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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » What Birth Control Methods Are You Using? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: What Birth Control Methods Are You Using?
ErinK
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What methods are you using for birth control? Tell us about them.

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magpie
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Here's my birth control journey in a nutshell:

When my partner and I started getting sexually intimate with each other (gosh, that was over 5 years ago!), we just used condoms. I however had pretty irregular periods, and waiting to get my period just became too difficult, so I finally got up the guts to talk to my mom about getting some other kind of birth control. She set me up with a physicians assistant at the clinic she went to.

First, I tried the Pill. I used Ortho-Tri-Cyclen for two months, and although I didn't have any problems, my blood pressure went up, so then I tried Alesse (a lower dose of estrogen), and my blood pressure went down a bit, but not enough.

Next, I started on Depo-Provera (the 3 month shot). I was on that for over four years. I was concerned with bone loss issues, and I know it sounds kind of odd, but I kind of missed getting a period, so my new doctor and explored my options some.

She's suspecting that I have polycysitic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and Yasmin uses a different kind of progestin in it that's not derived from testosterone (one of the problems with PCOS is too much testosterone), so we decided to give it a 1-month, carefully watched trial. I just went back last week to get my blood pressure checked, and it actually went down a little bit, so I can stay on Yasmin. I just finished the active pills in my first pack, and haven't started a period yet, so I don't know extactly what I think of it yet. I know that periods coming off of Depo can be sort of wacky, so I'm just taking it as it comes.

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summergoddess
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Here's my own bc journey.

I started to have sex at 17 (more like three months from turning 18). For about 10 months, I only relied on condoms. Then at 10 months, i decided to go on BC because for one, i wanted to be safer, in a relationship, and getting sick of condoms and plus i had been pregnant near the end of condom use(terminated through abortion).

So my first hormonal BC was Aleese 28. I was on it for almost a year and half. It was good. I took it every day, every time. But after being on it for a while, it drove me crazy taking it every day and at the same time plus i kept getting pregnancy scares.

So when I got off Aleese 28, i went on Depo-Provera. I got it within the 5 days of my period. I was on it for almost 2 and half years. To be honest, it was my favorite BC to date. No problems, no scares, no period. Just a little weight gain but that was expected. I mainly got off it last September because of FDA's health worries, and I was on Depo longer for little over two years.

I still wanted to remain on BC when I was told to come off Depo due to FDA so i switched back to Aleese 28 because for one, I had been on it before and i'm now older and etc. Being on this wouldn't bother much much now and I still don't plan on having kids for at least another three years even though we're to marry in almost two months from now (May 27th).

So I will remain being on Alesse until we're ready to have kids. Also, now that it's been a few months being back on this pill, i have no complains so far as well.

Thus, that's my bc journey thus far and i'm currently 22 (23 in June).

[ 03-12-2006, 09:40 PM: Message edited by: summergoddess ]

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~Jules

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kitka
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I got on Yasmin last year when I was 23, for an ovarian cyst. Hadn't had sex ever... two months later I met my guy. What serendipity. I've had no side effects at all.

We use condoms too. The first time I was in his bedroom, I noticed the 36-count box of Trojans, proudly displayed next to the KY. Good man.

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oOo Lea oOo
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Hmm.. BC.. Journey? Me? Ick!

My Bc journey has been just that.. one heck of a ride!

I have been on several types of hormonal bc pills. I have taken them religiously. We use condoms every single time, but still, I am just not satisfied. Taking the pill everday has been a headache and a half.

So now I am trying Orthro Evra - the patch. Hopefully that works well. I was considering the Nuva ring.. but it's still pretty new, and I want to give it time.

BTW, since we are discussing BC, any one using the Nuva ring got ne comments on it? Or better yet, the patch?

[ 03-21-2006, 10:05 AM: Message edited by: oOo Lea oOo ]

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And I say thank you for the scars
And the guilt and the pain
Every tear I've never cried
Has sealed your fate.
Did you take me for a fool
or were you just too blind to see
that every effort made has failed
and there is no destroying me?
Atreyu

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Karybu
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I'm loving the Nuva Ring so far....only had it in a few days, but if you want a sort of "review" of it in about a month, I can pop back in and dash something off for you. Let me know if that would be helpful.

