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Birth Control

FoxandBunnyFoxandBunny Alabama member
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edited June 2014 in Not Engaged Yet
So, I went to the gynecologist yesterday because my birth control is just not doing a good job. I've had some side effects that I really don't like, so I asked to change. My GYN gave me a lot to think about with the options I had, such as NuvaRing, and IUD, the arm implant thing, ect. 

I have done some internet browsing, but thought I'd ask you ladies. What kind of birth control have you used or currently use? What has been your experience with it? Have you heard anything about others that make you consider or not consider it an option?

ETA- I am currently on the pill. I really don't mind having to take it every day, I just don't like the side effects it's giving me.
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Re: Birth Control

  • Ollie08Ollie08 Central FL member
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    I have the Skyla IUD and I love it! I've had 2 Mirenas in the past, and those were awesome too.

    I don't get a period with the IUDs which is lovely. And if I do get a period, then it's usually very light and quick. There's absolutely nothing to remember to take. It's wonderful. I will say that I've had ovarian cysts as a result of the Mirena before, but they've gone away on their own. 

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  • lilacck28lilacck28 member
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    edited June 2014
    I am on the pill (I believe the non generic title is "estrostep"). I've been pretty happy with it, though I do still tend to break out at the same time every cycle. My best friend has been on nuvaring for years and likes it. My mom had to stop taking the pill after she had breast cancer. She has had an IUD since then, though after a few years I think it caused some bleeding problems/ needed to be removed, but she got another one, so it must not have been too large of an issue. 
  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
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    edited June 2014
    I've been on just about all the different forms. I started on Depo (the shot) and was on that for a while until I had bad side effects. Then I switched to Nuvaring and lasted maybe a year but I really disliked the whole "ring in the vag" thing so then I switched to the pill. I've been on quite a few different ones. Most of them had way too many hormones for me and made me nuts. The lowest dose pill that I was on was Microgestin and I really loved it for a long time until it totally diminished my sex drive (and what good is birth control if you never have an urge to get down and dirty?).0

    So about a year ago, I spoke to my doctor about my issues and I decided to try out Skyla which is an IUD similar to Mirena, just smaller (and therefore a good option for women who haven't had kids) and you keep it in for up to 3 years instead of 5. It's the best decision I've made regarding birth control. I don't get a period, I don't get crampy, I don't get moody (well, moodier than usual), and I don't even have to think about it.



  • FoxandBunnyFoxandBunny Alabama member
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    @Ollie08 - I have heard Skyla is a good option if you haven't had kids as it's smaller? I'm not positive about that. Did it hurt as much as Mirena to have inserted?
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  • I'm using a brand called Sprintec...I don't have any symptoms from it and I get a regular period every month. I've been a few different brands and none of them have caused me to become any different than I normally am. I would prefer not to be on BC but I don't want to get pregnant at this time. 

    @LaPeanut1018 has an IUD and I think she likes it? She hasn't told me much about it though besides that it hurt when they insert it.
  • I've only ever used the pill.  Right now, I'm taking Lutera, and I've taken Aviane (which is the same thing) in the past.  I'm pretty lucky in that I've really never had any issues with it--no crazy side effects or anything. 

    I have considered looking into something that wouldn't require me to remember to take a pill every day, like the NuvaRing or an IUD, but I haven't had any real motivation to make that change.  Eh, sorry I'm not much help.
  • Ollie08Ollie08 Central FL member
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    @Ollie08 - I have heard Skyla is a good option if you haven't had kids as it's smaller? I'm not positive about that. Did it hurt as much as Mirena to have inserted?
    Well, it was about the same for me, but I was in a different situation. I had the Mirena inserted when my DD was about 6 months old. I hadn't been on other BC because I was breastfeeding and single. I had the Skyla put in just recently though, a week after having the Mirena removed. My doc advised against it, but it was an insurance thing, so we went ahead. Apparently the hormones kind of dry out your uterus so it wasn't all nice and squishy when they went to insert it. But even still, I got through it just fine with a little Advil, and the cramping was gone that night.

    I'll take one day of cramping instead of 3 years worth of periods and cramping any day. 

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  • FoxandBunnyFoxandBunny Alabama member
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    @swazzle- The no sex drive is one of the reasons I want to switch. I never want to have sex, and I did before I went on birth control, so I figure that's the reason. 

