Birth Control Options : LUSENET : Planning A Sky : One Thread

Are you on the pill? Do you have side effects? Are you using another method? Tell me about it. Why do you like it? Why do you prefer it ot the pill?

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2001


Actually, the pill made most of my period side effects go away. This included the heavy flow, the gut-wrenching cramps, and my personal favorite - the lovely suicidal depression. I struggled with monthly depression until I finally tracked down the cause. It didn't make it go away but it was such a relief to know that I wasn't crazy!

You may simply need to go on a lower dosage of the pill, or a different type. Talk to your doctor - if s/he knows the side effect, s/he can probably prescribe you a different one that will take care of it.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2001

Er...that is, figuring out the cause didn't make the depression go away. The pill, however, did the trick quite nicely.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2001

There are many, many different types of bcp's out there - it may take some experimentation, but it's more than likely you'll find the right one for you. I've switched prescriptions several times over the past twelve years because" one pill stopped my periods entirely (not a bad thing for some women, but paranoia-inducing in me), another resulted in such heavy flows that I needed to take an iron supplement, and my current pill is fine flow-wise but reduced my alcohol tolerance by 75% (and yes, it took me a couple of months to figure it out - all of a sudden I was getting a hangover before I even left parties - from drinks I could previously knock back without any difficulty - and it took me a while to realize my drop in tolerance coincided with my last change in HMOs (had to change prescriptions because my new HMO wouldn't cover the brand I'd been using). Sigh. My biggest gripe with the pill is that it makes one more susceptible to yeast infections - but other forms of contraception also give me the icks, and the regularity/relief it provides from cramps, PMS, irregularity etc. make it one of the top discoveries of the 20th century in my book.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2001

I've been taking ortho novum for about nine years, but recently my face has been having large pustule breakouts, usually around the same time of the month but sometimes more often than that. I can only assume it is hormones. Are there any good pills for your complexion?

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2001

I also was on ortho tri-cyclen and experienced horrendous depressive "episodes". I guess this pill has three different hormone levels (hence the "tri".

So after careful consideration, I switched to Ortho Novum and have had NO problems whatsoever. I've heard ortho tri-cyclen can cause depression and mood swings as, unlike most pills, it has the three different levels.

There are a TON of different pills out there. I had good luck with just the normal ortho cyclen too. It's the "tri" stuff that had me feel like I was going batty (or at least more than usual :o)

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2001

I had to respond to this topic!

I began taking the pill when I was 17 to help regulate my cycle and help relieve some of the cramping I was suffering from. I was on it for a number of years (Melissa, I'll be 29 May 24th and I am TOTALLY understanding how you feel...but that's another discussion) and although the cramping eased somewhat, my skin still suffered and I was always an emotional mess before my period.

My GYN changed my perscriptions several times and when the lower dose pills became available, she thought they would be the cure all. They weren't. My hormones were running wild and my doctor even mentioned premature menopause as a possible reason for my problems. Months and many tests later, when we found out that that was not the case, I came across an ad for a new type of bc. I mentioned it to her and she gave me the go ahead to try it.

Lunelle has been my savior for the past 6 months. It's a monthly shot that really is painless. My skin cleared, I am never nauseous anymore and my monthly ups and downs have improved. Even better is that my cycle is lighter and I can hardly tell when it is time for the visit. No more bloating or painful breasts.

I suggest it, Melissa, if your doctor says it's an option for you. It has really helped me feel much better.

Hope this helps.

-- Anonymous, April 20, 2001

Personally I've always been concerned by the possible side effects of taking the pill so I started using the "Persona" machine to monitor my green days (non fertile) and red days (fertile) It's very simple, just ten sticks each month to test your hormon level and it's quite safe and the best part is that it's all natural (I sound like a commercial! haha)

Here's the url in case you are interested...

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2001

Up until about three months ago, I was on Depo Provera (the shot that you get every three months). At first, it was great - no periods, no cramps, no babies. After about four months, though, I started having these AWFUL mood swings foo about a week or two before I was due for a shot and the two weeks after I got one. I mean, BAD mood swings - temper tantrums, violent outbursts - I punched a few walls, which was very unlike me. I started gaining a lot of weight - in the year and a half I was on Depo, I gained 70 - yes, 70 - pounds. That, of course, made my self esteem drop, which made me depressed. To top all of that off, I lost my sex drive completely. Even when I was mentally into it, my body just wouldn't respond. And then I started having these weird headaches, dizzy spells and abdominal pains.

