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soscaredx
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I've been on the birth control pill for the past 7 months or so. I'd say pretty close to a perfect pill user, only missing one pill completely, and taking all of my others on time give or take an hour sometimes...

Yesterday, I woke up in the middle of the night with awful stomach pains and severe vomiting/diarrhea and headache. This continued throughout yesterday. Today I'm a little better. No vomiting so far, but still I'm having some stomach problems.

Since I had vomiting, I got freaked out and thought that I might be pregnant. Then I remembered that my last period was three weeks ago, and the first time that I had sex after that period was barely two weeks ago. Am I right that in thinking that even if I had become pregnant during that the sex that occurred two weeks ago, that it would be WAY too early for such serious symptoms to be happening? Wouldn't it be much more likely for me to have a virus or something?

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Heather
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Yes, it would be more likely you have a virus.

As well, if you are backing up with condoms as you have been in the past, pregnancy while using both a hormonal method and condoms simply isn't something at all likely to happen. You're more statistically likely to get in a car accident.

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soscaredx
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We haven't been using condoms as of late, but we've been combining near perfect pill use with withdrawal as we trust, and haven't had any scares, those two methods together. Anyways, thanks so much for the reply. Going to keep pounding liquids and hope I get better. [Smile]
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Heather
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But here you are, feeling scared again, right?

And knowing you often are scared? So how about going back and using that more reliable backup method of condoms so you don't keep finding yourself in the same place?

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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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soscaredx
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... That is true. I guess I should go back to using another form of birth control. The only problem is that my boyfriend can't use condoms. It's not that he just doesn't like them, and he just doesn't want to use them. He cannot keep an erection with one on. We've tried putting lube in them, I've tried putting them on for him. We've just been kind of stuck. I was wondering if there was another type of non hormonal method of birth control that I could combine with my pills to up my protection? I've been telling myself I'm comfortable without the condom, but idk if I truly am. I hate to be a bother, but any help is appreciated.

Also, today I'm having a little bit of spotting. I'm guess that's due to the stomach problems I have been having the past couple of days, and it's made my recent pills less effective. Like I said in a previous post, I had sex twice in this pill pack (on the second and seventh pill). I would only have to worry about the pills up until then working properly if I haven't had sex since then, right?

[ 01-04-2013, 11:29 AM: Message edited by: soscaredx ]

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Heather
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Have you tried using a female condom, instead, then?

Or, has he practiced using condoms by himself during masturbation so he CAN get used to them? After all, chances are good you're not going to be his only sexual partner, and equally good he'll have other partners in the future where it's condom or no-sex-at-all.

Also, am I remembering incorrectly you did use condoms in the past with success? If so, can the two of you figure out what changed?

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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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soscaredx
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We've actually never used them successfully. He's been the only guy that I've ever had vaginal sex with. And the times that we'd use a condom, it would hurt so bad, he'd enter a few times, but it would be uncomfortable, we'd have to keep stopping and that would cause him to lose his erection as well. When I'd posted previously about pregnancy scares, I'd call these encounters "sex", but there was never completely full penetration nor did he ever successfully ejaculate from this. We've only just recently been able to successfully have sex where there was full penetration and it wasn't too painful and he came, and that was about 10 days ago. That was with no condom, and him pulling out. I've been wanting to try a female condom. I know they're not quite as effective as a male one, but I've been too nervous to try them. I'm worried that it'll hurt putting one inside of me.

And I'm actually not sure if he's practiced with condoms during masturbation. Maybe we're just not using them the right way, because they were never that comfortable for me either.

[ 01-04-2013, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: soscaredx ]

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Heather
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Actually, there's no data on the new-generation female condoms that finds them less effective than male condoms.

So, want to talk about using those, or want to do some troubleshooting around male condoms?

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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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soscaredx
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Oh, okay. I'd just read somewhere that they are not as effective. Thanks for clearing that up. I'd like some facts on how to use the female condoms... I'm not quite sure how they're used. Also, I edited a post earlier, and you'd replied before I could get it edited. Sorry about that... but I was gonna see if you could answer this question from above:

"Also, today I'm having a little bit of spotting. I'm guess that's due to the stomach problems I have been having the past couple of days, and it's made my recent pills less effective. Like I said in a previous post, I had sex twice in this pill pack (on the second and seventh pill). I would only have to worry about the pills up until then working properly if I haven't had sex since then, right?"

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Heather
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Sure.

With female condoms, here's one imformational link from a blog post here, and another that's a how-to with putting them on.

But if you were having pain with male condoms, just FYI, then it seems most likely to me that either a) you were attempting intercourse before being aroused enough and/or b) you were not using enough lube, especially on the outside of the condom or on your vulva. And that's something you'll also need to be mindful of with female condoms (both of those things).

What stomach problems have made your pills less effective? Also, as I think we've talked about before, breakthrough bleeding is a very common side effect of the pill, and often isn't happening for any reason other than that someone is using the pill.

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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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Heather
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Maybe I could actually post the links for you. Oy. Sorry!

• http://www.scarleteen.com/blog/heather_corinna/2010/03/13/qa_about_the_new_fc
• http://www.fc2femalecondom.com/howtousefc2.html

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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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Heather
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(Of course, I should also add, if it helps to know, that even the data that showed in the past female condoms were less effective than condoms, that was only by a small margin, and the effectiveness rates in typical and perfect use were still typically higher than those for withdrawal. So, either way, you still have more protection using ANY kind of condom than with withdrawal, and, of course, protection from STIs or other infections only condoms can offer in the first place.)

