Have you entered the Ball giveaway yet?  If you’re interested in learning more about canning, a sweet reader named Erin recommends this book (which I have and like, too) as well as this recipe from TPW for strawberry jam!


If you follow me on Twitter, you know I received some VERY. EPIC. NEWS. earlier!  I’m not sure I can reveal exactly what it is YET, but I can say it has something to do with the book releaseHave you ever been so excited about something that you literally jumped up and down and screamed your face off?   Yes.  That is exactly what I did.  In fact, I screamed hysterically for FOURTEEN MINUTES.  I know this because when I finally sat back down to look at the email again, it said the message was 14 minutes old.  🙂

IMG_8863 IMG_8864

Hahah REAL photos snapped by the Husband.  You can’t fake that kind of joy.  (I’m facing the window screaming hysterically in the second one.)


OK- onto food!


Working-from-home Husband was responsible for lunch.


He made a tortilla with fruit, veg, and an eggplant spread.  It looks like a weird combo but it works!



Plus, a banana + 1/2 an apple:


Snackage was some almonds!


The Big Birth Control Question


So – today is an interesting day all around!  Today is actually my first day in TEN YEARS going hormone-free.  Yup, I finally kicked birth control pills to the curb after being on them since 2000.


A while back, I wrote a post about how I was concerned being on birth control might be covering up other problems, like amenorrhea.  There was a wonderful discussion in the comments section about natural birth control methods and other concerns (seriously, check it out; the comments were great).


At the urging of many of the commenters, I bought Taking Charge of Your Fertility, which promotes the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM).  There’s a great supplementary website here if you have any questions. FAM is NOT the rhythm method; it’s actually a very exact method of determining ovulation so you can avoid or achieve pregnancy (we’re avoiding right now).   If used correctly, there is a 95% success rate!

I’m about halfway through the book, but it’s convinced me to go off birth control (which was my goal) and start tracking my temperatures on a daily basis so I can figure out my cycle (and in the meantime, we’ll be using back-up birth control; don’t worry).  FAM is – hopefully – going to allow me to go off birth control, which my body never liked, without worrying about putting a bun in my oven.


Taking my temperature every morning before getting out of bed is kind of annoying, but I’m getting used to it.  There’s other stuff involved, too, but I’m still learning about that.


Some thoughts:


  • Birth control pills are AWESOME in many ways.  I would definitely say that you should go or stay on birth control pills if you’re sexually active and absolutely DO NOT want to get pregnant (and use a barrier method, too, of course). 
  • We’re only doing this now because we’re OK with maybe getting pregnant (although we’re going to try to avoid it as much as possible).  If we were still in college, we’d still be on birth control!
  • We’re also considering this because we’ve heard from so many people it does work!  I always thought it was an urban legend or something.
  • What works for me might not work for you.  🙂


Are you on a “natural” form of birth control?  Do you think it sounds too weird for you? Any horror or success stories (and one person’s success may be another person’s nightmare!)?  🙂



  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman July 19, 2010, 4:08 pm

    Aw, what a tease! Well, I’m happy for your mysterious good news! I just went of bc too. My husband and I would rather not get pregnant, but I’m seeing if it might be behind some health problems I’m having. I do miss the light periods and nonexistent cramps. These real cramps are pass-out killer.

  • kyla July 19, 2010, 4:09 pm

    Considering I’m a month away from 21st birthday(!) and still a full time undergraduate student, I think I’ll be sticking to the good ol’ pill for now. However whenever I do get married(which at this rate, isn’t going to happen for a loooong time) I would definitely be more intereted in finding some other forms of natural birth control. I’ll be curious to see how this works for you!

  • Lindsay Perrone (goodiesgalore) July 19, 2010, 4:11 pm

    CONGRATS!! I think I have an idea…..

    As for birth control– I went off Yaz last October after two years on it because I turned into a crazy lunatic. I’ve been wanting to read that book because I have SERIOUS baby fever. For now we use pull and pray… so far so good.

    • allison @ livingoneday July 19, 2010, 4:32 pm

      bahaha i love the honesty. i do yaz, too, and i’m such a nightmare! my poor poor boyfriend

      • Natalie July 20, 2010, 11:33 pm

        Yaz has seriously messed me up. It’s made me an emotional wreck, and I gotten benign tumors in my breast from the over production of estrogen!

    • Steph July 19, 2010, 5:19 pm

      Ah! Yaz! I went on Yaz for 1 week and had to go off because I was crying (everyday) uncontrollably for no reason.

      • Christy July 19, 2010, 8:37 pm

        Pull and pray- not a good idea! The hubby and I used it successfully since 2001. We were going to start trying for baby #2 this month, but I got pregnant in May (yay!!). It was actually 2 days before I ovulated. Not a big problem for us, obviously, but it would’ve been a big deal 8 years ago when we were doing it.

      • Katie July 19, 2010, 10:21 pm

        Yaz made me crazy!!! After a few months of being mean and crying a lot, my body adjusted. I just went off it, and went a little crazy for about a week. I think I’m back to normal now. I’m thinking about a non-hormonal IUD but giving myself a few months of nothing while the boy and I are long-distance (probably the only perk of long distance is not feeling compelled to take bc). I’m interested to read everyone’s take…

        • whitney December 30, 2010, 7:18 am

          Its such a relief to hear that Yaz made other people crazy. I hated YAZ I was on it for about a month and was a completely horrible person. I turned into someone I never thought I could. Going off of it was not fun either. The drug needs to be taken off the shelf!

  • Sarah for Real July 19, 2010, 4:12 pm

    That’s awesome! I’d consider a natural method if I were in your shoes too.

    I had to get off bc pills because of migraines and a higher risk of stroke (if you have migraine with aura, doctors no longer want you on hormonal bc).

    I got mirena (IUD) instead which was traumatic to put in, but now it’s ideal for me. There’s no estrogen which has reduced my migraines about 75% alone.

    I love the idea of a natural method someday though. Definitely would be a great option for the ‘we’re not trying to conceive but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it accidentally happened’ type of situation. 🙂 Good for you!

    • Annie July 21, 2010, 1:02 am

      Was the IUD process painful?

      • Sarah for Real July 21, 2010, 10:13 am

        I haven’t had children yet so yeah, it was pretty painful but only for about 30 seconds. I had some major cramping the next couple of days but it was nothing a good prescription couldn’t handle.

        It definitely hurt way less than my migraines though, which is why I switched off hormonal bc pills. Also, looking back it’s been totally worth it. I don’t have to think about taking a pill, I barely get a period anymore (haven’t bought tampons in… maybe 6 months?), and I know it’s safe and even more effective than bc pills.

        When I have it removed, I’ll ask the doc in advance if there’s anything I can take before I come in to make it less painful.

        If you’re interested, the hardest part for me was actually finding the right doctor. I had a terrible experience with some old geezer who just wanted me to have a baby instead?!? Shop around and don’t let some uninformed old guy scare you. These are super common in Europe. I suspect it’s our delightful drug companies over here who like to keep the IUD on the down-low.

        • Paige July 21, 2010, 6:10 pm

          I got migraines from hormonal birth control and ultimately decided to go off of it. I’ve been researching alternatives, though, and have been considering asking my doctor about Paraguard (the copper IUD). I’m glad to hear an IUD is working for you! (although I too have heard that you have to shop around for the right doctor…so we’ll see)

  • Jess July 19, 2010, 4:14 pm

    I have to be on it due to my horrible endometriosis. It is the only thing that slows uterine scarring. 85% of my uterus was scarred when I was only 20 years old 🙁 So for that I say: GO BCP! It is my ONLY choice if I want to have babies! Which I do, soonish!!

  • Kerry July 19, 2010, 4:15 pm

    Interesting post Caitlin! I’m intrigued! Birth control pills do not agree with me, they give me awful migraines! Natural birth control sounds amazing! The less drugs we take the better! Let us know how it goes and what you’re doing to help!

  • Christine July 19, 2010, 4:16 pm

    I went off the pill almost 2 years ago, right after my husband and I got married because, just like you said, we were not trying to get pregnant, but were OK if we did. It has been successful in helping us avoid pregnancy so far. Now we’re hoping to be able to get pregnant though, so we’ll see how that goes! The temperature is annoying at first, but you get used to it – as soon as my alarm goes off, it’s second nature. When I first started, I’d have my husband hand me the thermometer, so he’d be involved and would make sure I’d do it. Also, it’s pretty amazing how much you learn about yourself and your cycle – kind of crazy!! That book is a must have.

  • Christina July 19, 2010, 4:17 pm

    I was TERRIFIED when I stopped taking bc pills (even though we’re using other methods). I’ve been bc pill free for almost 2 years now, and we haven’t had any ‘surprises’ =D That book is enlightening!

  • Lindsay J July 19, 2010, 4:17 pm

    Birth control is so tricky and not for everyone. You have to take the pill at the same time every day! Could be why there are so many accidental pregnancies while on birth control.

    As for me, I too, did not like the idea of forced hormones in my body. I’ve used the FAM for the last two years and it’s worked. Plus, whenever you DO decide to add to the family, you don’t have to let your body rid itself of birth control for months like everyone else.
    I like the FAM method so much better!

    • Serena July 21, 2010, 11:58 pm

      You actually don’t have to rid your body of bcp – they only stay in your system for 24 hours (the reason you’re supposed to take them every day around the same time). Several friends of mine got pregnant literally the month they went off the pill.

      • Lindsay J July 22, 2010, 7:04 am

        You are correct! However, there are some small increcies that affect the pregnancy. I only know this beause my dad is an OB-GYN and my mom a mid-wife. You are suppose to use other forms of birth control the first three months you start the pill (or any form of BC.) It takes three months for it to get your body “regular” on BC. After three months is when the 99.9% effectivity rate kicks in.

        And, yes, you can get pregnant by skipping a day or the day/week after you stop birth control. But the chances of a miscarriage are significantly higher. That’s why they advise you to use condoms when you stop BC for three months before you start trying to get pregnant. BUT there have been many success stories of people not miscarrying.

        Birth control is different in every body. It’s important to find one that works with your body and lifestyle. Glad there are so many forms, because there are so many different forms of people.

        • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) July 23, 2010, 5:10 pm

          I’d also like to chime in and say that while the pill leaves your body after 24 hours my doctor recently told me that it can take up to a year for your body to get back into it’s natural rhythm. She wasn’t saying that it can take a year to get pregnant, more to give me an idea of how long it might take for me to be able to track my cycle in its normal state, which I thought was some good information.

  • Dorry July 19, 2010, 4:17 pm

    This is so interesting to me b/c I, too, have been on birth control for many years and I’d much rather be hormone free! When I was younger, I’d get horrible cramps each month and the pill definitely eliminated that so I’ve been apprehensive about stopping..hmmm, a lot to consider! Thanks for the honest info. And HUGE congrats about your book release news.

