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Ladies: Birth Control Methods?

dramaprincess

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
3
Hi all,

I hope that this is not too personal, because I could really use some advice. I am a long-time Pricescoper, but I created a new account for this thread (kind of embarrassing!)

I am a major worrier. I have been on birth control pills since I was 18, and whenever we have sex, I always make my SO wear a condom too. Otherwise, I would worry about failure rates , and I even still do sometimes.

My SO and I have gotten very serious, and we are planning to get engaged very soon. I know he has the ring, and I am just waiting for the proposal. We have discussed what we want to do about birth control in the future, but I'm not sure what the best option is.

We thought that maybe we would stop using condoms after we got engaged, and just rely on the birth control. Tons of people do that, even in just regular committed relationships. We would feel super close to each other, and that would be wonderful.

On the other hand, ever since I have been on the Pill, my sex drive has been greatly reduced. It was always strong before, but now most of my desire is gone. We therefore don't have sex as much as most other couples. I would say that I had an above-average sex drive before I was on the Pill, and now it's way below average.

I can also tell when I ovulate (or at least I could before I got on the Pill, but that was about 8 years ago, and I obviously haven't ovulated since). I would always get that very specific lower abdomen pain on around day 12 to day 15 of my cycle. During this time, my sex drive completely skyrocketed.

I tried switching to many different pills, but all of them seem to cause my sex drive to disappear. Some of them caused even worse problems, so I am currently on the best one that I found.

Part of me feels like maybe I should get off the Pill and just use condoms, but I'm not sure how comfortable I would be with that. I know our sex life would be much, much better, but I feel like since I have such strong, obvious symptoms at ovulation, I might somehow get pregnant, even with a condom. Does that make sense?

Along with the condoms, maybe we could just avoid actual intercourse during the week around my ovulation (for my peace of mind).

I just really want to enjoy sex as much as possible, and I don't feel like the Pill allows me to do that. It would be bad if I became pregnant right now, because I do not have health insurance. I also do not wish to become pregnant for at least two to three years, but my SO and I are totally committed and plan to get married in about a year, so it would not be the absolute WORST, except for the lack of health insurance part.

Does anyone have any ideas for us? Thank you so much for the advice.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
I hate the pill for all the reasons to describe. I went off it when TTC with our son a few years ago and never went back on and I love it. I will never take the pill again. We use condoms now and avoid when my signals point to fertility (learn to monitor your cervical fluid as you are fertile in the 5 days *before* you ovulate).

But we are ok with an oops at this point in our lives and that is the only reason that I am comfortable with using condoms only. When we are done having kids, DH will have the old snippity snip.

BTW, how is it to embarrassing for you to ask this question using your usual identity, but we should not be too embarassed to answer using ours ;))
 

cara

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2006
Messages
2,202
This is really a personal decision because only you can balance the +/- and figure out what is best for you and your SO. That said, a few comments from my perspective:

-no health insurance is a big deal. I would not be comfortable using less reliable methods (like condoms) in that situation - but that is me. For example, does your SO have health insurance, to which you could be added, if you got pregnant and needed to have a shotgun wedding to put you on his health insurance so that you could get prenatal care? That seems like a rather drastic backup plan, but at least it is something. However, that kind of backup plan would make me stressed out.

-if (part of) the point of going off hormonal birth control is to increase your libido, then I'm not sure that abstaining during your fertile window (ie the week leading up to ovulation) is a great birth control method since that will likely be the time of the month when you will be most interested in sexy time.

-what about an IUD? They are not as commonly given to women with no children, but it is possible to get one these days, and this would allow you to go hormone-free (well, mostly, I think the Mirena IUD might have some low level of hormones) and condom-free and they are pretty effective.
 

fieryred33143

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
6,689
I'm not smart when it comes to this stuff but the ladies on here are so I know you'll get great answers!

