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lmontgom

Quitting Bcp Altogether?

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Hey everyone. I was just wondering if I don't have hormonal acne (I never break out more around my period, and I had my hormone levels checked a few years ago and they were perfectly normal), will going off birth control have any effect whatsoever? I'm currently on Junel FE 1/20 (a generic for Lo Estrin), and I've been on the pill for about 8 years non-stop. I've tried many different brands, none of which really did much for my skin, so I stayed with Lo Estrin since it had minimal side effects on my body. I'm nervous that cutting the pill out cold turkey will wreak havoc on my skin, but I'm also curious to see if the pill has been contributing to the problem all along. What do you guys think? Could quitting BCP altogether be beneficial to my skin, or would it cause more harm than good?

Thanks for feedback!

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I think you have to experience that yourself. Sometimes quitting BCP causes a hormonal disbalance which might take your body some time to recover from, and yes your skin could go haywire during that time.

But still, it could also be your BCP which is causing and maintaining your acne.

I guess nobody can give you an answer, and you have to discover it yourself.

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Loestrin actually could be contributing to your skin problems. I started Loestrin 24 fe a few months ago and have been breaking out like never before! The type of progestin that Loestrin uses is actually very androgenic compared to other pills and could easily be the source of your acne. I always break out a little bit--3 weeks maybe?--after stopping the pill, but it's never too serious. After that, my skin gets back to normal and is very clear! It's worth a shot to take a break from it!

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Thanks for the responses so far. Pocketfullofsunshine - do you mean that you break out for three weeks after you stop taking the pill, or it takes three weeks for you to start breaking out? Basically just wondering if I'll see results (positive or negative) immediately, or if it will take a while for me to notice any kind of difference. Thanks!

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Thanks for the responses so far. Pocketfullofsunshine - do you mean that you break out for three weeks after you stop taking the pill, or it takes three weeks for you to start breaking out? Basically just wondering if I'll see results (positive or negative) immediately, or if it will take a while for me to notice any kind of difference. Thanks!

When I was taking Ortho Tri Cyclen, it broke me out and I stopped after about a year. My skin broke out for about 3 weeks after I stopped the pill, so basically it had calmed down and was pretty clear again after I'd been off the pill for a month. It just takes a little while for your body to adjust to the hormone level being changed. It might have been a little different for me because I had clear skin before the pill and was just returning to that instead of some people who actually break out when they're not on the pill, so my experience might have been a little milder. From my experience on Loestrin though, I'd say that it's absolutely worth it to see how your skin looks after quitting the pill, but I'd give it a few months of being off of it before coming to a conclusion. If you're concerned about an initial breakout, you could always start Spiro before you stop your BC to give yourself a little buffer and then wean yourself off of it slowly to see how your skin does.

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Thanks for the responses so far. Pocketfullofsunshine - do you mean that you break out for three weeks after you stop taking the pill, or it takes three weeks for you to start breaking out? Basically just wondering if I'll see results (positive or negative) immediately, or if it will take a while for me to notice any kind of difference. Thanks!

When I was taking Ortho Tri Cyclen, it broke me out and I stopped after about a year. My skin broke out for about 3 weeks after I stopped the pill, so basically it had calmed down and was pretty clear again after I'd been off the pill for a month. It just takes a little while for your body to adjust to the hormone level being changed. It might have been a little different for me because I had clear skin before the pill and was just returning to that instead of some people who actually break out when they're not on the pill, so my experience might have been a little milder. From my experience on Loestrin though, I'd say that it's absolutely worth it to see how your skin looks after quitting the pill, but I'd give it a few months of being off of it before coming to a conclusion. If you're concerned about an initial breakout, you could always start Spiro before you stop your BC to give yourself a little buffer and then wean yourself off of it slowly to see how your skin does.

How long did it take you to start breaking out after stopping the pill? Was it a pretty immediate reaction, like within a few days of when you should have started a new pack, or did it take a little longer for your skin to react to being off the pill? Thanks so much for your help so far!

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The pill itself broke me out with cystic acne, so that continued for those three weeks until the effects of the pill wore off. A few days after I stopped the pill and up until the 3 week mark, I broke out with smaller pimples that were closer to the surface of my skin, which is what I'm getting now, since I've been off Loestrin for about a week. They're similar to cysts in the fact that they're a bit painful and that they're sort of the oily ones (ew) but they're not very deep and can usually popped at night and be gone within a day or so. I have been getting a few of them though, but nothing horrible! They're really pretty mild! If you get a Zeno hotspot and zap them after you pop them, it speeds everything right up!

And no problem! I hope everything works out! You might be surprised to find that your skin clears up a lot when you're not on the pill!

