I’m well aware that I have more than a few male readers. Most of you might not leave comments ever, but I know you dudes are there, soaking up the Afrobella love. And being married to a typical manly male, I know there are some things he’s down to discuss, and some things he doesn’t get as much. One of those things is birth control, and its particular effects on the female body.

He doesn’t fully comprehend that some pills can make you turn into a total cry baby, and others make you feel like Oscar the Grouch on steroids. He just gets to bear the brunt of it while my body figures out the crazy new hormones that I’m introducing to the system.

So if you’ll excuse me, gentlemen – I’ve got some birth control questions for my ladies after the jump. Or hey — if you feel like learning something new in the company of women, by all means stick around. I’m about to put my business in the street.

I’ve been on some form of birth control or another starting from age 17. Not because I was sexually active yet – because my mom’s gynecologist, an older gentleman by the name of Professor Roopnarinesingh (heretofore to be referred to as The Professor), said it would help to regulate my irregular period.

I believe the first pill I was on was something called Celesta. And it was cool, whatever. I barely remember any side effects, and I was so young, I didn’t know my body and my mind as well. So if I did have any crazy mood swings, they could easily have been explained as teenage angst. But when I came away to college, I realized that Celesta wasn’t available in the USA. So I got on the birth control pill switcheroo roller coaster, and the ride continues to this day.

Ortho Tricyclen made me weepy and prone to melodramatic fits. I’d find myself getting way more upset about little things than I should be. If I was mad at my roommate for not doing dishes, it immediately became “I hate my roommate. I want to destroy her.” (Sincere apologies to any roommates I may have destroyed in this period). All jokes aside, that pill turned me into demon spawn. Hungry demon spawn at that — I’d find myself wanting to consume a whole loaf of white mountain bread from the grocery store, for example. Ortho Lo was a bit better, but left me lethargic and low energy, with a leaden libido. Because I’d been steadily gaining weight, my doctor recommended Mircette, which didn’t make me feel great mentally (I honestly don’t recall why exactly I switched off it. Just didn’t care for it for some reason). Finally I tried Alesse, which did the trick just fine. It’s got a high androgenic/low estrogenic pattern, so it helped with the moodiness and weight gain the other pills seemed to be contributing to.

But over time, I just became terrible at remembering to take a pill every morning at the same time. I found myself skipping days and popping two to compensate, then being scared after the fact. The whole thing wasn’t working for me, and this was around the time of my hair transition. To my husband’s eternal delight, I decided to shun most of the unnatural products I was consuming and applying on a daily basis. And that included birth control.

Just as there are many different reasons to begin birth control, there are many different reasons to quit. For me, it was a desire to discover how my body would react to totally not ingesting a hormone to control my cycle. That, and the fact that my monthly pill went from $11 to $35 a pack. Gotta keep it honest, here. Finances had a lot to do with the initial decision.

When I came off the pill, people told me all kinds of ridiculous things. “Oh, you’re going to lose so much weight.” “You might not get a regular monthly period, because the pill helps to regulate that.” “You’re going to lose so much weight.” Um, no, no, and not at all. I learned pretty fast that maybe somehow the pill had contributed to my weight gain – my appetite increased and I felt sluggish, and instead of fighting against those side effects, I indulged my hormonal desires or lack thereof. But stopping the pills didn’t like, make 50 pounds fall off me — that kind of weight loss requires a lifestyle change, not just one whimsical decision. So if you’re thinking of quitting your pill, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons for you. Consider the scary side effects, and a greater chance of blood clots, stroke and heart attack. If you smoke, those possibilities become even scarier. Do the research, educate yourself about what you’re ingesting every day. Ask your doctor lots of questions.

After trying all kinds of atypical birth control methods — including this weirdness. Love the reviews on that one, “I really liked this stuff at first, but I am pregnant now, so I won’t be using that anymore.” LMAO — I’m back at an important decision-making juncture. I’ve decided to return to the pill. I am not ready for a baby just yet, and I really do feel ready to give birth control another whirl. Which brings me to my dilemma.

My doctor just gave me a free sample of an exciting new form of birth control called Nuvaring. It’s a flexible contraceptive ring that slowly releases a low dose of hormones inside your body. You insert it for three weeks at a time, then take a week off. For a Forgetful Jones like me, that sounded perfect. The doctor hyped it up, and offered me a free sample AND a coupon for the next one. And I must admit, it appealed to the product junkie in me. Contraception, exciting and new. Come aboard, Nuvaring’s expecting you. Then I read this scary blog post, titled Nuvaring/Nuvadeath. Uh oh.

She links to the side effects, some of which include vomiting, temporary infertility after treatment, and “spotty darkening of the skin, particularly on the face.” WTF?

This from the Message Whore blog: “Also, the NuvaRing could cause behavioral side affects. My friend reported being extremely angry while on it. So much so that slightly annoying things, like foot tapping, made her completely, irrationally angry.

Okay, so maybe you’re not allergic to the NuvaRing and have survived without passing out in the woods or going to anger management classes, but you do have a very high chance of developing a yeast infection. And it’s not just women who are susceptible to infections, women who never had an infection are developing them with continued NuvaRing use. Yay?

The idea of a once a month birth control that you can’t feel or don’t have to worry about appeals to many ladies out there. The NuvaRing is also being heavily pushed as the new substitute for Ortho Evra, AKA the killer patch. Joking aside, the patch kills (too much estrogen) and maybe the NuvaRing does, too? I guess we won’t find out for sure for a couple more months. After all the NuvaRing still is in beta testing. ”

Dios mio. The LAST thing I need is irrational anger. The second-to-last thing is a yeast infection. The comments — a whopping 178 of them — ranged from “I heart Nuvaring” to “Nuvaring = evil.” So I now have this plastic ring sitting on my kitchen counter, next to a prescription for the more-familiar (and quite acceptable) Alesse. What do I choose? The more comments I read about Nuvaring (as awesome as once-a-month contraception sounds), the less I want to try it. I understand that things work differently for everyone, but I want honest reader feedback before I make a final decision on this thing.

So my question for you ladies is, have any of you tried Nuvaring? What have been your experiences? If you haven’t, what form of birth control do you use, and do you like it? And finally – when oh when will there be an effective, appealing pill for men — that they’ll actually use?