    Also, just a general question, but does not having a period freak anyone out? I feel like it would make me worried I was pregnant all the time. I kind of consider my period a monthly reminder that I'm not pregnant. Granted, my periods aren't bad at all on birth control, so that's probably why I don't mind them. Do you just get over that fear?
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  • buddysmom80buddysmom80 member
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    edited June 2014
    The last forms of birth control I was on was the one OC that you only get your period every three months. That was a totall bullshit lie because I never stopped bleeding. Then my gyn and I talked and decided to get a Mirena (this was before Skyla was approved by the FDA, I remember her saying something about it, but I didn't want to wait). I haven't had any kids so I had to get the Mirena inserted on cycle day 1 or 2 which was NOT FUN because I had to wear a pad for 48 hours. I'm a tampon girl. Anyway, I LOVED mirena. I had no side effects except for not having a period. And the only times I did get a period was when we were traveling (I think it was stress-related) so I was always prepared and like @ollie08 said they were short and light. I had my Mirena taken out in December to get my cycles in order before we start TTC later this year, the removal was easy and my periods came back to normal in a month, and now they're around every month like clock-work. For BC right now we use condoms and FAM (fertility awareness method). FAM is not for everyone and even I'm a little sloppy with it, that's why we use condoms.

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  • Ollie08 said:
    I have the Skyla IUD and I love it! I've had 2 Mirenas in the past, and those were awesome too.

    I don't get a period with the IUDs which is lovely. And if I do get a period, then it's usually very light and quick. There's absolutely nothing to remember to take. It's wonderful. I will say that I've had ovarian cysts as a result of the Mirena before, but they've gone away on their own. 
    Okay, I clearly know nothing about birth control because you don't get period with IUDs?  I seriously need to look into that.

    My old doctor said that I could skip periods by just skipping the placebo week of my regular BCP... uh, no.  I had crazy awful spotting the whole time, so I just went back to getting a monthly period.  It's not the worst thing, but I could definitely do without.
  • GoldenPenguinGoldenPenguin Upstate NY mod
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    I was on Estrostep for about 10 years, and I liked it well enough, but I got sick of taking it every day, knowing that I didn't want to have kids. I got a Mirena two years ago, and it's been the best decision I've ever made in regards to my reproductive health. I won't lie, the fucker hurt going in, but it didn't last long (I went back to work that afternoon), and I've hardly had a period since. 



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  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
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    I was on the pill for 6 years before switching to an IUD. I got sick of the side effects and like @Swazzle, I felt like it was killing my sex drive. I talked to my gyno and decided to go with the Paragard IUD (the non horomonal one). It's smaller than Mirena but not quite as small as the Skyla. I've had normal periods, nothing crazy heavy, and they've lasted a normal length of time for me (4 to 5 days start to finish). I went with the Paragard over the Skyla because 1. It lasts longer (10 years instead of 3) and 2. It was cheaper for my insurance since it wasn't fully covered.

    Insertion hurt like a bitch! Ok..let me rephrase...insertion hurt but not omg screaming kind of hurt...but what really really really really hurt was the next few hours where I seriously felt like I was having labor pains. It was miserable. I went home from work and just slept it off for the rest of the afternoon. Also, they have to measure your uterus before they insert the IUD and the measuring hurt more than the insertion.



    Swazzle
  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
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    @FoxandBunny - Yea sometimes your body just changes. I was on my last pill for like 3-4 years and loved it up until about the last year. I would have switched sooner but my wedding was fast approaching so I didn't want to make any changes until I got back from my HM. 

    Not having a period doesn't freak me out. I absolutely love it. I didn't get it on my last pill either so I'm pretty used to it. I basically just trust my BC to do its job. 



  • GoldenPenguinGoldenPenguin Upstate NY mod
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    I was on the pill for 6 years before switching to an IUD. I got sick of the side effects and like @Swazzle, I felt like it was killing my sex drive. I talked to my gyno and decided to go with the Paragard IUD (the non horomonal one). It's smaller than Mirena but not quite as small as the Skyla. I've had normal periods, nothing crazy heavy, and they've lasted a normal length of time for me (4 to 5 days start to finish). I went with the Paragard over the Skyla because 1. It lasts longer (10 years instead of 3) and 2. It was cheaper for my insurance since it wasn't fully covered.

    Insertion hurt like a bitch! Ok..let me rephrase...insertion hurt but not omg screaming kind of hurt...but what really really really really hurt was the next few hours where I seriously felt like I was having labor pains. It was miserable. I went home from work and just slept it off for the rest of the afternoon. Also, they have to measure your uterus before they insert the IUD and the measuring hurt more than the insertion.
    THIS. 

    I'm glad you haven't had an issue with your periods with the Paraguard. I had a friend who got it inserted and had a full-on heavy period for three straight months before she finally got it removed. It was awful!



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  • SwazzleSwazzle New Jersey member
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    I was on the pill for 6 years before switching to an IUD. I got sick of the side effects and like @Swazzle, I felt like it was killing my sex drive. I talked to my gyno and decided to go with the Paragard IUD (the non horomonal one). It's smaller than Mirena but not quite as small as the Skyla. I've had normal periods, nothing crazy heavy, and they've lasted a normal length of time for me (4 to 5 days start to finish). I went with the Paragard over the Skyla because 1. It lasts longer (10 years instead of 3) and 2. It was cheaper for my insurance since it wasn't fully covered.

