Frustrated by birth control, are you too?

Frustrated by birth control, are you too?

jr2012 jr2012
Hi everyone!

I am cranky...and it is because of birth control! I have been on the pill for 8+ years and recently had to switch prescriptions because of stocking issues at the pharmacy. This new pill has me feeling horrible! Obviously I'm going to go to the doctor soon, and I was thinking about maybe changing my bc method in general.

The thing is...there are major downsides to every method! Condoms aren't as effective (not to mention my SO hates using them), pills and shots have side effects, IUDs are expensive and the stories about them moving around are frightening, and I am not ready to consider sterilization (and what are these stats about unsuccessful sterilizations?!?!).

What is a woman who (really really) does not want to get pregnant to do? I'm 99% sure that I don't want kids, but I'm not ready to have surgery to make that decision final. I'm not sure I am okay with filling my body with synthetic hormones that make me feel bad half of the time is a good enough solution.

I know there's no clear cut happy answer, but this is really weighing heavy on me, and it's killing my sex drive because I am so phobic about becoming pregnant accidentally.

What do you ladies do? Is there anyone else out there who is fed up with side effects or lack of certainty? Men are certainly welcome to pitch in, too, because of course the birth control issue affects them as well. Should I just be thankful that I have these options, even though they don't make me happy? Has anyone found a happy solution that can give me hope?

Any input is appreciated, I have a bit of time till my doctor appointment and would love to get my thoughts straight before I see her. Thank you, darlings!
02/02/2013
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Genderfree Genderfree
Quote:
Originally posted by jr2012
Hi everyone!

I am cranky...and it is because of birth control! I have been on the pill for 8+ years and recently had to switch prescriptions because of stocking issues at the pharmacy. This new pill has me feeling horrible! Obviously ...
Yes, I am so fed up. I might have poly cystic ovarian syndrome because I started taking birth control when I was 14, which would mean that I can't take testosterone. Still got to have to check it out.

Condoms, anal sex, and having a partner who does not produce live sperm is helpful to prevent pregnancy for me.
02/03/2013
ImaGodiva ImaGodiva
I totally agree! I don't have a good solution.

You would think that as scientifically advanced as we are, there would be a better solution by now.
02/03/2013
PropertyOfPotter PropertyOfPotter
IUDs are expensive, but they last for years! There aren't nearly as many horror stories about them moving around as there are success stories. They are typically recommended for women who have already had a child, but I honestly think it would be a good option for you to look into. ParaGard is a copper IUD that contains no hormones, and lasts for up to 10 YEARS!!! Considering the amount of time it lasts, I would say that it ends up being less expensive than most birth control options when you look at how long it lasts. I have the Mirena IUD and I love it! I don't have to worry about remember to take something each day, or even visiting the doctor every few months. When the cost is broken down, it ends up being $100 a year which is a lot less expensive than other options out there. This one is hormonal though, and the only difference I've noticed is that I no longer have a period. I only have light spotting for about two days and that's it. I would look into the ParaGard, talk with your doctor about your options, and go from there! I hope you find something that works for you!
02/03/2013
Hummingbird Hummingbird
It is unfortunate that meds such as the pill have the side effects. I fortunately never had that problem and actually it was quite beneficial for me when I did take them because it also stopped my monthly too! Eventually I was advised to try other alternatives because being on the pill with those effects for even 3 years was not healthy.

I tried the IUD believing that was the best alternative for the same reasons as you. Unfortunately at the time I was seeing a very adventurous man who loved to play too much. One day he played and it was with the IUD dislodging it, it moved, infected me and I immediately had to have it removed. And this was an older man too, you might think he would know better.

The only other alternative that really benefited me other than the pill was the diaphragm, and it had no side affects. You might want to try it and I found it easy to insert and remove. I don't know how well it would work however if you used internal toys such as ben-wa or kegal balls during sex. But it is a viable alternative away from the side affects of pills or shots.
02/03/2013
jr2012 jr2012
Quote:
Originally posted by Genderfree
Yes, I am so fed up. I might have poly cystic ovarian syndrome because I started taking birth control when I was 14, which would mean that I can't take testosterone. Still got to have to check it out.

Condoms, anal sex, and having a ...
Sorry to hear about your PCOS, I know that is a pain to deal with. I hope everything checks out okay!

I have asked my partner about getting the snip, but he's not quite ready for the same reasons I'm not. And of course I would never bully him into something like that!

(also...I have had a little bit of jealousy over same sex couples who don't have to deal with this particular issue! Though of course that comes with it's own set of challenges!)
02/03/2013
jr2012 jr2012
Quote:
Originally posted by ImaGodiva
I totally agree! I don't have a good solution.