  • Ilana July 19, 2010, 4:18 pm

    I went off the Pill three months ago, kind of on a whim – we’re using a barrier method now but I have to tell you I feel 1000x better than I ever did. Now I recognize that the cyclical emotional roller coaster that I’ve been on for the past five years wasn’t just emotional – it was physical. I used to think I needed the pill to keep me sane, but because every month of the placebo week, I would crash, but I didn’t realize that it was actually making me crazy and the crash was the withdrawal. I feel like i’m on much more of an even keel right now, and it’s good. Of course I would love to get into FAM … don’t ask me why but I think HE’D be into it too, not just for the obvious reasons. Time to research basal thermometers!

  • Nicki July 19, 2010, 4:18 pm

    I am laughing a little at “pull and pray” from Lindsay. That is sort of like the rhythm method of old, when I was in prime baby years. You would be better off with pull and pray.

    I was on the pill in high school and college to help control heavy bleeding. I went off it the end of college and, despite warnings to the contrary of a tipped uterus causing difficulties in getting pregnant, was pregnant before graduation came.

    I have six kids and have probably tried every form of birth control out there. I would go with whatever is best for your body – and you will know. What works for me might work for you but make you feel like crap.

  • AngelaOSG July 19, 2010, 4:19 pm

    I went off BCP’s in July 2008 after being on them for over 10 years! I hated how I felt on the BCP. I too have tried the daily temeraptures in the AM as suggested by my doctor and I am really happy with it so far.

    The only downside I have seen with going off the BCP’s was a huge increase in PMS and breakouts! But I consider that a small sacrifice now that I know that my body is operating without outside hormones.

    The scariest part for me was that it took me over a year to get my period back after going off the pill. It really screwed up my cycle! Luckily everything fell back into place with time.
    I am anxious to hear about your experiences!

    • Amanda July 19, 2010, 4:34 pm

      I had the same problem. It took me a full year for my body to figure out how to cycle on its own. Now it is like clock work though!

      • Clare July 19, 2010, 4:45 pm

        Me too! It took me a good 8 months or so for my periods to return after going off the pill. We were trying for our first baby and it really had me worried that something was wrong! However, once my periods returned we got pregnant on the first cycle…I’ve heard this from lots of girlfriends too so don’t be alarmed if it takes a while to get the pill out of your system. If you’re planning on trying in the next year or so it’s probably a very good idea to switch to a natural method in the interim. I should also add that my doctor recommended gaining five pounds ( I was working out pretty regularly, but nothing crazy) and I have to say that doing that seemed to coincide with my getting pregnant.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 6:29 pm

      I am very curious to see how long it takes me to get my period now!

      • Morgan July 19, 2010, 10:16 pm

        Wow! I am glad I went off them too! I’ve been experiencing side effects of not being on the pill-headaches, blurred vision, and I think I almost had a heat stroke-which I think was due to a number of things, going off BC being one of them.

        Anyone else have issues like this?

        Also, I downloaded period tracker for the iphone and it estimates days on when I should or should not have sex, based on if I want a surprise in 9 months!

    • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) July 23, 2010, 5:17 pm

      I’ve had the opposite effect – I feel SO much better off the pill: both my libido (yay hubby!) and energy are up, my PMS is non-existant and I am all around feeling great besides what may be some minor mood swings. However, I do think my body is still adjusting and am waiting to see what happens next month.
      It’s also weird not knowing when my period will come – I am so used to knowing the exact day so it’s definitely an adjustment!

  • Tina July 19, 2010, 4:20 pm

    Well, I’m pregnant now so BC doesn’t matter, but we certainly follow the FAM method otherwise and love it! It has made it much easier to start trying when we were ready and avoid it when we weren’t. Glad you are giving it a go. 🙂

  • Ashley July 19, 2010, 4:20 pm

    Whoa…seriously can’t wait to hear what happened with the book!! I have a few thoughts on what it could be =) Whatever it is though..congrats…you definitely deserve it!! – That eggplant spread is SO good. Picked up some while I was home in Ohio. I’ve definitely thought about getting off the pill, especially since your post a few months ago. I’ve never had problems being on the pill though, but still prefer to not load my body with a weird drug every single day. I will definitely look into this method, but probably once one of us gets a job. If I got preggo right now I would also have a 14min scream fest…but not a happy one 😉 Congrats again!

  • AngelaOSG July 19, 2010, 4:21 pm

    And PS- so excited for your news!!!

  • Courtney July 19, 2010, 4:22 pm

    I’m 17 and have been on birth control to regulate my hormones since I was 16, which helps improve my nervous system condition. I think BCPs have such a bad stigma around them- when I tell my friends I’m on them, they either laugh or look at me strangely. It really hurts, especially since I’m not sexually active. Natural birth control is probably a good option, but regular BCPs shouldn’t be condemned, either. They’ve helped me a lot, and I know many others besides myself need them just to function normally. I’d say use what works for you, but don’t criticize the pill.

    • Christina July 21, 2010, 5:46 am

      I’m in the same boat (but much older!). The emotional and physical symptoms of PMS and my menstrual cycle made me not myself for 2 weeks out of every month. Every few years I go off BCP as a test and it’s exactly the same horrible period. I agree that natural birth control would be nice but I haven’t noticed any side effects from my pills, except the positive ones. So if they help you, don’t feel bad about it!

  • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy July 19, 2010, 4:23 pm

    I would be way too scare! But I get your point ..if you’re okay with the possibility, why not try anyway.

    Stupid question maybe, but what does that means exactly?

    That you track your cycle and avoid having emm .. “quality time” when your ovulating?

    Doesn’t that also, remove a little magic? hehe

    • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 4:30 pm

      Haha it means you use a condom when you are ovulating if you want to avoid pregnancy.

      Prob the best part of BC pills is that there is no disruption of seski time. It’s definitely a bummer aspect of most forms of BC.

      • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy July 19, 2010, 4:55 pm

        Thanks for explaining life to me hahaha 🙂

        All that was missing was the bee and flower image 😉

        • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 6:30 pm

          When a man and a women are in love, they lay in the same bed and 9 months later a stork comes with a package…

        • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy July 19, 2010, 9:08 pm

          Oh no! I’ve been laying A LOT in the same bed as the dude who lives in my house …. I think I’m in for multiples packages …. Oops!

  • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy July 19, 2010, 4:23 pm

    I would be way too scare! But I get your point ..if you’re okay with the possibility, why not try anyway.

    Stupid question maybe, but what does that means exactly?

    That you track your cycle and avoid having emm .. “quality time” when your ovulating?

    Doesn’t that also, remove a little magic? hehe

  • Jessica @ How Sweet July 19, 2010, 4:23 pm

    I do FAM, went off the pill in January. Best thing ever – I love being off of it. So far, so good with us! I was also on the pill for almost 10 years. I have noticed some more moodiness – I have never been one to have PMS or cramps EVER, but have noticed some mood swings since.

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! July 19, 2010, 4:26 pm

    I am currently on BC for the obvious reasons, however it also regulates my very unpredictable period so I love that. It would be nice not to have to worry about taking the pill and being hormone free but I am not willing to risk getting prego right now, not even a small percent, so FAM won’t work for me but I think it is a great idea.

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) July 19, 2010, 4:26 pm

    Thanks for writing about such a controversial topic. I was also on birth control for 10 years when I went off last October. I just now got my first non-prometrium-induced period. I also lost a few pounds without changing anything about my lifestyle. I also feel so much better! Hubbs and I are using a barrier method now 😛 but I would love to know more about the basal body temperature thing you’re doing.

    I’ve hear taking body temperature can be really tricky, like you have to lay in bed, motionless and take your temp and even then it can be messed up… I’d love any info you have on this, and to hear about what you think of it as you go forward from here 🙂

  • Michelle July 19, 2010, 4:26 pm

    VERY excited for you, whatever your news is!!!

    I went after birth control in January but for a different reason than you 😉 One thing I heard is that some bc has a diuretic in it that helps you lose weight (?). I did notice that I’ve gained 5 or 6 pounds since going off of it (I know, I know… that number doesn’t matter). Just saying… Otherwise I love it, but I do feel like the pain of having to take a pill every day is replaced by the pain of taking my temp first thing when I wake up!

    • Michelle July 19, 2010, 4:27 pm

      I don’t mean “pain” at taking the pill and taking the temp, I mean “annoyance”

  • Amanda (WannaBe Chef) July 19, 2010, 4:27 pm

    I think every woman should read TCOYF. This book was so beyond amazing to me, I can’t say enough about it. I learned so much that I never knew, and I also ditched the pill after being on it for 7 years. I’m in my 2nd cycle of charting and I love it. It’s amazing to learn how my body is supposed to function and knowing I’m not putting those fake hormones in it anymore. I did have some side effects, not gonna lie, but it’s worth it to me. The worst one, though, was that I developed a freaking allergy to my wedding rings after going off BC!! Anyway, best of luck with charting, and the temp thing gets much easier 🙂 OH and CONGRATS on the book release!!!

  • Katy T July 19, 2010, 4:29 pm

    Congratulations on your news!!! I have a guess, but I’m going to keep it to myself 🙂

  • Lisa (I'm an Okie) July 19, 2010, 4:29 pm

    I’d love love love love love to bee off BC—but I’m in the absolutely do not want to get pregnant now category so pills it is for me. The FAM interestes me though–so thank you for the suggestion!

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete July 19, 2010, 4:29 pm

    I’m so excited for you to start this new journey.

    The only reason why I’m a little apprehensive to try this is that my sister got pregnant twice with this method! If you get sick or stressed out, it will totally screw you up!

    Good luck!!

    • Andrea July 20, 2010, 9:06 am

      “If you get sick or stressed out, it will totally screw you up!”

      I’m so sorry it didn’t work for your sister. I’ve found that BBT accurately tells me when I ovulate and as a result accurately tells me when I’ll get my irregular period. In 10 years, I’ve never had a problem despite my stressful job and many bouts of winter sicks. Maybe my long experience has just clued me in to when I should expect to ovulate and if I don’t then I know to be extra-watchful until it happens.

      • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete July 20, 2010, 11:10 am

        I think that is great that is has worked for you. Whether it is just “operator’s error” or the fact that everyone’s body is different, I have no idea. I love my two nephews, and regardless of what went wrong, I’m glad I have them! 😉

        I’m paranoid, so I think that I might stick to the pill. Plus, the women in my family tend to be abnormally “fertile.” That might have something to do with it too.

  • Lauren July 19, 2010, 4:30 pm

    I went off birth control in January, after being on it for almost 10 years!
    Besides my face freaking out for a few months, I couldn’t be happier. I feel like I can really listen to my body now.

  • L.A. Daze July 19, 2010, 4:30 pm

    I was on BC for 10 years, then quit for a year. I went back on it because I just couldn’t deal with the oily skin and horrible pimples I was getting being off the pill. When I first went off it, it felt great. I wasn’t as emotional, and I didn’t get weird mood swings. Now that i’m back on it, the pimples have gone away, my skin is less oily, and when I feel emotional or have weird mood swings, I know it’s because of the pill. I don’t mind though, it beats having crappy skin!

