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i’m headed to ojai this evening with justin and another friend couple of ours for their birthdays with a relaxing weekend of wine and doing absolutely nothing. it’s a short drive from LA, but always feels like you far away, which i love. i’ve been personally struggling with some weird anxiety stuff this week so i’m hoping this helps with that. being around people i love on the weekend usually does the trick. i have a feeling my birth control is actually working against me and i really want to look into some other options. i just feel like it may be making me a bit off the wall with my emotions. it may just be a matter of switching brands, but would love to hear your advice! you ladies are always good at that.

what are you up to this weekend? and WOW thank you for all your sweet comments and entries on our big luggage giveaway. so fun to read through those. lots of love and happy friday! xx bri




Add your own

    Heidi says:

    I totally know how you feel! I was on the mirena for 4 months my doc said there should be no side effects. I had migraines, anxiety, slight depression in the mornings totally out of my character. I have four kids under4 and thought maybe the daily stress was catching up to me. I had it removed and within days I felt like my old self, more productive, happy, and excited about life which is how I always have been. My advice personally is to stay off of birth control. I think Mother Nature knows best. Good luck to you!

    Sofia says:

    Wine and doing nothing all weekend? Sign me up! One of the forms of “birth control” I use are ovulation prediction kits. Very counter-intuitive, I know. But I feel A MILLION times better relying on the science of my body. Basically, around the time you’re ovulating, you test your LH levels. When it spikes, that means you’ll ovulate within 24 hrs, which means you just abstain from intercourse about 48 hrs and you’re good to go! Hope that helps!

    xo, Sofia

    steph o says:

    Ojai is the best! I live just north of there and don’t go there as frequently as I should. I got the nexplanon arm implant in November (thanks election for killing my desire to have any more children), and I really like it. I used to get anxious and nauseous on even low dose bc pills, but I’m fine on the implant (it is progestin only, no estrogen, which seems to be the trick for me personally). But if you’ve tried Mirena IUD and had issues, I wouldn’t bother with the implant – mirena is progestin only as well. Friends of mine who can’t do hormonal bc at all have had success with the copper iud. I didn’t do that just because I have anxiety about the insertion due to two really awful labor and delivery experiences. Good luck.

    jenn says:

    another vote for ditching the birth control. hormones are no joke! especially for someone with anxiety going on already. I’m that way too and have been birth control free for many years. just wanted to chime in! going the natural route is totally possible and so much kinder to your body xx

    Amanda says:

    I also ditched hormonal birth control! My mom had a stroke young and the potential for increased risk freaked me out enough. Thankfully condoms haven’t been too big of a deal (and more importantly have been effective) thus far.

    Amy V says:

    I don’t know if it’s readily available in the US, but when I lived in the UK I went on the arm implant (Nexplanon) which I just loved. It stays in for 3 years and releases a small dose daily, so you don’t need to remember to take anything. I didn’t experience any side effects or the crazy mood swings I had on the pill previously. I’ve had it swapped out 3 times (making a total of 9yrs on the implant). I was always told you can be fertile straight away when coming off it, unlike the pill, and took it out when we decided to try for a baby. Expecting a boy next month 🙂
    The implant is free in the UK but is paid and not so commonly done here in New Zealand. Good luck finding what is right for you 🙂

    Sorry to hear your birth control isn’t treating you well. 5 years ago I felt the same way. I went off the pill and got an IUD inserted and I cannot stop RAVING about it. I have the Mirena, which is a much lower dose of hormones than the pill, since it doesn’t need to travel all through your bloodstream- it’s already in your uterus! I haven’t had a real period in almost 5 years- just occasional spotting. My emotions are in check (I used to have monthly breakdowns) and my skin looks great. And the best part – I don’t have to think about it at all – it just works. Highly recommend 🙂

    Katie says:

    An IUD has been amazing … I have the copper kind with no hormones because hormonal birth control always made me feel anxious and emotional but this has been great! I went on it after the birth of my son and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an effective non-hormonal option.

    Nadine says:

    Oh Bri – I had similar issues 10 years ago (I`m 36 now). I ditched hormones and switched to condoms (no loving intimate partner had a problem with it). Sooooo much better! I know, this is not an option for a lot of people, but I wanted to let you know about my positive experience…
    For me, not using condoms is only an option if planning a baby AND both partners had a negative HIV test.

