Monday, September 12, 2011

Oh Birth Control, How I Love/Loathe Thee

After the last miscarriage, I had to take what I normally avoid: birth control. Why? To control my insane cycles that included major depressive episodes that my current medicine was not effectively controlling; nausea and/or vomiting; and intense cramping that left me breathless.  Also, the bleeding was mild and came and went over 9 days.

But I have hesitated to take the BC.  My first experience, in the beginning two months of our marriage, was not good.  It turned me crazier than I already was.

However, my doctor explained that it would help with the overactive cysts (another thing that accompanied the miscarriages), keep the bleeding regular, and control my intense mood swings.

So I caved.

And it became my--almost--best friend.  That little pill worked wonders until I was ready to try again.

But the third miscarriage put me into another hormonal/period tail swing.  So I went to my therapist--the red pill--and began a new regimen.  Again, things righted themselves (except for the major depressive episodes, yuck), and all has been good in my world.

Until the scale topped out at 20 lbs heavier than before the miscarriage.  What the hell?  I kind of expected 10 lbs but 20, 20! I think the weight gain might be creating major depressive episodes at this point.  And anxiety attacks.  Oh my.

So I'm going to bid good-bye to my friend.  It's been a lovely relationship full of give and take.  You took my body and I gave my soul.  Or something like that.  For real, though, adieu.  And good riddance.

What type of birth control do you use?  Do you like it?  (Come on, don't be shy.  Sharing is caring. And it makes me feel better.)

image via

----This week's supportive parenting theme is saying sorry.  How do you say sorry?  How do your kids sorry? Funny stories about apologizing?  Let's hear it.----


  1. I HATE the pill. It made me way depressed and anxious and have wacko periods before Paul. It made me gain weight/not be able to take off weight after Paul. It made me unnecessarily angry at the kids after Katie was born, so I so forget you. Thus, we have Nora. :) Now since I am done having kids for a while, I have the 5 year IUD. Best. Birth Control. Ever. I don't have to remember to take a pill, I hardly have a period, it is very effective (or has been for the last year), I am my normal self. I can exercise, I don't have mood swings (since it is a low dose hormone that is constant, not the once a day hormone high you get from a pill). And who the heck can remember to take that dang thing at the same time every day when they have a hectic life of taking care of kids, hubby, and of course, yourself? When you're ready for a little bit longer term fix, and if you're a good candidate for it, then go for it. Amazing.

  2. Talk to your doctor about different hormone levels IF you want the benefits of the pill.

    I for one was crazy on my first, fine on my second (lo-ovral, I think) except I no longer had any sex drive. So there's that.

  3. I'm in the no birth control camp, also known as a little bit of natural family planning plus a little bit of pull-'n-pray. Seriously, I love natural family planning for the way it's helped me get to know my body and my cycles in a very intimate way. I feel like I understand myself now. Or something. The book that really helped me feel comfortable and confident using NFP is called Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Excellent, must-read book for women everywhere.

    But before I did all that, I was on Seasonique . It gave me light periods without making my sex-drive plummet. The first pill I ever took that wasn't a mood-killer :)

  4. I'm on the Mirena (The 5 year IUD). I have a risk for blood clots so its one of my only options for non/low-estrogen birth control pills. So far, I LOVE it. I'm terrible at remembering to take things. I was on the pill before I got married and rarely took it at the same time each day. I'm pretty sure I would have gotten pregnant if I had been sexually active. I switched to the Nuva Ring a few months before marriage and really liked that one. It allowed me to have more flexibility of when my period would come since you can leave it in for up to 5 weeks with it still effective or as short as 3 weeks. But then, my supply ran out while we were in Iceland (my last Utah doctor being nice and giving me as many rings as my insurance would allow to hold me over while abroad). The condom phase while I was uninsured for few months was the worst time for us. Neither of us liked it. Then, my new doctor here suggested the Mirena and told me that I never should have been on the Nuva Ring with my chance of blood clots. Cornell is one of the few places that women can get one inserted without having children first because they do everything they can to reduce the amount of abortions that occur. (Depressing, I know.) It has some side effects that aren't always fantastic but it allows for a healthy sex life so I am in favor. :) I'm hoping that once Xan and I get the go on having kids that I can be done with birth control forever.

  5. I couldn't do the pill either. Made my PMS worse, which was a complete nightmare.

    At this stage, my husband has had a vasectomy, so I wasn't looking for birth control, but something to help with the hormonal swing. I use the Nuva Ring and it has made such a difference. It's low dose and you don't have to remember to take it every day. It's made a big difference in my life.

  6. I second Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Excellent book. I went off the Pill in 2003 and started using NFP exclusively (since then, we've used it to both avoid and achieve pregnancy), and I've never looked back.

    Another resource you might want to check out, Amber, is "Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition" by Marilyn Shannon. She offers nutritional advice (changes in diets, vitamin supplements, etc.) for helping with various cycle issues, including severe PMS.


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