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Come off Pill after 10 years- whats been your experience?

Hello all, I came off the pill after nearly 10 whole years at Xmas (took last pill on xmas eve). 

Although I was supposed to, I only ever took the 7 day gap between pill packs when I needed a period ahead of a smear (mine I every 2 years because the results always come back with abnormal cells). So, 10 years- 5 periods. Then, in October last year, hubby and I did a total U turn on not having kids and now want to get my cycle back to normal ahead of TTC.

After the last pill I had a period as normal (mix of actual period blood and some bright red stuff I think the body sheds cos it feels it should!). Since then the only activity has been;

A week of waking up drenched in sweat- literally sweating through to the mattress :( May not be related but I was in no way ill,

The week before last I was bloated all week, 4 pounds of bloat per the scales, then went back to normal,

A week at end of Jan when I could not stop stuffing chocolate down my face- seriously, it was ridiculous (in the past I have craved choc and bloated pre- period),

A few days here and there where I've had a tiny, tiny amount of brown discharge.

Has anyone else come off the pill after a long time and had similar experiences? How long did it take for your periods to come back? I'd have thought, that in 2 months, I'd have had a period?!

How long should I wait to go see a nurse or doc? After the 4 month mark?

I'm concerned! Pre- pill my cycles were like clockwork- could literally tell the day and hour that my period would arrive.

Anyone else's experience or knowledge in this area would be gratefully received. Thanks in advance!


  • Jenni8Jenni8 Posts: 3,201

    I would suggest that your GP will advise waiting 6 months, but would be tempted to see them sooner, yes maybe 4 months. Can you request a phone call from the Dr to get their advice on when you should expect to be back to normal, to save a wasted trip for both you and the GP? I can take a while for your hormone balance to go back to how it is naturally, especially after such a long time with very few breaks. 

    All your symptoms of coming off sound normal for hormonal changes. 

  • I have a friend who is going through similar. The dr said it can take up to a year for the pill to leave your system. What you have explained sounds like your body is trying to adjust to having different levels of hormones and things. I'd say no harm popping to the dr they can just advise you  I hope your cycles settle and it doesn't take too long! X

  • bella2015bella2015 Posts: 1,903 New bride

    I did the same and never really had a break whilst on the pill either.

    I had a horrendous time coming off the pill. I've now been off it since October and I've had 2 periods during that time- my cycle lengths have been 48 and 66 days so very long. At the moment I'm doubtful as to whether they;ll ever get back into a regular pattern. The bleeding that you had coming off would have been a withdrawal bleed and not a proper period (I had this too, about a week after stopping).

    I was an emotional wreck in the 2 months coming off it- I felt angry and irritated a lot of the time for no real reason and anything would set me off crying - for example one day I saw a squirrel in the road that had been run over and that was enough to set me off for most of the day

    Things have got better since but I am eating a ridiculous amount and feel hungry all the time, my skin is not great either and very oily. I'm also bloated a lot of the time but have noticed a really good improvement in my IBS.

    I haven't seen a doctor yet but I probably will as the lack of periods is very annoying. I am not TTC at the moment (prob will be later this year, did try up until Jan this year but had no luck but due to work circumstances this is now on hold) but it's very annoying trying to plan anything as I have no idea when to expect my period - for example I am going on holiday in May and for the first time in years am not taking hormonal contraception and dreading the thought I may get my period whilst we're away??

  • Emma417Emma417 Posts: 241

    I came off the pill in October after 14 years and haven't had any bleeding at all yet. Whilst on pill for last 8 months of it I barely had one either. 

    I'd suggest it's too soon to go docs as I suspect they won't do much yet, but if you need some reassurance then go. If things don't improve they'll do blood tests to check hormone levels. 

    When we've been taking hormones for so long it is going to take some getting used to for our bodies, they need time to adapt and everyone is different.


  • I've had friends who have taken six months for their period to return. I think it takes a long time for your body to get back into the swing of things but would speak to a GP as you didn't take pill gaps as recommended: personally I'd like to understand what the side effects of that could be. 

  • DollyBDollyB Posts: 1,756 New bride

    I came off the pill in 2014 after 10 years of being on it and it took my periods 14 months to come back regularly and that was with medication.

