General chatter - Birth Control Reviews....

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08-04-2011, 01:44 PM
Not sure if this is the right place to post this or not, but I am looking for all of your wonderful womanly advice on birth control. I have been on Depo for years and have recently gone off of it. I am in search of a new pill, or BC option and want to know your recommendations. I mean, what better place to come than 3FC!

08-04-2011, 01:58 PM
Hi Peaches! I am on Lutera, which is a birth control pill -- it's the generic Alesse. I absolutely love it, never had a problem. It's low dose and my doctor said that it is one of the prescriptions of BC that can be used as emergency contraception (5 active pills the day after your birth control fails.) I was originally on Yasmin and I was pissed off and depressed all the time, so this was a welcome change.

My old room mate was on Nuva Ring, she loves that -- but I know during sex the guy can feel it sometimes. She told me that they didn't mind, even when one of them got "looped" :lol: Not for me, but I can see how not having to remember take a pill at the same time each day would be nice.

My cousin gained 60+lbs on depo, she recently stopped and is losing some of the weight, did you experience anything like that?

ETA: I am really good at remembering my pill every single day at 3pm, so just know that it will be something that you have to work into your routine. I use my phone alarm to remind me! :)

08-04-2011, 02:01 PM
i was on the patch, ortho evra(?), for many many years and i loved it! one patch per week, and didnt experience any side affects....since my insurance quit covering it a few years ago, i switched to ortho novum/necon, which is a pill, and thats worked just fine for me too, no side affects etc

08-04-2011, 02:02 PM
I've been on Seasonique for almost 4 years now.. and I love it. The first 6 months, 2 packs, were pretty crazy with spotting (when I would have normally had my friend!) and with mood issues, from the hormones, but now? LOVE IT. Love only having my period 4 times a year, I love the suuuuper light periods I have. I haven't spotted in forever... It's amazing. My "drive" is the same, too. I did gain about 10 lbs, but they dropped pretty quickly once things got back to normal.

Also, here's a site I like to look at before I go on any new meds!

I like to search for whatever I got prescribed, and check out the reviews and side effects! :D

GL with your BC search!! :D

08-04-2011, 02:08 PM
I was on tricyclen-lo for a few months 2 years ago, but got off after becoming quite depressed. Sure, there could've been some other factors, but when I came off of it things started to improve. I also found out two of my friends had similar experiences on it and both quit. One found some success on another low-dosage BC but I've been too afraid.

Edit: Just looked it up on the site kateleestar shared - wish I could've read that before I started it!

08-04-2011, 02:17 PM
I just switched from the pill to the nuvaring and LOVE it. If you're concerned about having it in during sex you can take it out for up to 3 hours and still be protected. I really wanted to get an iud but they are so expensive and not at all covered by my insurance so this is a happy medium.

08-04-2011, 02:17 PM
I have the Implanon implant and its definitely what I needed. I was on the pill before and I would forget to take it everyday..haha! They put it right under the skin on the inside of your upper arm.. You can't see it but you can feel it.. The only problem I've ever had with that is one time my puppy jumped on my arm and pulled his nails down it.. It hurt for a couple days but didn't move or anything. It does however make you gain weight.. I gained about 15 pounds in 2 months... But the best part for me was that I spotted for about 3 weeks... (got this in January) But I haven't had a period at all since then! That part and not having to remind myself of taking anything for the next 3 years definitely makes it worth it to me! haha!

08-04-2011, 02:18 PM

My cousin gained 60+lbs on depo, she recently stopped and is losing some of the weight, did you experience anything like that?


I have gained weight, but over a period of time. One of the reasons for going off of it was that I was told the lack of weight loss since dieting and exercising do not seem to be helping much could possibly be because of the Depo. Was sure hoping to see that scale change after I went off of it, but havent seen anything yet. In fact saw about a 8-10 lb gain when I went off of it. :(

08-04-2011, 02:20 PM
I use Yasmin currently, but have been on Ocella before. I admittedly have really easy periods so I cant speak to the degree each of these helps with cramping, heavy flow, moodiness, etc. I haven't had any negative side effects from either though. Periods are usually 3 days long, a bit of cramping on the first day, and that's it.

