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Old 08-18-2008, 02:21 AM   #1  
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Question PMS...would you take a pill to get rid of it?

Hey everyone...sorry to get so personal. I just wanted to say that every month, I have a huge problem with food cravings the entire week before I get my period. It's never easy for me to avoid binges, but around "that time," it's even worse. My question is: have any of you considered or tried a pill that makes you get your period only a few times a year? It just occured to me as I was responding to another post that this might just make things a lot easier for me! Is this an insane thought? I've heard these things are perfectly safe, by the way. Any advice, experience or thoughts? Thanks a lot!
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:31 AM   #2  
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Why not take a normal birth control pill, so you get your period every month? I have noticed that when I'm on birth control I don't get those cravings. The thing with those other pills where you get your period a few times a year is that you still get break through bleeding... you can't plan for those. At least on the regular pill when you get your period every month you know when to expect it. Just my opinion.

But, if the normal pill doesn't cut the cravings than maybe it is worth trying out the other pill. Maybe others can share their experience with it.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:34 AM   #3  
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when i was put on birth control i was warned though that some people experience appetite changes, that some get a greater appetite, and some get a lesser appetite, and of course some dont change. I dont know, maybe you should talk to your doctor about it
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:40 AM   #4  
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the pill made me entirely lose my appetite, I never wanted to eat, but I still gained a lot of weight. It was a regular monthly one. As it turns out, I have a toxic reaction to the combination birth control pills (like Yaz or Ortho tri Cyclen) so I can't take those four month interval ones.

However, I am on the shot that stops my periods - and I absolutely adore it. It's controversial, and people are usually against it - but it's the greatest thing I've ever done for myself. Not just because the really really extreme period symptoms are gone (even though I'm only 140 lbs, I still had extremely heavy bleeding, and cramps so bad I'd throw up for days) - but I'm so much happier, and feel healthier now that I'm on it. And when I get off of it, which I have a few times, it hasn't been that hard on my body either. Talk to your GP!
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:06 AM   #5  
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i used to have symptoms so bad that i passed out....
the pill has changed all this....
gettin more pain as i get lighter (god knows why)....
but it is manageable....
still manage to workout through it....
and eat regularly even tho i dont want to....
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:35 AM   #6  
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I would if my periods were a big problem. But I've been on hormonal bc for so long now that I barely get a period anymore. I do still retain several lbs of water in the week before my TOM, but I don't usually have huge problems with cravings, cramps, heavy flow, depression, moodiness, or any of the other problems I used to have. And because I've been on hormonal bc for so long, I think having one week where I am free from hormones every month is probably a good thing. But if my periods were like they were when I was younger, I would be all over the pills where you only get your period a few times a year.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:25 AM   #7  
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I honestly wouldn't recommend it. I was on it for 5 years and hello mood swings.

Anyways, you should talk to your doctor about it. Everyone's body is different. For some reason, the pill makes them crazy, for others, they have no side effects.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:02 AM   #8  
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NO! Particularly bc pills with estrogen cause you to gain weight! Long term use of bc pills is dangerous and can contribute to blood clots depending on your risk factors as well as a link to breast and ovarian cancers. This is NOT a smart move. I was in cancer research for about 4 years and I no longer buy into literature that states there is no risk in long term bc pill use and certain hormone based cancers.

When I went on birth control pills for 2 yrs, I didn't gain anything but also I moved away from home and hardly ate anything due to my laziness. I actually lost 30 lbs but it wasn't from the pill. My friend just had a pulmonary embolism from bc pills as well and she had been on them for 4 symptom free years. From a medical standpoint, I would advise against this move on your part. If psychologically you think you need bc pills to control cravings, you will likely be on them long term and that is VERY dangerous!

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Old 08-18-2008, 08:53 AM   #9  
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It's fine.

Use of hormonal contraception is indicated for noncontraceptive benefits such as PMS, heavy bleeding and cramping, PMDD.

If estrogen is a concern as determined by a review of your medical history, a progestin only method such as Mirena, Depo-provera, or progesterone only birth control pills can be used.

You can read more in lay terminology on but I would suggest getting your gyn info from a healthcare professional you know and trust (but you knew that anyway, right?)

Remember that with combined hormonal methods (ie most pills, nuvaring, orthoevra patch) the hormone free week is not a true period. A true period occurs when the endometrial lining builds up and is then shed when there is no pregnancy. The bleeding that occurs during the placebo week with combined hormonal methods occurs because the hormone levels drop, and the endometrium lining (which is thin--it has not built up) destabilizes and thus you get a small amount of bleeding.

I'd write more but I am a little sleepy after being up all night. Not only did I get to catch some babies but I also got to call in lots of birth control renewals--funny how many people wait until Sunday night.