    I came off in August, had no bleed at all until Feb, then no bleed again until the end of August. It turns out my pill had been masking pcos and other issues so I am more of an unusual case but unfortunately it can take your body a while to get into a rhythm after the pill. Having said that there are lots of ladies on here who once their first bleed happened, then fell into a regular pattern very quickly.

    my experience of the doctors is that they really show very little interest until at least 6 months and even then they're not that bothered. My doctors wanted to make me wait a year before doing anything but luckily I managed to persuade them to get the ball moving after about 7 months. I know how stressful it can all feel and how infuriating it is wishing for something you've spent most of your adult life Avoiding lol!! 

    I hope you have luck with your cycles soon! 

  • Lou85Lou85 Posts: 1,863 New bride

    Hi lovely, I was lucky as my cycles went back to normal after ten years. But my friend had issues and like Dolly, being on the pill was masking PCOS. Don't want to scare you but I would push for a doctors appointment to rule this out. Could you tell a little white lie?

  • MrsTwizbeMrsTwizbe Posts: 3,352 New bride

    I am assuming you've taken a pregnancy test just in case? I know someone who has fallen pregnant the moment they stopped taking any contraceptives.

    I was on the pill for 10 years and returned to normal straight away, but it can take a bit longer for others.

    How old are you? if you are over 30 I would get to the docs now and not leave until they take you seriously. Unfortunately with anything TTC related docs can be really pants and you have to push quite hard.

  • I went to see a Dr/nurse last week as i'll be going back on the pill after 5 years. Due to the fact that I need to finish my studies after the wedding, we can't afford to get pregnant. I was concerned about what my fertility would be like if I went back on it for a few tears and was told by the nurse that the Pill does not affect your chances of having a baby. That the difficulties only lie if there was previous undiagnosed issue before you took the pill but lay doormat because the pill masked it. My mum is extremley fertile and has had pregnancies up until 2 years ago (aged 47). I already have a child but will be looking to stop taking the pill within the next 3 years.

    Speak to your Gp and never take anyone else's experience as a blue print for what yours will be like. All the best :-)

  • Lily31Lily31 Posts: 128

    I am the same as some others above - just had my period after a year of coming off pill almost exactly to the day. I got diagnosed with PCOS just before Christmas and endocrinologist put me on Metformin to reduce my testosterone levels 2 weeks ago. Seems to have worked. I doubt I'll be regular thou as I never Have been. 

  • Sarah 39Sarah 39 Posts: 691

    I came off the pill after 14 years last July and my cycles are still irregular. After a 2 day period last month I started to really worry so my husband made me a doctors appointment - I refused to do it myself because I thought I'd just be wasting everyone's time! Anyway, today I saw the doctor and she was so nice and has arranged for me to have blood tests on certain days of my cycle to make sure everything is OK. Admittedly, I cried during my appointment and I think that's the main reason she's letting me have some tests! 

    Anyway, to get to the point, see your GP even if it's just to put your mind at rest. 

  • BekhaGBekhaG Posts: 586 New bride

    Thank you so much everyone for your replies, I'm so touched by the volume of responses xx Will digest and feed back xx

  • RobynxxRobynxx Posts: 658


    i came off my pill in Aug after being on it for 11 years, I got my first period in December. From Aug-Dec I had awful bloating and ate everything in diet but no period! But now back to a regular cycLe. 

    The doc won't want to see you until 6 -12 months I'm afraid but if it will put your mind at rest just book an appointment. 

    Good luck! 

  • BekhaGBekhaG Posts: 586 New bride

    Hi everyone, thank you again for your replies. So after just over 2 months with no period I did a pregnancy test just in case (although hubby and I are still using condoms and are very careful so I was 99.9% I wasn't pregnant) and it was negative. Then a week later on March 8th a period started and it still hasn't ended grrrr In fact, the last few days its been so heavy I'm soaking through super plus tampons in an hour. Its been nearly 7 whole weeks now, totally doing my head in.

    In these last 7 weeks I've also had horrendous mood swings, bloating on and off, vaginal discharge on the days when the period flow has been lighter- I've been all over the place basically.

    I went to see a GP last week because the NHS website says that if you bleed for more than 10 days, even after coming off the pill after years of being on, go see a GP and she made me feel like I was totally wasting her time. Nice. She's tested me for STIs ('just in case', all results negative. I have been tested a few times before), looked at my cervix and said it 'looks fine' and told me to wait another 6 months. Great :(

    I mentioned that my mum went into menopause at a younger age than I am now (I'm 33, my mum's menopause started after she had me at 30- v early) and although her eyebrows shot up she didn't take me up on my suggestion to be referred for proper testing for the menopause. Obvs if I am in menopause would start trying sooner than we are currently planning on doing.

