July 24, 2007

Birth Control

So it sounds to me like we pretty much all agree that my OB is hoping to get another big fat c-section fee out of me by telling me I'm safe for at least 12 weeks. I got a prescription for the mini-pill, which I'm going to try. I say "try" because from what I've read, a lot of women find it gives them a fast flying kick into the land of crazy--but I'm hoping I luck out and it doesn't happen to me. We'll see. I like how I have to wait four weeks before it renders me safe--and the four weeks doesn't start until I actually fill the prescription, which, who knows when I'll get to the store next, or if I'll remember to fill it while I'm there?

Researchers need to do better on this birth control thing. Right now there are four kinds:
  1. Options used in the heat of the moment.
  2. Options used constantly, medicating the woman even when there isn't a need for it.
  3. Options in which something that looks like a sharp metal insect takes up residence in the woman's uterus.
  4. Options in which someone gets a crucial reproductive organ snipped.
All the options suck. Heat-of-the-moment options are messy and yucky and can cause allergic reactions, and it is difficult to make sensible birth control decisions during the time they need to be made. Constant-medication options can affect a woman's mood, weight, and--hello, helpful!--sex drive, not to mention the crazy gland. Metal-in-the-uterus options make me uncomfortable just thinking about them. Permanent options make me sad just thinking about them.

Obviously it would be nice if, for the hot new birth control option, men could take a turn dealing with the expense and side effects, but I understand researchers are FAR too busy working to increase men's sex drive and hair growth.

31 comments:

Christine said...

Hear, hear on the suckage of birth control. I'm on the pill and lo, it makes me plenty crazy(er). I don't have kids yet so the permanent options while occasionally lovely sounding don't make any sense. I'm kind of attached to sex without worrying about a condom all the time. I'm thinking of the giant insect of IUD for sometime next spring when the birth control runs out. But really, just suck suck suck. (Also, too personal? Oh yes.)

Shannon said...

I thought the mini-pill was effective in 48 hours. OH MY GOD. I am so screwed.

heather said...

I have an IUD (mirena, I believe is the brand) and I love it!! I've had it inserted after both of my kids and I recommend it to anyone at the slightest mention of birth control. You do not even know it's there, it doesn't hurt at all to have it put in (the usual time is 9-10 weeks after delivery so you're still kind of "stretched out" anyway), and the "side effects" are nothing but good. All the hormones are confined to your uterus, so no weird weight gain or crazy emotions... and the majority of women have much lighter and shorter periods. I went from having heavy painful periods that lasted 7 days, to having about a total of one day of spotting with the IUD in. That alone is reason enough for me! Plus it's the next best thing percentage-wise to a vasectomy. And you only have to think about it once every five years!!

AndreAnna said...

Aww, I totally feel for you. Seems like the options totally suck for you. I have PCOS so have to be on hormonal birth control (when not TTC) so I guess I get used to it. It does make my sex drive plummet though, which definitely sucks and almost defeats the purpose, huh? lol

And a vasectomy is reversible if necessary and you could always bank as well in the event you do change your mind.

Hope you find an option that suits you and works for your life and doesn't result in your OB getting more business sooner than planned! :)

Katie said...

The mini pill didn't make me crazy, but it made me a little nauseous...like I was always worried it had failed and I was pregnant (it didn't and I wasn't.)

Good luck! I hate all the options too!

Melinda said...

I also have the mirena IUD and I joke with my gyno that I am going to go on tour to promote this product. I *LOVE* it. I was so not into the whole idea of it at first but we talked at length about my concerns and it has been THE best thing EVER. Little or no periods. No stupid refills. No monthly expense even. I'm coming up on 5 years with this one so I have to have it replaced in October. Seriously. Awesome. *power fist*

MrsGrumpy said...

The permanent option makes me sad too. I talk lightly about it for the most part, but it still hurts that I don't have to worry about it. It wasn't my choice I guess. I will shut up now and be grateful for what I have.

Mrs. Flinger said...

Amen. And I can tell you, first hand, that sifting through a box of ENTIRELY EXPIRED condoms rarely does anything for the mood. *sigh*

I still don't know what to do about preventing another bambino, but I hate to say I'm finished forever.

