Side Effects of Going Off Birth Control Pills


Birth control pills are medication taken daily by women to prevent pregnancy. By harnessing the power of hormones, such as estrogen and progestin, birth control pills work by preventing ovulation. Before you discontinue the use of birth control pills, it's important to know what side effects you may experience.


The hormonal ingredients of birth control pills help control oily skin. Skin may not have been prone to blemishes while using contraceptives. However, discontinued use of the pill may result in skin rashes and acne breakouts. This is due to an increase in the skin's oil production after hormone levels are reduced.

Menstrual Changes

Missing menstruation cycles or episodes of break-through bleeding may occur after stopping the pill. These effects are a result of menstrual cycles adapting to the reduction in hormone levels. Cycles may return to pre-contraceptive patterns after the pill is stopped. The time period for menstrual regulation fluctuates among women. In fact, it can take women anywhere from six months to a year for normal periods and ovulation to resume.

Low Libido

Some women may have noticed an increased libido when taking birth control pills. Decreased sex drive is another possible side effect of stopping the pill due to reduced hormone levels that regulate sex drive. The duration of this effect varies, and does not affect all women.


Depression is the most commonly reported side effect after going off birth control pills. The change in hormones being introduced into the body causes increased anxiety levels. Women also complain of being easily overcome with emotion, increased feelings of unhappiness, and irritability. These effects vary among women, so there is no definitive duration of effects.

Weight gain

Some women notice weight gain after they start taking the pill. Once one ceases taking the contraceptive, however, this weight is not necessarily lost. Women have reported gaining additional weight due to the hormonal fluctuation. Others have lost weight or noticed no change after stopping the pill. Therefore, this side effect has not been uniformly reported by women.


Not all women experience side effects after discontinuing the use of birth control pill. The listed side effects' duration and severity vary among women, depending on the type of contraceptive product used. Consult with a physician if you are experiencing severe cases of discomfort after stopping birth control pills.

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