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Naomi says:
October 29, 2007, 10:40 am
Personally, the only pill I've tried is Seasonale, its the 3-month cycle pill/4 periods per year pill. It is monophasic I believe, or whatever the phrase is, it is only one kind of hormone, no "cycle". It took a cycle of adjustment and spotting, but after that I've had no problems. I do kind of miss the hormonal cycle, but I don't have any major side effects, and definitely not moodiness or anger. I recommend it to people, but only if they are patient enough to wait out the spottyness in the first three months(and it was really only the last month that it was noticable).
MBA Mama says:
October 29, 2007, 10:53 am
I too suffered from mood swings on the pill so my wonderful husband (after the birth of our two kids that look just like him) decided to get a vasectomy so fortunately I no longer have these issues.
Nyterydah says:
October 29, 2007, 11:04 am
I have been on and off the pill for a few years now. I finally decided to try the pill again, after being told by family and friends that the week or so before my flow, I would become "Super Bitch". I was a wreck, depressed, moody, irritated, bloated, I could go on. I went to my OB and she prescribed Yasmin, she said that it should help with the mood swings and what not. Well, I have been on it for a month and I can say that it definitely has helped with my mental. I haven't felt depressed or moody, I don't get irritated easily anymore. The only side effect that I experienced is nausia, which I was aware of from reading the information given with the medication. I did my research before I filled the prescription. With any medication, I knew there would be side affects. I did as much research as I could, I contacted my OB and asked her, I was on WebMD for hours just reading. There were also some blogs that I read that gave mixed reviews of Yasmin. I made the decision to try it. After all the research, the good out weighed the bad. For me it is working well. Like sister Bella, I tend to forget to do things, so what I did was set my alarm clock on my cell phone for a specific time, it is my reminder to take my pill. Of course there are days when I am super busy but I try to keep a bottle of water at my desk. That way, I can stop, pop a pill and keep it moving. Amazingly I haven't missed one pill. In my opinion it is easier to take the pill during lunch instead of in the morning. Espeically since in the morning you are rushing to get ready for work and what not. Just my opinion. I would recommend that any person thinking about taking the pill do their research on the brand being offered, and then try it. Don't use other peoples opinion of the product as fact. Each person is different, and each drug (medication) affects each person differently. Do your research!!!!!
RyanB says:
October 29, 2007, 11:13 am
Naomi - doesn't the 4 periods/year thing scare you? How would you know if you became pregnant in between? I've never used Novaring. A friend of mine (who turns into a total psychopath when on the pill) recently got an IUD and her body is literally rejecting it. I'd be scared to have anything foreign inside of me... it just screams infection.
lockedgoddess says:
October 29, 2007, 11:26 am
I was on ortho-tricyclen after my 2nd child and it made me very moody; but it kept my skin clear and smooth. i eventually had my tubes tied, the only problem i have with this is sometimes i have really bad cramps. My sister used to use the patch now she blood clots in her right leg and shoulder. i have read mixed reviews about seasonale. It doesn't seem right to have your period 4 times a year, does it affect your fertility?
naadii says:
October 29, 2007, 11:28 am
bella, i tried nuvaring...and my son turned two in september, so i guess me and that other lady are together in the "won't be trying this again club". not to be too graphic, but it can also come out when you're "doin' the do", and it's not really mood enhancing to have to pause to put it back (and it's kinda gross!) i personally never had a problem with the yeast infections, but my lady parts didn't really take to kindly to having a foreign object in there 24/7. you might have to step your feminine hygiene game up a level or two. i have the mirena (sp?) iud now. good for 5 years, it's plastic, and contains a small amount of hormone. i have very light, almost nonexistant periods (they were never really irregular or off the hook before). unlike nuvaring, iud's are inserted into the uterus, so no problems with increased vaginal secretion, yeast infections, or odors as one can experience with nuva ring. and it doesn't really come out unless your doctor takes it out. getting it in was a little uncomfortable, but no more painful than a pap smear. the doctor checks on it once about 3-4 weeks after insertion to make sure it's still in place and that you're experiencing no problems. if you are considering the iud option, the only thing i'd pass along to you is that the string attached to it (for removal) is like fishing wire and if the dr. cuts it too short, it will poke straight out of your uterus/cervix and give your man an unfriendly surprise. the remedy for this is to cut the string longer so that it can be tucked around the sides of the cervix. my doctor hooked it up for me like that and i've had no complaints, and no more pregnanceis...and i'm good until 2011! i experience no crazy hormonal side effects either...no weight gain, unintentional anger, mood swings, blood clots, yada yada yada, absolutely nada!
blackjade says:
October 29, 2007, 11:33 am
I'm been on a few different pills over the last 8 years the most recent being Yaz - which I really like. I'm not taking anything right now - hubby and I are about ready to do the kid thing and I want to be off of hormones for a while before I get pregnant. I plan on getting an IUD after my first kid. RyanB, has your friend (who's body is rejecting the IUD) had a baby? They say there are less complications when used by women who've been pregnant before - I'm guessing it has something to do with your uterus being ok housing a foreign object. There are also 2 different kinds of IUDs.
Fionafine says:
October 29, 2007, 11:44 am
I had a Mirena IUD inserted for a year and I swear it made me gain an additional 15 pounds and I developed cystic acne. At my wits end, I tried Orhto Tri-cyclen Lo. This was okay, but I forgot to take it on many occassions and like Afrobella, would pop two at a time to make up for it. This erratic pill popping caused more hormonal imbalance. One of my main reasons for taking the pill was to keep my skin clear. My skin wasn't bad enough for Accutane, but it was still enough of an embarrassment for me to try to do something about it. I remembered years ago that plain old Ortho tri-cyclen had helped keep my skin clear, so I promptly asked the doctor for a prescription. I had gone off all birth control due to fears about breast cancer until my skin started acting up. I had to weigh my options--bad skin or slim chance of breast cancer--vanity won out. They tried to give me the generic brand, Tri-Sprintec, but please ask for the name brand (DAW) because for me anyway, the difference was apparent. I try to take them at the same time everyday and it has been keeping the zits away. I think all pills add at least five pounds, but regualting your diet and exercise could keep that at bay. Because your body is in a constant state of PMS, that could explain the mood swings people have been complaining about for years. Good luck.
justme says:
October 29, 2007, 11:45 am
I was also having problems with the pill because it was affecting my libido (pretty much non-existent while I was taking it). My gyn tried switching me to some different pills (Yaz was the last one) but I still had the same problem. The next step was to be the Nuvaring but I just gave up. As soon as I stopped, my libido returned pretty quickly. Although, I really miss the benefits of being on the pill (clear skin and being able to skip periods when I wanted), I'm really reluctant to try it again due the the libido issues. So I'm glad you posted this topic and I can't wait to hear from more readers about their experience.
Tam says:
October 29, 2007, 11:55 am
I don't currently take anything and haven't for about 8 years or so. We use condoms each and every time and no surprises as of yet. I do have a friend who used Nuva Ring and just gave birth to beautiful baby boy 3 weeks ago.
Roni says:
October 29, 2007, 12:02 pm
I have used an IUD since my daughter was born nine years ago. It's great! It's the kind that does not release any hormones.
Soul Living says:
October 29, 2007, 12:05 pm
Bella...great post: The entire idea of birth control pills scares me. I have never taken birth control pills, as I was never sexually active until I got married, and I never suffered from bad cramps(which I knew some girls who were taking them for that too). So I just never felt the need for them after marriage. I have seen friends and family suffer from lots of weight gain, acne, to blood clotting, to being super moody..to even breast cancer...something that stops a natural process to my body to this extent just does not set well with me. Have you ever considered just using "Natural Birth Contol": (withdrawl method, etc.)This has been working for me for 8 years now. We have one child...which was planned. Good luck on your journey to control! LOL:)
Robin says:
October 29, 2007, 12:11 pm
Hey Bella, I'm 25 and have been on birth control for about 7 years now. I started with Ortho Tri Cyclen with which I ended up having major problems including: hormonal imbalance (which I didn't recognize as being a symptom of the pill at the time), low sex drive, forgetting pills and then double dosing which lead to nausea and vomiting, and then later taking the pill at the same time as an antibiotic which causes the pill to be uneffective (I didn't realize this at the time and surprise...9 months later I gave birth to a baby girl!)After I had my baby, I was given the Ortho Evra patch by my OB/GYN. I was relieved that I only had to remember to take it once a week instead of daily, it was easily removable, and just the thought of ingesting a pill again made me queasy. I had been totally satisfied with the patch even though I was hearing the scary risks. My doctor gave me the option to try the NuvaRing, which I did for one month. I thought it would be great to do a three week cycle instead of once a week. However, like Naadii, I really didn't feel comfortable having it in at all times (hell, I just started wearing tampons recently). I had to take it out before sex because there was obvious friction going on. It also felt a little slimy in there. (Was that too graphic?) So I ended up going back to the patch. My mother has always been totally against birth control. Recently she asked "why don't you just use the withdrawal method?" (Yeah I know...gross mom!)While I don't neccesarily agree with her methodology (duh, she has 3 kids). I am starting to question birth control and what it does to my body and the natural order of things. I'll be doing my research. Good luck Bella!