I'd recommend both. The only reason I switched is that I live in India and Yasmin is the only one widely available here.

08-04-2011, 02:20 PM
I've been on ortho tricyclen low for about 6 months? The first 3-4 were frustrating .... I held onto weight and it was horrible. But things have leveled out and I'm feeling fine.

I do want an IUD in the next few months tho :)

08-04-2011, 02:42 PM
Orthos Tri cyclen - I had a horrible time on. The Ring was even worse for me (hubs refered to it as my 'cheese grater'). I find I do better with the low-dose pills: Allesse, Yasmin and yaz (and the generic versions) I have had good luck with.

If you don't want to be on a pill, I had good luck with VCF (Vaginal Contraceptive Films). You have to put one in 15 mins b/f sex. But they are easy and not messy. There was that ONE TIME I said to hubs - we don't need to use one today! And *poof* I got PG. So - duh - you have to use one EVERY time.

08-04-2011, 02:45 PM
I'm on the generic version of Yaz and it works pretty well for me. Before that I was on Nuva Ring for a few years. At first things were good, but for the last year it made me insanely emotional and even downright b*tchy sometimes.

08-04-2011, 03:01 PM
Edit: Just looked it up on the site kateleestar shared - wish I could've read that before I started it!

Right? I look on there for everything anyone I know is prescribed. It's pretty scary. Makes me want to be one of those all natural no drugs people, lol. But, then, I have to realize that not everyone will get all, or any, of those side effects.

But death, if death is a side effect, I'm OUT! :lol:

08-04-2011, 03:13 PM
I heart my Nuvaring. I've been on it for 5 years and I'm still thrilled with it. Hubs has never felt it during sex, and I haven't had any side effects with it. When I first started, I was ravenously, insatiably hungry for about three days. After that, it stopped, and I was fine (it was also my first time starting BC)

I know that I can't remember to take a pill every day, and I don't know anyone who has gotten pregnant while taking it. I skip my periods (by just leaving it in an extra week) almost every month (on avg 3-4 periods a year) and it's been just fine. Some people get squirmish about inserting them, but it's no big deal. the first time you put it in, it's a little awkward to figure out, but they're no more "involved" than inserting a tampon.

08-04-2011, 04:05 PM
I completely agree with SouthLake - Another vote for Nuva Ring. Love, love, love it! Hubs never felt it. Was on it for 7 years, took it out, got pregnant within 3 months. And now, unfortunately, my insurance won't pay for it anymore and since I don't want to shell out $75/month, I'm back on pills (which I HATE).

08-04-2011, 04:08 PM
I have used many different versions of oral contraceptives but I always encounter the same problem. I can NEVER remember to take them every time. I can set phone alarms, have other people tell me, set a calender alert every day... I get easily distracted and/or easily engrossed at the matter at hand, so I sometimes don't hear or ignore the alarm. Or, worse yet, I turn off the alarm and forget to take the darn thing!!!!! I switched to the nuvaring and it rocks. (Currently taking nothing because paying for health insurance is way outside my budget) I like it because I literally have to remember it two times per month: the day I insert it and the day I remove it. It's a little awkward the first time or two you insert it, but after you figure out how complex your anatomy is not (:wink: because it really isn't as complex as you think!) then it's great. My DH says that he feels it sometimes but he doesn't mind it... it's not painful or anything, it's a piece of flexible plastic!

Considering going from nuvaring to an IUD just because I know I am about to enter a time of my life when my schedule and life are going to be crazy and I would feel terribly guilty if I brought a mini-me into the world.

08-04-2011, 05:16 PM
Oh lordy can I talk about birth control!

I was on the pill (not sure the brand(s) type was while I was abroad and I switched to the other when I came back to the states). That was for about two years. About a year into it I started getting migraines. A couple of months later I was able to call in sick before I even got them (every fourth Wednesday like clockwork). Ended up in the ER at one point (the migraine lasted four days). To be fair, migraines run in my family. But obviously the pill is what aggravated it (I still think it must have been some sort of withdrawal was four days on the sugar pill). I stopped taking the pill in August of 2010 and have been pretty good since then.