You would think that as scientifically advanced as we are, there would be a better solution by now.
I'm sure it's just a matter of time! The did recently come out with Essure, that new sterilization method for women that's a lot less dramatic than a tubal ligation. So what is next?

Watch them figure it out shortly after I hit menopause

Thanks!
02/03/2013
jr2012 jr2012
Quote:
Originally posted by PropertyOfPotter
IUDs are expensive, but they last for years! There aren't nearly as many horror stories about them moving around as there are success stories. They are typically recommended for women who have already had a child, but I honestly think it would ...
Thank you very much for you insight on this! I was sort of leaning towards IUD as the more preferable option, I will have to talk to the doctor about the mirena vs. copper. I have always wondered why the IUD is recommended for women who have already had a child, since it is reversible? huh.

There is a decent chance my insurance would cover it, too, it is surprisingly good about birth control and family planning issues. Though honestly, I would pay in whole if I needed to...it's worth it.

I am glad to hear you like it, I will definitely consider it!
02/03/2013
jr2012 jr2012
Quote:
Originally posted by Hummingbird
It is unfortunate that meds such as the pill have the side effects. I fortunately never had that problem and actually it was quite beneficial for me when I did take them because it also stopped my monthly too! Eventually I was advised to try other ...
sounds like you've dealt with this a lot, too! Thank you for your insight. I really should consider physical barriers more. It would be interesting to see what my body would do without any medical or pharmaceutical help, afterall! Maybe I would drop a few pounds finally, HA! (kidding....but only a little)
02/03/2013
Ryuson Ryuson
We've been waiting for Vasagel to be available in the US for a while, and are planning to just stick to Implanon for now. :/
02/03/2013
jr2012 jr2012
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
We've been waiting for Vasagel to be available in the US for a while, and are planning to just stick to Implanon for now. :/
even if Vasagel does ever get approved in the US, could you imagine how many men would refuse to do it since it involves a needle in the scrotum? Your S.O. must be awesome if he would be willing to do that!

Either way, it would be good to take at least a little pressure off of women. It's so convoluted and political when reading about these drugs and procedures sometimes. It makes my brain hurt!

As an aside, my best friend has been 100% satisfied with Implanon (got her second one recently so about 4 years?), I was thinking about that one too. Glad to hear it's working for you!
02/03/2013
Ryuson Ryuson
Quote:
Originally posted by jr2012
even if Vasagel does ever get approved in the US, could you imagine how many men would refuse to do it since it involves a needle in the scrotum? Your S.O. must be awesome if he would be willing to do that!

Either way, it would be good to ...
I dunno, I think that a lot of guys would be okay if they could be knocked out! There are too many women who 'oops, missed a pill, now you owe me $30k a year for 18 years and you're a bad dad if you can't afford it!' (I have a friend who had this happen TWICE!)

I really like it! It's not as nice on my acne as the pill, but I love not having to worry about carrying my meds around and it's helped my period go almost entirely away. There are a few people I know who don't like it, though, so it totally depends on your body!
02/03/2013
Khanner Khanner
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
We've been waiting for Vasagel to be available in the US for a while, and are planning to just stick to Implanon for now. :/
I brought this up to my boyfriend and he balked at the thought of not being able to produce sperm. Fucking hypocritical machismo!

I found a pill that works well with my body chemistry, but my sensitivity is at an all-time low, it's so frustrating. I wish men were taught to take more responsibility about this kind of thing. I heard they experimented with hormonal birth control for men as well but they complained about the side effects too much... which were the exact same as hbc for women.

I've been thinking about talking to my doctor about non-hormonal methods as well, but she gave me a luke-warm response the last time I asked her.

Can't wait to just get my tubes tied and be done with the whole thing.
By the way, female sterilization has a 0.5% chance of failing, and male sterilization has a 0.1% chance of failure. Most pregnancies that occur after female sterilization are ectopic and need to be removed.
02/03/2013
ScorpioCurves ScorpioCurves
I think you should tell your doctor what you are looking for and hopefully he/she will be able to find a specific method that will work for you. I've personally been considering getting a tubal ligation mostly due to the fact that 2 of my aunts, including my mother, had children while taking birth control. I don't want children AT ALL, so I find the side effects and lack of birth control options to be very frustrating.
02/03/2013
emiliaa emiliaa
Yeah, I just used condoms when I was with a guy.
02/03/2013
Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
If you're not interested in hormonal methods, would a barrier method like a diaphragm be an option? They're not too common these days and they're not the sexiest thing ever but they're an effective barrier method. That combined with ovulation tracking can be pretty effective
02/03/2013
novanilla novanilla
If you have health insurance, an IUD is free, or will be when your plan renews. I have a Paragard, no hormones, and love it, and would never go back.

