Today in honor of my upcoming Chart Your Cycle course, I wanted to invite in one of my close friends to share her story about hormonal birth control, why she stopped, and why she chose FAM.
Please welcome the one and only Kimberly Kurimski!
I was 16 years old when I first got on birth control. I didn’t want to worry about taking a pill at the same time every day so with the help of my doctor, we chose the Implanon. I had it for just a few months before I decided to get rid of it. I was constantly spotting, my periods were painful and the experience was just not something I wanted to endure any longer, so I switched to the Nuva Ring.
I was on the Nuva Ring until I was 21 I believe. At the start of using the Nuva Ring my periods were extremely painful. Cramping was at a level where I couldn’t even move out of bed. I remember having a date with my then boyfriend and I had to cancel because I couldn’t get up. The painful periods eventually faded and I began to love the Nuva Ring. However, I felt like my emotions were being fogged over. Like I couldn’t truly express who I was inside. It’s hard to describe it, but I felt like my emotions were being expressed in ways I didn’t want them to be. Whether I was freaking out over something small or didn’t feel as happy when something exciting happened. I just felt off in a way. I was also concerned that I didn’t truly know myself. I had been on birth control since I was 16, which is when puberty is occurring yet I had been pumping my body full of hormones and possibly changing who I truly was. I wanted to know myself as I was. No extra medications. So that’s when I talked to my long-term boyfriend (now fiance) about getting off birth control.
He was so supportive. He wanted to learn everything with me so he understood my body as well. [editors note: I love hearing of such amazing partners] I began charting immediately when I got off the Nuva Ring. Victoria shared some resources with me to help me transition to charting and so I began with my trust thermometer in hand. I decided I wanted to learn more by taking a class so my boyfriend and I signed up for the Natural Family Planning (NFP) class offered by the Couples to Couples League. We felt a little uncomfortable attending the class since neither of us are religious, but everyone was so welcoming.
We were instantly fascinated by the amazing things my body does throughout once cycle. I had no idea there were four phases that led me to experience different emotions or feel differently. My favorite phase is the Ovulatory Phase. This is when the egg is released into the ovary. Estrogen and testosterone levels peak, which may make you feel that you look better and feel more confident. Energy levels are highest in this phase and it’s a good time to put yourself out there. Whether it’s going on a date or a job interview, you may feel more desirable and emit that better during this phase. When I learned about this I was in awe. I mean, how cool is that?!
Another thing I learned about was cervical fluid. WHY HAS NO ONE EVER TALKED ABOUT THIS TO YOUNG GIRLS?! I thought I was some type of sick freak. I would find a white substance in my underwear and be annoyed with it. I didn’t know what it was or why it was there. Little did I know at the time that cervical fluid was one of the ways to track my fertility. The different types of cervical fluid help determine what phase I’m in and that is just freaking awesome.
Today I continue to chart. I use the Kindara app and love it. It’s super easy and I purchased the Wink thermometer, which has yet to be delivered but I can’t wait to try it out! I feel good knowing that I’m only put good things in my body. I’m not taking unnecessary medications and instead I am learning more so I can track my fertility myself. I love how I feel off hormonal birth control. I feel proud of myself to be informed enough to chart and that’s an irreplaceable feeling.
Kimberly Kurimski is a Content Manager at Cover Story Media. I go to her for a range of techy questions, as well as general day to day advice and great conversations. She is also an amazing advocate for ALS research.
Registration for my Chart Your Cycle course closes this Sunday, June 5th. Make sure you head on over to sign up and learn more. I can't wait to see you there!