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Long term birth control money issues?

(42 Posts)
LaceyLitch Fri 11-Jul-14 14:21:35

I am currently 22. When I was 16 I went on the pill (microgynon) for about 4 months but eventually gave up as I kept forgetting so opted for the injection which I had 3 times over 9 months. The injection gave me constant bleeding and irregular periods even after I stopped it for the next 18 months. We didn't use any b/c for the rest of the relationship

When I was 18 I had a 2 year relationship and didn't use any b/c, but nothing ever happened.

Met DP at 21 and again didn't use any b/c (after both getting checked for std etc) thinking stupidly for some reason I couldn't get pregnant. Well after being together for 3 months found out I was 8 weeks pregnant, had an abortion and went back on microgynon immediately and have been taking it with out fail for 11+ months. But I hate it. I feel bloated constantly, have 2 or 3 new spots everyday when I have never had spots before and as I am mixed raced my skin scars really easily so now have a load of marks all over my face, get headaches regularly when I used to get maybe 1 a month.

Most annoyingly it has made my sex drive drop through the floor (very effective b/c/ then really!). I find it hard to enjoy sex even on the rare occasions we get going. Crazy as I previously had a very high sex drive. I just don't feel like myself anymore. I told DP I want to stop taking the pill and use condoms instead. He wasn't thrilled, don't suppose many men would be, but said he wants us to both enjoy sex as we used to and doesn't mind what we use as long as we are safe.

So no real problems except the cost. Condoms are so bleedin expensive! Does anyone know anyway you can get free condoms other than family planning clinics (I hate going there and they only give you about 10 each time). In the borough I live you can get a card which you present at any chemist and apparently you get free condoms with it, but I don't know if you are only allowed the bog standard range or what (DP wants a specific type). But it is only valid for under 25's so ok for me for a couple of years but what then? DP is 29 so no help really?

Has any one got any suggestions?

SloanePeterson Fri 11-Jul-14 14:27:09

The pill made me feel crappy. Consider a coil. I heard terrible stories about it but so far so good for me. GPs should give you a handful of condoms if you ask, but tbh you can't really be picky. The NHS is stretched enough as it is without wanting to get the expensive ones free.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 11-Jul-14 14:30:00

I was going to suggest a coil too.

pinkfrocks Fri 11-Jul-14 14:33:31

There are loads and loads of BC pills and you've only tried 2. You should try others. I had terrible spots years ago after trying the Pill for the first time, then swapped to a triphasic one and felt great- no different to not being on it.

The coil is not 100% effective- more like 97%- and it's not ideal for young women like you. You are more at risk of uterine infections if you are not always going to be in a monogamous relationship ( the strings can help bugs to climb upwards!) and there is also the risk of ectopic pregnancy.

Why not go back to a Brook clinic and talk to the experts there?

LaceyLitch Fri 11-Jul-14 14:36:34

I've read all the pamphlets, NHS choices website etc but I always find they hides the real side effects so thought this site would give me a more balanced view.

I don't want any hormonal b/c I don't think so maybe I should (reluctantly) try the coil. I did read something about it's not ideal for women who haven't given birth yet, does any one know if that is true?

realitygone Fri 11-Jul-14 14:37:12

You could try a different pill? I use cerezette which is a mini pill.

The injection caused me no end of.problems

birdboo Fri 11-Jul-14 14:44:58

I use a copper iud coil and I have had no problems with it in the two years I've used one. I have bad expericances with hormones so the copper iud was ideal for me, due to it not having any. Half the time I forget it's in there.

The side effects can be a bit rough. My periods last a lot longer and for the first 4-6 months they were hard going with lots of cramping. Some say your period can get heavier but mine were already so I haven't really noticed. They can be painful to put in too but now it's settled it really doesn't cause many problems. I'm getting mine taken out soon so we can start ttc but I know what I'm going to use again when the time comes.

beccajoh Fri 11-Jul-14 14:47:49

I've got a copper coil. No hormones, periods are normal, no cramping. Had it for two months now and I do have a bit more discharge but otherwise it's all good.

offside Fri 11-Jul-14 14:50:04

I used to be on microgynon and changed to Cilest. I had terrible mood swings and headaches on microgynon and had absolutely no side effects on Cilest.

So maybe try a different pill. If not, I too was going to recommend the coil, but I do know if it isn't in place properly you can easily fall pregnant. Saying that, no b/c is 100% effective.

pinkfrocks Fri 11-Jul-14 14:54:18

It is often harder to insert the coil if you have not given birth as your cervix will be tighter. How this compares with having a termination I don't know. I had the coil fitted when I was 45 after 2 vaginal births and it was agony- it also partially fell out after a few weeks and I had it removed.

I have a DD around your age. she has tried about 5 BC pills before she found 1 to suit her. I didn't recommend a coil to her because it is not totally reliable. The Pill is the best if you really do want to avoid pregnancy and even if you had a coil you'd be advised to use condoms perhaps during your fertile days - or with a new partner of course.

plinkyplonker Fri 11-Jul-14 14:57:34

Condoms from the sex health clinic are free. Durex also have an eBay store which is cheaper than in normal stores - especially for the latex free ones.

makeminea6x Fri 11-Jul-14 15:00:05

pink I agree it's worth trying different pills but please not that no method of b/c is 100% effective. In fact methods that rely less on memory (injection, implant or coil) are more effective because you don't have to remember them daily/every time you have sex.

