Birth control (probably a bit TMI)

I have an appointment with my gynecologist coming up, and I’m certainly going to discuss this with her; however, I’d like to have some opinions and suggestions in advance, so I can research them a bit before telling her what I’d like to try.

I’m currently using the Nuvaring, but I’ve been spotting a bit in between periods which, of course, is a problem. I do, however, love not having to remember to take a pill at the same time every night, which sometimes is quite difficult.

So I’m looking to switch birth control. I’ve been hearing good things about the injections, but also that they cause a significant amount of weight gain. Anyone here use those? What about the patch? Anything else you suggest?
Thanks so much, everyone!

I use the patch. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing it has going for it is the not having to remember a pill every day. I wouldn’t recommend it, though there’s nothing big wrong with it.

It’s a lot like a big bandage, complete with adhesive. So you get that black goo most weeks. And the places you’re suppose to put it are really not all that nice. Who wants a big BC patch on their shoulder? Not me; I like sleeveless and racerback shirts. On my ass? No thanks. It switches places on my abdomen every week. I’m not thrilled. I have a broken blood vessel (I think) from one week, and that seems to be a permanent addition to my abs.

Then there’s the fact that the patch delivers extra hormones into your system than the pills do. So there might be increased risk of clots.

I plan to switch when I figure out what’s better for me. At my latest checkup, the new doctor suggested a hormonal IUD. I’d be interested, but I’d always been told that childless women couldn’t have them. We’ll see.

I adore my Mirena, it’s far and away the best birth control I’ve ever used. The Pill was alright for me, I just hated taking them daily. The Depo shot worked well, but making an appointment every twelve weeks was problematic since my doctor’s office had weird scheduling issues.

No periods with the Mirena, no spotting after the first three months, no stopping to fuss with anything and complete peace of mind.

I’m on Depo-Prevera, and I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I sing its praises whenever I get the slightest chance.

I had a temporary weight gain of about two pounds. I no longer have periods at all, and no spotting. Nor do I have any sort of PMS. The Pill gave me horrible nausea-- this doesn’t. The Pill made me moody, and this doesn’t.

It’s done once every three months, and usually takes me about ten minutes for an appointment with a nurse. You have about a week’s window one way or the other before there could be any risk of less efficacy. It can take up to five years for normal fertility to come back after you’ve been on the shot for a long time, so if you’re accidentally a week or so late getting an injection, you don’t need to go into super-panic mode.

The only drawback, in my mind, is how achy the injection site can be. It’s not as bad as it once was, and I think it’s better if you get the shot in the arm rather than the hip. The shot itself is kind of achy-- not painful, but uncomfortable. The fluid is thick and there’s a good bit of it. (About 3/4 of a syringe-full is how it appears to me.)

I had terrible problems with Depo (panic attacks) and my sister-in-law was told she was sterile after getting off Depo (took five years to get pregnant).

I hated the patch. Really hated with a passion. Not only am I allergic to the adhesive, it’s ugly, it’s a daily reminder of birth control, you get the ‘black nasty’ lint sticking to the adhesive and you have to change it weekly.

I love Nuvaring, so I was all set to come in here and sing it’s praises, but I see that’s what you’re having problems with.

Good luck, and be sure to discuss ALL of your concerns with your doc.

There’s no longer a restriction on nulliparas (no pregnanies) for IUDs. I highly recommend them, but don’t consider it birth control for two cycles. The risk for rejection is highest then. You might have to go to planned parenthood, since few other providers have the experience with smaller uteruses.

No kids and no pregnancies here, and I have an I.U.D. with which I am perfectly happy. (I think it’s quite a long time now since they insisted on not giving it to women with no kids or no pregnancies.)

I’m on Depo Provera. I gained weight on it, but I realized that it wasn’t because the Depo made me fat - it made me lazy, less inclined to be active. I started taking B-12 supplements and that cleared that up real fast.

I love the Depo. I stopped getting my periods (which is good because mine were REALLY bad) and it has also helped with my bipolar disorder a lot, oddly enough.

~Tasha

Funny, I spotted on the pill but not a hint of it on the ring. And I too was going to sing the praises of NuvaRing but if that’s your problem…hmm.

I’ve never even been tempted to try Depo because once it’s in your system it’s there, no going back, until it wears off, and if I reacted badly that would really be awful. At least if I ran into a pill I simply couldn’t handle I could just quit taking it.

I tried Depo and found my body went haywire; it didn’t like not having periods. Also, I’m so bad at remembering things that I even forgot to reschedule for an injection. Yeeeeek.

I’m on the patch now, and what the others say is true: the gummy residue does happen. But I generally don’t mind. It’s annoying if it gets stick to the fabric of your pants, but overall it’s nice to be able to slap it on and forget about it for the rest of the week.

However, recent medical reports worry me: because of the constant level of hormones, it can greatly increase your chanceof blood clots. So I’ll likely be switching to something else when I’m up for my annual checkup.

The spotting’s not dreadful, and it doesn’t happen every time; it’s certainly bearable. I was just hoping there might be something easier.

I have to say, though, it’s certainly better than the 2 weeks of bleeding and heavy cramping of before birth control.

Like Lissa, I thought Depo was straight sent from heaven above. I loved it, I loved the no periods, I loved the no side effects. After four years or so, my doc felt uncomfortable with the potential bone loss thing and I wanted to switch it up anyways. I tried the NuvaRing for a couple months, and hated it with every fibre of my being. Then I got the Mirena IUD.

After that first day of cramping, it was like the clouds parted and sunshine alighted on everything and the angels were signing halllelujah. Okay, maybe not that great, but up there. My skin looked cleaner and brighter, I was back to no periods, I knew that I wouldn’t have to think about birth control for five years. So much love for my Mirena IUD.

It’s interesting how many people are anti-anything-other-than-the-pill. When I was on Depo, my friends were all “Ohmigod your hair is going to fall out and you’ll gain 50 pounds and be so depressed”. When it was the NuvaRing, my chicas were all “Ew but you have to touch in there and the guy can feel it, can’t he? Ew”. Now that it’s the IUD, I get “But I heard that your skin breaks out and you gain weight and BABIES GET BORN WITH THE IUD STUCK IN THEIR HEAD OMIGOD!!!111!!”.

Another very very happy Depo customer. I’m not supposed to have been on it this long due to the bone-mass thing, but they can pry my Depo from my cold, dead hands.

I may have gained some weight due to it, absolutely. But I’ve had weight issues all my life, so I couldn’t say what was Depo and what’s lifestyle. I adore the lack of periods and I love not worrying about pregnancy.

I keep seeing commercials about a lawsuit against the makers of the Ortho Evra patch. (Here’s a site about it, too.) So, that might be one type to avoid.

I use pills (Yasmin) and so far I haven’t noticed any bad side effects. No particularly good ones either. Might’ve helped clear my skin a little, but I can’t really tell. The other pill I used to take (ortho tricyclen) eliminated cramps almost completely.

I’ll give Depo a mixed review. Not having periods was great. Not having *any * libido was not.

I didn’t mind the injections at all. They always warned that it could sting, but I never really noticed any discomfort so I think that’s a very subjective thing.

It did take a full 6 months after I stopped using it to start having periods again so that stuff does stay in your system for a really long time if you have a problem with it. It took about 3 months to start having any sort of sex drive, and it seems pretty much back to normal now at 7 months off it.

So my conclusions on Depo would be that if it’s right for you, it’s absolutely fantastic. But if it’s not, you’re stuck with it in your system for quite a while. Obviously, I thought the risk was worth it when I started, and I wouldn’t tell anyone not to try it. Just be aware of how long it can take to get back to normal if you don’t like it.

I just put in my first Nuvaring today so I’ll see how that goes!

That’s exactly what happened to me. Even though I watched what I ate like a hawk and went to the gym at least an hour a day (the doc warned me of potential weight gain), I gained 50 lbs. Fifty pounds that still wont come of 2 years later (the doc said to keep working at it and it’ll eventually completely flush out of my system and the weight ought to drop off). My hair also fell out in giant clumps, about half of it. And I got depressed, really, really depressed.

Actually, I’d have really weird mood swings. One minute I’d be happy, then freaking out at my boyfriend for being the most evil person since Hitler, then crying because I was yelling at him, then laughing at him. All in one minute. I felt insane, particularly since I’ve never before or since been like that.

That’s not even the end of it: my migraines got so bad that I’d pass out from the pain, my vision got worse, my stomach got this weird, bloated, hard feel to it, and I was just generally miserable. I’ve never felt so bad in my entire life.

Also, I was on Depo for a year, hoping my body would adjust. It didn’t.

Now I’m on Yasmine and it’s wonderful- no cramps, light period, no babies :smiley: . Supposedly, Yasmine has an effect that leads to little or no excess water rentention. I love it! My migrains have also stopped.

Now if only the stupid weight would start dropping off…grumble grumble.

I’m another singing the praises of Depo. I love it! No periods, and better yet no PMS. I was the PMS bitch from hell - I didn’t even like myself! I hated not having control of my emotions - crying my eyes out for absolutely no reason at all, and knowing I had no reason to be upset!

I have had some weight gain, but since I have always had weight issues I can’t honestly blame that on the Depo. It does sting when you get the injection, and the area can be quite sore for a day or two because the liquid is very thick. I get mine in the hip - the one time I got it in the arm I couldn’t raise that arm over my head for 3 days!

I have also read that it can take quite a while before you become fertile again after you quit using it, but since I don’t ever want children that isn’t an issue for me.

I never knew that was a downside of the injections, but it explains my friend’s daughter’s 75 lb. gain. Wow. Who knew?

I’m on the hormone patch for menopause, and I gotta tell ya, if the BC patch is anything like it, it rocks. Totally.

I have to throw in my irrelevant, dissenting two cents and ask what precisely is such a hassle about taking the pill? You only have to see the doctor once a year, there is no pain, no discomfort caused by a device, and if you react badly to it you can stop taking it now. Yes, you have to remember to take it every day, but you have to remember to brush your teeth too, right?

Of course, I have other mandatory daily medication, so I’m stuck with that anyway.

Same opinion here. I take it first thing in the morning, when I’m pretty much on autopilot. I can’t remember to take medications at the same time every day unless I do it in the morning when I’m on autopilot. Taking it at exactly the same time every day isn’t so important unless it’s a progesterone-only pill, AFAIK.

I couldn’t do Depo- I have a phobia of needles, and hate hate hate going to see the doctor (my cats probably like going to the vet more than I like going to the doctor). And my doctors only make me see them once every 2-3 years now to get my pills :smiley: I’m squeamish about any kind of birth control that I’d have to put in there- I’m also very, very bad at spatial stuff, so I’d be worried about getting it in right when I can’t see it. So something like Nuvaring isn’t an option for me, either.

An upside to the pill- if one kind of pill has bad effects for you, there are several others to try.