Contraceptive pills - medical history

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Juliaho90
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Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:13 pm

Is taking contraceptive pills considered part of my medical records/ medical history? Are these prescriptions considered confidential medical information? I am concerned about data privacy and medical records privacy and I wonder if those details will be sent through post or mail without my consent?

I am taking contraceptive pills and I don’t wish for my parents or anyone else to find out but I am living with my parents. I don’t know if clinics can send out medical information or history without my consent?

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:48 am

Also, sorry just tagging on the same post...

Since we are in quarantine the whole month of April and we are not living together, I am thinking to stop taking the pill for this month and give my body a break. I wouldn’t need the pills since we won’t be even be able to see each other much or be intimate with each other.

1. I wonder if I stop taking the pill this month, will my natural period come back? I know it will take a while but does anyone knows how long? I am on my last pill free week and tomorrow is when I start the new pack. I will need to decide if I want to continue with the pill ASAP.

2. If I want to get back on the pills, I able to start anytime during my cycle right? I know that if I take it anytime during my cycle, I would need to take it for at least 7 days in order to be fully protected. Is that correct? But if I take it on the first day of my natural period, I will be fully protected immediately?

I am just really worried that if I stop the pill, my period doesn’t come back on its own, I would be really anxious and paranoid. Help please?

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Siân » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:56 am

Hi Juliaho90,

Since you're not a minor, I wouldn't normally expect that they would be able to share anything with anyone else without your explicit permission. I don't know where you are exactly to be able to check myself, but medical history and personal details are usually considered confidential and treated very carefully. If you're concerned maybe you can call your doctor and confirm with them?

As for your other questions:
1/I'm afraid it's impossible to say! It takes a little while (think several months) for your cycle to fully settle down, so you might find yourself having irregular bleeding for a little while until your periods become "normal" (whatever that is for you) again.

2/ For many brands, yes, that is correct. The best way to be certain though is to check the patient information leaflet that came with your pills as they can vary by manufacturer.

It wouldn't be unusual for your period to take a while to come back, so it looks like the decision for you to make is whether it's better to take a break from the pills and accept the uncertainty (and possibly anxiety that comes with that) or to keep taking the pills so you have one less thing to worry about.

Do you want to talk a bit about why not having a regular period might make you feel anxious?

Also, how are you doing generally right now? These are pretty unsettling times for a lot of folks!

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:33 am

Hello Sian.

Thank you for the response.

I have anxiety and OCD in general and my menses have been very irregular. My cycles are from 39 days and longest was like 54 days.

I am not in a position to be able to get myself pregnant now, especially with the COVID situation now. Also my family is very conservative and frown upon pre-marital sex. So no I don’t want my parents to find out I am taking birth control pills, even though I love that it regulates my period so well.

Do you recommend that I stop for the next cycle and let my period come back? Since I won’t be doing anything intimate for the whole month of April at least. And if I feel paranoid and anxious again, I could start taking the pills right? At any time of my cycle?

My last break day is today and my next pill is scheduled for Saturday. So I need to make a decision now!.

We are in lockdown in Singapore and ugh I feel so suffocated not being able to go out!

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:00 am

So, whenever you're considering going on or off a medication, the first person to consult is your healthcare provider, as they can give you advice based on your specific situation and health history.

That being said, given that you have a history of anxiety around the pill and your cycle, going off of them for a month and then restarting them is not a great idea. Starting and stopping birth control often creates cycle irregularity, so it seems like this situation would simply increase your stress around all this.

Suffocating is a good word for what being in lockdown feels like! Are you finding ways to keep busy?

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:07 am

Thing is it’s too late for me to go to my health care provider because the next pill cycle starts tomorrow!

So I think you are suggesting that it doesn’t make sense for me to stop for a month and then continue again if I am going to be on the pills eventually?

I just wanted to see if my period would come back naturally if I stop the pill and how long that would take.

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:28 am

Correct. Your period will come back if/when you eventually stop the pill for another reason, so there's no reason to subject yourself to something that's going to increase a major source of anxiety for you just to test that theory right now.

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:45 am

Well, I would be in quarantine for the whole of April. Wouldn’t that be a good time to rest out this theory since there won’t be any intimacy?

It will increase my anxiety, but if I am not doing anything intimate, my only anxiety will be for my natural period to come quickly.

