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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Birth Control Options for migraine with aura

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Author Topic: Birth Control Options for migraine with aura
schroeder
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I wish I could just take the pill. My husband and I are currently using condoms, but I would really like to use something else instead.

When I was a teenager I had 1-2 migraines with aura. I think it was related to a small gas leak in my house at the time since I had headaches everyday at that time and haven't had any migraines with aura since.

So my birth control options are extremely limited. The last time I checked they were the progesterone only pill (which I was told is less effective than the combination pill), the implant (which I don't like the idea of), the shot, the IUD (which is cost-prohibitive for me and I would need a valium to get due to anxiety issues), or sterilization (which is also invasive and cost prohibitive).

Am I missing anything? Is there anything new that has come out that I could try?

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Heather
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I understand this issue (have had it my whole life too, myself.)

So, besides the options you listed you also have condoms, cervical barriers, FAM (the right way of doing natural family planning), withdrawal and any combination of those or some of the methods you already mentioned with any of those.

Too, know the progesterone-only pill is no longer listed/studied to be less effective than the combined pill in perfect use. It's in typical use where it's a bit less effective, most likely because it being taken on time makes a much bigger difference than with the combined pill. The combined pill has a 12-hour grace period per taking it, where the minipill's is three hours.

Really, the only things you CAN'T use are the combined pill, patch or ring. Otherwise you've got all the options, more options than not!

But, too, if you don't get these migraines anymore, then there also may well be no reason not to try the combined pill and see how it goes if that's really want you want to use most.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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schroeder
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I didn't know the mini-pill had a 3 hour grace period or that it was no longer considered to be less effective! Hearing that is like seeing a light at the end of a tunnel. I think I will probably give that a try. I'll just have to set an alarm on my phone to take my pill.

It shouldn't be too hard, I used to have to do this with anti-biotics a lot and I even manage to dose my pets (including fish) antibiotics that way.

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Heather
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For sure, if you have already had to be in the habit of taking any medication -- or giving it -- in a specific time window AND use an alarm? You really should do just fine. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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schroeder
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Can you give a link to the effectiveness rate of the mini-pill and more info about it?

Additionally, I've read that it can cause increased hair growth and hair loss, is there any info available about the percentage of people who experienced this?

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Heather
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You can look at our page for POPs here: http://www.scarleteen.com/birth_control_bingo_minipills

You can also look at the ARHP's specific page for POPs here: http://www.arhp.org/Publications-and-Resources/Quick-Reference-Guide-for-Clinicians/choosing/Progestin-Only-OCs

Those side effects you listed are, to my knowledge, very rare if they occur due directly to POPs at all. I've never even read anything regarding hair growth or loss with these in anything sound, myself, including contraception references and journals.

--------------------
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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schroeder
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Thanks! I do have some concerns about stopping condom use though. My husband and I have only ever been sexually active with each other. We were both tested for STDs and everything came back negative.

But I know there is no test for HPV, how likely is it that he could have that if he's never been with anyone else?

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Heather
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I'm not sure why you'd have to stop condom use if you don't want to?

If your husband has never had any other partners at all for any kind of sexual contact, then it's nigh unto impossible he has HPV.

--------------------
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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schroeder
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I'm sorry I phrased that very badly. I do want to stop using condoms. My concern was about getting HPV if we stopped using them. But clearly that's not something to be worried about.
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Heather
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Do you two use condoms for ALL sexual activity, including things like oral sex? If not, then realistically, if your husband has HPV, you have already been exposed, probably many, many times, and you either already have HPV or you're not going to get it.

--------------------
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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schroeder
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No we don't use condoms for oral sex. In which case I've already been exposed. I feel bad now for not thinking about that. But I can't change what has already happened.
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Heather
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Well, I don't see any reason to feel bad: either you had or sought out that information and made the choices you did back when or you didn't, you know? The past: it's in the past. [Smile]

But figuring that may have been the case -- it is for a lot of people -- is why I said what I did, because in reality, you've likely already been exposed if there was HPV, so.

--------------------
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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schroeder
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So I read the entire Scarleteen article on the minipill and noticed that it says that it is good to use a backup method for the first month. Does that mean it's less effective in the first month, or is that just so that people can get used to taking it everyday at the same time?
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Heather
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The minipill doesn't contain estrogen, as you know, so unlike the combined pill, supressing ovulation is less of how it works than the other two ways any BC pill works -- by thickening cervical mucus and thinning the uterine lining.

So, that month, to my understanding, is about giving more time for those things to start happening.

--------------------
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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