Thursday, June 7, 2012

It took me 5 years to recover from Yasmin

I started Yasmin in 2005, after I stopped breast-feeding my second child, and stopped taking yasmin in March of 2007.  I had only taken the pill for about 2 years or so and it took me about 5 years to completely recovered. With that I want to point out that: each individual’s recovery period is different.

The first year, on yasmin, and like everybody else, I had already noticed some strange symptoms but I brushed it off thinking it was probably due to stress as I had 2 toddlers under the age of 5 and was also working full time.  

Those strange symptoms were: 
  • loss of libido
  • short-tempered
  • unusual dryness on my skin throughout my body (skin would break if you scrub or scratch)
  • light-headedness
  • insensitive to feelings
  • feeling stressed all the time
Those symptoms were just the bothering symptoms while I was on the pill until I got a full-blown panic attack one beautiful day in March of 2007.  I was fetching my eldest daughter from kindergarten when an attack swept over me, flooded me with palpitations out of the blue, sweating profusely and out of breath.  I was thinking I was about to faint and the school crowd suddenly became overwhelming for me (I was so fine with the crowd and noises before!)

I still don’t know how I made it out of the school and drove back to our home.  My husband was out-stationed then and I thought perhaps it was an ‘insecurity’ feeling that my husband was away and I was left handling the house with the kids but I was skeptical because I never had those problems before!  I did not understand why I couldn’t handle it this time.  I was a healthy, strong mother – what made me so fearful this time? I kept asking myself... The panic feeling remained with me for a few more days and I began to sense that it could be the pill. 

I stopped mid-pack and had a withdrawal bleeding.  After I stopped all other impending symptoms hit me.  I was bedridden for about 2 weeks with these symptoms:
  • unable to get out of bed due to body ache
  •  fainting 
  •  unable to think, brain-fog
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of concentration
  • heart palpitations
  • nausea
  • numbness
  • suicidal
I was feeling like I was about to die.  I cried endlessly wondering what illness I had, my children watched me helplessly. They were so young then and I was so sorry that they had to see me in that state.  I saw shock and fear in their eyes.  I neglected them and everyone in the family because I was numb, I had no feelings, I felt brain-dead as I couldn’t think properly.  All I wanted to do was to sleep and lay in bed.  Back then I still couldn’t imagine what had gone wrong except for knowing that I had stopped the pill and I was bleeding.  I cried a river of tears.  I had no food on the table for the family, I didn’t send my kids to school.  I just locked myself in the bedroom – I did not even know when it was day and night.

After a few more weeks during the early months off, I watched everyone around me in envy because they could move around so easily while I was feeling handicapped.  I even developed agoraphobia; I couldn’t step out of the house.  I had my mother come over to help me but it was hard as we did not live together, I had my neighbor send my kids to school and she also did grocery shopping for me when my husband was away for work.  I couldn’t leave home without someone by my side.  I had IBS and bouts of vomiting.  I went to the doctor and was diagnosed as gastroenteritis.  Where did that come from? I was eating the same food as cooked for my family – how could they be safe while I was poisoned?  Thousands of questions raced through my mind: am I dying? Do I have stage 3 cancer that I was not aware of?  I imagined my own funeral and even dreamt of one.  I was suicidal when I was awake but couldn’t do anything, even too tired to walk out of my bedroom.  Visits to the doctors were useless.  They sent me to psychiatrists.  At one time, I really believed I was crazy but the gut feeling told me I was not.  I had always been healthy, from a young girl (I traveled across the continent alone a few times) to a strong mother of 2, a runner, and doing martial art.  What happened to me?  - A question that was left unanswered until I found the forum 4 to 6 months after I was ill and going through this.

It was a big relief when I found others who shared the same symptoms as mine.  I cried in relief, this time tears of happiness because I found my answer.  I stopped questioning when I could be better after learning that different people recover differently.  I channeled my time and effort to research and got help instead of venting and ranting ‘why me’?  I got over the stage of being angry with the pill very quickly because I knew I wanted to recover for the sake of myself and everyone in my family.  

My recovery was bumpy and I was constantly going through so many unexpected moments.  For me, it was not just depression alone.  It was depression along with many other symptoms – physically, emotionally, and mentally at the same time.  Examples are:
  • headaches that would not go away
  • no concentration no matter how much sleep I got
  • night sweating, shivering, and trembling
  • feeling faint under the sun like my body was losing control of how to regulate its own temperature
  • random pain from waist down to thigh, leg and calf – I was limping at one time
  • eye, skin and muscle twitches
  • strong sunlight made me dizzy
  • couldn’t form words in a sentence properly
  • bad eyesight
  • toothache, sensitive gum
  • hair loss
  • joint pain
  • anxious and couldn’t concentrate while driving
  • couldn’t  stand loud noises and big crowds
  • couldn’t function in the mornings
  • insecurity of being alone
  • allergies
  • cold and flu-like symptoms onset of menstruation
Today I sometimes lose count of what else I have been through.  I wouldn’t have recovered if I didn’t read and research enough.  I also discovered I was so naive when I was younger – feeding my body with synthetic hormones.  As no doctors could help me, I diagnosed myself with adrenal fatigue after my thorough research.  Yasmin had ruined and robbed me of my life, even as I recovered physically I still couldn’t get back my confidence completely, not until I got help from inspirational and motivational guide books – they helped me through steps-by-step in discovering myself, my strength, and my future. 
The following has helped me:
  • get enough rest, sleep at least 8 hours even after you are fully recovered because there is always relapses if you ‘overdo’ yourself.  Do not wait for the relapse to treat your body well – treat your body well at ALL times
  • avoid alcohol and other caffeinated drinks
  • accept help whenever you can, wherever you are
  • find a hobby that suits you, distract yourself from negative thoughts
  • read self-help books
  • do light exercises e.g. tai chi or yoga
  • laugh – even though you may not feel like it, watch funny videos to bring out laughter – it makes a difference
  • acupuncture
  • body massage – it may not be possible for some and may be costly, I suggest to google ‘how to massage yourself’, it does make a difference on stiff muscles
  • to ease allergies or cold/flu symptoms, drink up turmeric + water
  • have herbal soup once a week if possible
  • stick with home-made meals and juice from fruit rather than fruit concentrate and sugar
  • avoid processed food
  • Above all, patience is the key point to getting well.  I hope you all have a speedy recovery.
Because of what I have been through, I have learn a great deal about natural health – I have started to take courses and schedule my time for study on homeopathy and herbalism. 