I stopped taking Depo a few months ago, and within a couple of weeks my "period" returned - and stayed for two months. I still can't seem to get any of the weight off, and I still am a bit depressed, but, thankfully, the mood swings and emotional outbusts have stopped.

I also found out recently that Depo may have screwed things up to the point where I may not be able to have kids. Wonderful.

And yes, I did research it before I started taking it - everything I could find was very positive. Now I am trying to figure out what to do - the Depo also helped me to develop a severe latex allergy, so condoms are out, and I am a little hesitant to take anything else that will affect me hormonally.

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2001


I've been on the pill for about a month now. After I spent many years of fighting horrible, gut wrenching, cramps. What really convinced me, were the asthma attacks I started getting, with the cramps. Great, extreme pain and not being able breath. That was the last straw... so, I finally gave in and decided to try the pill. For a long time I was dreading going on the pill because of the side effects, especially the weight gain and the depression. That and all the studies that either say the pill causes or prevents cancer.

I just had my first period while on the pill and what a dramatic change! My cramps have been reduced to nothing and my flow is much lighter. That was a huge plus.

So far I haven't really had any side effects. I was worried at first, as I am extremly emotional and tend to have mood swings. I would suggest not giving up on the pill all together, but adjusting your dose. My doctor started me on a very low dose. Have you tried Marvelon? A couple of my friends are on it, and we tend to agree that the effects are small, if any.

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2001

Hi Mel!

When I went on the pill about 10 years ended most of my PMS symptoms, except for headaches. I've been round and round with several doctors about my headaches and they all seem to think that it's stress or tension. They are full of it!! I was on a tri-phase pill...similar to Ortho Tri-cyclen. My new OB/GYN just told me that some people don't do well on the tri-phase pills because they CREATE peaks and valleys in hormones instead of a steady dose. She's going to try me on a mono-cycle pill to see if we can combat the headaches. So, you might want to ask your doctor about putting you on a mono-cycle pill to try that.


-- Anonymous, April 23, 2001

Hi Heidi! Hi everyone!

I have been taking copious notes from what y'all are writing here. I am glad that I am not crazy and that this seems to be a fairly common problem, this Ortho Tri with depression thing. Ugh. It's been really ugly the last couple of months with this stuff. I have an appt. at the OB/GYN on April 30th to talk about it all.

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2001

I'm on Norplant (the implant that lasts five years) and I preach the gospel of it all the time. It's the most effective contraception available to women, yet if you remove it you could get pregnant the next day - in other words, it doesn'taffect your fertility later.

No problems with mood swings, PMS, or other yucky stuff (at least for me).

Isn't it amazing how different we women are? I mean, we all have pretty much the same equipment, but doctors still barely understand female bodies.

Good luck Melissa. Ask your doc about Norplant.

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2001

I've been on ortho tri-cyclen for just over two years now, and I've been thrilled with it. It did wonders for physical problems I was having. We're not just talking regular annoying period pain, we're talking agonizing, literally could not get out of bed for three days except to throw up every ten minutes, sort of pain. Thanks to the ortho tri all of that is under control. I had existing depression problems before I started taking the medication, but it didn't make the depression worse, and now that I'm mostly stable and sane again, I'm not noticing any effects from it.

I'm seroiusly considering switching to Depo, though, because lately I'm not so good about remembering to take my pills every day. We use condoms too so it's not a huge deal, but I'd still feel more secure with Depo. I worry about what will happen if I have depression-worsening side effects and have to deal with the chemicals in my bloodstream for three months, though. I'm also not thrilled with the weight gaining prospects, since I'm already displeased with the weight I've gained in the past few months. I plan to go on an exercise kick once the semester ends, and maybe when I feel that my weight is under control again I'll try Depo.

