Ladies’ Eyes Only: My experience with birth control pills

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Ladies’ Eyes Only: My experience with birth control pills
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Disclosure: All thoughts and opinions are my own, I am happy to have this opportunity to tell my story as part of this sponsored campaign from Bedsider.org

My Experience with the birth control pill

I don’t talk about intimate things often and let me assure you, this post will not be intimate in the way you think it could be. There will be no crazy sex stories here, you can go find an erotica section online – this is not it. Today, I wanted to share my experience with birth control. I know most women think about the options but many are afraid to speak about it.

Besides the traditional rubber, I have been a semi-long term user of birth control pills. I have been on a number of different ones ever since I got my first boyfriend at the age of 17. As an overly cautious person, I wanted to be absolutely sure there was no way I could get pregnant. I was willing to pay the couple of dollars a month for the daily pill in order to keep those worries at bay.

My initial reactions to The Pill

I don’t remember the first brand of birth control pill I was on but I know it wasn’t as difficult to keep track of taking it as some women think it is. I set an alarm on my phone for a time that I knew I would always be able to take it, for me it was 4:30pm, and I took it daily. Sometimes I was late by a few hours, but thankfully you don’t have to be super precise about the time for it to work. Also, you can use a scheduler for taking the Pill. This option wasn’t around back then though so I didn’t utilize it at the time.

The time I started taking this particular birth control, I was also nervous about one of the dreaded side effects – weight gain. As an already average/slightly-fluffy girl, there is no way I would be okay with gaining any extra weight. I ensured that the OB-GYN knew this. To be on the safe side, this was also the time I started practicing self-hypnosis for weight loss. The result? I lost 15 pounds after starting birth control without even noticing it. The power of hypnosis, I tell you – it’s amazing. This is why I’m so passionate about it. But anyway, back to my story…

Everything was fine until a few months in when I started getting increasingly more irritable. It didn’t help that I was in a mentally abusive relationship. I found myself getting depressive and wanting to cry at little things. I would think of the most depressing things and cry about them at night. I sometimes cried about stupid things during the day too. None of my friends knew. The only time someone saw what was going on is one night when I was really depressed and bawling my eyes out at night and I asked my mom to sleep with me that night. She said it was probably the birth control that was making me all loopy. I laughed through my tears and I hoped she was right.

I got switched to another birth control pill – Yazmin. This one was supposed to be better. It was supposed to be specifically designed for people with mood issues due to PMS (oh yeah, I also developed an intense attitude problem: everything was irritating to me and I snapped on people numerous times without much reason). The mood issues got better but my boyfriend and I broke up (finally) and I didn’t see a reason in continuing the birth control.

Then I got older…

The next time I went on the pill was when when I went to college. I was prescribed Loestrin Fe 24. I didn’t use it for a long time the first time I was prescribed it but I went back on it my Junior year when I started dating someone more seriously. This pill was supposed to have a minimal amount of side effects – no weight gain and no mood issues. Everything was fine and dandy for the first few months again but this was the time when my relationship with food was very up-and-down which caused a lot of low self-esteem. This, combined with my previous relationship and detachment issues, has lead to some minor depressive spurts. After about 7 months of taking the Pill, my sex drive was completely gone and I was no longer interested nor excited about getting intimate. Additionally, my relationship with food become more disordered and this caused more stress in my life. I went off the pill to get my hormones back in order. My boyfriend and I broke up 2 months after that for reasons unrelated.

The Pill for other reasons

I was off the pill for almost a full year after that, until 2-3 months ago when I went back on another form of birth control pill. For the first time, though, this was not done for the reasons you usually use birth control. For some odd reason, my hormones have been out of whack (which I think might be due to losing + gaining weight) and my period started acting really weird – I would not have it for 2 months, then it would come back, then it would come back 2 weeks after that, then it would be gone again for 2 months. It was extremely unpredictable and very annoying to keep track of. When I went to my OB-GYN she said I should just get back on the pill to get my hormones back in order. I do wish she did a blood test I asked for though, just in case there was something else that was wrong. Anyway, the new pill she put me on is Lo Loestrin Fe 1-10 which is the lowest dose of hormones you can get in a birth control pill at the moment which also means the least amount of side effects. I haven’t had any issues with it so far and my periods have been regular and a lot lighter. I guess only time will tell how this one affects me in the long run!