Brandi says:
October 29, 2007, 12:11 pm
I was also considering trying the pill again. I used to take one of the Ortho pills and felt oh so moody. I'm a little sick of condoms and wanted to use the pill out of sheer laziness however the hormones and health risks just don't seem worth it to me. so I'll be stocking up on more condoms and sticking with them.
Danielle says:
October 29, 2007, 12:16 pm
Up until I got with my current husband, I only used birth control one time before, which was Ortho Tri Cyclen. I was only uses that to combat my acne issues. Now that I am married with a beautiful daughter I am on the Mirena IUD. Although, I don't have to worry about forgetting about taking the pill, I have gained about 20 pounds and am in a constant battle with my acne. I am thinking about switching to the Paraguard IUD because it is non-hormonal and therefore doesn't have hormonal side effects.
Vivrant Thang says:
October 29, 2007, 12:19 pm
Thanks for this post. I've learned a lot. Whew! I thought I was just crazyderanged :) I'm on Ortho-Tri Lo (generic) and I swear I can be one nasty broad at times and that's not "me." I would just warn the men in my life that the week before my period to just "yes dear" me to death or face my wrath! Now I notice that the random nastiness is becoming more widespread so I may need to investigate some other options. I do need to educate myself more about what's going into my body. I guess in a sense, I just accepted the moodiness as a side effect that I prefer over having a baby! But there are other things out there. I've heard good things about the Nuvaring so I look forward to your "review" should you decide to try it. Oh and I have noticed an increase in my libido since I've been on the Pill. But I think there's other factors that come into play with that.
Danielle says:
October 29, 2007, 12:21 pm
Oh I forgot to mention that my libido is/was non-existent on the pill, patch, and IUD.
Niki says:
October 29, 2007, 12:27 pm
I used Nuva Ring and loved it. I had to switch to the mini-pill because my blood pressure was going up, but if you don't have a BP problem (mine was helped by losing weight, so I don't know if it was the weight causing the BP problem in the first place or the NuvaRing making it go up). I really enjoyed not having to remember to take a pill everyday. The only thing about the ring is if your man is well-endowed (like my ex-boyfriend was) he may feel it, but he may not mind (my ex didn't). If you have a history of any health problems, check with your doctor, but I am all for the ring and wish I could go back.
OaktownsBest says:
October 29, 2007, 12:40 pm
Thank you so much for this discussion! Often times women do not have the opportunity to really discuss these issues amongst each other or with their physicians. Personally, I hated the pill (othro-evra) and when I told my doctor it killed my libido she acted surprised, of course I thought my body was just "weird". Now I am using the Nuvaring and hate it. It has led to constant vaginal irritation and awkward moments during sex. So next month I am having a Marena IUD inserted (the kind that circulates progesterone in the uterus) and hopefully it'll work for me.
Peajai says:
October 29, 2007, 12:42 pm
I took birth control pills for 6 years but have been off of them for the past 3 months. I too was dazzled by that "lose so much weight" myth... reading your article kinda gave me a tinge that I wanted to get back on BC. I miss that "freedom", but I really wanted to focus on my health. I had been on BC for so long I really didn't know how it was affecting me, and I wanted to be able to take vitamins and other supplements. Trying to take vitamins with BC just lead to uncontrollable bleeding for me. Not cute! As far as the NuvaRing, the patch, the plastic T with the string hanging off (not sure what this is called), etc, physical evidence of your hormonal birth control methods is just not sexy. That's just my opinion! I wish there were more non-hormonal birth control options, besides condoms, that actually work.
Naomi says:
October 29, 2007, 12:46 pm
To RyanB: I don't worry about being pregnant on seasonale, mostly because a period on the pill isn't a real period in the first place, it isn't triggered by the same hormones, and doesn't happen for the same reason as a woman not on a hormone pill. Secondly, as long as you take it the same time everyday and don't skip, or if you skip, you use a second form of protection for about 7 days following you'll be fine. Mostly I don't worry because I'm not ovulating as long as I take it correctly.
Naomi says:
October 29, 2007, 12:50 pm
Also, to those who asked about having only 4 periods per year: I don't believe it will affect my fertility, because, you have to keep in mind that any "period" on a hormonal pill/ring cycle is not a period in the technical sense, its withdrawal bleeding because of a decrease or change in the pill's hormones (or lack thereof). I haven't had any issues thus far, but also I haven't gone off of seasonale to get pregnant either. I just think women should be aware that periods on the pill are not the same bleeding as natural periods.
rjweems says:
October 29, 2007, 12:57 pm
Don't apologize to your male readers about clicking onto afrobella and finding that you're talking today about female birth control. You're not talking about tampons and sanitary napkins, which may be a stretch for most men to listen in on. Men do need to be made aware, however, of the risks of the birth control devices and pills their women use, and the changes women put their bodies through to maintain a safe and satisfying sexual life with the opposite sex. That said, don't turn that dial, men. Keep reading. This is a discussion that affects the life and health of the woman you love.
Peajai says:
October 29, 2007, 1:03 pm
@Danielle: I've never heard of this Paraguard. It's hormone-free?! I'm going have to check this out.
nikki j says:
October 29, 2007, 1:17 pm
I was on the pill on and off since i was about 16 due to irregular periods. i stopped taking back in 2005 because of, get this...gall stones!!! one of the side effects you never hear about are gall stones! i went to the er one morning because of intense pain in my left side. the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong, and after doing an ultra sound, discovered my gallbladder was inflamed and i had 1 large stone. i had gall bladder surgery at 24. my doctor was surprised because i was so young and because i didn't have a problem with my weight or high cholestorol. he did some research and found that the elevated levels of hormones like estorgen can contribute to gall stone development (in some folks). ironically, my younger sister who took the pill for her irregular periods had gall bladder surgery soon after her 18th birthday. after my surgery i decieded that i wouldn't take the pill and would just have to deal with cramps and rely on condoms when i had sex. my period didn't regulate itself until after i had my son. also, for some of you ladies who are looking for a more natural solutions for menstrual problems, i found that increasing your soy intake greatly helps. i stopped drinking regular milk and only drink soy milk (silk is my favorite). it helps lighten my periods and they only last about 3-4 dayds also, dong quai (sp) tea helps me with cramps during that time.
Ki says:
October 29, 2007, 1:46 pm
First I want to remind you that everyone's body is different, so the experiences that others have, may not be the same as what yours would be. Second, I would seriously advise that you not rely on that website to make a decision about birth control. It's nice to hear other peoples opinions, but it's different when you have an author writing statements about side effects of a drug with no sources. I never trust any article that doesn't list their sources. The ring and the patch come from two different companies so it's not really fair to lump them together. I'm in med school and we touched on this topic briefly in one of my classes. The patch contained estrogen levels similar to birth control pills. However, birth control pills are going through your stomach where most of it will be destroyed. Women on the patch were absorbing about 50% more estrogen then they would have on the pill. This increased their chances of having all the side effects associated with estrogen including blood clots. The company who put out the patch never tested it properly because they were being greedy. The ring uses less estrogen than pills or the patch so your chances of having side effects are lower. That doesn't mean that you won't have them. The possible side effects are still the same. As far as pregnancy goes the effectiveness is the same (if not better since your getting a steady dose instead of high spikes followed by low dips in the dosage that you get with any pill). It could be that some of the people weren't inserting it properly. I used it a couple of years ago. I had problems with pills b/c they made me feel really nauseous. The ring was fine for me, but I did have spotting for a few weeks which was a big pain in the ass. After the spotting went away I loved it.
Danielle says:
October 29, 2007, 1:56 pm
@ Peajai Yeah, I heard the Paraguard IUD around the same time as I got my Mirena IUD inserted, but I chose Mirena becuase it is good for five years, while the Paraguard is good for up to ten years. I figured at the time that I was still young and probably would like to have another child when my daughter reached elementary school age. But anyway, the Paraguard is made without hormone, but with copper instead. It is suppose to change the Ph balance so that you don't get pregnant. However, it doesn't have the hormonal side effects so it doesn't change your period (ie. your period won't be lighter). There are physical side effects though such as a cramping feeling as your body adjust.
