If you have any questions, feel free to ask on my ask site: http://fyseq.tumblr.com/ask, though check out http://fuckyeahsexeducation.tumblr.com/FAQ!
There are a lot of birth control methods that would definitely work for you, depending on the actual medications that you’re taking.
Combined oral birth control (estrogen & progesterone) has the most interactions with other medications out of all birth control. Here is the list:
- Anticonvulsants: including phenytoin, carbamazepine, barbiturates,primidone, topiramate, or oxcarbazepine. People on these medications can use Depo Provera, or continue using birth control pills if they understand the risks involved.
Anticonvulsants that do not reduce the efficacy of birth control include include gabapentin, lamotrigine, levetiracetam, and tiagabine.
- Antibiotics: Rifampin is the only antibiotic proven to decrease the efficacy of birth control pills. When taking any other antibiotic, there is no need for back up during that time.
- Herbs: St. John’s Wort can decrease the effectiveness of birth control.
- HIV medications: there are many drug interactions between HIV meds and birth control, but it is very important for people with HIV to have effective birth control when they are not planning pregnancy. If you have HIV, speak with your healthcare provider to pick the birth control method that is perfect for you.
- Others: There is a potential interaction between fluconazole (diflucan) and birth control, as well as grapefruit juice and birth control. In these situations instead of decreasing the effectiveness, the interaction actually makes the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the blood higher. It is unclear what effect this has.
I hope that helps! If you’re considering birth control, check out this nifty flow-chart I made a while back:
They are NOT available in the USA.
Unfortunately, in the US, the only progesterone-only pill that is available is Micronor which uses the type of progesterone called Norethindrone. The thing about Norethindrone is that in order to be effective, the pills have to be taken within a 3 hour window every day. Bummer, right?
In other countries, progesterone-only pills use Desogestrel (as you mentioned) and that type of progesterone has more lee-way. You can take the pill within a twelve-hour window. It makes them much easier to take.
Desogestrel is not approved in the USA right now. It was, previously, but some information came out showing that desogestrel had a higher rate of blood clots than Norethindrone, and it was pulled from the shelves. While I don’t have a specific opinion on whether or not the suspicions or complaints were worth removing the pills from the shelves, I do think it really is a shame that we don’t have progesterone-only pills that are easier to take. :(
The thing is, is I’m assuming here that is they had adverse reactions to the shot, I’m guessing it was because of the hormones in it. And as you can see, depo provera and implanon/nexplanon are both progestin-only birth control. So maybe the implant might not be a great idea? I mean, if it works for your sister it may work for you, but it may not. All birth control is going to work differently for everyone.
My best suggestion is to maybe look into non-hormonal methods like the ParaGard IUD or check out combination methods like Mirena? Once you do some research on those, definitely speak to your doctor, they’ll be able to help you choose a birth control that’ll be most beneficial for you, it may take a bit of trial and error, but don’t give up! - Paige
Can I jump in here?
The Depo Shot and Nexplanon are both progesterone-only, just like Paige stated above, but more interestingly than that, they both use very similar types of progesterone. Additionally, both methods use very high levels of progesterone, unlike any other method.
Because of this, both methods have a quite a few side effects, most of which are similar.
- Decrease in bone density
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Irregular bleeding
- Mood changes
- Irregular bleeding
- Mood changes
- PMS symptoms
- Weight gain
If your mom and sister both have difficulties with that type of progesterone, I suggest that you try something else. Consider:
- Nuvaring: A combination birth control (both estrogen and progesterone) that is in the shape of a ring. Insert it into the vagina for 3 weeks, remove for one. Since it acts locally, it should avoid the nausea you experienced with the birth control pill.
- Paragard IUD: A non-hormonal IUD that is inserted into the uterus for up to 12 years. Very effective. No hormonal side effects. Causes heavier cramping and bleeding.
- Mirena IUD: A progesterone-only (but different type of progesterone) IUD that is inserted into the uterus for up to 5 years. Low levels of progesterone. It is extremely effective. Makes periods lighter or stops them all together.
- Skyla IUD: A progesterone-only (but different type of progesterone) IUD that is inserted into the uterus for up to 3 years. Very low levels of progesterone. It is extremely effective. Makes periods lighter or stops them all together.
If you have any other questions, feel free to check in with me at themidwifeisin.
misspatchwork answered to your post “Quick, if you have any questions about IUDs get your ask on! For today…”
Do the hormonal IUDs have the same benefits as the birth control pill in regards to regulating periods and helping with acne, etc.?
The mirena is really great at regulating periods, in that it can cause you to not have periods and it causes the bleeding and other symptoms to go down by 90%. I’ve heard Jaydess is less good at treating menstruation symptoms, but I’ve not heard enough about Skyla because it’s so new (Skyla users please chime in!). The IUDs aren’t as good at regulating other things like acne because it is localized in the uterus. It’s good in that you have less chance for side effects, but if you want some of the side effects like acne treatment go with the pill.