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Mo » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:14 pm

Now would be a better time to try this than a time when you'd be more likely to be intimate with someone else, I suppose, but I don't know that it'll give you very helpful information to use for the future. If you stop taking the pill for a month and take note of when your period starts up again, that won't tell you anything about what might happen if you resume taking the pill and then stop again in the future. Your body won't necessarily have the exact same reaction every time you stop taking it. Does that make sense? It seems more likely to increase your anxiety a little bit (at a time when the global pandemic is making many people extra anxious to begin with) without giving you information that you can use in the future.

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:46 pm

Okay I ended up taking the pill for my next pack.

Just curious, does anyone take the birth control pill just to regulate their period? So that they will get it every 28 days or so? Do people with PCOS get prescribed with contraceptive pills?

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Jacob » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:39 am

I think it's more accurate to say that they could use it to suppress periods... for example I have a friend whose periods trigger very powerful migranes.

When on birth control the periods aren't regulated but are stopped and replaced with a bleed once a month which is the body's response the supply of the hormones provided by the pills being withdrawn.

A period is something completely different resulting from a whole cycle of events, and that cycle doesn't doesn't occur when you're on birth control. I hope that makes sense!

People with PCOS may also be prescribed them to counterract the effect of irregular amounts of different hormones in the body that can occur as a result of the syndrome.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:45 pm

I was just wondering in terms of health and safety, is it ok for me to stop taking the pills for a while (for example 4 months or so) and when there is a need to, I go back on the pills. Will that cause any harm to my body? Can I start and stop whenever I want? I just know that my body will need some time to get used to the hormonal changes. But besides that, will it be ok?

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 8:05 pm

I’m so sorry. I have more questions.

Do you know if urine pregnancy test kits (like the ones sold at pharmacies, Clear Blue etc) are accurate if one tested 2-3 weeks after a perceived potential risk? Stopping the pill would give me an increased anxiety but I would want to give my body a break before I start the pill again after the COVID situation dies down. So taking the urine pregnancy test kits would help to give me some reassurance while waiting for my natural period to arrive after stopping the pill.

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:26 pm

I apologise for the multiples posts!!

I just thought of another question. Do people take it just so that they can push back or delay their periods? For example if they are going on vacation or have an important event to attend. Can they take the pill to push Back their periods, and not as a contraceptive?

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Alexa » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:43 am

Hey Juliaho90,

People take birth control for a number of reasons. You can certainly use them to suppress/skip periods. However, it's not quite as simple as taking birth control the month of a particular event (e.g. a vacation) to skip the period, nor do you 'push back' a single period and have it later. Instead, it may take a while for birth control to completely regulate your bleeding in whatever way -- be that having it happen at a regular time, or skipping it entirely -- so going on and off birth control for particular events or to wait a few additional weeks for a single period wouldn't be effective in the way that having a regular, sustained birth control regimen would.

Waiting 14 days after a particular sexual act to test for pregnancy is recommended, so 2-3 weeks should be a good window. We have more information on this in our article Peeing on a Stick: All About Pregnancy Tests.

On the whole, available birth control methods have been vetted extensively and are safe for your body. However, if you are able to talk to a physician via a telehealth visit at this time, it is best to consult with a medical professional about how starting and stopping any medication may affect your body.

I hope you'll indulge me a question in return! It seems like this whole process -- considering starting/stopping birth control, pregnancy risk, periods -- is causing you a lot of anxiety even now, when you are just considering it. For me, that is a reason to pause and consider this a bit more deeply. You've said that you want to "give your body a break" from the pill -- could you elaborate? What would you be giving your body a break from, exactly? Is there another way we can support your body's wellness, outside of stopping and starting your medication?
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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:22 am

I am worried that being on birth control for long time is harmful for my body and bad for health. I have been taking it for about 6 to 7 months now. And I don’t know how safe it is to take it long term. I am not planning to have penetrative sex or sex that could eventually get me pregnant. That’s why I think of stopping birth control

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Jacob » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:58 am

Hi Julia!

Following on from Alexa: yep it's very safe!

That of course is practically speaking, but it's hard to convince ourselves of practical things with the worries are more emotional.

If anything hormonal birth control lowers the risk of some health problems, however many of us live in communities where birth control isn't talked about, or is treated negatively, so even when there's no danger we still feel scared.

Does any of that relate to you? How would you feel about taking contraception if there was no fear and zero worries attached to idea of it being bad for your health?
"In between two tall mountains there's a place they call lonesome.
Don't see why they call it lonesome.
I'm never lonesome when I go there." Connie Converse - Talkin' Like You

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:29 pm

So we just had a nation wide announcement yesterday that we are on a lock down because of the COVID thing and private clinics and non-essentials will no longer be open. That will be until 4 May and the government may extend the lock down depending on the situation.