Just a couple of things about the ring and the patch as well, if it'll help you make your decision about which method to use: the patch has the same amount of hormones as many birth control pills, but if you're absorbing them through the skin, you're actually being exposed to quite a bit more estrogen. (From the Ortho Evra website) The ring has a lower dose of hormones than the patch, so even though the hormones are being absorbed through your skin, it's not as much estrogen. It's possible - although not a guarantee - that a higher amount of estrogen can increase the likelihood of side effects; if that's something you're worried about, it might be good to factor that into your decision. Also, in terms of newness, the ring and the patch are about the same. They're both highly effective when used properly - just because something is new doesn't mean it's not good. [Smile]

[ 03-22-2006, 12:47 AM: Message edited by: karybu ]

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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sovereign
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I'm on Microgynon 30 and it's the first contraceptive pill I've ever taken before. I like the way it lets me have a period after a pack - It's like my bodies giving me a message saying, "hey, it's all going fine, you're not pregnant"
I don't think I could cope with never getting a period. I'm too scared to take a pregnany test incase the results come out positive.
I really need to book a doctors appointment though, so he can check up on me. I've finished the course and need some more. : S

Anyone with any weight gain during pill taking would be greatly appreciated talking to.

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CrimsonCriminal
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For a couple of years I've used condoms, and a couple of days ago I got a Mirena IUS. I like the new spontainety but miss the convenience of condoms, sex without is so much messier [Frown] I'm looking forward to having no or almost no periods at all.

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DemeterA
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I just began taking Yaz four days ago for period related reasons. I haven't been able to find very many people say anything about it. If anyone has or is using it, i'd like to know what you think.

But the day after I began, I had a headache. And I did the next day too. I haven't had any other symptoms yet.

And I thought the patch was off the market??? Thats what my Gyno told me.

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daria319
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The patch isn't off the market -- I've been offered it at the health department recently.

I've been on hormonal birth control for over a year now. Right now, I'm on Orthocyclin, after switching from Ortho Novum 7/7/7. Apparently I gained a little weight (much needed, mind you) while I was on the first pills, and my hormone levels needed changing. So far, I haven't had any weirdness from the new pills, other than the usual mess with the first pack. I'm on the second, and hopefully I won't get breakthrough bleeding this time. *crosses fingers and pokes at body* adjust already,lol

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Carolyn
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I've been on Ortho tri cyclen lo for 2 years now. I like it a whole lot, prior to this I had only used male condoms.

I haven't had any of the possible negative symptoms such as spotting or nasea.

I like it because I still get my period regularly every month, I always have a light period, never worry about being preganant, and I'm someone who always remembers to take my pill every evening. Not to mention at planned parenthood I can get a year's worth in one go, making it a very convenient option

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true blue
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My boyfriend and I always use condoms and I am on birth control (Marvelon). I've had no issues with Marvelon and I've been using it for almost 6 months.

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if you're not willing to risk, there are no rewards

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LuLu485
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My doctor recently switched me over from the Patch (which is still on the market) to the Nuvaring. I left the patch because it made me a little sick each time I put the new one on, but other than that I didn't have any adverse side effects. The one downside was that I'm a swimmer, and despite my best efforts, it always seemed like you could see the patch and I wasn't really comfortable showing my BC to the world.

The Nuvaring has been great so far. I recommend using a clean, empty tampon applicator to insert it, especially if you're squemish about that sort of thing. Thus far it has stayed in place, my boyfriend couldn't feel it at all, my nausea stopped, and I only have to worry about it once a month. Not only that, but unlike the pill and the patch its a much more discreet option. You don't have to carry around pill cases everywhere, or worry about wearing a tank top or bikini and having everyone see it. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a change. My only negative comment is that I experienced a little breakthrough bleeding, and the ring doesn't clear clear up acne as well as the pill does.

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Heathsox22
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I was on the patch for two years but I don't really like how I don't know if there are any long tern effects so I switched to Aviane.. It works great and I'm happy I switched!
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lexie
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Over the past year, i've been on levlen, which was fine for me, but then was switched to diane 35, for my skin which gave me depression. Then changed to yasmin, which was fine in terms of sideaffects. (although i got an ovarian cyst - or symptoms of within two weeks of starting it, chronic pain all the time i was taking it, and the pain started to get better as soon as i stopped it, my gyno said the pill cant cause ovarian cysts, but thats just what i observed)

Sideaffects aside, i found that i personally am unable to trust myself with the pill - im just not comfortable with the risk, which should be so small if taken correctly - but if its not then its my fault.

So now, i have implanon, which i love. so reliable, i dont even have to think about it, i have had some light bleeding about every two weeks, but compared to my normal periods these are so easy - no pain, light.

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awons
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Originally condoms - Then at 6ish months Diane birth control pill.

I haven't really had any side effects on this pill except I've stopped getting facial cyst like acne.

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libertatissacra
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I first started having sex when I was 15, and just using condoms. Which was fine, because that sexual relationship was a little weird and didn't last very long.

