Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A question for the ladies

What birth control pill are you on, if you take them? I am currently on Tri-cyclen and it sucks ass. I not only become really really emotional (which I can handle, Mr.SM not so much) but I become exhausted. Like slept in my car for an 1.5 hours this morning tired. Drank 2 cups of coffee yesterday and still could not function tired. So I think I need to switch. suggestions? Yes I know I should see my family doctor...


Ambivalent Academic said...

Tri-cyclen = AA morphs into horrible bitch with anxiety attacks, extended crying jags and terrible cramps.

Nuvaring = bliss.

Not sure if it's available in Canada, but it's a few years old now and should come off patent relatively soon, if that's holding it up.

Becca said...

I used to get along well with Desogen (and not Alesse)

Mrs. Spit said...

I was on Alesse, but then my BP shot up again, and now I'm on the Nuva Ring. Love it. Beyond all comprehension.

Alternatively, I had an IUD for awhile, and I really liked that too.

ScienceMama said...

I have several friends who have IUDs and are very happy with them.

I haven't been on birth control since we started trying to get pregnant with Bean, but I took OrthoTriCyclen for years without any trouble.

Mrs. CH said...

I was on Alesse (which was the lowest dose pill at the time), but the low dose made me spot throughout the month. So, my doctor put me on Marvelon, and I had no problems with it.

When I started the pill years ago, it was Tri-cyclen, and it was horrible for me as well!

Good luck!

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

(TMI alert)

Tri-cyclen was not only horrible for me, but subsequently made me unable to use any other kind of estrogen-based hormonal contraceptive. They all make me sick now, including the ring, after years pre-tri-cyclen of having no problems at all. And the tri-cyclen era was when I had my first anxiety attacks and stopped being able to drink coffee.

Progesterone only is OK, but in oral form it's only 90% reliable. I used to love the Depo shot version (every 3 months, as effective as the regular pill) but my doctor made me come off it after 2 years because there's a high risk of osteoporosis.

I am one of only 2 people who the gynecologist I saw has EVER been unable to get an IUD into.

Currently using condoms. Seriously considering tubal ligation.

ScientistMother said...

AA - I have no idea what is or is not available in Canada, I figure I would get suggestions and then look into it.

Becca - I have heard mixed reviews on Alesse. I used to have really bad hormonal balance, in the male direction and alesse is supposed to aggravate that.

Mrs. Spit - hmm interesting. I will have to email you.

ScienceMama - I know that we would like to start trying for a 2nd kid sometime in the next year (after my comps) and am not sure if the cost of the IUD is worth it. I was tricyclen for a good 3 years before the monkey (diane before that) and had no issues. Not sure what is up now.

Mrs.CH - Marvolon...I've heard of that before...

Cath - you rock! TMI alert in return! Mr.SM and I just had that conversation. I personally am not a big fan of the condom (nor his he). There is very minimal sensation. It could be that we haven't tried the right one (any suggestions?) durex and trojen thins. I was on the pill until 6 month before monkey was conceived, then I was prego so who needs to prevent that again! Since I nursed for so long, I did not get my period for the first year after birth. Essentially we've been trying with condoms for 6 months, I got annoyed, went on tricylen for 4 months, off for 2 and back on since thursday. By Sunday the fatigue and loss of appetite set in. Mr. SM figures since we'll be trying for #2 in the next year, we might as well just stick out with the condoms. I'm not sure. But to be honest, the frequency of our sex life is not very high due to the combination of child, school, work, house etc...by the time night time hits we both just want sleep!

Jenny F. Scientist, PhD said...

I did much better on a monophasic called Nordette. Lots of people seem to have trouble with triphasics, esp because it's what's usually given first, y'know. Good luck!

chall said...

Ortho novum... I guess that is what you women call "tri cyclen" in English? Three different doses of hormones trying to mimic the body?

(TMI warning)
It works for me, although I get intense PMS one day a month when all is useless and pitch black. (I know which days so now I just decide to ignore my feelings that day and reevaluate the next day and see if it feels the same) Then again, without pills I got PMS some more days, and horrendous pain during period.

I've tried two (three?) other low dose pills but that just didn't work for me. Bloated, annoyed and fatigued.

On the other hand, have you looked into if you might have some kind of thyroid problem if you are that tired? I think that can be triggered/increased after having given birth (one of my friends discovered her thyroid was off beat and she was exhausted... didn't think about it since she has kids and thought it was "normal" but then when it all of a sudden got worse she went to th doctor and checked... now on some pills and is non tired (pigg) as can be")

WomanScientist said...

I did well on EstroStep for about two years before I became really depressed and switched to Junel 1.5/30 (generic Loestrin). I did well on that one for about a year (although my skin was much oilier and prone to break outs). After about a year, I developed pretty severe anxiety and decided to quit the pill all together. We've been using condoms for almost a year now, and although it's not ideal, it's working better than me being crazy. We've been buying sampler packs of condoms off the internet (much cheaper!), and so if one of us doesn't like the one we're using, we just try another type.

