birth control pills (yet another thread) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-01-2005, 01:24 PM
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so after another emotional roller-coaster day, i'm ready to just stop taking my birth control pills.



i'm on aviane right now. i started them in august last year after having done no research whatsoever, just skipped off to the pharmacy with a prescription from my gp.



since starting them, i've noticed definite changes in my emotional well-being. i'm much more moody than i used to be.. i'll cry at every little problem these days, when i never used to do that. my sex drive plummetted for the first couple of months, but luckily that's worked itself out somewhat.



and i just don't like the idea of putting all these artificial hormones in my body. the vegan angle comes out there too.. even if the pills aren't derived from animal hormones, which i imagine they would be, they've probably been tested on animals. for the last couple of months i've been contemplating stopping the pills and starting fertility awareness instead. my boyfriend and i use condoms religiously anyway so i'm not terribly worried about unwanted pregnancy, and i prefer the idea of fertility awareness.. nothing unnatural, just keeping track of my body doing its thing, and i also like the idea that i'll know what's normal for me and will be able to tell if something's not right.



*sigh* so now today, after another hysterical crying episode over nothing, i want to just stop taking them. would that be too rash a decision? should i stick it out another month and wait until i can talk to my doctor? i don't know anymore. opinions appreciated.
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#2 Old 04-01-2005, 01:47 PM
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whoops.. illustrating my next point beautifully through my forgetting to include it in my original post..



in addition, someone in the contraception and depression thread (chickpea, i think?) mentioned that after stopping hormonal birth control, her thoughts had more clarity, like a fog had been lifted.. i'm in that fog right now, and i've been trying to get out for months now. i have major concentration issues and i'm constantly forgetting things. this has only been this bad since august, the month i started taking the pill and the month i went vegan.. i've tried dietary changes, daily exercise, sublingual b12, i take a multivitamin and flax oil every day.. nothing has helped. would that be another possible side effect of this cursed birth control pill, or am i sounding ridiculous trying to attribute all the negative physical things i'm experiencing to the pill?
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#3 Old 04-01-2005, 01:55 PM
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I don't think you sound ridiculous at all, as I had the same problems while taking B.C. pills. I've taken MANY different brands trying to find one that will "work" for me but with no luck. They all gave me bad mood swings, made me lazy, made my appetite larger (thus gained weight) and kinda made me feel depressed.

I wouldn't wait to go to your doc next month, just stop taking them. You'll just start your period if you stop taking them mid-cycle and from then on that's why you should count your period.
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#4 Old 04-01-2005, 02:34 PM
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i want to recommend Fertility Awareness method. It's chemical free (and vegan) and works with the same accuracy as birth control pills if it is correctly used (like any form of birth control). For more information about fertility awareness method check out:



http://www.gardenoffertility.com and

http://www.ovusoft.com



good luck!
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#5 Old 04-01-2005, 03:19 PM
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BC pills aren't for everyone. Seems as though they just don't agree with you.
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#6 Old 04-01-2005, 05:10 PM
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thanks guys.. i chucked the pills. i knew i wanted to, i guess i kind of just needed to hear that i wasn't crazy for doing it.



zoebird, thanks for the links.. i checked them out and bookmarked them
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#7 Old 04-01-2005, 05:27 PM
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You're young enough that I wouldn't just chuck the BC pills. You should be using two forms of birth control. The Fertility Awareness thing isn't just counting days and what not, you seriously need to devote time to it, and you're also young enough that your cycle may not be too regular yet (in terms of ovulation and what not).

I think the first mistake here is getting BC pills without going to the gynocologist. A GP is good for a lot of things, but you should discuss birth control with your gyno, since thats one of the things they're there for. (Of course you should also be going for 'routine maintenance') It took more than one type of birth control pill to find one that worked right for me, and I've been on it for 4 yrs now with absolutely no problems. If you don't want to go hormonal, get a diaphram fitted or something.