    Insertion hurt like a bitch! Ok..let me rephrase...insertion hurt but not omg screaming kind of hurt...but what really really really really hurt was the next few hours where I seriously felt like I was having labor pains. It was miserable. I went home from work and just slept it off for the rest of the afternoon. Also, they have to measure your uterus before they insert the IUD and the measuring hurt more than the insertion.
    All of this. I think I have a relatively high pain tolerance but since I didn't previously have a period or cramps, the insertion was really rough for me. I was cramping terribly for the rest of the night and a lot of the next day. I also had spotting for a month after insertion which I forgot to mention before. One day, it just stopped. I don't think this is something that's very common, it's just how my body reacted to it and dealing with that was definitely worth it as much as it sucked at the time. 



  • I've tried several different things, but I have PCOS, so it's important to note that my results may not be your results.

    I was on Yaz for a few weeks, but it made me so bitchy that DH begged me to change.

    I was on Nuvaring, but it made me gain a lot of weight.  And I also didn't like to play ringtoss after time I had sex.

    I was on Paragard, but it made my periods HEAVY.  I was passing blood clots the size of my fist.  And they lasted a LONG time (several weeks and in one case, several months.)

    Then I was on Mirena.  It was fine for the first two years.  I never had a period or mood swings.  But then I started getting horrible pain.  When I went to the doctor, I found out that it was in the process of spontaneously expelling from my uterus.  My doctor also said it had likely irritated my ovaries, which caused me to have cysts.

    Now I'm on OrthoCyclen.  An oldie, but a goodie, my doctor says.  So far, I've had no side effects.
  • Ollie08Ollie08 Central FL member
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    I've tried several different things, but I have PCOS, so it's important to note that my results may not be your results.

    I was on Yaz for a few weeks, but it made me so bitchy that DH begged me to change.

    I was on Nuvaring, but it made me gain a lot of weight.  And I also didn't like to play ringtoss after time I had sex.

    I was on Paragard, but it made my periods HEAVY.  I was passing blood clots the size of my fist.  And they lasted a LONG time (several weeks and in one case, several months.)

    Then I was on Mirena.  It was fine for the first two years.  I never had a period or mood swings.  But then I started getting horrible pain.  When I went to the doctor, I found out that it was in the process of spontaneously expelling from my uterus.  My doctor also said it had likely irritated my ovaries, which caused me to have cysts.

    Now I'm on OrthoCyclen.  An oldie, but a goodie, my doctor says.  So far, I've had no side effects.
    You know what's interesting about this is that my Dr. was telling me that something must have changed in the production of the Mirena's over the past 3-4 years because she had been successfully inserting them with no issues of expulsion for years, but the past 3-ish years she had a large increase in expulsions and punctures. I'm curious to see if anything comes out officially about that. 

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  • I was on the pill (estrostep, microgestin, and junel - all of which were basically identical to my non-discriminating lady parts) for something like 10 years.

    When I got sick with GI problems last year, I threw up my pill a few too many times and stopped taking it.  I didn't want to start taking it again due to the whole GI/nausea stuff that was going on, so I didn't.  I thought about starting back up after I was better, but honestly I was feeling a lot more healthy without the pill so I didn't.  I'm also slightly concerned about the correlation between length of time on BC vs. cancer issues.

    We currently use condoms.  We had a pregnancy scare/possibility mainly just because my periods are incredibly irregular but besides the anxiety I would face being pregnant, we've decided that it's not that huge of an issue if we have a kid.  Don't necessarily want one immediately so we're not trying, but we're not going to chemically alter ourselves to not have one.

    My story is not a normal one, but after the GI stuff, I've really just gotten a lot more in tune with my body.  I feel like a hippie after telling this story, even though I don't take temps or anything that crazy yet.
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  • eilis1228eilis1228 Southwest member
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    I've been on Nuvaring for 5 or 6 years now and have had no issues. It's the best thing ever. I may or may not have gained weight from it... I got on it my freshman year of college, and I gained about 20 pounds during college. I also ate fast food 6 days a week and drank soda non-stop. I did manage to successfully lose weight while on it too. I lose 26 pounds last year, and Nuvaring didn't seem to hamper any progress. 

    That being said, almost everyone else I know who's tried it hasn't liked it. 


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  • I've taken all kinds of BCPs, trying to find a good fit for my PMDD.  I was on Estrostep for a year, and really liked it (except I think it killed my sex drive)...  but now they are putting me on Loestrin because the higher dosage of estrogen in the Estrostep might be what's causing my migraines.  so we'll see!
  • I've been on nuvaring for years... maybe 5 years?