    Just feel I'm stuck bleeding forever now (I know I'm being dramatic but 7 weeks?!?!). Glad others have had symptoms all over the place after coming off the pill. Hopefully mine will settle down soon.

  • JdotJJdotJ Posts: 196 New bride

    I was on the pill from the age of 13 (I had endometriosis which went undetected then due to my age and was dismissed by doctors even though I knew I had it even then) and went on it to try and control the "odd" symptoms I was having. When I came off at 19,  I didn't have a period for 2 years. I spent the best part of 10 years going back and forth insisting something was wrong with me and being ignored as I was young, before paying to go private and find out I was in fact right after nearly 15 years (since my periods had started) that I did have endo.

    Obviously my symptoms will be very different coming off as I did have something wrong, but coming off it after such a long time, there is no "normal" as such. It may just be your body trying to regulate itself after being on the pill for such a long time, it will take a while. Don't panic by trying to go back on it as it will only mess your body up even more, just give it time. I know i'm no doctor but i've been through what you have, and there's nothing worse than bleeding every single day, it gets you down (mine was 3 months at the longest). There are special pills that are there to stop bleeding, but if you're trying to get your body back to normal this may not be the best advice, unfortunately i'm immune to all pills now and bleed constantly when taking, no matter what kind, that's what being on it for so long did! Best advice... just try and give it time and try not to get too worked up about it either as that won't help either. If you want to chat just send me a DM


  • BekhaGBekhaG Posts: 586 New bride

    Well, things haven't improved since the 7 weeker. It finally ended with 5 days of bleeding so heavily I was soaking through a super plus tampon, heavy towel and my clothes every hour, on the hour. I couldn't get to the loo quick enough to change my protection before leaking again and it was gushing out so much every time I did change I ended up spending most of my days on the loo. Honestly, there was blood everywhere- it was like birthing a farm animal every time I went to change :(

    Then I had 5 weeks between that and the next period, where my symptoms were like this;

    2/ 3 days no symptoms,

    2/ 3 days of bloating,

    2/ 3 deals feeling like utter shit- tired, ratty, exhausted, unable to concentrate. 

    Repeat, over and over for 5 weeks. Plus I felt dizzy and faint every day.

    Then I had a 5 day period as normal but again, it was horrific. It was so heavy I ended up having leave to work again (leaked through clothes an hour after changing my towel and tampon) and sat naked on the loo working on my laptop for the afternoon and just bled straight into the loo- it was easier!!

    I was then due on again 6th July but so far, no period. Since that last one I've had no bloating but days and odd week where have felt like utter shit- tired, ratty, exhausted, unable to concentrate etc. with sporadic dizzyness and feeling faint. I'm not pregnant cos we're still using condoms.

    I just don't know whats going on :( Saw a Dr again (a male one this time) after my last period and he said he would have expected my cycle to have calmed down by now and just wait and see over the next few months if it does :(

    I want to start TTC now, as I'm worried its going to take a loooong time with my 'cycle' like this (2 periods in 6.5 months isn't a lot of chances to catch on!) but my husband is adamant he isn't ready to try yet and wants to wait till the new year like we originally agreed. Its frustrating but I can't force him to try before he's ready.

    Its really worrying me and frankly, other than when I'm at work, its all I think about 24/7- when will my cycle calm down, will my period be as horrendous again, will we actually be able to get pregnant? Over and over.

    I just don't think men get this same desire to be a parent as women do. Its so strong its become all consuming- I feel like Charlotte from sex and the city!!!

    Sorry to go on, just worried and slightly stressed and hoping I do eventually conceive despite my 'cycle'!

  • Pf2016Pf2016 Posts: 824 New bride

    Bekha I don't really have any advice but that cycle and heavy bleeding sounds awful so you have my sympathies.  I am surprised you're bleeding so heavily and the doctors don't seem fussed but they are the experts, not me.  I understand you wanting to get going trying sooner rather than later, but at least if you wait, as per your husband's preference, you can give your cycle as long as possible to get regular.  That way, once you are TTC, you will hopefully be in a regular cycle, which sounds like it will be a lot easier on you psychologically than just trying and not knowing where the hell you are in your cycle.

    I hope you get back on track soon though.  If you feel that the doctors aren't taking you seriously, I would go back and reiterate the point about your mum's menopause, because if you're also at risk of an early menopause then you need to push them to investigate sooner rather than later.

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