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2001

i was on ortho tri cyclen for about four months and it made me crazy. crazy to the point of throwing things, screaming, crying uncontrollably... i'm glad to be off. now i use condoms for now as i haven't had luck with any hormonal methods. i've read a lot about lunelle, however, and am considering trying that...

-- Anonymous, April 26, 2001

Hi, girls,

I just happened to stop by, because I saw your interesting Forum title. Sorry if I'm intruding.

I personally have been practicing birth control for twenty years, with no side effects, and no pregnancies. I had a vasectomy. (this procedure also made sexual intercourse much more enjoyable for me and my partners)

My sister had her tubes tied. She's been very satisfied with that procedure as well. She had her tubes tied a couple or four years before I had my vasectomy.

Way back then, the federal government apparently took more of an interest in our incredible population mess. They gave free vasectomies to men, and free tubal ligations to women. Regardless of income.

Ah, the good old days.


-- Anonymous, April 28, 2001

Joe -

That is of course the best option - except for the whole I don't have kids yet part. :-) You can bet, though, as soon as I've had them, that I will be doing that and dispensing with birth control once and for all!

Molly, I have heard such mixed things about Norplant. Some people, like you, rave about it. Some people tell horror stories. I guess the whole having something embedded in me part weirds me out a little. I'm not always so comfortable in my skin.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2001

Hi everyone -

My gyn switched me to Estrostep. Anyone ever heard of it? It's like the Sesame Street of birth control...every week the pills are a different shape!

Supposedly it will lessen the depression and help with my skin. We'll see; she said to give it two months. She also advised taking calcium supplements, because estrogen lowers your serotonin level and calcium will help to re-regulate it...

-- Anonymous, May 02, 2001

I have been working my way through my doctor's supply cabinet of BCPs. I started in Sept. 2000 with Triphasil for 3 months. It was great (regulated what had been unregulatable, no cramps or fatigue), but put me in a HORRIBLE mood for two out of every four weeks. Then my doc switched me to Alesse for 3 more months, which gave me much less of the benefits of Triphasil and only helped the mood thing a little. The next step was 3 months of Ovcon-35, which I am just finishing up now. No more axe-murderer moods, but now my cycle's all screwed up and the pain/fatigue is back. Just saw my doctor to discuss the next step - she's put me on Ortho-Tri-Cyclen to try to get the cyclic benefits back without so much of the anger/depression. I'm nervous because I have been looking online for testimonials about it, and see that the most common complaint is irritability/terrible moods. For those that have experienced this and stuck with it, does it eventually improve?

-- Anonymous, May 31, 2001


I am interested in natural family planning and have heard about Persons. Is it availble in Australia??


-- Anonymous, June 24, 2001

hi there.

i have been taking ortho-tri-cyclen for about 5 1/2 years. i currently live abroad, and i ran out of pills. so i had to get off the pill for about 2 months before i could return to the states in order to get some more pills. after my last period i then got back on the pill, but i started feeling physically exhausted even after 8 hours of sleep, some heart palpitations and terrible mood swings.

then i thought my mood swings could be affected by my birth control pills. the others on here mentioned experiencing feelings of depression from birth control pills as well. i was wondering what specific sympotoms of depression others are encountering.

-- Anonymous, August 19, 2001

Hi! I was on Desogen (the pill) for about a year and a half. I took the pill pretty faithfully every day, but somehow I got pregnant. I had my wonderful little girl six months ago. My doc said I am "too fertil for the pill." So on my six week check-up after the baby she gave me a shot of Depo Provera. I've been on it for six months now. I hate it and am looking to find another alternative. By the time my six week check up came around I had gotten only 5 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. But now, since I've been on Depo I have gained nearly 30 pounds in only SIX MONTHS!!! I now have a new doc who has suggested Lunelle when I'm due for my next shot (Feb 2) Is there anyone out there who can give me some info on Lunelle. Do you gain weight like on Depo? Or, is there another birth control out there that someone may know about that you don't gain weight on? Thanks in advance to anyone who has some advice.

-- Anonymous, January 05, 2002

I have been taking the Lunelle shot for about 6 months now and the only side effect I have had is my boobs have went up a full cup size. I don't know if that is good or bad. My GYN doesn't seem to think that its a problem he checked to see if I had lumps or anything and nothing of the sort was found. I no longer have a monthly cycle and I plan on continuing taking Lunelle until I am ready to start my own family.

