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A question for fellow non-fellows - the pill

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hello girlies, i'm sorry i haven't really been on much. I'm in the very slow and painful process of dieting and doing weight training at home, trying to take it slow and shift some of these curves.

My question is for any of you who have gone off the pill whether it was only for a few months, or forever. Since we moved house i had to find a new doctor that was closer. Now, my last doctor, kept giving me my prescription because my blood pressure was sometimes high, but sometimes normal. And he was nice, he knew i was trying to lose weight. But with this new doctor, the first time i turn up there, my blood pressure was high, so he said i couldn't get it till it went down. He said my history with my other doctor doesn't matter, he's starting a clean slate. That and being a new patient he wanted to give me a urine test, feel around my stomach, the works!! He says he's thorough.

So using up my last few pills and i went off, i got my period the normal 4 or 5 days later. Now, it's been about 4 weeks since it finished, and the last few weeks i was absolutely freaking out! I had pregnancy like symptoms. Every single day my stomach was sick or sore, i had trouble sleeping. Well i have er...only been intimate once since my last period finished, because of the whole freaking out saga, but i didn't want to worry Tristan of course a condom was used, since i was no longer on the pill). Well i'm the queen of stress and irrational thinking! And to top it off, the last week my left nipple was so sore it was like i was kicked in the chest. But, thankfully, my period did in fact start last night, only 6 days late!

I was on the pill for 3 years. And i read that it could take many months to become regular. My mum who was on it for alot longer than me, had hers go between a month apart, and sometimes 2 weeks apart, she's been off it a year and it's still not regular, but i think because she's 49 this year, she might be close to the M word (been coming a few years now we all think)

I want to know if seeing that my body has adjusted so quickly, should i expect it to come around the normal times from now on? What have your experiences been? I thought 3 years was a long time to be controlling my own periods/adding hormones to my body and i didn't think it would turn up so promptly.

Some advice please! I know it will be different with everyone. Isis knows how this actual period is going to be anyway, i'm hoping it won't be too heavy. I hope i can go back on the pill one day, i don't stay over at Tristans when i do have it, but i used to be able to at least plan when it arrived so i didn't have to worry, now it's out of my hands and i have to write into my calendar *sighs* Tristan has said though since i've gone off, i seem to have been in happier moods and more affectionate, he can see it better than i can anyway. I felt more secure being on the pill, but if he can see that it's lifted my moods and energy a bit, i don't know what i'll do.

*sighs* some comforting words will help girls
post #2 of 21
I was on the pill for two and a half years, then quit, i got my period regularly after that, was off the pill for another year until i decided to go back on it it gave me such mood swings i went off it, a year later i accidently got pregnant and it ended up being ectopic. The doctor put me back on the pill straight after the operation. This pill has been great so far, but as soon as i get back to Australia i am pretty sure we dont have the same pill and that i may need to go off it for a month or two. :S

Those symptons youre having are nothing compared to the real thing
post #3 of 21
How about low hormone pills? I can't use regular pills because they raise my blood pressure, but I'm ok with minipills.
post #4 of 21
When I got off the pill last summer, my periods went all weird. Ever since then they have been every 6 weeks. I totally missed one period. I had no period from mid-December until the end of February this year.

I am back on the pill now to regulate it. They put me on tri-cyclen lo because of family history of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.
post #5 of 21
Back when I took the pill, I had not a bit of trouble, either while I was on it or when I stopped taking it. The fact that you're having all these symptoms, and high blood pressure too, is pretty scary.

If I had understood back then exactly what the pill really was, and what it really did, I would never have used it at all. I know the pill is used as a treatment for certain abnormal conditions -- but for a normal woman, it can't be good to overrride the natural systems that way. And even an occasional high blood pressure reading is a bad indicator, especially in someone so young.

Can you consider just staying off the dratted pill for good?
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryn View Post
How about low hormone pills? I can't use regular pills because they raise my blood pressure, but I'm ok with minipills.
I am in the same boat. I also take a mini pill called ortho-micronor. They aren't for everyone though....you have to take them at the same exact time everyday! Literally! Give or take a few hours. They have less side effects but aren't popular because many forget their combo pills as it is....

I also went off for awhile, but I was getting my time of the month twice a month! Ortho micronor straightened it all out. Ortho Micronor is made by thoe same company that makes Ortho Cyclen and Ortho tri-cyclen. However there are generic versions of micronor on the market such as Errin and others....
post #7 of 21
If it weren't for the pill, I would have had 12 kids! Every time we tried to get pregnant we did. Right away. I went off it after I got my tubes tied. I never had any problems with it. My only problem was that my cycle was normally 35 days and the pill makes it come every 28 days.
post #8 of 21
Taking the pill incorrectly and being sexually active can cause pregnancy So even if you *just* stopped taking the pill, in a very short time period you are at risk if you are sexually active to have a baby. This is true even if you have been taking it for years perfectly then one day miss a few pills. You must use a back-up method and know that you are taking a risk if you are using it for birth control purposes. So it doesn't "stay in your system" so to speak. But many that take the pill have other things going on with their body, and the pill helps them regulate that. So when they get off the pill they have issues, but they had issues to begin with so not so sure how accurate those stats are. But every body is totally different in how they react to meds, getting off meds, etc.

There are several other factors that increase/decrease your chances of having an infant. These include health and stress related factors.
Also, using a condom, while good, does not protect you as much as taking the pill daily would. It doesn't offer as much protection. Condoms can also break and come off at various times during sex. So just use with caution and know it is not the method that offers the best protection if you are going to be sexually active.

I understand not wanting to take the pill for health reasons, but there are lots of benefits that the pill can offer to some. For istance, regular cycles. Lighter cycles. Assistance with skin issues. Good method of birth control when taken properly. Things of that nature.

Not all pills are made the same. I have taken the generic of ortho-tri-cyclen and I was so not myself. Mood swings, cramps, my skin was not good, gained 10 lbs., it was horrible. I tried to wait it out, took it 3 months, but it was awful. Yet the not generic brand works just fine for me. Reactions can happen with every med., everyone is so different that way. Losing weight will be the most help with your blood pressure, also the diet changes and exercise will help a lot too. You should maybe try Ortho Tri Cyclen lo when you can.

Doctors are people too, never ever be worried to let them know if you want to take a medication and let them know how you feel about it, etc. Don't leave the office until you understand what they have told you. Always be very clear with them and the staff. Yes, they are doctors but first and foremost they are people and they should listen to you. If you feel they don't care at all, find a new doc.
post #9 of 21
You wrote << Now, my last doctor, kept giving me my prescription because my blood pressure was sometimes high, but sometimes normal.>>

I had to go off the pill over a year ago b/c my blood pressure went up. And when the doctor realized that it was the pill doing it, I had to stop it immediatly. Blood pressure went down, and it's still kind of high (I have weight and a family history of high bp as well) so I get monitored every 3 months.

From what the RE I saw told me is that I can't get pregnant without drugs. So how I had 2 kids without drugs is beyond me. And yes, I'm thankful for them every day, even when my teenage and pre-teen girl are driving me NUTS. So I don't really need it for birth control.

Anyhow, DR put me on the Depo shot. I've gained weight with it (sigh). So now I'm struggling to take off what I've put on in the last year, plus the weight I was already trying to take off. But if I go off it, I get heavy irregular very painful periods (I have endometriosis) so it's the lesser of 2 evils.

Could you try that as an alternative? If you really don't want the pill? There's a whole bunch of other alternatives out there as well.
post #10 of 21
You could have polycystic ovary syndrome. It's quite common actually. The stats are way low as to the number of women who actually have this. It's more like 50% of the female population, and is the #1 cause of infertility because it periodically prevents ovulation from taking place because of the cysts that appear on the ovaries. These cysts are usually reabsorbed by the body and don't usually require surgery to remove.

I was on the pill for years and years and like you had to change doctors and the new doctor wouldn't give me a refill saying that I needed a "6 month break" from the pill.

Anyway, after I stopped the pill I no longer had a period ever single month like clockwork. It was sometimes once in a month, sometimes once in 3 months. I was using other methods of birth control, but I was always freaking out too and running to a clinic for a test (no home tests back then).

