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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Progestin-only birth control

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Author Topic: Progestin-only birth control
Kisetsu
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I just have a few questions about progestin-only birth control.
At the end of January I was put on Jolviette by my doctor. I'm 21 and just recently starting having sex, and I was prescribed a progestin-only pill because last year my mother had a blood clot after her doctor switched her birth control pill.
My doctor didn't tell me much about progestin-only pills other than that my period wouldn't be quite as predictive. She didn't tell me how effective they are and what not. She pretty much pushed the idea on me that I'll always be using a condom with the pill, and when I would ask a question, she pretty much just pushed it aside and said to just always use a condom.

I've read a lot of different stuff on the internet about mini-pills. Some say they aren't very effective, some say they're just as good as the combination pills. How long do you have to be on this type of pill for it to be effective? I'd like the pill to be my only form of birth control, and I'm questioning if this is possibly the right thing for me.

I've been taking these pills for about a month and a half and haven't missed a pill, and I take them within 5 minutes of 8:00 am (except once I took it at 10:30 am... I started a new job, which had me in at 8 one day and just forgot). If I decided to have sex without a condom, would I be protected?

I'm just looking for some answers... I just haven't been able to find a lot of info on Progestin-only pills, and what I have found hasn't been on the most reliable of sources.

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Karybu
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Voila! Progesterone-Only Oral Contraceptives (Minipills)

Have a read through that - it should answer all your questions, but if it doesn't, come on back and ask away. [Smile]

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Kisetsu
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Thanks! I didn't even see that here on the site.

I do still have a few questions...

For mini-pills, what's considered 'perfect use'?

Also, I read on that Women's Health Center site that a backup form of birth control should be used "days 8-18 of your menstrual cycle after the first three months". That's the first time I've heard of that and I'm wondering if that's necessarily true or not?

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Heather
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That's an extra precaution, because unlike combined oral contraceptives, one thing minipills don't often do is suppress ovulation. So, if you want to be extra-protected, then yes, that'd be advised.

With a minipill, proper use means taking one pill every day without fail within a three-hour period of time each day. In other words, if you take a pill at noon Tuesday, on Wednesday, you want to be sure you don't take it any later than at 3.

With the condom backup, too, if you just started being sexual, I assume you're in a new relationship? If so, just from an STI perspective alone, you want to be sure to use condoms for the first six months of that relationship, and then only consider ditching them after six months of use, mutual exclusivity AND after your partner has a new STI screening with negative results.

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Kisetsu
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Ahhhhh, that makes sense.
So when it says 8-18 days, is that from the day your period starts, or from the day that it ends?

Oh, and it's not a new relationship. We've actually been together almost a year now. It just took me a while to be okay with myself and my body to be able to bring sex into our relationship. And we've already discussed STI screenings. We're just trying to figure out where to get that done... he's fairly new to the area, and I've never had any reason to know where to get that sort of thing done.

[ 03-21-2011, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: Kisetsu ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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If you want help finding a place for either of you to get tested, I'm happy to help.

So, day 8 would be the 8th day of a pill pack.

Also, just to save you a possible freakout in advance, spotting is a VERY common side effect with progestin-only methods.

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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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