  • Camille July 19, 2010, 4:30 pm

    I was on birth control for 1 month (at the insistence of my boyfriend) and I hated it! I didn’t feel like myself in my own skin and I constantly felt nauseous. I didn’t want to eat my normal food and I had no desire to exercise. Luckily I have a very understanding boyfriend who said that if I tried it and didn’t like it then that was the end of it. Unfortunately it took about 4 months to get my body back to normal after only 1 month on the pill.

    • Steph July 19, 2010, 5:23 pm

      Not to push BC, but I think it’s important to try different pills. I began when I was 17 on Ortho and it made me nauseous. I informed my doctor and she switched me to a new pill and I felt completely fine/normal after that. Not all BC pills are the same.

      • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) July 23, 2010, 5:32 pm

        It also takes a while for your body to get used to them, about 3 months. But like Steph said, I’m also not trying to be pushy – it’s your body & your decision!

  • Courtney July 19, 2010, 4:31 pm

    Have you considered the copper IUD? I have it and it’s AMAZING. No hormones, no worries.

    And CONGRATS on your news!

    • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 4:32 pm

      IUDs kind of scare me. Can you share more deets?

      • Therese July 19, 2010, 4:36 pm

        I just commented, but I saw this question and had to say something. Again, I’m a Registered Nurse and in my experience, doctors tend to recommend IUDs if you’re not planning on getting pregnant within the next 5 years. Since it sounds like you guys are hoping to have kids sooner than that, I wouldn’t recommend it. It could be more hassle than it’s worth.

        • Courtney July 19, 2010, 4:39 pm

          Yes definitely true – but it’s also an option for after kids (i know this is way down the line…but still). There is a copper one that lasts for ten years (!) with no hormones (ParaGard) and one with hormones (Mirena) that lasts for 5. Having it…ummm…installed? (lol) is kinda painful, but there’s no real maintenance with it and you don’t have to remember and worry. It’s as effective, if not more, as regular BC. Just an option. I’m with you on the no hormone thing – never been on it and hope to never be!

        • elaine! July 19, 2010, 4:50 pm

          I asked my doc about Mirena. She said IUDs aren’t recommended for women who haven’t been pregnant before, because your uterus is smaller (it stretches out during pregnancy). If your uterus is too small, there’s increased risk of the IUD puncturing the uterine wall. Um, OUCH? Your gynecologist can actually feel the size of your uterus during a normal exam (it doesn’t hurt or anything) and tell you if it seems big enough for an IUD.

      • Alison July 19, 2010, 5:10 pm

        Jumping in to say that I have the copper IUD, but I’ve also already had a child. I agree with elaine!…I think they do prefer that you’ve had a baby before getting an IUD, but it’s not mandatory.
        For me, the actual insertion didn’t hurt, but the 36 hours following were pretty painful. I think it was worth it, though. No worries for 10 years and best of all, NO HORMONES. IUDs got a bad rap and I was the product of a faulty one nearly 34 years ago, but they’re much better these days.

        • Betsy July 19, 2010, 5:52 pm

          I actually just got my copper IUD three weeks ago. I got off of birth control pills in January and my new husband and I were definitely ready for something else besides condoms. I’ve never been pregnant before, and the only real risk according to my doctor and the Paragard informational sheet is that I have an increased risk of expelling the IUD (5%) during the first year.
          It hurt a bit getting it in, with some cramping after.
          My reasons for choosing the IUD were:
          1. Non-hormonal birth control
          2. Birth control without interruption
          3. An immediate return to fertility
          4. 99.9% effectiveness (without hormones, my cycle is much more irregular while endurance training, I appreciate the assurance)
          5. 10+ days of “unsafe” fertile days on the FAM method deterred me and my partner
          So there you have it, the reasons why the copper IUD was the best choice for me and my partner.

      • Annie @ Delicious Wellness July 19, 2010, 5:34 pm

        Caitlin, I just commented, but I wanted to share my experience with the copper (hormone-free) IUD. I just read a bunch of comments on your last BC post, and it sounds like there’s a TON of different opinions.

        My gynecologist recommended the IUD to me because I had sexual side effects with the Pill (I had less of a sex drive – not fun!). I totally trust this doctor – she was always so honest and explained all the details so that I could understand. She helped me through a lot in my personal life, too!

        She explained that most of the fear around IUDs comes from the 70s and 80s when there was an unsafe IUD on the market which caused some women to become infertile. However, the IUDs made now are totally safe and it is EXTREMELY unlikely that your IUD will puncture your uterus OR get dislodged.

        Before she put in the IUD, she measured my uterus (which hurt like a b*(#8 for just a second to make sure there was enough room. The actual putting in didn’t hurt too much, but I had mega cramps for the next few hours. I also had cramps for the next two days, but Ibuprofen helped me function.

        My first two periods after that were heavier and I had more cramps than normal, but now (2+ years later) it’s totally normal and I sometimes don’t even get cramps.

        I LOVE the Iud because there is zero stress. I check for the strings (WAYYY up there) every once in awhile like my doc advised. And that’s it!

        The IUD lasts for 10 years, but ANY doctor OR nurse can take it out easy (and practically painless) and you’ll be immediately fertile.

        Someday I’d like to track my own cycle, but until my hubs and I feel 100% ok with the possibility of a baby, this is a great method.

        And my doctor also said that it’s basically as effective as getting your tubes tied!

        I’ve never been pregnant, so I’m not sure why some docs don’t recommend them for women who haven’t. I think they just have to measure your uterus to be sure.

        There’s my info!

        • Annie July 21, 2010, 1:24 am

          So helpful.

        • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) July 23, 2010, 5:34 pm

          I think that some doctors recommend it for women who have been pregnant because a) they aren’t as worried about the pain compared to childbirth and b) it’s more of a long term use.
          However, my doctor is completely supportive of my reasons (very similar to yours) and was very helpful in our meeting. My only choice now is between the hormone one or the copper one!

      • Emma July 19, 2010, 5:54 pm

        I have the copper IUD (paragard) and have been very happy with it. Had it four years now, and have had no problems with it. I got it installed when I was 25 and getting into serious relationship. My ob-gyn said it was completely safe to have it, just to get it removed whenever we wanted to start trying for a baby.

        Then again maybe I have a big uterus or something (she did do a checkup beforehand)… or maybe the attitudes are a bit different here in Europe. I do have aural migraines and blood clots in the family so hormonal BC was not an option, but even if my family history was different I would definitely choose the IUD.

        • Katie July 19, 2010, 10:29 pm

          I read something about IUDs in the US being much less common than in Europe, and it was mostly due to misconceptions. I will try to find the source!

      • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 6:23 pm

        Thanks for all the info, ladies! Interesting to hear difference perspectives.

        • Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness July 19, 2010, 6:37 pm

          I have had a Mirena for nearly one year, and as someone who has never had children, it definitely hurt when being installed and took some “settling” before I felt comfortable. Nothing major, but it took a couple months. It must be the whole “smaller uterus” thing.
          One positive side effect that I wasn’t expecting, was that my periods have pretty much stopped. I guess that is typical of 20% of women who have it. Works for me!

    • Janelle July 21, 2010, 3:01 pm

      Jumping on this train a little late, but I will say that I 100% love my IUD. (FYI – I’ve had two kids already). “Install” was very mild and less uncomfortable than a pap, and I had the slightest twinge of a cramp for the half hour after that, and then…nothing. No pain, no cramping, no issues whatsoever – just the freedom to have fun without stress of a little bambino joining our (already crowded) abode and life without hormones, which is fantastic!

    • Janelle July 21, 2010, 3:01 pm

      Jumping on this train a little late, but I will say that I 100% love my IUD. (FYI – I’ve had two kids already). “Install” was very mild and less uncomfortable than a pap, and I had the slightest twinge of a cramp for the half hour after that, and then…nothing. No pain, no cramping, no issues whatsoever – just the freedom to have fun without stress of a little bambino joining our (already crowded) abode and life without hormones, which is fantastic!

  • Tami July 19, 2010, 4:32 pm

    i have some guesses too!!

    with my next ob/gyn appointment i’m going off birth control as well BUT my husband just had a vasectomy!!! and everything came back just fine 🙂 i have an iud and never get my period, which i love but i know it’s not that way my body should be working….

  • Therese July 19, 2010, 4:33 pm

    I’m really intrigued by natural birth control but admittedly, that doesn’t make me want to stop taking my bc at the moment! My boyfriend has problems with condoms (like actual, physical problems, he’s not just complaining) and I can’t stand the idea of diaphrams so I’ll stick to it for a while. I’m a bit nervous to start natural birth control and my birth control hasn’t given me any adverse reactions at all. But I’ll definitely be eyeing your discussions with interest because I can see me getting off of it in the near future!

  • Therese July 19, 2010, 4:33 pm

    LOVE the screaming picture! So much excitement!

    As a nurse, I will say that using the temp control method is reliable… in general. But like others have said, if your sleep schedule has been off, you’re more stressed than normal, or your workouts drasically increase or decrease in intensity and frequency, use a barrier method backup just in case :o)

  • Kristen July 19, 2010, 4:35 pm

    I also went off BC after nearly 10 years on the pill. It was a bit rough for the first two months – I kept having hot flashes, and didn’t get my period at all for two full cycles. Although this was uncomfortable, I was more startled at how dependent my body had become on the hormones – it was almost like going through withdrawal. All in all, things are back to normal now, and I’m very happy to be BCP free!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) July 19, 2010, 4:36 pm

    congratulations, whatever it is 🙂 i don’t know if i could ever do the natural method of birth control, but i haven’t been on the pill in 2 years. i’m sure when it’s time it’ll happen!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) July 19, 2010, 4:37 pm

    Ok, going off of birth control feels so good! I am not going to lie. I feel more normal now than ever before. That being said, the hormone changes are bizarre. You can actually get a sense of where you are in your cycle too. I know this is way more info than you probably want, but my sex drive went into overdrive when I went off the pill. It felt great! I have heard pros and cons to your new method of birth control, but if you have nothing to lose…I say go for it!

    Congrats on the good news! Can’t wait to hear about it!!!

  • Pure2Raw Twins July 19, 2010, 4:37 pm

    Congrats on the book news! Excited to hear all about it. I went off birth control last year from being on it for 10 years too. I just recently got my period back! Body is still not normal yet but overall feel much better without putting hormones into my body. Good luck with your journey.

  • allison @ livingoneday July 19, 2010, 4:37 pm

    i went on BC when i was 14 for my skin. it wasn’t bad enough to take accutane, so the dr. put me on ortho tri-cyclen. 9 years later i am still on it (i only ever took 3 months off, and my skin ERUPTED). i went off again for another month or 2 a little while ago, and my skin seemed to do ok, so i thought about staying off. but as a 23 year old with a boyfriend, i do NOT need any surprises. it sounds wonderful for when you are okay with getting prego. cant wait to hear your news!!!

  • Christy July 19, 2010, 4:38 pm

    I have used the FAM method for a few years and found out that I wasn’t ovulating. It was so beneficial for me so I could focus on how to start ovulating again naturally, without the use of drugs, so we could start a family. Now I am pregnant and due any day. I am a firm believer! Good luck!

    • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 6:32 pm

      Congrats on your bebe!!!

    • KatieTX July 19, 2010, 11:57 pm

      is there really a way you can make your self start ovulating naturally? Or do you just have to wait? I have been on the pill since I was 16 because I was low on the hormone that regulates your cycle and makes you ovulate. I have been on BC for 7 years now and feel like a normal person. When I do want to have kids in 5 years I am worried my body will not know how to regulate itself just like it didn’t before. I am curious to see how long it to you to become pregnant after knowing you were not ovulating naturally. Thanks!

  • Jill@MySoCalledHealthLife July 19, 2010, 4:38 pm

    I want to know the news!!

    I’m not sure I fully understand why one would want to go off birth control. I’m not judging at all, just curious. I guess I should read the book for more info!

  • Carly (Swim, Run, Om) July 19, 2010, 4:38 pm

    I think you’re a brave, brave lady. But it’s good that you and hubby are in a place right now where it would be okay if you DID get preggers! But I have to say that this method probably wouldn’t be for me. No leggo my eggo.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 6:32 pm

      hahah leggo my eggo.

  • Marci July 19, 2010, 4:39 pm

    I have been on the Pill for 6 years and I love it. I didn’t realize that many people hate it until I read your previous post. I am married, but still use the Pill. I feel no different, I get my period on the Wednesday of the week like clockwork–no really, by 9 a.m.
    I do worry about what will happen when I want to go off of it and how my body will re-adjust, but this discussion makes good questions to ask my doctor next month!

    • Jenny July 20, 2010, 3:58 pm

      Me too!
      First thing Wednesday morning…boom…there it is!

      • Marci July 20, 2010, 3:59 pm

        haha that’s funny. my doctor laughed when I told her it was THAT regular.

  • Anne July 19, 2010, 4:39 pm

    I know at least one person who has gotten pregnant this way, so just be careful unless you are really ready!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers July 19, 2010, 4:40 pm

    I’ve read that book too- I’m off birth control as well, after 10 years. One less artificial thing in me, the better. I have serious baby fever, so I figure I better make sure I have a “normal” cycle and be hormone free before I go any further in that direction. 😉

  • Megan @ Healthy Hoggin July 19, 2010, 4:42 pm

    I’ve been off the pill for about 6 months now, and I’m loving it! I was on the pill for 11 years, so it was kind of a shock to my body at first! And I’m definitely experiencing “real” cramps again, which kinda stinks. But, I still prefer where I’m at now!

    My husband and I are also trying to NOT get pregnant yet… so I’m really interested in FAM method! Looking forward to hearing more about it!

  • Jess July 19, 2010, 4:42 pm

    Congrats…it’s a scary step. I went off the pill in April. After a few months of my body adjusting it’s getting used to being hormone free. The primary drawback for me is my cramps are back full force…booo. Thank goodness for Midol.

    We’re using a back-up method of BC right now but once our awesome vacation is over in September, that’s out the window too! We had to take NFP before we could get married in the church. It’s quite intensive depending on the method you use and I can see how it can be 99% effective. I’m just not that dedicated.

  • sarah (this is it) July 19, 2010, 4:43 pm

    I never really thought about other methods and I didn’t believe the “pulling out” method was all that reliable. I was surprised to read about how many people use it on the other post. I’m really happy with Loestrin FE and can’t imagine not being on bc right now. I read the old post on birth control–it’s loaded with info and really got me thinking!

  • elaine! July 19, 2010, 4:43 pm

    Congratulations on your upcoming Oprah interview! Ok, I have no idea what your big surprise is, but congratulations anyway. If you’re that stoked, it must be EPIC!

    Also, it’s awesome that you’re blogging about birth control methods. I totally agree with playing it safe with the pill + a backup method when you absolutely cannot risk pregnancy (like when you’re in college). But I’m really looking forward to hearing what it’s like.

    I should probably check out that book too… though I have little interest in ditching the pill at the moment. 🙂 Knowledge is power, etc!

  • Tami July 19, 2010, 4:46 pm

    I have the Mirena IUD, from what I know, Mirena has “medicine” on it and you hardly get your period. The copper ones are different. I think the mirena has caused me so weight gain, i am happy to be moving in this direction.

    we are all done having children


    • Sarah for Real July 19, 2010, 5:11 pm

      Mirena has no estrogen, but it does have a teeny little progesterone in it that makes the uterus a little happier. The copper one can be irritating for some women.

      I also have no weight gain or much of a period anymore.

      I have not had children, but I plan to in a few years.

      Can I also just say that IUDs are a very very old form of BC. More crude forms have been used in humans and animals for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Of course, the ones around today are far more advanced and safe, but the basic idea is the same.

  • Amber July 19, 2010, 4:49 pm

    I’ve been on birth control for…almost eight years now but unfortunately stacking my pills like you do (did!) didn’t work for me and I would get spotting. So I still go off my pills for a week every month to allow my period to happen. I’m definitely in the ABSOLUTELY DO NOT want to get pregnant category still 😉

    I’m interested in hearing more about this new method your trying. It sounds really interesting!

    PS: Congrats on whatever made you so excited!!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine July 19, 2010, 4:53 pm

    Congrats on the big news!! I can’t wait to hear all about it, but judging by the look on your face, it’s absolutely incredible!

    I’m on the Pill because I’m in college and there is no way I can risk having a baby right now. I know there are definitely disadvantages to taking it, but the pregnancy prevention it offers outweighs them all. I’m absolutely neurotic about taking it perfectly, so it’s the best option for me at this point in my life! Once I’m married though, I definitely want to look into other options.

    Hope you’re celebrating with something fun tonight!!

  • Sassy Molassy July 19, 2010, 4:56 pm

    I just left a comment on the original BC post, but this conversation is so interesting. Thanks for the thought provoking post. I currently am taking BC (originally prescribed to force my body to have a period) bc I wasn’t having them regularly during marathon training. Still frustrates me that after all the blood tests and hormone levels checks, the doc couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t having a normal period. But now I’m in a relationship and need the BC (not ready for a baby yet…marriage first).

    • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 6:25 pm

      I COMPLETELY AGREE with your concerns. Sometimes BC just covers up problems!

      • Emma July 19, 2010, 8:08 pm

        Its true that BC covers up problems. However it has saved me. I am 22, and have always been into running and various other activities since I was 12. I didn’t get a period until I was 17. After that, it was very sporatic. I had to undergo hormone therapy to ensure I wouldnt suffer big problems, like osteopenia (premature osteoporosis). Now, I take birth control to keep things ticking as they should. I am very lean, but I am at a healthy weight.

        For me, BC is necessary because I’m sure I wouldnt get a period without it.

  • Robin July 19, 2010, 4:56 pm

    TCOYF is a great book, I highly recommend it. I went off the pill 2.5 years ago when I was 29, and my period has not returned. I was on the pill for 7 years off and on, trying many different kinds because I had horrible side effects (breakthrough bleeding, weight gain, acne, you name it). After getting married we decided that if I went off the pill and we got pregnant, it would just be a couple months before we were ready to start “trying” anyway. I also knew from experience that when I went off certain pills, my cycles were really wonky after, which was weird to me because I was textbook 28 day cycles before ever starting the pill. Anyway, I know that I’m an extreme example, but some cases of amenorrhea like mine do exist!

  • Sarah July 19, 2010, 4:59 pm

    Oprah–the real Oprah?? 🙂

    I have a close friend in my MPH program who has been practicing FAM for 5 years. She has used it to prevent pregnancy and get pregnant and her goal upon graduating from public health grad school is to be a fertility and birth control counselor who teaches FAM along with other methods. We’ve talked a lot about it and I have the book and think it’s a wonderful method. I’m excited to hear how you like it after the hormones have totally left your system. I personally know that stopping my oral contraceptive was the best choice I have EVER made for my health.

    One important thing to note is that FAM only works with monogamous couples as it offers no protection against STIs.

  • Amanda July 19, 2010, 5:00 pm

    Interesting topic about going off birth control. I am 32 and went off BC last July after being on it since i was about 17 years old.
    Well, I never got my period again and after gaining 5 pounds and cutting back on the exercise I still never got it! My husband and I wanted to start a family and I ended up having to go to a fertility doctor. Six months later, I have done two IVF cycles (In Vitro Fertilization) down in Boston and I’m currently waiting to find out if the second one worked. I only write this because sometimes I’m convinced that being on the BC pills for SO LONG some how screwed up my fertility. I look at my athletes and runners who can get preggers so I’m not convinced cutting back on your exercise is the only thing that will help. Good luck on your journey!

    • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 6:33 pm

      I hope you get pregnant soon!!!

      • Amanda July 20, 2010, 6:44 am


    • Jenn July 19, 2010, 8:48 pm

      Amanda – I hope your 2nd cycle works. I’ve been in your shoes, and it is not fun! If by chance it doesn’t, get the book ‘The Infertility Cure’ by Randine Lewis. I truly believe acupuncture and Chinese herbs are how I got pregnant after 4 years of trying and countless fertility treatments. Good luck!

      • Amanda July 20, 2010, 6:47 am

        thank you, I actually have done acupuncture every week since the beginning of our fertility treatments. So you got pregnant on your own after fert. treatments? THat is hopeful.
        This will be our last IVF cycle…too expensive and too hard on the body both emotionally and physically.
        I’ll check out the infertility cure, thanks!

        • Jenn July 20, 2010, 7:30 pm

          Good! Yes, I got pregnant with out fertility treatments. After 4 rounds of artificial insemination, 1 ectopic pregancy in which I lost a tube and 2 failed rounds of IVF over 4 years! I also couldn’t afford any more treatments and acupuncture is a lot cheaper and MUCH less stressful. I know it is hard, but let me tell you, they are worth the wait. 🙂

  • Annie @ Delicious Wellness July 19, 2010, 5:02 pm

    What a happy post! Seriously, your joy spread through the internet and touched all of us! I can’t wait to hear about what happened!

    About the birth control, congrats getting off of it! I got off of it a couple years ago when I realized how much the hormones affected me. I now have an IUD, which works great, but I am so interested in tracking my own cycle. Thanks for posting about that book! I will pick that up at the library.

    If you notice some changes as a result of getting off of the Pill, let us know! I hope you feel great!

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged July 19, 2010, 5:04 pm

    I can’t wait to hear about the news! There’s gotta be something hecka awesome to make you that excited!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople July 19, 2010, 5:04 pm

    I have never been on birth control before. My husband is my first and we started trying as soon as we got married three and a half years ago. We’re still waiting…but hopefully someday soon we will finally be blessed with a child.

  • Leah @ L4L July 19, 2010, 5:04 pm

    I’m on my first month off the pill and am really excited to see how it goes. I think it takes some time for your body to readjust naturally so we’ll see. I can tell that I started to break out more (BOO). We are just sticking to condoms for the moment. I have ZERO desire to get pregnant so that’ll just have to do for now. I’m looking into getting a diagram though. I can’t stomach the idea of an IUD or anything and I’m far too lazy and untrusting for charting.