We only use condoms. I have never been on any pill or form of birth control. The condoms always worked for us (until the evening we didn't use one at all and I got pregnant). I don't monitor anything, I just don't forget to use them and I remind myself not to get too adventurous :devil:
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
10,541
What about doing a combination of charting to avoid and condoms? That way you can ensure that you're not DTD during the week of ovulation and you've still got the condoms for the extra level of protection during the rest of the month. DH and I charted to avoid for a few years before we actually wanted to try for a baby and it was very successful for us. We just totally avoided all intercourse during a 7-10 day window around ovulation. Sure it limited us to about 12-14 days during the month when I wasn't ovulating or AF was visiting, but it worked for us and was a sacrifice we were willing to make. We really don't care for condoms and I don't do well on hormonal BC.
 

dramaprincess

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
3
Thank you so much for your replies. I guess I figured that this is more personal than what I usually read here, so I wasn't sure how everyone would react. I truly appreciate your advice so much.

I have always been a worrier, so just using the condoms would probably drive me crazy. My SO does have really good health insurance, and I was planning to get on it as soon as we get married. We are planning to get married in about a year, but we are actually thinking about elopement right now, so it would be possible to do quickly if I were to become pregnant. I know that if I were to get pregnant now though, it would still create a problem regarding whether or not the health insurance would cover it.

My sex drive is significantly increased throughout the month when I am off the Pill, so I know that I would enjoy it much more all the time. I figured that if we did choose to go off the Pill, we could enjoy things besides actual intercourse during the week before and few days after I ovulate. I think this would be totally fine with my SO, since we would probably be doing much more than we currently are.

I'm not sure about an IUD. I thought that you have had at least one child before they let you have one?

Maybe we should at least wait until we are married to get off the Pill. I am just so tired of not enjoying sex as much as I could.

I definitely do have a maternal instinct, and I can't wait to try for children when the time is right. I would just really prefer to enjoy this stage in my life before that happens, KWIM? :)
 

MustangGal

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
2,029
And are you sure your sex-drive will improve if you go off BC? I went on BC at 21, and would say I had a normal sex-drive at that time. BC shut it down, but when I went off the pill 7 years later to TTC, the sex-drive didn't return. I think it was more age related than BC related. I've been off the pill 3 years now, have an 18 month old, and a Mirena, still no sex-drive.

I'd also be too worried about relying on condoms for BC if you're not in a position for an "opps". A friend of the family just had her second baby that was concieved while using condoms...
 

dramaprincess

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 12, 2010
Messages
3
MustangGal said:
And are you sure your sex-drive will improve if you go off BC? I went on BC at 21, and would say I had a normal sex-drive at that time. BC shut it down, but when I went off the pill 7 years later to TTC, the sex-drive didn't return. I think it was more age related than BC related. I've been off the pill 3 years now, have an 18 month old, and a Mirena, still no sex-drive.

I'd also be too worried about relying on condoms for BC if you're not in a position for an "opps". A friend of the family just had her second baby that was concieved while using condoms...
You could be right. I'm just assuming that it would come back like it was before, but it's definitely possible that it might not.
 

Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
10,541
Ditto MG, I was on hormonal BC (pills and Depo) from 18 to about 28 and my sex drive has yet to return. That's not to say I feel asexual, I'm just not a horny beast like I used to be when I was 18. But HELLO! I was 18, things change as you age. While people say women hit their sexual peak in their 30s, I think that's more because of being comfortable with themselves and their sexuality versus a hormonal drive.
 

MsP

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2004
Messages
663
Get a hormone free copper IUD-- Paragard. You don't have to have had a child to have one inserted. It's more painful but it's certainly possible.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
IUD or a diaphram + spermicide...I would NOT recommend charting. I have a 7 year old to prove that even with careful charting, etc., surprises DO happen! :tongue:
 

vespergirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2007
Messages
5,497
MissPrudential said:
Get a hormone free copper IUD-- Paragard. You don't have to have had a child to have one inserted. It's more painful but it's certainly possible.
My OB said that she does not feel comfortable using IUDs on women that are not done with child-bearing, because of risk of complications and infertility. My aunt had an IUD back in the 70s & got so sick from infection she almost died, and became infertile after that. Even though these days with the newer, better IUDs the chance of that happening is much smaller, my OB still doesn't recommend them for women who don't have at least one child, so what does that tell you ...