Fast forward to the end of September. A coworker recommended I look into getting an IUD. I was going to go with the copper one since I figured the hormones (Mirena) would be bad for me. My doctor explained the pros and cons and he pretty much said I shouldn't have any issues with Mirena. So I went for it. It was uncomfortable getting it in, but it didn't feel much worse than cramps. I spotted on and off for a week or so. My periods have been MUCH lighter. My cramps are a bit worse. And I've had one migraine in almost a year and it wasn't that bad. Last month my period lasted for 14 days, when usually it is 5 or so (though it was very light, only needed a tampon 2 of those 14 days). My doctor suggested we wait it out and see what happens. If my period is long again the next two months I will probably get it removed (two weeks is just way too frustrating...if you know what I mean). My ex did tell me he could feel the wire, but he didn't complain.

After rereading that last paragraph I feel like I gave IUDs a bad review, but I really recommend it. You don't have to think about it. You don't have to remember to take anything or put anything in. And it is good for five years (or ten if you go with copper). My insurance covered most of it, but with what I paid it was still cheaper than paying for the pill for five years. If you have any questions about it, let me know. I could go on forever! lol. Good luck!

08-04-2011, 06:05 PM
With a history of migraine with aura, I'm apparently not supposed to use an estrogen-containing birth control.

For a while I was on Progesterone-only pills, but 5 years ago I got a Mirena IUD. It's been good for me. No weight gain, very light periods.

Ashley, I randomly had a 20 day period earlier this year, then went right back to my 4-5 day version, so hopefully that will be your experience, too.

Haven't decided what to do when i need to replace the Mirena soon. May get another, may try the Prog-only pills again. I'll be 40 soon, would sort of like menopause to just hurry up and get here, haha.

08-04-2011, 06:13 PM
I have a copper-T IUD. It's worked well for me but it's also really, really increased how heavy my periods are. I'm okay with the trade-off but if I'd started off with heavy or painful periods, it might be way too much.

08-04-2011, 06:42 PM
I just went off of Depo, too. My last shot was in January, and I started BC pills in May (my doc told me Depo really lasts AT LEAST 4 months, not three, so I didn't hurry up to get on something else- also it takes an average of 18 mos. for a woman to become fertile again after she stops Depo- depending on how long she's been on it). So, I hated the pill, plus I have read several places that they are not as effective on women over 150lbs, which makes sense (why don't they dose hormones by weight???). Now, I've been using birth control film that you can buy at the drug store. I love it. It's 96% effective with perfect use, which is not much worse than the pill, and considering I can't remember to take the pill- let alone at the same time every day, it's probably more effective than the pill. It's just this little sheet of film, almost like one of those dissolving breath strips that were so popular a few years ago. You insert it at least 15 mins before, and it lasts for 3 hrs, it just dissolves up there. It's not messy, it's not noticeable, and so far, no babies!

08-04-2011, 06:54 PM
"Ashley, I randomly had a 20 day period earlier this year, then went right back to my 4-5 day version, so hopefully that will be your experience, too."

Thanks! That is what I'm hoping. My doctor pretty much said it probably was just random.

"I have read several places that they are not as effective on women over 150lbs, which makes sense (why don't they dose hormones by weight???)"

Interesting. I have a coworker that is no heavier than 115lbs soaking wet. She got pregnant while on the was the low dose, but still shouldn't have happened.

08-04-2011, 07:11 PM
I first started on Alesse, and had terrible moodswings and depression. So, the doctor decided it was because that pill had the wrong amounts of hormones for me, and switched me to ortho tricyclen-lo and I've had no problems with it since :)

08-05-2011, 11:18 AM
Interesting. I have a coworker that is no heavier than 115lbs soaking wet. She got pregnant while on the was the low dose, but still shouldn't have happened.

I know of several people who have gotten pregnant on low dose pills in the last year. None of them forgot a pill either, just got too far out of whack on the timeschedule.