  • Brandy July 19, 2010, 5:04 pm

    I read TCOYF when we were trying to get pregnant. Unfortunately, we found out that we can’t conceive (tried two IVF cycles, both of which failed), BUT that book was amazing. I learned so much about my body and cycle. I’m not charting anymore, but when I was, I could tell when I was ovulating, and when I would start my period (my cycles are slightly irregular).

  • lisa July 19, 2010, 5:04 pm

    I’m looking forward to reading updates about this journey. I’ve never enjoyed taking BCP because of the weight gain/acne/hormonal nutjob I become on them. 🙂 But the alternatives don’t necessarily appeal either…

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances July 19, 2010, 5:09 pm

    Congrats on your great news! Can’t wait to hear all about it! 🙂 I honestly don’t know anything at all about birth control, as I have never been on it, but I hope this new approach you’re trying works out well. Keep us updated!

  • Brie @ Brie Fit July 19, 2010, 5:09 pm

    We are uterine twins. Today is my first hormone-free day in about 10-11 years, too, and TCOYF came in the mail today! I’m still getting used to the temping thing.

    For me, it was pretty similar reasoning–an “oops” baby would be okay with us right now, and I am just tired of not knowing WTF my body is doing. I just started having worse and worse periods, until my last one which was FOURTEEN days. My doctor was completely unhelpful, so we took the plunge. Here’s to empty utes (for the time being!)

    Also, I love that “other stuff”=feelin’ up your cervix. FYI, do not Google images of cervical fluid. Ick.

    • Brie @ Brie Fit July 19, 2010, 5:12 pm

      I don’t mean that feeling up your cervix is, generally, awesome, I mean that I like how you worded it so gracefully!

      • Carly (Swim, Run, Om) July 19, 2010, 5:18 pm

        This made me literally LOL. Too funny! I guess in the right situation “feeling up your cervix” may be awesome?

    • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 6:34 pm

      Get yo hands off my cervix.

      We are totally uterine twins! My last period also lasted TEN FREAKING DAYS.

  • Sarah July 19, 2010, 5:12 pm

    Ahh, now you’ve got me curious on this good news 🙂 … does it have something to do with pre-sales?

    I went off the pill a year and a half ago because they were making me craaaaaaaazy. My husband actually said that my mood swings and anxiety were starting to rub off of him, it got that bad. I chart my cycles now and use back up – it requires more thought, but I like not having the hormones in me. I’ve got enough of them already. 🙂

  • Heather July 19, 2010, 5:12 pm

    i can’t wait to hear what’s going on!
    I have been on BC pills since college, I am scared to go off them 1.)we do NOT need a baby right now 2.) before BC pills i had VERY painful heavy periods and I don’t want to go back to that!

  • Miranda @ MirandasJeans July 19, 2010, 5:14 pm

    Can’t wait to read about the big news.

    As for the BCP issue. I too have been on it for many many years. Recently I have been wavering on the artificial hormones I’ve been putting into my body, however I do not want kids, like maybe not at all, so I am petrified of getting pregnant. But I don’t know enough about FAM, and should def get as much knowledge as I can to make a more informed decision.

    GREAT post Thank you 🙂

  • Marissa July 19, 2010, 5:15 pm

    great discussion! i’m also in your situation–married, and it’s OK if I get pregnant, but we are trying to avoid at the moment. i was on bc for 5 years, and have been off for 5 years now. we currently use nfp+barrier, and don’t have any little ones. i love nfp as it has taught me so much about my body! typically, us “type A’s” are pretty good at these methods because we’re so precise & careful, and that’s what it takes. good luck!

  • Andrea of Care to Eat July 19, 2010, 5:16 pm

    I hope your body adjusts better than mine – 15 months off the Pill and I finally ovulated like a normal person! I never would have known though, if it hadn’t been for TCOYF. Now the scary part – actually thinking of giving the whole baby thing a go. I think I told you this on Twitter, but the temperature is secondary for me – I rely more on the cervical fluid to determine my fertility. One or two drinks the night before and my temperature is all out of whack in the morning.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 6:36 pm

      yea i’m very interested to see how the whole cervical fluid thing goes. do you just check your panties? ew, i hate the word panties. and cervical fluid.

      • Andrea of Care to Eat July 19, 2010, 7:10 pm

        LOL, I know right? Men have it so easy. After getting back to “normal,” my cervical fluid schedule has been exactly like what the book describes. As for checking the fluid…no other way to say this other than I get on in there and take a sample. But honestly, once you’re aware of what to look for and after it happens a few times, it becomes pretty obvious what is egg white (fertile) and what is not.

  • Shauna July 19, 2010, 5:17 pm

    Caitlin, i’m excited for you and your new hormone free choice!! I read the book and I’ve been hormone free for 2 plus years!! Yay..I thought you might want to look at these two links

    It’s about a lady comp which helps track your fertility and you can read more information about it here


  • Chari July 19, 2010, 5:18 pm

    I have used FAM off and on and it works 100% of the time. If you have regular periods there is not doubt it works 100% of the time.

    I think more women need to understand how birth control works in our bodies. Many women do not know that it can work as an abortificant. Here is a short video talking about this:http://www.familyplanning.net/index/download

    I will never again take birth control. Not only to how it makes my body feel, but also the cause of loss of life.

  • Katherine July 19, 2010, 5:19 pm

    i’ve been hormone free for a year now and feel so much better. i use the lady comp. it was an investment, but really helpful. check it out here: http://www.raxmedical.com/.

  • Kelly July 19, 2010, 5:23 pm

    I am on Ortho Tricyclen Lo (and have been for about 8 years I think), but will be stopping sometime in the fall. I want to regulate my cycle before we start trying to conceive! I will probably try the FAM method as well.. No condoms for us though, since I am allergic to latex! Whole reason I started taking the pill 🙂

  • Stay Gold July 19, 2010, 5:23 pm

    Hi! I’m a huge fan of blog and read regularly. CONGRATS for finally going off hormonal BC – I did the same thing in January 2009 and did not get my period for 5 months. I saw a doctor who made me have a fake bleed (via Progesterone, I think?). And then, I was only having a period every 3 or 4 months. Faced with having to see a reproductive endocrinologist, I opted to start acupuncture – and it WORKED! After 2 months of weekly treatments, I started having a monthly period again. I’m still going weekly to work out kinks (I think my body was out of balance for a looong time), but I just wanted to share how magical acupuncture has been for me (and I love that your husband is an acupuncturist, obviously!). I am SO GLAD I went off birth control when I did – if I had waited until I wanted to actually try and get pregnant, I’m sure it would have been even more frustrating.

    So – you may already be doing this, but I know acupuncture really helps with the transition off BC too. 🙂

    • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 6:42 pm

      YAY acupuncture and YES I’m doing it!

  • Alyssa July 19, 2010, 5:26 pm

    I just saw the news on Twitter, CONGRATS!!!!!!!! I guessed internally that that’s what it was. I’m so happy for you!!! 🙂 I think the news calls for a bit more than yelling and jumping up and down, but it’s a start 🙂

  • Susan July 19, 2010, 5:27 pm

    I used FAM to get pregnant. Works!! I have two beautiful girls.

    Congrats on your Today Show news!!!! So happy for you.

  • The Healthy Hostess July 19, 2010, 5:28 pm

    Good for you making that decision! We did the same thing a year ago and weren’t so careful, now we have a 3-month old! It didn’t even take a month, and we weren’t trying but we were ok (now beyond thrilled) that it happened! Life is so amazing and it will happen whenever it’s supposed to! When it does it is the best thing in the world!

  • KMattrn July 19, 2010, 5:29 pm

    If you have an iPhone, I recommend downloading the “iPeriod” app. It’ll track your periods and fertile periods and you can add notes too! It’s no proven method of BC, of course, but it may be a helpful way to chart all your stats.

  • Natalie July 19, 2010, 5:29 pm

    I used to LOVE BC but then it became a love hate relationship. THe hormones were really messing me up and I have been off for 10 months and still am not totally regular from it. (But I”m not sure that I will ever be completely regular). I love natural tracking because it allows you to be really in tune with your body. You pay more attention to a lot of things and I really like that. I found after several months that I can feel when I ovulate (a painful sharp cramping feeling) which was confirmed by temping. I had no idea when I was on BC!

  • Sara July 19, 2010, 5:33 pm

    Wow, this post and all of the comments are so enlightening. I have had trouble with an irregular period over the past year and my gyno just put me on Avian, a 20mg birth control pill. I didn’t give it much thought at first – I just wanted my period back! Now I’m worried that BC is only going to cover up other problems…I don’t know how to get back my period, though…I stopped exercising for sixth months and that didn’t help at all. Ugh, periods.

  • Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker July 19, 2010, 5:33 pm

    Good luck with going off BC. Like you, I was on it for 10 years. I went off in February. Ever since, my cycles have been SO irregular. In fact, even as I type this, I’m seriously like over two months overdue to get my period. I’m hoping it wasn’t covering up some kind of problem . . . anyway, I’ll have to check out this method of natural BC. Thanks.

  • Steph July 19, 2010, 5:34 pm

    I’ve been on BC for about 8 years. I’ve tried a few different pills, but the one I am on now I absolutely love. My reason for going on it was two-fold: not wanting to get pregnant, and to regulate my period/alleviate cramps. My periods lasted about 8 days and were heavy each and everyday. I had very painful cramps for a couple of days and sometimes had to stay home from class. I remember saying it felt like someone was stabbing my in the stomach with a dull knife – yep, fun!
    I can’t imagine going back to that pain and enduring my long periods – currently I am on Loestrin and get my period 3 days a month with virtually no pain.
    I know your body’s hormones tend to change as you get older, so I am wanting to one day stop and see if I don’t need it for that reason anymore.
    Please share more about the FAM method in future entries, I am very curious. My mom used the rhythm method (not even 100% sure what that is) and got pregnant twice (not on purpose).

  • Ellen @FirednFabulous July 19, 2010, 5:35 pm

    lol Love those photos. So happy for you!

    I was on BC for eight years and recently went off. It’s so weird, but I can’t tell much of a difference with my body when I’m on or off the pill. My period is more sporadic now, but other than that, I have no side effects.

  • Little Bookworm July 19, 2010, 5:35 pm

    Congrats on the book news! 🙂

  • Tracy July 19, 2010, 5:37 pm

    I went off BC last August because my husband and I wanted to start a family. I had my first, normal length cycle this past month. It took almost one complete year! Before this past month, my time b/w cycles was usually 50 days, sometimes more. When I first went off in August, I didn’t get my period back until December!!!! I will never go back on BC ever again.

  • Heather (Perspective Is Everything) July 19, 2010, 5:39 pm

    first time poster here: congrats!! how exciting and monumental 🙂
    as far as BC, i’ve tried several different kinds of pills and even the bc ring. none of them agreed with me at all. i felt miserable.
    hubby and i use the diaphragm. so far so good. we’ve been married 9 years and have one daughter-a planned pregnancy. 🙂

  • MarathonVal July 19, 2010, 5:39 pm

    Congrats on the big news – saw the excitement on twitter and I’m so happy for you!!! 🙂

  • Julia @ www.britbride.com July 19, 2010, 5:40 pm

    Congrats on the big news. I had actually just linked operation beautiful in the editorial content of my blog (rather than just in my blogroll), so its nice to see you getting excited!