My advice--talk to someone who specializes in gyn care.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:16 PM   #10  
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I started my period at 9 or 10 (in fourth grade, just a few days before the "film" for the girls explaining it all), and from the start it was regular (exactly 25 days), heavy and long (lasting 8 to 10 days), and excruciating (when it started, at least I knew what it was - my mom had explained it to me when she got the permission slip for the film). But, she'd forgotten to explain about cramps. Every month I had two to three days of cramps so bad, I missed school or work and wished I would just die and get it over with. And a few days of not too bad cramps. And I was ravenous for about 10 days (about 5 days before the start and 5 days into).

In college, I was prescribed birth control to control the periods (I didn't need it for it's intended use), and it did help. The pills forced a 28 day cycle, and the periods were lighter and shorter (about 3 to 4 days instead of 9), It made hunger a little better too, but not enough to really lose weight, and the cramps virtually disappeared. I'd have just enough cramps the day before the period started, to know it was "starting tomorrow." I would have done anything to get those cramps gone, so taking into account the risks, it was well worth it for me.

About three years ago, the cramps started coming back and the periods were getting heavier, so I talked to my doctor about it, and he switched me to a slightly higher dose (which was still in the category of a low dose pill). I took the opportunity to ask about the bc pills like Seasonique or stacking the birth control pills (a cheap way to do this, where you start the second pack a week early, skipping the placebo pill week, during the months you don't want a period). He was lukewarm about the idea. He said that it was safe to do, but he didn't particularly recommend it, as it could make the less frequent periods proportionally worse (so if I chose to have a period every 3 months, it could be 3 times as bad for cramps and PMS).

I had asked maybe 3 doctors (all male) since I was a teenager, if there was any way to get rid of my period, not only because of my severe PMS symptoms, but especially because of how it affected my eating. I would feel so out of control and eat like a madwoman one week a month, and it would take two weeks to get the weight off, and so I felt I had only a one week "window of opportunity" to lose weight. The response was always that it wasn't a good idea.

Then last year I had a consult with the doctor heading our local weight management clinic (it has an excellent reputation, but unfortunately few insurances cover the non-surgical treatments for weight loss). She and her husband lost about 100 lbs each on a modified Atkins (more vegetables, and a bit more fat-controlled). I also asked (again) about the Seasonique. She had a COMPLETELY different perspective than the male doctors. She said it was very safe if I didn't smoke (I don't) and recomended stacking rather than Seasonique as it was virtually the same medication strength as the pills "specially designed" that way and was much less expensive. She said that there was no need to have a period at all, because on the pill the uterine wall does not "build up" because the medication prevents that from happening, so it is not true that the body is not "cleaning itself" if there is no period. The body still takes care of dead cell. She also said that in her experience, if I would choose to have a period periodically, except for the first period, in her experience periods would be lighter, not heavier. She suggested that I try the bc change paired with low or lower carb.

I was skeptical, but I gave it a try, and it has been a MIRACLE for me. I found out that my husband had been keeping track of my periods, he said for HIS safety. He had always called it "meat week," because while I ate a LOT less meat than he did most of the time, and often no meat, during meat week I wanted beef and lots of it. Meat and chocolate. He would buy chocolate and put it in the freezer the few days before I was due (and we really didn't keep it around the house the rest of the month). I'm surprised that I didn't wonder about the "luck" of the chocolate being there when I needed it. Hubby would say that he'd have to throw a McDonald's bag in the door of the apartment, and know it was safe to come in when he heard me chewing (an exageration of course, he would hand me the bag and high tail it to another room for a while). But the moodswings WERE bad, while I realized that I had them, I didn't realize how BAD until I began stacking.

Firstly, no more meat week. No more beef or chocolate cravings. And every month, hubby and I would have an incredibly bad fights "that week." I mean, me screaming at him fights. I thought he was evil, incarnate during those days each month. It was truly past PMS, it was PMDD, as there were times I literally wanted him dead (I wouldn't have murdered him, but I might not have warned him if he were in the path of a bus). Since I started stacking, we haven't had a bad argument since. I feel like a normal human being now, and not a werewolf as hubby and I would call me. When I said "the full moon is coming," I didn't mean the moon, but my period. Hubby would always say "I know," which I thought meant I'd already started to become irrational, I didn't know that he was marking "it" on his calendar.

If I had discovered this combo (lower carb and stacking the bc) in my 20's, I have absolutely no doubt that I would have been able to get and keep my weight under control. I'm insulin resistant now, so the weight doesn't come off quickly anymore. When I get the lower carb mastered (stop thinking I can have something high carb "once in a while,") I think it will come off even more quickly, but I am very satisfied with my progress, as it's been slower, but the longest time period, by far, that I have been able to continue losing weight. Also, that I don't go absolutely insane every month, is a benefit all to itself.

I can't explain how dramatic the difference is. I really don't have the kind of binges I had before. When I add the low carb aspect, I can even "forget to eat," now to show what kind of miracle that is to me, I never in my life before could forget to eat. I was ravenous, every waking moment (and exponentially so "that week"), and dieting was like trying to learn not to breathe - eventually I would come up for food. I'm not crazy anymore (well, at least not in that way).