I also hated hormonal birth control. The diaphragm could be a good option, but it might take you a while to get fitted.
02/03/2013
VioletMoonstone VioletMoonstone
You say you were on the pill for 8 years... If you liked that kind isn't there any other way they can eventually get that same kind back in stock for you?

I was taking Aviane for 3 months but when I went in recently they put me on Lutera. It's the same dose and everything (are your pills the same, just different brand names?) She told me to use condoms for a week just to be careful during the switch and I shouldn't notice any difference at all.

I was considering an IUD for a while but I was scared too. So I decided to try a lower dose of pill because it's just as effective without causing so many side effects like the higher doses do. If for any reason I couldn't take pills anymore I'd choose an IUD, probably Mirena because it makes your period so light.
02/03/2013
VioletMoonstone VioletMoonstone
Quote:
Originally posted by jr2012
Thank you very much for you insight on this! I was sort of leaning towards IUD as the more preferable option, I will have to talk to the doctor about the mirena vs. copper. I have always wondered why the IUD is recommended for women who have ...
I was told the reason why they'd prefer you to have already have children before an IUD is because your uterus have been stretched out and has enough room to hold it securely. Someone who's never have a baby before, the length of the uterus, it's all tight and it might not be large enough for an IUD and it's more likely to expel itself. BUT I have heard of a lot of women getting an IUD without ever having children... but it's difficult to find someone that will do it. I read so much stuff about this because I was considering getting one. I decided to go with a lower dose pill instead. I'll probably end up on an IUD eventually though because it's so effective.
02/03/2013
MsDrProfKitty MsDrProfKitty
I used to us Sprintec (I took that for 3 years) then research came out connecting BC with estrogen to a higher rate of stroke in women who get visually distorting migraines...well...I fell into that category.
I spent a lot of time researching it and ended up getting Implanon (an inch long implant with the diameter close to the diameter of a piece of uncooked rice). I am really happy with it so far! I haven't noticed any mood swings really. The only big difference I noticed is that I get the typical PMS moodiness that I used to before I took Sprintec. My roommate got it after I did (she was AWFUL at remembering her pills) and she loves it too! I have noticed my period is a lot lighter than normal and still follows close to the same schedule as when I was on Sprintec. My roommate hasn't had her period since the month after she got it (no worries, she's not preggo, she checked. It's all Implanon's doing).

At first, the idea of having something put under my skin in my inner upper arm was terrifying! I'm absolutely horrified of needles when they're going to stick me! Want to see me run away asap, pull out a needle. BUT after looking into it I was fine with it. The procedure uses 2 different numbing types. I didn't feel a thing during the procedure and the implant site was only sore for a week and that was just due to bruising.

What I liked about Implanon was it doesn't have estrogen, it lasts for 3 years, it can be removed at any time and you can be fertile within a month (many reported being fertile as soon as the next week according to my research), after the 3 years are over you can get it removed and a new one put in in the same procedure, there is only a tiny (~3mm) scar that's not noticeable, you can't see the Implanon, and YOU DON'T HAVE TO REMEMBER TO TAKE SOMETHING EVERY DAY! I also have not noticed any weight gain since I got Implanon. There are varying affects upon women's periods but the majority reported their periods getting lighter (like mine) and many reported their periods actually stopping while it was in. The doctor told me the number one reason women decided to take it out was their periods either being too random or too heavy (if I remember correctly the percent of women during the testing process who had it removed for this was 2%...but don't quote me on that).

Lol! Sorry it turned into a rant. You should definitely speak to a Women's Health Doctor about all the options out there. Sorry you're having to look, looking for a new birth control is the WORST. I hope this was helpful I also have a phobia of getting pregnant right now, so I definitely understand how important getting the right BC ASAP is!
02/03/2013
Nova146 Nova146
You might consider NFP (some call it FAM - fertility awareness method - there is a book called Taking Charge of Your Fertilty that approaches it from a non-religious perspective). It gets a bad rap as "the rhythm method", but it isn't. It is based on observations of your current fertility signs and is fairly reliable - 98% for "perfect" use. Some people (obviously not those who use it for religious reasons) use a barrier method during fertile times to avoid pregnancy without abstaining. One newer method to check out is out of Marquette University. It uses the Clear Blue Easy fertility monitor, which measures two hormones involved in ovulation. Pee on a stick every day and it tells you if your fertility is low, high, or peak. It's designed for getting pregnant, but use it opposite and voila! It's not perfect, but it gets you off the hormone roller coaster.
02/04/2013
jr2012 jr2012
Quote:
Originally posted by Khanner
I brought this up to my boyfriend and he balked at the thought of not being able to produce sperm. Fucking hypocritical machismo!