Marie Green said...

I agree w/ every word of this post. Well, said. and all the options do suck. The best sex we have is when I'm pregnant, because then there's no need for birth control. (of coarse, the trying should be the best, except that it we "tried" only 2 times... and we have 3 kids out of the deal!)

Black Sheeped said...

I've heard good things about the IUD. Very good things.

Penny said...

A hard and hairy man is more important after all!

There's the option of wearing one of those OvuWatches that tells you when you're fertile. If you're willing to shell out $200 bucks plus occasional refills of some part or other. But apparently, those work well. No chemicals, no contraptions. Of course, probably not the best option while breastfeeding, but maybe an option for the long term.

zellmer said...

I'm so with you on this yet another unfair disadvantage of being the woman. I think I've got my husband talked into the vasectomy after our second one is born in November, but it kinda makes me sad, too. I DO NOT WANT THREE KIDS. But then, what about the what ifs? The IUD creeps me out, and I've heard it can hurt and you can have complications from it, but Heather and Melinda have me reconsidering. Then again, why should I be the one to go through the trouble after 18 total months of pregnancy hell?

Omaha Mama said...

I agree! Suck-a-mundo.

Although my big insect that's taken up residence is plastic, not metal - which for some reason did not freak me out as much. I don't know if you can get it while you're nursing, but I still say go with the Mirena.

Good luck with the mini-pill. My problem was always forgetting to take it, or fill the prescrip. I'm so bad about that!

Nellyru said...

Clearly, I have a completely outdated view of the IUD...because it makes me envision the pointy metal insect bouncing around in there causing extra-bad cramping and ultra-heavy bleeding...and possibly some nasty infections. Not the wonderful descriptions given here.

Erin said...

HA! This is hilarious but only because it is sadly true. I hate all forms of birth control too, but what the hell can you do? I totally agree with your assessment of all four options. The mini pill seems like the best option, I agree, but still not a good one. But at least 65-year-old men can still get aroused when they want AND avoid a combover. Thank goodness!

ktjdn said...

I was on the mini-pill both times I was breastfeeding. I didn't really notice any side effects. The bad thing is that the mini-pill is much less powerfull, so taking it at the same time every night is crucial. A couple hours difference is enough to raise the odds of failure quite a bit. who can rememerb to do something consistantly when they are nursing and raising a newborn? I worried constantly

Swistle said...

Shannon-- Oh! You're probably right! I haven't even dropped off my prescription yet, I was just assuming it would take a full month of being on it. But I've never been on it before, and I know nothing!

jen said...

boy do I relate to this post. I guess in my old age I'm against IUD's for the other reasons. I won't remember to take a pill. Even if I do and it's the mini-pill and it fails, can you imagine? My husband would probably blame me for doing it on purpose even if he didn't say it out loud. The mere SMELL of condoms is enough to send me running for the hills. The FAM was only good while we were in the "if we had a kid it wouldn't be so bad" mode. I don't want him to get a V just yet... aaaaugh!

I guess I've never wanted hormonal bc because of all the side effect, I've always felt I'd be more likely to have severe ones. And lord knows I'm fat enough as it is, tyvm.

Oh I could go on about this. *sigh*

Tessie said...

The mini-pill made me feel EXACTLY like I was pregnant. I think I must have taken 10 pregnancy tests in the time I was on it. Blech.

Not to be one of those "your personal choice SUCKS, take it from a RANDOM STRANGER" commenters. Hate those.

Side effects aside, overall, in the realm of sucky choices it still sucked marginally less than all the other options.

Jodi said...

AMEN! I agree with all four points. I hate all forms of birth control. They all suck.

I was on the mini pill after the births of my first two girls and was never told it would take a month to work. Is this just a ploy you are feeding your hubby? ;)

LoriD said...

The only male contraception I would trust would be something that was surgically inserted into his body. Can you imagine him remembering to take a little pill every day at the same time? There's a reason scientists don't waste their time with inventing more male contraceptives.

Devan said...

