Post # 1
I’m so frustrated. I started taking Orthotricyclen Lo in January 2008. I’d been on it previously, in college, but when off of it after a year because I was no longer in need of birth control and it made my blood pressure high.
I restarted it in January of ’08 in hopes the BP wouldn’t jump up again. At my annual physical the BP was 137/89; normal is 12/80- it it was borderline high. I also had bloodwork done at the time, and my cholesterol was a bit high too.
I’m 5’5 and weighed 187 in January, but am now "down" to 177. My BMI says I should be at 155lbs, which is laughable. I haven’t been 155 since middle school. No really, my family breeds offensive lineman, but that’s a whole other post.
So in March I saw a dietician and made some changes to my diet. Nothing drastic, but eating mroe fish, flaxseed, Kashi Go Lean cereal, etc. I also kicked the work outs up a notch.
In May the blood pressure was still hovering in the mid 30’s/ mid 80’s, so I switched from Orthotricyclen (estrogen) to the mini-pill (progesterone). I hoped the BP would go down, and I’d be able to do a Mirena IUD (progesterone) this summer.
Well, it is now late June. I weighed 177 this morning. My BP was 136/ 83. No dice on the birth control switch. SOOOOO frustrating!
I’ve got a call into my Dr.; but I really haven’t the slightest idea where to go from here. I’m still trying to loose weight (goal weight is 165) before wedding dress shopping this fall, but I loose pounds really slowly.
Can anyone give me any advice or share a similar experience? At this point I’m tempted to throw out the Birth Control and just rely on condoms, just to see if that total lack of hormones would bring down the BP… Help!
Post # 3
I don’t have any experience with high blood pressure, but I do know about hormonal birth control messing with my system. I got a copper IUD (zero hormones) about 8 months ago and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Sorry I can’t be of any help….
Post # 4
Ditch the birth control- it threw my body out of whack for 5 years (migraines, weight gain, moodyness) so I dumped it three years ago and have been OODLES better off since then. It really isn’t worth it, personally, I say just be careful and have good condoms hah! Highly recommend Bravos and Crowns
Post # 5
I have been on birth control since I was 16- and it’s never been a huge sucess with my body. No matter if i take it every day- I still cyle every 2 1/2 – 3 weeks.
I have been on 3 different kinds, but that’s just the way my body works. I’m 5’5"- 116lbs, so I’ve never had a problem with blood pressure- but maybe going off birth control and using other kinds of contraception would be helpful and also aid you in losing the extra weight. Good luck!!
Post # 6
Here is a remedy that a friend gave me:
-When you wake up in the morning, drink 20oz. of water and brush your teeth.
-Do not drink or eat anything for 45 minutes, then within the next 15 minutes, eat breakfast. Nothing fatty, sugar or flour.
-Eat nothing after that for 2 hours. Then go about your day.
Also, take a walk for about 45 minutes a day. Within 30 days, your blood pressure will be in check.
Hope this helps.
Post # 7
Ah birth control pill- it works so well for some and then is just a disaster for some of us. I was on the pill for years and had terrible migraines. I went to the doctor and they suggested I try the patch. I then had horrendous migraines for months but the doctor insisted that it wasn’t related to the birth control. When I moved to Seattle and went to planned parenthood, they refused to give me any type of hormonal birth control pill because I get aura migraines (the really bad kind where you have issues seeing and ‘see auras’) and research demonstrates that 1. women taking hormonal birth control are at more risk of having stroke and 2. women who have aura migraines are more at risk of having stroke- so the combination is really terrible (same reason you should take hormonal birth control if you smoke or if you have blood clots).
So I tried the copper IUD but it didn’t work well for me (hurt too much) and now it is just condoms. we went to a shop and got a grab bag of all different kinds so it is always a game of "which will it be this time?" which is fun.
I feel so much better and haven’t had a migraine for nearly 3 years now.
Post # 8
My husband also takes fish oil (along with bp/cholesterol meds and flaxseed). Also, make sure you’re getting enough fiber or take a fiber supplement, like the kind you stir into your food or a glass of water (Benefiber is a popular brand).