-- Anonymous, January 14, 2002

I've been taking Ortho Tri Cyclen for a year now, and like others here it's made me very moody and emotional one week a month. I saw my doctor today and she switched me to Ovcon 35. She thought it was the three different levels of hormones causing the problem, so hopefully this will be better.

Until I started on the pill, I had Norplant, and while I love the theory(nothing to think about, or forget, or pay for for 5 years -- especially since I was traveling and living oversees for a while) I had it taken out early. I had a lot of odd breakthrough bleeding -- once for months at a time. At one point I went almost a year without a period, which was great, but then back to bleeding just a little every day for a month, stopping for two, etc. Also, I'm somewhat annoyed that I have a scar on the underside of my arm now. Just a small one, but noticeable. I really wouldn't recommend Norplant except for someone who is really paranoid about pregnancy and wants something guaranteed to prevent it.

-- Anonymous, January 29, 2002

Hello I have been on different bcp's since I was 15 to regulate my period and stop severe cramping. I was on ortho novum for a year then went off the pill for a while because I could not afford them, once I got insurance again I started taking ortho-tri and was having violent mood swings and would feel like killing anything that bugged me when I was on this pill, I would get very frustrated then go through crying spells. I was on ortho-tri for almost 9 months when I started breakthrough bleeding and I would bleed for 2-3 weeks go off for 1-2 weeks and start the process over again, this continued for about 4 months, I got tired of it and figured my body just needed to get back into sync with itself and so I stopped taking the pill for a month (and another month of only being on it for 2 weeks when I started bleeding again) and I was doing great, except for the cramping. My fiance and I got along so good for the 2-3 months I was on and off the pill. Then my doctor gave me ortho 1/35 and I have been on it for a week and my mood swings are worse than ever, I am so frustrated with these new pills and I just do not feel like it is worth it. So after all this I am discontinuing use of the pills today and using more less effective birth control options. But I just want you to know that none of you are alone, I feel the same way, I just felt like I had lost control of my life and my body and almost lost my fiance just because of a pill:(, Hope this helps, Bye bye


-- Anonymous, February 25, 2002

Birth control pills are not worth it, take it from me. My doctor put me on Ortho Tri Cyclen and in the very first month I killed my boyfriend for leaving the toilet seat up. I am writing this from prison. Thank goodness for internet access or I'd go crazy in this hell-hole. Oh well, only 29 years to go. Wish me luck.

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2002

Wow...I am so happy none of this happens to me! I was on ortho-tri for about 3 years...LOVED IT. BUT, my HMO stopped carrying it so now I will be starting Triphasil. I am HOPING it will be as great as ortho-tri. I figure it will because they are the same type of pills.....Good luck everyone!

-- Anonymous, March 02, 2002

I am now 24 years old but I have been on birth control since I was 18. From 18 until 23 I used Ortho Novum and was happy but I wanted to try the Depo shot. I heard benefits such as little or no periods, no cramps, only a bit of bloating. That was a big mistake! After receiving the Depo shot for 1 year, I have gained 27 lbs!!!! I am only 5 ft tall so I really am unhappy about it. Now my GYN has switched me to Ovcon 35. If this bc is anything like my original pill I will be alright besides the occasional cramps on the first day and the horrible yeast infections. Wish me luck!

-- Anonymous, May 27, 2002

hi! I so understand all of you who were on Ortho-Tri-cyclen! I changed from Diane 35 to Tri-cyclen 3 months ago and it was causing hell! I kept crying over little things and feeling depressed and down all the time. I would snap at the tiniest of things! I visited my doctor 2 weeks ago and she put me on Alesse. I hope it is better.