Welcome to Advanced Sex Ed, Planned Parenthood’s newest Tumblr segment. Put on your smarty pants because we’re kicking things up a notch with some higher-level sexual learnin’.
Birth Control Effectiveness Rates: Perfect-Use vs. Typical-Use.
“Why are there sometimes two different effectiveness rates for birth control? Which is correct?”
One of the questions we get all the time is, “How effective is birth control?” Usually people are looking for one, definitive percentage that tells them exactly how well a certain method prevents pregnancy. But reality is more complicated than that.
Birth control effectiveness is measured two ways: how well it prevents pregnancy when used PERFECTLY every single time, and how well it prevents pregnancy after factoring in human error. These are called “perfect-use rates” and “typical-use rates.”
Let’s look at the birth control pill, for example:
Perfect-use rate: Less than 1 out of 100 people will get pregnant each year if they ALWAYS take the pill every day as directed.
Typical-use rate: About 9 out of 100 people will get pregnant each year if they don’t always take the pill each day as directed.
So the pill is extremely effective if used perfectly, but that old saying, “nobody’s perfect,” also applies to birth control. We sometimes make mistakes or life circumstances foil our perfect-use plans: things like forgetting a pill, losing a pill, not being able to get the next pack on time and barfing can all impact the pill’s effectiveness. Therefore, we have two different rates, and the “real-life” one applies to most of us.
But what’s up with birth control that has only one, very impressive effectiveness rate? (Lookin’ at you, IUDs and implants!) These LARCs — long-acting reversible contraceptives — are virtually impossible to screw up, so they get a perfect-use rate by default: more than 99%, the best there is. More and more people are using LARCs these days because they’re super convenient AND super effective — even the folks on our Planned Parenthood Tumblr Team are huge fans.
Life happens, so typical-use rates are the most true to life. The most common reason birth control fails is because we mess it up. So whatever method you choose, you’ve got to use it as perfectly as possible or it just won’t work as well as it should. Be honest with yourself: if your lifestyle just doesn’t jive with having to think about birth control on a regular basis, consider getting yourself a LARC.
And remember: no method of birth control is 100% effective, even if used perfectly. But you can increase your pregnancy-preventing superpowers by using both birth control and condoms. There’s another really good reason to do this: condoms are the only method of contraception that also protects you from STDs.
-Kendall at Planned Parenthood
IUD Insertion Preparation Guide
- Find a buddy to be there for you. This is VERY IMPORTANT. Not just for hand holding during the procedure, but after the procedure you can be very weak feeling. You may not want to drive and you may need someone to help look after you.
- Get good sleep and eat a good breakfast. You may want to schedule the procedure in the afternoon to give you time to eat and digest your food. I ate breakfast and it came right back up after the procedure so it was no help at all.
- Take pain reliever 45 minutes to 2 hours before. Take whatever over the counter method works best for you and whatever dosage works best for you. Again, be sure it has enough time to digest and start working.
- Make sure to do everything you can to make yourself feel good. I made the mistake of not taking my medications yesterday (I take an antidepressant and anti anxiety medication) which made me feel sick today. I was also heat sick from being out in the heat. Make sure you take care of yourself.
- Wear something comfortable that doesn’t cut into your belly. I wore a huge sundress and it was great.
- Go when you’re on your period. This makes it easier to dilate your uterus. Wear pads the day of. Avoid tampons or a menstrual cup for a week after just because your uterus will be irritated and it could cause issues.
- Bring snacks. It’s very common to feel woozy after and eating something helps a lot. I personally wanted something cold and soft because I was nauseous and having a hot flash, so also bring money and your buddy to make an ice cream run just in case.
- Many places will want a pregnancy test just in case, so ask if you’ll need one. If so, be prepared for a pee test (drink lots of water). You’ll give a pee test first and then wait for the results and the doctor.
- This may depend on the doctor and the facility but they just had me in a regular room where I’ve had pelvic exams done before. They told me just to take off my bottoms (another great reason to wear a dress) and put the paper sheet over my legs. I entertained myself looking at diagrams of reproductive organs. If you usually have to wait for your doctor a while, you may want something to entertain yourself.
- The doctor will ask if you have any questions about the mirena or the procedure. Be sure to ask any questions you have. You may want to make a list.
- You can ask if they do any numbing or if they have anything to make it less painful or easier for you. This will depend a lot on the clinic and doctor. My doctor said that because the cervix has few nerve endings (ha!) there wasn’t really anything to do. Your doctor may be different. Things your doctor may be willing to do include
- misoprostol as a vaginal suppository. You would insert it into the vagina ten hours before the doctor visit to further soften the cervix
- squirting (not injecting) lidocaine into the cervix before putting in the IUD. There is a device called Endocell that can do this. This will also help numb the cervix and ease pain.