A hormonal coil (is Mirena) is as effective as female sterilisation.

Also agree that you should be very sure that there is no risk of STI before you stop using condoms.

makeminea6x Fri 11-Jul-14 15:00:38

*except abstinence of course, although it didn't work for Mary ;)

makeminea6x Fri 11-Jul-14 15:01:37

Urgh typos - not=note, ie Mirena not is

LaceyLitch Fri 11-Jul-14 15:07:48

I have a DD around your age. she has tried about 5 BC pills before she found 1 to suit her.

I really do not like the idea of putting my body through so many changes, especially after my experience with the injection.

I am on the verge of trying IUD coil but get put off with stories of the pain/falling out. Is there anyone in a LTR who uses condoms?

But condoms are free from your GUM clinic or family planning clinic or similar.
You can get free condoms.

Have you discussed all options with your GP?
I had to stop taking the combined pill (too old) and went onto mini-pill.
Horrible experience.
So I now have an implant.
Lasts 3 years. No periods (for me anyway) and it was very pain free.
You have lots of options.
Discuss them all and try some others if you really don't want to use condoms.

BTW, I did use condoms after my DD was born for 10 years with my Ex.
I didn't want to keep taking the pill so condoms it was.
No problem at all for us.

shellistar Fri 11-Jul-14 15:12:57

Hi, I have a lot of similar issues with you. I have PCOS and any type of hormone based contraception makes me go crazy

I have never had children and I use the copper IUD. Initially I had the normal 10 year one fitted but it didn't suit. Not only was it excruciating when I had it inserted but I experienced heavy bleeding and awful cramps for a year. I had it removed and my lovely doctor told me about a smaller version that is perfect for people like me who have never been pregnant.

It only lasts 5 years but its just a smaller version of the copper IUD. I'd suggest some really strong pain killers an hour before insertion (I had 1 x Naproxen 500mg and 2 x Cocodomol 500/30 and it was lovely!) and had my DP take me home so I could sleep it off during the afternoon (I felt fine but it was a little uncomfortable and quite tiring, especially with the pain killers!)

I had it inserted just over a year ago. You have to give it time as although the heavier periods stopped straight away and went straight back to normal, I did experience quite bad cramping which got better each cycle. Now I have a little twinge a day or so before if I am lucky.

I'm happy to share more info if you want smile

shellistar Fri 11-Jul-14 15:14:20

I personally find condoms a passion killer and had the necessary tests to negate their use as soon as possible! But that is just me, I am impatient!!!

pinkfrocks Fri 11-Jul-14 15:20:26

makemine yes but the Mirena is a) larger and harder to fit so much harder for someone who has not had a child vaginally and b) it's coated in progestogen so it's not hormone-free.

pinkfrocks Fri 11-Jul-14 15:25:50

condoms have a success rate of around 97% IF they are used very carefully.
The reason they don't work sometimes is due to user error in the main.
Some people think it's ok to have foreplay including a tiny bit of penetration ( without a condom) when of course it's not. Other people use condoms alongside 'safe periods' then wonder why they don't work. And of course they can split, tear and come off, when you'd need the MOP.

Using condoms successfully depends on the motivation of both partners to use them properly before ANY willy/fanjo interaction!

donkir Fri 11-Jul-14 15:46:34

I have tried many different pills some of which sent me crazy, I've also tired the injections but I bled the entire 9 months. I finally found dianette which worked for me. Have you tried the female condom? There is one that you use like the pill. You insert it for 21 days and then take it out for 7.

whatdoesittake48 Fri 11-Jul-14 15:46:40

I used to use a contraceptive patch. It rekeased low dise hormones over a longer period of time. I used ut because I got nausea. It worked well.

twizzleship Fri 11-Jul-14 16:52:15

no contraception has a 100% success rate - apart from sterilisation, so you are taking a risk of pregnancy no matter what you use.

i was on the 3-monthly Depo injections for 11 years without any issues until towards the end when i started gaining weight and was constantly bloated.

now i use the Mirena coil and have had no problems with it so far (4 years in). i chose this particular one as i don't like periods and didn't want them. i had no problems with the fitting/insertion other than a short sharp pain and some mild cramping for a few days afterwards.

discuss your options with your gp or local family planning clinic - which is where i go for my contraception and smear tests. i find it more comfortable than my gp surgery as the atmosphere is so much more relaxed. as they have more experience of coil fitting /smear tests they were able to give me tips on how to position my feet/legs/when to breathe in and out etc that i didn't get from my gp the whole time i was getting it done there. when discussing options they also gave me a more detailed/other peoples examples of different contraceptives which i found very useful. my gp is wonderful by the way but for these two things my experience at the clinic is better. they will also give you a bag full of free condoms at each visit - even if like me you don't use them grin You can also pop in anytime to pick up more for free, they don't limit you.

what everyone will tell you though is that each persons experience of being on contraceptives is different so what works for one may not work for another. you need to discuss your options in detail as there are different types of pill/coils/implants and your experience will be individual to you.

Cabrinha Fri 11-Jul-14 23:14:24

Have you talked to your clinic about getting more condoms?
Mine gave me Durex - which surprised me - and about 40 of them! At least ask if they can give more?
Getting a particular type - not going to happen.
Long term, you just have to factor in the cost,

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