T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 46170
posted 02-16-2013 06:25 PM
For the past year and a half (give or take) I've been on combination birth control pills, and while I overall haven't had any problems with them (in fact they've made periods way more bearable) I'm interested in looking into a form of birth control that has less room for user error. I'm generally a pretty good user (I miss a pill maybe once every 3 months of so) but I am in general a forgetful person but using a method that doesn't require daily ingestion would be great.
I tried the ring for a couple of months but found it made my periods way more severe. The patch is also a bit of a no go in my book because I have incredibly sensitive skin and eczema and that's just not something I'm willing to mess with. The shot also doesn't seem like a great option because I feel three months intervals are too infrequent for me to always remember them and close enough together that there's a realistic possibility that forgetting to get one could result in a pregnancy in the near future. So that's been the thought process that's landed me at looking into getting an IUD or Implanon. I've read through the articles on here and done a bit of my own snooping but I've got a few more questions I wanted cleared up before I consider booking an appointment to talk these options through with a doctor. First of all is Implanon available in Canada? I've seriously had trouble finding the answer to this. For some reason I remember reading at one point that it wasn't but since then haven't found any information. Perhaps because it is? If any one knows definitely that'd be great. If not I guess it's a question for the doctor. Secondly, for someone who, when not on birth control, has always experience severe to very severe cramping (to the point where I've been sent home from school as a teenager because I looked sick and more recently been up all night from pain) do either of these methods have the benefit of reducing painful periods? I've heard slightly conflicting information in this regard about the IUD, but from what I've deduced that conflicting information comes from the differences between Mirena and Copper IUDs. Is it accurate to say that Merina is likely to reduce cramping and heavy periods while Copper IUDs may exacerbate these problems? Thirdly, does anyone have any information on the cost of these methods in Canada? While I've found information for the States finding it on Canada has been more difficult. Thanks for the help! [ 02-16-2013, 06:30 PM: Message edited by: skiesofgreen ]
Member # 79774
posted 02-16-2013 07:16 PM
I've recently been looking into this myself
I'm afraid I can't help you with the Canada-related stuff, but I'm sure someone else will. You're right about the difference between the two types of IUDs. With a copper IUD, a person can expect to menstruate every month, and they may (but not necessarily) have more bleeding, longer bleeding or more painful bleeding than they did. A copper IUD can be an excellent choice for people who have bad reactions to hormones. With a Mirena, a person is likely to have less bleeding, shorter bleeding and less painful bleeding than they did. A downside for some is that bleeding can be irregular, or disappear altogether (also a good thing for some). On the stats I've seen, a majority of users have less bleeding and less pain, and a significant minority have periods only rarely or not at all. Mirena is sometimes used to treat serious menstrual symptoms even when it's not needed as contraception. So, if you're considering it as contraception and you have significant pain with menstruation, it would seem to be a good option to discuss with a doctor if and how it might help with your pain. The implant - if it's available to you - also lessens menstrual symptoms in some users (I don't remember reading that there's any possibility of making it worse, but I can't swear to that). Irregular bleeding or spotting is a fairly common effect. More users have less bleeding, but a few bleed for longer. Again, some users have periods only rarely or not at all. Is this link publicly available? http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2011/9780978856373_eng.pdf It's a resource made and/or endorsed by a whole load of respected groups, so I'd hope it's accurate. Chapters 8, 9 and 10 cover the methods you're asking about, and I think the info here covers everything about the methods themselves that someone could want to know.
Member # 90293
posted 02-16-2013 08:03 PM
As far as I know, the contraceptive implant is available in Canada. What the cost is will really depend on your province's (or territory's) health insurance system. Do you have an appointment with your doctor to talk about this?
Member # 20094
posted 02-16-2013 11:09 PM
I have to correct Robin on this: the implant is NOT available in Canada, unfortunately. Some clinics can do removals for people who've had it inserted when outside the country, but it has not been approved for use in Canada yet.
Member # 90293
posted 02-17-2013 09:03 AM
Member # 46170
posted 02-18-2013 12:15 AM
Thanks for clarifying that Karybu! Most things I found talked specifically about Norplant or just didn't mention Implants at all so good to know for sure. Too bad though, it seemed like a good option.
Also thanks for the link Redskies, that gave a great rundown of most of my questions. So far it looks like Mirena is the option I'm going to want to talk the most about with my provider. I don't have an appointment yet Robin but I can hopefully stop by my regular clinic this week or next to discuss my options with them. Also, in case it'd be of benefit to anyone else, these are the cost estimates I found from Opt (a, from what I've seen, reliable sexual health provider in BC) for IUD costs in British Columbia: Copper IUD $80-160 Mirena $325-360 Those estimates are of course without considering any private insurance coverage. [ 02-18-2013, 12:17 AM: Message edited by: skiesofgreen ]