nicki says:
October 29, 2007, 2:13 pm
I have used NuvaRing for over a year and 1/2 w/no strange side-effects that I can isolate. I have not experienced multiple yeast infections or anything of that sort. I am very happy to be done w/the pain of cramps and migraines when I would have my period. Life is good.
CurlyJ says:
October 29, 2007, 2:17 pm
I have been using the Nuvaring for the last year and have had no problems. I would say try it for the month and see how it makes you feel. I have had no problems with sex or mood swings whatsoever, nor have I had any yeast infections. I was honestly surprised to hear that people had so many problems with it.
thope says:
October 29, 2007, 2:22 pm
After having my daughter 3 1/2 years ago, I was on about 3 different BC pills (can't remember the names), all of which made me crazier than the next. I was ready to KILL folks! My husband thought I was crazy until I started reading threads on the web about women and birth control pills and printed stuff for him to read. I stopped cold turkey around Feb of this year and it took me until April or May to feel like myself. My periods come like clock-work (always have), but I now have cramps (which I never had) and acne during my time of the month! My skin is oily, when it used to be dry and I still have mood swings but nothing compared to what I had before. I keep trying to talk my husband into getting a vasectomy because we don't want any more kids.
Circa1978 says:
October 29, 2007, 2:28 pm
NuvaRing = infections galore! I kept getting infections and having to take more pills after more pills. I was over it. Also, I don't believe in using birth control to regulate periods. Doctors are always trying to cure the symptom and not the problem. Taking the pill cures the symptom (irregular periods) rather than figuring out the cause. Instead of saying, "Ok your not getting regular periods, let's figure this out," they say, "Your not getting regular periods. Ok take this pill, you'll get regular periods, bye!" I believe birth control should be used for birth control and women need to take a closer look at how the hormones affect them in the long run. I've stopped using BC completely but I know everyone does not have that option. I say do lots of research.
Juicy77 says:
October 29, 2007, 2:28 pm
I've never been on the pill or used any form of b.c. other than condoms. I'm too afraid to tamper with my hormones like that (for many of the reasons cited in this post and comments). My PMS is bad enough; I can't imagine what would happen if it were worse (murder perhaps?) lol If I ever get married, I don't know what I'll do.
SoSo says:
October 29, 2007, 2:37 pm
I am on Seasonique which is similar to Seasonale but oh so much better. I get my period 4 times a year, I do not miss it, and I do not worry about my fertility. I was on the pill prior to having my daughter and needless to say, I'm clearly fertile! lol. What I like about Seasonique is that I only get 4 periods, I don't have a bunch of spotting like I did with Seasonale, my periods are way shorter with minimal cramping, and I'm not a raving lunatic come menstrual time. I do get moody, but not bitchy. Personally, I'd be more concerned about sticking something IN my body than the fact that I get 4 periods a year. Bella, unfortunately some BC take trial and error before you find the one that works for you. Everyone responds to the hormones differently. If you're concerned about the price talk to your doctor about getting one of the sample packs. My doctor does it for me all the time if my mail order prescription doesn't come through like it should.
Too Tot says:
October 29, 2007, 2:49 pm
I tried birth control in my early twenties and i was not happy with the effects it had on my body. I havent been on the pill for over 8 years and I am happy with that. I started dating 6 months ago and questioned whether I should but I dont like having something foreign in my body...as far as hormones! I tend to shy away from foreign or alien things in my system..... Its unnatural and the side effects arent cool...Especially women who smoke can have strokes...I practice safe sex and am very picky with who I date so I opt to not go for the pill!
KC says:
October 29, 2007, 3:07 pm
Totally got the dark patches on my forehead after using the ring. I thought I was insane before reading this article. Thanks. It's been a couple of months, but they're finally clearing up. Has anyone ever experienced multiple occurances of discoloration, or am I in the clear?
Haitianroots says:
October 29, 2007, 3:22 pm
OK, I've been on Ortho Tri-Lo for almost 2 1/2 yrs (as long as I've been married)and I've had my ups and downs with it. I don't think it has screwed with my emotions, but physically I've had some "what the hell is going on?" moments, and I'm beginning to think that it's effecting my libido. I want to throw a question out there to any women who have stopped or never used BC, and have gone the natural route? I'm interested in an alt. that does not = using a condom.
Naomi says:
October 29, 2007, 3:29 pm
SoSo: I thought Seasonique was only different in that the 7 day period/break pills had another hormone, not just sugar pills, and that the pills for the three months are the same as in seasonale? I'm just wondering if you've tried seasonale for more than a cycle and prefer seasonique?
roslynholcomb says:
October 29, 2007, 3:41 pm
Have you thought about natural family planning? Essentially you simply keep up with your fertile periods and abstain or use birth control (we use condoms) when you're fertile. No hormones, no muss no fuss.
Wendy says:
October 29, 2007, 3:41 pm
I'm with the other ladies with the IUD. I can't take oestrogen containing pills; I had a brief run in with them and was clinically depressed during that period. Also have family tendency towards clotting. Tried a range of progestrogen only pills including a relatively new one, Cerazette only to encounter incredibly awful PMT and never ending bleeding - extremely effective as a contraceptive but less than ideal! The IUD isn't perfect; heavier and more painful periods but it's given me back a natual cycle and for is perfect for my feeble mind that cannot manage remembering to take pills. If you get through the 1st menstrual cycle without your womb rejecting it, have no infection and have a steady partner then it could be an alternative to the hormonal roulette.
nicki says:
October 29, 2007, 3:42 pm
I haven't had time to go through all the the posts, but FYI, the ring can be removed (as I do sometimes)for up to 3 hours w/o a reduction in effectiveness. I know my body (as well as my husband's body) well enough to know that there are certain times of the month and even positions that will make the ring more likely to be detected by one or both of us. So, sometimes I do remove it and reinsert after sex when I am in the bathroom anyway. Hope that helps.
Wendy says:
October 29, 2007, 3:48 pm
Sorry, just to add, my IUD is a copper only one - no hormones.
Wanda says:
October 29, 2007, 4:03 pm
I used NuvaRing once as a stopgap method between getting an IUD inserted.I use the Mirena IUD and the first insertion didn't go so well, it wasn't done properly and I had to have it removed and used NuvaRing for a month. I really loved it, but I didn't have any of the side effects. Previously I used BC pills, Ortho TriCyclen forever and then after a few years I just stopped remembering to take them. I'd gone through a divorce and for a time I wasn't dating, so it wasn't that important to me about bc, although period regulation was. Then I tried the patch and I loved not having to remember to take a pill daily, but I started forgetting to change it on the right day and got sick and had a couple of extended periods with that. A girlfriend told about the IUD a couple of years before that, so I looked into it and thought about getting Paragard (the one with no hormone), but my gyn wouldn't even get that one. She said that Paragard caused undue cramping and many women had cramping as bad, if not worse than prior to being on Paragard. I was concerned about using Mirena b/c it had hormones in it, but my Dr. convinced me the amount was very minimal and after reading it, I decided to go for it. I've had my IUD in since Jan. '05 and love it. I have some occasional spotting, but no real period. I also have occasional cramping, but it is limited to a small window of cramping in a day, usually less than 15-20 minutes, maybe 2-3 times that day and that's it. Of course, everyone's mileage may vary. Oh and I've not had any kids. The first insertion hurt like **heck**, the second one (which was done correctly) really didn't hurt and I love having my IUD. I also am 35, with a committed partner who had 3 kids of his own and don't plan on having any, so this method is much better for me.
Civilrightstoday1 says:
October 29, 2007, 5:04 pm
Love the NuvaRing! I tried it 4 years ago when it first came out. I didn't qualify for the patch (Overweight) and the pill gave me bad cramps when it was time for my period and dry sex.
Lauren says:
October 29, 2007, 6:21 pm
Never tried the ring although I would like to. When I was on BC, it was Orthotricyclen. And I HATED it. I immediately gained weight and became the weepiest and saddest person on the planet.
pets says:
October 29, 2007, 6:30 pm
With your medical history (hoping that you have informed the gynae)you should be very careful in choosing a form of contraception. Also, I don't believe that a period 4 times a year is safe or good for the body. Hoping that your pill search goes well..you should link with Lin & ask her advice.
Afrodite says:
October 29, 2007, 6:48 pm
Oh my gawd! I thought it was just me that turned into a monster when I got on the pill. It has affected me so bad that I'm thinking of going off of it all together. Maybe I'll try Yasmin...
Aisha says:
October 29, 2007, 6:54 pm