Hubby noticed it too. When I decided to have my first period a few months after stacking, he didn't want me to. He kept saying "the doctor said it was safe, not to," and we did have a fight about it (but I wasn't being irrational, he was). But seriously, the doctor had been right, the periods are lighter (almost non-exisant). I've had only a bit of break-through bleeding, and only during the first three months. Calling it "bleeding" though is a bit of a stretch since (sorry a bit graphic) I don't consider a bit of pink on the tp, but not the undies as bleeding. Some women might experience more, but I doubt it's anything that a pantyliner wouldn't manage.

I know I've written a novel here, but I cannot stress how life-changing this has been, and how much I wish I had done so sooner (at least before I became insulin resistant). I've never lost weight with so little effort before. I'm not saying that I don't have to pay attention, I do. If I don't pay attention I stop losing (although compared to before when not paying attention meant rapid weight GAIN, that's still a blessing). But, I don't have to do so "tooth-and-nail with every fiber of my being." I can lose weight AND have a life, where in the past, the only way I was able to lose weight, was to give up practically everything else that required any effort or brain-power.

I think that as a society, we do often rush to pills or altering substances in general, far too soon. I've never even been one to even drink regularly, my average has always been fewer than 6 drinks a year, and many years none - not because I was intentionally avoiding it, but because I see no need for it (and drinks are expensive). I feel that risks and benefits need to be carefully considered, but quality of life is also one of those considerations. When I realize how much work and school I wouldn't have had to miss, and how much better my life has been since discovering this, I DO wish I hadn't been so cautious. I could have saved myself at least 20 years of agony (not just inconvenience).

Last edited by kaplods; 08-18-2008 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:33 PM   #11  
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I don't think it's right for everyone, but I don't think it's fair to make a general sweep across the board that it's just bad. I think Kaplods is a perfect example of this and so am I. I had totally out of control periods that when they did show up, I would have to suffer for several WEEKS of pms (intense cramping, mood swings AND cravings) as a pre-curser and then 8-10 days of a nightmarish period.

Also, when Jen was put on the pill= Jen lost 80 pounds. I don't think that's a coincidence. And kaplods is right- it doesn't build up in your system so you can't get "backed up". When I CHOOSE to have one now, it's negligible (3-4 days and even though I know which day it will arrive, I have no symptoms).

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Old 08-18-2008, 03:39 PM   #12  
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I also look at it this way, low dose birth control uses a low dose of what your body already makes, and some people's bodies naturally make the same levels of hormone that most bc's do (that is some women naturally never have a period, because their bodies are making and using the hormones in much the way that the bc mimics). So, at least low dose bc mimics what (at least some) bodies do naturally.

The body doesn't make vicodin. Endorphins are the natural narcotics, and they never reach the strength and concentration of a prescription narcotic (except perhaps after an extremely serious injury). As for side effect profiles, I would compare bc favorably to any narcotic, but everyone has to talk to their own doctor about comparing risks/benefits, as their best course of action.

Risk/benefit analysis - always a good thing, in business and in taking care of our body. No one can tell you whether the risks are worth it or not. This is between you and your doctor or health care provider.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:40 PM   #13  
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I would say go for it. I've been on the shot for a few years and I couldn't imagine being on anything else.

Like kapolds, I had horrible painful cramps combine with migraines during my period. I actually wound up in the hostipal a couple of times on a morphine drip b/c between the cramps and my migraines I was in so much pain that I would vomit non stop and literally couldn't move. I went on the shot and from the first couple of months my life has been completely different. I don't have the weight flucations and I'm not taking tylenol 3 and by the handful. Going on the shot was one of the single best things I have done for myself and my sanity.
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:59 PM   #14  
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While we're on the topic, has anyone taken Seasonale or Seasonique? I just got a prescription for Seasonique but I haven't filled it yet.

Edited to add: I just started a new thread on this topic.

Last edited by 3Beans; 08-18-2008 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:43 PM   #15  
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I'm not on Seasonique, because my medicare drug coverage wouldn't cover the full cost. However, the doctor recommended that I just stack my Necon 28 (just a regular 28 day pill), except without the week of placebo pills (you just start a new pack the day you would have started taking the orange pills). The cost at Sam's with their $100 yearly membership is $9 per month ($12 with the standard membership). My medicare plan covers the entire cost, so there is no copay so I pay nothing.

The doctor and my pharmacist assured me that there was really no benefit to the Seasonique (for me) over the cheaper method, as the medication was very much the same.

However, if cost is a consideration at all, you might want to ask your doctor about it, as if he/she feels that there would be no additional benefits to the Seasonique, for you, you could save quite a bit.

Last edited by kaplods; 08-18-2008 at 05:51 PM.
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