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 » Pill Questions

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Pill Questions
Jill Valentine
Activist
Member # 106719

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jill Valentine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've heard many pill users say their periods get lighter and shorter, so how common is it when they don't? I'm asking because my periods have been EXACTLY the same flow and duration as they were before I started the pill. Supposedly the pill thins the lining of our wombs and that's one of its functions to prevent pregnancy. If my periods have been as heavy as they used to be, does that mean my pill isn't doing its job properly?

The other thing is, how many of you who take the pill have ever experienced PMS symptoms - namely cramps - in the week before your sugar pills/break? I had some mild cramping yesterday and I was 3 pills away from my break. I'm not sure if this is common/normal, if the body is meant to be tricked into believing it's already pregnant, how and why would the uterus start contracting to shed its linings while active pills are still being taken?

Just for the record, some facts:

- I've been on Microgynon 30 for about 4 months now, since December 2012. I'm coming to the end of my 4th pack as I type this.
- I rely on my pill as my only form of contraception. I don't use any back up methods like condoms and I don't intend to (STIs are not a problem for me).
- I consider myself, and have been told by many, to be a perfect pill user. I take it at 3:00pm every day, exact to the last minute. I've never missed or been late on a single pill, never taken antibiotics and never thrown up within 2-3 hours of taking my pills.
- I had side effects that more or less disappeared after the first pack.
- I haven't been pregnant so far.

Posts: 50 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A side effect of any medication is really only that: a side effect. If and when someone doesn't have a given side effect doesn't mean a medication isn't working.

So, yes, many users of the pill do have shorter, lighter periods, but plenty of people don't.

As well, plenty of people using the pill still experience PMS.

Really, the pill doesn't trick the body into thinking it's already pregnant, so that frame of thinking isn't sound. More like it tricks the body, if we're going to go with the tricking-framework, into thinking it isn't fertile. And even when we're truly infertile, or have issues becoming pregnant, as people not on the pill, that often doesn't mean we don't menstruate.

--------------------
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
Jill Valentine
Activist
Member # 106719

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jill Valentine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you so much, Heather. I used to think that a withdrawal bleed isn't a real period mostly because of what people say. I guess it could technically not be considered "menstrual" if there was no ovulation at all, but it's still the shedding of the uterine linings, plus it looks and feels like a period I would get while off the pill, so I think I'll stick to calling it a "period" from now on.

Another thing: has there been any medical research published as to why and how often the pill fails even with perfect use? I'm not talking about women who miss a pill or forget to take them, or have done any of the things that would make their pill less effective, but for a 99% effective rate, it's pretty surprising how many women have come forward on the internet to say, "yes, I got pregnant on the pill and I took it correctly".

So what might the reason be for failure in this case? Their bodies just naturally reject the hormones?

Posts: 50 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, the fact that a withdrawal bleed happens in part because of withdrawing from the hormones doesn't a) take away the reasons it happens that aren't about that, or b) mean that you don't still have a menstrual cycle. As well, getting periods without ovulation doesn't make them any less periods than otherwise. A period is the shedding of the uterine lining due to hormonal messages that tell it to do that, that's all.

The study on perfect use that has been done is how we have that 99% + perfect use effectiveness rate. Mind, think about that: that works out to be about one in every 2,000 women who become pregnant with perfect use. MILLIONS of women use the pill. So, while many with failures aren't perfect users (as in one year of use, which that rate is reflective of, someone NEVER, ever missing any pills or taking any late or improperly, not even on in a whole year, IS one seriously tough thing to manage), even for those who are? Sure, you might still be seeing plenty of real stories of pill failures with perfect use. because, again, one in 2,000, of millions of users. Get what I'm saying?

--------------------
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
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
But yes (sorry, I missed that last sentence from you): some women are basically simply uber-fertile at a given time in their lives, or in general,, and the pill alone doesn't counter that for them.

--------------------
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
Jill Valentine
Activist
Member # 106719

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jill Valentine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I see. So there's just a 1% of women who are simply too fertile for the pill to work properly...

Regarding its side effects, I'd like to know if it's possible for them to subside for a month or two, and then return?

The first month I took the pill, I had nonstop spotting, occasional mild headaches and bouts of nausea. Those symptoms went away during the second and third packs, but this month, I started feeling unwell literally the day I took the first pill of the fourth pack. 6 hours or so later, I had nausea and threw up. Throughout the rest of the month, I counted at least 4 or 5 times when I had a queasy stomach and generally wasn't feeling 100%.

