highly likely that you quitting Diane cold turkey will cause you to break out massively.
You say you think the version you’re taking might not be the same as the one back in Australia. The best way to find out is to check the ingredients and the dosage. Normally, it should read: Cyproterone acetate 2mg/ethinyloestradiol 0.035mg. If this dosage is correct, it means you’re taking the same Diane 35 as everywhere else in the world (also known as Dianette).
I know it’s frustrating to have to keep taking the very pill you want out of your system for a few extra months while you wean, but it might well be your only option if you want to avoid the nasty side effects. In the long run, this might also be the best way to avoid the vicious cycle of then having to go back on the pill to control your acne. I would highly recommend elaborating a plan for the next x-number of months, and cutting your pills little by little. Check out Kyra’s story. She managed to wean off Dianette with little to no side effects. Kyra, if you’re reading, what do you think?
As for the supplements you mention, they seem fine. It’s always good to take multivitamins, especially B-vitamins, because the pill tends to prevent their absorption. Evening primrose oil is great, especially during the first part of your cycle. As for Dong Quai, I have no idea. I think it stimulates blood circulation. Personally, I would suggest vitex, for once you come off the pill altogether (it regulates your cycle), and a good probiotic, because Diane 35 depletes your gut flora.
Good luck! Let us know what you choose to do!
I’ve been on dianette for 2 years now, do you think I should switch to a lower dose pill and then wean off?
I was hoping you’d write back – you write so vividly that I had a picture of you in mind the whole time – slim, French, popping veggies in a blender while looking out the window onto cobblestone boulevards – probably a little incorrect, but I do so love France! I think you are right. 🙂 There is a guarenteed breakout coming my way and although patience is not my strong suit, I should just wean off. I wonder if I can do an express wean-off 3 months with Diane 35? I looked on the package (it’s Chinese!) and I did see the Cypoterone acetate and Ethiny-whatever is exactly the same doses as you said. Moving to ultra-hip Berlin in 3 months time and looking for work in the professional realm again is NOT the place I want to be sporting a big, red acne breakout. 🙂 I DID want to lose all this water weight though, but I shall have to be patient. Thank you so much for your response, and I will be posting my progress and any lessons I’ve learned from now on. Take care all! 😉
Hey mysterious E!
Haha, I love your image of France! Very accurate!
Personally, I would suggest taking your time coming off Dianette because (perhaps, if you have time, you could read the comment I left India, at the end of this thread – regarding cyproterone) Dianette in particular contains a substance called cyproterone, which is very addictive. When stropped brutally, people who were on this drug often suffer from a testosterone peak, and in women that often means acne times ten!
If you can switch to another pill for a few months before weaning off rapidly, I think it would be a good idea, because most pills contain other progestins that aren’t quite as addictive as cyproterone. If you can’t, don’t worry, but perhaps you would gain being extra patient, and just reducing the dosage as gradually as possible. It’s a pain, but ultimately it will probably save you a lot of skin hassle in the long-run.
Good luck lovely lady! Let us know what you decide! 😉
Just a little update, I’ve started weaning finally!
I’m going to do six months (if I can make it!). Two months of 3/4, two on 1/2, and 2 on 1/4.
I cut a month of pills all in one go to try and stop myself from giving up too easily 🙂
Cutting the pills into 3/4 was quite hard so I think some of the doses will be a bit uneven, but I’m not sure it matters.
I’m five days into weaning so far and nothing to report. It’s probably too early!
I’m trying to eat healthily (cutting back on sugar and dairy in particular). Drinking peppermint tea as suggested on here, and also taking a probiotic everyday, plus multivitamins.
I’ll try and report back monthly to let others know how it’s going, and hopefully it will all be positive news!
Good luck to everyone else still weaning!
I’m so proud of you! OMG… you won’t regret it you’ll feel super happy. Although you might feel alittle moddy at first. I’m so excited for you.
Worse comes to worse (as in you’re too scared) you can do what Mona did and extend it a little longer if your in no rush I think she is doing 9 months in total rather than 6.
I think the easy step is 3/4 but once you hit 1/2 you do get a little worried but it was ok for me just periods were out of wack. But I’m on 1/4 and doing great.
I’m so happy for you Laura!
