i love when ppl ask how the pill works 'cause then i get to use the otherwise useless knowledge i picked up in human repro. class last semester.
1) I know you're supposed to take it at the same time every day. If I want to change that time, would it be better to move it 10 minutes every day or move it a bunch at the begining of a new cycle?
imho, i'd just change the time at the start of the cycle, but use a backup and let my body chemistry readjust.
2) Why could taking the pill raise your blood pressure. My gyno said I have to come get my blood pressure taken after 2 months on the pill to make sure it didn't go up.
estrogen in general increases bloodflow to the uterus. this is an important thing during gestation. but even if you aren't fertile, your blood flow is still increased a bit with then extra estrogen you get with the pill.
3) Do you have any nifty ideas on how to remember to take them every day?
i take mine before i go to sleep. i gotta sleep sometime, so i have them by my bed. i'm not a very consistant sleeper, but you can still have some time fluctuations of two or three hours and still be okay.
you might want to keep them by your toothbrush, take one after your brush in the morning. this'll work if you wake up sort of at the same time everyday. within a window of two or three hours.
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Q#3 - I wear contact lens so I keep my pills with my contact lens case and solution. Before going to sleep I take my pill, then take off the lens. I have a regular schedule sleep-wise so that helps as well.
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I have my birth control pills (and anti depressents, which i'm sure that those of you who take them will know how important it is that you take them on time) next to my alarm. I have to get up by 8am or so, and when i turn off my alarm (which i have to get out of bed for, or i'd never wake up), i grab two pills and a glass of water and ... we're off to the races ... LOL
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I modpodge everything (it's like a paste/decoupage compound used to attach magazine clippings to things), and so I modpodged my pill case. it has a big "11" on it from a magazine, since that's the time I take it. I set out the pill case somewhere where I can see it, and it reminds me every time I look at it.
sometimes I just set an alarm clock for the same time each day, and take it when the alarm goes off.
I'm like lemming: I keep my pill right at my desk in the open, always in sight. I unfortunately have no pill box, mine comes without one, so unless I make a fancy little paper thing for it, it's just the boring pink blister, that isn't really "discrete" or overlookable. The time that I take them (in the early evening) is a time I am usually at home and at my desk so I simply remember it because it's right there.
Been like this for the 4 years that I've been on the pill, and it just works for me.
I don't think my doctor stressed as much as yours have that it is important to take your pill at the same time everyday. However, with any medication, taking the pill at the same time ensures that there is a constant, even source of medication (in this case, hormones) in the body at all times. I don't think its such a big crisis to take the pills everyday. Think of something you do everyday. Associate taking your pills with that thing. For me, its brushing my teeth at night. The reason I take it at night is because my doctor said sometimes, the pill gives you an upset stomach for the first few months while your body gets used to it. This way, if I feel sick (but I don't), it won't be at school. After I finish brushing and flossing, I take my pill.
I also want to give this advice. My doctor gave me one of those "designer" cases that you can order from the Ortho Company, so I use that as my permanant case. (I love it-- it's green marbled like the Clinique cases!) When I get my refills though, the pharmacy gives me a pack of pills in a foil bag and a pink Dial Pack with my prescription info sticker stuck on the inside. In the foil pack is the manufacturer's instruction list-- it's very important to keep that and the pink case TOGETHER, IN A SAFE PLACE. If you miss a pill, the list will tell you what to do-- and the pink case is important for the refill number. I've spent many months when I had two green pills left madly searching my room, the bathroom, and the linen closet for my pill info!! Keep it together in one place.
Also-- if you're busy and forgetful, order you next pack of pills as soon as you start the white pills of the current month. Then you'll have them way before you'll need them. If you can't do this because your insurance makes you wait, do it as soon as you can.
Again-- I don't think this is the big crisis even *I* made it out to be. If this is important enough for you, you will remember. Taking one pill everyday isn't that hard. Make it easy though-- then you won't have to worry about what happens if and when you forget.
Taking pills daily sounds like a big pain in the butt to me, especially for people who, like myself, live very spontaneously and can't leave things at home and reasonably expect to be able to have access to them within the next couple of days, much less by a set time withing the next 24-hours. Also, my friend has paniced on several occasions when she screwed up her pill schedule within a few days of having sex.
I'm rather curious as to why such a laborously tedious ingestion method as daily pills has gained such wide-spread use when there are alternatives. Perhaps one of you persons who are far more informed about contraceptive medications would explain it to me?
somewhatanonymous: I keep my pills in my purse, along with my wallet and keys, so no matter where I am, they're with me. I also have an alarm set on my watch so I don't forget to take it.
I think the reason that pills are more popular than other methods (such as hormone shots, implants, IUDs, diaphragms) is that it's been around longer than some of these methods so the health risks are better documented. Probably a lot of women are turned off by the idea of having a foreign object in their bodies (implants or IUDs) and don't want to deal with the mess of a diaphragm. I also suspect that many women like to be self-sufficient, in that they'd rather not go to the doctor for hormone shots so often.
Don't think I'm knocking these other methods, I'm sure they're right for some people. These are just my speculations as to why the pill is popular.
If I am not wrong, the fact that the birth control pill is more affordable than other birth control methods like the shot and the IUD makes it more popular and is one of the reasons why we advocate using the pill here at Scarleteen.
However, birth control is something fairly personal and you should go for what suits you. I'm quite happy with my pill at the moment and I'm queasy when it comes to needles so I would rather stick to the pill for now.
I agree with Rizzo here, the reason why the pill is such a popular form of hormonal birth control is partly because you can control it and are (once you have the prescription) "self-sufficient". You can quickly stop using it if you have problems or if you decide you want to get pregnant (even though it's suggested that one waitd for a few months before getting pregnant after pill use). There are many different kind of pills and you can pretty quickly switch between pills.
In addition, other methods - such as implants and injections, have shown to have slightly more side effects than the pill: many women experience very irregular or no periods and excessive spotting with these.
While the idea of the implant is generally very appealling to me, the problem is that once it's in, it has been paid for, and when you don't get along with it, you've spend a massive amount of money for just a few months of birth conotrol. I am all for taking a pill with a formulation similar to implants before insertion, just to see whether one can handle the doses well.
For me personally, injections are a LOT more hassle then taking a pill each day, seriously. I wouldn't want to schedule a doctors appointment every month (with Lunelle) or every 3 months (with Depo). Just too much of a hassle, too much planning and again, too many side effects to my liking.
Just my two cents on this and why I prefer the pill to other hormonal methods.
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