Birth Control Pills

I've been having a lot of problems with my periods, so I'm planning to ask the doc for some good old bc pills.  My endo has been offering at every appointment for the last year, and I'm finally frustrated enough to ask her for the prescription.  I get bad cramps, worsened depression and anxiety, and low blood pressure to the point that I pass out when I stand up or get out of the shower, then throw up. (I have orthostatic hypotension like a lot of teenagers, where I get faint and sometimes fall if I stand up too quickly, but it gets much worse during my period)

For any of you lovely ladies on bc pills: what kind are you on, and does it affect your bg?  What were your side effects like (what should I expect), and did it help cramps or anything else?

Hi Kara,

I am on Microgestin (which is a generic for Loestrin), and have been for several years, so it's hard for me to remember how it affected my numbers.  I have found that it did curb my horrible cramps I used to get, but I'd also like to (partially) blame it for the weight I put on around that time.  :)  Maybe it's related, maybe not.

Thanks for the help!  I'm a little bit worried about the weight gain, but at this point... I had another passing out episode this morning, so I'm more than ready to try the pill.

I've been on some form of birth control for 10 years. I have had major problems with cramps and excessive bleeding. For about 7 years I took different forms of the pill, but for some reason I kept getting pukey when I took them and always had high blood sugars. I talked to my doctor about it and she mentioned how the fluctuation in hormones while taking the pill can cause symptoms similar to morning sickness (which is exactly how I felt). When you take a birth control pill, your hormone levels suddenly spike, then drop. When you are on another form of birth control like the NuvaRing or the patch, you have a steady stream of hormones being released into your body at all times. I finally switched to the NuvaRing about 3 years ago and haven't had any problems. My periods are very light, lasting around 3-5 days, and I have no cramping. The ring is very comfortable (can't feel it), and it's something you can forget about for three weeks. I'm pretty awful at remembering to take pills at the same time every day, which is what you should do while on the birth control pill for it to be most effective.

Simply based on my own personal experience, I would recommend something other than the pill. There are lots of options out there, so I encourage you to explore them with your doctor. There are also some newer options where you only have 3-4 periods a year. Because my periods are so easily managable now, I don't feel the need to change. My blood sugars are under much better control now... for lots of reasons, not just birth control :o)

PS. I never noticed weight fluctuations while on any form of birth control. I was always lean and muscular and never noticed any variances in my weight until I altered some of my other medications (a whole different story!).

 

Good luck to you! I always think BC is a good option for easy managability.

Growing up I had the worst cramps in the world. While all my friends could still function even with their worst day of cramps, i would wake up in the middle of the night screaming the first night of every period. I would usually stay home from school the next morning, due to having sat up sobbing and rocking back and forth on the couch after taking pain killers and using a heating pad to try and stop the pain.

pills helped quite a bit with that pain, though not completely at times.

i was put on a low-dose of alesse at the age of 15 and stayed on it(though taking breaks from time to time) until I was 20. I found the low-dose to not be too harsh, they say sometimes you can feel sick while your body adjusts but I was lucky to not have that problem. No noticeable weight gain either and not much of a noticeable change in my bloodsugars other than the normal highs during my period.

the downside to the alesse pills, besides having to remember to take them at the SAME time everyday(which never happened for me, I was bad at that) was that when i was 20 for almost 3 months I had morning sickness symptoms, similar to C's problem. I woke up almost every morning and threw up while getting ready for work. somedays i felt so ill i ended up taking a sick day from work. finally my endo told me to go off the pill, when i was so ill one day my mom picked me up from home and put me on her couch for the day and she called him claiming i looked like i was on death's doorstep! i didn't take the pill that day and woke up the next morning already feeling better. unfortunately i didn't go on another form right away, got pregnant two weeks later..haha

after my abortion, i went on the Ortho Evra Birthcontrol Patch. It's like the NuvaRing where you get a continuous amount of hormones rather than one huge spike like when you take the pill. I wasn't completely comfortable with the NuvaRing, so I decided to go for the patch instead since you only have to change it once a week, which is just a bit more work than the ring. I have been on it for almost 2years now and have had no problems with it. you can wear it on a few different areas, I usually keep it on my back. you get three patches for the month, which gives you a week off for your period.

there is the DepoShot birth control, but I have only had one friend who had no problems with that method. One of my girlfriends lost her period completely for a year, and the following year had her period for 3months straight after getting the shot! Another girlfriend went completely crazy on the shot and had the worst mood swings i have ever seen. we thought she had bi-polar..but once the shot wore off, she was okay again.