When I was about 16, although I wasn't currently sexually active and had no prospects of being sexually active in the near future, I started talking to my mom about getting on birth control. Partially because I knew I was 16 and sexual things tend to happen at that age when they're not planned (my best friend at the time had recently had to get Plan B because of a random, unprotected party hook-up, and I'd be damned if that would ever happen to me), but mostly because I was really tired of having long, messy, painful, irregular periods. With my periods, it wasn't just the cramps that were bad, although they were. My period was also very heavy. I went through tampons like nobody's business, and had had small leaks at school more than once (high school teachers are way too pissy about letting students use the bathroom during class). My periods also tended to last 7-9 days, which was so not cool. And on top of all this, my periods were very irregular, and I was sick of going to the bathroom during lunch at school only to find my panties covered in blood and then having to go beg a tampon off strangers.

So I made an apointment with a gynocologist where I was checked out for other possible problems that could have been contributing to my Periods from Hell, was found to be in perfect reproductive health (I just got "unlucky" with periods, according to my gyno.), and perscribed Yaz, since it was even more tailored than some other pills to make periods easier.

I've been on Yaz for almost two years now. Never had any reason to switch pills. I love it. I didn't gain any weight (or if I did, it wasn't noticable), my periods are now only 4-5 days long, much lighter, and I only have a tiny bit of cramping that doesn't even require an Advil, and it's even made my face break out less. The only thing I don't like about it is the things that would come with any pill. Getting it month-to-month has been a pain sometimes. I had a really idiotic pharmacy back in my home-town, and they made getting my rx transfered after I moved really difficult. I also don't like how careful I have to be about taking it around the same time every day. I've gotten better with that the longer I've been on it, but I'm still paranoid that I'll forget one of these days.

My boyfriend and I are still doubling-up with condoms, mostly for STD safety reasons (we both need another clear STD test), so at this point, "perfect use" of my pills isn't the biggest concern, but at some point, we'd like to ditch the condoms, at which point I'm considering looking into something like an IUD. We we'll see.

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"America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between."
-Oscar Wilde

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Courtney n Missouri
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I started having sex when I was 16. We didnt use any form of birthcontrol for almost 4 months. My partner was 27 and I was 16 so I never pushed for him to use condoms and I was too scared to ask my mom to put me on the pill. When I got pregnant with my son a few weeks before my 17th birthday it was too late to start on the pill. Since having my son in Feb of 07 i've only had one partner and we used condoms. But now I've started on the mini pill (Nora-BE)because i'm still breastfeeding.
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Shann2002
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I went from the pill to just condoms for a long time. Now that I'm getting married my fiance and I don't use anything anymore. We've both have been tested and are in a committed, monogamous relationship.

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~*The best type of love to start with is loving yourself before you can ever love anyone else*~

~*Shannon*~

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pandajayne
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I had sex for the first time yesterday and we only used condoms, which to be honest is easiest from my point of view because I don't want to tell anyone in my family.

I can accept the risk that comes with any kind of contraception of i wouldn't be having sex.

However, it's a bit worrying because whenever I read stories of people just using condoms, they always end up pregnant at the end of the story.

I'm wondering if it was because they played it risky or the condom broke or w/e but im seriously thinking maybe the '98% when used properly' might be wrong lol

Is there anyone out there who has just used condoms for a significant period of time without becoming pregnant?

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What hurts more? Knowing that you should hate him or that you dont?

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Heather
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I may well be the only person here, given the age group of our users, who can tell you that in 20 years of condom use, I have never gotten pregnant when using a condom properly.

I have been pregnant before, mind, but condoms were not involved when I became pregnant.

But really, we have broad statistics on this and know that used consistently and properly, condoms are nearly as effective as methods like the birth control pill. If those studies are wrong, then so are the studies that result in the stats we have for all the other methods.

I can also tell you that as someone who also works in an abortion clinic that I do not tend to see greater reports of condom failures resulting in pregnancy than I do with the pill and other self-administered hormonal methods.

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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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uberfeminista
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In retrospect, my BC experiences have been a little frightening (and it's pretty much all my fault) but lucky.
I started having sex at 15 and used a condom the first time. After that, I used condoms sporadically and nothing else. This was because I lived in a foreign country where BC pills weren't available at a Planned Parenthood or the like and my parents were super religious.
Most of the sex that I had was in relationships and most of my partners hated wearing condoms because they said they couldn't feel it as well. They would just pull out before they finished. Me, being extremely naive and trusting, didn't force them to wear condoms all the time as I should have.
After 5 different sexual partners, and four years, I am (thank god) STD free and never been pregnant. But I've learned my lesson. I always make sure to have condoms on hand and I'm now on the pill, Ortho-Tri-Cyclen. I love how my periods are shorter and lighter and more regular.
And I love feeling safe [Smile]

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Atonement
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I've been on the pill (yasmin) for about 4 months now, and started having sex about a month after starting the pill. I also use condoms.