Incidentally, I'd always feel unwell at night, say, after 9pm, and after sleeping through the night, I'd feel fantastic again the next morning. I can't think what would cause me to feel like this besides the pill, and I don't remember feeling like this since I first started it, either. But I really thought the side effects had gone for me after the first pack. Have they returned?

Posts: 50 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  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 
Side effects can show up at any point during taking any medication, though they're most common when one starts the medication.

If the side effects persist and are too unpleasant, you certainly can go back to the healthcare provider who prescribed the pill for you and discuss your options.

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

Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jill Valentine
Activist
Member # 106719

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jill Valentine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The side effects have been bearable so far, but I was just a little surprised that they seem to have come back after two months of being free of them. I guess the pill is more unpredictable than I thought.

From a medical perspective, I don't understand why I have them this month and not the last, or the first month but not the second, that's why it bothered me. But I guess you're right.

Posts: 50 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It might help to just bear in mind that it's not like the pill totally takes ownership of anyone's body, or totally controls all that goes on with it or even your reproductive system.

It just influences that system in very specific ways.

But your body is still also influenced by all the other things that influence it -- and are often part of shifts and fluctuations through all your systems.

--------------------
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
Jill Valentine
Activist
Member # 106719

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jill Valentine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Are you guys pretty much saying that those symptoms I had were side effects from the pill again?

I forgot to mention in my previous posts, but about 5 days ago, when I still had 4 active pills left, I had some brown spotting that only appeared when I wiped myself and lasted only one toilet trip. The day after, I felt some mild cramping that lasted for more or less the whole day and, at some point when I used the toilet, I had discharge that had some blood mixed in with it, so it looked quite pink. Sorry if this is TMI. Again, that only lasted one toilet trip and when I went to pee again the next time, I didn't have anymore spotting.

The cramping seemed to have disappeared after that day, and even if there was any left, I probably didn't feel it unless I paid extra attention to my uterus area.

I'd been having sex around these few days - for the whole month, in fact. I never go more than 2-3 days without sex and I don't use condoms. I'm not sure if that bleeding was due to rough sex/fingering, the pill's hormone or something else.

So, I read some people say that this could be either breakthrough bleeding or implantation bleeding. In your opinion, which is more likely? Today is the first day of my pill break, so I should be getting my period in 3 or 4 days, but that cramping still really worried me, mostly because I don't know what caused it.

Posts: 50 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Especially since you don't use condoms (or probably dams or gloves, either), are you up-to-date with your STI screenings, to rule out an infection as the cause of this cramping and spotting?

--------------------
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
Jill Valentine
Activist
Member # 106719

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jill Valentine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I haven't had an STI screening, but my boyfriend has never had sex with anyone else before me. I've dated him for 3 years and trust in him 200%.

The cramping felt like that "uh oh, I think my period's around the corner" sensation I'd get almost every month in the past, so I was wondering if it could be that (PMS), or maybe even a pill side effect, and hopefully not implantation cramping, of course.

Several months ago, I remember getting similar cramping a week before my period was due, but I think this is the first time I've experienced it since starting the pill.

Posts: 50 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jill Valentine
Activist
Member # 106719

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jill Valentine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just to reiterate, I'm positive I don't have an infection, because I only sleep with him, and he's never even done anything sexual with anyone before he met me, so I'm almost 100% (almost, only because I'm not an all-knowing God) that we're both clean.

I'm just hoping it's the pill and my hormones messing with me, considering I did throw up on the very first day I got back on it, and felt lousy the whole evening.

Posts: 50 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jill Valentine
Activist
Member # 106719

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jill Valentine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I changed my display name. Had no idea the change isn't reflected in old posts.

Since I was the one who made this thread, I thought I'd post an update. I got my period on time (third day of the pill free week), with no further unusual symptoms, so the cramping and spotting I had was probably just a bout of PMS.

I hope this will reassure people that these symptoms on the pill most likely aren't a sign of pregnancy and aren't abnormal, as long as you take your pill correctly like I have done. [Smile]

P.S. Thank you for the reminder about STDs, though. I retract my previous confidence and will get some tests done soon.

Posts: 50 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jill Valentine
Activist
Member # 106719

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Jill Valentine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Never mind what I said about the name thing. I see my new name in all these posts now.

Sorry for all the multiple posts. I wish editing were possible.

Posts: 50 | Registered: Mar 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

Icon 1 posted      Profile for September     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Glad to hear your period arrived and you're feeling better now!

Also, go you for deciding to get tested! Getting regular STI testing done is an important part of reproductive health care, so it's always a good idea. [Smile]

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  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