    BC – I currently use the pill – Mercilon, but would like to come off it. I think after our wedding next year we may go “au naturel” and explore methods like this. We too are not totally against getting pregnant, but would like to set up our first home and finish paying off graduate debt before actively trying. I am 28 years old though and a baby would not be a “bad” surprise (once the wedding is out of the way!)

    Good luck with it.


  • Julie @ Pickley Pear July 19, 2010, 5:40 pm

    I just read about this in the newspaper today.

    I am on the Seasonique BC, which means I only have a period every 3 months. I LOVE IT! I probably could go off of it, and just be really careful, but I like regulating myself and have had no adverse side effects.

    Congrats on the good news…whatever it may be 🙂

  • Lizz (leadingthegoodlife) July 19, 2010, 5:46 pm

    I don’t have to worry about this because, well, I date girls! 🙂

    This is good for me because I don’t think I’d like to take hormonal birth control every day. I’d be too worried about messing with my body. I completely understand why someone might choose to, I just don’t think it’s for me.

    Good luck! (And congrats on the big news!)

  • Laine @ Beets, Butter & Moutaintops July 19, 2010, 5:54 pm

    My sister used that method and it turned out to be really helpful when she had a couple of miscarriages and no one knew why. Her midwife looked at all her temps from the records she’d been keeping and realized that she had a thyroid issue that hadn’t been detectable by a test. She went on thyroid meds and now I have an amazing nephew (born at home!) with another one on the way.

  • Faith July 19, 2010, 5:59 pm

    I think the second part of your post is so funny because when I read “VERY. EPIC. NEWS.” I thought for sure: baby. hahaha 🙂 Congrats on whatever it is!

  • Heather July 19, 2010, 6:00 pm

    Congrats on whatever the big news is!

    I’m currently on the pill, since 1999 with a few breaks on and off throughout the years.

    I’m with a serious boyfriend, but since we’re not married and in no way ready for kids, I’ll be staying on the pill although I don’t necessarily like being on it. At least I got off YAZ though, that one was terrible!

  • Laine @ Beets, Butter & Moutaintops July 19, 2010, 6:02 pm

    Ok, now I feel like a giant nerd. I just saw your announcement on twitter that you are going to be on the Today Show and I got all teary eyed with joy for you!

  • Peggy July 19, 2010, 6:25 pm

    I agree that switching pills until you find one that works is a must if you decide that BC is something that you need. My boyfriend and I are in no way ready to have kids, so it is non-negotiable for me. I have been on BC for 6ish years, and have tried like a million different ones, some with great (as in no noticeable changes) results, and some with horrible ones. Sprintec (generic Ortho Tri Cyclin, I think) made me absolutely insane and gain weight. But pills like Apri worked great for me. I’m now on the NuvaRing, which IS AWESOME. I can’t say enough good things about it. I had no changes in my body or mood (except for way shortened, lighter periods, SWEET!) and you don’t have to think about it for three weeks after you put it in. Score!

  • BroccoliHut July 19, 2010, 6:28 pm

    This is an issue I am actually really concerned about. I had anorexia throughout puberty so I’ve had amenorrhea for years at a time. When I reached a healthy weight and couldn’t re-gain my period, I was put on BC. It’s worked for the past 2 years, but I’m afraid that it’s affecting my fertility. I’m only 22 and unmarried, but it concerns me that it may be hiding a deeper reproductive issue.
    Anyway, thanks for the info!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal July 19, 2010, 6:42 pm

    I went off bc a few months ago just to give my body a break. It took about 2 and a half months for me to get my period back, and when I did, there were hardly any cramps and it was pretty light! I’m going to give it one more cycle before I go back on the pill.

    And I’m super happy for your exciting news! It’s gotta be awesome if it had you screaming for 14 minutes!

  • Trish July 19, 2010, 6:49 pm

    How am I supposed to sleep tonight if I don’t know your epic news!??!?!? Ahhhhhhh!!!! LOL!! Can’t wait to hear whatever it is that has you so happy. In any case, the happiness is very much deserved. So glad to see you be glad. You’re so sweet. And you have really cute dogs! 🙂

  • Shannon July 19, 2010, 6:51 pm

    OK, first of all, I am DYING to hear your news. I’m a writer too, and working on the dream! 🙂 Also, this is odd and funny—when I read your sentence about epic news (before I’d scrolled down or seen the rest of your post), I immediately thought you were pregnant. And then you spent the rest of the post talking about NOT getting pregnant! Ha!

    I may be an anomaly on this site, I don’t know: I’m a 39 year old married mom of two little girls. I’m not having more babies. I’ve been on hormonal birth control (other than when trying to get pregnant of course) since 1993. Yes, that’s a long time. It was the pill until after my 2nd daughter was born in 2006; now it’s the Mirena IUD.

    I do wonder about hormonal BC at times, but the pill was good to me. And I’ve gotten spoiled by Mirena in that I do not have a period on it. Yes, I realize that scares some people and some people also think it’s the very proof that hormonal BC is unnatural and bad for you, but in all honesty, I’m an active, busy mom of a preschooler and a kindergartner, and I’m a runner, and it is WONDERFUL to never have to worry about when my period will arrive, deal with having it and trying to remain active, etc. I have no side effects or PMS symptoms that I can tell. It’s something I never have to think about, and yet it makes my life so much simpler.

    That said, I used TCOYF when I was trying to get pregnant with baby #1 (infertility issues–and then funnily enough, got pg with baby #2 naturally in just 4 months, no problems at all), and it is a great book.

  • tanyasdaily July 19, 2010, 7:01 pm

    I bet you made sales big time in your -pre sale!

  • Rachael July 19, 2010, 7:05 pm

    Whatever made you happy, thanks for the joyful pics – always good to see authentic glee:)
    I don’t do birth control – I discovered the book you’re referencing a couple of years ago, and it has been a godsend. I was on a couple of different variations of the pill and patch, mostly to regulate my cycle (messed it up pretty severly with an eating disorder) and my chemical balance went haywire. Since practicing a more natural method, I’ve been saner, and I feel confident that trying to get pregnant will be all the easier. Good choice!

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter July 19, 2010, 7:16 pm

    I just went off b.c. a few days ago because my body has never agreed with it. I’ve been on 4 different birth controls in the past 9 months, and my body has never liked it. I would either get very hormonal and cry every five seconds, or the birth control wouldn’t help with my cycle. Ugh. I hope things go well for you. I’m excited to hear your big news.

  • meagan July 19, 2010, 7:23 pm

    A lot of my friends who use FAM (I’m pregnant now, so I don’t) use Fertility Friend (www.fertilityfriend.com). You can chart online, program in your cycles, etc. It’s pretty nifty.

    I loved TCOYF. After I read it and charted for a few months I knew so much about my body that I had no clue of before. BCP or not, I think it’s an important book for women to read.

  • Christy July 19, 2010, 7:28 pm

    Whatever you do, do NOT rely on the “pull and pray” method! ha. My hubby and I used it successfully since 2001 when we started dating. We were going to start trying for our 2nd child this month, but surprise surprise…. I got pregnant in May. Lucky for us, it was just two months ahead of schedule, and we were ecstatic. The unexpected surprise was awesome.

  • Marie July 19, 2010, 7:30 pm

    OMG just saw your news… SO excited! It’s on my calender, haha! I was hoping you’d get to do that!

  • Marie July 19, 2010, 7:30 pm

    and CONGRATS!!!!

  • Kelly July 19, 2010, 7:31 pm

    1. I saw your tweet revealing the big news, and I am SOSOSOSOSO excited for you!
    2. Your hair is SO long and gorgeous.
    3. I think the second I get married I will be switching off of birth control pills. It will be nice to see what not being on hormones feels like.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2010, 7:59 pm

      thank you for the hair compliments!

  • Erin July 19, 2010, 7:33 pm

    This has certainly sparked an interesting discussion! I think you’ve got the bases covered in that if you *do* get pregnant, it won’t devastating (vs if you were in college or a casual relationship). I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts.

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie July 19, 2010, 7:43 pm

    I got off birth control last November. I feel a hundred times better. Though we weren’t trying to get pregnant we weren’t
    ‘not’ trying and guess what? I got pregnant right away! Now I’m a month and a half away from having the little guy.

    After the baby though I fully plan on doing everything natural. Birth control messed me up and I don’t ever want to go back to it.

  • Ellie July 19, 2010, 7:44 pm

    Okay so I actually think this is so cool. I’m Catholic so we are into this kind of stuff. While I’ve never been anti-birth control I’ve never had to worry about it. Growing up in the church meant that I learned a lot about natural birth control. I went to a Catholic college so then people were really into talking about it- know I am actually really hoping whomever I marry will be cool with the natural way because I like that I wouldn’t have to go on birth control. There are other really cool things people say about natural birth control like that it increases the communication they have with their spouse and that both the husband and wife have to be really in tune with things. I kind of just think it’s smart for a marriage.

    • Caitlin July 20, 2010, 8:42 am

      My BFF suggested I investigate Catholic churches for literature on the subject 🙂 hehe

  • Robyn @ Frugal 'n' Fit! July 19, 2010, 7:47 pm

    I LOVE that book! The great thing about FAM, too, is that when you DO want to get pregnant, you know your body’s natural rhythms so well it will be a lot easier. I got pregnant on my second month of trying because I knew exactly when to time the “bizznizz” 😉

    I am really curious to hear what caused the 14 minutes of joyousness!

  • Gracie (complicated day) July 19, 2010, 7:49 pm

    Hi Caitlyn, I’ve been using a method like the FAM method since hubby and I got married. I never took birth control…and I’m a pharmacist! I’m not against birth control for moral reasons, but after studying it in school I was appalled that drugs with so many long term side effects were taken by so many people for so many years. I know too much about them to to take them! I wanted to mention two things – 1, FAM gets way, way easier as you do it (for the first few months it was a chore; after a few years it’s a snap) and 2, if you have any questions about either the effects of BC or the method you’re using hit me up, I may be able to help you! Good luck and congrats on whatever your exciting news is!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2010, 8:42 am

      thank you so much gracie!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) July 19, 2010, 7:50 pm

    I can’t wait to hear what the news is!!!! I bet that you have sold a BUNCH of copies already!!

  • Julz @ freshman5k July 19, 2010, 7:51 pm

    How ironic! Today is actually my second day on birth control, in hopes to solve a long case of amenorrhea. I hope I can eventually get off it too.