I found a pill that works well with my body chemistry, but my sensitivity is at an all-time low, it's so ...
yipes I did not know about the ectopic pregnancy issue with female sterilization!

Personally I wasn't planning on going the tubal ligation route....I mean, why should I have a moderately large surgery when the male version is a tiny office procedure? Lame.

Thanks for commiserating with me!
02/04/2013
jr2012 jr2012
Quote:
Originally posted by VioletMoonstone
You say you were on the pill for 8 years... If you liked that kind isn't there any other way they can eventually get that same kind back in stock for you?

I was taking Aviane for 3 months but when I went in recently they put me on Lutera. ...
The second pill I took was a totally different formula. There apparently was a national shortage of the old pill I took...and all of it's generics. Crazy!

Mercifully the pharmacy and the drug company got their stuff back together and my old pill is available again, so I will be starting that one again this week (assuming the pharmacy doesn't give me trouble tomorrow!). That will make me feel better, and hopefully gets rid of all these side effects from the new one.

I am still thinking about IUD and other options despite all this, of course. Even if I found that lucky pill that gives me no side effects, is it really the best option? Who knows!

Thank you!
02/04/2013
jr2012 jr2012
Quote:
Originally posted by VioletMoonstone
I was told the reason why they'd prefer you to have already have children before an IUD is because your uterus have been stretched out and has enough room to hold it securely. Someone who's never have a baby before, the length of the uterus, ...
ahhhh that totally makes sense, thank you! It's funny because reading "best for women who have had children" kind of gives a different impression.
02/04/2013
jr2012 jr2012
Quote:
Originally posted by MsDrProfKitty
I used to us Sprintec (I took that for 3 years) then research came out connecting BC with estrogen to a higher rate of stroke in women who get visually distorting migraines...well...I fell into that category.
I spent a lot of time researching it ...
I am kind of putting Implanon near the top of my list of options to ask my doctor about...because I agree, it would be nice to eliminate estrogen from the equation. I don't know who exactly to believe when it comes to the debate over how safe estrogen is, but in general I feel like less drugs is better than more (assuming we get the wanted effect!).

Somehow the idea of the procedure for Implanon doesn't bother me even half as much as the insertion of an IUD. I can also understand how unpredictable periods can be frustrating...but at least with the implant you know you didn't miss a pill or anything.

Thanks for understanding my pregnancy phobia, too! I think if I saw a positive on a pregnancy test, I would need some serious mental help (I'm really not kidding, either!). You're awesome!
02/04/2013
Khanner Khanner
Quote:
Originally posted by jr2012
yipes I did not know about the ectopic pregnancy issue with female sterilization!

Personally I wasn't planning on going the tubal ligation route....I mean, why should I have a moderately large surgery when the male version is a tiny ...
I should mention that the chances of it happening are still percents of a percent, just that if in the small chance any eggs get fertilized they can't get to the uterus and might grow wherever they end up. IUDs have similar problems.

That's why male sterilization has a smaller rate of failure. It's safer to disarm a gunman than to shoot at a bulletproof vest, if you know what I mean.
02/05/2013
jr2012 jr2012
Quote:
Originally posted by Khanner
I should mention that the chances of it happening are still percents of a percent, just that if in the small chance any eggs get fertilized they can't get to the uterus and might grow wherever they end up. IUDs have similar ...
I LOVE that analogy! You win the internet today.
02/06/2013
rosythorn rosythorn
YES! I moved to a tropical location and it messes with your body! I was on the same birth control pill for 2 years before I moved and now that I go here I had to switch to five different kinds and my PMS is still bad!

I don't want a different kind of birth control though, the pill just makes me feel more in control.

If men could get pregnant I am sure there would be a ton of other options!
02/06/2013
Khanner Khanner
Quote:
Originally posted by jr2012
I LOVE that analogy! You win the internet today.
Can't totally take credit for it though, I saw it on facebook.
02/06/2013
Aesenthia Aesenthia
I'm so sick of birth control. I have horrible side effects with everything. I got pregnant on the pill (which ended in miscarriage), I got pregnant on the NuvaRing (which ended in my son). I had Mirena and it started embedding into my uterus lining which was painful to say the least. I have Implanon right now and it has been a roller coaster ride. Between no periods, spotting, and the newest development of being on my period every other week and cramping for a week. I'm over it all.
10/08/2014
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Unique posters: 16