Thanks so much Frida! 😀
I’m only on the 9th day but things are going pretty good so far.
On the downside, I have developed three new spots on my face. But they’re not painful or cystic so I’m not too worried. Yep, I’m counting! hahaha
One’s big but the other two are small so I should be able to get rid of them with my huge box of spot treatments!
I’m thinking they may be my body adapting to the slight reduction in hormones. Or they could be something to do with the night oil balm I’m using on my face, or because I sleep on that side of my face during the night! Who knows! 🙂
I’m a little worried about the change from 3/4 to 1/2, that’s going to be the big one I know! I’m thinking I may stay on the 1/2 dose for an extra month to let my body adjust.
I’m feeling positive about the whole thing at the moment. I’m so ready to be off Dianette!
Hooray for weaning!
OMG laura, I am so happy you are finally weaning! good luck girl I am sure thing will be fine!!! 🙂
I know how it is counting your pimples, obsessing over them in front of the mirror, and just plainly noticing them more because you know you are weaning and you might get them haha Honestly I really try not to over think too much and not look into the mirror too closely or else you will start seeing your pimples even more and see them much bigger than what they really are.
I think you will be fine transitioning to 1/2 a pill. Me too I was so scared, but if you read my comment down, weirdly enough I have more symptoms on 1/4 of a pill then on 1/2. Anyway keep updating and hope everything goes well! Sending you lots of good vibes 🙂
Hey India + Mysterious E (hehe)
Hows it going? You could try three months like I did… But to be safe I would defs recommend longer. If I had a choice I would do the 6 months thing too but my doctor won’t give me a new script and I only had enough for three months. And I was over it… I hate pills back then it was the only thing that worked.
(((( SKIP IF YOU WANT – Side Story – VITEX – My sister is younger than me and has the same acne as I did when i was younger I told her not to take the pill and take Vitex 3 months later she doesn’t break out anymore… AHHHH if only I had known about the stuff back then!)))
I was on Diane (Brenda 35 a generic) for ages then switched to Yasmin for 2 reasons… 1. Because I knew I was going to wean and cutting Diane would be harder than cutting up Yasmin. 2. Yasmin was the lesser of 2 evils and lower my does a little before weaning I thought was a smart idea. I was on Yasmin for nearly 2 years before weaning. Between you and me I promised myself no more than 1 year back then! 😐
Like Christelle (who I adore to no end!) mentioned Kyra weaned of but if you read back she did it over more than 6 months. I don’t think she was in a rush either.
The choice is yours in the end… But you are right Diane is a horrible little thing and stronger than Yasmin.
Oh and about Vitex it is recommended not to take it with BC. It’ll mess your hormones more I think.
I look forward to what Christelle says too… OMG CHRISTELLE you should get into natural therapies! It might be your calling in life!
Hey Frida, thanks for the reply!
Do you think I should switch to yasmin before I wean as well? Seems smart – did you break out at all during the transition between the two pills?
With every change of pill you are bound to get side effect. It really was a risk that I took changing. I guess the reason I stayed on it longer than expected was because I was so surprised at how I felt on it. I was million times happier on it, lost weight and Just felt overall better.
I did my research before switching and the drop in ingredients was a small % between Yamsin and Diane. But a lot bigger from Diane to Yaz. My doctor tried to convince me to try Yaz rather than Yasmin but I stuck to my guns.
Diane – (cyproterone 2mg – ethinyl estradiol 0.035mg)
Yasmin (drospirenone 3mg/ethinyl estradiol 0.030mg)
Yaz – drospirenone 3mg /ethinyl estradiol 0.02mg)
cyproterone and drospirenone are both synthetic hormones and very similar. My doctor said the 1mg shouldn’t make a different in fact work on our favor for acne. Not sure if I believe her…
But anyways…that was me personally. I did break out a little in the transition for the first 2 months (I kept a diary and only had entries about acne in September and October). And when I say little it was hardly noticeable small in size and most on my forehead and jawline. And because I was happier and in a better mood it didn’t seem to bother me as much. I guess too because I knew I was switching to something better I was OK to persevere.
I think India, maybe you should google more about the differences and see how you feel about it. Alternatively, you can wean of Diane for a little longer than 6 months.