I like using birth control because it makes me feel more in control. I like the obvious benefit it provides but I have also saw a benefit of improved complexion from using the birth control pills as well. I think the thing is that each pill works differently for everyone – so it’s mostly all about trial and error. You can find out which form of birth control would work best for you from Bedsider’s Method Explorer. While the only one I have used is the Pill, I have friends who swear by other forms – such as the copper IUD. It’s really up to your lifestyle choices and other factors that determine what birth control is right for you!

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bedsider.org.

Kammie wants to know:

  • Have you ever been on the Pill? What were your experiences with it?
  • What is your birth control of choice?

Let me know in the comments below!

24 Comments

  1. I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while. I was a pill user, then got an IUD about a year ago. It’s some of the best money I’ve spent on myself for a variety of reasons. There are next to no side effects, and I stopped getting a period. I’d highly recommend it to anyone. I’ve become the IUD evangelizer.

  2. I think birth control can be a touchy and sensitive subject at times. I’ve been on the same pill since I was 17 (I’m 24 next month). I’m on a progesterone only pill, Cerezette, because apparently the two hormone pill can give migraine sufferers, like myself, more headaches and migraines. Generally I’ve been OK with it. It isn’t like the two hormone pill in that you take it for 3 weeks and have 1 week off and have a period. You take it constantly. Sometimes you get a period. Sometimes you don’t. Generally I go through a few months of getting them and then a few of not getting them. Though recently my periods have been messed up (as this is ladies only I shall share), last month and the month before I had more than one bleed in a month. I’m not sure whether this was stress related, it could be Cerezette just being Cerezette as it doesn’t give you regular periods, it could be my recent weight loss or it could be something else – I did got to the drs but need to go back if it doesn’t get better. I’m waiting to see what this month’s period does. Hopefully it will be normal.

    • The Loestrin pill I’m on is one you take constantly too, I actually didn’t know there were pills where you take a month off. Interesting. And I can totally relate to the strange period thing. I have had my period twice in one month once too and it was not just frustrating but also a bit unnerving. I always worry that something’s wrong. But since that’s a side effect for Cerezette, that might be the reason why. You could also try a blood test if it doesn’t get better? I’ve really wanted to do one when I went to the OB-GYN last time but she just kind of dismissed the idea and put me on the Pill instead. Decent so far although the periods do get super light or sometimes almost nonexistent as a side effect to this particular one (Lo Loestrin Fe 1-10).

  3. I have been on the pill before. I got children 1 and 2 while on it. Then I did those things that get put into your arms (can’t remember what they are called) and loved it. That is why there is a four year she gap between my second and last child. When I was young I just wasn’t as good at taking the pill as you. I needed something that required no thought. 🙂

    • I thought about getting that thing in your arm. I know exactly what you’re talking about, but my mom said I shouldn’t do it cause it could be a large dose of hormones at once and what if it doesn’t work well with my body and what if I’ll have to get it removed sooner? A lot of caution and anxiety is instilled in me haha. I’m glad you liked it though, that’s good to know. I haven’t heard of anyone using this method right now though, are they still doing it? I remember reading something about it a year ago or so about how it’s no longer legal or something? Maybe I’m wrong.

      • Yeah, I don’t know if they do that anymore or not. I can’t seem to find them. I did really like them a lot and they were a slow release over time, not one big bunch. The only issue with them is that I was super, super thin and you could see them in my arm. For a couple of years while I had them in I was divorced so you can imagine that I got plenty of date requests. LOL

  4. I tried two different pills and then Nuva Ring many years ago. They all made me feel gross. Not only was I bloated all the time, my moods were all over the place. Having had a history of depression I decided that birth control just wasn’t for me (although of the ones I did try I would have to say Nuva Ring suited me best – no remembering to take a pill and I never knew it was there!). Cut to a few months ago I decided to try LoSeasonique in an effort to reverse hypothalamic amenorrhea. It is a super duper low dose and getting a period four times a year was something I was in favor of. I felt like I was going crazy. My mental state was all over the place. And on top of that I bled for three weeks straight. And that will be my last attempt at birth control. I don’t know why putting hormones into my body doesn’t work for me. It’s a huge bummer for me now because I don’t know what more to do for the HA. I wish I had a good experience like so many people do!