    I love it, I don't have to think too much about it, and I don't take it out for sex, it doesn't seem to interfere unless it has slipped down lower than where it's supposed to stay.

    I may have gained weight, I don't know, I definitely have in the last 5 years, but I don't know the exact cause!

    Back in 2005ish I was on the dep shot which was awful!!!

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  • ShallowSeasShallowSeas Indianapolis, IN member
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    I have always taken pills, but I have tried a lot of different ones.  I was on a generic form of Seasonale and really liked it, except I'm pretty sure that was the cause of some of my weight gain. When my insurance provider changed at the beginning of the year, my general Seasonale was not covered, so my GYN switched me to Junel. Its not a three month pack like Seasonale but I take it the same way so I only have a period every 3 months. So far I really like it. I've had no side effects from it and I've noticed that its been easier for me to lose weight now. My GYN told me that usually once a woman takes Junel for an extended period of time, that her periods eventually stop.
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  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    I take tri-sprintec (pill).  I was on seasonique but I had spotting and just hated life while I was on it (it was horrible for me).  I would LOVE not to have a period, but am weirded out by the IUDs for some reason.


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  • ShallowSeasShallowSeas Indianapolis, IN member
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    I take tri-sprintec (pill).  I was on seasonique but I had spotting and just hated life while I was on it (it was horrible for me).  I would LOVE not to have a period, but am weirded out by the IUDs for some reason.
    @Dignity100 I am a little weirded out by them too. Not sure why. Ideally, I would LOVE to have a IUD and not have to worry about taking a pill daily or having a period, but I get really anxious and squeamish when I think about them.  I'm trying to get over that so eventually, some day, I can get an IUD.
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  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
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    I'm fine with the pill for now, but I'll probably get an IUD after the wedding. I don't mind the idea of an IUD but for some reason the arm implant just freaks me out.
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  • I've been on the pill since I was 13. My periods were horrendous from the very beginning because I have endometriosis, so they started me really early. I would really like to get an IUD, but I'm waiting until I'm no longer under the grad student insurance plan because student health doesn't do it and the crappy insurance doesn't cover it. I'm hoping to be able to get one in the next few months because I still get a lot of pain when I have the withdrawal bleed on the off-week.
  • FoxandBunnyFoxandBunny Alabama member
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    This has been really informative. It's definitely given me a lot to think about.

    @love2shop4shoes - The possibility for the IUD to do what yours did kind of freaks me out. Also, my GYN just switched my prescription to OrthoCyclen, so hopefully that works out for me. I've been on Loestrin and LoLoestrin. 

    I was talking to BF earlier today about my options and mentioned that I probably wouldn't have periods with an IUD and he was like "Do that one!" Figures. I am very interested in it now though and am glad my GYN didn't say I couldn't have one because I haven't had kids yet. I'm afraid NuvaRing would interfere with sex though, or I might consider that one more.
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  • I had been on the pill for about 7 years with no problems. I will say when I first started I thought I was going out of my mind for about a month. Wacky periods, spotting, mood swings. I really didn't feel like myself. After the first month (or maybe 2?) though, I was completely normal again. I really liked the pill.

    I had asked my doc about a year ago about an IUD. She said I could get one if I wanted, but that she wouldn't put one in for anyone who hadn't given birth before. (I would have to see another doc). That was enough for me to say "i'll stick with the pill". She also told me that even the IUDs have hormones they release...so nothing is really side effect free.

    I'm currently not on anything. (Baby in our future this year maybe???) I will say going off the pill was as awful as getting started for me - maybe worse. I don't necessarily think it is that way for everyone, but it was for me for about a month. I had withdrawl bleeding, nausea, hot flashes, crazy emotions...I was all over the place. Luckily it didn't last long and I'm back to normal now.

    Whatever you choose, I would just stick with it for at least a month or two before you decide to try something else. Otherwise you are just continually jacking with your system.

  • eilis1228eilis1228 Southwest member
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    This has been really informative. It's definitely given me a lot to think about.

    @love2shop4shoes - The possibility for the IUD to do what yours did kind of freaks me out. Also, my GYN just switched my prescription to OrthoCyclen, so hopefully that works out for me. I've been on Loestrin and LoLoestrin. 

    I was talking to BF earlier today about my options and mentioned that I probably wouldn't have periods with an IUD and he was like "Do that one!" Figures. I am very interested in it now though and am glad my GYN didn't say I couldn't have one because I haven't had kids yet. I'm afraid NuvaRing would interfere with sex though, or I might consider that one more.

    Stuck in the box:
    We've only had the ring come out once during sex. It's never interfered after that. FI says he can't even feel it (and he's not, erm, tiny). 


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