08-05-2011, 02:00 PM
I love IUDs. I've had the Mirena and the copper Paragard. Like a PP, it does give me slightly heavier periods but the amazing thing is that I HAVE periods. Because of my PCOS, I was told I would have to be on hormones to force me to have a period more than once every 18 - 24 months. So far, that hasn't been necessary. I'm not on a perfect schedule but about once every month or two.

The heavier periods aren't ideal but neither are a crapload of hormones. :(

08-05-2011, 02:12 PM
IUDs are meant for people who have had a baby before. I made the mistake of talking my doctor (who I no longer see any more for this reason) into letting me get an IUD (Paragard) because I wanted something I didn't have to remember, and something non-hormonal. She should have NEVER agreed to this, being as I have never had a child. But she did. I went and got one put in. First of all, they did give me a "cervix softener", that didn't do ****. Secondly, the doctor who put it in inserted it wrong AND bent it in the process. So it was extra painful and caused me lots of problems. I am not going to get into the rest of the details, but it was horrible, caused me a lot of discomfort & pain, and I lasted 2 months before I had it removed. So, if you are childless, please don't get an IUD. It isn't meant for us, and if your doctor agrees to it - I would seek out a new doctor.

Anyway! I am currently on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo. It's ok. I can't take full hormonal bc pills. But obviously if you have a bad memory for stuff like taking pills, that it out the window.

08-05-2011, 02:46 PM
IUDs are meant for people who have had a baby before.

See here:

Sounds like you had a sh*tty doctor. I have never given birth and it was fine. I know several people that have never given birth and it has been fine. For anything there are people that have had bad experiences. But this isn't the norm.

08-05-2011, 02:48 PM
nikkinouille - one last thing...where you on your period when they inserted it? This is the recommended time of month for women that haven't had children because the cervix is more open.

08-05-2011, 02:48 PM
I am using Mirena. It is an IUD and lasts for 5 years, however you can take it out before then (have your doctor do it) if you want to have kids before the 5 years is up. I love it. No side effects that I have noticed, no "ringing" like the nuva ring, and no forgetting to take anything. :) Also I haven't had my period in almost 5 years!!

That reminds me I need to make an appt in the next few months to have this one out and a new on in!!!

08-05-2011, 02:52 PM
IUDs are meant for people who have had a baby before.

Not so.

This attitude came from the US history of litigation surrounding the Dalkon Shield, which hasn't been on the market in close to 40 years and which had horrific side effects (like perforated uteruses and death).

I'm sorry you had an imcompetent doctor and a bad experience, but that's not the same thing as an inappropriate choice of method.

More IUD info:

08-05-2011, 03:53 PM
If you haven't had a child before, and are considering an IUD- have a doctor check the size of yout uterus beforehand. (should be standard, but you'd be surprised) When I asked about an IUD, my MD informed me that I have a smaller than average uterus, and while it wouldn't necessarily be painful, I would most likely always know it was there. No thanks. My sister got one, MD didn't check size, and she was in a lot of pain, had it removed two weeks later by another MD who told her she never should have had one to begin with based on the size of her uterus.
From everything else I've heard, they're great. And I do know people who have had them before having children.

08-05-2011, 04:05 PM
@ ade - yes, i was on my period when i had it inserted.

and i guess we are all entitled to our opinions. i am glad others had more positive experiences than i did with the IUD. it is the internet & I can go find articles & resources saying why IUD is bad/good for women without children, just the same as i can find websites "proving" aliens exist, the world is going to end tomorrow, etc. i stand by what i said. but to each their own. :)

08-05-2011, 04:06 PM
Aliens exist? I had no idea!

08-05-2011, 06:10 PM
There is plenty of respectable medical research showing that IUDs are perfectly safe to insert in women who have not been pregnant before. Indeed, I've read studies about IUD use in teenagers. The important thing is to get a doctor who is very practised in IUD insertion, someone who inserts them several days a week rather than someone who inserts two a year, and request cervical anaesthetic as well. A good IUD insertion is no worse than a smear test, and indeed for two of my IUDs I've lain there wondering when they were going to get on with it when they told me that they were already finished.

I'm on my third copper IUD and love them to bits. I can't tolerate hormonal contraception at all, and I cannot afford to take the relatively high risk of pregnancy of barrier methods.