I've really liked the pill so far. I did spot for the entire first month, but after that, I was fine and had no side effects whatsoever. My cramps completely went away, pms got less bad, and they're more regular, shorter and MUCH lighter: I switched from super plus to regular tampons.

The condoms are ok too, and I've never had sex without them. I admit i WOULD like to try it without them as my boyfriend and I are std free, but the idea of serm getting inside me just sounds too risky, even if i am on the pill.

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Heather
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No reason I can't chime in, and probably a good idea I do for those interested in seeing one way non-hormonal methods can be used.

I went off the pill after years of use in 1992, and have been non-hormonal ever since. Over the last few years, I use a combination of condoms, a diaphragm and natural family planning.

In short, with any new partners (before six months of barrier use/exclusivity, and before new rounds of tests for everyone), it's always condoms. If we're talking about after that time period, and with someone I am comfortable fluid-bonding with, then here's how that goes: I chart my fertility (have for years), and during most fertile periods, always use condoms. When I am least fertile, then sometimes we'll switch to the diaphragm instead. other times, we stick with the condoms.

However, in the next year, the partner who is shifting to be my primary partner is planning a vasectomy (gods bless him), so when that happens, if we're still exclusive, that'll be the method we use.

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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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Ecofem
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Heather, I appreciate your sharing your experiences with non-hormonal methods because I'm interested in the same. As a volunteer, while I generally know more than the basics, there are some specific areas, such a birth control using barrier-methods, where I am still learning. That said, there's no better way to find out than by asking, right? [Smile]

I definitely go condoms with new or even long-term partners with EC for back-up; I've been very happy with this but would like to explore more options. However, now I'm interested in using just the diaphragm for potential fluid-bonding in the future (with testing and exclusivity, of course.) I've had one before but never used it exclusively but rather as a back-up if I changed my mind about the fluid-bonding. I have always been aware of my cycle, such as noting changes in discharge, but I have not officially charted using, for example, the handy-dandy FAM chart in the S.E.X. book and online at Scarleteen. I do want to work towards that.

I have a question about the failure rate for diaphragms. I know it's about 6% with perfect use and 16% with typical use. (I've seen different sources, I'm going with what my diaphragm box says.)

- Is there any way to reduce the chance when just using the diaphragm without utilizing a back-up method as well? (Obviously, backing it up with FAM would be best but I'm asking about using just the diaphragm.) For example, using condoms when you are most likely to be fertile (during/right after ovulation) even if it's more by experience/feel (for lack of better wording) than a detailed paper record?

- Likewise, while I know you can have intercourse (specifically, with ejaculation) multiple times with the diaphragm in provided you insert additional spermicide -- as long as you do not keep the diaphragm in for more than 24 hours, could switching to condoms help reduce the pregnancy risk?

Finally, my GP recommended against using the diaphragm for BC during one's period for various reasons, including but not limited to the weight of the blood in the cup making it more likely to possibly move. What are your thoughts on this?

I'm sure I'll have more questions soon. For now, I look forward to and appreciate your reply. [Smile]

[ 06-17-2009, 01:42 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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Heather
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Well, combining FAM with a cervical barrier is using a backup method, really. So, if you only use the diaphragm alone (or just abstain from intercourse, period) when you're not most fertile or are less likely to be fertile, by all means, that should up the effectiveness.

quote:
Likewise, while I know you can have intercourse (specifically, with ejaculation) multiple times with the diaphragm in provided you insert additional spermicide -- as long as you do not keep the diaphragm in for more than 24 hours, could switching to condoms help reduce the pregnancy risk?
Well, sure, since you'd be adding a second method. [Smile]

quote:
Finally, my GP recommended against using the diaphragm for BC during one's period for various reasons, including but not limited to the weight of the blood in the cup making it more likely to possibly move. What are your thoughts on this?
That actually strikes me as odd, since a lot of OB/GYNs will list the ability to use a diaphragm as a menstrual cup, and the ability to have less-messy sex during periods while using a diaphragm as a selling point. I also have never seen any data which shows it would be unable to remain equally effective because of holding some menstrual flow. Bear in mind that the TOTAL amount of flow for the WHOLE of a woman's period, on average, is really not a lot of fluid: it's only a couple tablespoons. So, the flow contained in a diaphragm at any given time is hardly going to weigh it down or cause it to shift.