    Becky W. says:

    Man, Birth Control will get you! I am currently on it after a few years of being off for the anxiety problem and general “offness” feeling because of some underlying medical issues. The type I’m currently on seems okay though. I would encourage you to try to switch to a different formula because that may be the problem. I’m rooting for you! It’s tough to feel out of control of your own body and emotions.

    Kasi says:

    Birth control can absolutely mess with my mental health. I have PCOS, and just switching from the brand name version of my BC to the generic version can plunge me into depression, mania, anxiety, whatever! I have to be really careful about it. I’m obviously an extreme case, but hormones do so much to our bodies that it’s no surprise that they mess with our mentality. Good luck with it- I hope you get it sorted out!

    Sarah says:

    I really do not think that stopping with birth control and relying on ovulation or condoms is the best way to go, the high risks would make me feel so uncomfortable everytime! (although everyone decides for themselves of course). A copper IUD without hormones would be perfect if you don’t want any hormones – but you’ll still get your period too with that one. I also had problems with the pill after the insurance made me switch pills, it’s crazy to think about how much influence it can have on your body! I switched ta an IUD (Mirena) and very very happy with it! Barely any menstruation in 3 years so far and so much less hormones. Highly recommended!

    Ryann says:

    There is not a decision in my life that I am more happy about or made a larger impact to my general happiness was to give up the pill (I tried them all and always gave me the blues, as well as lost a certain.. interest.. in.. things). Nothing I recommend more than:

    I have never had one “scare,” no crazy emotions, and I know a lot more about my body now. I wish more people knew about this option.

    Also, it is pricey, but I will keep it forever – will help if/when I want to have kids too. There are some ways to DIY this, but this takes out the tough graphing it yourself type of work and is a simple green light for safe to have sex without protection days, and red for days you will want to use another protection method (ie male or female condoms, or skip sex on those days). Hopefully this isn’t too much of an overshare but I do believe these sort of things should be talked about more and more openly. =D Hope you have a great Ojai trip, one of my favorite places.

    Elle LaFleur says:

    without telling anyone what to do, from my personal experience, I recommend getting off birth control and using the calendar method. It gets you so much more in touch with your body, your cycles and your hormones (which control so much of how we feel!).

    Speaking from personal experience, I have been on just about every kind of bc. I suffer from PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) which made my periods excruciating and painful. It was previously misdiagnosed as endometriosis. I tried the pill, nexplanon (the implant) and depo-provera (the shot) and all of these failed me and eventually made my cycles super irregular and even more painful. I also used to suffer from chronic anxiety and panic attacks… that is until I gave up on bc and let my body come back to a natural cycle. Everyone should make their own choices on whats best, but I strongly recommend no birth control or a copper implant which also does not release hormones. I have been using the calendar method for 3 years with no concerns. best of luck to you! changing bc is a challenging personal choice and can often get worse before it gets better. xx

    Nicole B says:

    I had terrible mood swings with the first birth control I had, I went off it but my periods were super heavy and painful, and I got ovarian cysts almost every month. When I couldn’t stand the pain anymore I started on a low dose pill called Lo Loestrin Fe, and I don’t have any issues with mood swings and I don’t get cysts, and I actually don’t even have a period on it, which is awesome! I have been on it for a few years with no issues.

    Kari says:

    This is totally going to be tmi but whatever. Hormonal birth control made me feel like I had no emotions, happy or sad just sorta bland middle and I never wanted to have sex when I was on it. Anyway, that wasn’t going to work so I did ovulation tracking and it worked for 2 years and really gave me a lot of respect for cycles and how much your body does without you thinking about it. But then one month we cut it a little close and now I have an amazing 5 year-old. After having her we were really intense about condom use but eventually one failed at the perfectly wrong time in my cycle (and after all the tracking i knew) luckily we were ready for another kid and decided to just see what happened and now I have an almost 1.5 year old. I love my kids and wouldn’t change anything if I could go back in time but after that, I was done with tracking/condoms and got a copper IUD. It’s been a year and I can honestly say it’s the best birth control for me, so easy and I feel like myself.