 

i would recommend either the ring or the patch personally. i'll never go back to pills.

 

another thing i take is "HappySense", it's a herbal mood enhancer you can get from the vitamin shop that is used by a lot of teenage girls and women to help with their PMS. it actually talks about it on the side of the container that the ingredients(all natural which is awesome!) help with PMS, anexity, depression and cramps. when i was going through a depression period when i was 20, my mom got them for me and they helped a lot. my boyfriend at the time noticed my PMS was waaay better too. I don't take them often anymore cuz i dont feel i need to, but when i start to feel depressed I start taking them and within a few days start to feel better and notice that my period cramps are completely tolerable. worth checking out too!

 

Thanks for the advice! I've been looking into the Nuvaring and plan to ask my doctor about it.  It seems so much easier.  I don't want the patch because I have nasty skin allergies.

Everything I've heard about the DepoShot has been bad, too.  It just seems like a bad idea.

The HappySense sounds great, but since I'm on about 10 meds already, I'd rather avoid taking something extra that may or may not interact.  Especially since I'm already on an SSRI, and that last passing out problem was more related to a bit of an overdose than to my period. so...

[quote user="Kara Schluender"]

The HappySense sounds great, but since I'm on about 10 meds already, I'd rather avoid taking something extra that may or may not interact.  Especially since I'm already on an SSRI, and that last passing out problem was more related to a bit of an overdose than to my period. so...

[/quote]

yeah in that case if you do decide to look into it later i'd probably talk to your doc first!

Last year I decided I wanted to go on bc for the first time since I was dx'd with T1 DM 9 yr ago.  I first tried Nuvaring. It jacked UP my bgs.  I had to give myself two months off of it before they started to normalize again.  Now I"m on Yaz and for the first two months I had some significant insulin resistance (due to the hormones) but this 3rd month, all the sudden, everything is normalizing again. The initial bg changes with Yaz were a lot less erratic than the Nuvaring. Talking to both my endo and gyno, it appears we will all have different reactions.....

 

Good luck and don't give up.  If it worked out for me, then it must work out for almost everyone.

 

;0)

Hi Kara,

I've been on bc for about 4 years now, and it is a life saver! I am never going to stop until I have to in order to start a family. I have taken Loestrin24Fe the entire time. On Loestrin24Fe, you take 24 bc pills a month and 4 "period time" pills (compared to most packs that have 21 bc pills and 7 "period time" pills. 

Before I got on the pill, my periods were miserable, heavy, and lasted a full week. Now, they last only 3 days and are very light. I have cramps a few times a year, but they are nothing compared to the monstrosities I was dealing with before the pill.

Of course, I'm not a doctor, but if your doctor says go for it, I would do it.

My endo actually said that sometimes bc can help level out your bg levels during the times of the month you are not on your period because you are getting a consistent level of hormones every day (compared to the varying levels your body naturally produces). Either way, I didn't 'notice a big change in my bg levels before or after I started the pill. I didn't gain any weight, either.

My doctor did prescribe me the pills, yeah.  She put me on a generic for Orthro Cyclen, and so far I haven't had any side effects.

 

Thanks for the input Stephanie!

I am almost exactly like the other Stephanie.... same birth control, same pre-birth control symptoms, same amount of time on the pill.  I went on because my periods were very unpredictable and painful (imagine your period starting unexpectedly while you are performing on your flute during a concert on a stage in front of hundreds of people...).  The only thing D related was that I had to increase my basal dose pretty significantly -- back when I started, I was on Lantus, so for my first month on the pill, my blood sugar levels were awful, especially at night.  But I adjusted the Lantus and have never a problem after that.  My blood sugars don't fluctuate during the month or during my period I think because of the relatively even dose of estrogen (and I'm on a low estogren pill).  I think if I remember correctly, I was on about 14 units of Lantus and had to jump to 18 units.  But once I realized that, it was smooth sailing.  I dread the time when I want to have a family and have to go back to the awful, painful, miserable periods again.