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So I've been off the Lo Estrin for about 2 weeks (3 if you count the placebo week), and I haven't noticed any change whatsoever. For those of you who have gone off birth control, did you notice a difference (either positive or negative) immediately, or did it take a while before you started seeing a change (like over a period of a few months)? I know it takes a while for your system to fully react to hormonal changes, but should I still expect to see a difference down the line if I haven't seen any evidence so far? Thanks!

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So I've been off the Lo Estrin for about 2 weeks (3 if you count the placebo week), and I haven't noticed any change whatsoever. For those of you who have gone off birth control, did you notice a difference (either positive or negative) immediately, or did it take a while before you started seeing a change (like over a period of a few months)? I know it takes a while for your system to fully react to hormonal changes, but should I still expect to see a difference down the line if I haven't seen any evidence so far? Thanks!

If a breakout's going to happen, many women don't see it until about month 3-4 off BCP.

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So I've been off the Lo Estrin for about 2 weeks (3 if you count the placebo week), and I haven't noticed any change whatsoever. For those of you who have gone off birth control, did you notice a difference (either positive or negative) immediately, or did it take a while before you started seeing a change (like over a period of a few months)? I know it takes a while for your system to fully react to hormonal changes, but should I still expect to see a difference down the line if I haven't seen any evidence so far? Thanks!

If a breakout's going to happen, many women don't see it until about month 3-4 off BCP.

Thanks, Green Gables. I kind of figured it might take a while to see changes. At the same time, I was wondering if you don't see improvements quickly (ie. a month or so), does that mean you won't see any gradual improvements down the line? I hope my question makes sense. I also thought that birth control contributed to post-acne red marks, which I had stopped getting for a while, but in the last few weeks (ever since I went off the pill), I've been getting a lot of red marks.

Anyway, I think I'm going to go back on the Lo Estrin next month. I've been changing a lot of things in order to help my skin (I started taking Zinc, I went gluten free, I started taking Wellbutrin yesterday for my depression), and I think that changing too many things at once will make it hard to analyze what's beneficial for my skin and what's detrimental. I want to establish a baseline in order to tell if things are working, or if they're making my skin worse. Will the month I'm taking off BCP really screw with my hormones, or do you have to be off for a while in order for it to really effect your hormone levels?

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So I've been off the Lo Estrin for about 2 weeks (3 if you count the placebo week), and I haven't noticed any change whatsoever. For those of you who have gone off birth control, did you notice a difference (either positive or negative) immediately, or did it take a while before you started seeing a change (like over a period of a few months)? I know it takes a while for your system to fully react to hormonal changes, but should I still expect to see a difference down the line if I haven't seen any evidence so far? Thanks!

If a breakout's going to happen, many women don't see it until about month 3-4 off BCP.

Thanks, Green Gables. I kind of figured it might take a while to see changes. At the same time, I was wondering if you don't see improvements quickly (ie. a month or so), does that mean you won't see any gradual improvements down the line? I hope my question makes sense. I also thought that birth control contributed to post-acne red marks, which I had stopped getting for a while, but in the last few weeks (ever since I went off the pill), I've been getting a lot of red marks.

Anyway, I think I'm going to go back on the Lo Estrin next month. I've been changing a lot of things in order to help my skin (I started taking Zinc, I went gluten free, I started taking Wellbutrin yesterday for my depression), and I think that changing too many things at once will make it hard to analyze what's beneficial for my skin and what's detrimental. I want to establish a baseline in order to tell if things are working, or if they're making my skin worse. Will the month I'm taking off BCP really screw with my hormones, or do you have to be off for a while in order for it to really effect your hormone levels?

If you get right back on it in a month, it might not do too much.

I am on anti-androgen hormonal treatment and I did not see ANY skin improvements until month 4. It can take a long time for the skin on your face to "register" what is happening with your hormones.

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So I talked to my doctor today and she said that going off the pill for a month might mess with your periods for a little while (I guess as your schedule adjusts back), but it shouldn't do too much to your hormones. Since I just stated taking Wellbutrin and Zinc, which have an effect on your hormones, so I'm still kind of nervous that this month I've taken off will have more of an effect, especially since I've been breaking out more and more lately. I just hope going back on the pill in a couple weeks will help.

Has anyone here gone off the pill for a short amount of time (like a month) and if so, did you see any noticeable effect that had on your skin?

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Well Lo Estrin for me was awful it broke me out terrible going on and coming off as has any other form off birth control. You dont breakout right away when coming off though hun its usually 3 months espec if you have been on for say a year or so. Mine is hormone related therefore I have an imbalance and they say that one time you will come off the pill and your acne wont return as your hormones will have been jumpstarted but its yet to happen for me. If your acne isnt to bad you may not break out so bad but you are going to want to find an alternative unless your acne is managable with topicals, washes etc.