Pros: even more effective (over 99%) than sterilisation in typical use (bear in mind that the high stats you hear for most contraceptives are the idealised "perfect use" ones, the typical use stats are 85% for condoms and 95% for the combined pill, for instance), cost-effective if you have to pay for your contraception, long-lasting (5 or 10 years depending on model), doesn't interfere with sex, doesn't interfere with hormones, doesn't interfere with meds, doesn't affect fertility after removal, you don't need to remember to do anything other than checking the strings once a month, you can take absolutely any medication you like while on it including hormonal meds if needed, suitable for most women.

Cons: not common in the US (though the most common method used worldwide) which means that doctors can be difficult, not suitable for anyone who currently has an STI or pelvic infection (which isn't many people), will generally make your periods a bit heavier and crampier, you have to wade through quite a lot of myths when finding out about them.

My periods doubled in length for the first few months on an IUD, but after that I started taking starflower oil (stronger version of evening primrose oil) and they went back to normal, or perhaps 10% longer than normal. Using evening primrose or fish oils to make periods less heavy seems to be fairly common, so it's very much worth trying if that's an issue for you. If your periods are already hideously painful and/or heavy, however (and I mean your periods now, if you haven't seen your natural cycle in fifteen years then it may have changed), then a copper IUD is probably not a good move.

08-05-2011, 07:03 PM
I've been on Yasmin for about 9 months now. My reasons for going on BC was for really really bad monthly pain and also fairly bad hormonal spots.

It helped to make the pain more tolerable, but not perfect, within a month. It wasn't until about 3-4 months that I noticed my spots stopped and clearing up. It has improved ever since then, I don't remember the last time I had a spot :)

I guess the main con was it made me absolutely starving for a good few weeks, also a couple of headaches I'd probably attribute to it. But that all passed and I'm happy to be on it now.

So I'd totally recommend Yasmin for clearing up skin, I've seen it do the same to a few of my friends too. But you do need to give it at least 3 months+.

For period cramps it's okay, some months it seems to work a lot better, other times I still need a lot of HWBs and pain killers. Still it's much better than spending every month in unbearable agony.

I can't really comment on it's use as a contraceptive method x) It's quite a new pill afaik, so perhaps it would be better to use a more thoroughly tested one.

08-06-2011, 03:36 PM
im on gianvi which is generic of Yazmin. its pretty good i think. the first three months i was really moody and cried alot. after that it mellowed out. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE DO NOT USE DEPO PROVERA! that stuff is terrible! i gained like 60 lbs and its taken forever for my body to recover. i only took it for 9 months in high school and im 26 now =(

08-06-2011, 05:14 PM
kimicat: I also had a friend on Depo Provera. She lost so much weight after going off it that I didn't even recognize her the first time I saw her. I'm sure it's not true for everyone but ...

08-06-2011, 09:37 PM
I have had a Mirena IUD for almost 4 years and I love it! I have never given birth and I had none of the problems mentioned above due to that. I no longer have a period aside from some spotting maybe every 6 or so months. This was definitely the best option for me because I was horrible at remembering to take the pill!

08-07-2011, 03:34 PM
I guess I'm lucky because I'm one of the seemingly few people who did not gain weight on Depo. I was already overweight at the time though so who knows. I stopped Depo after some studies came out a few years ago indicating that it affected your bone density. I never followed up on it, but just decided to switch to something else. Since pills are inconvenient and can be unreliable, I decided to get a Mirena IUD and had a great experience with that. Although I haven't had any kids, I didn't have any problems with it and kept the Mirena in for the full 5 years, but I would suggest that you get it inserted by someone who does it regularly rather than a PCP that might insert one a couple of times/year.

I get migraines with aura, so I cannot have any birth control with estrogen which essentially eliminates everything except the IUD, depo, mini-pill, and the implant. I had heard great things about the implanon implant and decided to try that this spring. It's been great so far. It lasts 3 years, is easily inserted under the skin in your arm, is progesterone-only, has very few side effects, and is remarkably effective. I would look into it if you're still surveying your options.