I've been on and off this pill a few times since the age of 18 as the combined pill never suited me. There were definitely positives for me - almost no periods was a great one as my PCOS gives me pretty awful periods, and I didn't really have any noticeable physical side effects, apart from headaches (although i'm not sure if this is due to the pill or something else). I'd come off it a couple of times in the past due to not needing it without a sexual partner However, after a year, I decided to come off this for the third and hopefully final time about 8 months ago, because I noticed that I was feeling continually quite anxious and on edge, as well as having low moods. I'd describe it as having a consistently 20-40% reduction in mood - not depression per se but definitely a noticeable effect. My sex drive also tanked which kind of defeated the point of having the pill in the first place! It took me a few months to get fully back to normal, but I could really feel my low mood lift a fair bit even a week after coming off it. I don't think I'll be returning to hormonal contraception in the future as I found it really difficult to work out whether my low mood was to do with the pill or my life in general, which is why i spent so long on it before deciding to quit.
I felt temporarily less anxious within a week - it was as if a cloud had lifted. But my mood was quite bumpy for the next few months. It's always hard to isolate effects of real life vs the pill but for me my mood definitely stabilised properly after about 3-4 months. I would describe those first 3-4 months as quite PMS'y, and not just in the 5 days before my periods. It also took me about 60 days to get a proper period, but after that they stabilised quite quickly
Cycle return to normal
No side effects provided