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#8 Old 04-01-2005, 06:32 PM
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your cycle doesn' thave to be regular or predictable for FAM to work. Similarly, barrier methods can be used as the 'second form.'



you're right that time has to be devoted to it in order to learn it and work with it. but, used in tandem with another form of birth control that's not chemical (particularly if she, like so many others, don't want to use chemicals that force perpetual infertility and cause a number of not-so-fabulous side effects) it is just as effective.
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#9 Old 04-01-2005, 07:24 PM
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I am a huge advocate of FAM, but only for people who are willing to devote the sort of time it requires AND for people who are willing and financially capable of dealing with any errors. Like it or not, the FAM method, as practiced by the general population, has a failure rate of 20% - which is likely because people don't chart religiously as they are encouraged to do.



However, I think it is a great method for women who may not be ready to use it as a primary method of birth control to use in conjunction with condoms, meaning that condoms should be the first method of birth control and sex should be avoided completely during fertile periods. It's an amazing way to discover your body's rhythm without the risk.
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#10 Old 04-01-2005, 07:35 PM
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Condoms are a reliable form of birth control if you know how to use them correctly, especially in conjunction with spermicide. Being super-paranoid and insisting on multiple forms of BC at once is not worth horrible depression/mood swings.



I had terrible problems with Aviane, depression-wise. A lot of people I know have had those problems with it. It has a good reputation because it's a low-dose pill, but I think it frequently tends to cause mood problems.
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#11 Old 04-01-2005, 08:17 PM
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Not ALL birth control pills cause mood problems. I don't think trying ONE type of pill is enough to just strike hormonal birth control out as an option. I think when you're too young to start a family, it is absolutely appropriate to be super-paranoid (aka cautious) in terms of birth control.

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#12 Old 04-01-2005, 09:38 PM
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rabid_child, before hormonal birth control, my cycle was pretty irregular, so i would definitely not count on simply charting my cycle. i just would prefer if i didn't have to use hormonal birth control.



i am very much aware of how FAM works and how much time/attention it requires, and i intend on charting both my basal body temperature and cervical fluid in addition to using condoms as a first line of defense as i always do anyway. i know i'm pretty young (18, will be 19 in july) but i am responsible and in a monogomous relationship and would prefer to avoid hormonal birth control as much as it is possible. i got my period for the first time when i was 11 (7 years ago) and it has evened itself out somewhat since then, although i do not dispute that my body may be, and probably still is, growing and changing.



my gp has been doing my pelvic exams, i definitely haven't been lax about my health down there, but i have been thinking about requesting a specialist anyway and will do so when i'm home for the summer.



i will discuss my birth control options with my gp and/or gyno when i'm home for the summer; ideally, i'd like to stay away from hormonal birth control but if that seems to be my best option, i'll try different pills until i find something that works better for me than aviane. i just can't physically deal with what my current prescription is doing to my body right now; it's at the point where the emotional things are causing problems in my schoolwork and i really can't afford to have that happen. where i don't see my boyfriend very often because we go to different schools and neither of us have cars, and where we have both been adamant about using condoms both before i went on the pill and after i went on it, i think that stopping the pills i'm on now will not cause any major problems.



thank you everyone for your concern/input/support.
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#13 Old 04-05-2005, 10:06 PM
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I was prescribed Aviane to start with because of its low dose. The gyn said I can try it out for a couple of months, and see how it affects me. It's mainly for period problems, which have gotten really bad since my period returned after a lengthy absence, and for now, hormones seem like the only way I can control an otherwise debilitating situation.



Needless to say, however, that if they start making me feel worse, I'm tossing those suckers out. It really feels strange to have to mess with my hormones, but I'm at a loss as to what else I can do. I get cramps so badly I can't get out of bed for a few days (well, I can, obviously, but it's seriously a chore, and no matter how many painkillers I take, I'm in terrible, crippling pain, and my flow is so heavy I have to wear the overnight diaper-pads on a "light" day, and super-plus tampons are worthless to me after maybe 30 minutes). I'm just really sick of letting my period stop my life for a few days each month, and of complaining about it instead of doing something to help. I'm willing to try anything at this point.
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#14 Old 04-05-2005, 10:33 PM
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VeganKat, definitely monitor your moods, everyone I know who's taken Aviane has had serious mood problems. It's not just the dose, but the type of estrogen and progesterone they use. A lot of people I know have had better luck with LoEstrin.