We have been using condoms, and they work fine as long as you're vigilant with them. I used condoms as my primary form of birth control for 15 years and didn't get pregnant. I will admit that when I got pregnant with my first we were using a condom but DH used it "incorrectly" (I would prefer not to go into detail) and I did get pregnant that time. However, if we had used the condom properly, it would have been effective.

To be extra sure, you may want to also chart your ovulation, and totally avoid sex on your fertile days.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
cara said:
-if (part of) the point of going off hormonal birth control is to increase your libido, then I'm not sure that abstaining during your fertile window (ie the week leading up to ovulation) is a great birth control method since that will likely be the time of the month when you will be most interested in sexy time.
Good point. FWIW I feel very different about sex off the pill than I did on. But I also had a killer sex drive when pregnant -- I thin every woman is different.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,614
Charting to avoid plus condoms would be my suggestion. If you know what you're doing, NFP/charting alone is highly effective.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
4,881
I was on the pill for most of my late teens and got off it when I turned 20. I had been with my then boyfriend now DH for five years already when I went off it. I had the same experience with the loss of drive on the pill and it came back after I got off it. I stayed off for about four years and just used rhythm/condoms. I was sick of worrying over the possibilities of pregnancy and no longer even wanted to think about it. I researched different BC and decided on Implanon. Best choice I ever made! I had no pain with them putting it in, it's good for three years and it hasn't had an effect on my drive at all. My period has pretty much stopped and I don't even get mood swingy anymore. I def recommend looking into it!
 

Gempassion

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 22, 2010
Messages
274
Hi Dramaprincess,

I went off the pill (after being on it for 6 years) because it greatly decreased my sex-drive and made me feel depressed. My sex-drive and personality came back to normal about a month after getting off the pill. Since then, for about 5 years now, my bf and I have only used condoms without any mishaps. If you do decide to go with condoms and one happens to break, you could always use the morning-after-pill as an emergency form of contraception (I am from Canada where the morning-after pill is readily available).
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,410
no need to hide behind a new SN.i know who you are. :lol:
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,329
I've used condoms as my primary for years. I feel completely safe. The only thing to worry about is that you don't want to interrupt things to put one on.
 

ladypirate

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2007
Messages
4,553
I have the Mirena IUD and love it--no problems with it even though I have never been pregnant in the past.
 

stacy

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 20, 2006
Messages
285
It's interesting that you posted this because I am thinking about the same thing now... I took birth control in my 20s, and went off several years back. I actually tolerated them pretty well most of the time -- but my blood sugar would get low sometimes, and some mornings I was really nauseated.

My fiance and I decided to just rely on condoms and have been doing that successfully (knock wood) for several years.

All of a sudden, that's started making me nervous... Friday night, my mom asked me if I was pregnant, out of the blue, and it's freaking me out. My period doesn't come for 2 more weeks, so I won't know for sure until then because most of the home tests aren't really accurate until the day your period is supposed to start... But we haven't had any condom misshaps that I'm aware of, it's been 2 weeks, and I feel like I am ovulating anyway. I know it's not rational, but I am still freaking!

I went to my gyne a few weeks ago and told her I wasn't interested in the pill, but I can't wait for Monday morning so I can call and tell her I have reconsidered (I'll probably have to book another appointment, but I doubt I will need the full physical again). Hopefully I can get started on them at the end of this month.

I guess the point of my post is that I am a worrier by nature too. When I was on the pill, I always insisted on condoms and I will continue, even though my fiance and I have been together 10 years and I know he's free of STDs. Condoms have been successful for me, but I have recently started freaking out and am going to get back on the pill.

(Sorry for the sorta hijack -- typing it out has made me feel a little better though!)
 

lknvrb4

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
3,737
I went off the pill in late Jan. because they were not working correctly. After having my third child I tried three different pills and I had breakthrough bleeding constantly. I hated the hormone rollercoaster as well. Since then we have been using condoms and have had no issues or worries. I feel safe using them until we have made a choice about getting the snip or not.
 

JSM

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
802
I have never been on the pill, I don't like the idea of side effects! It seems like a lot of the women here have experienced those as well. I've used condoms for birth control since I had started becoming intimate in my teens, and haven't had a pregnancy scare with them. I did have a couple break with an ex, but I think that's because he was an idiot (user error!), and not because of the condom itself.