  • Chelsey July 19, 2010, 7:57 pm

    What a great topic!!! I went off my BC in February – my cycle is errr… non existent. I think it covered it up while I was on the pill. It gave me so many side effects, and I am glad to be off of it. I am waiting for everything to get back to normal – I’m afraid my running habit is getting in the way of that though. I think maybe I should start doing the temperature taking too and see what’s going on!!!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] July 19, 2010, 7:58 pm

    Such a teaser! Can’t wait to hear the book news =)

  • Amy Ramos July 19, 2010, 8:00 pm

    That is great news! I kicked the BC habit last year but that is b/c we are trying to have a baby…over a year later and no baby ;-( (that is a different topic and post all together).
    Good luck!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2010, 8:42 am

      I wish you the best of luck with trying!

  • Meghan July 19, 2010, 8:00 pm

    This post could not have come at a better time. I ALSO just went off my birth control pill last night–first time in 12 years! Thank you so much for the book recommendation! Unfortunately, this past year, I had a blood clot that they thought was due to my birth control. I went on a progesterone only pill about after the clot (the only pill I am allowed), but I didn’t really love the side effects. Thank you for tackling this issue on your blog. I just started blogging and was a little nervous to write about this–but you inspired me to be a more open because it sparked such a great discussion!

  • Katie @ peacebeme July 19, 2010, 8:23 pm

    I have always felt judged for my personal choice not to use hormonal birth control for the last three years. But I am a major supporter of reproductive rights, every woman has the right to choose what is best for her body. Everything affects everyone differently. I also think it depends on your stage in life, like you said. I feel much happier doing things the way I am now.

  • Nicole July 19, 2010, 8:27 pm

    Hey!I actually went off the pill a year ago for the same reason-I had been on it for 14 years and really wanted to know my body. Early in the year I started having some issues and I went 4 months without a period. I freaked out, thinking we’d gotten pregnant (which would have been OK but like you, we’re not trying) After a few doctor’s appointments, I found out I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. My body has been a wreck ever since and I’ve been trying everything I can to get it back to normal. It’s been terrible; but I never would have known if I hadn’t gone off the pill. Now I know that when we do decide to conceive, it won’t be as easy as we had planned.

    • Caitlin July 20, 2010, 8:43 am

      I’m sorry to hear about PCOS but you have a good attitude about it – at least you know NOW!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 19, 2010, 8:29 pm

    Aww, you’re such a tease. Congrats on whatever the good news is! 🙂

    I’ve been on BC since October because I hadn’t gotten my period in more than a year. And then I had to go on antidepressants because of the BC (I think). Ideally, I’d really like to go off both of them but I know it’s not healthy to not have a period and my doctors haven’t given me any alternative suggestions for how to deal with that problem.

  • Nicole July 19, 2010, 8:29 pm

    Sorry I hit submit too soon–anyway, all this to say I wish you the best with going off the pill. It’s definitely a good idea to do it now before you’re really ready to conceive…you know, if there’s a problem. I hope it goes smoothly for you!

  • Aria July 19, 2010, 8:37 pm

    Congratulations!!!!! That is SO exciting!! I just pre-ordered your book from Amazon – I’m literally getting it the day before my beach vacation so I’m looking forward to a great beach read – love your blog!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2010, 8:44 am

      Thank you so much Aria!!

      Beautiful name by the way!

  • Alex July 19, 2010, 8:38 pm

    I’m super jealous! I’m on birth control due to ovarian cysts, so I can’t go off of it if I ever want children! I’m on a really hormone-filled kind though and it’s made me gain 20 pounds :-\

  • Teacherwoman July 19, 2010, 8:41 pm

    Very interesting. I look forward to hearing more about this in the future. I went off BC a couple years ago after I was not longer in a 4+ year relationship and wasn’t sexually active at the time. I didn’t like the fact that I had been on it for 6+ years and was afraid of what it was doing to my body. But, I recently went back on it… 🙂

  • maria @ Chasing the Now July 19, 2010, 8:42 pm

    I’m interested in hearing more as you continue to be off your pills. I currently take BC because I am in no way prepared to have children right now (and actually I’m not sure if I want them at all yet). I’d love to quit the pill, but I’m pretty apprehensive.

  • Claudia July 19, 2010, 8:46 pm

    I used TCOYF 12years ago when I was trying to get pregnant, I was 26 and had never been on the pill and was always very in tune with my cycle.
    Since then I have been on the the pill for 9 years, taking 1 year off as I was pregnant with my son (which actually happened while I was on the pill!!)
    I have been seriously considering getting off the pill as I feel it has no place in my body.
    Being 37 and not wanting anymore kids, makes things a bit more challenging, but my hubby supports me in whatever decision I plan on making.
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us and hope it’s a smooth transition.

  • Kelly July 19, 2010, 8:51 pm

    That is a great book. I learned so much when I was trying to get pregnant. After I had my baby, I went back on the bcp for about 1 1/2 yrs. 6 months ago I stopped and I track my cyle. I love being more natural. About 3 months after stopping, I had some more than normal hair shedding (I never had the post baby hair loss) But, I freaked out. I was so stressed/ sad for couple of weeks. Plus I broke out really bad. I used nioxin shampoo and that helped and my skin is much better. I am pretty sure all of that was due to the changing of the hormone. Just a heads up if that happens to you in a few months. I highly recommend Nioxin. I got it on amazon. I loved charting my temp. It is so neat to see your ovulaion chart. Good luck with FAM!

    • Clare July 20, 2010, 7:51 am

      All these things happened to me too went I went off the pill. It’s because the estrogen in BCPs is REALLY good for your hair and skin (at least it is for mine). When you go off it, the amount of estrogen in your system is lowered and you get things like hair loss, acne…I even had hot flashes. It’s sort of like a mini-menopause. Fun!

      • Caitlin July 20, 2010, 8:44 am

        Oh god!

  • Sarah July 19, 2010, 8:58 pm

    I’m having birth control issues lately, myself. I’ve been on the pill since 2002 (I was 16). I started out on Orthotricyclen-Lo which my body handled surprisingly well compared to many other friends who said it made them raging, emotional lunatics. Because of insurance issues when I graduated from college my doctor switched me to Yaz, which she consistently had free samples of so I didn’t have to pay. Yaz was fine, but I could tell a change in my body when I switched and I didn’t feel as good. Then, I switched to Loestrin which I am currently on. I HATE it. My body is so much more sensitive to this pill than any others I have taken. My cramps are horrible, I have spotting, and I have a very low sex drive. I’m definitely not ready to go off the pill, but I know I need to make a change here soon so reading these posts is very helpful.

  • Heather July 19, 2010, 9:10 pm

    I bet you are going to feel a HUGE difference with your running! My running took off when I got off the pill. I hated it!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2010, 8:46 am


  • Wendy July 19, 2010, 9:18 pm

    Congrats on your epically good news, whatever it is!

    I was on BCP for a couple years of high school, then got off of it for most of the time I was in college. Then I went back on for a few years, up until my first year of marriage. Then, my cycles got all wonky, and I went off the pill to let them naturally correct themselves. Then, lo and behold, I got pregnant with my first child. After she was born, I went on the mini-pill (progesterone only), which is safe while nursing. I probably didn’t need them though, b/c my cycles didn’t return until I weaned my daughter at 13 months old. Then we decided to TTC for baby #2. When we were TTC our son, I tracked my temps, mucus, etc., just because I was curious about my cycle. I think I tracked for a month, then the second month, we did our thing when we were supposed to, and got pregnant on the first try! I know the exact date he was conceived. 🙂

    I currently have a Mirena IUD, which I LOVE (I have no periods) and highly recommend if you are pretty sure you are done having kids, but don’t want to do something drastic, like having your tubes tied. I’m only 32! Who knows?

  • Juli @ blessmyheart July 19, 2010, 10:14 pm

    I have been off the pill since my first child was born (6 yrs ago). We’ve had a second child in the meantime, but she was completely planned. We use condoms or pull and have had no “accidents”.
    For me, the pill KILLED my sex drive. No desire whatsoever. I even asked my doctor about getting on an alternative medicine and he had no answers for me. The hormonal mood changes and food cravings are pretty obvious, and I get pretty crazy sometimes, but my husband thinks it’s all worth it that week before ovulating 😉

  • Andrea July 19, 2010, 10:29 pm

    I used FAM to get pregnant the last two times. The first time resulted in a miscarriage, and with the second I’m not expecting twins! It works great, and is very easy to figure out once you get used to it! Good luck. It’s great to be pill free.

  • caligirl July 19, 2010, 10:57 pm

    I went off the pill after i got married after being on it for 8 years. My period never came back. After 6 months, I saw my OB and had bloodwork done, everything was normal but hardly any estrogen or progesterone. She told me that if i wasn’t ready to get pregnant, the solution was to go back on the pill to get a “healthy bleed”. Reluctantly, I did for another year and then went straight to a fertility specialist after coming off again. After a complete exam, I was diagnosed w/hypothalamic amenorrhea. I’ve always been active but have never had eating issues or problems w/my period before(i was 5’2″/110 lbs). Long story short, 1.5 years later i am finally pregnant via IVF (after several failed IUI’s and months of injectibles) but i have a feeling that the pill may have had something to do with all of this. Good luck w/FAM, i have also read great things about it!

    • Caitlin July 20, 2010, 8:48 am

      congrats on getting preggers via IVF!!! 🙂

      • caligirl July 20, 2010, 9:48 am

        thanks – we’re so happy 🙂

  • Anne @thefitbridesmaid July 19, 2010, 11:08 pm

    I have been on BCP for about 5 years. I did have an issue with my eyes being red and itchy when I switched pills, so I’m back on my original one.
    I’m happy that you put the disclaimer about taking BCP when you 100% do not not wanting to get pregnant

  • Jenn July 19, 2010, 11:26 pm

    My period stopped for 9 months, so my gyno put me on BC. It brought back my periods quickly. He then had me get some tests done, and found out I have PCOS. It’s normally only diagnosed in obese people, but somehow I have it! I’d rather not be taking BCP for non-contraceptive usage, but he said it’s my best bet to keep the rest of me normal (ie hair falling out and period problems).

  • jen July 19, 2010, 11:49 pm

    i was so depressed on yaz, i seriously thought of suicide. my gyn said i just need to give it more time for my body to adjust to the pill…so i found a new gyn instead! glad to know i’m not the only one who felt wrong in her own skin on it.

  • sarah July 19, 2010, 11:54 pm

    i took seasonale for 4 years and it gave me high blood pressure and elevated my liver enzymes!! i felt completely fine. needed up all sorts of labs and an ultrasound of my liver to rule out other causes and everything magically resolved after i stopped taking it. so word of warning girls: keep an eye on your blood pressure and get your doctor to order a yearly liver/hepatic profile if you take the pill…

  • caronae July 19, 2010, 11:55 pm

    This post is actually really good timing for me! I am in kind of a tricky birth control situation right now. I just had multiple massive pulmonary emboli. One of the risk factors for emboli is birth control, so I can NEVER take it again or I could develop more life-threatening clots. BUT I need the birth control, not necessarily as a contraceptive (there are other methods), but to protect my ovaries (I have PCOS). This is a really unusual situation and my doctors are trying to figure out what to do to preserve my fertility, since I’m only 20. I hope we figure something out; I don’t want to have my hormones out of whack for the rest of my life and I really want kids! It’s all so scary…

  • Sara July 20, 2010, 12:18 am

    I love this post! Thanks so much for all the info. I’ve been on the pill for years and though I don’t mind it, I would like to be hormone free. My hubby and I are thinking of starting to “try” in about a year, and this book sounds so interesting.