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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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soscaredx
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So I'll need to use lube with female condoms as well?

As I mentioned in the first post, on January 2, I woke up feeling a weird bubbly sensation in my stomach, and ended up vomiting severely throughout the morning and having really loose stools. I took my pill around 1:30 (I took it so much later than my normal time 12, because I wanted to wait a while after I'd thrown up last). I had another case of loose stool way later in the evening (probably around 5 or 6) and I didn't throw up again until around 9 that night.

Since Tuesday night, I haven't thrown up again. I've felt pretty nauseous, though. And I've had bouts of diarrhea. They don't occur until a while after I've taken my pill, though. So maybe they aren't affecting them too much. And I've had an on and off fever with chills. All of that has continued into today. I've felt like I've had a virus that just refuses to go away. I feel pretty drained. But I thought that the vomiting on Tuesday, plus the loose stools and diarrhea from yesterday and today could have made my pills less effective, causing me to spot.

[ 01-04-2013, 12:11 PM: Message edited by: soscaredx ]

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Heather
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Yes. Any kind of condom needs lubricant. And, when you're using a hormonal method, one of the ways those methods work is to thicken cervical mucus AND more vaginal dryness is a common side effect, so condoms or no condoms, people using the pill will often want or need more lube regardless than those not using it.

Have you been using plenty of lube -- especially on the outside of the condom, or on your vulva -- with your condoms, right from the start, and adding more as needed?

Gotcha on the stomach problems. Sounds like you have a stomach flu or virus of some kind: sorry to hear about that!

Really, when you're sick, I personally think it's best to put sex with partners aside, period. Your immune system doesn't need any more germs to deal with, after all, and your body needs rest.

But if you have had these issues in this pill cycle and have been or will have intercourse, I'd certainly suggest using some backup method. Condoms would be better, but withdrawal also is a backup method that certainly does provide you pregnancy protection when used properly, too.

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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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soscaredx
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I think maybe I haven't been using the proper amount of lubricant. I'll use some and just assume that's enough. We usually just use the lube on the inside and outside of the condom when we've tried to use them, and we haven't used lube when we weren't trying with a condom. I guess I should start carrying it with me and using as much as I need. Thanks for the heads up on women taking birth control might need more lube. I had no idea.

Oh yeah, I'm putting off sex all together probably for the rest of the pill pack just to be on the safe side pregnancy wise. Plus I'm pretty gross right now with this sickness, and sex just isn't anything that I'm interested in right currently.

I was just worried about the pills after the sex I had. I was a little worried that if the pills I took after the last time I had sex weren't as effective I'd need to worry... but then I thought I remembered reading a post on here where it said that you should be more concerned about the pills leading up to the sex.

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Heather
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So, yep, sounds like you haven't been doing what we know makes condoms feel good. When using a male condom, you want to start with a drop or two inside the condom, then a much more generous amount of lube slathered either on the outside of it or on your vulva. Then, if and when things feel at all dry or painful, you add more.

Also, are you using a good lube? Not a jelly or anything like that?

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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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soscaredx
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I didn't quite know what I was doing when I bought my lube... And I was a little embarrassed to be picking up something like that, so I grabbed whatever and blushed my way through the transaction and got the heck out of there!

And I just read the label, and it is KY brand. But it is a jelly. Are those not as good?

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Heather
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Nope. Basically, you've been using the least slippery lube there is.

What you want to do is go ahead ans shop carefully. Seriously. maybe your partner will go with you so you don't feel so alone in this?

When you're picking a lube, pick a liquid lube, not a gel or jelly. Some brands that are good and can often be found easily in most paces are Astroglide, Wet or Slippery Stuff.

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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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Heather
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Also, KY makes some good liquid lubes, not jellies, if KY is all you see in a shop.

Just make sure with lubes to also steer clear of the novelty ones which are flavoured, "numbing," or "warming."

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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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soscaredx
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Okay, thanks for talking me through all that. Maybe I can bring him along, and we can pick out the lube that we feel would be the best for both of us. I had no idea about the jellies. I'll keep all of that in mind.
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Heather
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Happy to help. [Smile]

Maybe while you're shopping, you might try also picking up a pack of female condoms if they have them, just to try? And also get a big box of male condoms, maybe a pack that offers a few different styles, and have him take half of them for himself to get more familiar with on his own?

--------------------
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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soscaredx
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Hey, one more quick question. I talked to my boyfriend about using female condoms so I'd be double protected... we're gonna give them a go. Is there a particular brand of them that is best? We're gonna shop for new lube as well. With the female condoms, should I use silicone or water based? And it's still hurts a little for me during sex... I attribute that to not using lube most of the time and when we did, we were using the wrong kind. Since it still hurts some time, would that make it difficult for me to use a female condom? Sorry for all the questions... I just want to be prepared. Thanks...
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Heather
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There's no "best" brand of condoms, just whatever brand you both like using and can access. How well condoms work really isn't impacted by brand, but by how well you use them per following the directions with usage and storage.

With lubes, you can use either type for any kind of condom.

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