Birth Control Options?

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0PT1M15T1C
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Birth Control Options?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:45 am

I've been researching this for a while and I find myself going in an endless loop at this point between what sites I look at having different information and then hearing about personal experiences with different methods of birth control.

I want have a pretty good idea of what my options are before going to the doctor for this, so that way my mom will actually take me, I don't really know why she won't just take me as this has been a topic of discussion for years. She's said repeatedly she'd take me if I wanted to, but really hasn't followed through on what she's said.

I checked out https://www.scarleteen.com/article/sexu ... trol_bingo a bit and I do think I'd be looking at a hormonal option. I really want my period to stop, partially because it is extremely painful and then also because being trans, that really sucks to be getting every single month. As I mentioned I'm kind of finding myself stuck in this loop, and figured I might as well just ask. I'm far too young for a hysterectomy which is the only thing I'm really aware of that would stop it. I know an IUD of really any type would at least lighten it, but I've also heard that sometimes people will bleed for like a month or so straight, which just sounds like hell. My mom also refuses blockers because there's not really a whole lot of research on long term effects and she believes that stopping your bodies natural process of going through puberty would be extremely unhealthy. She's pretty dead set on that idea and discussion about it stopped some time ago. Stopping those changes would be pretty sweet though, right now I have a small chest and I'm hoping I'm at an age for that growth to stop for the most part. It might also help to mention she's just coming around to pronnouns and that started about a year ago, I came out at 11, so it may just take more time?

I want to be on birth control for a few reasons, a) it's always safer to use multiple methods/pairing them up (birth control + condom) and b) this bleeding needs to stop, for about a week every month I'm just out of commision.

Is there any birth control that would be able to stop my period from coming? And if so, do you have any ideas as far as bringing it up with my mom.
Also, I've heard weight gain is a thing when you're on birth control, is that true? That idea scares me a bit as far as I really don't want to be gaining weight, especially as someone who needs to stay quite mobile and fit for my sports. I'm a goalkeeper so putting on weight could end poorly for my possition, I need to be able to get up for rebounds (without use of y hands by the way) using core strength purely and also need to get high in the air (as I'm certainly a smaller keeper and the outdoor nets are huge, I need to be able to protect the top posts.) What I'm trying to get at is I really don't want to gain weight due to birth control.
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Sam W
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Re: Birth Control Options?

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:09 am

Hi 0PT1M15T1C,

The tricky thing about choosing a birth control method is that the experience of using can vary so widely from person to person, making it hard to perfectly predict which is the best fit. But, when things like your period are already extra charged, it makes a lot of sense that you'd want to limit how many things you have to try. An IUD may be your best bet, even if there's a risk that your bleeding might increase at the beginning, since it can regulate or diminish your period without putting more estrogen into your system. The increased bleeding isn't a guaranteed side effect, so it's up to you whether you want to give the method a try and see how your body reacts.

As for gaining weight on birth control, some people do experience that as a side effect (although it's not a super common side effect of IUDs). However, given that you have a pretty active lifestyle already, that's going to have way more of an effect on your health and weight than birth control would.

You mention that blockers still sound like a really good option to you. If you want to open up that conversation again, we have some resources you could give you mom to help her understand just how beneficial they can be (including research studies that have found they create very positive results for people who take them).

0PT1M15T1C
not a newbie
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:44 pm
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Re: Birth Control Options?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:24 am

Okay thank you,

I'm curious, what would be the effect of putting more estrogen into my system, I mean obviously it causes the secendary sex characteristics, but what would putting more of that in my system do? Would it make my body look increasingly feminine? Is there a certain type of IUD that would be the most effective or is that something I should discuss with my doctor? I'm allergic to metal, so it's possible copper wouldn't be an option, I don't think putting something inside me that I'm allergic to would be a great idea, however, I'm not allergic to my braces which are surgical steel, so it's possible they do something similar? Metal and I don't have a great relationship, ended up being allergic to my trombone, and trust me, that one confuses people.

That's really good to know about the weight factor, I would honestly prefer to not take it if that meant weight gain.

As far as the resources, if you don't mind sharing them? I mean it's worth a shot. And taking blockers would stop everything right? Even though I'm already going through puberty? I kind of stopped looking into it after my mom and I's last fight about it.
You have the power to say "This is not how my story will end".

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 6833
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
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Re: Birth Control Options?

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:04 am

If you have concerns about metal allergies that is definitely something to bring up when you start discussing birth control options with your provider. Like you said, the time to discover you're allergic to copper is not when you've got something copper inside you.

The concerns some trans masculine people have about methods with estrogen is that they may make them look more "feminine." However, there isn't a ton of data to suggest that taking, say, the pill makes someone look more feminine. It's more about your individual comfort with taking something that contains estrogen. If you're open to methods besides the IUD, you can talk to your healthcare provider about what they recommend when it comes to managing periods as a trans person. I do want to check: is the person you'd be seeing for all this someone who offers trans competent healthcare?

