Let’s Talk about Sex

Okay, actually, let’s talk about birth control (it’s all related, right?).

I want to know your opinions on it. More specifically, I want to know if anyone out there uses Seasonique. I went to the doctor for that lovely little thing called the annual visit yesterday. During our chat, I told her about my headaches, which, as you guys probably remember, are so severe that they cause me to be sick.

She suggested that I try Seasonique because of something having to do with low-dose hormones during the off-week, as well as the fact that headaches would be less frequent (once every three months, instead of every month). So, I said I’d try it and she gave me a sample pack. However, when I got home last night and started doing some research, I was alarmed that there seem to be quite a few side effects. I know that a lot of people say birth control makes you gain weight, but there were people posting about gaining 70 pounds on Seasonique! I know that can’t all be from the pill; some of it has to be lifestyle, but still….I don’t want to gain any weight.

I’d be really interested to hear what you all do about contraceptives. I know I’ve seen Natalie blog about her own journey to finding the right method. I’d like to hear what you guys do or have done, what pills you take (if you take them), what other methods you use and what side effects you’ve seen.

So, now that I’ve asked everyone to put their personal lives out there, happy Friday! Happy last day of finals here too! 🙂


22 responses to “Let’s Talk about Sex

  1. I did the pill for several years until I was forced to change brands due to insurance coverage and it was a disaster. Since we were thinking about babies I just went off of everything. After the baby I asked Husband what he thought about our options. He said I was never again allowed to go on the pill because he refused to live through me getting off of it ever again. (He got chewed out for that) I went with the IUD and love it, but I don’t know if that is an option for women who haven’t had a baby. Good luck. Its a hard choice to make!

    Try looking at the side effects on the product website or Wikipedia and look at the frequency of those side effects. They may not happen very often.

  2. Are you on any kind of hormone birth control right now? I’m on Loestrin Fe 24, which is low dose and has 24 active days instead of 21, so your periods are shorter.
    Personally, I used to have horrible back pain during my periods, which I don’t get on birth control now. I like it. I also like the effectiveness of it, and the fact that my periods are often 36 hours now instead of 5 days. My periods are a lot lighter now too. I also like choosing not to have a period if I don’t want to.
    Yes, you can gain weight on any birth control. Some women also experience a weaker sex drive on the pill. It’s a personal choice. If you are nervous about the hormonal effects, or weight gain, talk to your doctor about it.
    Also, even if you decide to try it out, remember that it takes a couple weeks for your body to get used to the hormones. I used to take my pill at noon, and would be horribly dizzy for the rest of the day. Then my doc told me to take it at night instead, and it was fine after a week or so.

  3. I too am on Loestrin 24 and like it. My periods are just 3 days. I take mine right before bed, so I sleep through any side effects.

    Keep in mind too – when reading about the side effects, know that when the company is testing a drug, they ask you to report on any changes you’ve experienced at all. These changes could have nothing to do w/ the medication. But they have to report them. For example, if I was not so educated on nutrition and started eating Big Macs every day, gained weight and didn’t know why… well if I did this while testing a new drug, I would report that I’ve gained a ton of weight while on the pill. Hope that makes sense… but that explains why there are a lot of different reports and side effects listed for them.

    • @Lauren, Brittany and Ginger – This Loestrin sounds like a great thing. Kind of makes me want to switch to that one too – thanks for the great feedback.

      Also @Brittany, I didn’t even think about the cost! I’m going to have to check in with the pharmacy about whether this new pill is extra expensive!

  4. I have an IUD and I love it! I want to be their spokesperson. It didn’t hurt to get in as nearly as bad as everybody said, I rarely get a period, and its changed my moods dramatically. Further, I don’t freak out about whether I have taken my pill anymore. Plus, if I ever decide to have kids I just take it out- no biggie! It was a great option for me. I have actually been meaning to blog about it…

  5. I’ve tried like every pill on the market, except Seasonique, naturally. I had major break-through bleeding on all of them. Every year my doctor would say “well, let’s see what else we can try.” Last year we went with the Nuvaring and it worked!! My periods were light, short, and there was no break-through. I remember combing the net to read reviews and there are always negative ones about EVERY form of birth control. Don’t let that stop you. It sounds like it might be worth a try if it stops your headaches.

  6. I’ve been on Loestrin 24 Fe for three years. I basically don’t have a period anymore, which is a plus in my book-my periods are normally 7-8 days! I didn’t gain any weight, but I did have extreme nervousness the first month on it. I used to have really bad cramps and backaches (like lying on the bathroom floor because it was cold and the cold felt good on my back felt good kind of cramps) and I don’t think I’ve had a cramp of any sort since I started taking it. I really wanted an IUD last year but at this point I don’t think I’d have it long enough before having a baby to make it worth the cost (it’s not covered by my insurance and would be $773). I really have no PMS symptoms at all. I’d give Seasonique a try (well not me personally, there are higher incidences of breakthrough bleeding and I had spotting previously that required surgery, so I think any spotting would make me paranoid and rush into the doctor every time to check for a recurrence of my issue–but if I hadn’t ever had that issue, I wouldn’t be concerned about that side effect). I’m not an expert, but I don’t think there’s anything really different about Seasonique from other birth control pills except they have fewer active pills and are sold in higher quantities, so I don’t think you should be worried about gaining more weight on it than any other low dose hormonal birth control. For example, there’s no generic of Loestrin 24, but the only thing really unique about Loestrin 24 is that it’s 24 pills instead of 21. There’s no perfect birth control, unfortunately! Good luck!