Like chall said, there could be something else going on too.

Candid Engineer said...

Years ago, I went on OrthoTri-cyclen Lo for one month, and it was probably the worst month of my life. I'd waking up crying, cry through my shower, cry through the whole damn day, feeling miserable. OBVIOUSLY, too much hormone there.

I've been on the Nuvaring for 6 or 7 years now. It's a godsend and contains the lowest doses of hormones. I typically keep the ring in for 4 weeks and immediately replace with another ring, thus avoiding my period for months at a time.

You may find this chart on hormone doses in BC pills informative.

Ambivalent Academic said...

Wow - I had no idea that so many other women had anxiety attacks on tri-cyclics. I thought I was nuts. And for me too, the Ortho Lo was just as bad even though it was theoretically the lowest hormone dose in orals. I haven't had ANY of the problems I had on tri-cyclics since switching to the Nuvaring. Unlike CAE, I do leave it out every fourth week and have a normal period. I do get a little bloaty and emotional for a day or two but it's much less than I would without BC, and WAAAAAY better than it was on the orals. I find this perfectly acceptable. I did a Google search for Nuvaring in Canada - you can definitely get it online there through what appear to be reputable sites, so I assume that you can also get it via a script from your doc and get it filled at your pharmacy. Good luck.

ScientistMother said...

Welcome to the blog Jenny F. Scientist! hope to see you around these parts more often!.

Chall - Can we really have TMI on a post about BC?

WomanScientist - Welcome to the blog! We did have a brand of condoms that worked well, except I never remember these things at the grocery store, and I am way to paranoid to trust condoms from the internetz.

AA - the consensus seems to be that the triphasics are bad. I have an appt with the family physician on friday and we'll see what she says.

Arlenna said...

TMI alert here too:

Marvelon decimated my sex drive for about five years. It only recently started to come back to something approaching normal. It was extremely distressing, and I am lucky to have such a wonderful understanding husband who emotionally supported me through the process.

The Progesterone-only pill made me crazy--like nervous breakdown crazy.

As a result of these, I am not willing to take any birth control pill or hormone-related stuff, but I have heard from others that Nuvaring is good.

Arlenna said...

And a note on the Marvelon thing: I only took it for about four months, and it still took >five years for things to get back to normal.

microbiologist xx said...

I've taken orthotricyclen for many years with no problems.
I've also taken ortho-novum (spelling?) and I thought it was fine, except for whenever I would miss one pill, no matter what time of the month, I would start my period the next day. On the plus side, I was super-diligent about taking them. ;)

ScientistMother said...

Arlenna - I have to agree about the sex drive thing. After I went off Diane and onto tricylen, my drive has been zip. I was always a very sexual person and its been driving MR.SM nuts. I always thought it was the stress of grad school, pregnancy etc. I've finally been getting back into things. However, this experience has put that into whack again. More and more I'm thinking getting off the pill and using alternatives. Which will bring up another TMI blog question!

Anonymous said...

Loestrin Fe made me completely nuts. Currently on Nuva ring which is great for mood but has zapped the sex drive.


Anonymous said...

Nuvaring is available in Canada. I agree, it is fabulous.

Aspiring Mommy-Scientist said...

While I've never had any problems with the pill (took ortho tricyclen for several years), I have to put in my vote for the Fertility Awareness Method. I was really suspicious at first, but after reading "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" and doing some research on the scientific backing (yes, there really is good evidence to support it), I decided to give it a try, and I've successfully avoided pregnancy for a year and a half now. It's 99.9% effective if you follow the rules exactly and abstain during your fertile period, but we sometimes used spermicidal condoms during my fertile period instead.

JLK said...

I am on the best pill EVER. Seasonale - you only get your period 4 times a year. It's fantastic.

Used to be on the Depo shot for years, stopped getting my period (which was great) but also completely lost my sex drive (not so great.)

Seasonale was the best compromise because I didn't want to go from not having my period for 4 years to getting it every month. I got my sex drive back, and no other side effects to report.

Melanie said...

Ooh. Tricyclen. Let's see ... worked great for a while. Then notsogreat. My period would start around a week early, end just as I was supposed to have my week off the pills. WTF?

Nine-ish months later, Cameron.


I'll not do the pill again thanks.

A friend highly recommends the nuva ring.

Anonymous said...

I had a stroke in my late 20's while taking birth control pills (without smoking). After it happened, I started hearing about many more young women who had experienced the same thing. No more hormonal methods for me.

I recommend the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It works really well & has worked for many people I know. It is NOT the same as the "rhythm method" though it is sometimes criticized on that basis.

Many friends also seem to like IUDs these days.