Post # 1
It’s been a rough morning. I was already anxious because I had an appointment at the clinic (doctors – and strangers in general – make me anxious). There is a clinic here that has a weekly Women’s Health clinic. I’ve never been, but the posters say that they provide: breast exams, pap smears, birth control counselling, and menopause counselling and that it is always provided by a female physician. Great. I’ve been thinking about going back on birth control (I’ve been off for almost two years) but not sure about it because last time I was on it (I took Alesse/Aviane) it made me moody and irritable. So I make an appointment and tell them it’s for birth control.
I get there today and the woman at the counter looks at the computer and goes “Are you getting a pap smear?” and I said “Um.. I don’t know.. I mean.. I can” (I wasn’t sure if they would make me, since I hadn’t had one in over a year and I’ve had doctors before who would only give me a year-long BCP prescription if I’d had a recent pap). So she then goes “You can get birth control from any doctor. This clinic is intended for pap smears.” Um, thanks, as if I wasn’t anxious enough. So I sat in the waiting room for 15 minutes on the verge of tears until they called me in. The woman from the counter was in the room with a nurse and the nurse was leaving one of the sheets for pap tests and the other woman goes “She’s not sure if she’s getting a pap test” (in as b****y a tone as the first conversation) … thanks, again.
Anyway, thankfully the (female) doctor was nice and everything (and yes, I did have to get a pap). I told her about my problems with alesse, but I think she wasn’t really sure where to go from there since it has the lowest dose of estrogen, which is what usually causes moodiness side-effects. I asked about the progestrone-only pill but she wasn’t really comfortable giving it to me because you have to take it at the same time every day or it’s not effective (I mean, she said I could still have it, she just didn’t recommend it). So she’s given me a prescription for ortho tri-cyclen lo. But bees, I’m really worried to take it. I don’t want to deal with the emotional side-effects again…
Side-note: She did mention IUDs, but I said I wasn’t interested in those.
Post # 3
If you’re not interested in the IUD, your non-hormonal options are limited to barrier methods (condoms, diaphragm, cervical cap, all with or without spermicide) which aren’t as effective as other methods, natural family planning (which has a steep learning curve), or abstinence. The progestin-only pills have a higher failure rate too because as the doctor mentioned, most people have trouble taking them at exactly the same time every day.
Have you thought about the NuvaRing? I have several friends on it right now, and they really like it. I’m not sure if it’s actually true, but doctors claim that the hormones stay more localized rather than systemic like the pill.
Post # 4
I’m sorry you had a rough morning. Going to the doc is hard enough, let alone bad attitude nurses!
How long did you take the first BC? The first one I was on (I can’t remember the name), I was super moody. I’d never really had mood swings or anything before so my entire family (aunts, cousins, gparents etc) all noticed. I switched after a year when it hadn’t gone away and the new one, Beyaz, is better. Did you take it for long enough to see if it would smooth itself out? Everything I’ve read is that it can take up to 6 months to fully adjust to a new BCP.
I’d go ahead and try it, knowing that you can switch to a different one if after 3-6 months, you’re not happy with the side effects. You need to give it at least 3 months though to let your system adjust.
Post # 5
@hogoboom2012: Yeah, I was on Aviane for about a year and a half I think. Aviane is the generic brand of Alesse – I had been on Alesse for 3-6 months and then there was a 6 month break during which I took no BC before I went on Aviane. I don’t remember having any side-effects from Alesse, but when I told my Dr this he said that wasn’t possible because Aviane and Alesse are the same (I was trying to get him to prescribe me Alesse instead of Aviane).
Post # 6
@cmbr: I’ve considered the NuvaRing but I have sensitive skin (and very sensitive skin in that region) and so I am fairly certain it would cause irritation. But I could be wrong, and if this doesn’t work out, maybe I’ll have to look into it.
Post # 7
@cmbr: The estrogen doesn’t get into your system as much with nuvaring versus the pills but most people still have similar estrogen side effects… like the mood issues :-/
Decent review article:
Birth control is all trial and error!! I’d go ahead and try the new pills and see what happens. You may not be able to tolerate the estrogen, but Ortho Tri Cyclin Lo has a changing amount of progestin per week, so that is different from the Alesse. The progestin itself is slightly different too.
There are a couple combo pills with less estrogen than Alesse… Like Lo-Loestrin Fe.
Edit: PS. I’m a pharmacist
Post # 8
@calypso522: thank you! I have seen on other threads that some bees have had good results with lo-loestrin so maybe I will ask about that if this one doesnt work out. I didn’t realize they had lower estrogen than alesse though, I thought 20 mcg was the lowest dose on the market.
Post # 9
@tallierand: No problem! I think 10mcg is the lowest… until something new comes out lol.
Post # 10
@tallierand: I was on the pill for 10 years and went off for about 5 months until I decided I wanted to go back on BC. I have the Nuvaring now and I absolutely love it.
Post # 11
I would suggest going to an OBGYN…I finally (after many years of issues and 11 years on depo) got to one…
she figured out from my symptoms previously on birth control pills
1) I have endometriosis–she is NOT testing for it now since my period has been stopped I won’t have it there, but it WILL come back once periods start again
2) I have ovarian cysts…
3) I cannot take a birth control pill that has multiple hormones…it messes me up
4) that I can change birth control, BUT I can wiat until after my wedding…
She is amazingly knowledgeable…this is the difference of someone who is a doctor vs someone who works with these on a regular basis vs a now and then doctor…