I've used the pill (7 years), the patch (2 years), and the Nuva Ring (1 year). I liked the patch, but it used to irritate my skin just a little bit and it came off if I sweated a lot (I mean a lot like I was playing 3 hours of volleyball in a really hot gym). Also, I was really pissed that they kept making it in "flesh tone." I'm a dark skinned woman and that is not MY flesh tone. The technology exists to make clear patches (niccotine pathches are clear now), but I wrote to the company and they claim that they are "investigating the options." So, I switched to the ring when it came out and I didn't have any problems. I really liked it. I just had a baby (planned pregnancy), so I think I'm going to switch to the IUD now that I'm eligible. Personally, I liked the ring and would go back to that if I couldn't use an IUD. I'm going to get the hormonal IUD, not the copper one.
Aisha says:
October 29, 2007, 6:56 pm
Also, I got pregnant 3 months after I stopped using the ring, so I don't know about the infertility. I've never had any problems with hormone treatments. No weight gain, no skin issues, no problems at all. BTW, the pill I was on was Nordette.
Aisha says:
October 29, 2007, 7:00 pm
Last comment, I'm not messing with Seasonale or that other one that makes your periods stop. I figure that you have your period for a reason. It helps me know that I'm healthy and that I'm NOT pregnant. It just doesn't seem natural to not have your period EVER, or even to have it quarterly...
Auragirl says:
October 29, 2007, 7:13 pm
Maybe you should consider natural methods--that may be the best for your health. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/contraceptive/126.html
M.L. says:
October 29, 2007, 8:05 pm
I tried the NuvaRIng for a month before I had to give up. In addition to a killer yeast infection, it caused severe vaginal irritation to the point where I would have to sit in a cold bath to get some relief. But I do have really sensitive skin in general so maybe that's a factor. I've been on Loestrin 24 for 4 months and I have no complaints...
MoniMoni says:
October 29, 2007, 8:24 pm
I'm going to date myself here, since the last time I used birth control pills I was 25 yrs old. I got off of them through recommendation of my doctor, since I was on them from the age of 14 (grandmother put me on them early, so that I would not surprise her with a pregnancy during my teenage years - she knew I was boy crazy and was not taking any chances). By the time I was 19 (when I finally had a use for them) I had been on pill for 5 years. I was on Ortho Novum 1-35, 28 day regimen. I had no side effects whatsoever. But by the time I was really active I had to use condoms due to HIV/AIDS becoming rampant. I have been using condoms (carefully) ever since, w/o any problems. I find it interesting that all of these new birth control methods are making people sick, moody, irrational etc. My friends and I did not have any of the symptoms we hear young woman are going through now. It makes me wonder what the medical profession is putting into the product. What I find even more absurd it that anyone would be willing to use something that prevents them from having their period. I agree with Aisha,; I understand that it is a pain in the neck monthly, however, you cannot be doing justice to your body, not depositing "waste" that your body is supposed to get rid of naturally. And people wonder why they are having reproductive problems, weight gain, mood swings? I am not an advocate of any woman changing what goes on with her body for the sake of having sex. Men as far as I am concerned are the ones putting these insane medications on the market based on their impatience and lack of wanting to take responsibility. Besides condoms and Viagra, what else are they going through? Please... Had to just rant and rave for a moment...
Grace says:
October 29, 2007, 8:48 pm
Oh no, I love the NuvaRing! It's the only birth control I've ever been on that doesn't make me sick at some point or another, and I've been on a lot. (Including Ortho Evra! Dun dun dunnnnnnnn) I've never had any problems on this birth control...no anger, no weight gain...oh wait. I have experienced a bit of sadness the week before taking it out, but besides that it's been great. I think all medicines of this type come with great risks, so I don't freak out that much when I hear reports like this.Don't get me wrong now, I do pay attention. I just don't get all up in arms unless I'm personally experiencing a problem. Afterall, you are altering the natural course of your body...there's gonna be some sort of risk involved.
SusieQ says:
October 29, 2007, 8:57 pm
I got married at age 23 and went immediately on the pill (mini gynon 30) and after three years I came right off and we decided to use condoms. I experience the mood swings and headache etc, weight gain was the major turn off for me. It just gives some people a bloated look, and its not because of any diet change. I just looked rosy. Anyhow I thought about harmone replacement therapy, and its risk for cancer. I told my hubby that i don't see any reason why the same harmones via birth control, in smaller doses would not be also a risky thing.That was about seven years ago and when I started seeing in the news where they are saying that women with cancer family history would up their risk on B.C, I knew that some of what i felt years ago was logical.I am not telling anyone they should not use them, that is a personal decision. My reason for not using them is because I would rather not up my risk for anything and we are doing fine on the "rubber love".Before I hear the foolish comment about whats the sense in being married and not being "natural",People who make these decisions do it TOGETHER and after a while it actually feels weird not using any.There are no negatives for us and we would never want to go back to me being like a pregnant person, all moody,and nauseated and tired. After using the condoms for seven years now, we realized that if you believe that they are a deterent to good physical relationship, then the deterent is really you and your mind, they actually made us practice more foreplay and now it is weird to go without it.Being married don't mean you have to be on the pills. As a matter of fact I asked the hubby about going back on, just to see what he would say, and he was more concern about how they made me feel and the fact that we are both mentally and physically satisfied with what we are using now.
SusieQ says:
October 29, 2007, 9:04 pm
Another thing, there is really no safe period, along with condoms we use to go without after my monthly, for a day or two and now I have a 2 year old daughter. The same thing happen to my sister. I was doing the safe period days for more than two years until one day...................
Yvette says:
October 29, 2007, 9:06 pm
I love my IUD. Due to issues with irregular, heavy periods I used various birth control pills for almost 20 years to regulate the cycle . Five years ago they stopped working. No matter what we tried my period would not stop. So I spent six months on Lupron an hormone shot that actually shuts down the ovaries. That was REALLY awful. No sex drive!! Hair growth!! No ovarian function = no estrogen production. Fibroid tumors respond to estrogen my poor body needed a break. After that she inserted the Mirena IUD. I had some cramping the next two days but it has been great. It has been almost two years and I love it. I love it. I love it. I do have a regular period for the first time in my life. I will take a three day period over a month long ordeal any day.
Renee says:
October 29, 2007, 9:18 pm
I was on NuvaRing for several months and thought it was okay. On the plus side, the convenience cannot be beat -- you only have to worry about inserting it once a month; no more missed pills. Like a few others have said, my husband could feel it during intercourse, but he didn't mind. The one side effect that I experienced was a greater amount of bloating and cramping during my period than when I on other birth control methods. It was not severe, but it was definitely noticeable. After several months, I decided to discontinue using it becuase of the uncomfortable periods I was experiencing. Still, I would recommend trying it -- everyone's body is different and you may find it meets your needs.
Juicy77 says:
October 30, 2007, 12:17 am
One more thing - Let me point out that birth control pills put ALL women at an increased risk for stroke (not just those who do or have smoked). Sure smokers' chances are even worse, but nonsmokers on the pill still have increased their risk of stroke (vs. women who are not on the pill). Someone recently shared their first-hand experience with me. She had a stroke in her early 20s due to the birth control pill she was taking. A doctor in her early 30s recently died from the same thing (I'm sure a lot of you may have received an emailed forward about that story. Sadly, her story is very true.) Exercise caution and do your research, whatever route you choose.
DMB says:
October 30, 2007, 12:32 am
My husband and I currently live and work in Japan. In the states, I was on Ortho Tri Cyclen, which kept my acne under reasonable control. I took a similar concoction in Japan. Yeah, I got a little bitchy around my period, but it did the trick. Recently, however, my doctor discovered a small fibroid in my uterus. I am horrified. I hear all the statistics about Black women and fibroids and we're just supposed to accept them as par for the course, but I'm not accepting that. I recently stopped taking the pills because the extra estrogen can feed a fibroid. I'm scared for my skin, but I'm willing to make extra visits to my estetician and just be patient that some combination of products will eventually work for my skin-- without the pills. My husband really wants us to get down to making babies when we return to the states. I'm a little older--in my late thirties-- so I want my body clear of the synthetic hormones and ready to reproduce! Not to mention, the pills had sapped my libido. I've been off the pills for a week now and I already feel my nether-regions coming back to life. Hah! It's a good feeling! I already told my husband that after this whole deal is over, he's going straight for a vascetomomy. I'm tired of dealing with it! Hah!
jane says:
October 30, 2007, 12:44 am
