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[personal profile] nohanii
Note: This post may be considered TMI for some, but it's my blog and I need to talk about this. If you're uncomfortable with talk about sex, just skip it

I started taking birth control pills in December 2004, when I was 17. I'd been with my boyfriend for 7 months, and we'd been sexually active for the last few months. (Read: Fucking like ridiculously horny rabbits.) We had discovered that condoms actually factually suck, and neither of us wanted a baby while we were still in high school, so I talked to my doctor about starting the birth control pill. She wholeheartedly agreed.* She even helped me explain to Mom that it would help ease my debilitating menstrual cramps as well as control my acne better (it actually wasn't that bad by that time, but who wants even one zit?). Mom agreed because she had seen how bad my cramps could get -- I distinctly remember Gabe practically carrying me home because I could barely walk, then curling up on the recliner and crying because it hurt so badly while he and Mom made me tea, got Tylenol, and tried to calm me down because it hurt like fuck. So, in December 2004, I started taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo. From that point on, I had very few problems and even fewer worries about pregnancy.

*My Dr. sounds great here, but she's not. I'm grateful for her help back then, but I'm 98% positive that my issues with the yearly pelvic exam stem from my very first exam with her -- cold, clinical, and extremely uncomfortable and awkward.

Now I have always had a very strong libido. I don't remember discovering my "special place." It seems like I've always known it was there, and it felt good, and it was ~naughty. My first really serious boyfriend, Gabe, and I fucked like rabbits. Every chance we got, we would be doing something. Watching a movie? Hand job under the blanket. Helping him with "homework"? Oral sex. Got out of school early? Run to his place to fuck. In short, we couldn't keep our hands off each other. But then in fall 2005, I moved away to college and we broke up. Soon after that, I started seeing Dan.

Dan has driven me crazy since the moment I first saw him in our dorm. Within two months of meeting, we were dating. Given our new-found freedom from parental oversight, Dan and I were "doing it" 1 to 3 times a day, literally for hours on end. If Gabe and I had trouble keeping our hands off each other, Dan and I were hopeless. Then, starting in ~2007, three years into taking the Pill, my libido started to crash. We went from having sex 1-3 times a day to 1-3 times a week then to 1-3 times a month, if that. Even when we had our own apartment after graduating, we barely ever had sex or played with each other. The thought of sex rarely occurred to me. Sometimes Dan would want it so badly that I would give it to him, even though I had no interest. It got so bad that sometimes the idea of him, or anyone else, touching me in that way seemed abhorrent.

I never once felt like it was his fault. I knew it was me. At the same time, I was feeling rather down on myself. I'd been unemployed for months, despite the fact that I applied to over 70 jobs in just 3 months. That feeling improved when I finally found a job, but returned in full force just weeks later when I realized just how much my job sucked. I was embarrassed to admit that I worked at a doggie daycare. With my degree, I felt like it was beneath me. The only thing that kept me there was my desperate need for money so I could pay my rent. I looked for other jobs, but there were none to be found during the recession. I felt worthless, like a failure. I felt like the last 4 years of my life, all that effort and money spent on college, had been a waste. Few things interested me. I spent most of my time online or watching shows and movies via Netflix and Hulu.

Due to graduating in June 2009, I lost my health insurance. By February 2010, my BC Rx ran out. Without health insurance, I couldn't afford to go to the doctor for my yearly exam, and they absolutely refused to refill my script without the exam. So, I made the decision to stop taking the Pill.

Within a month of stopping the Pill, my interest in sex returned. I couldn't get enough of Dan. I wanted it more than I had in a long, long while, and I wanted to share it with Dan. It was wonderful, except for the increased worry over possible pregnancy. And the re-discovery that condoms fucking suck.

Then the health care bill passed, and I was able to get back on my parents' health insurance. I decided to go back on the Pill to reduce the risk of pregnancy. I thought that was that. And then my libido crashed. Again. By October of this year, I was sick and tired having no interest in sex. I missed it (even though I wasn't interested? How does that work?), and it wasn't fair to Dan. I figured, Why be on birth control if I'm not having sex anyway? So, I made the oh-so-responsible decision to quit. I have been birth control free for the last 3 months, and my libido has once again started to return. I'm nowhere near as horny as I used to be, but my libido is better than it was, and that's what matters.

Now Dan and I are researching our other birth control options. Condoms don't work for us, because quite honestly, they just don't fit him. They are all too small, even the ones made for larger men, and they all reduce sensation far too much. I've considered getting an IUD, but it will be a painful procedure since I have never given birth. I looked into the implant, but it's hormonal and might screw with my libido. (Though it is a progestin, not an estrogen. Estrogen dampens sex drive and progesterone is thought to improve it, but I've read customer reports that their libidos have died, so I'm a bit leary of it.) Aside from sterilization (NO) and abstinence (oh HELL NO), the implant and the IUD are the most effective methods of birth control, then the Pill/patch/ring. I'm leaning towards the implant, though I have to talk to a doctor about it.

