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Author Topic: sooo concerned !! someone help!!
hypochondriac guy
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hi I've posted before about my girlfriend missing a period. thankfully she got 2 the next month.

(a bit on background, before my girlfriend was on the pill, her periods always came on time and they were really bad, and painful. Hence, why she wanted to go on it, plus we wanted to have sex.)

Now there's something else that's been happening! the past 2 months my girlfriend has been getting her period in the middle of her birth control pill packs! So shes getting them earlier than they should be coming!! she takes them everyday at the same time, so she takes them perfectly. i'm just wondering why this is happening..also whats happening is that her periods haven't been light..only like, the first 2 months on the pill they were light. Now her periods are as if she wasn't on the pill at all. They are now totally irregular, shes really moody, and she bleeds a lot, and it doesnt exactly end sooner. Are her Birth control pills just not working??!?! this is really nerve wracking, especially since we are sexually active!!

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Robin Lee
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HI hypochondriac guy,

It sounds like your girlfriend needs to head back to the healthcare provider who prescribed her pills, as they're not doing what she needs them to be doing.

However, this is not an indication that they aren't working as birth control. People can and do have side effects from medications that are unpleasant and require changing the medication without the medication actually being less effective at what it's supposed to do. Make sense?

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Robin

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hypochondriac guy
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I understand you. But when the pill is advertised to help reduce period symptoms, and it doesnt, it raises a red flag to me that maybe the contraceptive part isnt working either and thats really scary.
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Robin Lee
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I understand how that could be scary.

Those are two separate functions of the pill. The pill was originally developed as a contraceptive. It's use to manage menstrual problems is what I think medical and scientific folks would call an off-label use. That is, it's used for something that it works really well for, but that it wasn't originally developed to treat.

a lot of medications are like that actually. There are a lot of examples; the two that I know specifically are an anti-seizure med being used to manage bipolar disorder and a low dose of an antidepressant being used to manage digestive issues.

As people have used differente medications, other impacts that they have are discovered which broadens their usefulness.

As with anything though, it doesn't work for all people. There are many brands of the pill, and it sounds like your girlfriend's body just isn't reacting well to this one.

of course, if you are concerned about pregnancy, you could talk with your girlfriend and see how she feels about taking a pregnancy test just to make sure all is okay.

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Robin

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hypochondriac guy
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We use condoms + bc pills. But, Do you personally think the pill isn't working ? Or is the dosage is to low?
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Heather
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The "dosage" of all combined birth control pills is pretty much the same, no matter the pill. And breakthrough bleeding is a common side effect of the pill, and isn't associated with lower effectiveness. Also, it should be noted that the pill is designed to prevent pregnancy: that's what it's for and is designed to work to do. For some people, it also had a side benefit of wanted menstrual changes, but if and when those don't happen, that's not actually the pill not working as advertised, or any evidence it's not doing what it's designed to do which is, again, to prevent pregnancy.

(If anything, because it's a side effect, it's evidence the pill is being metabolized.)

If she's having the health issues she is, it'd be sound for her to see her doctor, just to make sure she's okay, period.

In the meantime, are you backing up with condoms? If not, that's a great and easy thing you can do if you're concerned about unwanted pregnancy.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hypochondriac guy
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UPODATE: My girlfriend visited her Gyno, and the doctor switched her from Lo Loestrin Fe to Beyaz.

Any experiences from anyone who took beyaz? Does it work better?

Is there any kind of home tests to do to make sure birth control pills are working? I keep asking my girlfriend to ask her Gyno for one but she won't do it. It's really frustrating.

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Heather
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There really isn't any kind of unilateral "better" with one oral contraceptive versus another. They are all equally effective, and different bodies are going to react in different ways per side effects.

No, there is no test to show that BC pills are working.

It sounds like you feel very concerned about pregnancy.

You back up with condoms. That's the thing you can do to not only share responsibility in a sound way with your girlfriend (rather than nagging her to ask for tests that don't exist), but make the risk of pregnancy basically obsolete (as well as helping to reduce the risk of infections, too!).

But if both those methods still don't feel like enough for you, it might be you need to reconsider if having the kind of sex that presents any risk of pregnancy, even the smallest one in the world, is something you can handle right now.

[ 01-17-2013, 10:58 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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hypochondriac guy
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so basically birth control pills are pills you take and hope they magically work to prevent a pregnancy? its all just luck?
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Kachina
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The way birth control works is not magical at all. Hormonal birth control methods have been around a long time, and have been studied a lot. The fertility cycle is managed by certain hormones, and controlling those hormones allows us to control the cycle. The pill works by adjusting the hormones to result in no ovulation. With no egg, there is no pregnancy.

With any medication there is always a statistical chance that it doesn't work. The chance is very small though. Backing up the method with a second method makes that risk even smaller, about as small as you can get while still having sex. Most pregnancies that happen while birth control is being used is a result of user error.

Here's some more information on the pill:
Three questions about taking the birth control pill (and plenty of answers)
How the Pill Works (PBS)

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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