  • Maureen @ Notes on a Visual Life July 20, 2010, 3:11 am

    I would love to not be ingesting hormones everyday as I’m a total health nut in every other way. I just can’t handle going back to the debilitating cramps I suffered before BCP. It was awful, I would lose 1-2 days every month from the pain (couldn’t even stand). On a lesser note, I also have a feeling my acne will go nut balls insane and I’ll end up being a scary dragon lady during PMS times. Yikes. I really haven’t suffered any major side effects from the pill (libido may be lower than before). Plus I absolutely CANNOT get pregnant!!! I’ve thought about an IUD but it seems a little frightening to me AND I haven’t had any children. I just wish there was a better alternative. *Sigh* I love being a woman but it can really be trying sometimes.

    • Maureen @ Notes on a Visual Life July 20, 2010, 3:13 am

      Oh, P.S….CONGRATULATIONS ON THE NEWS!!!! That’s so awesome and you really deserve it! I’ve got to remember to post some OB notes around L.A. soon, heaven knows we need ’em here!

      • Caitlin July 20, 2010, 8:49 am

        I can’t wait to see your notes 🙂 Be sure to email them to me at seebriderun at gmail dot com

  • Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales July 20, 2010, 3:54 am

    It is so brave of you to stop using birth control pills. I hope this natural method works for you.

  • Jenny July 20, 2010, 6:42 am

    First, congrats on the great news!! Second, I have been on Natural Family Planning (using the Clearplan Monitor to predict ovulation) for the last 6 years. My husband and I have successfully conceived two children when we were ready and avoided becoming pregnant the rest of the time. I LOVE it!! It is 100% natural and really had made me more aware of my body and its signals. IT has recently helped me to realized things were not right (along with some weight loss) and seek medical attention. Good luck!!

  • Teisha July 20, 2010, 7:47 am

    I read that book when my husband and I were trying to get prego .. I think it’s a fabulous book and all women should read it, if nothing else, to understand what is going on with our bodies!

  • Andrea July 20, 2010, 8:48 am

    Congrats Caitlin on taking control of your fertility and getting to know how your body works. I’ve been using fertility awareness/NFP for almost 10 years with complete success. I personally believe fertility awareness should be taught as part of “Health” classes in high school because it not only is useful for achieving/avoiding pregnancy but really tunes a woman in to when there may be something wrong with her body/cycle. I hope you are as successful and satisfied with it as I have been.

  • sarah July 20, 2010, 9:07 am

    Love TCOYF! I used FAM in between having my first child and getting pregnant with my second. It does work and it also makes you really aware of how your body works which I think is so important. Like you and your husband, we used a secondary method of BC if we were unsure but for the most part it was very cool to see how my body worked and regulated itself. Plus, I could tell a big change hormonally and with my sex drive by not being on birth control. I plan on using FAM again after having my second.

  • Mellissa July 20, 2010, 9:13 am

    We have been using FAM since March and I am feeling so much better! I will warn you the first few months off the pill are rough, I was a hormonal mess but things are starting to feel “normal” now.

  • Monica July 20, 2010, 10:05 am

    Chiming in way late…I went of the pill almost three years ago now and it was the best move I’ve made. 🙂 At first I wasn’t tracking anything just letting my body do its thing, but then shortly after I visited my homeopathic doctor to talk about some allergy issues I was having and mentioned I’d gone off the pill and he recommended the TCOYF book. I signed up for a free online tracking site and started to pay a bit more attention to my body and was shocked at all I learned. I don’t track my temperature (my work schedule makes it too sporadic to get a proper reading at the same time each day) but I can pretty much tell when I’m ovulating by when my temperature kicks it up a notch. It’s really empowering. I know that sounds so cheesy, but I’m so happy to have the knowledge. 🙂

  • Jennifer July 20, 2010, 10:46 am

    Hi Caitlin! I have been using FAM for years now. I bought the charting software a long time ago and I have now inputted over 50 cycles into it (plus I have some paper charts). You will not regret getting the book! It is such a great resource. Even though I have the technique down, I still return to the book to re-read sections over and over again. Plus, I have become an FAM-advocate for every woman I know. I have learned SO much about my body that even my doctors have been amazed. It is funny to see their reactions sometimes.
    It is a really empowering thing to do and PLEASE if you feel lost or feel like you are going crazy while going through this process, use the resources available. The TCOYF website and forums really helped me when I first stopped using hormonal birth control. AND I have met some wonderful women that I have now been friends with for years through that website. I can’t imagine not having them in my life.
    Congratulations on making this decision!!!! You can always email me if you have questions too!!! I went off of hormonal BC and have never looked back!

  • Wei-Wei July 20, 2010, 11:13 am

    Can’t WAIT to hear your news! As for the birth control issue – I’ve always thought that was a myth, too. But, eh… I’m not on the pill and I don’t ever really intend to be.


  • Lauren @ The Raw Cure July 20, 2010, 11:16 am

    I sadly don’t use birth control for birth control but rather to get my flow and cramps under control. Basically my body hates me and is even irregular on the pill too. But I want to say cramps are a little bit better and flow isn’t as heavy. So I don’t think I can go off… Unfortunately.

  • Jen July 20, 2010, 11:32 am

    I went off the pill about 6 months ago and it was the best thing I ever did! My mood swings and cramps definitely came back, but overall I feel so much better! With all of my healthy eating and natural living, I finally realized that it was a little silly for me to be on the pill! It took 3 months for my cycle to get back to normal…i thought it was back right away, but it wasn’t…i was still on the ‘pill 28 day cycle’, but for the past 3 months my cycle is longer and I feel better!
    Now that I am married and at the point where it is ok to get pregnant, I have no worries. Before, I would have been a nervous wreck. 🙂

  • Sami July 20, 2010, 11:34 am

    no offense to you or anyone on the pill, but i’m not a fan of birth control or any other drugs that mess with the natural production of your body. i hate that i’ve got to be on thyroid medicine, but it’s necessary for my life function.

  • Sarah C. July 20, 2010, 12:28 pm

    I very curious about FAM after your first post about the book. So I went out and bought it and read a few chapters. I was very intrigued so I decided to ask my mom b/c she used to be a midwife. All she said to me was, “Have you met Matt?” (Matt is my younger brother). Apparently my mom was using FAM to avoid getting pregnant, but it didn’t work out. I’m not sure if she was just the 5% that it didn’t work for, but she is a very smart lady when it comes to childbirth so I trust her opinion. Needless to say that was enough to keep me on birth control. I’m not completely against FAM (and it does work for some), but I am a little wary. I might try it one day when I plan to start a family, but I’m not sure I would use it to avoid starting one.

    • Caitlin July 20, 2010, 12:51 pm

      Hahah your mom sounds like a really funny lady. 🙂

      • Sarah C. July 20, 2010, 4:19 pm

        Every now and again she has some good jokes : ). Actually, now that I think of it, I’m not even sure if my younger brother knows about this….

  • Marie July 20, 2010, 12:51 pm

    I have been off the bc pill for 7 years and I love how I feel! We do not use any other form of bc either – we think if it happens it happens but we aren’t trying. My body went through some major stuff when I decided to go off the pill and I just didn’t think messing with my hormones anymore was a good idea (I had been on the pill for about 5 years).

  • Rachel July 20, 2010, 12:54 pm

    I was also on the pill for 10 years. I went off it in March because we were talking about trying to get pregnant and I had heard it can take up to a year to get it out of your system. Two months later we thought “let’s just see what happens” – and lo and behold, I’m pregnant! I know a lot of people have trouble conceiving naturally but I wasn’t one of them – we conceived the first month of trying.

    Since we’re clearly very fertile, it makes me nervous to not use birth control after baby is born in February. I’m not a fan of condoms so I’m very interested to hear how your experience with this works out!

  • HeatherBakes July 20, 2010, 1:53 pm

    I love TCOYF- and actually several friends have borrowed the book. I read it and started charting a year before we decided to start trying. It worked for us because as soon as we DID start trying, we conceived the first month. Oh- and I charted on FertilityFriend.com, too. Good luck!!!

  • Susan @ Journey for Health July 20, 2010, 5:42 pm

    Good for you on making a change in a way that might work better for you. I know that I cannot go off of the pill. The main reason would be bouts of amenorrhea followed by periods of menorrhagia. It was a nightmare. As much as I’d like to avoid taking it, it is what works, especially since being in a regular cycle is best for me now that I’m still a student. Good luck!

  • Corinne (breathe and savor) July 21, 2010, 2:14 pm

    HAHAA I flippin love these photos of pure excitement! “I’m facing the window screaming hysterically in the second one.” I have a happy dance that I break out when I am that excited! so fun, cannot wait to learn what is causing all this EXCITEMENT!

  • Becky July 27, 2010, 4:52 pm

    I’ve been off of BCP for almost a year now; it will be a year next month. My husband and I got married this past March, so we used condoms Aug – Mar ( I know I know…mood kill) and then after we got back from the honeymoon I bought TCOYF bc The Fitnessista recommended it so much. It was really interesting. Its funny, we waited until AFTER the wedding to avoid any surprises “just in case” but now I wish I would have started FAM so much sooner. FYI, I’m probably older than most people that comment (34) and already have two children. I’ve been on all different kinds of BC over the years from about age 18 to now. I disliked every single one of them. I am not a good pill taker. The patch gave me awful headaches and I stopped them when I started hearing they could be caused by blood clots. The Depo shot also did not do me well AT ALL. So, last year when I told my husband (then fiance) I wanted to get off of BC and my reasons why (yes, it was my body but both of our responsibility if I get pregnant) he was completely supportive. I have to admit I’ve been super happy every since and noticed a difference the opposite of many others immediately. I had more energy, more focused, less lathargic…I just felt so CLEAR. Had a menstrual cycle the next month too. I should probably mention initially I went on BCP the last time because as my body has changed over the years my periods began to get very heavy. Too heavy, to the point that my DR said it was almost like I was donating blood every month, whereas most women only loose about 1 – 1.5 oz. of blood a month. BCP definitely shortened the duration and lessened the flow. So, for the months after stopping I was VERY aware of exactly when I got my periods, how long they lasted and that they were not too heavy. Also, that my energy levels were not extraodinarily depleted like they were before. Feb – Apr of this year were a little wacky I think due to the wedding, but we have been VERY happy with FAM so far. I do sometimes forget to take my temp. Or I like to sleep in a little ont he weekends. Or on occasion, seems like right around the time of ovulation, like to have a few drinks which messes with my temp. However, even with those factors, I still feel like I’ve learned enough about my body bc of TCOYF to avoid pregnancy.

  • http://mbtshoesoutlet.blog.capital.fr/index.php?nocache=1037 October 30, 2013, 10:38 pm

    The Big Birth Control Question, Part II — Healthy Tipping Point

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