    This weekend starts spring break! My mother-in-law just flew in to visit us in Indonesia. We’re taking her sightseeing, shopping and doing a batik workshop. So excited! Hope your relaxation weekend is awesome.

    Tori Anne says:

    I know how you feel! Birth control pills are a messy deal. I’d look for one that has more progesterone than estrogen. Too much estrogen causes me to be really anxious, progesterone kind of makes me calmer. Although I stopped taking birth control awhile ago and have been happier since.

    I usually tell women I know who are having similar mood issues to not only get your sex hormone levels check (see if you have estrogen dominance) but to also get your thyroid checked (TSH, T3, T4) and if you have Hashimoto’s (autoimmune disease of the thyroid, get your antibody levels TPO checked), it’s super common in women and a lot of doctors don’t check or treat it. And also adrenal fatigue is a common issue in this stressful life we live. I have a lovely combo of all of these hormonal imbalances and it’s been the hardest thing of my life to deal with. I’m finally seeing some balance though, just a lot of patience and dedication to my health. But when I’m feeling off, it’s super hard to not let it get to my head and make me feel as if it’s me. It’s almost always my body not responding properly on a hormonal level. Finding the right naturopath was a huge step towards to finding balance.

    Sorry this is way too much info. I just like to tell anybody who is having similar issues so they have the ideas/tools to find out more about their hormones. It was such a relief to figure out why I was so anxious, panicky and crazy!!

    Hope Ojai is super relaxing for you and your guy!

    xo Tori

    Natalie says:

    Oh man, sorry to hear about the anxiety! I wouldn’t touch birth control with a ten ft. pole. It made me so sick & I didn’t feel like myself at all. My husband & I have been using natural family planning with the thermometer (Lady Comp). In addition to your temperature, it gives you a green, yellow or red light. We love that it overcompensates (some yellows are actually green). Two years later, so far so good. Like someone said in the earlier comments, going natural is so much kinder to our bodies. 🙂

    Tanya says:

    I hear you on the side effects of the birth control! I switched over to a non-hormonal IUD last year and I think it’s a great option. You won’t have the influence of hormones, and unlike the waiting period after the pill, if you decide to have it removed your fertility is instantly restored.

    Eva says:

    UGH Birth control is the WORST! I wish we could all just throw it out and not have to mess with hormones. Mine gives me terrible migraines, so I’ve been working on skipping periods in order to stop them from happening. I would definitely suggest switching if you’re not feeling right, maybe try for a low hormone dose which might help. I’d also consider a copper IUD!

    Tawni says:

    Totally agree with some of the ladies above. I’ve been off BC for a few months and I feel SO much better…I also started accupuncture to help with the intense moodiness, depression, + anxiety I was so often feeling around my period and it has literally done wonders for my well being and happiness! I 100% recommend trying it if you haven’t yet! Good luck finding what works for you, Bri! xx

    Sarah says:

    Wow!I so surprised at how many people are recommending ditching BC! Personally, I wouldn’t be willing to rely on cycle tracking unless I was open to having a kid sometime soon… I know more than one woman who had a baby on that method after getting a little lazy! Which was fine because they were open to having a kid if it happened. It sounds very cool to know what your cycle is like but I definitely prefer something that requires less diligence. For me, I was off hormonal BC for several years, and I got crazy bad hormonal adult acne, which I’d never had as a teen. So I’m less reverent that my body’s natural cycle is so great, haha!
    Now I’m back on TriNessa Lo and I don’t think I’ve had any problems (and my acne went away). I know several women who adore their Mirena and a few who love their implant. I’d go that route if I knew for sure I didn’t want to get pregnant in the next couple years.

    One thing I will say is that I went off BC during a really stressful time in my life several years back because I thought it was heightening my anxiety and depression but in retrospect, I think it was normal for me to feel stressed and anxious because it was a time of a lot of changes. Ultimately, I don’t think the pill really had anything to do with it for me personally, and I didn’t notice any changes going off or going back on years later. I’ve heard more and more women be open about struggling with anxiety recently, and I do myself as well, and I’ve been working with my NP to tackle it as a separate issue, starting with some supplements. Good luck, I appreciate you sharing about this stuff, it’s great to get these conversations going 🙂

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