The Birth Control Thread!!!

So someone noted that this was not the birth control thread. Sensing the need that us Doper chicks have to discuss methods of contreception (and, what the hell, Doperfellows, too…) I am starting a thread. I know how quickly this could fall to blue humor, so lets keep this one above the belt (baDUM) people.

I, for one, am very interested in Depo-Provera. I’d like to hear stories from people both pro and anti.

And Soda mentioned tranexamic acid, but I believe she’s in one of those Scandiavian countries where everything is legal. :wink: Anyone know if it is legal in the US/stories about it’s use. I’ve never heard of it.

Get in touch with your uteri, my friends. (that goes for the boys, too. Yours is just inside out.)

That would turn an IUD into a DUI, which would be a rather severe means of contraception.

I’ve been on Levlen ED for over a year now with no noticeable bad effects. My periods have lightened up when we get to that bit of the pack and I don’t have gut-wrenching cramps any more. I well and truly used to taking a little pill every day now & it’s just part of my routine.

My sister has tried Depo Provera and had a weight gain that she didn’t like, so she’s not going to renew the shot.

Depo. All I can say is to make sure a doc tells you about all of the side effects. There are a lot of them, and each person is affected differently. Some people have no ill effects, and others get hammered. Tequila was on Depo a few years back. For the few months, all was fairly well. Then out of the blue, whammo. There was a 40 pound weight gain within two months, almost daily bleeding, memory blackouts, dizziness (the kind where she would start walking across a room and just fall over on her side), and then there came serious chemical depression. She had no interest in anything and would literally sit and stare at the wall for hours on end. I did things like come in the room really fast, grab the kids and yell that the house was on fire, and she would respond with a “who gives a shit” or similar response. There were no further shots after that time period, and after one month beyond when she was scheduled to have had an injection, she was completely back to normal. And the part about how you can’t get pregnant for a year afterwards? Bullshit. She got pregnant that same month:) We had friends who had no effects at all on it, and thought it was great, and some who were hit in a similar way, and sometimes worse. It’s different for each person, so again, make sure you talk over everything with a doc.

Well, I’m just a die hard fan of the good old Pill. I’ve been using it since 1980, with a couple of years off for pregnancy. Never had a side effect, never had a scare, never missed a pill. My prescription insurance even covers it. What a marvelous invention.

It was difficult to keep a straight face when I went with my husband to meet with his priest a few years ago and listen to his instructions on Catholic marriage, including Natural Family Planning. Fat chance, Father.

I wonder if there is something in the works for birth control for men that doesn’t involve surgery? Condoms are all good, but it would be nice to not have to worry about that, and a vasectomy is out of the question as I would like to have children someday.

Any dopers heard of anything for men?

Well, I was on it for three years. I loved it, except for the weight gain. I had NO period (not one day) for three years, which was the best part. But, over 3 years, I gained 50 lbs and, in the 3 years I’ve been off of it, I’ve had a hard time getting it off again. (Ok, so part of it is because I’m lazy! :wink: )

Those are my top pro and con… but here’s a few more.


[li]For some, no period while they’re on it[/li][li]You don’t have to remember to take a pill every day[/li][li]Reversable (as opposed to a tubal)[/li]
[li]Some people have their period non-stop while they’re on it[/li][li]Weight gain[/li][li]If you don’t like shots, you’re SOL.[/li]
These are the pros and cons I can think of right at the moment, ones that either effected me or others that I knew that were on them.

Now I have a question… Does anyone know of a form of birth control (aside from condoms and abstinence) that WON’T cause considerable weight gain? I’ve done Depo and I’ve done the pill and I gained with both. I’m looking for something that I can start on that won’t add to what I’ve already got in the weight department.

I would sure like a male contraceptive other than condoms or the big snip.

My wife can’t take the pill or other hormonal contraceptives on the advice of her Doctor since her mom had a blood clot. I guess the hormones in them increase the risk?

I would jump at a male pill myself, and there has been rumours for years of them, but nothing on the market yet.

Is the IUD a viable option that most of you ladies would consider? Are there any problems that anyone here has run into with them? I know there are various websites that give statistics and info, but I would like to know what other dopers think from their practical experience.

How about any other ideas? Being married and using condoms still is a bit annoying for both of us…

I’m starting Ortho-Cyclen this coming sunday. Not for contraceptive reasons, though, but for the blingly painful cramps I get. Yet for some reason, the period before I start the pill to stop the cramps, I don’t get the cramps. Go figure. Could it be because I was late, due to stress?

Well, that’s all I have to add…

Way, WAY bad experience with Depo. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I gained almost 20 lbs, was constantly depressed, and had zero sex drive. Um, with those problems, I kinda didn’t need birth control, y’know? I hd very light periods on it, fwiw. I don’t know anyone who has had a GOOD experience with it, actually.

We use condoms now, (still nursing my daughter and so haven’t got my period back yet - it’s going on 2 years without one - wonderful! :), will use FAM as well once my periods return.


I’ve been on Depo for over 4 years now, and I love it. As with TruePisces, I get no period. However, I’ve had “breakthrough bleeding” 3 or 4 times. No biggie if you still keep a stock of tampons or liners.

I first got the shot six weeks after giving birth, and I have actually lost weight since starting it. Basically, I’ve gone back to pre-pregnancy weight, with no freaky, unexplained weight gain. I’ve noticed no mood changes or other side effects. However, it will be different for everyone who takes it. So, just know what could happen.

I highly recommend Depo especially if you have trouble remembering to take that damn pill every day. Also, it doesn’t protect against STD’s, so you should consider using condoms as protection against those.