~ Leni
Yasmin user 2005 - 2007 


  1. Anonymous6/12/2012

    I am 17 months in recovery and you would swear I wrote this entry. It has been so difficult and frustrating.
    Continued healing...thanks for sharing.

    1. You too. This journey is not easy.. Xo

  2. The World Health Organization has classified all types of "The Pill" (estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives) as Group 1 Carcinogens for quite awhile, and severe blood clots are a frequent side-effect. Early prototypes of "The Pill" in the late '50s caused many women to die.

    There are natural, safer, more medically advanced alternatives to "The Pill," e.g., Natural Family Planning. Spread the word!

    1. Yes, we are working on it.. And unfortunately women still die from the pill...

  3. I realized today that I had developed sensitivity to sun and heat as well. I feel dizzy, nausea and faint-like when i'm under the sun more than half an hour. it's weird!


    1. I had that too for a long time, but only when I was still on Yasmin.. Now it is gone.. It is a scary feeling!!

  4. I'm sure coming again to construe these articles and blogs
    Oral Contraceptive Dangers

  5. All of the withdrawal symptoms are EXACTLY what I've been going through. I've been so scared for WEEKS because I just could not understand why my body was suddenly producing all of these sensations and pains ... I never even get headaches normally let alone all of this! I've gone from thinking I have a brain tumour to heart failure ... cannot believe all of this could be caused by coming off of the pill/

    Sadly I have a history of mental illness so my doctor has referred me to psychiatrists again, not sure how they can help when I feel PHYSICALLY ill!

    Thank you SO much for posting this. It has really eased my mind. I guess I will just have to tough it out - there have been days where I've really wanted to go back on the pill just to make this all stop but I know that in the long-run I'll just have to deal with this all again.

    1. Hi dear.. yes, going back to the pill will not solve it.
      Eating right (aka organic, low sugar, no soy, low grain etc) drinking water, and getting enough sleep is good.

      Stay with it. One day the detoxification will stop and you will have your body back!

  6. I too am suffering from all of the things that you described. I just quit the pill a little over 3 months ago and it has been hell. Like you, I didnt put 2 and 2 together when I was feeling light headed, dizzy, nauseated and achy but then I started reading online and that is where I found the Yasmine/Yaz survivor forum. After reading everyone else's story I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. I later started experiencing bladder inflammation, edginess, depression and anxiety as well as a great deal of hair loss. My periods are not regular, in fact I just got my first period in over 50 day this morning! WOO HOO! I never thought that I would be so excited to see it come but I know that if it's here, then my body is trying to regulate itself and I will be on my way to recovery. My hair continues to fall out and I am looking forward to it stopping. I do see new growth and I find that to be a positive reassurance that things will go back to normal. I am just trying to stay positive and smile at the good things in life. I am sorry that many other women are experiencing the same things that I am because I wouldnt wish this on anyone but it helps to know that I am not alone. I will NEVER again get back on the pill and I will continue to educate those who are taking it. Thanks for posting your experience. It gives girls like me a lot of hope!
    All the best!

    1. Thank you for your comment Tara! I am glad you are able to find the good things in life during this recovery period. Not all have the strength to do so! But for many others it is what drives us to keep fighting. I hope you will feel a little better and see a ray of sun - every day until you regain your own health on your own terms again.
      Much love.

  7. I stopped taking Yaz at the end of March. I have had one period since then (what a wonderful week-- seriously! :) I suffered from pretty much the same symptoms. The worst thing for me was shortness of breath, which may was related to the anxiety I felt? Although I've kind of felt like it was more the other way around. My latest issue is headaches! I've had a headache for the past 3 weeks! It started a shooting, sharp pains in the back, top of my head that would come in spourts and only last a few seconds. Today it's more of a long lasting throbbing pain that is kind of everywhere, even in my neck. Did you headaches last this long into your recovery?

    I would like to say I have come a LONG way in recovery since May! I also saw a homeopathic Dr. and has tried to focus on exercise and eating more naturally.

    Thanks so much for your posts!

  8. Anonymous3/01/2015

    I quit yaz a little over a month ago after being on it for around 7 years or longer. Ive falling into depression and seem to have headaches alot. I have a history of depression and im on antidepressants but they don't seem to help at all. I finish work and jump in my car and start thinking I have nothing to input to life except work. I get home jump into bed and watch tv shows that make me feel more down. Im feeling numb and become interested in trying bad things to make me feel. I have also changed my eating habits, I no longer eat dinner and I don't really seem hungry anymore. My sleep is filled with strange dreams. Im stressed out alot more than usual :-( glad to hear its not just me. How long until the withdrawals end? Its very painful having to motivate yourself to do the simplest tasks and im currently studying and get stressed out because I can "be bothered" or stay focus for very long.