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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Birth Control Pills

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Author Topic: Birth Control Pills
Peer Educator-in-Training
Member # 35313

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So I was on the ring for three months, but I recently quit because for most of the second, and all of the third month, my vagina was really irritated, and I was incredibly moody. I'm not too sure the bc and the moodiness were related though.
The point is that I'm not willing to go with out some kind of birth control on top of condoms, at least in the long run.
I was wondering what the different types of bc pills were and how their effects differed.
The patch just seems less...reliable, and ideally I would love an IUD, something I don't have to deal with for five years.
But alas, I'm only seventeen, and I haven't had a child.
Thanks for your help!

Posts: 34 | From: United States | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 25983

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How pills work is different progestin formulations. They all contains around the same estrogen dosage, so the bulk of side effect management lies in choosing a suitable progestin component, unlike the notion "low dose birth control" commercials lead one to believe!

Generally, you'll try one pill your doctor thinks might be good for you, use it for three months, and report any side effects you just can't deal with. Your doctor will then analyze where you need help and prescribe a different pill (for example, for low libido they might recommend a more highly androgenic pill -- one not marketed to treat acne -- or for bleeding problems either a pill with greater endometrial activity/higher estrogen content) for you to try instead. The cycle continues until you find one you do well with.

There is still a huge amount of outdated information in the minds of most physicians -- IUDs are safe to use in young women who haven't had babies, although they must be prepared for increased side effects or complications. For example, you would probably have a more difficult/painful insertion and more likely to have the device expel/have a more profound increase in menstrual cramping than a parous woman.

The copper-T (Paragard) is currently FDA approved for women who haven't had babies and lasts 10 years. The 5 year IUD you speak of, Mirena, has not, but most doctors willing to entertain an IUD insertion will likely let you choose whichever one you wish.

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Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 1679

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You also have options like a diaphram, cervical cap, or Lea's Shield that you could use to back up your condoms as well if you want (or need) to avoid hormonal birth control options.

Sarah Liz

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