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Author Topic: BIG question.
starrbaby
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I recentlly switched birth control pills from Yasmin to Levora. Since then I've been getting pretty bad side effects that want me to stay away from birth control period (ex, abnormal vaginal discharge, leg cramps, hair loss). I want to just use condoms but I have irregular, heavy periods (lasting around 8 days, only get them every few months). My question is, should I just switch again to a different birth control brand, or just use condoms? Thank you!
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Heather
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With your previous pill, did you have these same side effects?

Just to be clear "birth control" means ANY of the methods a person may use to prevent pregnancy, like the pill, condoms, an IUD, withdrawal, etc. Not all birth control is hormonal, and not all hormonal types are the same.

As well, if your periods are particularly heavy, did your healthcare provider do a real investigation of that, rather than just putting you on the pill? If not, pill or no pill, that's something that should be done.

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starrbaby
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i had other side effects like chest pain and migranes which is why i swtiched. my periods aren't really heavy, i just lose a good ammount of blood because of the length of my period. It is heriditary because my mom also had irregular periods. She suggested the pill when I was a lot younger but i didnt get on until about 2 years go.
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Heather
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Just so you know, it's not likely hereditary. For sure, we can see some commonalities in families, but there's not any evidence most of the time that menstrual issues are actually hereditary (as in, genetically transmitted). And your mother having irregular periods and you having 8-day periods may have nothing to do with each other at all, since those are different issues altogether.

As well, now you're saying your periods aren't that heavy, but you lose a lot of blood because they're eight days long. Is that documented? In other words, most of the volume of our period isn't actually blood, and if a person were bleeding too much, then we'd expect to see things like anemia. Again, has your doctor actually investigated this or suggested it's a health issue for you?

If you've been having migraines, chest pain or leg cramps, that might suggest that methods with estrogen aren't best for you. If you still want a hormonal method, you can talk to your doctor about trying a progestin-only method. But again, if the only reason you are using hormonal methods is about your periods, then you may just need to chat with your doc about your periods, full-stop, especially if he or she has suggested something about them poses a health concern. In general periods that last 8 days, with no other issues, aren't one. Plenty of women have periods of that length, either all the time or sometimes.

[ 02-21-2010, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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starrbaby
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so should i stop taking pills all together and just use condoms? i was using the pills for extra protection and to have a period every month. and is there any way to make my periods regular? It's nice getting a few a year, but not when i'm sexually active.
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Heather
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I can't tell you what methods of birth control you should use, because that's about what any of us want to use, what level of effectiveness we want, what we can and can't take for our health, and so forth.

Are YOU comfortable just using condoms?

Per your periods, how many years ago did you first start menstruating? What's your general health like? Are you by chance underweight or in some kind of intense athletic training?

[ 02-21-2010, 02:46 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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starrbaby
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im not sure if im comfortable because of my irregular periods. I want to make sure I am not pregnant at all times.
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Heather
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Can you answer my questions? It's tough for me to help someone when I ask questions they don't answer. I ask because that information informs how I answer you and how I can be most likely to give you an answer that's accurate and best-suited to you.

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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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starrbaby
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i am so sorry i wasnt paying any attention. i am 17 now and i started mensturating when i was 11. i eat healty, but i eat fast food more so i can see a problem there. i am not underweight but according to charts i am over weight but i am in shape and i workout regularly.
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Heather
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Thanks. [Smile]

And because you keep saying your periods are irregular, when was the last time you were not using a birth control pill: how many months or years ago? And what was your pattern of periods like then?

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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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starrbaby
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it will be 3 years in july. and before then i got periods whenever my body felt like it. usually it was once a season for 7-8 days. so at most i would have 4-5 periods a year.
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Heather
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Okay.

So, here's something to know: it can often take as many as five years, sometimes even more, for women's periods/cycles to regulate. What you're describing with your periods before the pill is actually very typical for women in the first few years of having periods.

Because you started the BCPs before that five years was even up, for al you know, your periods may well be able to be regular now if you were not taking the BCPs.

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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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starrbaby
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wow, i never knew that. Well I think I will get off birth control for a while just to see how my body will act and give it a break from the chemicals. Thank you SOOO much for your help!
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Heather
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You're welcome.

Just know that if you do, it may take as long as six months or more for your body to get back to its natural cycle. So, if your periods are still irregular for a while after you stop taking the pill, that can be typical even for women who had very regular cycles before starting.

As well, if you don't feel comfy using condoms alone, you can always double up with other methods, including nonhormonal methods like withdrawal, a spermicidal film or a cervical barrier.

--------------------
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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starrbaby
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thank you very much!
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