Honestly, though, I am another proponent of non-hormonal bc. Copper IUDs are one way to go. For the last year or so, we’ve been using condoms. I didn’t know it when I was on the pill, but switching off made me realize how different my body is when I don’t have all those extra hormones. I’ve also heard of good results by combing a couple non-hormonal methods (like condoms and Natural Family Planning). Ultimately, you have to decide what’s right for you, but I’ve had a good experience going off the pill, and I wanted to share. 🙂
Post # 9
OH! I heart you guys
I think I going to stop taking it for a month (but still use condoms!) and see what happens. If the BP doesn’t go down in a month, I’ll start taking the birth control again- or get the IUD I want- and see my doctor about the blood pressure issue.
I’ve never had sex and relied on "just condoms". Dear god, the state of Washington’s sex-ed did a number on me! I’ve always used birth control and condoms.
New question: I have 1 week left on my current pack. Should I finish out the pack or just stop now? I’m on the mini-pill, so the last week does actually have hormones in it, not just sugar….
Post # 10
I see you’re going to stop taking the pill, but I just started on Yaz earlier this year and it has been great. I get migraines, and I pin pointed that they were worst around my period, and then I was a horrible hormonal B for about 3 months straight. I was on Ortho-Tricyclen during that time. Within about a week of switching to Yaz, I was a totally different person, and the migraines have really decreased. Yaz doesn’t have the same chemicals, so if for some reason you have to go back on the pill, try that.
Post # 11
All types of hormonal birth control pills raise my blood pressure to borderline high readings. I cut salt out of my diet, exercised, lost weight, etc and no dice. I went off of hormonal birth control and my blood pressure is back to normal 6 months later. Another side effect of hormonal birth control was drying out my eyes to the point that I couldn’t wear contact lenses. I am now able to wear contacts once again.
Read the insert that comes with your birth control that lists counterindications and side effects and don’t hesitate to bring up any side effects. My PCP didn’t even think the birth control was behind the borderline high blood pressure until I brought it up.
Post # 12
My birth control messed me up too when I was on it. I took like six different kinds over the years, and I still cycled every 3 weeks or so, plus other woes…. For some people it’s just not meant to be. Happily there are tons of other great options out there.
Post # 13
FlipFlopBride mentioned Yaz; consider it, but please be careful. I was on it for six months until I realized it was making me suicidal during my PMS-time.
I have a copper IUD–got it “installed” in January. It hurt like whoa that first day, probably in part due to me being nulliparous but I haven’t felt it since. It did make my periods heavier, and my skin is still adjusting, but it was a good non-hormonal solution for me. It might be worth discussing with your doc.
Not related to the main point of your post, but given that your family is on the muscular side, it might be more beneficial for you to focus on your body fat percentage rather than your BMI. BMI skews for athletes and others with a lot of muscle. You can find ways to measure your body fat percentage with a tape measure and formulas online.
Post # 14
@ shirleytemplar: HMMMM, the BMI thing has me intrigued. I’ve heard of people doing the body fat percentage test where they dunk you in a pool (I’m not totally sure how it works), and tell you how much of your body is fat, lean muscle, etc. It would be a good base to start from… That’s a really good suggestion! To focus on body fat instead of weight…
Post # 15
I’m a doctor, and I would strongly recommend getting off the combined pill (estrogen + progesterone). You already are at risk for high bp, being overweight (hey, I am, too, so please don’t take that the wrong way), and you don’t want to stay on the pill with blood pressures listed in your post. You could try a pill with lower levels of progesterone, but if that doesn’t work, you should go off it. You DON’T want to risk longterm heart disease, kidney disease, vision problems, or stroke — and these are just some of the risks of uncontrolled high bp.
Post # 16
Someone near and dear to me had similar problems to what you are experiencing. She just got off hormonal birth control all together and has noticed a dramatic difference (and she alleges that it helped kick start her weight loss). Since quitting the pill she lost 20 lbs and her blood pressure is back in the normal range.
If you can tolerate a barrier method for a while, that might be the best approach for now. I’m sorry this method hasn’t totally worked for you. I thought things were getting better 🙁