Do you take an EFA (essential fatty acid) supplement daily? That usually helps a lot with cramps, for whatever reason. Try a flax-borage-evening primrose oil, one tablespoon a day.
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#15 Old 04-07-2005, 12:18 PM
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molly goat has some great suggestions regarding PMS symptoms and natural ways to treat/manage them. it is possible, through various natural methods, to develope and maintain a consistant fertility cycle and to discover the origins of the various PMS symptoms within your cycle (ie, triggers, etc). once discovered, these can be eliminated during certain sensitive days to reduce symptoms. similarly, other things can be added to the diet/lifestyle that can help reduce or get rid of symptoms.



as for FAM being effective--if properly practiced (as the case with ANY form of b/c including the pill) it has a 2% effectiveness rate, the same as the pill. most people do not practice FAM--or do not practice it properly which is why the failure rate is considered 'so high.' Teens, or any persons, are capable of diligently learning and following the rules of FAM, and using the method in tandem with barrier contraception to prevent pregnancy.



if nothing else, FAM should be practiced by every woman (on the pill or otherwise) as a measure of her general and gynocological health.
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#16 Old 04-07-2005, 12:31 PM
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Birth Control pills were wonderful for me. They had the complete opposite effect. They cleared my mind right up, lifting the fog I had previously. I think its been show to do that for women with ADD.
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#17 Old 04-07-2005, 10:04 PM
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I have always taken my pills at night and they improve my moods. Last week I took two in a row the morning after instead. I found that taking it in the morning made me cranky.



So switching time of day, in conjunction with trying some of the many, many, many different kinds out there might help. Some are estrogen only, some are progesterin only (in various synthetic forms of course), some have both, some are vary in dose throughout the cycle, some are the same all three weeks, some are very low dose compared to others (the new ones are especially low).



I use generics of triphasil. ( AKA tri-leven, enpresse) Great. helps my mood.
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#18 Old 04-07-2005, 10:27 PM
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Taking it at night sounds like a good idea. Only, I'm spending a month in England soon, and now I'm convinced the 5 hour time difference will mess everything up (leave it to me to see all the problems that can possible occur). I don't want to be all moody and stuff when I'm in England. What should I do?



And is it okay to start my first pack when I want to, so I can control the day my period will start, or is it really 100% necessry to take it after my next period starts? Honestly, I don't even know if I'll get it this month without the pills anyway. Suggestions?
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#19 Old 04-24-2005, 09:15 AM
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I just went off Aviane a few days ago after I had been taking it for about 8 months. I went off because I was bleeding more and more throughout the entire month. I would go through an entire box of tampons in about 3 days. (usually on the second week set of pills) Then, when I started the placebo week, I wouldnt bleed until I had taken 3 or 4 of the pills.



Before I started Aviane, my cycle was like CLOCKWORK - now it is so messed up, I have no idea what a regular period is anymore.



Im going to my dr. in a week or two to look at other non-hormone options. Aviane has not been a great experience for me.
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#20 Old 04-24-2005, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sophia_cat View Post

I just went off Aviane a few days ago after I had been taking it for about 8 months. I went off because I was bleeding more and more throughout the entire month. I would go through an entire box of tampons in about 3 days. (usually on the second week set of pills) Then, when I started the placebo week, I wouldnt bleed until I had taken 3 or 4 of the pills.



Before I started Aviane, my cycle was like CLOCKWORK - now it is so messed up, I have no idea what a regular period is anymore.



Im going to my dr. in a week or two to look at other non-hormone options. Aviane has not been a great experience for me.







My period has never been regular, sometimes nonexistant, so maybe I'll have a different effect?



I'm on my second week of pills and I have to say that, despite the emotional problems, I haven't been having any negative side effects. Perhaps it's too soon to tell. And to be honest, I think now the emotional part has levelled off.
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