All the best to ya! xx

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Thanks for all the replies. My main question is if it takes a long time to see improvements when you go off the pill. For example, if it takes a few months for most women to see a breakout from stopping the pill, does it also take a few months to start seeing positive results from stopping the pill? Thanks!

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So I've been back on the pill for about a week and a half, and I'm breaking out in places that I usually don't. I'm inclined to think that it's because of the pill, even though I never broke out like this while I was on it before - it's not horrible, but it's worse than it was before I stopped taking the pill in September. The only thing is that the breakouts and bumps tend to be kind of itchy, which has never happened before. I also started taking Zoloft a week ago, but I think this breakout started before I began the Zoloft so I don't really think it's that.

Do you think my skin will return to normal soon, once my body reacclimates to the pill? Or is it possible that going back on the pill (even if being off for only one month) will just continue to break me out?

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i was on the pill (ortho-tri-cyclen and then its generic) for years and my acne got worse and worse. i was put on yaz for a few months and got a phlebitis in my arm and had to stop taking them and my face got a lot better. it was clear for about 2 years before i started breaking out again but i dont get the really bad cystic breakouts that i was getting while on the pill. good luck!!

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My doctor wants me to come off Yasmin in a month, and I'm absolutely terrified!!! I've read so many stories, and I am so scared of my acne returning , and getting those hard painful cysts!!! I've only been on it for 8 months, but my derm said its best to come off it now and use Epiduo to maintain the acne. I've been clear for about 6 months now, I've had tiny breakouts occasionally along my jawline but nothing I can't manage. I really am having a panic attack about coming off the pill now, I don't want to rely on bcp for the rest of my life. For those that have come off, did your acne get worse than it was before you went on bcp? or did your acne return but not as severe/painful?

I'm thinking that as soon as I go off and my acne gets bad, I'm going to go straight back on yasmin. I seriously can't handle having bad skin anymore and I want to be clear for my sisters wedding. I've also heard of people taking zinc a month or so before they come off to prevent a breakout? anyone heard of this?

hayley xx

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Like Green Gables mentioned already -- hormone changes take a long time.

I've been on almost every low does BCP out there (including Loestrin). I had clear skin until I quit the last one I was on. It took 4-6 months to reach the point where my hormones leveled and I could tell how my body reacted to quitting. Just like it usually takes 4-6 months for a BCP or other hormone therapy to clear you. A week and a half is not long enough to tell if you are going to continue breaking out or how your body will react. This might just be an initial breakout or temporary hormone shock.

Acne rashes are a side effect of Zoloft. If you knew you were already making the hormonal changes you should have waited longer before adding in another medication that might negatively affect your skin.

Please please give your hormones time to adjust if you are trying to make changes. If you're not willing to be patient, you probably shouldn't be messing with them.

Like I said, the itchiness began before I even started taking the Zoloft, so I'm pretty sure that it's not the cause. I was on Wellbutrin for four days before I started taking Zoloft and I believe that the Wellbutrin caused an acne rash, and that's not what this is. The reason I started taking Zoloft around the same time that I went back on the pill was because I had only taken a month off. Saying what I should have done in hindsight isn't really the kind of constructive advice I was looking for when I started this topic - I just wanted to know people's experiences with stopping (and starting) the pill. I'm willing to be patient and see for myself how things progress, but there's no harm in asking questions in the meantime.

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Don't worry, it'll all be okay! (: Why does your doctor want you to get off Yasmin and use Epiduo? If you like Yasmin and it's working for you, I don't know why you would stop just because he/she wants you on topicals instead. Ultimately it's your body and your choice. If your doctor doesn't want you to have a say, it's time to find a new doctor.

I don't want to scare you more but I had much worse acne after stopping BCP than before I started... this doesn't mean it will happen to you, but since your body has been given synthetic progestin and estrogen and has become reliant on this, it will most likely react badly when it's taken away.

Topicals (even prescription) have never worked for me. I really am starting to think that adult acne is a more complex internal issue. If a hormonal treatment has helped it for you, it's almost definitely a hormonal issue, IMO. If you do choose to stop BCP, there are other hormonal treatments that you can try and that might even help the transition off of the pills. (:

Thanks for your reply :) My derm just said she wants me to have a break from yasmin, I kind of want to go off it too, mainly because I'm scared my body will depend on it, then when I end up coming off in the future things will be much worse. I am tempted to stay on it for a few more years, but from what I've read girls who've been on it for a long period of time have really irregular periods and their acne worsens. I think I might find another derm for more advice. It is definitely a hormonal issue..I have PCOS:( really hope that doesn't mean I'll be coping with acne for the rest of my life!! So are you not on BCP anymore? How is your acne? I'm thinking about taking some hormonal supplements as soon as I come off the pill to lessen the initial breakout. I've tried vitex in the past, did not work at all for me so I guess I need to research into it a bit more!