Let me know what you decide. XX
Frida! Haha, thanks, pumpkin! I would freakin LOVE to get into natural therapies! Sadly, I’m a free-lance English teacher as is stands. I say sadly… I actually love it too. But yes, natural therapies definitely would be a potential calling!
Defo keep updating! And good luck! Thinking of you! 🙂
Hi Christelle and Frida and everyone else,
Ok, so I took Christelle’s advice and have been weaning off Diane35 for the past 5 days instead of cold-turkey. The 3/4 pill is fine, I’ve had a maybe two tiny pimples that went away after 12 hours but thats about it!
I am seriously thinking about switching to Yasmin though. I live in Vietnam where everything and I mean everything is prescription free, and I know Yasmin is one of the staple BC here…my question is – will i still have to take 3/4 of the pill with Yasmine, or a whole pill because it is a slightly lower dosage?
I’m glad for all of your advice – I was off DIane35 cold turkey for two whole days, and immediately I had two rocksolid forehead pimples – I mean, what the?!? Diane is a cold, hard meanie – haha 🙂
Lots of love from Mysterious E 🙂
Holy mohawk (nothing to do with the pill or weaning), I am HOOKED on your website! It’s SO inspiring! You lived in Vientiane? Someone I’m working with at the moment also lived there a few years back. He – and a friend, I think- created a street-art magazine, which was interrupted for a while, but seems to be back on track now, anyway, rambling, probably not the right place to do so, but yup, love the website, and the way you do words. It could almost make me want to leave France… almost 😉
And, to get back to the pill, I certainly wouldn’t suggest transitioning off Dianette and cutting up Yasmin pills at the same time. The reason I say this is because it contains a different progestin component from Dianette, dropspirenone. If you do want to transition onto Yasmin, I wouldn’t do it because it’s a “lower dose” pill, because in fact the dosage of ethinestradiol is still very high (0.030mg – Dianette contains 0.035mg; not much more). I would do it only to transition off cyproterone, which is the nasty nasty stuff in Dianette, the stuff that provokes testosterone surges. But, drospirenone is very dangerous. It can provoke strokes and other cardio-vascular problems, and these tend to occur in the first months after starting it. Maybe the best thing for you to do would just be to plan out how you’re going to wean off Dianette – how many months you want to spend weaning, how your partner feels about it, how you plan to avoid getting pregnant, how you’re going to get hold of Dianette in Germany (I don’t know if it’s legal or not there – in France it’s been banned for health reasons), etc. Perhaps you could just get a whole bunch of packs in Vietnam, and then take them along when you move… I don’t know, Bayer is the laboratory which produces Dianette, so maybe it is legal there… anyway, I suggest thinking all this stuff through, and just being extra patient. But it will work out! I can’t believe it’s been almost one year since I stopped taking the pill, and I feel so much better. But I know the transitional months were necessary.
Good luck sugar plum! Keep me posted! xxxxxxx
Thanks Christelle! I guess I am not so “mysterious” anymore? Haha 🙂 Just saw your comment about my wedding article, and replied too. Yes I did live in Vientiane like your friend – maybe we even know each other – crazy! Thanks for helping me so much with this transition. I will stay on Diane and just wean off – so far, so good. I’ll just stock up on the nasty poison and bring it with me to Germany – but will probably only do 6 months. Hope you are enjoying the warmer weather in France! xx
Hehe, I saw! Yay, we’re mutual followers now hihi – although you’re a way more proliferous blogger than me 🙂
I think 6 months is fine, just make sure you reduce gradually. Can’t wait to hear how you get on! Good luck, and good luck with your moving preparations!
Indeed, this year spring is playing hard to get in Europe, but I don’t want to shun it away with my complaining, so let’s say it’s all good!
That’s wicked news! 🙂
Hi Laura! Are you weaning off dianette? X
Hi India! 🙂
Yeah I’m weaning off dianette, finally after five years of being on it. I’ve posted my story in the comments section a little further up.
Short story is: Tried to give up Dianette cold turkey last year and had a nightmare. Skin broke out badly and hair began to fall out (not really badly, but probably lost about 50% of my hair… I had a lot of hair!) So now trying weaning.