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2002

Hi I have recently started on triphasil. I am 37 years old,and this is the first time in my life I have tried birth control pills. I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which is not being controlled by drugs right now. I have only been on the pill for 7 days. This morning apon arising,I experienced a sort of pain and pressure behind my right eye. It was worse when I closed my eye,and lasted for 20 minutes or so. Also getting intermitent pain in my head, sharp pain behind my left ear. I'm kinda scared these things are being caused by the use of birth control pills. Has anyone else had these problems? Thanking you in advance Terri

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2002

I was on the pill for about 2 years. I was taking Ortho Tri Cyclen. It was great. Stopped most of my ramps, lightened my flow. The only thing was i gained alot of weight. And I was always forgetting to take it. It's such a pain. I did go off the pill, for about 6 months now. My cramps have gotten so bad they woke me up at 5 am the other day and I couldn't go back to sleep for two hours. I also want to go on some other type of birth control but I know I will forget to take the pill. i have heard so may bad things about Depo -Provera, and my doctor won't even talk to me about any other form of birth control. I asked him about Depo, and all he said was, "I don't like to give that" He wouldn't even tell me why. I am so fed up! Help!!

-- Anonymous, July 26, 2002

Wow! i'm so glad that i found this website. I had actually just gotten done with one of my crying spells/depression moments/feeling sorry for myself....etc. ...and decided to suck it up and check out some info on Ortho-Tri-cyclen.....and damn, did i ever find what i was looking for. "I"M NOT CRAZY"!! thank god. I also get yeast infections constantly! that is probably the most annoying part for me. Isn't there ANY pill that doesn't make you so prone to yeast infections?????? i wish i knew. i've only tried ortho-tri....and have been on it for 2 years. i've actually inquired about changing my pill, but everytime my GYN didn't want to take that "drastic" step as of yet....! well, screw that i'm changing....but i just don't know to what!????help. i feel for all you guys....thanks for the info..

-- Anonymous, October 12, 2002


i got my first shot last november and have gotten one every three months since then. i'm due for another one this week, but i won't be getting it. know why? i've gained sixty pounds since then, with no change in my exercise or diet except for eating healthier foods.

i started taking aviane (generic form of alesse) four days ago. i will have to see how that goes. except for the weight gain, depo is the best thing that could happen to women like me. i have always had very long, heavy, and painful periods. with depo, they DISAPPEARED. you have no idea how wonderful it is to stop buying tampons every month and not having to wash your sheets every time you don't wake up before you leak. and those horrible first-day pains that send you home to your bed? gone! i absolutely loved being on depo, the injections were a breeze, and i felt happier all the time because i didn't have to worry about planning dates around the times when i would be menstruating.

however, i have no doubt that if i got another injection, i would continue gaining weight. during the first few months i didn't gain any weight, but after that i steadily gained at least ten pounds a month, and closer to fifteen in the past couple months. that is the only thing that keeps me from continuing to use it.

but if i lose all the weight i gained before next spring, i will probably start it again. it is worth it.

-- Anonymous, October 16, 2002

I would not recommend Depo-Provera. I was on a low dose BCP for ovarian cysts and then I was on Depo for 6 years. I was single, very active and liked not having to worry about getting my period. However, I did put on 50 lbs. that I haven't been able to lose, despite exercising more and eating better than I ever have. After I got married, my doctor took me off of it (1 1/2 years ago) and I still haven't gotten a period yet. We've tried no pills, Alesse (terrible mood swings, awful acne breakouts and no period) and I'm trying Marvelon now. After 2 months, I'm horribly depressed, have no sex drive and very painful acne. It's been very frustrating (all of those years happy about not getting a period and now I wish I was getting it!) I check this message board from time to time to see what's working with everyone. Good luck finding something that works for you.

-- Anonymous, October 29, 2002

Hi. I was thinking of changing from my Depo shot to something else. While I do love not worrying about my period(its gone), I hate that I have gained over 15 lbs and I tend to get bad mood swings. I feel bad for my friends that put up with me during these. I have been on the shot for a year in December. I was thinking of trying Lunelle. I was curious if anyone knew if weight gain was a common side effect of Lunelle. If they would write back to my email I would appreciate it. It is Or if anyone knew of any other weight loss or non weight gain pills or shots that would be great. I thought about Norplant, but then I didnt know about the weight and it does cost a pretty penny. I would very greatly appreciate any response to this add. I am seriously confused. Depo is all I have ever used and my next shot is in Dec. I need to find some info. Thanks a lot.