- While the doctor is getting things ready lie back, grab your buddy, and either focus on the ceiling above you or close your eyes. Some clinics will have things to look at on the ceiling. Start focusing on your breathing. Take deep breaths in and deep breaths out. Count to about 7 as you breath in, and count again as you breath out. Relax your whole body. It helps if you start with your toes and slowly relax all your muscles all the way to your head.
- The doctor will use a speculum to open the vagina. Then they put in an instrument to open the uterus. This will feel like a pinch or a stab. Don’t feel bad crying out or squeezing your buddy’s hand. Remember, just keep breathing.
- Then they will insert the IUD. This will feel like cramping. The cramping was no worse than a really bad period for me, but I do commonly refer to my period cramps as my uterus trying to strangle itself with the fallopian tubes or my uterus trying to crawl out of my belly button. This will last a little while as they get it into place. I also felt like I had to poop because of the pressure which make it uncomfortable and difficult to relax while they trimmed the strings.
- Remember, the pain is different for everyone. Don’t worry too much, just focus on relaxing.
- Take it easy! This period is again different for everyone but I’m a big believer in preparing for the worse but hoping for the best. My first reflex was to run. It was uncomfortable, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom, and I was cramping. I just wanted to leave and get home and curl up in my bed. I made it halfway down the hall before I puked up my breakfast (and something neon green). If you feel the least bit woozy or nauseous tell the nurse. Chances are they’ve seen this a million times before and they’ll ask you how you feel. Be honest and don’t feel bad about resting. You may need to lay down for a while, they will let you use the room as long as you want. My nurse brought me ice water and a cold wash cloth. The cold helps a lot. Small sips though! After you feel less like throwing up (or after you’ve thrown up and feel less queasy) eat something. That made me feel the most better. After a while of laying down they’ll probably get you to sitting and then standing. My clinic didn’t let me go home until I could walk to the car on my own. Take it as slow as you need. My nurse said that she’s seen people walk out fine first thing and also saw one person totally faint twice. Don’t feel bad about how you feel and be honest about it.
- Go home and lay down, especially if you don’t feel 100%. I slept from noon to 6 and felt great when I woke up. Just a little sore and some light cramping.
- You may cramp and spot anywhere from a day to a few months. That’s normal. You may want to avoid sex for a week to let your cervix heal. If you have any extreme pain, if you can’t feel the strings, or if the strings get in your way go see your doctor. My doctor made an appointment for me at 6 weeks to check on me, if your doctor doesn’t do this you may want to ask for an appointment to make sure everythings going okay and to ask any questions that may pop up. If after 3 months you don’t love it, talk to your doctor.
Medications and Nursing
Contraceptive methods you can use while breastfeeding in order of least to most effective with common use:
Progestin only mini pill
Progestin only Implants
the IUD, hormonal or copper
Tea and herbals
teas you can use while nursing:
Red bush tea
All antidepressants are excreted into breast milk, however some have serum levels that do not affect baby. These include:
sertraline (an SSRI)
nortriptyline (a tricyclic antidepressant)
Many post-partum individuals are more sensitive to side effects, so it’s recommended that treatment be started at 1/2 dosage
Over the counter medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen are safe as are:
oral codeine (although higher doses can cause infant sedation)
hydroxycodone (although higher doses can cause infant sedation)
When using codeine if parent becomes sleepy or the infant reduces feeding, you should contact your physician immediately.
Methadone has been shown to transfer to breast milk. Because studies vary so much, it is up to your doctor whether they would suggest breastfeeding.
Alcohol can reduce the production of milk, cause the milk to have an odor that can reduce sucking, and in certain amounts can cause drunkenness in infants. Chronic alcohol use can cause growth problems in infant. An occasional drink should be fine.
You should not use marijuana, cocaine, heroin, PCP, amphetamines, excessive alcohol, and other drugs of abuse when breastfeeding. Studies show that cocaine, marijuana, amphetamine, heroin, transfer to breast milk and can affect the infant. If you are pregnant, doing illicit drugs and want to breastfeed you should:
stop using the drug by 90 days before delivery
enroll and plan to continue to be involved in a substance abuse treatment program
have negative drug screen at your delivery
receive constant and dutiful prenatal care
have no other contraindications (problems) with breastfeeding.
Cotinine (a small nicotine molecule) has been found in the urine of infants nursed by smokers even if they weren’t subject to second-hand smoke. Parents who smoke do report decreased milk production and are less likely to breastfeed. It is still okay to breastfeed if you smoke, but it is best to quit.