Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Love Affair with Birth Control Pills


I've been on birth control pills since I was approximately 15, 16, or 17 years old (so long that I can't even remember).  Not, not because I was a nymphomaniac back in highschool, but because I had a horrendous complexion that could just not be controlled!  I had seriously almost tried everything from antibiotics to topical treatments and nothing would work!  Back in those days, there was no personal computers or internet, so, as a teenager, there was no pragmatic means for me to do my own research.  To boot, I had a "crappy" family gp who basically was a drug pusher and didn't explain anything- just described the drugs.

My first experience was with Diane-35.   This pill was a miracle in its entirety!  My skin cleared up within about 6 months, I had no side affects, no acute breakouts (at least from what I can remember), it doubled as a birth control pill, and because it was prescribed for skin issues rather than a BC pill, it was covered under my parents' insurance.  So sweet!  It took a while to get used to the daily dosing, and i'm pretty sure I heard some grumbling from my mom regarding the birth control part of this pill.  I took this pill until around 2004 or 2005 (I think) when I actually got a job and paid for my own meds.  These pills are EXPENSIVE!   Maybe around $55-$60 for 3 months worth of supplies despite having 80% coverage.  Thanks parents for putting up with the cost!

In 2004/2005 I can briefly remember a situation when I read/heard/watched something about Diane-35.  Although it was in passing, thanks to the internet, I was able to do my own research.  To my surprise, I got apprehensive about this drug right away...i don't know WHY though considering I had absolutely no side affects, and the side effects listed was verbatim with every other contraceptive out there.  Here's a link to one site from CMAJ Diane-35 (cyproterone acetate): safety concerns  This isn't the website I found way back then, but this certainly sets a tone.  I also feel a lingering anger towards my family MD who never told me about this stuff, or actually even stressed the importance of side effects by doing head to toe assessments and my vitals and merely even asking questions on how i'm doing.  Bottom line though:  i'm healthy.

I made the active switch to Alesse sometime in the 2004/2005 range.  Sadly, not because I did research but because the advertising was EVERYWHERE so I was like, "what the heck, ill try that one!"  To this day, I don't exactly know what i'm putting in my body, but again, I have no side effects, pimples are still around, but definitely not as bad as when I was in high school, and according to websites, Alesse has the lowest dose of estrogen and progestin.

So far I haven't stopped taking Alesse, my prescription is ongoing until July 2011.  I'm going to order another cycle of 3 months (this is all that Blue Cross will pay for at one time) in Feb for the Feb/March/April cycle.  At this time, i'm not sure if i'll be ready to stop the pill in April.  The next cycle would be May/June/July ...the latter sounds a lot more exciting in my opinion.  According to my doctor, I don't even have to stop taking the pill for 3 months before trying...that there was no evidence of any harm.  I think i'll listen to my gut instinct and clear my system.

What I love about birth control pills?  I can plan my entire life and vacation a year ahead as I know when i'll have my period!  I love love love that!

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