I get really bad cramps, so bad I can barely move-I sometimes get nausea with them. My doctor said if the naproxen (strong ibuprophen) she perscribed me doesn't work (it sort of helps) I could take birth control to reduce the frequency of my periods, etc. Is this a good idea? she said a lot of girls take the pill for cramps. i feel really strange about putting all of those horomones into my body...
what i'm wondering is what are the risks of taking birth control, and how will it actually make my periods less painful?
nit-pick, naproxen is not ibuprofen. the difference is like oranges and grapefruits. related, but not the same.
If you are a smoker or have a family history of strokes or blood clots, bcp is not safe for you to use. These risk factors mean you are more likely to have a blood clot or stroke while you are on bcp.
If you have a histor of severe depression, bcp is also a bad idea 'cause it can cause moodiness.
in this day and age, bcps are fairly low-dose, so you won't be pumping your body full of hormones. more like a few milligrams of estrogen and picograms of progestin. it's not a lot, and long term studie are starting to show there are limited adverse effects to being on bcp for long periods of time.
I am on bcp to control my heavy periods. before i got on bcp, my periods were causing me to be anemic. it was not good.
bcp reduces heavy bleeding and cramps by preventing the lining of your uterus to grow too thickly. the endometrial layer (lining) makes prostaglandins, which trigger smooth muscle contraction, which you feel as CRAMPS. the less endometrium you have, the less prostaglandins you make in your uterus, and the less cramping you will feel. also, with a thinner endometrium, there's less to shed during menses, hence the lighter periods.
I was in a similar boat myself... in addition to what Gumdrop Girl's said, you might want to consider the advantage of using birth control pills over taking naproxen.
Naproxen can be very hard on your stomach, causing bleeding and such. The odds of naproxen causing bleeding increase the more you take it, and the more you take OF it, so it's definately something to be careful about.
For me, it seemed as though birth control pills were a little safer, seeing as I don't have a family history of strokes or blood clots or anything that can make the pill unsafe. It's worked pretty well thus far- my cramps barely show up anymore, and my period is much lighter and easier to handle overall!
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