Research on women's experiences with the BC pill

Discussion in 'Contraception' started by tacuba, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. tacuba

    tacuba New Member

    Hi everybody,
    I'm a Master student currently working on my thesis at the EHESS in Paris, France. I became interested in women's experiences with the bc pill since I was personally struggling with many side effects and was looking for help in forums like this one. After a lot of research, I realized that I wanted to write about the topic as a way to understand the effects of hormonal contraception on women's lives.
    I would like to ask you a few questions about your experiences using the pill. You could answer just one, or two, or all of them, depending on your mood!:) Any help would be highly appreciated.
    Ok, here I go:
    1. What were the main reasons to start using the pill?
    2. What were the main reasons to stop using the pill?
    3. How would you describe your relationship with your doctors (the ones that prescribed you the pill)?
    4. Would you ever come back to the pill? Why?
    5. Did you find hard/easy to convince your partners to start using another method of birth control when you decided to quit the pill?
    6. What other BC method have you ever tried?
    7. Any other comment or feeling bout the BC pill that you want to share!

    many, MANY THANKS!
    Tacuba

     
  2. wingsclipped

    wingsclipped Member

    Thank you for this! I'll be sure to answer all as soon as I get home and I will be sure to have some others have look as well. Personally I'm still going through some of the ruff times coming off the pill would you mind maybe shedding some light on your experience? [​IMG]

     
  3. tacuba

    tacuba New Member

    Hi wingsclipped!

    Thanks you for your help! [​IMG]
    For me taking the pill was awful. I started dating my now husband 6 years ago and we wanted to use a reliable contraception method, so I started taking the pill. Everything went fine for a couple of months, but then I started to feel very depressed, apathetic, no energy even paranoiac! At first I didn't connected to the pill, so I thought I was maybe tired of the routine, my old job, etc, etc. At that time we were living in Costa Rica (where I'm from), but then moved to Chicago. While there, I felt the same feelings, even stronger, I cried all the time, my depression got worse, I even thought my husband was the one to blame for all my misery and all the moving thing. To make my long story short, one day I was reading about depression (I even thought about going on anti-depressants) and read something about the pill, and then it all made sense! I stopped using it almost immediately and start researching about all its side effects..I couldn't believe it!! I really see it as poison now...and the worse thing is that my doctor didn't believe that the pill was causing all of my depression, he kept saying that "well, we can not blame the pill, all you find on the internet is not true..."...yeah right! If you tell me that what hundreds of hundreds of women feel is not true, there's something really messed up in medicine..anyway, so I quit, but then the side effects were awful too!! Why nobody told me about the effects of quitting this thing before even taking it! My hair is falling off like crazy, I now have mild acne, and my cycles are all over the place. I even fear for my fertility now! I don't know, if I knew all of this before, I swear, I would have never used this thing...it's just not fair...my depression improved tough, so that's good,but I don't feel I'm the same person as I was before.. little by little i guess...it's been almost a year since I quit..

     
  4. floss

    floss Member

    The more people who write theses and so forth on this the better as far as I'm concerned so good for you!

    1. What were the main reasons to start using the pill?
    Contraception in new relationship, and to deal with period pain

    2. What were the main reasons to stop using the pill?
    Depression - and still painful periods.

    3. How would you describe your relationship with your doctors (the ones that prescribed you the pill)?
    I am in the UK and my local surgery has a pool of GPs - meaning I don't see the same doctor every time. I had to explain every single time to each doctor my problems - each one having a different level of understanding. The first Dr who prescribed me actually took time to listen to my fears and what I didn't like about microgynon (which I took about 8 years ago) so prescribed Mercilon.
    When I came to them in a depression/anxious state they were reluctant to believe it was the BCP but agreed to let me come off. When I've returned month after month, they've said it can't possibly be the pill anymore as my cycle is regular. SO frustrating.

