This past July was my last month with HBC (Nuvaring). I was without any BC until Oct, when I got the Paraguard "installed," as I like to call it.
Over time on the Ring (time being years), my symptoms decreased and evened out. I had horrible unpredictable and heavy periods before the Ring. Interestingly, I've never had much in the way of PMS symptoms such as mood swings or cramps. The most I would get is a backache. I've been on the Ring probably 8 years now and the last few years, I had no symptoms and had menses for maybe three days a month; very light and manageable. I used the diva cup without any problems this past year.
For about the past year and a half, though, I gradually started getting what I would consider "normal" PMS symptoms...normal, except that I had personally never had them and they were happening almost constantly. When I talked to my doctor (several doctors) about them, all they could tell me is "your body changes over time. In fact, the hormones in your BC are probably helping to keep these changes minor."
Really, doctors are full of it.
The change in how I felt after getting rid of the Ring could probably be compared to how a lot of people feel after a few weeks on Paleo: I felt more alive! Libido heightened almost immediately, strange PMS symptoms started to decrease, I felt happier, and more energetic. HBC, even the low-dose of the Ring, definitely had a negative affect on me. My guess is b/c the Ring is a more targeted and therefore lower dose, it took a while for the hormones to reach a level where I noticed them.
Unfortunately, my heavy, erratic cycles seem to have returned (TMI: on cycle [5+ days], I fill a Diva Cup at least once a day and have to wear a pad). I'm not sure if this is how my body operates or if it's being caused by the Paraguard. I am also experiencing other symptoms (emotional, crampy, etc), but they are at the appropriate times and I actually feel normal. I don't feel like they're something I need to talk to my useless doctor about.
I'm also craving more non-paleo foods than usual. I've been giving in to things like chocolate and cheese, but I'm thinking these cravings might be having an effect on my skin composition.
The only thing that's really worrying me right now is acne. I had maybe one small zit every now and then with the Ring. But it seems as if my face (and back and shoulders) erupted as soon as I dropped the Ring, but timed with my cycle. Now, it seems to be a constant thing. I'm still hoping it will even out as my hormones balance themselves, but wonder if that will take years. I've found that applying coconut oil while my face is still wet after a shower soothes the redness (if my face is dry, it seems to make it worse?).
I think dropping HBC is a great idea, if it works for you. It's important to be aware of how your body might react and be prepared to accept the consequences. 8)