Donate Now
  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » periods and bcp

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: periods and bcp
audreytoo
Activist
Member # 58116

Icon 1 posted      Profile for audreytoo         Edit/Delete Post 
I recently asked about spotting. I've been taking bcp continuously to avoid my period. Saw a doctor today and she suggested that I let myself have a period this month, which might help reset my hormonal balance, since I have not menstruated for several years (I always skip the sugar pills in my pack).

I'm going to follow this advice, but reluctantly. Having a period, for me, means staying home from work/school for 7-10 days...not something I can really afford, which is why I've skipped it for so long. The following things happen when I bleed: debilitating cramps, extreme fatigue/exhaustion, weakness/lightheadedness, gender dysphoria, and intense suicidal urges. To "treat" all of these things would require multiple medications and supplements with their own side effects (painkillers, stimulants, iron for anemia, anti-depressants, etc) if not hospitalization for those days (depending on how bad the suicidal feelings get). Hence, menstrual suppression has been the easiest and most effective way for me to avoid these problems.

I tried to explain this to the doctor but I think she just assumed I get "bad PMS," or was exaggerating, which isn't the case. I really don't know how I'm going to survive my period next week. I also don't know what to say to my professors/boss about missing school and work, especially if this is going to happen 4 times a year (doctor said I should have a period every few months).

Posts: 77 | From: U.S. | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
HI audreytoo,

When you started the birth control pill, did you start skipping the sugar pills right away? That is, have you ever had a "period" (which is actually called a withdrawal bleed when hormonal birth control is involved) while on the pill?

I ask so we can get a sense of whether you've had this debilitating experience while on the pill, or if those experiences were pre-pill.

The doctor you saw today, is she a gynecologist or a GP. If the latter, then a gynecologist is someone you'd likely want to se for medical help with concerns like this.

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
audreytoo
Activist
Member # 58116

Icon 1 posted      Profile for audreytoo         Edit/Delete Post 
When I started on bcp I took it normally so I was having a period, for a couple of years, before I found out I could skip it.

I saw a GP as my gynecologist is out of town for a few weeks. I assume, though, that any doctor will tell me that I should bleed at least a few times a year, correct? I've been cautioned about menstrual suppression before, basically every time I tell any nurse or doctor that I do it, but for the reasons I explained above I've found it to be worth it for me.

The only other option is something I did in high school - maintained low body weight through strict diet and exercise to get rid of my period, which worked although I was hungry all the time! But even that was preferable to bleeding.

Posts: 77 | From: U.S. | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Robin Lee     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You had those severe reactions during withdrawal bleeds while on the pill? That sounds terrible, particularly since many people take the pill to control problems with menstruation.

The thing with menstrual suppression through hormones is that we just don't yet have information on the long-term effects. However, ultimately you need to do what you feel is right for your body and for your life.

As to whether any doctor would give you the same response, they might if they were thinking about the menstrual suppression aspect of it, but a gynecologist experienced with women who have physical and psychological difficulties with menstruation might be more compassionate and more likely to work with you to figure out the best option for your overall health and well-being.

What information do you feel like you need in order to make an informed decision about this?

--------------------
Robin

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
audreytoo
Activist
Member # 58116

Icon 1 posted      Profile for audreytoo         Edit/Delete Post 
When I started on bcp I took it normally so I was having a period, for a couple of years, before I found out I could skip it.

I saw a GP as my gynecologist is out of town for a few weeks. I assume, though, that any doctor will tell me that I should bleed at least a few times a year, correct? I've been cautioned about menstrual suppression before, basically every time I tell any nurse or doctor that I do it, but for the reasons I explained above I've found it to be worth it for me.

The only other option is something I did in high school - maintained low body weight through strict diet and exercise to get rid of my period, which worked although I was hungry all the time! But even that was preferable to bleeding.

Posts: 77 | From: U.S. | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
audreytoo
Activist
Member # 58116

Icon 1 posted      Profile for audreytoo         Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry for the double post - how do I delete?

Yes, the bad periods have happened while on the pill. Twice I ended up in the hospital from fainting, which the doctors said was likely from blood loss (I'm anemic) and acute emotional distress.

As for more information - well, what I'd really like to know is whether/how much menstrual suppression increases my breast cancer risk (my mother has it) but as you mentioned, it doesn't look like scientists have figured that out yet.

Another question would be if there are any alternative means of not getting my period, besides hormones or calorie restriction...?

Posts: 77 | From: U.S. | Registered: Mar 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3

Google
Search Scarleteen