I agree with all of the nonpill takers. My suggestion to all of you is to get off the pill. Pretty much 90% of my friends over 40 who have been on the pill since they were teens have magically all had breast cancer, of course the press won't tell you this, but there is definitely something wrong with the pill. Yeah now it's safer, but really why f*ck up your body, just so you won't get pregnant. A condom works great and you're not chemically changing your body and causing all kinds of odd damage that you won't even realize and the doctors will lie to you about when it manifests itself years later. Oh yeah don't even think about trying new stuff, wait until people start dying five years later before you risk your life for sex. I think it's odd how they always remember to let black women know about all the birthcontrol devices that are on the market, but simple mammograms and things like that seem to slip their mind. You got to love the US medical system. Jane
Bebroma says:
October 30, 2007, 1:51 am
Well I used the pill a LONG time ago, for about 3 years, then I stopped because I too had problems with moodiness and it just cost so much! I don't currently use anything because there's nothing to control right now :-] but I was married for about 11 years, and for 8 of those years used spermicides with/without a condom, depending on what phase I was in with my cycle. And the only time I got pregnant using the spermicide was when I planned to. It was the kind that came in a tube; I wasn't feeling the foam for various reasons, which if you've ever used it you know some of them. Anyway, I liked that I didn't have to use anything unless it was needed. Spermicides and condoms can be a bit irritating to the mucosa if you're sensitive to elements in them, and you need to be sure that you follow the directions, but other than that, when I used them I found it to be the best thing for me.
Bebroma says:
October 30, 2007, 1:58 am
Sometimes people like to believe the Pill is fool-proof, but it's not, of course. Nothing is, except abstinence. I know three people personally who've gotten pregnant on the pill...one forgot about the whole antibiotic thing, another had a stomach virus and didn't realize she had lost the pill with her cookies over a couple of days...with any BC, like I said, you need to follow the directions carefully and pay attention to your body.
obmd says:
October 30, 2007, 7:18 am
Birth control works a little differently for everybody. Pill - if you have side effects like moodiness on the pill, try an alternative like Yazmin - different progesterone that has worked well for a some of my patients. If you have a lot of headaches, try a lower dose estrogen. Nuvaring - works well, but can increase risk of yeast infections IUD - great choice for a lot of women. Paragard IUD (copper) - no hormones, last 10 years, my have heavier menses/cramping. Mirena IUD - progesterone, last 5 years, shorter, lighter periods. Rhythm method works - either abstaining or using using condoms during fertile period. It does require you to have regular menses (so ovaulation can be predicted) and be disciplined. There are lots of others out there, but these are the ones I saw mentioned the most in the comments. Remeber, EVERY method has a failure rate and side effects (except abstinence!). There is a link below listing the failure rates of most contraception available in the United States. http://www.fda.gov/Fdac/features/1997/conceptbl.html Good luck.
Anonymous says:
October 30, 2007, 9:56 am
I've heard a lot of horror stories about the side effects of various form of BC. Fortunately, I have never experienced any. I was on Ortho-Cyclen for about 8 years and have been using Nuva-Ring for a little over a year. I haven't had any of the side effects listed. I have a slight concern about using hormones in general but not enough concern to risk pregnancy.
kay-oh says:
October 30, 2007, 11:42 am
I am the worst at taking pills and my ARNP gave me NuvaRing samples last year. I have been using them ever since. I have two big complaints: 1) can cause excessive vaginal discharge; 2) cost a small fortune. (I pay $40 w/ insurance.) However, the idea that I have a birth control that I don't have to think about eases my mind since neither hubby nor I am ready for a family yet. One other thing- I am starting to think it has altered my libido a bit, but a little creativity in the bedroom can take care of that.
SoSo says:
October 30, 2007, 12:01 pm
To Naomi, Sorry I didn't get your response until today. The last week of the Seasonique is a small dosage of hormones (not sure which ones though) that keep you from experiencing that huge drop in hormone levels like Seasonal does. I'm about to get a little graphic here, so I do apologize, but when I was on Seasonale if I missed more than 2 days then I spotted for the remainder of my cycle. So that meant if I missed 2 days in my 2nd month then I spotted through the end of my 3rd month. Not fun for my sex life! If I remember correctly from when I talked to my doctor about this a year ago, the hormones in Seasonique are slightly different the whole month through. Honestly, I think Seasonique is great and a better alternative to Seasonale, at least for me. I don't like getting my cycle, and I dont like the horrible cramps and PMS that comes with it. As always you want to do your research, talk to your doctor, and pray on what feels comfortable for you. Not everything works for everybody. To Juicy77 - the email about the doctor is a hoax. If you go to www.snopes.com and type in the girls name it will come up. You can also Google it. Please don't believe everything that someone forwards you!
SoSo says:
October 30, 2007, 12:21 pm
I'm a little put off by the fact that there seems to be some judging going on here. Women who choose to use BC shouldn't be judged any more than a woman who chooses to use the rhythm method or condoms. And for someone (Moni) to say it's "absurd" for a woman to not get her period, well that comment in itself is absurd. I won't even get into the the fact that my cycle is my business. I'll just tell you that studies have shown that periods really are not necessary other than for reproductive purposes, and if you're not reproducing then there's no reason a woman needs to have one. Periods can actually do harm in that they deplete a woman's iron levels and for many women (such as myself) that can be unhealthy if you are anemic. Please keep your judgements to yourself. Bella asked our opinion of our preferred method of BC, not what you think of other peoples. Thank you, and have a nice day.
RyanB says:
October 30, 2007, 12:22 pm
Blackjada: No, my friend has never been pregnant. I don't know what kind of IUD she uses, but I think she had in removed (which, she said, was very painful)
kaida says:
October 30, 2007, 12:27 pm
Hey Bella, I was on the Nuvaring for about a year with no real side effects...except for having problems removing it without a partner. I don't know why that happened, but I could never find it when it was time to take it out. I am not especially deep or anything, so it's a little odd. I switched back to pills late last year (I take a generic called Kariva because all the Orthos made me wamt to puke)and I am a little loopy and a little munchy around the last week, but I am ok. I am seriously considering what BC is doing to my body, but I prefer to be on the safer side and chemically control my pregnancies. Not the best decision, but...we shall see. (IUD isn't for me by the way...my body tends to reject foreign things, which is why I suprised that the Nuvaring didn't realy have any effects.)
Juicy77 says:
October 30, 2007, 1:25 pm
SoSo - Actually, whenever I receive such forwards, I check them out. I also checked into the story and saw that it was not a hoax (also on Snopes and Google). When I searched Google, I also found a broadcast news story about the stroke victim and watched the entire thing. So now I'm wondering if we're talking about the same person?? Either way, I know someone who had a stroke as a result of the birth control she was given. The risk is very real.
Juicy77 says:
October 30, 2007, 1:44 pm
Here's the story: http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=healthcheck&id=5303491
afrobella says:
October 30, 2007, 1:53 pm
WOW! I knew I'd get some comments on this, but wow. You have given me ALOT to think about. I am still not sure what I'm going to do with the NuvaRing -- 1/4 of me says "try it!" and 3/4 says "go with what you know." So I'm already leaning away from it a bit. The risk of new side effects that I haven't had before (yeast infection, hello), is definitely steering me away. So glad to hear from so many of you, and thanks for being as honest and open as you've all been.
ShininSlvrStarr says:
October 30, 2007, 2:24 pm
I know it's a bit late, but I decided to chime in since my experince has not been told yet. I am currently on the Ortha Evra Patch and have been for the almost two years. I have had little to no noticiable side effects (no weight gain, no excessive dischage or infections). The only known side effect I've had are dark spots at the site where patches are placed, which are only noticable to me since I put them on my upper butt. I did my research before I started using it and found it to be the best solution for me. I too am horrible at remembering to take pills, so the once a week change is perfect. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE that I can predict, down to the day, when my period will start! It took a bit of getting used to, placement and making it stay on (alchol wipes helps it too attach better), but overall I would recommend it.
HaitianRoots says:
October 30, 2007, 2:42 pm
Anyone out there using Cycle Beads? http://www.cyclebeads.com/
InnerDiva says:
October 30, 2007, 3:40 pm
I started on Ortho Tri Cyclen at 18. The nausea and upset stomach wasn't worth it for me, so I stopped. At 21, I got on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, but forgetfulness caused me to have to "double up" on my dosage. A college friend suggested the patch, but it irritated my skin. At 25, I am now receiving the Depo Provera shot. It is injected into either your arm of backside once every three months. The only side effects I have experienced (since i began in Januray'06) have been slight weight gain--and I'm pleased with the 10lbs i've put on, as I was always on the skinny side.
October 30, 2007, 4:01 pm
that really messed me up. there is currently a law suite against Othro.. http://www.spymac.com/details/?2290046
SoSo says:
October 30, 2007, 4:52 pm
Juicy77, Thanks for the link. I'll watch it when I get home from work - the firewalls are CRUCIAL here. I must have misunderstood your posting and assumed that you were only speaking of the email and not a news story, so I do apologize for that. The email that I received did turn out to be a hoax, but I agree, BC is not for everyone and can be a risk. BTW, I hope your friend who had the stroke is well and healthy now.
browngirl says:
October 30, 2007, 5:13 pm
I've always been timid about any IUDs b/c they seem to be most associated with intermittent bleeding. I've used Yasmin off and on for several years and never experienced any of the adverse side effects associated with birth control.
Boogielee says:
October 30, 2007, 5:23 pm
WOW!! Will I use it? hmm....I guess, if they can promise me that it will still work when I need it ;-) As a "Manly Man" i guess my fear is that if they turn off the production of fertile sperm then what is the risk that it will not turn back on. I think a pill for men could work but it will have to evangelized by women with more passion than the "Just Say No" or "Rap-It-Up" campaign. I wonder who will pay for this campaign for male birth control, definitely not the Man Law Committee -Boogielee
Juicy77 says:
October 30, 2007, 5:30 pm
Yeah, I looked back at Snopes and I think they could neither confirm nor deny the story for some reason. Anyway, she's a friend of a friend and she's okay now. It happened when she was 25 (so mid not early 20s - my bad) and she's 34 and completely recovered now. She actually shared her story in response to the email in question. The scary thing is her only symptom was a mild headache, and she didn't fall into any of the high risk categories.
MoniMoni says:
October 30, 2007, 7:45 pm
SoSo, What I said re: it being "absurd" was in no way a reflect on you. What is going on when a person states their opinion and gets attacked for it?! How old are you? As a 41 year old, who had used the pill and who has had reproductive problems before she started the pill at 14, and who continues to have the same problem, I CANNOT imagine taking ANYTHING that is going to stop my reproductive organs from doing something it should have to do naturally. I was not referring to you, but Afrobella did ask, WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCES?...So I posted mine along with what I thought. Birth control is a private issue, but if everyone here is talking about what works for them, a lot of people have also said what doesn't work for them. Cut and dry, plain and simple. What is the frickin problem? Your tone was unnecessary. I don't come to a site as Afrobella to get blasted about what I think, especially when the creator of this site asks readers opinions.
MoniMoni says:
October 30, 2007, 8:17 pm
"Periods can actually do harm in that they deplete a woman’s iron levels and for many women (such as myself) that can be unhealthy if you are anemic." That's why they have B12, Pre-natal, broccoli, spinich get your diet together. There has also been report of strokes, blood clots, and such, so my ideas are so far fetched that I shouldn't say how I feel? Did anyone here here me say that I would not use birth control, again, I stated what I felt, based on the question. And futhermore, although it is an inconvenience, if periods were not necessary, we would not have them. Plain and simple. To "write" in a tone like you are talking to young child was disrespectful and uncalled for. How dare you!
MoniMoni says:
October 30, 2007, 8:18 pm
Apologies to Afrobella and the readers for reading this...not how I like to behave on message board.
vivi says:
October 30, 2007, 10:14 pm
The only one I've been on is Yasmin. I took it when I was in high school. I had a weight problem, so I stopped getting my period. It actually supressed my appetite, and made me lose weight... But, everybody's different, so do your research.
bella says:
October 30, 2007, 10:24 pm
Whoa! What happened here? SoSo and MoniMoni, somewhere along the line this discussion took a turn for the too-personal. I didn't think that would be possible in a post about birth control, but it did. Please allow me to defuse this right now before it escalates. I found both of your perspectives interesting, and I think it is possible to learn from each other rather than feeling attacked and lashing out at each other. It is late and I had a long day, so perhaps I'm not phrasing this correctly. Forgive me. I do want this to be a forum without judgment, and I would like our exchanges to remain positive and enlightening. I hope we can continue in that fashion. AND - to continue the original discussion, I made a decision. NO to NuvaRing for this chick. I totally see the allure, it sounds so incredible. But having read all of the comments online, I was already almost ready to go with the pill I know. Then I mentioned this post to one of my work friends, and she immediately shrieked, NO NivaRing! And blushingly, she told me some of her not-so-fun-to-go-through-but-kinda-funny-to-tell-someone-about experiences. So, yeah. I'm goooooood on that.
trinigyal says:
October 30, 2007, 10:55 pm
Well as a physician AND an avid user of the nuva ring I have to tell you how great it is. Informed choices are best and there's a lot of misinformation out there (including that blog I guess). I used nuva for 3 years, had Increased libido, NO infections and Reversal of my PMS emotionality. The reason we have so many choices in birth control is because there is something for everyone. Most of my patients who use it love it and have not had problems with it.Regarding the recurrent infections in others, perhaps there are other underlying medical issues you are not aware of. Oh if you're wondering why I switched it was just for something a little more long term and cost-effective, an IUD which is also a great choice. Viva la choice!
MoniMoni says:
October 30, 2007, 11:06 pm
Bella, You are correct and as I did earlier, I apologize. I just thought that SoSo's statements were uncalled for. But I'm glad you made the right decision for yourself! :) Have a good night! Love the site by the way! :)
trinigyal says:
October 30, 2007, 11:16 pm
Bella, I would also add that if you are seriously considering the ring, you should bring your concerns up with your doctor. Its scary the information that's out there; even scrolling through some of these posts was overly sensationalized. Yes hormonal contraception can increase your risk of blood clot; but guess what, pregnancy carries and EVEN HIGHER risk!!! Much like the news, people's personal experiences can sometimes be distorted. Better to get the factual risks and make up your mind that way.
Bebroma says:
October 31, 2007, 1:15 am
To Boogielee -- I imagine if ever such a pill for men did come about, care would be taken so that when you stopped using it your boys would eventually swim with the same potency as they did before, sooner or later. That's what happens with us when we stop using hormonal suppression -- usually, for some pretty darn quick, for others maybe a year -- your body goes back to its pre hormonal suppression state. The human body is a fabulous thing. That said it's still hard for me to believe that men would be as committed to taking it even it was 100% risk free. Not because they don't love their partner or aren't invested in the decision not to have kids or or more kids, but because, if even we forget it and we're the ones with the body shocking experience (and it does shock the body) if it should happen, I can't see taking a daily pill being uppermost in the average man's mind, when they can't get pregnant. If it did happen, it would probably work best in a long-term mongomous relationship, IMO. I just had to comment on your post, it made me smile.
Dj says:
October 31, 2007, 5:27 pm
I've tried Orthro-tri cyclen and ortho tri cylen lo. I like the first one better but not I want to give Yaz a try. I have a friend that is suing the company that makes the patch because of blood clot issues. I don't trust nuva ring and my doctor doesn't recommend it for me.
Carolyn says:
October 31, 2007, 10:57 pm
I used Nuvaring and it gave me a clot in my right arm. My new doctor told me that it's really not "low dose". I'm currently on Lo Ovral to help treat my polycystic ovarian sydrome and I have had no issues with it so far. Keep your fingers crossed.
Dani says:
November 1, 2007, 12:09 am
I am currently using the copper IUD. I tried various types of pills and the Ring and had the hormonal nightmares. I have never had children so at first they were discouraging me from it. But I am happily married and my husband and I are very sure that we don't want any children any time soon. At first my body rejected the thing (it got dislogde and came down. My husband actually was the one that noticed it ;)) But I got another one. I was crampy and bleed like crazy. But after a few months everything was ok. I have had it for two years and don't plan to change. If you can get over the hump it might be worth it. Hope that helps P.S. Sex is definately better when you don't have to worry.;)
Dettygirl says:
November 1, 2007, 2:45 pm
I am glad there are a wide spectrum of people who experienced "craziness" on Ortho bc regimens, b/c I thought I was the ONLY ONE!I o longer take those. I honestly just want to get my tubes tied, but my drs. won't do it! I have a little girl already who has plenty of cousins to play with. I don't know how to get what i want without having to wait 6 more years 'til i'm 35....
TiClos says:
November 1, 2007, 6:22 pm
Bella, this is such a great topic. HaitianRoots, sak pase? Like you I was searching for natural contraception. I have successfully been using the Fertility Awareness Method for the past three months. The book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler is an excellent resource for information on this method. There are also a few websites that also go over the same info. I am now able to recognize when I am fertile and identify the day of ovulation. I simply avoid intercourse on the days when I am fertile (about 6 days a month). Since I am not fertile everyday, it made no sense for me to take a pill everyday. It's been working so far. I've never tried birth control pills, but I did have Mirena inserted two years ago. I had it removed in August'07 because of weight gain and bad acne. I did seriously look into the Cycle Beads. But information on the website indicated that my cycle length is too long for this method. Hope this helps. Let me know how things turn out.
Mi-Mi says:
November 2, 2007, 2:36 pm
I know that I'm late, but I agree with Ms. Peajai. I WISH there were more non hormomal BC methods. I was on ALL of the ORTHOS and I experienced weight gain, LOW libido, and depression at my cycle. My fiancee' and I are currently using condoms in conjunction with spermicidal foam. I hope that it continues to work. In the meantime, wish me luck, as I will go to my Dr. and try to find a non-hormonal BC that'll work for me. :-)
Seychelle says:
November 3, 2007, 2:21 am
I have tried many pills in the past the best pill being Yaz but after being on and off the pill for over 15 years, knowing that I do not want any children and neither does my husband. At the age of 33 I asked my Dr. what did she suggest and she said the IUD would be a good fit I used the one with copper that can last for 10 years this is going to be my second year Feb. 2008 so far no problems.
Wendy says:
November 3, 2007, 9:32 am
Copper IUD insertion is uncomfortable, but if you have a couple of paracetamol beforehand it really isn't awful - just period strength cramps for a day or so afterwards, I haven't had any pregnancies but I was able to go straight into work after getting mine fitted. The device is good for 10 years and starts working as soon as it's inserted - but you'd have to be pretty game to try it out immediately! The contraceptive effect dissappears as soon as it's removed and I've found it well worth it for 15 mins of intermittent discomfort and the usual gynae embarrassment.
HaitianRoots says:
November 3, 2007, 11:35 am
@TiClos Sak Pase ti fille? Thanks for the book reference. Will mos def purchase. My husband has been looking at all forms of birth control kinda crooked but has been like, "it's your body". So we are researching together on more natural options, so what you sent is helpful. We'll be monitoring the next couple months once I finish this pack of pills to see if the Cycle Beads would work for us. Appreciate you sharing! God bless.
Tasha says:
November 4, 2007, 12:19 pm
I just switched to the Nuvaring after being on the pill since I was about 15 (I'm now 26). I went through the EXACT same things you did with the pill--fine being on it when I was younger, but horrific side effects (excess spotting between periods, heart palpitations, mood swings, you name it) as I got older and "experimented" with different brands of pills. After being fed up with the pill, I decided to try the Nuvaring. I've been on it for about 3 months now, and I absolutely love it. I don't have any of the horrible side effects that I had on the pill. If this continues to work out, I don't think I'll ever switch to anything else. If you do decide to use it, but be aware that you'll probably notice some spotting in th first month while your body becomes adjusted to the hormones.
MP says:
November 4, 2007, 4:18 pm
I started on birth control before I really knew my body. I wasn't until I had an ectopic pregnancy that I stopped taking if for a couple of months while everything was getting squared away. After the pregnancy had dissolved and my body was back on it's natural cycle I was happier than I had every been. I don't know how to describe it but I even felt lighter. On the Sunday after the start of my first period I resumed the birth control pill and within hours I was angry, irritable, restless, and very unhappy. Needless to say by the second day I put two and two together and stopped taking the pill. I am now trying to find something non-hormonal as I just want to be myself. My doctor suggested an IUD (intra uterine device). It is T-shaped in can remain in your uterus up to 5 years (the non hormonal one). the starts working immediately and there are no side effects. you can have it removed whenever you want and your fertility is not compromised at all. Hope this helps!
hoorah says:
November 6, 2007, 5:14 am
I've been using Nuvaring for over 3 years now - so whomever is saying it's in Beta testing stage is *seriously* misguided. I haven't noticed any side affects. Sex? Bf doesn't feel a thing. Now when I stopped the pill (ortho tri cyclen) I noticed my cramping went from 4-5 days to just 1, and spotting stopped altogether. Also, remember the revamped Today sponge is back on the market. I saw it at Walgreens just the other day. Condoms + spermacide (unless you're allergic) was always my "no health insurance birth control plan", though I used the spermicidal dissolving sheets VCF at the time.
SusieQ says:
November 7, 2007, 12:07 am
ToniaD says:
November 8, 2007, 11:41 am
I have been on Nuvaring for over four years and I have not had any side affects from it so far. I've never had any problems with a yeast infection either. My OB/GYN recommended and she is on it herself. I will have to agree with a previous comment in that sometimes it slips out during sex, depending on the sexual position. But my partner cannot feel it and it is very comfortable. It has also regulated my cycles. They are like clockwork now. I would definitely recommend over the pill if you are forgetful like myself.
Chan says:
November 9, 2007, 3:25 pm
I've been on NuvaRing for about 3 years. I absolutely love. Put it in and forget for three weeks. When my doctor gave me samples, there was also a little timer (in the shape of an hourglass) that came with it. It would beep when it was time to take it out or insert a new ring. Now, I have a timer on my PC that pops up whenever you turn it on letting you know when your next removal/insertion date is. My problem with taking the pill was I would forget to take it. I've also run the gamut of bc pill brands. I was on Ortho-Trycylen (sp?) and was taken off because my body was mimicking pregnancy (Dr said 10% of women are affected with that one). I haven't developed a yeast infection or had any problems with it and you can't feel it once it's in. I think you should try it. :)
Bibadiva73 says:
November 10, 2007, 5:02 am
I'm on Yaz, but I still have emotional mood swings.Normal one minute, homicidal and depressed the next. I thought Yaz fixed that, but my friend was having the same issues and she became frustrated, so she threw her pills away. The upside is that my periods are lighter and only 3 days.
Cindy says:
November 10, 2007, 5:00 pm
I used Yaz for 2 months. My beautiful, caramel-colored, CLEAR skin turned into bumpy, inflammed, red acne. My high and feverish libido turned into the sex drive of a 90 year old woman. Needless to say, I got off of the pill and am currently using condoms now. I will say that the pill made my periods almost nonexistent. Can anyone recommend a pill that didn't lower your libido?
Lady O says:
November 22, 2007, 3:41 pm
I was on ortho tricyclen first and it made me feel as if I had morning sickness every day. Then I switched to the patch and that was like having a light period for three weeks of each month. Then I tried Estrostep and that decreased my libido and made me gain like 20 lbs. Finally I tried Yaz and it's the BEST... no symptoms whatsoever and I recommended it to all my friends. After being my own guinea pig for years.
Adorable says:
December 2, 2007, 6:03 pm
Birth Control, birth control, birthcontrol. . . I have been on two kinds. The fist, Trinessa made me frickn crazy. which I did not realize until I was off it. First,I would be depressed and angry about everything just before my period, which really disrupt my life. Then when my period came, I would be happy and delighted about everything, for no reason. Then if I messed up taking the pill I would be worried about pregnancy along with a prolonged period (a period for 9 days is so odd). Then i tried Loestra 24, it was fine except my period was drops and i had no cycle! it kept moving foward, so when my period is suppose to come i was freaking out, then when it came I was still freaking out because it was drops. . . To end my story I am off the hormones. 1st, Im trying to hang out with this natural living. hormones are a serious measure that I feel no one is willing to giv ethe real 411 about second, all the headache and craziness, worrying is not worth it. Jimmies and withdrawal is what doing it for me and hopefully. . no babies!!!
Generic Celexa says:
March 10, 2008, 4:55 am
Makes sense! Nice article! I'll Digg right away....
haitianbella says:
June 23, 2008, 6:39 am
I've now been on NuvaRing officially for over a year. When I was ready to try BC (due to very abnormal menstrual cycles), I spoke with my gyno about all of the side effects associated with the various types of BC. I chose the Ring b/c it had the least amount of side effects since it is not processed through the digestive system. And it helped that she had tons of samples to give away! She made she stressed that if I began to feel any pains in my legs or in the left side of my body, to immediately remove the Ring go the emergency room and get checked out. Knock on wood, I've yet to experience any of the side effects others have.
Daizha says:
September 9, 2008, 2:11 am
I've first started birth control when I was fifthteen, whcih was the depo-shot. It was cool not having to worry about pregency but associated w/ that was lots of weight gain. I think I stayed on thru age seventeen then was natural for a while. I return to the shot at age nineteen and then got back off when I was twenty-one then stard b/c pills to help regulate my periods, I wasn't on them for too long. I got pregnant had my baby boy at tweety-three. Then out of now where my perods stop, my gyn recommemed me take b/c pills to help regulate me, I got on ortho-trycyclen lo for about four months and thought I was tripping when my BD tried 2 touch me and I didn't wany 2 B touched hated the thought of sex and anything assoiated w/sex. Once I stoppd aking the pill my sex drive return immediatly. Got back on the shot N the cycle repeated itself: no natural periods, back on b/c pills, no sex drive, gain about 25 lbs in eight months. If I'm blessed 2 ever feel normal again I'm not NEVER getting on NOTHING. CONDOMS a girl best-friend.
anna says:
October 9, 2008, 8:33 pm
hi, I'm on ortho tricyclen lo and love it. no problems yet, only side effects I have had is clearer skin and my boobs have grown a cup size.
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