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Hormonal Birth Control - Conflicted

Danielle Rutherford

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Hi ladies!


I wanted to get some opinions here. I am on day 28 of my second Whole30 and feel pretty great.


I am going to be turning 29 this year, but have never really used birth control. I did twice before, but for maybe 3-4 months each go and ended up stopping because I hated how they would make me feel. Moody, breast tenderness, breakouts, etc. YUCK. Plus, something about taking hormones and all that business just seems so strange to me, it always has.


My question is around starting to take them again or not. My mom was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer about 3 months ago. We don't know if it's genetic (her doctor thinks it's not, but she is doing the testing soon).


However, a lot of information says that taking hormonal birth control for five years or longer can lower your risk by 50%. When I read that I was a little shocked at how high that percentage was. The simple answer seems to be to take it, but as you saw above, I don't want to feel yucky all the time.


I've also read having a child before 30 lowers your risk, which I have not yet. I am married and we plan on having children within the next year or two, which then also makes me think about how I won't be taking the BC for 5+ years anyway. :\


So I guess I just really wanted to ask a group of health conscious ladies if you you think the crappy side effects of BC is worth it? I know only I can answer that for myself, but I wanted to kind of talk it out.


Thanks ladies. :)

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I do know the hormone dosages vary wildly depending on the actual prescription. If hormonal birth control is something you decide to do, it might be worth checking out one of the low-dose options. Also, different pills have different mixes of hormones. There's lots of pro/con arguments for hormonal birth control, and it's really hard to say what is best for another person.

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I've been wondering about birth control for a while. For about a year, I skipped periods, at the most going 5 months without having one. My workout routine has included mostly strength training with a few short cardio/interval workouts during the week (I'm training for a half marathon now, but normally I don't do a lot of cardio) I've also been eating paleo for about 2 years

Anyway, I was worried about going so long without having periods, and my Obgyn wanted me to try a low dose BC pill to get me back on track. I started taking a low dose pill about 8 months ago, but the idea of being on something artificial still freaks me out. I just finished my first whole 30 and loved it, but I'm always wondering if the BC pill is hindering my health in some way.

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I take microgestrin and also have no periods, which is awesome, awesome, awesome.


However, sometimes the first week of pills I am the Grinch, even if it is June.


I weighed "don't jack with your hormones" over "never have to worry about when to schedule anything ever and also never ever cramp" and jacking with my hormones won out. Totally, totally worth the being crazy every month... I didn't know it lowered the risk of ovarian cancer so that is good too.


I would suggest maybe trying a different dose or brand than you did before, and even tell your obGYN what you are worried about. When I first went on it (around the age of 30 also), I told my obGYN that I wanted something that would not make me crazy or fat, and LoEstrin FE was what she gave me. The generic came out last year and now I am on that, and it has made me a little crazier than the brand did (the brand had only 4 placebo pills and the generic only comes with the dose that has 7), but otherwise it is the same.


And did I mention how awesome it is not having a period? Ever? Because it is super awesome.

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I stopped taking my BC a year ago because no pill let me still have a sex drive AT ALL. It was bad. First pill I was on (don't remember brand, was only on it a few months) I couldn't even get lubricated down there, which was really bad as a newlywed. Second pill I tried (Yas) was better because I still *could* get lubricated, but still didn't mentally want it, and never did my body want it enough for me to initiate...which caused my hubby to feel like I didn't love him.


My cycle took almost a year to be really, truly normal after coming off the pills, so if you're planning on having kids in the next year or so, DO NOT TAKE THEM. I tell everyone I know that's about to get married not to take them. I don't LIKE having a period, but I like knowing that my body is doing what it should.


Oh, and I think that the "you should take BC to not get cancer" line is 100% crap. Having children and nursing them (aka what your body was designed to do) lowers your breast cancer risk by a smlal amount for every child nursed (http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2013/05/07/can-breastfeeding-lower-breast-cancer-risk.aspx) ...and if we're just figuring this out, I think that someday we might find similar things for other cancers. Regardless, I'm of the opinion that treating your body as it should be (doing what it was meant to do, eating what it was meant to eat) will cause you to be the healthiest in the long term, vs. taking pills full of artificial hormones that trick your body. That's my $0.02, at least.

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