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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Switching From Hormonal to Non Hormonal Contraception

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Author Topic: Switching From Hormonal to Non Hormonal Contraception
wyntermidnite
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Member # 24641

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I've been on the pill (ortho tri cyclin) for over 2 years. I anticipate being non sexually active in the near future and think going off the pill would be good for me; just to see what my actual natural hormones act like as a young woman since I've been on the pill for so long. I'd also like the ability to be protected from pregnancy if I do happen to have sex.

Has anyone out there gone from hormonal contraceptive to a barrier method, or just always used a barrier method that has any recommendations or would talk about their experiences? I know about them in theory, I'd just like some real life info, the good points the bad, if you got pregnant while on it and if you were using it perfectly at the time. Just your personal opinions.

Thanks so much!

Posts: 70 | From: Fullerton, CA, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Well, it's been a mighty long time since I've done that, but yes.

I went off of the pill in 1992 (for a bunch of reasons, the main one being I felt very divorced from my own body), and I haven't been on a hormonal method since. Since then, when I am sleeping with men, condoms have been my primary method, but I also have nearly always had a diaphragm, too. I've also used FAM and charted, sometimes alone, but more often with one or both of the other methods.

I have never had a pregnancy, to date, when I used any of those other methods perfectly or when any of those two methods were combined (I did have one when using the pill, though). I have had a pregnancy when I used those methods imperfectly: my central pregnancy was trying to use FAM by itself (something which does work for plenty of people, but which I, personally, ain't never going to be doing again), and I'm pretty certain I just screwed up my charting. I also once had a diaphragm that *I* used perfectly, but which a healthcare provider didn't fit correctly for me and failed, resulting in a pregnancy that -- thankfully -- did not stick around.

I do very much appreciate (especially this week, since I just had a condom failure) that Plan B is now available, because while hormones tend to make me pretty darn ill, having that as a backup is a very nice comfort when using barrier methods. My personal advice for anyone using ANYTHING is to always have a pack of two handy.

(P.S. I am sure you are SERIOUSLY sick of hearing this, but I can never help but smile when you post because your location always makes me think of Bill & Ted.)

[ 02-07-2009, 08:00 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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wyntermidnite
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Thank you for responding! I really admire how you are so in touch with the message boards and aren't just some figure head; you're here with us, on our level and that's so cool and gains so much respect and I just wanted you to know that.

I'm mostly worried about insertion, I guess I should have mentioned this before but I apparently have an inverted uterus, would this make any difference for this? Would a cervical cap, diaphragm or lea's shield be better for someone who's never had kid/a pregnancy, or is it just a matter of preference? Which ones last longer or a least expensive over their lifetime? I'm trying to decide without having to do much trial and error on my own.

Oh and Bill and Ted doesn't phase most of us, lol, I actually had English in the high school room where it was written (the story is that the teacher was so boring that they spent all period brain storming and writing instead of doing their work.)I had a friend who bought lots of football shirts and sold them on ebay and to a fan club, so it has advantages to be mildly famous.

Posts: 70 | From: Fullerton, CA, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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That first paragraph was one of the nicest things I've had a user say to me in a long time, wyntermidnite. Thanks so much for acknowledging that! I really appreciate it and it made my night. For the record, I can't imagine running this organization WITHOUT actually being directly involved with all of you. For me, that's the good stuff, and hands-down, the very best part of this job. If I couldn't do that, I wouldn't want the gig at all. [Smile]

In terms of your question, there's actually a good deal of disagreement about the whole idea of "tipped" uteruses (uteri? I'm never sure what the proper plural is), because the uterus is suspended by ligaments which basically allow it to never really be in any one fixed position. All the same, none of those barrier methods have anything to do with your uterus, so even if there is merit in that, it's a bit moot.

Having been pregnant or not before also makes no difference with any of those methods: the choice between them is primarily about your own preferences. The longevity of all of them is pretty equal, especially since you do have to get a new one for any every few years, though caps sometimes lose shape more quickly. As far as cost goes, they're also all around the same. Personally, I'm not so hot with the cap, but that primarily has to do with my own preference when it comes to the adaptability of use. You can't use a cap during menstruation, and it also is a bit less adaptable when it comes to doing things like manual sex with it on. Again, though, that's my own stuff: your mileage may vary.

--------------------
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
atm1
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 37835

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Since you asked for other people's experiences, I thought I'd chime in.

Since going off the pill (which I took perfectly and completely trusted; I had gone on it eight years ago for cramps and just went off in September), I pretty much needed two barriers to feel comfortable having sex. There's no good reason for this--just my own psychological comfort. So, like Heather, I've used condoms and a diaphragm since going off the pill. Using them both has made me feel comfortable doing things like starting intercourse without a condom, and then pausing to put one on my partner after a minute or two. The pausing and "being prepared" (my partner's euphemism for me having my diaphragm in) has been a bit of a change in our sex life, but I think that was mostly due to the fact that it had been almost a year since we had used condoms (we used them with the pill for the first five or so months of our relationship). It's just... different. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it is a change.

Posts: 2262 | From: in transition | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mortality
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I used to be on the pill but got off it cos I couldn't deal with the side effects. So now we use condoms.

At first, before we'd bought any condoms, it was weird to have to think about what kinds of sex we were having (no kinds we're there'd be any pregnancy risk)

Now we use condoms and I don't really think about it. Only times I've wished I was still on the pill is when we run out of condoms xD

[ 02-08-2009, 05:08 PM: Message edited by: Mortality ]

Posts: 122 | From: Europe | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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