-- Anonymous, November 03, 2002

Unfortunately, I have to be on the pill due to ovarian cysts. I already lost one ovary due to one that burst last year. I have been on many pills on and off in the last 12 years. The side effects are not worth the risks unless you truly find the ONE for you. I have been on Ortho Novum 777, aleese, Yasmin, Nordette, Mircette,and now am going to try Desogen. My problems are weight gain or depression depending on which pill I take. Good Luck on your search. Also, any positives on Desogen would be appreciated. Is it true it can cause loss of sex drive. Email me.


-- Anonymous, November 04, 2002

The first time I started the pill I was prescribed Lo-Ovral. I had extreme bloating and was popping gas-x like candy. I also had a lot of breast pain and fluctuation in breast size throughout the month. I also experienced a marked decrease in sex drive and vaginal the point where i would have to always tell my boyfriend to stop while we were having sex because i would start to chafe after maybe 10 minutes. After a year of this my doc reccommended Alesse. I'm very happy with it so far. The breast pain has decreased, i don't have the vaginal dryness problem anymore, and my sex drive seems to back in commission. From what I've read, the progestin levonorgestrel, found in Alesse and some of the other low-dose pills, is more androgen based, which usually has postive effects on a women's sex drive.

-- Anonymous, November 15, 2002

I'm a 19 year old college student whose gyno reccommended the pill alesse. I am currently on my first menstrual cycle on the pill. My breasts feel like they barely fit into my bras, however the band size seems looser rather than tighter. I thought I had gained weight, but I've actually lost a little. I probably won't resume with my pink pills tomorrow, because I still had cramps before the period, it wasn't any shorter, and as difficult as it is to find bras in 34D as it is, i can't afford to go up a cup size.

-- Anonymous, November 30, 2002

I am so glad that I found this website before using any contraceptives. I considered depo provera, but after reading all of the side effects, I decided to stay away from it. My gyn prescribed Alesse 28. I start today and am praying everything turns out right.

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2003

I was wondering if anyone is on Aviane/Alesse? I just started back on and I want to know what to expect. Weight Gain? Low sex drive? Depression? Anyone out there know? Thanks.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2003

I've been on Alesse for a month and I have never cried so much as I did this month. I realized how bad it is when I was crying through the whole movie "Blue Crush" which is a surfer movie, not exactly a sad movie. It has made me feel sad and lonely. Has anyone else had these side effects? Alesse also made my breasts hurt and not fit in my bra. But I liked how it didn't make me nauseous or give me dry eyes like other pills.

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2003

Has anyone else gained twenty pounds while on Ortho Tri Cyclen? I started taking it 10 months ago and my weight has steadily increased since then. I was on depo provera for three months and did not have my period for two, but the third i bled for a month straight. Disgusting. i wouldnt recommend it because its seems to have wacky side effects. I'm thinking of changing to a lower dose pill to see if it helps my weight problem. Anyone know of anything to help decrease it?

-- Anonymous, March 18, 2003

I am 32 years old and have been on and off the a 'pill' since I was approx 18yrs. I've had two kids in between. My problem is ACNE. I get large "bolders" on my chin area and oily skin. I have taken Diane for 12+ months this time and skin is fine but am seriously concerned re deep vein thrombosis increased risk. Have tried Marvelon and absolutely broke out. Was on Triphasil for years with constant moderate blind pimples. I don't want to take antibiotics. Has anyone else found themselves in this position - I think I'm going mad (oh forget to mention that I am now also on antidepressent for anxiety which may be linked to Diane) I have been on the web for a week and all the info contradicts each other. Would apprec. personal input.

-- Anonymous, March 18, 2003

I tryed ortho tri cyclen and man was I depressed and moody! Then I tried the new method out the Nuvaring and I could barely get off the couch I was so depressed. My GYN told me that The Nuvaring couldn't cause depression and made me feel like I was crazy. I just started the patch "Ortho Evra" and we will see how it goes. I heard that it has the same stuff in it as the Nuvaring so I am scared of going into a depression again. Does anyone know of a method that doesn't get you depressed and fat??? My husband and I joke that the side effects are what keep you from getting preg. I don't know about you all but when I am fat, pimply and suicidal I am not in the mood for love!

