Thursday, October 3, 2013

Let's Talk Birth Control

Today we're going to talk about Birth Control.

It can be kind of a sticky subject. But as I've been studying to be a doula and learning so much about the body I have realized the benefits from talking about things most people don't talk about.

It's hard to know what kind of birth control is going to work for you. It's hard to even really know what kind of birth control is out there, or your options with how often you take your birth control. I really think we can learn from each other with this post. So I'm going to tell you my experience with birth control, and you tell me yours, and hopefully someday when someone is confused about their options, they will come back and read this post and comments and find something that they can suggest to their doctor.

I started taking birth control at the age of 15. Not because I was a hussy like a lot of people think of when a teenager is on birth control, but because it saved my life. When I was 15 I was hospitalized and received a transfusion of 3 units of blood. My hormones were out of control and couldn't tell my body when to stop bleeding. Birth control corrected this.

I don't remember the name of my very first birth control, but after a about 2 months I switched, by doctor suggestion because it wasn't doing enough to control my bleeding. Then I went on Yazmin. I will say this until I'm blue in the face, don't go on Yaz or Yazmin. I didn't even stay on it for a month. It made me constantly dizzy. Then I switched to Ortho tri cyclen. This is a great birth control for the average person, I know a lot of people who have taken ortho tri cyclen. and it worked fabulous for me.
At 18 I went off birth control to see how my hormones would react. At 20 after over 2 months straight of having my period I went back onto birth control. This time, I was put on Loestrin 24 fe. This meant I had a higher dose birth control, my periods were only 4 days long, and I took iron pills instead of sugar pills on my off days. Loestrin has been the best birth control at controlling my hormones and breakthrough bleeding.

There is no generic Loestrin 24 fe, so during Peace Corps I was on Microgestin 1/20 fe, which is generic for Loestrin 21 fe. They gave me 3 extra packs, and every month I took 3 days from those extra packs to make my periods 4 days a week, just like on Loestrin 24 fe.
After Peace Corps, I went back on Loestrin 24 fe, thankfully with a patient savings card to make the prescription $24 a month. Well, a few months ago they stopped making Loestrin 24 fe, and started making Minastrin 24 fe, a chewable pill. I went on that instead. I hated chewing the pill, it tasted terrible. And since I don't have insurance while we're out here, the patient savings card didn't work, leaving me with a crazy expensive prescription.

So lastly, I called my Dr. and they were wonderful to work with. I am now back on the generic Microgestin 1/21, and they set it up with the pharmacy for me to get 4 packs at a time, so it looks on paper like I'm going without my period for 12 weeks, but really I'm using that last pack to take 3 out of every month to make my periods still 4 days.

Seriously, it's amazing what your Dr. can help you work out when you know what you want.

What birth controls have you loved? Hated? At what age did you start taking birth control? Tell me your story.


Kayla Peveler said...

I started taking it at age 16 to control worked so amazing. Then I came off of it for a few years and got back on and my body is still adjusting after almost a year! I was on Yaz at first and didn't love it...I got major headaches. So my doctor switched me to a generic. I'm in loooove now!

Rachel said...

I did take the pill for a couple months when we first got married--I don't know the name, but a low-dose, generic brand that was cheap, and I didn't like it. For me, the periods were much worse and Angel insists it made me crazy. I stopped taking it and have never tried a different brand, just because my body seems pretty happy about not taking pills. But I know of a lot of cases, like yours, where it has really helped!

Angela said...

I also am taking Microgestin. I started taking it a few years ago for mild endometriosis. I have not had too many problems with it, but it's the only thing I've ever been on. Just curious--do you ever worry about conceiving with the condition you have? I worry about it constantly and am scared to start trying to go off the pill.

Tanika Rice said...

I was on the pill for a long time. Then I got the shot because I hate taking pills. THEN I GOT PREGNANT ON THE SHOT. So now I am on the Mirena IUD. And it's awesome. And I love it. And if I could, I would marry it.

Tanika Rice said...

I was on the pill for a long time. Then I got the shot because I hate taking pills. THEN I GOT PREGNANT ON THE SHOT. So now I am on the Mirena IUD. And it's awesome. And I love it. And if I could, I would marry it.

Angi said...

I used to take Ortho Tri Cyclen when I was in high school for my acne. Stopped for a long time and then when I got married, went back on it. But then my insurance decided they weren't going to pay very much for it and I ended up having to pay $50 per month, so my doctor switched me to Caziant, which is basically the same type of pill, but my insurance covers it 100%.

Honestly, I'd like to be off the pill entirely, simply because my doctor makes me come in at least once a year for a check up in order to refill my prescription. And since I'm rarely sick enough to actually go to the doctor and I have a ridiculously high deductible, those visits end up costing me $500+ once all the lab work and junk is done.

Not having to take the pill would mean not having to go to the doctor every 12 months (I've always been perfectly healthy with not a single problem), thus saving us $500-600 per year on those visits...but I'm not sure I'm confident enough in not getting pregnant to quit taking the pill. I know it can be done but I like not having to think about it and take my temperature all the time and whatever else without being too TMI. ;)

Autumn said...

The only birth control I have ever liked was the Nuva ring because I didn't have to remember to take it everyday. I haven't been on hormonal birth control for a long time though because it makes me a little moody at first. I would happily go back on Nuva ring though because my thyroid issues make my periods really heavy.

Emily said...

Have you heard of NaPro Technology? So many times, the Pill masks symptoms of a greater problem (like the bleeding you described) and doesn't really allow us to get better. We think everything is great because we don't *feel* sick, but in reality, underlying issues are still at work in our body. So, NaPro Technology ( works to discover what's really wrong, resulting in optimal women's health. It's also completely natural and allows you to learn more about your body, which as a future doula would be pretty awesome information!

Melissa Louise said...

I was 22 when I started taking birth control. My first prescription was Beyaz, which was fine for me. I know it's an offshoot of yaz and yazmin, but I didn't have any problems. Then, my doctor wanted to switch me to a lower dose of hormones and I took Loloestrin fe. On which, I got pregnant and miscarried...which was super fun (not). Now, I use condoms, which are the best thing ever because I don't ever have to remember to take anything, I don't have to mess with my body, and are cheap (and most often FREE because people just hand those out).

Susannah said...

When I first got married I was on Loestrin and it made me SICK! Seriously, the 6 hour drive to our honeymoon was the worst! I was carsick the whole time... Not the best for... well... you know what people are wanting to do on their honeymoons... ;-) I was on that for about six months and decided I didn't like the idea of chemicals corsing through my body. Now I use a diaphragm and, other than one UTI, I have LOVED it!!! It's so easy, doesn't involve gross chemicals, and (so far) has worked in regards to me not getting preggers. I personally am not a fan of hormonal birth control unless it's for a medical reason now. I think more doctors should tell women their other options.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I went on BC at 18 because I was having major bleeding issues. It would never stop. After trying about 3 different ones Ortho worked for me for about 5 years and then my body started hating it. I actually switched to the one you currently take but at 24 I went completely off of it and haven't taken it since. I'm wanting to go back on it but I'm scared it's going to give me major side effects.

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

I went on birth control when I was about 19. I had acne issues and it helped. However, I got sick and sort of became allergic to BC. My doctors weren't able to figure out why so best possible solution was to stop taking it all together. I don't have issues with my cycle (which is a blessing I know, and I cherish it!), so that's good and I think I'm just going to stay off of it. Sounds weird, but I think it's best!

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