Only in my 2nd week of 3/4 but have had a little bit of a breakout on one side of my face. But when I say breakout, I mean one big red spot and two little ones… It is either down to my body reacting to the lower dosage, or it could be something completely different. Too early to tell but I haven’t had a spot this big and red for a long time though… But I’m going to keep going! 🙂
I’ve cut out most sugar and dairy from my diet, am taking a probiotic everyday, and I’m also drinking peppermint tea. I’m also going to get some dandelion tea as suggested by Christelle.
I’ll be trying to post on here at least every month to keep people updated! 🙂
Definitely worth giving weaning a try if you’re feeling ready! Keep us updated!
Hi there! (Just been reading ALL the comments, and right now I’m thrilled to know there’s a way out of the pill)
I’ve been on dianette for 2 years now, was on Microgynon fo 2 years before but was switched to Dianette because my periods were still heavy – WHY COULD THEY NOT HAVE WARNED ME?!
I’ve been on an anti-candida diet for a year and a half now, and would like to start this out! Christelle – do you think I should take longer to wean off since Dianette is a stronger pill?
Also, would it be harmful/helpful to take vitex during the weaning period?
Thanks for everyone’s help on this thread, you guys may have just been my hormone-savers haha 🙂
Oh, and what supplements do you recommend taking and when?
I think Frida’s comment is very thorough. I would tend to agree with her, as both pills contain anti-androgenic synthetic progestins – drospirenone for Yaz/Yasmin, and cyproterone for Dianette. Yaz and Yasmin are in fact pretty much one and the same thing. The only difference being the dosage of ethin-estradiol, which is slightly lower in Yaz, although really not much lower.
The big difference is that not much is known about drospirenone because it’s very new on the market (only a few years). What we do know is that people on drospirenone have a 600% higher chance of suffering from a stroke or another cardio-vascular accident than people who don’t take this drug.
Dianette is dangerous too. Cyproterone doesn’t have much incidence on cardio-vascular health alone, but mixed with ethin-estradiol, it’s a killer. In France, Diane 35/Dianette has been banned altogether and is now regarded as a health hazard.
If you go to Wikipedia or Google, and type in “cyproterone”, you will see that it’s the drug that is used to treat prostate cancer in men, hirsutism in women, and fun fact, it’s also the drug they get serial rapists to take, as it literally chemically “castrates” them. In short, it’s a very strong anti-androgen. In the cases of cancer and other serious diseases, cyproterone is dished out to patients in high doses. According to the laboratory that produces the drug, this substance is very addictive, and they never just tell patients taking it to simply “come off it”. It’s always reduced gradually. The reason being, if the body suddenly stops absorbing it, it can cause a whole bunch of weird symptoms such as massive surges of testosterone, acne, etc. and even cancer in males. Now, doctors know this is the case for people taking strong doses of cyproterone, but Dianette is considered to contain a weak dose of the drug, and so doctors just tell their patients to come off it cold turkey. Clearly, the 2mgs of cyproterone contained in Dianette DO make a difference, contrary to what Frida’s doctor seems to believe (and I must say, good on you Frida for not believing her!), because otherwise women would just be able to stop Dianette without any problem. This, as we well know, is not the case.
Basically, what I’m saying is, if you do want to wean off Dianette, it will be fine. You just need to take your time.
As regards drospirenone, so far we don’t know if it creates dependency like cyproterone, but I would suggest that even if you do switch to Yasmin/yaz, you wean off too to avoid unnecessary hormone imbalances.
I really hope that helps. If you need any extra info, just go ahead!
Good luck chuck! 🙂
Also, India, just saw your question concerning supplements – I think anything (food or supplement) that promotes liver health will help. Turmeric (you can sprinkle it on your food, or take it in capsule form), burdock root, citrus fruits, artichoke, beets, dandelion leaf extract or tea… lots of water, and exercise helps too. 🙂
Okay great! My liver is pretty awful I know for sure – do you think I should liver cleanse before to avoid issues?
Also I’m thinking of getting a copper iud put in during the transition – my boyfriend (and I for that matter) can’t stand condoms! Do you think this is suitable during the weaning period?
Luckily he’s very supportive of what I’m doing. The infertility horror stories we’ve been reading up about are terrifying, and we both want kids in the future! Only 19, but I guess the sooner I get off this nightmare medication the better, and I can’t wait to feel like a woman again.