    4. Would you ever come back to the pill? Why?
    It would take a lot for me to return. It's tempting when people tell me xyz pill has changed their life etc, because the last year/18 mths has been a rollercoaster and I couldn't go through that again.

    5. Did you find hard/easy to convince your partners to start using another method of birth control when you decided to quit the pill?
    Not at all- my partner has been very supportive about the return to condoms. He finds it a pain and would rather not, but says he understands it's me who has to take something, not him.

    6. What other BC method have you ever tried?
    Nothing else. Too scared too!

    7. Any other comment or feeling bout the BC pill that you want to share!
    So many women I speak to say 'oh I was the same when I was on the pill, I had to come off!' but it seems like the world's biggest secret. No advice was given to me when I started the pill, there are no warnings, no big studies that prove us 1000s of women know our minds and bodies and know when something's wrong!

     
  5. BeeBee

    BeeBee Member

    Tacuba, thanks so much for doing this. Women are screaming out to be heard about the side effects of the pill and sometimes the even worse side effects of coming off it. Here's my contribution.

    1. What were the main reasons to start using the pill?

    To help with period pain. I was 39 never been on it in my life and thought why not, let's give it a go.

    2. What were the main reasons to stop using the pill?

    I took only 6 pills in total over 6 days and got sicker each day. I developed facial and arm numbness, had a panic attack and horrible dizzy spell and was sent to the emergency room because my nurse thought I was having a stroke. I stopped the pill immediately.

    3. How would you describe your relationship with your doctors (the ones that prescribed you the pill)?

    Cold, when I rang her to explain what was happening to me she told me it was impossible that the pill could do this.

    4. Would you ever come back to the pill? Why?

    No, it ruined my life for 6 months after taking it and then stopping it. The physical and mental side effects of coming off it, even after only pills, was crippling.

    5. Did you find hard/easy to convince your partners to start using another method of birth control when you decided to quit the pill?

    Easy.

    6. What other BC method have you ever tried?

    Condom. Withdrawal.

    7. Any other comment or feeling bout the BC pill that you want to share!

    Each of us is different therefore pharmaceuticals affect us all differently. The medical profession does not seem to think this is the case with the pill. Doctors will dismiss you outright for suggesting that the pill is toxic to many women. More research and awareness needs to happen across the board from OB/GYNs to primary care doctors about the side effects of the pill. So many of us get dismissed as crazy women, are given anti-depressants or anxiety medications to deal with the anxiety side of the pill, and of course that just masks the problem or makes it worse.


    I could write a thesis myself, but thanks again, I would love to read your studies.

     
  6. tacuba

    tacuba New Member

    Thank you floss and BeeBee for sharing your experiences and helping me out with this endeavor!
    As soon as I finish my thesis, I will share the results so we can all discuss about them!!
    Thanks again!!

     
  7. Insane Paranoia

    Insane Paranoia New Member

    1. What were the main reasons to start using the pill?

    To regulate periods and protect against pregnancy.

    2. What were the main reasons to stop using the pill?

    I had all kinds of health issues. Thyroid issues, depression, joint pain, migraines... ect...ect.

    3. How would you describe your relationship with your doctors (the ones that prescribed you the pill)?

    I am not currently seeing them on a regular basis. My mother goes to the same doctor, she swears by him.

    4. Would you ever come back to the pill? Why?

    If all of my symptoms clear up and I can definitively say that they were caused by the pill then absolutely not!! Because it made the last five years of my life hell!!!!

    5. Did you find hard/easy to convince your partners to start using another method of birth control when you decided to quit the pill?

    My husband insisted that I get off the pill to see if that resolved my health issues. I absolutely cannot get pregnant and am very nervous about it. Without his intervention I probably still would be on it just for the conception prevention...

    6. What other BC method have you ever tried?
    This is my first week trying something new. We will be doing a combination of condom, spermicide, withdrawal. I will be charting so we will use that combo on infertile days with abstinence on fertile ones.