One of the symptoms of PCOS is weight gain, especially around the mid-section, though it is also all over. There are other symptoms too such as "skin tags", excessive sweating, extreme pain beyond cramping during periods, extremely heavy periods at times, extremely light ones at other times, rapid hair growth, coarser, darker body hair, including on the face (chin, upper lip, neck....basically in the area men grow facial hair), and of course missed periods, sometimes for months at a time.

The treatment is either daily birth control pills, or 5 to 10 days per month of progesterone to force a period, and Metformin which is a diabetic medication used to treat PCOS.

It's funny because once you know what to look for, you can look at a woman and know if she has PCOS. In fact that's how I was diagnosed. I went to a gynecologist and during the history taking he asked me if I had ever been told I had PCOS. I had no idea what he was talking about. He told me based on my physical appearance, that I have PCOS. And of course a battery of blood work confirmed it.

I would suggest getting yourself checked for PCOS before going back on the pill. In the meantime you can use condoms and foam. Those 2 together are nearly as effective as the pill. In fact if you take into account taking the pill late or missing one, the condom/foam combination is more effective than the pill. And if you are strict about using them and use them the right way, there is no cause for pregnancy alarm.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
In the meantime you can use condoms and foam. Those 2 together are nearly as effective as the pill. In fact if you take into account taking the pill late or missing one, the condom/foam combination is more effective than the pill. And if you are strict about using them and use them the right way, there is no cause for pregnancy alarm.
my parents [currently in their 70s] used condoms + spermicide for their entire reproductive lives. they never had an unplanned pregnancy.
my sister tried the pill when she got married [26 years ago] but had some issue w/it, so she switched to condoms + spermicide, as well. she's also never had an unplanned pregnancy.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Can you consider just staying off the dratted pill for good?
Well i'm not sure. I first went on it when i had my first relationship for safety, i like the idea of um...being doubly sure that no unplanned baby will arise. See i don't even remember if i had high blood pressure before i went on it, i do know though that i have never been skinny. But the doctor who put me on it saw no problem. I tried one for the first few months which didn't work properly, then i went onto this one. If it means i have less depression then it might be worth staying off. I've never been on meds for depression before because i didn't want to mess any more with my body.

Cococat- I've never taken it incorrectly, i'm very astute about having it at the same time every day. I always use a condom if i'm off it, i never say 'oh well, my period just finished, maybe it's safe to have sex without a backup'. Maybe i didn't mention it when i said 'tristan and i have only had sex once since my last period' that means we still used a condom, but as i stress alot, i always think the worst is going to happen, even if i was sensible. I'm never one to go and risk becoming pregnant if it means that not using a condom 'feels better'. I'm not emotionally or financially even ready for that kind of commitment. As i was on it for 3 years i know all about using backup if i miss one, and using a condom if its my 7 days off and 7 days back on. There's only really a two week time frame a month you can have sex on the pill without a condom. I know all about the morning after pill and everything to go with it. I'm sorry if you misread me and think i'm not responsible, i am!

You're sort of giving me information i already have been given from the gp and learned over the time period i've been on it. I know there can be benifits, but as i said, this doctor gave me no choice, i had to go off. I was already on the heavier side, and becoming more comfortable in my relationship with Tristan and also going through a breakdown and counselling, i naturally ate more. I'm an eater.
post #13 of 21
If your doc demands you not take the pill, how about the female condom, or a non hormone implant (though my friend had one and did not like it), or a diaphram? Your doc needs to find you something, because having a baby or terminating a pregnancy isnt much healthier for you right now either, you know? Good luck, and get a second opinion maybe about not taking the pill.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Right thanks
post #15 of 21
Hang on, can I just tell you - there's only one way that I've EVER been able to lose weight quickly and healthily without freakin' starving myself or taking pills...

Forget LOW FAT, LOW CAL, LOW CARB - none of this crap works because you're basically starving yourself - then besides making your life miserable, you don't even lose weight!! Your body is too smart and it just re-calibrates your metabolism to match your new caloric intake...

The only thing that has worked for me is "Calorie Shifting" - It works amazingly and just makes so much sense. My friends are getting annoyed with me saying I never shut up about it... that I sound like Tom Cruise, lol - but it's literally changing my life!! I eat a ton and still lose weight, so obviously I'm gonna be proud of it and tell people, yaknow?
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoriana View Post
...I've never been on meds for depression before because i didn't want to mess any more with my body.
Oh, but... there's a big difference between (a) messing with your body by disrupting its natural hormonal cycles and (b) messing with your body by correcting an abnormality of some kind.