-- Anonymous, March 21, 2003

After trying both Loestrin and Lo-Overal I have been on Aleese since October, and everything was fine for the first few months. However, now my boobs are often sore and have grown in size. I am extremely moody and seem to have difficulty handling emotions...and I did not have PMS symptoms prior to starting the pill. I'm struggling with the decision of what to do since I'm sexually active and want to protect against pregnancy. Any suggestions? Is there a pill with even a lower dose? I prefer pills to shots.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2003

Ok people, here we go. I have done much research on the various options for birth control and have also taken many different types. I have one thing to agree on and one thing to contribute. Firstly, for those of you who have taken Ortho-Tri and have gone literally crazy, I'm with you on that one. Tri-phasic pills are made with the intention of mimicking your natural cycle, however, they are usually made with higher doses of estrogen and have a tendence to alter moods. When I was on it, it made me nuts. I stopped because I was not happy. After 5 years of being off the pill, at 25 I have decided to take it again, but this time I will try Alesse. It is the lowest dose pill on the market and it is mono-phasic which means that you will have a constant dose all month. My contribution comes in the form of some sobering advice. Everyone here seems to want to find "the ultimate" pill. This DOES NOT EXIST. The female body is highly complex and DIFFERENT FOR ALL OF US. Listening to forums and using one another's advice is really futile because you have to listen to your OWN body. I can give you an example of this by creating the scenario of me at the dentist. If you were to walk by the door with me in the chair, you would hear me crying because I have an intense fear of needles. Alternatively, you may walk by another patient who is chatting away with a big smile while the dentist pokes him/her to no end. My point is that different people respond to things differently. I am sure that for every pill out there there are people who are both unhappy and thrilled. TRUST YOUR BODY AND CHALLENGE YOUR MD. Answers are provided for you through YOUR OWN personal experience. I would also like to add that this whole weight gain thing with the pill can be averted. It is just a matter of changing your diet and including exercise into your daily routine. I go to the gym daily and eat very well. I am not afraid of weight gain because as long as you drink your 8 glasses of water a day and exercise daily, you will not gain weight. The pill DOES NOT make you fat. YOU MAKE YOURSELF FAT! The pill sometimes increases your appetite because it induces a pregnant like state in your body. I have been pregnant before, and that is exactly what it feels like. If you can resist the urges to eat unnecessarily and occupy your time with more productive outlets you will increase your chances of maintaing weight, being happy and giving your pill a choice to work in a healthy stable environment. This is not to say that it will be ok for everyone. Just remember that YOU are the only real judge. Others can be a great form of moral support, but please don't rely on others for advice on your own body.

Good Luck all,


-- Anonymous, April 07, 2003

hello..i started taking alesse to level out my hormones and improve my skin conditions. I had good luck with it..there were a few side effects such as breast tenderness...however, it did improve my complexion. I switched to a different brand called Lessina because it was cheaper..I experienced break through bleeding and got off of i am trying mircette. I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge about skin improvment with this pill. There have not been any studies on this pill about skin complexion..but would like to know your experience.

Thanks, Marie

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2003

It's so nice to know that I'm not alone!!

During the past 15 years, I've been on several types of pills: Ortho- Novum 777, Desogen, and Aviane (generic for Alesse). While I enjoy the regular periods and pregnancy prevention that the pill provides, I've decided that the physical/mental/emotional side effects are not worth going through. I'm on Aviane right now (been on it for 6 months), and I'm going to stop taking it. My side effects began with breast tenderness and weight gain...but I've found that the longer I'm on this pill, the more severe my side effects have become. PMS lasts for at least 2 weeks, and I'm at the point now where I'm feeling seriously depressed, unmotivated, and hopeless (and this REALLY is not me!).

If I could find a pill that works for me without the weight gain and craziness, I'd keep taking it, but I don't have the energy to keep trying things that don't work. Also, I have a sense that I'd be really screwing up my body in the process.