My last active pill will end 24 April and my withdrawal bleed will happen on 28 April. I will need to start the next pill on 2 May. Which means I won’t make it in time to get my packs refilled. Since we are in quarantine, there isn’t a chance for me to be intimate in any way, much less have the kind of sex that would lead to a potential pregnancy.

What should I do in this instance? Since I won’t be able to get my packs refilled on time, only once the ban lifts, I will be able to visit the clinic again. Do I wait for my natural period to come and then start taking the next pill? Or can I take the next pill any time once I have it? Which is better?

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Sam W » Tue Apr 07, 2020 7:29 am

Oof, that's always a stressful announcement to hear, even if it's being done for public health. Are you certain pharmacies are among those places that will be closed? I ask because in many cases they're considered essential, as many people need access to medication in order to stay healthy or alive, so it's possible some may remain open and be places you could get a refill.

If it ends up being the case that you can't get your next pack until the 4th or later, want you'll want to do is start the pack when you get it, rather than wait for your period to restart.

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:19 am

Hi Sam,

The clinic that I usually go to is now closed I think. We can’t get the pills at pharmacies here.

Is there a reason why I should take the pill as soon as I get them and not wait until my natural period comes? If I am not going to participate in anything that would cause pregnancy, is it ok for me to wait?

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:33 am

In response to Jacob’s question, I agree that many of us live in communities where birth control isn't talked about, and is treated negatively. it is Definitely so where I live and in my family. i know it is supposedly safe to take it long term, and I agree that it’s the psychological fear that makes me want to stop and “take a break” for a while.

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Amanda F. » Tue Apr 07, 2020 10:19 am

Hi Juliaho90,

It would be okay health-wise to wait to start the next pack of pills, if you want. I think Sam is suggesting that you begin taking them when you get them to try and limit the amount of changes that your body goes through (e.g. being on the pill, then stopping it, then going back on). It's not that this is unsafe for your body, but instead that you might have to deal with more periods coming and going, which may be a bit annoying and/or stressful.

I agree with everyone else that the evidence suggests that taking birth control for a long period of time is safe for your body's health. I'll also add that if you feel like you just want to stop taking the pills and get back to your body's natural hormone cycle, that's also a perfectly fine decision to make. The goal of all types of birth control, hormonal and non-hormonal alike, is to empower you to make decisions about your sexual health and your life that make you feel good. If taking hormonal birth control is causing you anxiety despite the medical evidence suggesting it is safe, you can certainly decide to stop taking it - provided you come up with an alternative form of birth control that has an acceptable amount of risk for you and will also limit your anxiety about pregnancy.

Some people choose not to use hormonal birth control because they prefer just to let their body have its natural hormone cycle, whatever that may be like for each person. Other people use hormonal birth control because they prefer to control their hormones. The choice is up to you! Overall, do you feel like there's a decision here that would make you feel empowered and least anxious about your health and potential pregnancy?

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:46 pm

So, they have made an announcement to tighten measure for the lock down. We are not allowed to leave our homes anymore unless it is for absolute emergencies. I have asked the clinics and they recommend for me to not come down to get the pills and wait till lockdown is over.

In that case, it means that I am going to miss my next pill which is on 2 May because the lock down only ends on the 4 May, and it might be further extended. I will only be able to leave home on 4 May, provided they don’t extend the lock down.

What should I do in this case? I am not living with my partner so I won’t be intimate or having any sex that would lead to pregnancy any time at all. I feel really frustrated this is messing up my schedule and plans!

I know you guys have answered that is ok to wait, but I feel so uncomfortable now not being able to take my pills on time. When can I start taking the next pack of pills again? Do I take it as soon as I get them or wait for my period to get back? I know Sam said to take it as soon as I have the pill.... but god know when this lockdown will end!

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Amanda F. » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:54 am

Hi Juliaho90,

Sam mentioned this earlier in the thread - you should just start taking the pack when you get it, even if it's on the 4th or later.

Sam W wrote:
If it ends up being the case that you can't get your next pack until the 4th or later, want you'll want to do is start the pack when you get it, rather than wait for your period to restart.


Depending on the type of pill you have, it may become effective right away or you may need to take them for a few days before it becomes effective at preventing pregnancy; however, since you noted you're on lockdown anyway you don't need to worry about that right now.

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Re: Contraceptive pills - medical history

Unread postby Juliaho90 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:51 am

Thank you, I know. I’m just very upset with the current situation right now, like everyone. It’s ruining my plans and disrupting my cycle. I’ll try to get it as soon as I can. Thank you. Stay safe.


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