    • Oh wow, three weeks?! That totally sucks, I’m sorry for the negative experiences you had to endure. That’s why everyone’s different, I guess – birth control works differently for everyone, it all depends on the body. You could try the copper IUD? My old roommate uses it because she said hormones would affect her really badly as well and she has had positive experience with the cooper IUD (hormone-free) besides for some extreme cramps during the time she did get her period. But Kelly (she commented on this post) said she hasn’t had any side effects at all. It’s worth researching, maybe?

  5. I’ve had to change pills multiple times for mood swings etc and I have friends who can’t even use the pill because of the bad side effects they’ve had with it.

  6. I’m on Seasonique and I LOVE it! I only get a period once every three months!

  7. Omg, I swear I’ve tried EVERY pill out there! I’ve been on birth control almost consistently since I was 15 years old because I started having seriously heavy periods that would last for MONTHS at a time! I was on the LoEstrin Fe 24 at one point and actually, I think my sex drive went down with that one too! I’ve also tried the Nuva Ring and I very highly DO NOT recommend it! Super simple to use, insert, and remove, but it seriously would come out during sex sometimes! And that was NOT pleasant…or good for the mood…let me tell ya!

    I have a lot of problems with my hormones/periods. I was on some sort of birth control from the time I was 15 until I got divorced at 25. I was honestly a bit scared to stop taking it for fear that I would go back to having the heavy and long periods, but I really needed to save some money and heck, I was just divorced…I didn’t even want to LOOK at another man! When I went off of it, the OPPOSITE happened…I actually quit having a period for like 9 months! I was running at the time, but nothing crazy so it wasn’t like that or anything, but after going to the doc and having 5 bajillion tests done, they couldn’t tell me anything. I got back on the pill just to have some regularity/peace of mind once I got into a relationship, but I have no idea what’s up with my body. One thing that has always been a problem for me…if I miss more than one pill in any month (even on non-consecutive days), I will start my period and have it for the rest of the month! It’s so annoying!

    • Oh wow, that sounds really heavy indeed. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with that. It’s surprising that the doctors couldn’t even tell you anything that was wrong, I mean last time I checked, having a period that lasts that long is not the norm. Hm. I do agree with the peace of mind thing too when it comes to having regular periods too though, I couldn’t go on a pill that only gives me 3 periods a year. I would be STRESSING OUT each time, what if the pill didn’t work and I got pregnant after all? I Couldn’t do that to myself to wait all that time before I get a period. I like KNOWING that I’m good to go each month. Peace of mind!

  8. Oh man I’ve had quite the experience with birth control pills! I first started the pill (I think it was Loestrin) after I lost my period after freshman year of college. Although this was likely due to weight loss, my doc (like all other docs in the freaking world) suggested birth control and so I went on it. It wasn’t horrible and I had also just started a serious new relationship with someone so it all worked out. I did gain weight but it was almost definitely not because of the pill but because I needed to get back to my normal weight. I was on Loestrin for a few months before I stupidly decided to switch to Yaz. Oh mah gawd let me just say that I immediately felt its horrific effects – I literally had a breakdown and an anxiety attack the night before an exam and it was unlike anything I ever experienced before. That was the last time I ever took birth control.

    Despite being completely healthy (normal weight, hormones all regular, etc.) I’ve been struggling with period loss and irregularity since then…and that was 2009! I’m pretty anti-pill now despite every.single.freaking.doctor trying to get me back on it. I am simply very uncomfortable taking some added hormones into my body to help it “function” properly. I’ve actually started something called seed cycling 2 months back to regulate my period (something I definitely need to write about) and it worked IMMEDIATELY. Seriously, homeopathic remedies for the win!

    Ok that was long enough, sorry 🙂

    • Ohhh wow, I definitely NEED to hear about this seed cycling thing you spoke of, I have never heard of such a thing before but I am curious – I’d definitely prefer to do something natural rather than taking additional hormones especially since I’m not in a relationship so pregnancy isn’t even on the table as a possibility (how sad! haha).