-- Anonymous, May 03, 2003

I took Desogen for about 4 years without any problems, it cleared up my skin and was my only bc. Then about a year ago I was switched to Alesse, though my health insurance would only pay for the generic version Aviane. Anyway, I have been miserable on it! The first few months were fine then I stopped getting my period and didn't have it for 3 months. Then I got it in the middle of a pill pack. I still had it after I finished the pack. When I started the next pack, I went for a week before the bleeding began again. So I basically get my period in two week intervals. Which would be fine, except for the fact that I have such bad PMS (cramps, bloating, rage) that I can barely cope. I have an appointment Thursday with Dr. Dismissive, and will try to get something else.

-- Anonymous, May 07, 2003

I have been on lo'ovral for about four months now and have had insane mood swings most of the month and then especially bad ones right before during and after my period. My anxiety has increased to the point that i can't think straight and i am driving my boyfriend nuts as we have almost broke up because of all of my moods. I am switching to yasmin this next cycle and i was just wondering if anyone has been on either of these pills and if yasmin helped with the axiety problem. thanks- wish me luck!

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2003

Over the last ten years or so, I've been on Demulen, Diane35 and Ortho Tricyclen. Demulen made me break out but both Diane35 and Ortho Tricyclen worked well. When I'm off the pill, I get killer cramps that put me in bed for day one of my period. I went off Diane only because of the increased risk for thrombosis but it's really good in the skin clearing department. Personally, I've had no trouble with Tricyclen. I'm kind of jealous of all the women who end up moving up a cup size on the pill -- I wouldn't mind that. :)

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

I'm 17 years old and recently began taking Lo/Ovral 28, I've just become sexually active. It's only been a little under 2 weeks, but I've gone through some terrible mood swings. At first I thought it was only because I've heard about the side effects. But within the last 3 days I get so mad, I punch things and throw lovely little temper tantrums. And then I'm crying my eyes out for no apparent reason. And the next thing I know I just have this overwhelming depression. I thought I was just being a hypochondriac, but I really feel like something is wrong. I just finished a crying spell, with my boyfriend being on the verge of breaking up, God Bless him, I donít see how he can put up with me like this, and I decided to look up something about it all. And luckily I stumbled across this web site.

Iím going to call my doctor tomorrow and make an appointment to change. But what should I do until then? Just stop taking them, or continue on until I receive a new type? Any help will be appreciated.

-- Anonymous, August 13, 2003

not entirely sure...

I'm not entirely sure why this board occasionally becomes active after long periods of silence, but I should tell those of you posting here: it is not an active board. You are more than welcome to continue to post here, but as this board is not linked from any live webpage, you may not get a response.

-- Anonymous, August 14, 2003

I was diagnosed with Adenomyosis 2.5 years after my second daughter was born. I bled so much I went to the ER for two consecutive periods. One day I had to stay in the gym bathroom for 2 hours because I couldn't stop bleeding. I don't work out anymore during my period. I found breastfeeding helped my periods so much that I breastfed my 3rd daughter for almost 4 years. I just weaned her and now am starting the BCP's. I tried Yasmin as my doctor told me it does not make you fat. Well of course not because you are running to the bathroom every second to pee and dying of thirst the rest of the time. Going on this BCP also made me majorly depressed and I even got into a minor car accident because my eyes had trouble focusing. I am now on Mircette which seems to be working out. I haven't been on it for long, but I feel emotionally great. I hope it doesn't make me gain weight. Good luck to you all.


-- Anonymous, October 15, 2003

how funny, i am not alone here. Birth control pills make me insane. Depression beyond anything normal, rage etc. i just switched to the nuvaring and oh yes, I am a mad crazy woman. Ughhhh, wish there was an answer here.

-- Anonymous, October 19, 2003

Im on the ortho evra patch and Ive gained probably about 7 pounds due to unmotivation - i have alos had some mood swings but am hoping with time they will get better - Ive been on it for 3 months now and I seem to be getting more stable emotionally although the motivation to exercise is at an all time low and I have more urges to eat more which is so frustrating for me because I used to be so health conscious. On the flip side, my periods are more stable and my breast size has definitely increased and you dint have to take a pill every day...just a patch to be replaced weekly. =) Is anyone else on the patch for more than a few months and how is it treating you?

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2003

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