     
  8. Kimberjean08

    Kimberjean08 Member

    Were we supposed to answer those questions? I didn't see them before...here are my answers.

    1. What were the main reasons to start using the pill?
    To help with heavy, irregular periods and cramping.

    2. What were the main reasons to stop using the pill?

    Migraine.

    3. How would you describe your relationship with your doctors (the ones that prescribed you the pill)?

    I thought it was good, until I realized they were not warning women about the problems the pill causes. I had no idea what I was in for and when I spoke with my doctor (my old doctor) about it, she didn't believe me.

    4. Would you ever come back to the pill? Why?

    NEVER. It made me angry, sick, moody, irrational, and caused me to have migraines...it took 10 years of my life from me.

    5. Did you find hard/easy to convince your partners to start using another method of birth control when you decided to quit the pill?

    Easy. I gave him no choice.

    6. What other BC method have you ever tried?
    Condoms, withdrawal, spermicide, and hormones (the patch, the ring, the pill-several types).

     
  9. tacuba

    tacuba New Member

    Thanks a lot Kimberjean08 and Insane Paranoia, yours answers help me a lot!!

     
  10. AlyssTG9

    AlyssTG9 New Member

    Thank you, Tacuba - I'm so happy that you're studying this. It's really important and I'm interested in reading your findings!
    1. What were the main reasons to start using the pill?
    Contraception.
    2. What were the main reasons to stop using the pill?
    Severe anxiety, panic attacks, and depression (including suicidal thoughts)
    3. How would you describe your relationship with your doctors (the ones that prescribed you the pill)?
    My visits were hurried and my concerns weren't considered important enough to explore further.
    4. Would you ever come back to the pill? Why?
    Absolutely not because then I'd lose my mind again.
    5. Did you find hard/easy to convince your partners to start using another method of birth control when you decided to quit the pill?
    At first it was tough because the pill made having spontaneous sex so convenient, but in the grand scheme of things, my health was most important and my boyfriend supported my decision.
    6. What other BC method have you ever tried?
    Condoms.
    7. Any other comment or feeling bout the BC pill that you want to share!
    The scariest thing about synthetic hormones is that they affect the female body in ways that we don't even know.

    - Alyssa

     
  11. tacuba

    tacuba New Member

    Thank you very much AlyssTG9!

     
  12. Raunchy-Row

    Raunchy-Row Super Moderator Staff Member

    1. What were the main reasons to start using the pill?
    Contraception.

    2. What were the main reasons to stop using the pill?

    Crippling anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.

    3. How would you describe your relationship with your doctors (the ones that prescribed you the pill)?

    She tried to convince me it was the thyroid medication that I had been taking (without changing the dose) for 8 years. Then she tried to convince me that I was depressed and needed antidepressants. When I refused, she said "well, I HAVE seen this before, a few times, maybe we'll just change your pill after you've had a few months off of it" (I was out of my monogamous relationship by then, and had already gone off the pill a week before)

    4. Would you ever come back to the pill? Why?

    Probably not, in the absence of something like an endometriosis or hormones going out of whack and causing heavy bleeding or pain I will most likely stay away from hormones permanently. I might be willing to try something like the Mirena IUD with its' low level hormones as I have really heavy periods (always have).
    5. Did you find hard/easy to convince your partners to start using another method of birth control when you decided to quit the pill?

    I wasn't with anyone at the time (we had just broken up as a result of my crazy anxiety and depression--at least I thought that was why at the time) so it was all me, baby!

    6. What other BC method have you ever tried?

    I went to a birth control specialist in Toronto and they inserted a copper IUD for me (although they really didn't believe the Pill had caused my side effects either). I've had it in for about 6 years and been in a monogamous relationship for 4.5 of those years without a backup method.

