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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » The pill and a few other questions.

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Author Topic: The pill and a few other questions.
WorriedGirl11
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Okay, so I just had a few general questions.

1- Is it safe to be on the pill continuously? I'm on it for anaemia (prescribed continuously) but just want to be perfectly sure there's no long term effects!

2- Can pharmacies charge you extra for asking for a spare pill pack? I got charged for both packs (despite being on insurance so I get it free) because I asked for a spare... is this right? I mean, if you're sick and need a spare, surely this is taking advantage a bit!

3- This is both for me and a few friends- how 'severe' does diarrhea have to be to affect the pill?
For example, my diet has changed now I'm living alone and budgeting differently, so for a few days, I had softer stools than usual (once a day) and mild diarrhea one day. Pharmacists have said mild doesn't affect it- but some posts on here say any soft/loose stools lasting more than a day, even if mild, do. There's a lot of conflicting, confusing info out there! So I wondered whether or not softer stools due to stress, diet, etc would affect it? And if you took over the counter medication for diarrhea, and it was gone by afternoon, and took a second pill, are you then covered or not?
I'd just like to have something to refer to when deciding if it's a risk- putting 'severe' in the leaflets for pills then not stating what severe entails is a bit of a worry for most girls.

4- Is the MAP harmful if you take it several times? (Unfortunately have a friend who uses it like contraception (never mind STIs, she knows all that and still does it)) If you take it say twice a month, is it damaging in the long run?

5- If you have a viral infection, like the flu, can it affect the pill?

6- How soon can you take a HPT after a risk happens?

7- How many pills can you miss in one pack before it becomes ineffective?

8- Does feeling sick (but no vomiting) affect the pill at all?

9- Does losing/gaining weight affect the BC pill?

Sorry it's so long! There's no such thing as Sex. Ed. classes over here, and googling just is not helpful (you worry more than anything!). Thanks for the help.


Also, I was thinking of maybe setting up a website where I've gathered up information about various contraceptives etc and working through my university to allow people to get information without going to a pharmacy/doctor (in case they feel too embarrassed to do so). Would it be possible to use some of the info provided on here, and ask questions from time to time? Thanks!

[ 10-20-2012, 08:39 PM: Message edited by: WorriedGirl11 ]

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Robin Lee
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Hi There Worried Girl,

I'm just headed out for the evening, so will come back and give you a more complete answer tomorrow in case someone else hasn't done so.

I thought I'd leave you with some reading material in the interim that might answer some of your questions.

Combined Oral Contraceptives (The Pill)


Three questions about taking the birth control pill (and plenty of answers)


Peeing on a Stick: All About Pregnancy Tests


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

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Claire P.
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Hi Worried Girl,
Did you get a chance to review Robin's links? Do you have remaining and/or follow-up questions?

In order to answer the pharmacy question, I'd need to know the general area you are from.

Also, very smart of you to stay away from all the scary fake "education" online and to come straight here. [Smile]

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WorriedGirl11
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Hey!

I did have a look, but answers to 1,3,4,5,9 don't seem to be there specifically- any help there would be great. [Smile]

Yeah, I think this place is a great resource which is why I'd like to make an Irish site- a lot of the info for getting prescriptions, etc., isn't as applicable for the Irish healthcare system so it'd be good to have somewhere we can go too. [Smile]

I'm in Ireland see- so any idea about the pharmacies here?

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Robin Lee
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HI There,

Okay, I'm back and awake! [Smile]

First of all, I think it would be awesome for you to make a site. When using information from other sites, it's always necessary to reference that site and put a link in to the original source (similar to what you'd do with a school paper).

So, in terms of your questions:

1. Was your doctor the one who put you on the pill continuously? If so, they made that decision because it was the right one for your body. As far as I know, there haven't been a lot of studies of continuous birth control pill-taking. However, it sounds like your doctor had a very good reason for prescribing it to you that way. Sometimes medications are used in unusual ways to help individual people with specific problems.

3. Here's a link to some medical information about what diarrhea is:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diarrhea/DS00292


4. Emergency contraception is not meant to be used as regular contraception. As far as I know (and I'll research this some more) there are no studies of people who do this long-term. I'm not sure what your drug coverage is in Ireland but I'm getting that her uusing emergency contraception that frequently gets expensive. [Smile] It sounds like you're concerned about her in general.

5. There's no evidence that having a virus impacts the effectiveness of the pill.

9. What kind of weight gain or loss are we talking about? Again, there's no evidence that there's an impact on effectiveness.

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

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Claire P.
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WorriedGirl,
My mum is actually an Irish pharmacist, so I just consulted with her, and she said that no pharmacist is going to give you two pill packs at one time and act as if giving you just the one, insofar as insurance coverage goes. Prescriptions for birth control are only ever for one pill pack per one month at a time, and since those are the rules, that is what the insurance is going to cover.

Do you have the GMS medical card, or a kind of private insurance? If you have GMS, it makes even more sense, if you think about it, that the pharmacist charged you for the second pill pack. While many Irish pharmacists would probably bend the rules for someone who was pretty adamant and/or stressed about getting an additional pack, and would probably give it to you, it would not make sense to have that non-medically-necessary favor also funded by public money. I'm sure you can think of parallel scenario example in any other profession where that kind of interaction could be seen as a dealing of questionable legal status.

Are you sure that the pharmacist charged you full price for *both* pill packs? Have you looked up what a single pill pack is in Ireland, without insurance coverage? Birth control can be WAY more expensive that you'd expect. I know there is a small fee now that is applied per item, when you have insurance coverage. Is there any chance the full price of the one and the fee of the other appeared to be a full charge for both packs?

If there is no way there was any confusion there, I do not think it is legal for the pharmacist to have charged you full-price for both packs. I don't see any reason to ignore the insurance for the first pack. But I don't know if that info is relevant in the way you can do something with it, because technically-speaking, the pharmacist agreeing to give you two packs isn't that legal either.

That aside though, I am honestly confused about why you were interested in getting two packs at once in the first place. You know that you cannot take more than the prescribed dosage, right? For what reason(s) do you see yourself having the need for two packs in your possession at one time? Sorry if I am missing something obvious, but I have not heard of this before, so just want to make sure you fully understand all facets of being on birth control.

[ 10-21-2012, 12:57 PM: Message edited by: Claire P. ]

Posts: 170 | From: Northeast USA | Registered: Aug 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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