  7. Don’t have time for a long comment, but I take Desogen and I love it. No problems at all and fairly cheap in the world of birth control. Will write more afetr work!

  8. I did the Nuvaring and it was the only thing that really worked for me in terms of a) controlling my ragins PMS and b) not having any adverse issues. Good luck!

  9. Ok, well, after reading this comments I want to go on Loestrin 24… I literally just called and scheduled an appointment while I was reading these comments!

    BUT that said, I used to be on Seasonale, and it was amazing. Without giving you my whole icky medical history, I used to get very, very sick when I would ovulate and go on my period (I swear if we don’t get pregnant the first month we try I might have to take pre-maternity leave). Seasonale was amazing for me. I did not experience the side effects, and it was in always comparable to “regular” birth control as far as I could tell. I really think the side effects are rare because most of my friends are on it and they all seem fine. My periods were a little heavier but at every 3 months it was worth it. But, my insurance copay on it is HUGE for some reason on my new student health plan, I guess because it’s considered a luxury model of a basic car 🙂 We just couldn’t justify paying that much when the monthly alternative was available for $5 and still keeps me healthy.

    But I’m so going on LoEstrin 24 if it’s equally cheap…..

    • Unfortunately Loestrin 24 is not cheap. It’s $60 a month on my insurance (which is admittedly crappy insurance) because it’s brand name (my copays are $20/40/60). The manufacturer does have a coupon card program right now, though. It says it will only be $24 a month with the card, but the program has recently changed and it’s now $30. I’m kind of stuck because I love Loestrin and had been super lucky to get nearly 3 years worth of samples from my doctor, but she cut me off! And now I have to pay like everyone else! But considering a generic would cost me $20, I’ve chosen to stick with what I know for $10 more. Not the smartest economic decision and I feel like a pawn of the manufacturer, but I’m nervous to try something new!

    • Jamie – good to know! You’re the only person I’ve found so far who has actually taken this pill. Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  10. Jessica @ Acting Adult

    I’m on the pill but I have ortho-tri-cyclen or something similar. It’s low dose and doesn’t seem to affect my mood swings too much. It is, however, harder to lose weight while on the pill I’ve found. Other than that, it really works for me.

  11. I have never been on a pill that I liked. I got terrible side effects with Loestrin 24- major breast pain, moody, ugh terrible.

    I’m a big fan of the Nuva Ring, like Natalie. It’s super easy to use and you only have to worry about it once a month. (Also, the hormone concentration is lower since the effects are local, not absorbed through digestion)

    Right now I have an IUD, which is perfect because when I got it last year, I knew it would be at least 3 years until we want kids. It only cost me a $25 copay, for up to five years of birth control! Awesome. And no chance of “forgetting” and having a Med School Baby. I was scared of the pain, but getting it put in really only hurt for <30 seconds.

    Something to think about is that you can basically use any pack of pills that you've been on and liked in the past and turn them into a 90-day method in the same way that you use seasonique… you would just skip the placebo week on two packs of pills and that way your estrogen levels would stay up and maybe help prevent headaches… or, the Nuvaring might be a great option to try too, since the estrogen dose is a lot lower (you can use those back-to-back for three months) too.

    Call me weird, but I love birth control. I love all of the options and I love trouble-shooting to figure out which one is best. We are so lucky to have so many choices in our reproductive rights!

    Oh and happy end of finals week. 🙂

  12. I took Yasmin and Loestrin. I loved being on the pill and never had any of those crazy side effects. The low-estrogen is definitely the way to go. And you can skip having your period while taking either of those too, you just keep taking your pill packs.

  13. I have been on Loestrin for a couple years now. However, with some insurance programs it is a rip off, I currently pay $82 a month for it. I need to look into this coupon program though. Side affects-wise, just your occasional spotting between cycles but my periods went from several Super Plus tampons a day for a week to regulars for a couple days. Love that, obvs.I take it at night as well.

  14. HighheelsLowMorals

    I’ve been on Seasonique for so long I can’t remember when I started. I love it! My period (during the months I get it) is so much like clockwork that its almost to the hour, and I had light ones to start with so it only lasts about 2 days. On all types of b/c pills I’ve tried, I stay about 5-8 lbs heavier than when I’m not on the pill, so Seasonique hasn’t been any different than those.

  15. At work,= I was doing some background research on birth control and happened upon Planned Parenthood’s website. Regardless of the controversy that’s always associated with the PP name, I have to say their birth control web pages are very informative: easy to understand, uses multimedia, answers all your questions. You should check it out http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/birth-control-4211.htm

  16. Pingback: Update on the Birth Control Saga | Legally Married

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