In other words, I'd disagree.

[ 06-17-2009, 01:47 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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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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Mads
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[ 01-11-2010, 08:50 PM: Message edited by: Mads ]

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Maddie McCampbell

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Jill2000Plus
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I'm on Cerazette, which is a progestogen only pill, I haven't had any side effects so far, I've been on it for a week and a half, my boyfriend and I aren't ready for intercourse, but I wanted to be safe when we are and get used to taking the pill now, plus we have been dry humping in our underwear and while I have no issue with asking my partner to wear condoms I still prefer to have that extra backup in case we rub our crotches together (we mostly don't because we're afraid the sperm will get through underwear but we've already forgotten once), I intend to use condoms for intercourse and naked dry humping, I guess I'm probably not so bothered for dry humping in underwear or clothed so long as my BC is working (which it is now, I haven't missed a single pill), my boyfriend is very cooperative about all this as well, happy to wear condoms for everything I've mentioned and any other activity I want them for and never says "oh can't it wait?" if we're making out and it's time for me to take my pill (I have other meds I take at that time as well, incidentally).

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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ABB
Neophyte
Member # 47287

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I use withdrawal plus the Today Sponge. I've never taken the pill because I just don't want to deal with all the side effects, and I hate condoms! It took me three long years to finally discover the sponge! I love it and I highly recommend it!

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ABB

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Janie Jones
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Member # 46161

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When I first became sexually active with my partner we used condoms and spermicide. Neither of us like condoms very much, so I went to the student health center and inquired about other forms of BC.

I get very severe migraines, with an aura, and was upfront with the woman at the health clinic about it, and my concerns with going on the pill. She still thought I should try it. 2 months into the pill and I started having migraines multiple times a week instead of 1 every few months, so I stopped that.

When I went to get a pap smear I asked the gyno if there were any other options, and she suggested the mini pill (progesterone only). I tried that and didn't like it. I had break through bleeding, which was sometimes like a full on period, if I took the pill more than 10 minutes late. I also started getting migraines more often while on the mini pill.

We were back to condoms and spermicide, but I have developed an allergy to the spermicide. For the time being we have decided not to have penetrative sex. I won't have sex without using 2 BC methods, and I don't want to run the risk of getting pregnant. Ideally, I would like to get an IUD (paragard), but both the cost and time (I would probably have to take time off from work to get it inserted) is prohibitive atm.

[ 05-31-2010, 10:06 PM: Message edited by: Janie Jones ]

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I don't want you to settle, I want you to grow.

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wobbuffet4
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Member # 47570

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My boyfriend and I talked about sex for months and months before we actually had it...discussing the right time, and birth control and such.

When we lost our virginity to each other it was kind of a surprise...and we didn't have anything so we used a rubber glove.

For the next two months we relied on condoms (sometimes spermicide, sometimes not), withdrawl because he doesn't come yet anyway and we didn't have sex when I thought I was ovulating.

One month after we started having sex we had a tiny scare...we we were having sex one night and we think about the last 5 minutes the condom slipped off. He didn't come but the condom was up inside me and I was just about to ovulate so a few days later I had to go get Plan B.

We waited and waited for my period and it finally came...we only had sex one more time after that before I went to the health department and got on the Depo-Provera shot....and that was just a few weeks ago.

Now sometimes we use condoms and sometimes we don't but we're still always going to withdrawl.

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Optimus.Prime
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Member # 46654

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My ex and I relied on just condoms for the first time but when I started to get really stressed out over a possible pregnancy, I started on the Pill. Even then, I still used EC whenever the condom slipped, which was quite frequently. This caused us to break up because "I was too paranoid". Now with my current boyfriend, we are actually planning everything out so there will be no reason for EC, and the fact that I go nowhere with out my birth control pill will make everything a lot less stressful [Smile]
Posts: 11 | From: In Wonderland | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lucidkitty
Activist
Member # 49104

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I have an IUD and use the fertility awareness method to be extra safe and condoms on my unsafe days [Smile] .
Posts: 84 | From: baltimore,maryland | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lucidkitty
Activist
Member # 49104

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gah i meant to say i am getting an iud....this is what lack of sleep does to you
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MrsxAngela
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Member # 62509

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Hi i'm angela well I lost my virginity at the the age of 16 since then I used condoms and only condoms with who ever I was with, now im married and i have a son i tried ortho tri cyclen lo im highly allergic to bc pills so now i use cyclebeads and FAM and condoms.
Posts: 1 | From: Plymouth, PA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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