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Like I said, the itchiness began before I even started taking the Zoloft, so I'm pretty sure that it's not the cause. I was on Wellbutrin for four days before I started taking Zoloft and I believe that the Wellbutrin caused an acne rash, and that's not what this is. The reason I started taking Zoloft around the same time that I went back on the pill was because I had only taken a month off. Saying what I should have done in hindsight isn't really the kind of constructive advice I was looking for when I started this topic - I just wanted to know people's experiences with stopping (and starting) the pill. I'm willing to be patient and see for myself how things progress, but there's no harm in asking questions in the meantime.

Wow, sorry for trying to help. The reason I brought up what should have been done in hindsight was not just for you, but others who seem to think that hormone changes happen over night. Questions have been coming up over and over on this board relating to the time BCP, spiro, etc take to start seeing results.

You said you thought the rash/breakout was happening before, but you didn't sound confident. Whatever dude, good luck to you.

Thanks for your reply smile.png My derm just said she wants me to have a break from yasmin, I kind of want to go off it too, mainly because I'm scared my body will depend on it, then when I end up coming off in the future things will be much worse. I am tempted to stay on it for a few more years, but from what I've read girls who've been on it for a long period of time have really irregular periods and their acne worsens. I think I might find another derm for more advice. It is definitely a hormonal issue..I have PCOS:( really hope that doesn't mean I'll be coping with acne for the rest of my life!! So are you not on BCP anymore? How is your acne? I'm thinking about taking some hormonal supplements as soon as I come off the pill to lessen the initial breakout. I've tried vitex in the past, did not work at all for me so I guess I need to research into it a bit more!

I totally understand. It seems like even though medications have benefits, they also almost always have side effects that pop-up down the road.

After the bad breakouts I got after stopping BCP, I was put on spironolactone because I didn't know what else to do. Though it cleared my acne completely, I got bad side effects so I have cut down my dose. I also don't like that it's still synthetic. I am now around 75-85% clear after cutting down.

I have started a small dose of natural progesterone cream and it's been amazing so far, but I haven't been on it long enough to know if it'll clear me up all the way. If it does the trick I'd like to ditch spiro completely and only use the cream. You can learn more about natural progesterone in Green Gable's post here. Spiro might be another thing to look into as it is commonly prescribed for PCOS, and not everyone gets the side effects that I did. Saw Palmetto is an OTC supplement which sounds like it acts similarly to spiro at the right formula and dose. Hope that helps a little! (:

Thanks that really helps:) I'm about 95% clear right now on BCP, which is why I'm so worried. I never even thought about using a progesterone cream. What cream are you using was it prescribed to you? I don't know much about progesterone creams, do you think it would be a good idea to use it straight after coming off the pill? I think I might ask my doctor about spiro too. Glad to hear that things are improving for you though:)

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Natural progesterone cream is over the counter. You do not need a prescription -- the "progestin" like Provera that is prescribed by doctors is a synthetic version, and acts differently such as causing side effects and birth defects. However, I read that you can actually keep taking natural progesterone cream while pregnant and it can help with PPD and other things. I got mine at the health food store (any Sprouts, Whole Foods, Good Earth, etc should have it) and the one I bought is called Emerita Pro-Gest. There are different brands at the store, and also some you can buy online that look really good. Just make sure you are buying a USP grade and one that contains no parabens.

If you want my opinion for coming off of the pill, I would do it slowly instead of cold turkey. Again, this is just my opinion.... While slowly reducing BCP, gradually supplement in what you're switching to, whether it be spiro or the cream. If you are going to use the cream, start in the second half of your BCP pack. When starting the cream, it can initially cause estrogen dominance symptoms because the progesterone stimulates the estrogen receptors causing a "wake up." This should only be temporary, however. I broke out when starting but the breakout I got from it is completely clear now, and I am still only using 1/4 the dose of cream.

Anyway, I don't mean to hijack the "Quitting BCP" thread! If you have any more questions feel free to PM me or start a new topic. (:

hey there,

sorry I was just wanting to ask, you mentioned coming off the pill slowly, I've heard of people doing that before but would that mean like cutting each pill in half ? I'm considering coming off diane35 but im not even clear on it and i don't know what my body is like without a birth control pill at all but I do know without diane things were a disaster so I have no idea what to do :/

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this thread has been really helpful. I was reading baout taking some supplements the other day, has anyone heard of dogn quai or wild yam extract? I've read lots of positive things about these herbs, and was thinking to supplement as soon as I come off my bcps. I'm so confused on which herbs to go for though, I don't want to take too many at a time, can anyone help? thanks:)

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