When it comes to blocker, here is our basic overview of them: https://www.scarleteen.com/trans_summer_school_blockers. Even if you're already mid-puberty, blockers can act as a pause button. The effects blockers have will be determined in some part by what changes your body has already gone through. These two studies may be ones to show your mom: https://www.impactprogram.org/wp-conten ... Review.pdf, https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/23/health/t ... index.html. You may have a bit of an uphill battle with her, as blockers are something anti-trans groups love to spread information about.

0PT1M15T1C
not a newbie
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:44 pm
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Location: Canada

Re: Birth Control Options?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:40 am

Yeah, copper is the metal I'm most allergic to, and so it'll definitely be a concern I bring up with the doctor. I know what happens with contact on my exterior, don't really want to find out what happens if it's put inside me.

This is definitely the piece she's most concerned for "That means we don’t know all the risks — for example, hormone blockers may have an impact on brain development as well as bone density, because testosterone and estrogen have an influence on these things." from the first link you offered from "Trans Summer School."

Thank you for the articles, reading through those I'll definitely try to show them to my mom. I think they give a pretty clear understanding of it and that definitely helps, however I might need a bit of time ti decide whether or not that's a door I want to reopen. I haven't brought it up in a long time, but she's also come a long way (it really helps that her boss at work, someone who she's quite close with also has a transgender kid, although she's MtF. I think it just gave her someone to let her know she's not alone in dealing with everything.) As well as a counsellor really kind of snapped it into her head how serious this could be if left unaddressed and if she was not accepting me. It was basically accept it or lose me was the way she put it which was pretty harsh and I felt bad for.

As far as your question things in Canada really differ from the US. So for example, top surgeons specialise and there's a bit of choice in which surgeon. That doesn't really happen here, there are a few on the far East Coast that I'm aware of, and from my understanding it's where you are typically sent. The healthcare is also not federal (I'm not sure if it is in the US), it differs depending on each province. Where this gets even more tricky is transgender health care used to be covered by the provincial health care where I live, and now we have a new Premier who is trying very hard to get this taken away and even bring back conversion therapy. With doctors, I'm not really sure how it works, I would probably just go to my regular doctor, disclose to him (he seems like a pretty chill dude and I like him) If it turned out he was unsure, he would be able to refer me. There is now one centre for transgender health where I live and the waiting list is like two years, it's kind of a problem. In my whole province there's only 3 psychologists who openly specialise in transgender patients (That information is from like a year ago, so it may not be accurate.) If it turned out my doctor was not accepting, I'd just see if I can find a new doctor. In the US you can find a gender specialist and that's not really a thing as far as I know here, I believe any psychologist can diagnose gender dysphoria though and recommend treatment.

It's pretty scary with this new premier because our last one (NDP) was on board and fighting for trans rights and health care and now we have an older (conservative) white dude who's openly expressed in so many settings how homophobic and transphobic he is. On top of all this, he's really cutting down on both health care and education. And I mean MAJOR cuts. Which really isn't the way to go for the future. (However that's my opinion that educated and healthy people make the best and most appropriate decisions. He's actually pretty similar to Trump and the FBI was investigating him before they turned it over to the RCMP, no idea where that went though.)
Does that kind of answer that? Where I live, so much is changing so it's a little hard to give an exact answer.
You have the power to say "This is not how my story will end".

Heather
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Re: Birth Control Options?

Unread postby Heather » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:25 pm

Ugh, Doug Ford. I'm so sorry. Like you said, we have one of these too, but it's just so beyond the pale any of us does, and living with these kinds of men in power is always terrifying.

It does sound like just starting with your doctor to at least talk about these options is the way to go, since you like him. And in the event he doesn't respond in a way that gives you the clear message that a) he is trans-friendly and b) he is educated enough with trans help to be a good provider for you, then yep, you'll just want to ask for a referral.
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

0PT1M15T1C
not a newbie
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:44 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I can build things
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Location: Canada

Re: Birth Control Options?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:47 pm