I'm in this same place too. I refuse to go on anything hormonal after my love/hate with bc pills in my "before kids" days. Right now we are using condoms, officially. Except we've never actually used one anytime we've dtd. oops.
DH hates them and frankly - so do I. I can't remember to take a pill and the thought of an IUD freaks me out. Pull and pray is what usually happens, if anything.
Gawd - are we stupid or what? I know the failure rate is high. When we are no longer in the "we still want more kids" phase, D will be getting a V. I have no sad feelings about this.

JayJenny said...

Amen!!

Misty said...

I was kind of freaked out about the IUD/Mirena thing, too. And strangely enough, Omaha Mama, the fact that it is flexible and plastic made me feel better, too. That and in other countries it has been used for years and years with excellent results. My OB is a Mirena cheerleader as well. She told me that over 90% of women in the United states DO NOT use birth control regularly and as indicated. No wonder we have so many surprise pregnancies. Basically, I just pretend the IUD is not there. Not something you can exactly do with all the other forms of bc, unless you just want to end up pregnant again.

Kudos to you, Swistle, for choosing the mini-pill! (I do agree with your listing, but I think that considering we have only been allowed to vote for the past 80-something years, the fact that we have any options at all might be considered a minor miracle.) You are obviously more organized than me! To quote myself speaking to my OB after the baby was born, "If you put me on a pill, I will be pregnant and back in your office before you know it." Yay for women who have their lives together and can remember such things. :)

Pixie said...

Swistle, be careful with that mini pill, my doctor failed to mention to me that not only is it not as effective as the regular pill but if you do conceive while on it your chance of having a tubal pregnancy is increased. That is what happened to me. I now refuse to take any pill we just use condoms (when we think of it, oops) which is no biggie because we would like another but we are just having a hard time taking the leap so maybe an accident is the way to go. =o)

Emily said...

I'm on the Pill and it *positively* affects my mood. Without it, I tend to have really exaggerated mood swings, and it levels me right out.

Swistle said...

Jen (Never Melts)-- DO go on! What will you do?

Jodi-- I'm probably wrong about that. I was assuming it was the same as when you go on the regular Pill, when they tell you to use back-up methods the first month. But Shannon says 48 hours, and in weighing her experience against my complete lack of it, I'm guessing she's right!

Emily-- A ray of light in the darkness! I will hope for that.

theflyingmum said...

One word - diaphragm.
Why don't more women use it?
You put it in, and... if you, um, "use it" - hey, wait six hours, get some sleep, take care of it later. If you don't - take care of it now. Easy-peasy. OK, a little bit messy, but so far: 100% effective, baby.
Peace of mind's all I'm sayin'.

Angelina Panettieri said...

See, the total unfairness of the bc situation is why I'm a feminist. :-P They're working on a male pill, btw. But honestly...I wouldn't trust a guy to take it. They're not the ones who have to deal with pregnancy, so there's not the same sense of urgency.

I've been on the reg'lar old pill for four years. Loooooove it. I'm bipolar and always had ASTONISHINGLY bad skin. Within three months of starting it, my moods were settling, my acne was all but completely gone (I just get a couple zits during my period now, yay TMI!), and I even got a teensy bit of help in the boob department. And it's the only method I use. Hasn't failed me yet.

I don't know how different the mini-pill is. I was started on it, but insisted I switch to the full-sized because I'm fat and because I'd get more skin benefit from the regular.

Also, I've never been pregnant, so I don't know how that affects the crazy switch with pills. And I'm bipolar, so my crazy switch is just permanently flipped on, so my frame of reference is different.

Anyway, good luck!

Farrell said...

I cannot even tell you how many people I know got pregnant while breast-feeding, just six weeks after giving birth. Not fun.

Kelly said...

I'm coming to this so late, but you're so right on. The Pill gave me intense, incurable migraines. I was out of commission for a good three to four days. We're not ready for surgical options just yet. So for now, we just get a shitload of condoms at BJ's for $12. They're nothing special: not particularly thin or geared for extra sensitivity. But my husband is lovely about it all, and never complains about suiting up, because then I'd have to show him my c-section scars and milk-drained breasts and say, suck it up, pal.