After DH and I had been together a couple years, I decided to try a diaphragm + spermicide. It worked okay, I never had any mishaps. Unfortunately, I have since become allergic to latex, which means the diaphragm and most condoms were OUT.

Condoms are now an issue, the non-latex ones are NOT comfortable for DH and I can't stand the smell of the lambskin. We now do a combination of meticulous charting/no condoms/pull out and using polyurethane condoms when I am fertile (this is rare, he really hates them). No issues yet, but we are married and are prepared should we have an accident (it wouldn't be the end of the world, while money is tight we are both employed and would make it work, and we do want children eventually).

My OB/GYN has strongly recommended the IUD, he performs the insertion more than anyone at the large hospital I go to, and thinks it would be a great idea for us. I'm hesitant because of the horror stories, even though rationally I know that there is a very slim chance there would be any problems, and that it would be a great method of BC. I would never forgive myself if I became infertile, and would rather have an oops than the other way around.
 

megumic

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Messages
1,647
If you're living with your SO, you may be able to go on his health insurance as a domestic partner. I was able to be on FI's after being on the same apartment lease for 6 months. Definitely worth looking into!
 

Miss Sparkly

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2010
Messages
1,664
I love the pill. It changed my life - reallly and truly. The catch is that this is the 7th birth control I've tried. You might just have to try different pills to see what kind of effect they have on you. I'm currently on Loestrin (no iron (FE)) and I have tried the patch, the nuva ring, seasoniqe, ortho novum, depo, and loestrin 24 fe. Patch wouldn't stay on, ring wouldn't stay in, depo was like living in hell, seasonique and ortho made me depressed, the iron (fe) in the loestrin made me cramp up badly and the loestrin has done wonders. I have an even mood, sex drive, no OCD and no panic attacks.

I would talk to your doctor about your symptoms and see if changing your pill type will help you out.

eta: As far as birth control - until DH had his vasectomy (I made it clear that I have never wanted children and he didn't either) we used two forms of birth control too.
 

Callisto

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
1,152
I've gone through many changes in birth control over my relatively short period of being active and feel like I have read up on pretty much every possibility out there. My few thoughts are:

-I have an IUD (I got a Mirena but I kinda wish I would have gotten Paragaurd and gone totally hormone free). I've never had kids and my OB had no problem putting it in. In fact she's on her second IUD and has no kids, so it really depends on the OB. Yes there are IUD horror stories, but aren't there horror stories with every kind of birth control...? There will always be risks. You are trying to work against nature, nothing will be without risks. I LOVE not having to take a pill every day. I kinda hoped my sex drive would improve from a lower hormone dosage but I didn't notice any difference. I agree that your sex-drive returning is by no way guaranteed.

-I personally wouldn't trust just condoms, just personal preference. Not to mention we really really don't like them. I think BC pills taken correctly are definitely effective enough for someone like you in a committed relationship.

-For me charting was not an option. I don't doubt that I could do it correctly, but I am way too paranoid of a person to trust that. I would literally have a panic attack each month waiting for my period. Also while SO and I will be married within the next couple years, a baby would be a BIG adjustment as we are both very young still, so for this point in my life I needed something more reliable.

I'm very happy with my decision to switch to an IUD. It did hurt to have the procedure done but it was worth it for the convenience I have now and I'm glad I have less hormones now. Hope this helps!
 

Keepingthefaith21

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2007
Messages
1,531
I hated the pill for many reasons - including failure rate worries and low sex drive.

I was using Nuva Ring (a flexible ring you insert into your vagina once a month - keep it in there for 3 weeks and remove to have a period). It works similar to the pill BUT I did not experience the side-effects I had with the pill. I found it to be a great form of birthcontrol and was satisfied with it. I stopped using it due to costs - at the time I had a terrible insurance plan which essentially didn't cover name brand drugs - I was paying over $140 a month for the prescription and it was too costly to continue with so I had the Mirena IUD inserted. I had it removed as DH and I are currently TTC but I intend to go back to it once we have our baby as it was so nice to have 3 years where I didn't think about my BC.

I loved both NuvaRing and Mirena and would go back to either option. I highly reccomend both.
 
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