I'm not sure if you just meant conservative, batshit old men in general by mentioning Doug Ford (Just because he's Ontario), I'm in Alberta and so we have Jason Kenny (just as bad though, he's just new and hasn't gotten a whole lot of opportunity.) WEXIT is a thing here though, and that's just insanely stupid, something Quebec has tried twice now and that just failed. The problem with this though, is unlike Trump, he actually has an understanding of how to pass those laws an create major problems and in fact already has.. Because we don't have enough schools, teachers next year will work more and be paid less, doctors visits - 15 minutes tops is the new guideline. Also, thought you might find it interesting to know that he tried to make schools that have GSA's tell parents if their kid is part of one, and out them as what they identify as, thankfully that bill was not passed, but my school actually did an extremely interesting sort of film (They started it before he was elected and thought it was something of the past and then these issues became very real, very fast.) The film was called "One Voice." and although I can't find the link to the full film here's some behind the scenes and information if you'd like to look at it: https://globalnews.ca/news/5239637/film ... n-schools/ It's really well done and I wish they had picked a better time for the interview because that was definitely not one of the greatest locations.
Oh yeah, I might want to mention I go to a visual and performing arts school. I hope it's okay I shared all of that with you, it's just a topic I'm pretty invested in, and at my school we are taught to be activists and stand up when something is not okay. I find out a lot of times for youth walk outs, it's usually students at my school who organise that, and my school doesn't punish us for participating, in fact they encourage us to continue to do more. They also educate us on the ways we can make a difference as youth, whether it be writing our MP's, organising walk outs, or other things. My school also pushes back against climate change, they just installed (I believe 72) solar panels, we will be creating enough energy that we will not only; not be drawing from the grid but also, we will be producing enough to be putting power back into the grid, which is just amazing. We also have an indigenous healing garden (honestly not 100% sure how that's used but it's cool.) and have smudges most days. For me, sexual health is something I'm extremely interested in and I'm so glad I found this site. In Alberta, the curriculum for health and I beleive specifically the sexual health piece is roughly 30 years old, which is a massive problem considering how much research has been done since that 30 year mark, so it depends on what school you go to as to whether or not you're getting a good education on it, especially when it comes to LGBT topics, some people just aren't informed and don't want to take the time to be informed, so it's funny when a 15 year old can answer questions in class that sometimes an adult is unable to. Some people find it strange, I call it educated. However birth control seemed to send me for a loop as you can see.

And thank you for the last piece, I just have to find a way to convince my mom to take me at the moment is the biggest issue at play.
You have the power to say "This is not how my story will end".

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8268
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Re: Birth Control Options?

Unread postby Heather » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:46 pm

Oh my god, that's right, I forgot you were there and forgot about THAT effing guy. They really are everywhere. :(

I went to a visual and performing arts high school, too, and I agree, it's a good support for being an activist. It's great to hear you're getting good staff support around that: I have to be the person pushing for that back when I went, but different times. Your school sounds amazing, and I'm glad you found us, too! We're all really glad you're part of this community. <3
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

0PT1M15T1C
not a newbie
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:44 pm
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Location: Canada

Re: Birth Control Options?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:55 pm

Thank you :)
You have the power to say "This is not how my story will end".

0PT1M15T1C
not a newbie
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:44 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I can build things
My primary language: English
My pronouns: They/He
My sexual identity and orientation: I don't really know anymore
Location: Canada

Re: Birth Control Options?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:33 pm

Oh yeah, I meant to ask, if I'm looking to possibly volunteer at Scarleteen, I've been following this site since about early November and finally chose to make an account at the beginning of January, where it then took me multiple weeks to choose to make. Stalkers aren't fun and I'm hoping they don't know about this all because that's a great way to get beaten up or worse, but I've found that I'm starting to communicate more (even if it's online) with people, which is a MAJOR (and I mean major leap for me.) I'm aware of the volunteer application and all but have a few questions about it. I didn't really want to make a whole new topic when I've kind of explained government and policies here, so I hope that's okay.

For me, weekends actually work best, which I notice is what you have listed. However in the time period in a few months I will have PAT's (Provincial Achievement Exams, they are similar to finals) to determine which classes I can take in high school, pretty major tests. During the time of a few weeks most of my time will be taken doing study and review, so is applying for volunteering something I should hold off on? Otherwise I do think it should be possible to reach that 8 hours (or at least quite close to) each week.

It's something I definitely plan to discuss with my school counsellor whom I would definitely use as one of my references, and then my Humanities (english and social) teacher. With both I have a great relationship with and we talk about sexuality quite a bit (14-15 year olds also have a high interest in cannibalism as well as sexuality). I've looked into volunteering at other organisations but find that for most, you have to be 18. With that, I just turned 15 in January, is that a little young? I'll probably talk to them first before bringing this up with my mom, she knows I've been interested in volunteering somewhere for quite some time and over the summer I want to volunteer at a local soup kitchen which as long as I can find time for, my parents are okay with. (May not be able to because I plan to do summer school, to get CALM and grade 10 Phys Ed done with) I'm not really sure how to share it with my mom, like "heyyyyy, here's this article about Scarleteen, what do you think?" It's just a little awkward being younger and saying I want to do some volunteering with an organisation focused on Sexuality and Sexual heath.

Also, if I picked 6 months, would I have to reapply after if I wanted to continue volunteering? I probably would put 6 months in the application because high school is a big jump and I have to be cautious of that and keep it in mind.

Thank you.
You have the power to say "This is not how my story will end".

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 6833
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
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Location: Desert

Re: Birth Control Options?

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:30 am

Hi 0PT1M15T1C,

Just letting you know this was seen! We're in the process of adjusting our volunteer stuff, so there are some things here I need to check with Heather. What I can say, though, is that if you volunteered for 6 months and wanted to keep going after that, you wouldn't need to reapply after that six month period.

0PT1M15T1C
not a newbie
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:44 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I can build things
My primary language: English
My pronouns: They/He
My sexual identity and orientation: I don't really know anymore
Location: Canada

Re: Birth Control Options?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:34 am

Okay thank you very much, I'll keep an eye on both this thread (In case anything update or answers are posted here) and then the volunteer page thing. (Application piece)
You have the power to say "This is not how my story will end".


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