Anti-depressants are type (b) drugs, designed to help your brain function normally. The Pill is type (a), designed to prevent normal functions.

So please don't be afraid of treating your depression, hon!
post #17 of 21
My body was completely out of whack from taking the pill and I hated it. I started it when I was 14 because my cycle was something like 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. I carried on taking it until I was 19, then decided to stop. I replaced it with the copper-T IUD. It was SO worth it. It is hormone free, so my body creates it's hormones naturally, and I don't have any weird side effects. They're the most effective form of BC on the market. I still have another 7 years before I even have to think about that thing again. (They're good for 10 years.) And over the 10 years, I save about $4000 that I would have been spending on the pill. My recommendation would be to look into the IUD.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by spongebob819 View Post
Forget LOW FAT, LOW CAL, LOW CARB - none of this crap works because you're basically starving yourself - then besides making your life miserable, you don't even lose weight!! Your body is too smart and it just re-calibrates your metabolism to match your new caloric intake...
i think everybody's body is different & responds to different methods. so lo carb does work for many, as does lo cal or lo fat.
the key is finding what works for you.
post #19 of 21
I've been off and on various BC pills various times. I'm pretty irregular and bleed fairly heavy when I'm not on BC, and this was true before I started taking BC pills in the first place. The biggest difference I notice with the pill, though, is that my mustache is lighter. (All though, come to think of it, on the pill I'm on right now, it's actually just about as a dark and thick as its ever been.)

I wish you luck with your blood pressure. Hopefully you can get back on one pill or another in the near future, or you'll be able to use another method (like the IUD).

My sister is very risk adverse and is using an IUD (one that has hormones, but it's really not very many hormones), and, as whiteforest said, you can still get the copper-only ones. They aren't cheap to put in at all, but they are great for people who are risk-adverse. I'd assume they are even better for people with high blood pressure who are risk-adverse.

I was told by planned parenthood that I couldn't get an IUD since I've never been pregnant, but my sister, who has also never been pregnant, was able to find a gynecologist who'd put one in. A uterus that has never had an embryo implanted in it is apparently easier to puncture, so putting in (and removing) an IUD is more risky. However, this just means that we never-pregnant types need to find a gynecologist who is very experienced with putting in IUDs; the risk of uterine puncture is very, very, very low from experienced gynecologists.
post #20 of 21
I would also like to mention there are MANY different kinds of BC pills out there. I've had problems with the ones that have different hormones in them. Right now I'm taking one that is the same pill all month, until you get to the placebos at the end of the pack. It's called Nortrel 1/35. I actually had to switch back to the "higher dose" type pills due to problems with the "low dose" pills not working right.

I had all kinds of problems with the Ortho TriCyclen and Tricyclen Lo. They should have some kind of warning on them--let's just say it wasn't fun to be around me while I took those. The Nuvaring worked for me for a few years. Then as usual it stopped working for me. I have a pattern of being able to use one form for 1 to a few years, then start having problems. At that point I find a new one, and usually after a few tries I find something that works for my body.

Quote:
I was told by planned parenthood that I couldn't get an IUD since I've never been pregnant,
My gyno told me the same thing.
post #21 of 21
I actually found a gynecologist who would put in an IUD in me, but I do very well on BC pills, my health insurance doesn't cover IUDs but has the pill I'm using right now at only $10 a month, and I found out my spouse was unaccountably uncomfortable with IUDs. I could have done it anyway, but I simply don't have enough desire for an easier way to do birth control to go ahead and get an IUD.

So, women out there who have never been pregnant and want an IUD; find a gynecologist who likes IUDs and is experienced with putting them in, and he or she will give you an IUD, too. You'll need an IUD-experienced gynecologist to take it out in a few years, but there are plenty of them around.

I also used the nuvaring (a plastic ring, kinda looks like a very small cheap clear plastic bracelet), which goes into your vagina and releases hormones from there. It's a hormonal method, so if the hormones are your problem with the pill, this isn't for you. It worked reasonably well, but it kept falling out during sex. That's okay, but it's just a little bit annoying (and not as cheap every month as the generic pill I'm on right now).
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