  9. Girl! The more I read your blog, the more I feel like we’re soul sisters across space. If I get to Chicago this summer, I’m taking you out for lunch (or you can take me to do something healthy like a yoga class or walking tour of the city).

    It was when I went off Birth Control (Seasonale) the 2nd time that my hormones began to get wacky. Cycle totally irregular, plus extremely irritable & painful when it did come. My hair was falling out. And I had skin hyperpigmentation (melasma). Aiya! And to top all of it, I had some tests that indicated I was possibly developing PCOS.

    It wasn’t until I made the connection and realized these were all hormonal symptoms that I began to do something. And I tried A LOT of somethings: diet, exercise, yoga poses for thyroid, measuring my basal temperature, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, Ayurveda medicine. Nothing seemed to be fast enough or effective enough to affect change. My cycle was so irregular, I couldn’t even calculate when to take the Ayurveda medicine!

    Then finally I found MY solution: Orenda Otropin. That spray got my pituitary to remember how to function on its own, to regulate the reproductive hormones, and to balance everything out again. Thank God! Regular cycle, no pain, minor irritability, hair thick as ever, and more even skin tone! Still so fricken happy! Plus I cleaned up my diet (going paleo) to ensure I didn’t develop PCOS from too much grain/gluten. And now I’m learning to manage my stress and do relaxation exercises to keep the hormones happily functioning.

    As I’ve heard similar stories from countless women and girls about what happened to them going off “the pill,” now its my personal mission to advise young ladies to find better alternatives than birth control pills (and preferably non-hormonal). Another problem with “the pill” is women choose men that wouldn’t otherwise be ideal mates for them when they’re on those hormones, according to studies and evolutionary tendencies.

    I’m on the hunt in my on-going travels and studies of indigenous medicine and herbal traditions to find herbs that prevent pregnancy. (Does anyone know of any? They’d sell like hotcakes if they were truly effective.)

    In the meantime, the best options I can find are condom or IUD, though neither is ideal, depending on the individual situation because of the reasons mentioned above.

    Kammie, I’ll email you if I’m traveling through Chicago in the next few months.

    • Aw Toffler, so happy to to see you comment 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad you’ve found a thing that seems to be working! Can you tell me a little bit more about Orenda Otropin? I Googled but didn’t find very much, although I do see you wrote about it on your website , but not sure if this is the exact one you’re talking about since there are a few mentioned in the post. Do tell me more please?

      And I actually DO remember reading that when a woman is on the pill she does tend to gravitate towards men who are more feminine rather than masculine. I don’t remember where exactly I read that, I think it was one of those health magazines – it sounds so strange! Do you know anything else about this phenomenon? I do find it interesting, but I wonder if there’s more to it than just the “more feminine guy” look that is the difference when taking the Pill. From the comment, it sounds like you think there’s more… I’d love to hear what you think about this!

      And yes! Please do let me know about next time you’ll be in Chicago! I’d love to meet up and chat 🙂

  10. I have used the Yasmin birth control pill for about 7 years now and never (touch wood) had a problem with it.

    When I first started using Yasmin there were stories going around concerning higher risks of blood clothing, heart attacks etc. I believe you risk that with every birth control pill and you need to look after your general health in any case. You just need to find the right pill (or other birth control method) that works for you!

    • Definitely agree with having the find the right one for you! There were even lawsuits against Yaz and Yasmin because of the blood clots *shudder* but that’s right – there is a risk of that with every pill, that’s why it’s recommended that women not smoke when on the Pill. Thanks for weighing in, Daisy! Hope to see you back on Sensual Appeal soon 🙂

  11. Speaking of COPPER IUD? Did you mean Mirena IUD? I highly would not recommend you to use IUDs. Though IUDs are 99.9% effective. Most of them have certain side effects associated. Like Mirena, one of the most common, yet serious side effects resulting from the Mirena IUD is infections. Many of these can have life-threatening results, especially if they are not discovered and treated immediately. Many women have reported suffering with a pelvic infection from the Mirena IUD, which can be a serious problem, especially for women have never experienced childbirth. And there are a lot more side effects you can obtain.

    Visit my blog for more information
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