    7. Any other comment or feeling bout the BC pill that you want to share!

    I felt so strongly about this that I wrote a final paper on it for one of my 3rd year nursing papers about community health. There are actually many docs in the world who have been aware of these crazy side effects since the Pill was first invented and have written books about their observations. There is also research from Australia (the preliminary reports were published in 2005/2006 so I expect there is more now) suggesting that women on the Pill are WAY more likely to attempt suicide and have depression than women who have never taken the Pill. So it was particularly frustrating to me that my family doctor wouldn't even listen to me when I voiced my concerns.

     
  13. Raunchy-Row

    Raunchy-Row Super Moderator Staff Member

    Here's some of the interesting stuff on the web now (besides the thousands of posts in this forum!):

    http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Anxiety/birth-control-pill-causing-anxiety--depression/show/4614

    http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/...ol-options.html

    This website has a direct quote:
    http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2007/feb/12/what-to-expect-when-youre-not-expecting/

    http://lib.bioinfo.pl/pmid:17688380 (this is the article from Jayashri Kulkarni--if you have access to a research database you might be able to find other stuff from her).
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2013

     
  14. tacuba

    tacuba New Member

    Hi Raunchy-Row,

    Thank you very much for your replies! I really appreciated them!

     
  15. meowCat

    meowCat New Member

    I am not sure if you still need replies because you started this thread end of last year. I am gonna put in my story anyway.

    1. What were the main reasons to start using the pill?

    I felt I had no other choice. After two years on the copper IUD without any problems, I suddenly had constant bleeding and my doctor prescribed the pill to "regulate my cycle", because he said that the IUD sits textbook perfect.

    2. What were the main reasons to stop using the pill?

    It did not do anything to control the problem, see (1). In addition I was no crying every day. Every little something would totally set me off. I drove myself and my DF insane.

    3. How would you describe your relationship with your doctors (the ones that prescribed you the pill)?

    Ok.
    He never tried to push anything on me too hard, but he is clearly not a fan of NOT prescribing HBC.

    4. Would you ever come back to the pill? Why?

    No. I see no need. I am lactose intolerant and do not trust a "pill" anyway, because my stomach gets upset too often. Food labelling should be better!
    In any case, after that episode of IUD and pill I went on the nuva ring and ended up with DVT after 2 years.

    For this reason, I am avoiding HBC.

    5. Did you find hard/easy to convince your partners to start using another method of birth control when you decided to quit the pill?

    Not really. He was happy that I was healthy again.

    6. What other BC method have you ever tried?

    - copper IUD
    - condom
    - diaphragm
    - FAM/lady-comp

    7. Any other comment or feeling bout the BC pill that you want to share!

    I think doctors are often ill qualified to prescribe a drug that is so potent. And they blatenly deny that side effect are due to this medication. I have yet to meet the doctor who says that it's not for me. What...do I have to die first?

    I had DVT, my mother had suffered from DVT and my sister is a breast cancer survivor and my brother's daughter had leucemia. My doctors know my medical and medical family history. Still, I am often pushed by all sorts of doctors to go on HBC (no matter in which form it comes).

    IMHO, there is something wrong with this picture!

     
  16. tacuba

    tacuba New Member

    Hi MeowCat!

    I'm still doing my research, so your reply helps me a lot!! Thank you very much!!!

     
  17. tacuba

    tacuba New Member

    Hi everybody!!

    I'm still working on my research, so any help would be highly appreciated!!
    [​IMG]