So that's where I am. Although this is a mess right now, I am feeling better than I have in awhile. I'm happy that I stopped the Pill, and I absolutely will NOT use another BC containing estrogen.

Has anyone else had this problem? What did you do about it? What method of BC do you use now? Other than "I'm LGBT so I don't have to worry about it! Haha stupid straight people =P" (I'm looking at YOU, Kelly and Geena!)

Date: 2010-12-01 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I was on the pill for a few years and going just fine...then about a year and half ago I just.. don't feel it like I used to it. I hate it. I've been debating about what I should do, we do use condoms and it works okay with us on top of my BC. I need to make an appointment with a gyno, because really--I miss sex. Keep me updated on what you decide, and maybe it'll help ME decide what to do.

Date: 2010-12-02 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Isn't it awful?? I'm about 98% positive that it's the pill doing this to me, since the libido problems coincide with going on or off the pill. In the beginning, I'm pretty sure I was on the low dose pill. I think it was randomly changed to the normal/higher dose without my knowledge a few years later, and that's when I started having the problems. Maybe I'll just try the low dose pill again? I don't know.

This is all very =/

Date: 2010-12-02 10:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, I've never been on birth control because TWENTY YEAR OLD VIRGIN* but this was actually a really interesting read. I didn't know that the pill could decrease your sex drive, so I'll definitely remember that if I ever get to the sexxing stage.

*I'm not exactly happy about it, but I want my first time to be with someone I'm in a relationship with, because I'm secretly twelve. Of course, I can't seem to find anybody I want to date. Though a really cute guy did offer to sleep with me in exchange for my Nintendo, once. Eh.

Date: 2010-12-02 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I didn't know that either. I found out that it did when I went off the first time around. I did some research, and it doesn't seem to be all that uncommon, though it's not listed as a side effect, which is worrisome.

lol, I read that as "sexting." I was all, bwuah? You can sext me whenever you'd like, baby! ;)

...that guys sounds like a real winner! Why didn't you take him up on the offer?? (Don't mind me, I'm just barfed in my mouth a little.)

Date: 2010-12-02 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lol, I'd probably suck at sexting. I find it hard to write decent porn.

And yeah, doesn't he? What sucks is that he was really cute, and actually kind of awesome... before that happened. Now he's srsly friend zoned.

Date: 2010-12-03 05:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Weird...I guess side effects do vary a lot from person to person. Actually, I had a horrible time with a decreased sex drive on Yaz and sort of with the pill I went on after that (though I have reason to believe it was mostly mental at that point), but on my current pill I'm pretty much OK.

ANYWAY. I don't know much about implants, but progestin-only methods of BC aren't as effective as combination methods. I'm SUPER paranoid about getting pregnant, so effectiveness is a pretty important factor for me (which is why I don't trust condoms AT ALL). I also know that the shot (another progestin-only method) is well-known for issues with weight gain. I don't know, though, if that's exclusive to the shot or if it's a general progestin-only issue. I'm not sure if that's a deal-breaker or not for you, but I guess it could be something to consider.

One of my sisters uses an IUD and she says it's the best method she's tried (she had a lot of issues with the Pill in the past). She's never had a child; while she said the pain was pretty bad, apparently it was only right when the doctor put it in. An IUD lasts anywhere between 3-10 years and it's very effective, so I'd most likely go with the IUD. That's completely up to you, though :]

Date: 2010-12-03 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've heard from a lot of people that they've experienced decreased sex drive while on the pill, so I'm annoyed that it didn't make it onto the "possible side effects" list, because that's a major one. I mean, don't a good majority of people take birth control pills so, I don't know, they can have sex? What's the point if you're not in the mood, ever?

I just made an appointment to talk to my doctor about my options. If the low-dose pill is available, I may go on that again (I'm pretty certain I was fine on that, and that the higher dose is the one that screwed with me). We'll see how it turns out.

Thanks for the info on progesterone-only BC. The info that I found says that the minipill (progesterone-only) is just as effective as the combo pill, patch, or ring. It says Implanon has a failure rate of 0.05% and looks to be the best option in terms of effectiveness. If your sister got Mirena, it's progesterone-only and has a 0.02% failure rate, versus the Paragard copper T 0.08% failure

I'll be going over all of this with my doctor on Tuesday. Right now I'm still leaning towards the implant, since it's easy to put in and is effective. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.


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