Hmm, I don’t know about liver cleansing. Have you read Tracy’s experience? It’s very rock n’roll! No, seriously, I’ve read some hardcore stuff about liver cleansing. I think just being extra kind with your liver should be sufficient. Maybe avoid alcohol for a while, drink lots of water, and stock up on liver-friendly foods. The best foods for your liver are green leafies, garlic, avocados, apples, grapefruit, green tea, and turmeric.
As regards your copper IUD situation, I really would advise you to get professional advice, as I have no knowledge in terms of IUDs. I have a friend who had one put in pretty much right after she gave birth, and she seems to be very happy with it… but I can’t really advise you personally.
My boyfriend and I use condoms. We hated it at first, because, they’re just so… ughffff, but after a while we got used to it, and now I’m learning to figure out the whole family planning method so we can also drop the condoms from time to time, and in the long run I’ll probably invest in a lady-comp, because I’ve heard they are incredible and very intuitive!
Anyhow, good luck with it all! Thinking of you my lovely! 😀
I just wanted to let you know that I’ve heard some infertility stories with copper IUDs so that’s the reason I am not going to be using it too. Like you I thought about, thinking about what I should do once I stop the pill, but now that I am weaning, my hubby just comes out haha! sorry if it’s too much detail. At first we were going to use the condom, but he and I hate it so that’s what we do. I know it’s not 100% safe but we’ve already talked about it and if I have a kid then so be it. I mean we just got married and I am only 23 so I totally do not feel ready to have a baby yet, but i dont know, like you I am scared of becoming infertile. Good luck on your weaning, so happy that you have joined the club! 🙂
I totally agree… Dont switch pills if it’s just to wean. I switched to Yasmin stayed on it for 2 years then weaned. This allowed my body to get use to the changes from switching first… then wean off. Though as I mentioned I was only meant to stay on for a year.
There are a few girls here who have weaned off Diane but they did take a little longer. Either way it might work out the same (time wise).
OH GOSH I only have 6 days left of taking the pill. Might as well update:
**UPDATE** I only have one active pimple on my face. Size wise? It’s small.
I have really sore breasts and my stomach hurts so I guess my period is coming. I have my bottle of Vitex ready and have been taking a good probiotic.
I keep suffering from thrush though 🙁 it’s horrible and this time around its worse than usual. I must have flora issues big time. I’ll try this candida diet.
ANYWAYS that’s it. I wish I had more to say but since dropping down to 1/2 then 3/4 not much has changed. Most of the changes I felt was on 3/4 and for me that was the worst of it. It just got better from there. I’m generally a lot happier too. I feel like myself more and more everyday.
Im really scared to finish up to be honest. Ive been taking these little things for so long, relying on them to keep my skin at bay.
Oh well… Last time i quit CT the bad skin started to come back slowly from the first natural period. So we’ll see I guess…
Fridaaaa! That’s SUCH good news! It’s so funny because last night, as I was going to bed, and running through my checklist of things to do before going to sleep (I was very tired, bear in mind), I had a split second reflex “did you take your pill”, and then, “oh, of course not, you don’t take that anymore”. It’s been almost a year since I popped one, and yet the habit hasn’t totally stopped haunting me hehehe!
Concerning thrush, yes, it’s a real pain. When I transitioned from Diane 35 to Jasmin (years ago, in 2006), I suffered from thrush and urinary tract infections almost every month. At one point it peaked and I was suffering from both at the same time. I thought I would have to go through that forever. I later learned that thrush is developed when women take high estrogen BC pills (but in sensitive women any BC pill can cause it), because the high levels of estrogen mess with your gut flora and stop B-vitamins from getting into your blood flow. There’s something about that and blood-sugar, and the fact that your vaginal and gut flora is so depleted that causes candida/thrush to multiply, and before you know it you’re suffering. Probiotics/kefir can save your life, and then maybe a good B-vitamin supplement or a multi-vitamin might help get you back on track. Anti-candida diets are good too, I’m sure, at least to kick-start the healing process. Coconut oil is anti-fungal too, so maybe throw some in your morning smoothies.
Good luck chuck! You’re almost there! 🙂