    Thanks,
    Tacuba

     
  18. Weirdartist

    Weirdartist New Member

    1. What were the main reasons to start using the pill?
    contraception, was frustrated at lack of regularity of bleeding while using the contraceptive implant (implannon)
    2. What were the main reasons to stop using the pill?
    mood swings, breast pain, loss of libido, depression&anxiety
    3. How would you describe your relationship with your doctors (the ones that prescribed you the pill)?
    fine, she didn't know I was going to suffer such side effects
    4. Would you ever come back to the pill? Why?
    no, because I cannot afford to lose any more of my life to depression, and I refuse to increase my chances of cancer and other life threatening conditions including blood clots.
    5. Did you find hard/easy to convince your partners to start using another method of birth control when you decided to quit the pill?
    Very hard, we conceived out first child using condoms, and we are now expecting our second child with condoms (But that is not a bad thing [​IMG] ) However I will have to have a coil fitted after this baby [​IMG]
    6. What other BC method have you ever tried?
    Condoms, implant (implannon) and some NFP, but we weren't serious about it.
    7. Any other comment or feeling bout the BC pill that you want to share!
    Warnings ought to be given to young people when they are offered these as contraception/period regulators. If we have a daughter she will NOT be allowed to just take the pill without knowing the potential side effects. We need more effective barrier methods to avoid pregnancy without messing about with hormone systems that nobody truly understands.

     
  19. Vickstar

    Vickstar New Member

    1. I was put on the pill when i was 24 to control my periods which were all over the place. At 34 I went off the pill for close to a year. I became the best version of me I'd known in a long time, I felt so balanced and happy with who I was. I met my now ex during this time, and soon enough went back on the pill.

    2. I have just recently gone off the pill again after 5years of being back on it. I beleive my moods etc caused the break-up of a perfectly good 4year realtionship. After the breakup I expreinced severe depression and talked to the doctor about having PMT. The doctor suggested I try Yaz as it is good for extremely bad PMT. I have spent the last year on this pill, beleiving it was doing me a favour. I have been scared to go off th epill ofr change beleiveing, that if this pill was conrolling really bad PMT, I would be absolutley crazy if I came off it. After a chemist recently supplied with with the wrong pill, and no way of getting to the chemist for another week, I finally decided this week, to have another try at going off the pill. As I am starting to beleive the pill is really effecting me in regards to anxiety and depression etc. Early days yet - but I aleady feel the most relaxed i have felt in the past year.

    3. The doctor that put me on Yaz was confident that it was great for controlling bad PMT. But funnily enough, I've been on the pill for that long, that I'm not convinced that what I was referrring to as PMT wasnt a result of the pill.

    4. I've had the worst year. After some serious depression after breaking up with me now ex. It has been really difficult, but I'm at the point where my life is pretty mellow right now and I shouldnt feel as amped up and anxious as I do. I have monitored my mood for the last few months, and like clockwork there is a very interesting pattern emerging, with anxious feelings be more present throughout the month than not. I am very interested to see how I feel over the next month. Should I feel as good as I did 5 years ago when I last came off the pill. I doubt I will go on it ever again.

    5. When i was on the pill. If I'd miss a pill, my partner would refuse to use a condom, and I am not confident with the withdrawal method. So I would definately explore other methods that do not mess with your hormones.

    6. None. Withdrawal * COndoms.

    7. My concern is that hormones can turn perfectly balanced normal women into crazy bitches. Start messing with your hormones and I wonder what effect this is having on peoples relationships and general quality of life. I feel BC turned me into a lesser version of myself. And I do beleive resulted in my break-up. What is it doing to women around the world - does it have relationship with the high divorce rate we know today.
    Secondly, I'd like to talk about the multi billion dollar industry of antidepressants and probably BC also. When I experienced severe depression my doctor and many people around me really wanted me to try anti-depressants. I chose not to and what has resulted is a year long journey where I have realised that sticking a pill in your mouth is not a solution. I have monitored my moods in relation to a whole number of different approaches I have taken. And what is left now that I am in a much better place with much better ways of dealing with depression, is the pill. While beleiving for the last year that Yaz was keeping me sane, I now beleive it was contributing to a constant struggle. I really look forward to the next few months and will check in again.

     
  20. Raunchy-Row

    Raunchy-Row Super Moderator Staff Member

    THIS. Instead of trying to take me off the pill, the first reaction I got was "have you ever been depressed before? I'd like to put you on this pill." It was maddening!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2013

     

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