Does anyone here use an IUD? I know that in the past they could cause huge problems (death!) but that the technology and the procedure has improved since then, and Planned Parenthood is recommending them in many cases. I’m curious about them, as I gained weight with the Pill (and I don’t need to gain anymore, so am wary of Depo-Provera).

BTW, I sent a resume to Planned Parenthood last week, so mabye soon I will become the SDMB contraception goddess!
Wish me luck.

Does involuntary abstinence count?

It’s been working well for me, Euty.

Ah, birth control.

I think talking about birth control is a very good idea! It is an issue in most of our lives, almost everyone has to deal with it, messing it up has serious consequences, and still we don’t talk about it.

I’ve used the Pill, Depo, condoms alone (not a good plan), condoms with foam, condoms with sponge (no mess!), and finally an IUD.

A few years ago I started getting migraines. Estrogen makes them worse, so no pills or Depo. When I took the Pill, I would get tired of taking it, so I also tried out other options.

I strongly recommend condoms and a sponge for anyone who is not in a long-term relationship and only needs sporadic contraception. The sponge is a nice change after using foam with condoms, because the foam will melt inside and run down your leg all day. To my mind, this defeats one of the major benefits of condoms.

I’ve tried Depo and didn’t find it very different from taking the Pill. But going back to the doctor every few months does get to be a pain in the neck. The big problem, of course, is that if you have a problem with Depo, it’s in your system for three months no matter what. At least with the pill you can stop taking them. I wouldn’t try Depo without being on a pill with a similar dosage first, so you know how your system might react.

I am just not a diaphragm person. Some people are, and it works great for them. I’m just not one of them. My anatomy isn’t great for this option (my uterus is tipped and this makes the cervix harder to reach). And besides, you have to reach up your chooch every time you want to have sex, smear a lot of jelly around, and then go back the next morning and remove the whole thing. It kind of grosses me out. As I mentioned above, I’m not a big enthusiast of things dripping down my … oh never mind.

So about two years ago I got an IUD. I am married and monogamous, which made the IUD a good choice for me. I haven’t had kids yet, but I will as soon as I finish my @^$$@&* dissertation, so I wasn’t an ideal candidate. They prefer to use it with women who have had kids already. Still, this has been the best possible choice for me, and it requires a lot less effort on a regular basis than most other options.

The IUD has made my periods worse, but then they started getting better after a while. I don’t really have PMS (according to my husband), so I just got a little crabbier when my cramps went on longer. I think crabby is fair when your insides feel like they are trying to rip themselves out. Overall, I’m very happy with my choice and can recommend it to others.

Although this is a birth control thread, I think it is important to note that condoms are used for more than just pregnancy prevention!!! Please, everyone, practice safe sex!!!

I’ve been on Depo for six years and have experienced the following:

  • Not so much as a single drop of menstruation. Since the day I got the first shot. No breakthrough bleeding, nuthin’.
  • No cramps, no mood swings, no depression, no chemical imbalances.
  • I’ve gained about 2 pounds per year – put on 12-15 pounds. If I work out and lay off the sweet treats, I can lop the weight right off. I’m thinking this is a function of metabolism and if you have trouble with your weight to begin with, you probably ought not consider Depo.
  • No noticeable affect on my sex drive. As long as I keep batteries in the house… :wink:
  • I really haven’t had any problems with it – and frankly the extra 15 lbs. doesn’t look all that bad on me. I guess I could’ve used it. It does tend to increase your appetite, so you may want to simply watch what goes in your mouth – as you should anyway, and take it easy on the night nibbling.

I say try it and if the first shot screws up your system, then don’t get another one.

IUD checking in. I’ve had mine for almost two years now, and I love it. I’ve been on both the pill and Depo, and didn’t like either. The pill was okay, but made me emotionally wonky. Depo (as I’ve stated in other threads) made me ENTIRELY asexual, which is good for a form of birth control, I guess, but did not make me or the SO very happy. No periods, good. No sex, bad. YMMV.

Best part of the IUD for me is no hormones . I’m so much happier and stable since I got off the drugs. I have periods again, but they’re normal on the whole. Last a little longer than they did on the pill, but definitely manageable. I also feel like I’m much more in tune with my body now that I’m not thwarting it’s natural processes. Forgive me if that sounds New Age-y, but I don’t know a better way to put it. It’s good for 10 years, and has around the same effectiveness as the pill (99.something%, IIRC). Fair warning, however, if you have not had children, they will be leery of inserting an IUD for you, unless you’re above a certain age. My OBGYN thought 25 was fine, I’ve heard others say 30. Apparently your chances of expulsion increase if your hymen hasn’t been stretched by childbirth. I had mine inserted when I was 26, and have had no issues.

Would be glad to answer any more questions if there are any. :slight_smile:

I’ve had an IUD for about eight years - I expect to have it taken out in another year or so. I didn’t expect that I would ever want children when I got it, but now I’ve changed my mind. My doctor doesn’t think it will cause any problems with getting pregnant when I have it taken out, though.

It’s great. I had one episode of very very bad cramps about two months after it was inserted, and since then, life is totally normal. It doesn’t do anything to my moods, my periods are much the same, and it doesn’t cause weight gain.

The doctors I talked to told me the problem wasn’t the chance of expulsion, but the chance that it would damage your fertility and that you would experience remorse because of it. (I was 24 when I got it, and I had to visit a few doctors before I found one that would do it). But the statistics seem to suggest that the risk of fertility damage isn’t all that high.

There’s that, too, EN, but I didn’t want to get into ALL of the possible side effects. The expulsion possibility is the one that my OBGYN talked about most to me.

There are some serious risks with an IUD, everyone should know that, but I found the odds well within betting range, personally. Be sure to find out all of the pros and cons, of course, and then take them with a grain of salt, as you should with everything. :slight_smile: